Challenging The "12 Million Jobs" Claim And Changing The Dynamic

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Back in August, Mitt Romney's campaign set a controversial benchmark for accuracy, announcing that "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers," and you could make the argument that since then they've hewed closely to that standard. The October 16 presidential debate  presented a challenge not just to that fact-checkers-be-damned mentality, but to one of the Romney's campaign's central claims: that as president he would create 12 million new jobs.

This morning Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler wrote that the math underlying Romney's claim "doesn't add up," calling it a "bait-and-switch" that fudges with timelines, and quoted Glenn Hubbard, one of Romney's chief economic advisers, acknowledging as much. Again, this is one of Romney's key campaign arguments. He repeated it early on in tonight's debate.

There's been a great deal written lately about post-truth politics and journalism, in which corrections of blatant falsehoods have no discernible effect on the repetition of said falsehoods. This issue -- central as it is to the political campaign but also the economic recovery -- represents an opportunity to alter that dynamic.

But such change can happen only if the media step up and actually press the Romney campaign on this point. It's too important to let slide.

Posted In
The Washington Post
Glenn Kessler
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