Mitt Romney has released a new wave of campaign commercials breaking down his job-creation promises on a state-by-state basis. A commercial to air in Iowa, for example, says Mr. Romney will "create over 130,000 new jobs for Iowa." Other commercials, airing in other states, say that Mr. Romney will generate "59,000 new jobs for New Hampshire," "create over 200,000 new jobs for Colorado," "create over 700,000 new jobs for Florida," "create over 100,000 new jobs for Nevada," and "create over 340,000 new jobs for Virginia."
As John Stossel observed in respect of Mr. Romney's national promise to create 12 million jobs, this is absurd. It undermines Mr. Romney's other message that jobs are created by individual entrepreneurs, not by politicians in Washington. There's no time span given for when these jobs will be created. And the granular precision is silly: why 59,000 new jobs for New Hampshire rather than 58,000 or 60,000 or 59,003? Truth is, there's no way for a presidential candidate to predict accurately how many jobs will be created in each state on his watch. It depends on all kinds of variables that are beyond a president's control, things such as whether voters in a state elect a tax-cutting Republican governor or a tax-raising Democratic one, or how economic conditions in Europe affect spending by foreign tourists. This is one of those commercials where watching it actually will make some viewers less likely to vote for the candidate, because the commercial so underestimates the intelligence of the voter that the voter winds up being insulted and thinking "Why would I vote for a guy who thinks I will believe ridiculous promises like that?"