Fact Check: Obama Blamed for Weak Economic Recovery

By Steve Kanigher

Published 09/12 2012 05:20PM

Updated 09/13 2012 02:44PM

Claim: An advertisement sponsored by Republican-leaning issue advocacy group Crossroads GPS that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 begins with a narrator who states: "After gambling your money on his failed stimulus President Obama says …" (cutaway to Barack Obama): "Don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas." Narrator: "He doesn't get it. In Nevada tourism means jobs. Under Obama nearly 62,000 fewer Nevada jobs. Our home values gone. America's worst recovery and a new recession could mean more jobs lost."

Verdict: The ad is misleading even though Democrat Obama caught flak from Nevada lawmakers for his February 2010 quip. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire the president was addressing the need to curb spending during tough economic times when he said: "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college." But characterizing the economic stimulus package approved by Obama in 2009 as having failed is conjecture. Republicans certainly feel that way and point to national unemployment that remains above 8 percent. Democrats argue that the nation's deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression would have grown worse without the stimulus. The state has lost jobs but the ad doesn't cite a source for the number it uses. If one uses the 1,171,800 Nevada jobs that the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported for February 2009, the first full month Obama was in office, and the 1,129,700 jobs reported by the state for July -- the latest data available -- the net loss is 42,100 jobs. Math aside, the ad ignores the role played by the recession in those losses and the fact that the economic downturn began before he took office. Likewise, home values in Southern Nevada have plummeted, but the bubble burst two years before Obama took office. The ad attributes the worst recovery statement to reporting on Aug. 15 from the Associated Press, which wrote that the recovery from the latest recession is the feeblest since the Great Depression. But the wire service also wrote this: "Many economists say the agonizing recovery from the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, is the predictable consequence of a housing bust and a grave financial crisis." Both of those events began under President George W. Bush. Finally, the ad mentions the possibility of another recession without offering any evidence that one is about to emerge.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.