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RNC touts fact-checkers to rebut DNC claims about Romney's gubernatorial brawn

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Looking to rebut assertions that Massachusetts ranked near the bottom in job creation when Mitt Romney was calling the shots in the Bay State, the Republican National Committee pointed to fact-checkers who found the charge, made again Tuesday by Gov. Deval Patrick at the Democratic convention, to be “half true.”

“Gov. Deval Patrick repeated a popular Democratic talking point that Massachusetts ranked 47th in job growth under Romney,” the RNC said in an email, which then offered a summation of the analysis from Politifact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times.

Politifact says: “We found the numbers were right but that it’s an exaggeration to blame Romney because governors have limited impact on state economies. We rated it Half True.”

The watchdog website goes into more detail about its finding, saying that it is “correct that Massachusetts ranked 47th of 50 in job creation on Romney’s watch. However, the Obama camp — like the Romney camp in its rebuttal — exaggerates Romney’s influence on the state job market. Governors simply don’t have that much impact.”

That conclusion, of course, clashes with the Romney campaign storyline that Mr. Romney, when he took office, “inherited an economy that was struggling and turned it around.”

In his address Tuesday to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Mr. Patrick said that by the time the Mr. Romney left the governor’s office in 2007, “Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation.”

The RNC responded by chastising the Obama administration for trampling on its earlier claims that it cares about facts.

“So what happened last night? Instead of talking up their record over the past three-and-a-half years, unsurprisingly the Democrats spent their introductory night of the convention inaccurately attacking Mitt Romney and the Republicans,” the email said.

The RNC touted the findings of fact-checkers in an attempt to debunk Mr. Patrick’s remarks, as well as some of the other key talking points Democrats presented on the opening night of their convention — including the contentions that Mr. Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class, that 4.5 million “new jobs” have been created under President Obama and that the GOP presidential ticket wants to “gut” Pell Grants for lower-income college students.

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