Debate Fact Check: Net Jobs and Obama on Iran

Debate Fact Check: Net Jobs and Obama on IranMitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, a private equity firm, came under scrutiny at Saturday night’s Republican debate, leading him to claim that he helped create 100,000 jobs, even when layoffs from downsized firms were factored in.

He has made the same claim in other places, as well, telling Time magazine last month that the job creation figure was “net-net.”

But the Romney campaign bases that 100,000 figure on the current employment of just three major companies that Bain Capital invested in during Mr. Romney’s tenure: Staples, Sports Authority and Domino’s Pizza.

In fact, documenting a “net” gain of 100,000 jobs — with layoffs at other companies included — is extremely difficult. Neither Bain Capital nor Mr. Romney is willing to disclose the number of layoffs at companies that Bain Capital has invested in.

At one such company, a medical diagnostics firm called Dade Behring, global employment grew over all during the years Bain was an investor in the 1990s, primarily from hiring abroad. But during that period, Dade’s United States employment fell by more than 1,700 jobs, as Bain Capital oversaw corporate mergers and plant closings.

Iran Protests

Midway through the debate, Rick Santorum and Mr. Romney attacked President Obama for being “silent” when one million Iranian demonstrators took to the streets in 2009 to protest a flawed election.

It is true that some activists called on Mr. Obama to denounce Iranian authorities more forcefully for using violence against protesters. But Mr. Obama did, in fact, speak out repeatedly in support of Iranian demonstrators.

“The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous,” Mr. Obama said in June 2009. “And despite the government’s efforts to keep the world from bearing witness to that violence, we see it, and we condemn it.”

In December, he said, “For months, the Iranian people have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights. Each time they have done so, they have been met with the iron fist of brutality.” SCOTT SHANE

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