Moran, Murray Campaigns Spar on ‘Recession’ Remark

The congressional campaign of Patrick Murray (R) blasted the campaign of incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D) over the weekend for what is — at least for now — a factual statement.

“We are not in a recession,” Moran campaign spokesman Austin Durrer was quoted as saying, according to the Murray campaign. The remark was made at the 2012 Northern Virginia Asian Pacific American Candidates Forum in Fairfax.

In response, the Murray campaign issued a blistering press release.

Jim Moran’s spokesman, Austin Durrer, had the audacity to tell the audience that our economy is fine and we have nothing to worry about.

“We are not in a recession,” said the Moran spokesman.

One might think that it was just a slip of the tongue or a slight miscommunication, until you realize that this is the conventional thought at Team Moran.

On June 29 of this year, Jim Moran went on the Martin Bashir show to say, “people are not going bankrupt…This is a wealthy country, we’re not broke.”

In response, 8th District congressional candidate Patrick Murray said, “How can Moran’s campaign say that to the 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans? With the real unemployment rate over 14%, months upon months of job losses, escalating national debt, and sequestration on the horizon, the Moran campaign thinks that the economy is fine and we’re not ‘broke’. I’m not sure if this is some horrible case of groupthink at the Moran headquarters, or if he’s just that disconnected from the average American.”

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research — which is generally regarded as the authority on recessions in the U.S. — the most recent recession lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Since then, the United States has experienced 12 quarters of positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. One rule of thumb for determining a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP.

The Moran campaign responded to the Murray camp’s press release with a statement of its own.

Ask any reputable economist when the Great Recession ended and they’ll tell you June of 2009, over three years ago. But clearly, far too many people are still out of work and the economy needs to grow faster.

It’s troubling that our opponent continues to talk down the economy for partisan political purposes. That kind of mentality won’t create a single job and in fact encourages businesses to continue hoarding cash rather than investing in the future. We’re fortunate that Northern Virginia has been an outlier from the rest of the country over the past four years of economic struggles.

While there’s still much work to be done, we have an unemployment rate that’s half the national average and major companies like Hilton and Northrop Grumman continue to relocate here. It’s in large part due to our region’s interconnectedness with the federal government, our largest employer, and synergies that relationship creates with the private sector.

Congressman Moran has played no small part in this success, whether by protecting federal employees from draconian conservative efforts to dismantle our civil service, which would be a disaster for our region’s economy, or through his senior position on the powerful Appropriations Committee. That’s one of the many reasons he deserves to be reelected and continues to have overwhelming public support from his district.

Murray campaign spokesman Reece Collins countered:

“Some economists would argue that we’ve entered another recession. Regardless, Moran’s campaign cannot say with a straight face that the economy is fine. With sequestration around the corner, and over 100,000 Virginians who will lose their jobs, the Moran campaign hunkers down and tells everyone that we are fine, there is no recession, we aren’t broke.”



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