Barack Obama Doesn’t Pass the Fact-Check Test

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 24, 2012

Once again, the president’s words have the unfortunate tendency to not coincide with the truth:

In a new TV ad, President Obama makes an inflated claim to have added 5.2 million new jobs. The total added during his time in office is actually about 325,000.

In the ad, the president says “over 5 million new jobs” while the figure “5.2 million” appears on screen. But that’s a doubly misleading figure.

  • Viewers would need to pay close attention to the on-screen graphic to know that the ad refers only to employment gains starting in March 2010, omitting the 4.3 million jobs that were lost in the first year of Obama’s term.
  • And there’s no way a viewer would know that the total counts only private-sector jobs, omitting continuing losses in government employment.

According to the most recent employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy has eked out a net gain of 325,000 jobs since January 2009, when Obama took office. And that’s giving credit for roughly 386,000 jobs that the BLS has announced, on a preliminary basis, that it will be adding to this year’s employment totals next year, as a result of its routine annual “benchmarking” analysis.

But hey, what’s approximately 4.9 million jobs between friends?

If this were the only whopper the president’s campaign had issued recently, it would still be enough to make jaws drop. But as everyone knows, Barack Obama is an overachiever:

Bob Woodward says President Barack Obama got some of his facts wrong on sequester at Monday night’s debate.

Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics,” has been the go-to fact check source for the president’s answer, in which he claimed the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated from Congress, not from the White House.

“What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told POLITICO Tuesday. “He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”

Woodward, a Washington Post journalist who was a key reporter on the initial coverage of the Watergate scandal, said he stands behind his reporting in the book, which drew upon sources involved in last year’s deficit talks and detailed notes taken in the meetings.

Woodward reports in his book that White House Office of Management Director Jack Lew and Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors took the proposal for sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then it was presented to congressional Republicans.

During the debate, however, Obama said the idea originated on Capitol Hill.

Equally notable, of course, is the fact that Democratic leaders in Congress have said that they are perfectly willing to let the nation go over the fiscal cliff and have sequestration implemented–thus throwing the country into a deep recession after we have only just barely gotten over the last one–if higher taxes are not implemented. And the president has done nothing whatsoever to try to dissuade members of his own party from holding the nation’s economy hostage in such a manner.

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