This morning, everyone rejoiced about the latest unemployment numbers, showing that joblessness dropped to 7.8 percent, a 3 1/2-year low. Everyone, that is, but a few crackpot conservatives who are saying that President Obama somehow messed with the numbers to reflect the improved jobs information for political gain.
This conspiracy started with former GE CEO Jack Welch, who tweeted the statement below:
Welch was quickly joined by people like Rep. Allen West (R, FL, flat top); Generation Operation president and quote source for our story this morning, Paul Conway (we thought you were cool!); Laura Ingraham, who called the numbers “propaganda” in a tweet; and Stuart Varney on Fox News.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has gone on CNBC today to call the allegations “ludicrous.” And The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein points out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which collects this information, was specifically set up to avoid the kind of scheming that these crazies are spouting off about. “We’ve hit that moment in the election when people begin to lose their minds,” he writes. True words Ezra Klein.
For his part, Mitt Romney said, ““This is not what a real recovery looks like.” He goes on to say in his statement, “If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent.”
More importantly, Romney used a Fox News interview on Thursday night to walk back on his comments about the “47 percent.”
“Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong,” he now says. “And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life.” Mmm… no you haven’t actually Mr. Romney. Remember that time back in February when you told Soledad O’Brien, “I’m not concerned about the very poor — we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.” He also said in that same interview that he doesn’t care about the very rich either. He also put his dog on the roof of his car, so if you count pets in that 100 percent, you have even more proof of his not caring.