Fact Checking the New Hampshire Debate


Fact Check 1 -  Romney created 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital

Fact or Fiction Number 1 - Mitt Romney created 100,000 jobs while heading Bain Capital

ABC News's Matt Negrin reports:

Newt Gingrich raced out of the gate in tonight's debate by being skeptical of Mitt Romney's claim that Bain was responsible for creating 100,000 jobs, and he pointed to scrutiny of the firm in a recent New York Times article and a documentary.

In response, Romney repeated a familiar talking point - that Bain, under his leadership, was responsible for creating 100,000 jobs at companies in which it invested. Romney was asked tonight if the 100,000 jobs are discounting the number of jobs that were lost at companies backed by Bain; he said the figure includes "both" and that it's a "net" tally. He rattled off some talking points on companies that added jobs, like Sports Authority and Staples.

Bain wasn't the sole investor in neither Staples (which Romney said added 90,000 jobs) nor Sports Authority (which he said added 15,000). In 2002, for example, Staples founder Tom Stemberg wrote on CNN Money that Bain "gave us a boost." Though the company also had help from two other firms. Sports Authority, too, was started with financial help from a few other investors.

Democrats were quick to respond to Romney's claim tonight. In an email to reporters, the party pointed to a number of quotes the candidate has made years ago about that figure - including this part from a 1994 Boston Globe article: "In a telephone interview late yesterday, Romney dismissed the characterization of Staples and his other investments as streamlining, saying that what he has done is 'build and grow businesses,' not shrink them. He asserted that there is no way to calculate whether jobs have been lost or gained economy-wide as a result of his ventures, and noted his 10,000-job figure simply measures what happened to employment at companies in which Bain invested."

Rick Santorum, standing to Romney's left on the stage, was asked early in the debate whether his comment that the United States doesn't need a CEO (it needs a leader) was directed at Romney; he confirmed that, yes, it was.