For much of 2011, Mitt Romney's campaign relied heavily on a specific campaign tactic: they'd hold an event in front of a closed factory, then blame President Obama for the plant's troubles. Most of the time this didn't make any sense for those who care about details and facts, but Romney seemed to like it, so the Republican campaign kept doing it.
But that was last summer, when the recovery stalled and talk of a "double dip" was ubiquitous. As of a few months ago, Romney decided to switch gears and acknowledge that the economy has improved on Obama's watch after all, while insisting that Americans not give the president credit.
As of today, Romney has switched back, and has returned to the closed factories.
Republican Presidential presumptive nominee Mitt Romney appeared in Lorain, Ohio today to deliver a rebuttal to a speech President Obama just across town at a local community college. But the site of the speech isn't necessarily linked to President Obama.
The National Gypsum drywall plant were the speech is being held closed its doors four years ago during the Presidency of George Bush ,and while the banner in the background reads "Obama Isn't Working," at least one city official has publicly questioned the site of the speech.
"When you have to clean up a mess that was created over eight years, you will not get it done in four," Lorain City Council President Joel Arredondo, a Democrat, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
So to prove some kind of point about Obama, Romney appeared at an Ohio factory ... that closed under Bush.
Asked about this, Eric Etch-A-Sketch Fehrnstrom said, "The fact that [the economy] struggled through the last three years is not the fault of Barack Obama's predecessor; it's the fault of this administration and the failure of their policies to really get this economy going again."
This is simply incoherent for anyone who cares about reality. For one thing, the fact that Obama inherited the worst global economic crisis in 80 years has everything to do with why the economy has struggled. For another, the economy has gotten better -- while the economy was contracting in 2009, it's growing number; while the economy was hemorrhaging jobs in 2009, it's added 4 million private-sector jobs in the last three years.
Even in Ohio, the unemployment rate has gone from 10.6% to 7.6%. Does Romney think better is worse? If so, why?
And even if we put all of that aside, does Mitt Romney, of all people, really want to talk about plant closings? Isn't the vulture capitalist who has car elevators precisely because he closed a lot of plants and laid off a lot of American workers?
Or looking at the more recent past, the guy who wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt seems to have picked the wrong issue to campaign on.