“Let me tell you how I will create 12 million jobs when President Obama couldn't. First, my energy independence policy means more than three million new jobs, many of them in manufacturing. My tax reform plan to lower rates for the middle class and for small business creates seven million more. And expanding trade, cracking down on China, and improving job training takes us to over 12 million new jobs.”
— Mitt Romney, “in his own words,” in a campaign television ad
Romney’s 12-million job promise has garnered a lot of attention. We became interested in this ad after a reader asked whether the campaign had provided much detail on how he would reach this total. This television ad is also prominently featured on the Romney campaign’s “Jobs Plan” Web page.
The math here appears pretty simple: 7 plus 3 plus 2 equals 12. But this is campaign math, which means it is mostly made of gossamer. Let’s take a look.
But the specifics — 7 million plus 3 million plus 2 million — mentioned by Romney in the ad are not in the White Paper. So where did that come from?
We asked the Romney campaign and the answer turns out to be: totally different studies … with completely different timelines.
For instance, the claim that 7 million jobs would be created from Romney tax plan is a ten-year number, derived from a study written by John W. Diamond, a professor at Rice University.
This study at least assesses the claimed effect of specific Romney policies. The rest of the numbers are even more squishy.
Clearly, some clever campaign staffer thought it would be nice to match up poll-tested themes such as “energy independence,” “tax reform” and “cracking down on China” with actual job numbers. We just find it puzzling that Romney agreed to personally utter these words without asking more questions about the math behind them.
This entire claim by Romney gets 4 pinocchios. The most you can get.