In a speech Monday, Mitt Romney debuted some colorful language -- by Romney's buttoned up standards, at least -- to attack the Obama administration for over-regulation, and, from our vantage, he got a few facts mixed up. Romney spoke Monday afternoon at the University of Chicago as he gears up for Tuesday's Illinois primary "Regulators are always on the prowl. Under President Obama, they are multiplying like proverbial rabbits," he said. (This film is rated PG, folks.)
Romney then said that under Obama, "a regulator would have shut down the Wright Bros for their dust pollution." That seems to hearken back to one of Herman Cain's lines about the Environmental Protection Agency in a debate last September. "Now, I know that makes some people nervous, but the EPA has gone wild. The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, to regulate dust says that they've gone too far," Cain said. But Politifact rated the claim as "false," explaining, "We found that the EPA has long regulated a category of air pollution called 'particulate matter,' which includes dust. There’s no new regulation scheduled for Jan. 1, 2012." So it's true that Obama's EPA regulates particulate matter, but not more than any other administration in the past few decades.
Romney also said that under Obama's administration, "the government would have banned Thomas Edison's light bulb. Oh yeah -- they just did." Aside from the time-machine logic involved, Romney is referencing Energy Department standards that mandate the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs that were adopted in 2007, when, oh yes, George W. Bush was president. But of course, no one likes to mention Bush in this campaign.