Earlier today, the Romney campaign sent out a chart criticizing President Obama’s record on the economy. President Obama’s spokeswoman, Lis Smith, responded with a lengthy, footnoted email describing the chart as a “misleading infographic.
“Mitt Romney’s latest dishonest attack on the President’s record requires Americans to forget that when President Obama was elected, our nation was in the midst of an economic crisis and losing 750,000 jobs a month. But he can’t change the reality that the President brought the economy back from the brink of collapse and that we’ve now seen over 4.2 million private sector jobs created over the last 26 months,” Ms. Smith wrote.
Mr. Romney’s chart said zero net jobs have been added since the president entered the White House and median household income has dropped $4,300 since the president took office. Ms. Smith’s email pointed out the statistics cited by Mr. Romney started the moment President Obama took office and argued that “the President’s performance should be measured from when his policies took effect” and “there is a lag between when the president took office and when his policies took effect.”
Ms. Smith’s email said the economy has “gone from losing more than 750,000 jobs a month” in January 2009 to “adding more than 4.2 million private sector jobs over the last 26 consecutive months. The email answered the Romney campaign’s claim of declining median household income by arguing that income data from 2011 and 2012 isn’t available yet, so the chart is based on old information and doesn’t include the effects of the president’s tax relief efforts.
“Since taking office, President Obama has given every working American a tax cut and federal taxes for middle class households have reached near historic lows,” Ms. Smith wrote. “While President Obama has been helping to reduce the burden on working families, Mitt Romney’s plan would bring back budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and let Wall Street write its own rules – that’s the very same economic scheme that crashed our economy and punished the middle class in the first place.”
With all these dueling claims flying back and forth, there’s one thing that’s clear: the question of whether President Obama is doing enough to turn the economy around following the economic crisis is clearly a central one of this election.