Fox News' Karl Rove problem just keeps getting worse.
This morning, President Obama held a press conference to discuss the state of the economy and renew his call for Congress to pass a jobs bill. After the conclusion of Obama's remarks, Fox host Jon Scott told viewers they would “be hearing from a couple of congressional leaders on the Republican side” later in the day. Apparently too impatient to wait for the official Republican response, Fox brought on Karl Rove -- its own contributor/anti-Obama super PAC co-founder -- to attack Obama in the meantime.
Predictably, Rove used his Fox platform to launch a series of misleading talking points at the president.
As usual, Fox failed to identify Rove's affiliation with American Crossroads, the PAC he co-founded to attack Democratic candidates. Scott simply described him as “former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush” and “Fox News contributor.”
Rove's appearance touched on several previously debunked falsehoods:
- Rove claimed that the current unemployment rate and Obama's reference in 2009 to a paper from economic advisers Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer that predicted stimulus spending would cause the unemployment rate to drop below 8% is proof that the stimulus “didn't live up to the hype.” But in a 2009 press conference, Bernstein explained: "[W]hen we made our initial estimates, that was before we had fourth-quarter results on GDP, which we later found out was contracting on an annual rate of 6 percent, far worse than we expected at that time."
- Rove said Obama wants to “take money from people who are in the private sector” in the form of “higher taxes and interest payments in the future” to “keep those state and local government employees at work.” In reality, Obama included tax cuts in the Recovery Act, $17.5 billion worth of tax cuts in the HIRE Act, eight different tax cuts in the Small Business Jobs Act, $109 billion worth of tax cuts in the 2010 Tax Relief Act, and proposed tax cuts in his 2011 jobs bill.
- Rove noted that the current recovery “is the most anemic and slowest recovery of any of the ten recessions we've had from World War II.” But Rove didn't mention that ongoing cuts in federal spending, unlike in previous recessions, are causing a drag on job growth. Rove also didn't note that Republicans like presidential candidate Mitt Romney have called for further cuts to government spending.