Few presidential candidates have uttered as much false information as Mitt Romney. His rhetoric in the first presidential debate was no exception. Which brings us to our number of the day: Two, as in two strikes. Two statements in the debate that went beyond inaccurate.
Strike one: Gov. Romney said, “The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916.” Where to begin with that statement?
First of all, at last count, we had 285 ships. The lowest number since 1916 is 278, back during — you guessed it — the Bush administration, in 2007.
Second of all, the 245 ships we had back in 1916 were simply not in the same class as our current hardware. How do you compare World War I gun- and torpedo-boats with the massive scope and fire-power of aircraft carriers and cruise-missile submarines? Wouldn’t you rather have one aircraft carrier than five dinghies?
Strike two: Romney said the president “has not signed one new free-trade agreement in the past four years.”
OK. He didn’t sign one. He signed three — with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. And exports in 2011 were at least 33 percent higher than in 2009.
That’s two strikes. Strike three is not far away.