“And these [clean energy] businesses, many of them have gone out of business, I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in, have gone out of business.”
The New York Times, one of the few mainstream organizations to follow up on this claim, called Romney’s comment a “gross overstatement.”
Actually, it’s much more offensive than that.
At a time when the U.S. clean energy industry is supporting thousands of innovative businesses in every state (many of them small businesses), hundreds of thousands of jobs (including tens of thousands in Romney’s home state of Massachusetts), and leveraging tens of billions in private capital, Romney casually tried to claim that “half” of businesses that received federal incentives have gone out of business. That’s not even remotely close to the truth.
Okay, let’s throw the Romney camp a bone. To the small number of people who actually monitor this topic, it was clear that he probably meant the loan guarantee program — a tool that provides government backing of private loans in order to leverage capital for “first of a kind” renewable energy projects
After numerous tweets last night calling Romney out, Time Magazine’s Michael Grunwald confirmed today via twitter that the campaign was backtracking: “Now Romney camp tells me he misspoke, only meant to single out loan program.”
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