Paul Krugman Takes a Flamethrower to Romney’s Lies About the Economy

When the conservative panelists on ABC’s This Week tried to push Romney’s lies about the economy, they were shot down by a one man wrecking crew named Paul Krugman.


Video part 1:

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Transcript from This Week:


MATALIN: The altitude, OK. He has no game.

The only way the truth that this president likes to cite all the time he has inherited the worst economy in history would be if he gets re-elected this is the worst recovery in the history of this country and his notion that it takes a long time to get out is belied also by history.

KRUGMAN: Not true. Just in the measure of the recovery it’s way better than Bush’s recovery. The actual growth since the bottom is a lot better. So were supposed to talk about that later but this is not true. You can argue with the unemployment rate is high because it was a hell of a recession but this is not, in fact — that’s not the way to do it.

MATALIN: Professor — Dr. Krugman, can I ask you something about history? Has there ever been this not be true in history that the deeper — the deeper the recession, the steeper and stronger the recovery. There is no such thing as a deep recession with a moderate recovery.

KRUGMAN: Every financial crisis, financial — post financial crisis economies look like this. We look like a post-financial crisis economy. We look exactly like a standard post-financial crisis recovery — look all through. Look at Sweden in the ’90s, look at Japan, we’re doing a little bit better than the average track on these things, but, no, I’m bitterly critical of Obama’s performance in that debate, but this is the not the way to criticize him.

MATALIN: Here is the real world, as Peggy alluded to. Real median incomes have fallen twice as much under the Obama recovery as they did in the Bush recession. At this point in time, under Ronald Reagan’s policies, which Governor Reagan has a 21st century application of, growth and jobs were growing at five times the rate they are.

Let’s just look at last year. The states where 17 governors, Republican governors instituted conservative reforms, those states are growing their economy and creating jobs at twice the rate the national one. This is about policies. We know they’ve worked. There is no recovery in the history of any recessions or depressions that have been as slow and as poor as this one and the revisions upwards —


MATALIN: Yes, it is, Dr. Krugman. It’s completely, totally true.

KRUGMAN: I’m sorry, but it just isn’t true.

MATALIN: I don’t make up numbers.

KRUGMAN: Well, but just look at them, then. Because the fact of the matter is, this is actually a fairly typical slow post-financial crisis recovery, which is picking up speed. So although it’s terrible — and I’ve been bitterly critical of policymakers in general for not doing more — the fact of the matter is we are clearly now in the upswing, where you can see the beginnings of a turnaround.

KRUGMAN: When you say my covers pre-existing conditions when it doesn’t and when your own campaign has admitted in the past that it doesn’t, what do you say? That’s amazing.

MATALIN: You have Mitt characterized — and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare from the efficiency of Medicare administration to calling it a voucher plan, so you’re hardly…

KRUGMAN: It is a voucher plan.

MATALIN: You are hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar. Here’s what else…

KRUGMAN: Well, if you’re going to make this not about that — but, no, the fact of the matter, I just think that pre-existing condition thing was a defining moment. It was saying this guy believes not only he can say something that isn’t true, but something that his own campaign has admitted isn’t true. And he can say it in front of 70 million people. That’s amazing.

There were three distinct exchanges in the discussion where Mary Matalin pushed Mitt Romney’s lies, and Paul Krugman called them out. After the third time that Krugman hammered another Romney lie, Matalin had nothing left but to utter the playground equivalent of I’m not the liar, you’re the liar.

Earlier in the segment, Krugman called the president’s first debate performance classic Obama, because this president doesn’t raise his game until his back is up against the wall. Anybody who doesn’t believe this has forgotten how bad Obama really was in the first debates against Hillary Clinton.

Paul Krugman showed the left how it’s done. By simply pushing back hard, which Obama should not have done in the first debate, because he would have been drawn him into Romney’s quagmire of lies instead of contrasting his vision with his opponent’s, the Romney lies can be easily destroyed.

What Mitt Romney’s first debate performance did was make this election about his character. Since the debate, the Obama campaign has aggressively gone after Romney’s honesty. I suspect Joe Biden will amp this up in the vice presidential debate, and Obama will build on it in the second debate.

Democrats have a unified message against Romney, and Paul Krugman delivered the blueprint for how to combat a candidate and a party that won’t stop lying. Krugman kept hammering the Romney lies about the economy with facts, and eventually all the liar had left was to claim that he was lying.

Obama doesn’t need to call Romney a liar in order to win. He only has to consistently remind voters that Mitt Romney is fundamentally dishonest, and is lacking the kind of character that is expected from presidents.

Leave calling Romney a liar to people on sidelines like Paul Krugman. President Obama’s task is to consistently and persistently contrast himself with the Republican nominee remind America that Mitt Romney can’t be trusted.

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