Martin Bashir | November 02, 2012
>>> mitt romney once implied that the unemployment rate would never drop under 8% under the current president and then it did. he then said the reason it was down was because people were leaving the workforce, but they weren't. they rejoined it. and so here is mr. romney 's final assessment of why things are so bad, even though they're actually getting better.
>> he said he was going to focus on creating jobs. instead, he focused on obama care which killed jobs, crippling unemployment conditions. i know when i'm elected the economy and the american job market will still bestagnant.
>> rousing stuff there. joining us is ezra klein of the " washington post ." good afternoon.
>> good afternoon.
>> a jobs report this late into the election isn't likely to sway a significant number of voters, but for the past few months romney has kept losing his talking points . what does he do now?
>> well, i mean, he says it remains a bad economy which is not growing fast enough. i would actually give him one of the talking points you took. it's true people rejoined the labor force this month but a lot have dropped out of it since four years ago. the problem with the talking point, the problem with all of romney talking points is the entire economy is not about obama . romney does appear to believe the president has magic definitive powers about --
>> that is the central irony of this man's claim, isn't it?
>> a couple years ago when george w. bush is being blamed for a weak economy, nothing like the one he bequeathed to president obama , romney said it is ridiculous to blame a president for a weak economy given that he came in during a recession. i mean, what was president bush supposed to do? recession began a little after he came in. of course it wasn't his fault. when he was president -- or when he was governor, i'm sorry, he said the fact that they didn't have very good job growth in the first 11 months of his term couldn't be blamed on him. he had just gotten into office. and then under obama if you wipe out the first year of his term, which, of course, was a huge, huge drop in the global economy which nobody seriously blames on him, yeah, things look a lot better. romney has had to jettison a series of very, very sober analyses of the role that the executives actually play in economic growth in order to make these arguments. so, yeah, they shift will you the bigger problem is they're just fundamentally wrong.
>> right. now, you have a post today called why campaign momentum is usually a bad sign, and you pour some water on the idea of mitt romney 's momentum. can you explain this, ezra ? because i thought momentum was always a good sign.
>> so the argument in the post is if by the time the media begins calling momentum, usually the momentum stopped and we are beginning to revert back to where we were, so the media was calling a lot of momentum for romney a week and a half ago into about a week ago. since then romney has dropped in the polls. if you look at the clear politics average of polls, romney has gone from about leading boo i a point and now barack obama last i looked earlier today was up by 0.3, 0.4. usually what happens to momentum is a number of things happen that take the race away from where it fundamentally is. a very close race becomes a three or four-point lead for obama or two or three-point lead for romney . before the media registers this is of a real thing, we begin calling it momentum. whatever run of good luck or unusual news or a very bad debate was happening and distorting the fundamental nature of the race has ended and the race pulls back to where it was originally which is a very close election with a persistent lead for president obama in swing states . that's exactly what you're seeing here. so my advice to partisans is when people begin calling momentum on their candidate, be prepared for things to be about to turn around in the polls.
>> lastly, if i can, ezra , on a different topic, your hero and mine, donald trump , tweeted today he will now fact check journalists everywhere. now, ezra , are you reduced to a quivering wreck as you fear the arrival of the great truth teller come birther donald trump ?
>> i have invited donald trump on twitter to come fact check , look at the work we do. i have done that because i find donald trump to be a hilarious clown and anything he does fills me with mirth and joy.
>> had i will lairous clown. i mean, i thought he was a robu robust intellect and --
>> i believe he's the single most effective performance artist working in today. while we all think we're laughing at donald trump , his effective trolling of the whole nation means he's truly, truly laughing at us.
>> ezra klein , brilliant. thank you.