Bush Campaign Chair Lies About Kerry Fuel Economy Plan

Speaking of swing states: Bush presidential campaign chair Marc Racicot told a group of Michigan voters that the state could “lose 105,000 jobs” under John Kerry’s proposal to raise the average fuel economy standards of America’s vehicle fleet roughly 50 percent by 2015. The charge was calculated to help shift the balance in a swing state where Bush is narrowly trailing Kerry and automotive jobs are prized. Trouble is, it’s not true. The information on which Racicot based the statistic was not a study but a brief “working paper” by professor Andrew Kleit. It had been subjected to neither peer review nor independent analysis, and, most egregiously, it claimed that 104,000 jobs would be lost not in Michigan but nationwide. When a revised version of the paper appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, all job statistics had been removed. Lately, the Bush campaign has upped the phantom job loss figure to 143,000; when asked to find a study supporting that number, campaign staffer Chris Paolino replied, “I wish I could because it’s a better number for us.”