92% - The Biggest Romney Gaffe So Far?

The Romney campaign needs to answer on the record a simple question - did more men lose their jobs during the recent downturn then women?  The answer of course is yes.  And men’s wages also dropped much more than women’s.  So how in the world did the Romney campaign come to argue that women have faired 9 times worse than men?  It is something the Romney campaign needs to better explain.

This WaPo piece today provides some basic background on the data.

The 92.3 percent figure was arrived at using the equivalent of third grade math, and the data used to get this number does not in any way suggest that women have done worse in the recession than men.  In fact there is no data suggesting women did worse than men in the recent downturn anywhere, because it is not true.  Men did far far worse in the recent downturn than women.  Period.  There is no other possible explanation of the data. The Romney campaign’s claim is a ridiculous and puerile interpretation of basic economic data and they need to be called out on the stupidity behind it all.

The reason this matters so much is that Romney is running as a numbers guy, an economic expert.  But he is currently focusing his entire campaign on an argument that shows an incredible lack of understanding of what has happened in the economy in recent years – arguing that women suffered 9 times the pain as men when men actually did much worse than women - and is just plain wrong, stupid, ignorant whatever the right word is.   They need to be pressed on this even more than they have, for there isn’t an economist in the world who could or would make the argument Romney is making right now.

To me this is the greatest gaffe we've seen from the very gaffe prone and "policy-free" Romney campaign so far.

Update - More resources and backup here, here and here.

Monday AM Update - NYTimes has a piece today looking at the debate on the weekend shows abou the 92% claim.  It is honestly shocking that the Romney campaign has keep up this line of attack.  And one would have assumed Ed Gillespie would have pushed back on it.