Mitt Romney’s Flip-Flop Machine Goes Into Overdrive

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wacphiladelphia/4558482297/sizes/m/in/photostream/">World Affairs Council of Philadelphia</a>/Flickr

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, said to have raised as much as $20 million in the past three months, just can’t get his story straight. On multiple occasions, the former Massachusetts governor has claimed that President Obama made the Great Recession “worse” with his economic policies. As Romney put it on the day he officially unveiled his candidacy, “When [Obama] took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse, and he made it last longer.”

Except that’s nowhere near true. As Washington Post “Fact-Checker” Glenn Kessler notes, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared the recession officially over in June 2009, six months after Obama took office. So, then, how can Obama have made the recession “worse” and “last longer”? After vetting Romney’s argument, the Associated Press concluded, “Obama did not, as Romney alleged, make the economy worse than it was when he took office.”

Last week, when questioned by a reporter on this point, Romney didn’t defend his assertions or trot out economic data to prove them; instead, he claimed he’d never said such a thing. “I didn’t say that things are worse,” he said. “What I said was that the economy hasn’t turned around.” In fact he’d said exactly that on at least three prior occasions.

Now, Romney has flipped again. Asked by a local reporter in Amherst, New Hampshire, about his prior claims about Obama and the economy, Romney reverted to his original, debunked position. “The recession was made deeper and more painful for more Americans by virtue of the president’s plan,” Romney said. “The recovery has been slower and more painful for millions of Americans because of the president’s failures. He made the recession worse and the recovery more anemic.” Here’s the video:

Romney, of course, is running as the GOP candidate best suited to fix the ailing American economy. Perhaps he’d better fix his talking points first.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.