According to the AP, the candidates were less than candid about some things last night:
Debate viewers got a gloomy picture of the economy and, perhaps predictably, heard about none of the improvements that have come since Bush took office. For example, Sen. Joe Lieberman declared it would take a Democratic president to “get this economy going,” but the economy has been gaining momentum over the last several months since Bush’s third round of tax cuts took effect.
Weekly claims for unemployment insurance have fallen since April, and economic growth and productivity in the third quarter reached 20-year highs.
Several of the nine candidates criticized the tax cuts Bush pushed through Congress. But none mentioned that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has served both Republican and Democratic presidents, has cited those cuts as a reason for the recent economic growth.
Using a favored attack line against Bush, Lieberman said “3.5 million people have lost their jobs” and Howard Dean commented twice on the 3 million jobs lost under Bush.
While it is true that about 3 million jobs were lost during the early months of the Bush presidency, that trend has been reversing for several months as the jobless rate has dropped from a peak of 6.4 percent in June to 5.9 percent last month.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who studies political rhetoric at the University of Pennsylvania, said the debate was filled with hyperbole and exaggeration typical of candidates trying to unseat an incumbent president.
In other words, don’t take these people seriously.