Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
Half-True
Castro
Says under Mitt Romney, Massachusetts was 47th in job creation.

Julián Castro on Friday, June 8th, 2012 in his speech at Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Houston

Julián Castro says that under Mitt Romney, Massachusetts was 47th in job creation

Praising President Barack Obama at the expense of his likely Republican opponent, San Antonio’s mayor told fellow Democrats that Mitt Romney is not the best solution to the nation’s unemployment.

"As governor, his state ranked 47th in the nation in job creation -- almost dead last," Julián Castro
said in his speech June 8, 2012, on the main floor of the Texas Democratic Party State Convention.

This claim is one PolitiFact has tackled before in similar forms: Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod hung the jobless ranking on Romney on June 19, 2011, and on June 3, 2012.

Both times, PolitiFact rated the statement Half True, saying that Massachusetts’ 47th-place ranking was correct but that it was inaccurate to say Romney was responsible.

In our first fact-check on this number, PolitiFact traced the claim back to the Democratic National Committee, which cited a 2010 Wall Street Journal news story. PolitiFact also ran the numbers itself, using Bureau of Labor Relations data, and asked the taxpayer-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which does nonpartisan analysis of the state's financial and economic statistics, to do the same.

Every way PolitiFact sliced the jobs numbers, Massachusetts was 47th.

But in that item and many others, economists have consistently told us that policies of a governor have a relatively small impact on a state's economy.

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, warned us not to put too much stock in any governor's influence over their state's rate of job growth. The ability for governors to manage the state economy is vastly overrated, Widmer said. States are tied to larger economic forces, he added, and governors often claim too much credit when things are going well and no blame when things are going poorly.

Castro’s political consultant, Christian Archer, sent us a June 5, 2012, New York Times news story supporting the statistic, and also said that as a co-chair of Obama for America, the mayor has received material from the president citing the same ranking.

Archer said Castro was offering the ranking as evidence Romney would not be as strong on job creation as Obama.

Our ruling

The job-creation ranking for Massachusetts is right; the implication that Romney is solely to blame for the state’s low standing does not hold up. We give Castro, like Axelrod before him, a Half True.