Echoing his Wall Street Journal editorial, Karl Rove, along with Sean Hannity, falsely suggested that White House adviser Larry Summers promised that the economic recovery plan would "create jobs right away."
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On the July 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor Karl Rove advanced the falsehood that White House chief economic adviser Larry Summers promised that the economic recovery plan would "create jobs right away." In fact, during a February 14 appearance on CNN's The Situation Room, after saying that "[y]ou'll see the effects [of the economic plan] begin almost immediately," Summers specified that the immediate effects would include prevented layoffs, tax cuts, "orders" for infrastructure projects, and "better maintenance of schools." Summers added that "the effect will build over time."
During the Hannity segment, Hannity said, "Lawrence Summers has said at the time -- you quoted it in your article in the Journal today -- that, you know, we'd see an impact almost immediately. What happened?" Rove replied in part: "The administration's now, rather than saying that jobs are going to be created, now is now saying, the president said this is a two-year plan, not a ... you shouldn't have expected to have an effect in six months." He later asserted, "Yeah, well, they said we're going to create jobs right away, and the jobs are not being created now. So, they said, well, wait, it's going to take us two years."
Rove's and Hannity's statements echo a claim Rove made in his July 16 Wall Street Journal column, in which he also asserted that President Obama "is attempting to lower expectations retroactively" and falsely claimed that "Obama never said if his stimulus were passed things might still get significantly worse in the following year."
From the July 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: And in "Your America" tonight: Now, for months, the president traveled around the country promoting his stimulus package, pledging to the American people that his plan would create jobs and turn the economy around.
OBAMA [video clip]: My initial measure of success is creating or saving 4 million jobs. That's bottom line number one. ... Companies that are currently struggling to borrow money selling their products, struggling to make payroll, but could find themselves in a different position when we start implementing the plan. ... That's the goal at the heart of this plan: to create jobs.
HANNITY: All right. Now that unemployment stands at almost 10 percent, and the stimulus is clearly failing, my next guest says that the administration, well, they're changing their story. And joining me now is Fox News contributor Karl Rove. Karl, thanks for being with us.
ROVE: Thanks for having me, Sean.
HANNITY: Well, you heard what the president just said there -- that my measure of success is going to be, you know, the 3 to 4 million jobs that are created. Lawrence Summers has said at the time -- you quoted it in your article in the Journal today -- that, you know, we'd see an impact almost immediately. What happened?
ROVE: Well, the president also said we're going to -- the money's going to go out the door right away. None of this is happening. The unemployment rate is 9 and a half percent today. That is higher than the unemployment rate the administration forecast if we did nothing.
The administration's now, rather than saying that jobs are going to be created, now is now saying, the president said this is a two-year plan, not a -- not -- we -- you shouldn't have expected to have an effect in six months. Well, we've had six months to see them get this plan rolled out. They've spent exactly 7.7 percent of the money that they appropriated. This thing is badly designed, badly executed, and not having an effect on the economy. And the economy is going to recover, but it's going to be in spite of this, not because of it.
HANNITY: Well, look, first of all, I hope that's the case, but, then, we have the other problem, because CBO said the same thing that you did -- that it might recover in the short term, but, in the long term, they're creating structural problems that are going to make it more difficult. But explain like you did in the article how they moved the goalpost --
ROVE: Well --
HANNITY: -- that what they initially said has now changed.
ROVE: Yeah, well, they said we're going to create jobs right away, and the jobs are not being created now. So, they said, well, wait, it's going to take us two years. They said the money is going to be spent right away, and now they're saying, oh, no, no, we never anticipated that -- that's a 10-year program -- and we're going to spend money over the next two years, over the next 10 years. They said, you know, we're going to have a timely effect, and now they're saying, no, no, no, right from the beginning, we expected it to be long term.
I mean, they said one thing in January and February to sell the program, and now, today, when the program is coming up short, they're trying to move the goalpost, and, say, oh, no, no, you need to be patient, wait for next year or later on for a --
HANNITY: All right.
ROVE: -- for a positive effect.