KOA radio hosts let Romney repeat statements, refuted in media coverage, about Colorado mining town

Mitt Romney apparently forgot to read yesterday’s news coverage of his visit to Craig, Colorado.

Outlets from Denver’s Fox 31 to the National Journal and beyond pointed out that, despite Romney’s assertions, neither Colorado nor Obama policies had hurt the coal industry in Craig, and, overall, the town was weathering the recession pretty well.

But that didn’t stop Romney from appearing on KOA radio this morning, the day after his visit to Craig, and repeating statements that had been refuted by journalists.

Romney: There’s no question that Craig was an extraordinary welcome. We had about 1,500 people that joined in a rally, people from all walks of life, and they’re hurting. The regulations that have been put in place to try and drive out of business oil, coal, and gas are hard on Colorado, hard on Craig, Colorado, hard on various places across the country.

And I don’t think people recognize that as we try to replace oil, coal, and gas with very high-cost sources of energy, that we are going to drive more jobs away from America, not just from those mining and extractive industries, but also from all the industries that use energy in making their products. They will go elsewhere. They will go to China and other places that use coal and that use oil and gas. And that will mean more losses of jobs and further decline of income. So this is an important topic, and Craig is at the center of it.

KOA hosts April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs didn’t ask if Romney was bothered by the fact that Craig is doing well or the fact, also cited by reporters, that nonpartisan analysis shows that Colorado’s green-energy economy has been a solid job creator.

KOA hosts April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs, who did a good job asking Romney a range of questions, also queried Romney about Syria:

Host Zesbaugh: Is the President doing enough about Syria, and what would you be doing?

Romney: Well, the decision to expel diplomats is of course an appropriate decision but it’s a very small step. We need presidential leadership. This is not a time for America to be leading from behind. We have not only a slaughter of people, some 10,000 people have been killed by their own government in Syria, but also we recognize that Syria is the Arab ally for Iran. And Iran is seeking to become the leader of the Middle East with nuclear weapons. This is an opportunity to see new leadership in Syria, which could conceivably distance itself from Iran. So, the President ought to be all over this. We should be working with our friends in the region, like Turkey and Saudi Arabi,a to assure that the forces, that the rebel forces of Syria are well-armed and safe. This idea of holding back, this policy of paralysis is not the right course.

Host Tubbs: …How long are we going to wait, do you think, whether it’s this administration or yours. How many more massacres do we have to see where women and children are shot at point-blank range before the United States, which has, you go back centuries, we are the country the world looks to, like it or not?

Romney: Well, the right course for America is to be the leader in a setting like this, and that does not necessarily mean that we are putting in place our military resources. We do have friends in the region. We can support them in providing armament to the rebels. We can also communicate with the Alawites who are concerned about the removal of Assad because of their common faith. We need to make sure the Alawites know there will be a future for them in Syria. There will not be a slaughter or a degradation of their importance in the community. So the things we can be doing as a leader in the world that hopefully are being done, and if they’re not being done, they ought to be done aggressively. So that we take advantage of an opportunity but at the same time stop a tragedy, which we are seeing occur.

Neither host asked Romney about the risks, as articulated by the Obama Administration, and shared by some Republicans as well, of arming groups that may turn against America.

Yesterday marked the second Colorado visit in a row during which Romney has appeared on Colorado’s Morning News on KOA. Here’s what he had to say on the show in May.

Last time, he also spoke one-on-one with local TV reporters. He chose not to do so during yesterday’s Colorado trip, possibly because he became irritated during his May visit with the questions from CBS4 reporter Shaun Boyd.

Romney apparently did not take questions from The Denver Post during either of his last two visits, prioritizing radio and local television. During a visit in April, Romney spoke only to conservative talk shows, ignoring The Post again.

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