As part of his efforts to help Mitt Romney, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the former Bush/Cheney budget director, as a habit of making claims with no meaningful connection to reality. We saw this a couple of weeks ago, and were reminded of the problem again yesterday.
Talking to CNN's Candy Crowley, Portman insisted, "Ohio's economy is not doing well.... [T]hings aren't going well." The Republican added that the unemployment rate in the state is "almost 10 percent" if you twist the numbers a certain way.
Let's give the GOP senator a hand. I even made it easy for Portman by creating a chart.
Portman's own home-state ally, Republican Gov. John Kasich, has spent much of the year boasting about how much Ohio's economy has improved in recent years. To be sure, Kasich doesn't want President Obama to get credit for Ohio's recovery, but he nevertheless concedes that the state's economy is vastly better off than it was a few years ago.
Either Portman isn't aware of the economic reality in his own state -- usually, sitting senators make more of an effort to keep up on these basic details -- or he's hoping voters won't know the difference. Either way, to suggest economic conditions in Ohio aren't improving is deeply silly.