First, the facts. Here’s a chart showing the employment picture since the start of the recession for the last 4 recessions.
Here’s Mitt Romney:
"It’s been a failure in the last several years to get America back on track again. It’s taken longer to get Americans back to work than it took during the Great Depression. This is the slowest job recovery since Hoover. It breaks my heart. I want to get us back to work."
Here’s GOP Senate candidate from Florida, Adam Hasner:
"Obama-Nelson economic record. Job creation … at slowest post-recession rate since Great Depression," Hasner tweeted on May 23, 2011.
Why the disparity in the way these two statements were ranked? Politifact explains:
The issue came up in an earlier PolitiFact item. However, we’re taking Romney at his literal word, and he said "the slowest job recovery," which is the period after the recession has ended and the recovery has begun.
Why does Politifact not give Romney the same benefit of the doubt that it gave Hasner? Hasner’s claim was a written tweet. Romney’s was apparently as spoken on the spur of the moment. Assuming Romney was thinking of that chart above, the difference between a “mostly true” and a “false” is “from Start of Recession.”
It’s certainly not the same benefit of the doubt given House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Simply comparing the two statements by Hasner and Romney, it’s clear they’re both trying to communicate the same thing. If Romney had simply stated:
This is the slowest [post recession] job recovery since Hoover.
He would’ve gotten a “mostly true.” (Or maybe not, I’m deeply cynical and skeptical when it comes to Politifact.)
There’s something wrong with your method of analysis when such a minor difference in phrasing can lead to such disparate grades.