Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday called out presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for using an "accounting trick" to assert that women had lost 92.3 percent of the jobs during President Barack Obama's first term.
"The number of jobs — this is an amazing statistic — the percentage of jobs lost by women in the president’s three years — three and a half years — 92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women!" Romney had said while surrounded by a group of women in Hartford, Connecticut last week.
It's a claim that his campaign has been making for over a week and senior adviser Ed Gillespie continued to push the line during an interview with Wallace on Sunday.
"You know, 858,000 women have lost their jobs since President Obama took office," Gillespie declared. "Ninety-two percent of the job losses in this recession or this recovery -- slow stifled recovery -- have fallen on women."
"Wait," Wallace interrupted. "You know that it is true that more women have lost jobs and it's true that more women are without jobs now, but it is not true that 90 percent -- they did under Obama, but many, many more men -- because they are in the job sectors that people lose jobs first -- lost jobs under President Bush."
"So, it's a little bit of an accounting trick," Wallace added. "And all of the independent fact finders have said it's misleading."
"Those independent fact finders aren't very independent," Gillespie shot back. "If you look at their bona fides, they tend to come from left-leaning organizations."
"The Washington Post? PolitiFact?" Wallace wondered.
"Who The Wasthington Post quoted were liberal economists," Gillespie insisted. "The fact that more men lost [jobs] before he took office doesn't make it a good thing that more [women] lost it since he took office. That's a bad thing and we need to reverse that. ... His policies, by the way, when you fill up your minivan, a lot of women see the costs. You know, the fact that you fill up for $20 bucks you just have to come back for more and more."
The Tampa Bay Times fact-checking website, Politifact.com, last week rated the claim that women had experienced 92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama administration to be “mostly false” because “the numbers are accurate but quite misleading.”
“First, Obama cannot be held entirely accountable for the employment picture on the day he took office, just as he could not be given credit if times had been booming,” the website noted. “Second, by choosing figures from January 2009, months into the recession, the statement ignored the millions of jobs lost before then, when most of the job loss fell on men.”
Politico’s Josh Boak also pointed out that job losses for women appeared to be worse than for men during Obama’s presidency because “[a]lmost 3.3 million men were fired during the George W. Bush’s last year in office, while the losses for women were more drawn out over time.”