Four Pinocchios

Ken AshfordElection 2012Leave a Comment

Romney's new slam at Obama:

"I am ashamed to say that we’re seeing our president hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors, when he gave money, $500 million in loans to a company called Fisker that makes high end electric cars, and they make the cars now in Finland. That is wrong and it’s got to stop. That kind of crony capitalism does not create jobs and it does not create jobs here.”

The Washington Post gives the Romney claim "4 Pinocchios":

Romney tried to carefully craft his statement.

Romney said the president gave money to “the businesses of campaign contributors.” Doerr is an important partner at Kleiner, and he has been an advocate for green energy, but it is a stretch to say it is his “business.” In fact, Ray Lane, who contributes mostly to Republicans, is an important Kleiner partner on this deal. Moreover, the money was raised before Obama became president.

Romney said Obama gave “$500 million in loans to a company called Fisker” — but it was a loan originally submitted under the Bush administration for a Bush administration program. He also said “they make cars now in Finland” — technically true, but in a way that suggests the taxpayer money went for that purpose, rather than for jobs and work in the United States.

Finally, Romney makes the leap that because of the “crony capitalism” — not proven — no jobs will be created. The company says jobs have been created, though the venture is still highly uncertain.

Romney’s phrasing has too many weasel words. An ordinary listener would believe that Obama paid off a contributor to build cars in Finland with U.S. taxpayer money, with no hope of U.S. jobs being created. That does not appear to be the case, at least as Romney has framed it.

We usually give some credit for a semblance to the truth, but the net effect of Romney’s words is too much.

Nice try though.