As NewsBusters’s own Brent Baker pointed out, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News Wednesday night called Mitt Romney’s pledge to reduce unemployment to 6 percent "unrealistic." But apparently Brian didn't get the MSNBC spin memo, as three of his colleagues agreed that 6% unemployment is actually inevitable, and scolded Romney for making such a wimpy prediction.
During his 6:00 show PoliticsNation on Wednesday May 23, Al Sharpton said that, “according to the Congressional Budget Office, we’re on our way to a 6.3% unemployment economy anyway whether Romney gets us there or not.” [Video embedded below page break; MP3 audio here.]
His colleague Rachel Maddow continued the liberal talking point claiming that, “Mitt Romney is pledging to get the unemployment rate all the way to the level it is expected to go to anyway even if he does nothing.” NBC Political Director Chuck Todd followed up on his show Thursday morning arguing that Romney’s unemployment statement was, “not much of a bold prediction.”
Below is the relevant transcripts from Politics Nation, The Rachel Maddow Show and The Daily Rundown.
Politics Nation w/ Al Sharpton
May 23, 2012
6:06 p.m. EDT
AL SHARPTON: Congressman (Emanuel Cleaver), let me start with you, how can Romney run on a business record he doesn't like answering any questions about?
EMANUEL CLEAVER: He can't do that at least he can’t do that successfully. I was the Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri when Bain Capital essentially cannibalized a company called GS Technologies. And as mayor we offered that company just about everything we could do in terms of a municipal government. We offered them everything except Gates BBQ and the Chiefs and the Royals and they still pulled out. They took all of the money out of the company and they left. Now I'm not trying to say he's not a good guy as he’s accusing people of saying, he’s probably a good guy, but Bain Capital was not a company that created jobs, it created wealth. And for a real clear reason, it created wealth for him, himself. Now the thing is he never should have brought up Bain Capital as an example of what he could do as president and now that he has, he'll have to deal with that. He brought it up, the president didn't bring it up.
SHARPTON: And by the way Mr. Chairman, we're going to have a GS former employer on in the next segment. But Jared (Bernstein), let me go to you. Let me show you this full screen here about the economy, because according to the Congressional Budget Office, we're on our way to a 6.3% unemployment economy anyway whether Romney gets us there or not. So him saying that he would bring us to 6% is really on track with where we're headed anyway. Despite the fact that he said as I played 4% just a little while ago, he's now gone up to 6%. But the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget both put us at one 6.3% the other 6.1%. That's where the trend is headed anyway Jared, right?
The Rachel Maddow Show
May 23, 2012
MARK HALPERIN: Would you like to be more specific about what the unemployment rate would be like at the end of your first year?
MITT ROMNEY: I can’t possibly predict precisely what the unemployment rate will be at the end of one year I can tell you that over a period of four years by virtue of the policies that we put in place we get the unemployment rate down to 6%, or perhaps a little lower.
RACHEL MADDOW: Mitt Romney talking with Mark Halperin today promising to get the unemployment rate down to 6% or maybe lower by the end of his first term as president. 6%. Here's the test. Mitt Romney wants to be held to 6% unemployment at the end of his first term. What did he say President Obama should be held to?
ROMNEY: Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1% and normally that would be cause for celebration. But in fact anything over 8%, anything near 8%, anything over 4% is not cause for celebration.
MADDOW: Sure President Obama has brought unemployment down but anything over 4% is an Obama failure. 4% Unemployment is something we have seen precisely once since 1970 in the year 2000 at the end of the Bill Clinton presidency. But Mitt Romney says anything over 4% is a failure of the Obama Administration. Then two and a half weeks later, he says his own goal is 6% unemployment. It should be noted that the Congressional Budget Office forecaster has already said earlier this year that we are on track to hit 6% by that time frame anyway under current policy. So Mitt Romney is pledging to get the unemployment rate all the way to the level it is expected to go to anyway even if he does nothing. But anything less than 4% right now for President Obama that’s a failure.
The Daily Rundown
May 24, 2012
CHUCK TODD: Mitt Romney is slaying the president for failing to bring unemployment under 8%. On Wednesday he set his own target.
MITT ROMNEY: I can tell you over a period of four years by virtue of the policies that we put in place we get the unemployment rate down to 6% or perhaps a little lower.
TODD: Reince Priebus is RNC Chairman, he joins me now. Okay. Four years to -- good morning. Four years to get to 6%. That's about what all the estimates say if all the policies stay where they are, as they are right now. That's the estimates that get us there. What's -- that's not much of a bold prediction. Is it not?