American Bridge Running Twitter Ads To Remind Folks Of New Mitt’s Old Record

Back To The Old Etch-A-Sketch…

Mitt Romney is set to deliver a speech tonight — apparently 2016 Mitt: Now Authentic!™ is a foreign policy expert who is set to enlighten us. But that’s rich (pun intended) coming from Mitt, considering his previous iterations of self were plagued by a slew of foreign policy gaffes. In fact, he once argued that it was “not necessary for a president to be an expert in international matters.”

And of course, he’ll continue to drone on with his message of job creation helped him win his presidential reelection in 2012 and create 11 million private sector jobs over the past four years. Oh wait, that was a different guy — Mitt was the one who had Massachusetts at 47th in the nation in job growth and warned of economic ruin if President Obama won another term.

To remind folks about the old Mitt Romney, American Bridge is running Twitter ads tonight in Mississippi, Iowa, New Hampshire, La Jolla, Salt Lake City, and Washington, DC. Below you can find a sample ad, as well as research on his foreign policy missteps and failed economic record.

Background

Foreign Policy Gaffes

Romney Didn’t Believe Presidents Needed Foreign Policy Experience

Politifact: Romney Mostly Said The President Does Not Need Foreign Policy Experience. According to Politifact, “As the new year began, McCain fought back with two Web ads rapping Romney on his foreign policy experience. The ads claim Romney says the next president doesn’t need foreign policy experience. Romney has never uttered those words, but here’s what he did say on the Fox News program Hannity & Colmes: ‘If we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department and pluck out one of the tens of thousands of people who work there.’ …That has become Romney’s standard response to questions about his foreign policy experience… The question then is how to judge the accuracy of what McCain has charged. Did Romney say a president doesn’t need foreign policy experience? Mostly, yes he did.” [Politifact, 1/2/08]

Romney Defended Relying On Advisors For Foreign Policy Knowledge As President. According to Fox News, “Romney defended his argument that ‘a president is not a foreign policy expert,’ by asserting that a president relies up on his advisors for foreign policy knowledge. ‘A president is a leader who understands how to make difficult decisions,’ Romney said, ‘and does so in a way that brings together the best voices, that considers the upsides and downsides and predicts the credibility and the strength that America has always projected in circumstances like this.’ [Fox News, 12/27/07]

Romney Said Qualified Advisers Make It “Not Necessary For A President To Be An Expert” On Foreign Policy. According to the Boston Globe, “Mitt Romney…said it is not necessary for a president to be an expert in international matters as long he is surrounded by qualified advisers… ‘The President is not an expert,’ Romney said. ‘The president is a leader who guides America in making the important decisions which must be made to keep us safe…You don’t just jump from the gut and say, ‘Well, here’s what I think we ought to do’ and then take action. Instead, you bring together all of those with extensive experience in the arena, you gather all the information.’” [Boston Globe, 12/28/07]

Romney Had “Gold medal” Gaffe In London During The Olympics

Romney Was Off To “Spectacularly” Bad Start In London After Questioning The City’s Preparedness To Host The 2012 Olympics. According to Talking Points Memo, “Mitt Romney is off to a spectacularly bad start in London, at least according to the British press ridiculing the Republican candidate on his first major foreign trip. British officials — and the newspapers that cover them — took offense to Romney questioning whether London is well-prepared to handle the security issues ahead of the summer games. Romney called the situation ‘disconcerting.’ British Prime Minister David Cameron hit back, saying there is no doubt ‘Britain can deliver.’ ‘We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,’ Cameron added. ‘Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

  • Romney Was “Slapped Down” By UK Prime Minister David Cameron Over Olympics Comment.According to Talking Points Memo, “Sticking with the slapping theme, the London Evening Standard wrote: ‘David Cameron slaps down US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney over Games gaffe.’ The UK’s Channel 4 news even awarded medal status to Romney visit: a ‘golden gaffe.’ ‘It probably wasn’t the most diplomatic way to begin his London trip – but Mitt Romney told US television network NBC that he wasn’t sure if Britain was really ready to host the Olympic Games,’ Felicity Spector wrote.” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

Romney Seemed To Forget Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband’s Name. According to Talking Points Memo, “Then there was the issue of whether Romney forgot Labour leader Ed Miliband’s name, referring to him as ‘Mr. Leader.’ All in all, ‘not a great day at the office,’ Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid wrote… The Independent wondered whether Romney forgot Ed Miliband’s name during their meeting, writing that it followed his earlier ‘gaffe’ of questioning the Olympic preparedness.” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

Romney Had “Shaky” Start To Overseas Trip After Seemingly Getting Into Spat With U.K.’s Prime Minister. According to Talking Points Memo, “The Financial Times played it relatively straight, writing: ‘Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for the US presidency, got off to a shaky start in his effort to show a statesmanlike profile when he seemed to get into a public spat with the UK prime minister over London’s readiness to host the Olympics.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

Romney Had “Funny Way Of Showing” He Wanted To Make Friends With British Leaders After Olympics Comment. According to Talking Points Memo, “Even the BBC couldn’t help but get in on the fun. ‘Mr Romney is credited with rescuing the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, now he’s appeared to question London’s readiness to host a successful olympics,’ host George Alagiah said. Throwing it over to North America editor Mark Mardell, Alagiah said: ‘If (Romney’s) here to make friends, he’s got a funny way of showing it.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

London Mayor Boris Johnson Called Out Romney For Questioning The City’s Preparedness For The Olympics. According to Talking Points Memo, “Boris Johnson, mayor of London, is the latest British official to take offense with Mitt Romney’s comments about security preparedness at the Olympic Games. ‘There’s guy [sic] called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready,’ Johnson told a London crowd Thursday. ‘Are we ready? Yes we are!’ Here he is on SkyNews talking about his city’s preparedness in the wake of Romney’s comments. Johnson told SkyNews: ‘London is as ready as any city in the history of the Olympic Games.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/26/12]

Romney Believed Israel’s Labor Party Leader Shimon Peres Was Part Of Liberal Party

Romney Referred To Shimon Peres “As Leader Of The Liberal Party” Who Would Be Critical Of US Action In Iraq. Romney said at the Republican Jewish Coalition, “I just have to tell you, one of the most interesting experiences I had… I was in Boston when Shimon Peres happened to visit…and someone said to him, ‘What do you think about the conflict in Iraq?’ Now, I had presumed that what he would say, as the leader of the Liberal Party, would be some very critical things about Iraq and about our action and so forth there.” [Political Transcript Wire, 10/16/07]

  • Peres Was Leader Of Labor Party In Israel. According to The Associated Press, “Longtime Labor leader Shimon Peres quit his party after six decades, saying he wanted to support former rival Ariel Sharon’s bid for re-election to help him pursue their common goal of making peace with the Palestinians. Peres cemented the alliance when he announced…he would back Sharon’s new centrist Kadima party… The 82-year-old Peres, who led Labor to five electoral defeats and lost a race earlier this month to lead the party into a sixth election… Under a reported deal worked out with Sharon, Peres would support Kadima but would not officially join the party and he would not run for a seat in parliament, where he has served since 1959.” [The Associated Press, 12/1/05]

Romney Praised Diplomacy of Hezbollah

Romney Praised Hezbollah’s “Kind Of Diplomacy” Saying It Would Help “America Become Stronger Around The World.” According to the Washington Post, “At a town hall meeting in Iowa on Friday, Mitt Romney offered an eye-catching twist on his usual stump speech when he held up Hezbollah as a model for the effectiveness of using social services as a way to win hearts and minds. ‘Did you notice in Lebanon what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a democracy some time ago. And while their government was getting underway, Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there and schools, and they built their support by having done so,’ Romney said. ‘That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest toward modernity and goodness and freedom for all people of the world.’” [Washington Post, 8/2/07]

  • NJDC: Romney’s “Ill-Informed, Naïve” Comments On Hezbollah Suggested “Fundamental Misunderstanding Of The Middle East.”In a statement from the National Jewish Democratic Council, Executive Director Ira Forman said: “It is the height of irony that, within weeks of saying Democrats are ‘uncomfortable in recognizing evil in the world,’ Governor Romney would make such ill-informed remarks that cite a terrorist organization as a model for U.S. diplomacy. Indeed, Mitt Romney’s naïve comments suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East and geopolitical realities. Mitt Romney desperately wants to be President of the United States, but this type of comment clearly shows that he is not ready for prime time. Any candidate for President should know that Hezbollah’s social programs are inseparably tied to terrorism. The health clinics and schools praised by Romney have also been used as a cover for rockets launched at Israeli cities. Moreover, Hezbollah social activism has included paying ‘bonuses’ for the murder of Israelis.” [National Jewish Democratic Council Press Release, 8/2/07]

Failed Economic Record

Massachusetts Job Creation Ranked Poorly Under Romney

In Romney’s Four Years As Governor Massachusetts Ranked 47th Out Of 50 In Jobs Growth. According to Marketwatch, “The Republican contender was the governor of Massachusetts from January 2003 to January 2007. And during that time, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the state ranked 47th in the entire country in jobs growth. Fourth from last. The only ones that did worse? Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. In other words, two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane. The Massachusetts jobs growth over that period, a pitiful 0.9%, badly lagged other high-skill, high-wage, knowledge economy states like New York (2.7%), California (4.7%) and North Carolina (7.6%). The national average: More than 5%.” [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]

In Romney’s First Year In Charge, Massachusetts “Ranked Dead Last In America In Job Growth.”According to Marketwatch, “So far Obama has been in office for just one year. How was Romney’s performance by his first anniversary? Fiftieth out of fifty. That’s right. In Romney’s first year in charge, Massachusetts ranked dead last in America in jobs growth.” [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate “Showed Little Movement During Romney’s Tenure” And Went From Below The National Average When He Took Office To Above The National Average When He Left.According to the Associated Press, “The state’s unemployment numbers also showed little movement during Romney’s tenure. In December 2002, as Romney prepared to step into office, Massachusetts unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent, slightly lower than the national unemployment rate of 6 percent. By December 2006 – Romney’s last full month in office – national unemployment had fallen to just 4.5 percent while Massachusetts unemployment numbers had inched down to 5.2 percent. ‘We’ve had a very slow economic recovery and we’ve trailed most of the rest of the nation,’ said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. ‘It’s not the turnaround he’s advertised.’” [Associated Press, 2/4/08]

Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation President: Massachusetts Did Not Have “Turnaround” Under Romney And “Job Growth Has Been Anemic.” According to the New York Times, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael J. Widmer said, “When he talks about a turnaround, we really haven’t had a turnaround. We had a temporary fiscal respite. But we’re trailing the nation in job growth. Our job growth has been anemic.” Widmer added, “His public statements vastly overstated where [Massachusetts] stands.” [New York Times, 3/16/07]

Factcheck.org: “Romney’s Jobs Record Provides Little To Boast About” As Massachusetts Only Gained 1% In Payroll Jobs Over His Term Compared To 5.3% In The Nation As A Whole. According to Factcheck.org “Payroll jobs in Massachusetts hit their low point in December 2003 at the end of Romney’s first year in office. And the number of jobs declined in seven of the remaining 36 months of his term, as measured by total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted, which is the standard measure of payroll employment used by economists and journalists. The claim that jobs increased “every single month” is false… Furthermore, Romney’s job record provides little to boast about. By the end of his four years in office, Massachusetts had squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 1 percent, compared with job growth of 5.3 percent for the nation as a whole.” [Factcheck.org, 1/11/08]

The Number Of Jobs Gained Under Romney Was Just “A Fraction” Of The 200,000 Lost During The 2001 Recession And Massachusetts Was One Of Only Six States To Not Gain All Their Jobs Back From The Recession. According to the Associated Press, “It’s part of Mitt Romney’s core narrative: Massachusetts, in the throes of a fiscal freefall, fell back on his CEO skills and turnaround wizardry to spark – in his words – ‘a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion.’ It’s a rosy opinion of Massachusetts’ economy that few in the state share. Instead, observers say, the state’s recovery from a disastrous 2001 recession has been tepid at best, and Romney gives himself more credit than deserved on job creation and balancing the state budget… According to state unemployment numbers, the net number of jobs added during the four years Romney was in office was 24,400 – a fraction of the total of about 200,000 lost during the recession. Although the number of new jobs steadily climbed during Romney’s four years in office – from a loss of 54,700 in his first year to a gain of 34,700 in his final year – most of the rest of the country rebounded much faster. Massachusetts is one of just six states that hasn’t added back all the jobs lost during the recession. ‘Our losses were steeper, and our gains have been slower and as an end result we are still nearly 100,000 jobs down,’ said Dana Ansel, research director for the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, a nonpartisan think tank.” [Associated Press, 2/4/08]

Manufacturing Jobs Were Lost Under Romney

Romneys Budget Cuts To Manufacturing Partnership Hampered Effort To Save Thousands Of Jobs.“Romney’s recent move to slice $425 million from state spending will hamper the efforts of a program that has helped hundreds of small manufacturers compete, survive, and save thousands of jobs. The program, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, or MassMEP, is jointly funded by state and federal governments and considered by business officials to be a particularly effective economic development effort… Over the past five years, MassMEP has helped small manufacturers create or retain some 3,000 jobs, generate sales of more than $300 million, and undertake nearly $100 million in new investments, according to annual client surveys.” [Boston Globe, 11/23/06]

Under Romney Manufacturing Jobs In Massachusetts Declined By Twice The National Average—”The Third Worst Record In The Country.” According to the Boston Globe, “Manufacturing payroll employment throughout the nation declined by nearly 1.1 million or 7 percent between 2002 and 2006, but in Massachusetts it declined by more than 14 percent, the third worst record in the country.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Massachusetts Economy Was “One Of The Worst In The Country” Under Romney

During Romney’s Tenure As Governor Massachusetts’ Economic Performance Was “One Of The Worst In The Country” On “All Key Labor Market Measures.” According to the Boston Globe, “As Mitt Romney pursues his bid for the presidency, his record as Massachusetts governor will come under scrutiny, including how the state’s economy performed during his administration. Our analysis reveals a weak comparative economic performance of the state over the Romney years, one of the worst in the country. On all key labor market measures, the state not only lagged behind the country as a whole, but often ranked at or near the bottom of the state distribution.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Massachusetts’ Economy Performed Poorly During Romney’s Term As Governor. According to The Nation, “So which statistic is more meaningful and what impact did Romney’s decisions as governor have on job growth? The answer to the first is easy: Massachusetts’ economy performed poorly during his tenure and his defense is misleading. Massachusetts’ unemployment generally follows that of the nation as a whole, but it went from slightly better than the national unemployment rate (5.6 percent in the state versus 5.8 percent in the country) when he took office to slightly worse when he left (4.7 percent in Massachusetts versus 4.4 percent nationally). And his record is even arguably worse than that: Massachusetts lost population for two years in a row during Romney’s term. That means the unemployment number went down because the denominator shrank, but that’s hardly a sign of a growing economy. Total jobs in Massachusetts were the same when he left office as when he started and many key industries actually lost jobs.” [The Nation, 11/14/11]

Job Growth In The U.S. Was Swifter Under Obama Than Job Growth In Massachusetts Under Romney.According to The Washington Post, “In response to Mitt Romney’s inevitable criticism of President Obama’s economic record following Friday’s bleak jobs report, the pro-Obama PAC American Bridge is circulating the following video, taken from a Romney press conference on June 24, 2006 (via Andrew Sullivan): The takeaway, as Alexander Burns puts it, is that ‘rhetorically, there’s not much space between Obama ca. 2012 and Romney ca. 2006.’ But how much space was there economically? […] Romney’s right that employment was increasing later in his term. What’s more, when he made the above remarks in June 2006, employment was up by 52,025 from its trough in August 2003, so his claim of 50,000 jobs gained is accurate. But job growth has been swifter in the United States under Obama than it was in Massachusetts under Romney, so by 2006 Romney’s standards, Obama’s doing a bang-up job. Of course, job growth under Obama has been perhaps not swift enough, given the huge output gap left by the economic downturn, and Romney was governing during a period of full employment in which dramatic job gains aren’t going to be forthcoming. But again, if Romney thinks the pace of job growth during his tenure suggests his policies were working, then it follows that the pace of job growth under Obama suggests the president is really doing something right.” [The Washington Post, 7/9/12]

Massachusetts’ Infrastructure Accrued A $20 Billion Deficit Of Overdue Maintenance By The End Of Romney’s Term. According to The Nation, “Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ infrastructure accrued a $20 billion deficit of overdue maintenance by the end of Romney’s term, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayer’s Foundation. “When you’re not fixing bridges, that’s a sector not creating jobs,” says Massachusetts Democratic Party chair John Walsh. “It’s foolish because you’re not creating savings, you’re just deferring the spending until problems get worse and the cost gets higher.” [The Nation, 11/14/11]

Boston Globe: Few People Should “See Anything Funny About” Massachusetts’ Economic Performance During The Romney Years. According to an op-ed published in the Boston Globe, “A full-time governor who is deeply committed to the economic well-being of a state’s workers can, however, make some difference. The state unfortunately did not receive such leadership over most of the past four years. Jokes about Massachusetts may receive some half-hearted laughter on the national campaign trail, but few working men and women in Massachusetts should see anything funny about the state’s lackluster economic performance during the Romney years.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Massachusetts Wages Fell Under Romney

Massachusetts Wages and Income Fell By 2 Percent During Romney Years. According to the Boston Globe, “Between 2002 and 2006, the median real (inflation adjusted) weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in Massachusetts is estimated to have fallen by $10 or nearly 2 percent. The real income of the average (median) family in Massachusetts in 2005 was 1 percent below its value at the time of the 2000 Census while median household income was 3 percent below its 2000 value. Median household income fell even more sharply in the nation. Family incomes in both the United States and Massachusetts have become more unevenly distributed since 2000.” [Boston Globe, 7/28/07]

Between 2003 And 2005 The Median Hourly Wage For Massachusetts Workers Fell 5%–The Largest Decline In The Country During That Period. According to the Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, “Perhaps even worse, wages in Massachusetts, after adjusting for inflation, have dropped across the labor force over the last few years. In particular, the median hourly wage that is, the wage earned by the typical Massachusetts worker fell close to 5 percent between 2003 and 2005, the largest decline in the country during that period and the largest two-year decline in Massachusetts in at least twenty-five years.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 9/3/06]

As a Result Of Poor Economic Factors, Massachusetts Had The 3rd Highest Rate Out-Migration Under Romney

Under Romney Massachusetts Had The 3rd Highest Rate Of Domestic Out-Migration And It Would Have Been Second If Not For Hurricane Katrina Displacing Louisiana Residents. According to the Boston Globe, “Between July 2002 and July 2006, the US Census Bureau estimated that 222,000 more residents left Massachusetts for other states than came here to live. This high level of net domestic out-migration was equivalent to 3.5 percent of the state’s population, the third highest rate of population loss in the country. Excluding the population displacement effects of Hurricane Katrina on Louisiana, Massachusetts would have ranked second highest on this measure. We were a national leader in exporting our population.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Under Romney Massachusetts Was A “National Leader” In The Rise Of Housing Prices Which Encouraged “High Levels Of Outmigration From The State Of Young Families With Children.”According to the Boston Globe, “There is one additional area in which Massachusetts was a national leader over the past five years, the rise in housing prices. Between 2000 and 2005, the median self-reported home price in Massachusetts increased by nearly 95 percent versus an increase of only 40 percent for the United States. The median home price ranked fourth highest among the 50 states, and the median value of homes relative to household income was the third highest in the country. The high affordability cost ratio encouraged the high levels of outmigration from the state of young families with children.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Under Romney Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Was Held Down Because Of The “High Levels Of Out-Migration Of Working Age Adults.” According to the Boston Globe, “We were one of only two states to have experienced no growth in its resident labor force. Again, without the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina on the dispersal of the Louisiana population, Massachusetts would have ranked last on this measure. The decline in the state’s labor force, which was influenced in large part by high levels of out-migration of working-age adults, helped hold down the official unemployment rate of the state.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]