Follow the bouncing jobs estimate

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We talked last week about the Mitt Romney campaign’s “fuzzy jobs math,” in which the Republican candidate and his team would offer exaggerated boasts about the number of jobs he created, which the campaign couldn’t substantiate and which contradicted previous boasts.

This week, Eric “Etch A Sketch” Fehrnstrom added to the record, telling msnbc’s Andrea Mitchell that Romney created “well in excess of 100,000” jobs at Bain Capital, more than the “tens of thousands” estimate that Romney had previously touted.

We know that “100,000” figure isn’t true, but just as important is the fact that Team Romney keeps moving the goalposts. It’s a bad habit mocked effectively in this Priorities USA Action video, which will be released later today.

This may seem like a “gotcha” gimmick, mocking Romney for his evolving I-once-caught-a-fish-this-big style of job-creation estimates, but it’s actually a very serious point. Indeed, Romney’s single most important claim as a candidate for the presidency is that he, during his private-sector career, was a “job creator.” If this isn’t true, his rationale for national office crumbles.

And when a person making a bold claim can’t keep his story straight, it’s generally a strong hint that the claim is dubious.

Bill Burton, a senior strategist at Priorities USA Action, told me this morning, “If [Romney] just released an accounting of the jobs gained and the jobs lost when he was at Bain, he could clear this whole controversy right up.”

That’s true, but it’s a challenge Romney is unlikely to meet. I suspect we’ll see a full accounting of the former governor’s jobs record around the same time as we see his former tax returns – which is to say, never, since both are inexplicably being kept hidden from voters.

Mitt Romney

Follow the bouncing jobs estimate

Updated