In an interview with Telemundo, President Obama dropped the hammer and served notice to Mitt Romney that his lies will not go unchallenged.
According to Reuters, when the president was asked by Telemundo about Romney’s claim that 92% of the people who lost their jobs in this recession were women, he said, “Everybody who’s looked at this claim knows it’s bogus. What he doesn’t mention obviously is that all these job losses, both men and women, took place as a consequence of the worst financial crisis and the worst economic crisis that we’ve seen since the Great Depression,” he continued. “They’re a direct result of the policies he wants to go back to, and I think the American people understand that.”
What is making headlines is that President Obama directly knocked down a Romney lie, but it is the second part of what he said that is just as interesting. In general terms Obama has tied the Republican Party, the GOP members of Congress, and their presidential candidates to the policies of the past. What was different this time was that he came close to connecting Mitt Romney to the policies of George W. Bush.
Romney’s 92% statistic is based on a severe cherry picking of the jobs data, but the AP fact checker pointed out something interesting, “Women were more heavily represented in jobs that suffered in the recession’s later months and beyond, as revenue-strapped state and local governments laid off teachers and cut other public-sector workers.”
The hypocrisy is that while Romney claims Obama has cost women their jobs, the policy that actually caused the job losses for women at the state level has been endorsed by Mitt Romney. The presumed Republican nominee is trying to have it both ways. While he embraces Republicans in states like Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin whose policies caused many of the layoffs among women, he is trying to blame Obama for the fact that those same women have lost their jobs.
The strategy that Romney is using is coming straight out of Karl Rove’s playbook. He is making up simple bogus statistics, while at the same time running a relentlessly negative campaign against President Obama. If all of this sounds familiar, it should. The 2004 Bush reelection campaign used the same tactics against John Kerry.
What the Republicans are about to find out is that Barack Obama is not John Kerry. Obama is not going to let the lies of the Republican candidate go unchallenged. Republicans will try to use Citizens United to swift boat Obama on an epic scale, but Obama will be ready. If this week is any indication, Mitt Romney may be the first nominee to get desperate in a general election campaign before he has even clinched the nomination.
Obama not only pushed back on an obvious distortion, he did something much more significant. He tied the out of touch one percenter to the policies of a former Republican president that is still disliked and blamed for crashing the economy.
Mitt Romney can make up all the numbers he wants, but nothing can wash the stink of George W. Bush off of him. From now until November, the president will not let a moment go by without reminding voters that a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the return of George W. Bush.