Let's have an open debate thread.
And if anyone can fact check the question of job creation in Massachusetts, that would be great. McCain said Massachusetts was third lowest in the nation in job creation under Romney; Romney said the study McCain cited included the term of Romney's predecessor.
This would seem to be the basis of the McCain charge:
But Northeastern's Sum said that while jobs were created under Romney, the rate was the third-lowest in the nation after Hurricane Katrina-hit Louisiana and Michigan. At the same time, wages in the New England state stagnated during Romney's term.
The average weekly wage of Massachusetts workers, Sum said, rose by just a $1 between 2001 and 2006 after adjusting for inflation, while the state had the third-highest rate of population loss in the nation between July 2002 and July 2006.
Well, Romney was Governor from Jan 2003 to Jan 2007.
MORE: Hit and Run finds this study, or summary thereof, from July 2007. All of the relevant statistics seem to rely on a 2002 (pre-Romney) baseline, which seems right, except this concluding bit about housing prices:
There is one additional area in which Massachusetts was a national leader over the past five years, the rise in housing prices. Between 2000 and 2005, the median self-reported home price in Massachusetts increased by nearly 95 percent versus an increase of only 40 percent for the United States.
STILL MORE: I am quite sure McCain ranked Massachusetts 47th, as per the study above. However, this study from MassINC ranks Massachusetts 49th from 2001 to 2006, which means that Romney's predecessor was included.
IT DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF "GROWTH": From Rick Ballard:
It would be helpful to know the comparative formula that was used for determination of ranking [the fifty states] because while the labor force in MA grew by only 1,707 during Romney's tenure, the number of employed grew by 17,986. Not bad at all.
REGRETS ONLY: Did I hear Romney say he had two great regrets in life and one was not serving in the military? What was the other, not being pro-life ten years ago? Romney's brush with service in Vietnam is described in this Times profile from last fall, which focused on his Mormon mission to France:
Most of the missionaries, though, were also relieved that their service meant a draft deferment. “I am sorry, but no one was excited to go and get killed in Vietnam,” Mr. Hansen said, acknowledging, “In hindsight, it is easy to be for the war when you don’t have to worry about going to Vietnam.”
Mr. Romney, though, said that he sometimes had wished he were in Vietnam instead of France. “There were surely times on my mission when I was having a particularly difficult time accomplishing very little when I would have longed for the chance to be serving in the military,” he said in an interview, “but that was not to be.”
While many Mormons — and eventually, some of his fellow missionaries — enlisted, Mr. Romney got a student deferment after returning from France. When the draft lottery was introduced in December 1969, he drew a high enough number — 300 — that he would never be called up.
Many church leaders considered the war a godly cause, and Mr. Romney said at the time he thought that it was essential to holding back Communism.
“I was surprised,” Mr. Romney recalled, “when I heard my father, then running for president, say that we were wrong, that we had been told lies by our military, that the course of the war was not going as well as we thought it was and that we had been mistaken when we had entered the war. It obviously caused me to reconsider what I had previously thought.”
He added, “Ultimately, I came to believe that he was right.”