Moran, Murray Campaigns Spar on ‘Recession’ Remark

by ARLnow.com September 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm 3,464 73 Comments

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.”

  • Rob G.

    Jim Moran LOVES wealth redistribution too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJyS1WJNisM

  • drax

    Murray displays his complete ignorance of basic economic terminology.

    • novasteve

      Like Moran about legal terminology like bankruptcy? You don’t “go bankrupt”, you file for bankruptcy. What he meant to say was people are not insolvent, but he used the wrong term, and you gave him a pass for it and attack Murray as being ignorant.

      • bubba

        hardly the same- but go ahead and post the exact same thing 3 times why don’t you?

        • novasteve

          It’s exactly the same, an allegation of improperly using a term that has a precise meaning. If your argument is that Murray is stupid because he didn’t properly use the term recession, than the same is true for Moran and his using the term “bankrupt”.

          • dictionary

            a person who is lacking in a particular thing or quality: a moral bankrupt.

          • drax

            No it’s not.

            A recession has a specific definition. We are not in one. Doesn’t matter if he said we aren’t “in” a recession or “having” recession or “suffering from” a recession – it’s a false fact. Hardly the same as the difference between “go” bankrupt and “file for” bankruptcy. Everyone understands what those things mean.

          • novasteve

            People also say “i’m bankrupt” without having filed for bankruptcy. He used the term “bankrupt” to decribe financial status, not a legal condition. He was wrong. He meant to say insolvent, he didn’t. So any criticism you have for Murray, you m ust have for Moran as well, otherwise you’re just playing politics.

          • drax

            “People also say “i’m bankrupt” without having filed for bankruptcy.”

            Exactly, steve.

            “So any criticism you have for Murray, you m ust have for Moran as well…”

            So any criticism you have for Moran, you must have to Murray as well.


          • novasteve

            Drax, I wasn’t the one starting the criticism. If Moran’s campaign has a problem with Murray using the term recession, than it’s fair game to call out Moran on his misuse of the term bankrupt. There is no non legal use of the word bankrupt, unlike other legal terms that have have some non law related meaning for the same word, like the word deposition. It ihas a legal and a scientific meaning, unlike bankruptcy.

          • drax

            It’s fair game for YOU to call him. It’s also a massive deflection from the criticism of Moran, which is how you always operate, but whatever.

            It’s NOT fair game to claim that anyone else is giving him a pass though. Don’t put thoughts in other people’s heads.

      • drax

        I gave him a pass? When, steve? Post where I said that.

        • novasteve

          Drax, are you criticizing Moran for his bankruptcy statement like you are Murray for recession? No, you aren’t, thus you gave moran a pass.

          • drax

            I haven’t seen you ever come out and say you are against people who kill puppies, steve. Why are you giving puppy-killers a pass?

  • speonjosh

    Sign of a campaign with not much else to talk about. Quibble about the meaning of words.

  • Harry

    I don’t get it, when did the Moran camp say that the economy’s fine? As ArlNow pointed out, the statement they did make- that we’re not in a recession -is true.

    Maybe the Murray campaign should spend more time talking to Arlington voters and less time sniping at true statement from Rep. Moran.

  • Columbia Pike Trolley

    You guys are as out-of-touch and insular as your member of Congress.

  • Enough already

    Why would any Republican waste their time campaigning in Arlington. Arlingtonians have already proven they will elect any half wit, so long as they are a democrat. Just look at Zimmie and his little sidekick Tejada for proof.

    • drax

      Yes, you’re so much smarter than everyone else.

      • darsasx

        He loses points because he didn’t qualify his math that TOGETHER Zimmie and Tejada only count as one half wit.

        • drax

          That comment is up to your usual standards.

          • Columbia Pike Trolley

            As opposed to your comments, drax, which if it weren’t for double standards would have no standards at all.

          • drax

            That’s a load though.

    • tmginnova

      Nah, we vote for proven community leaders, like Moran and Zimmerman and Tejada, who have a proven record helping to build a wonderful place to live, not ideological crazies.

    • Tumblebum

      I’ll drink to that.

      • bobbytiger

        No offense, but it sounds to me that you are already drinking too much.

  • Hollywood

    Well it’s obviously the tone of the remark that Murray takes issue with and he has a point.

    Also, GDP estimates are regularly revised after the fact, so it’s very possible that we will find out that we are in fact in a recession.

    • drax

      No, he simply doesn’t understand what a “recession” is. It’s a common mistake. A candidate for the House shouldn’t make it though.

      • novasteve

        Should a congressman of 20+ years like Moran use the term bankrupt when he meant insolvent?

        • drax

          Should Murray use the term “recession” when we’re not in one?

          You do have one characteristic of a lawyer, steve – you always try to dodge questions instead answering them, usually by using moral relativity.

          • novasteve

            Recession isn’t a legal term, bankruptcy is.

          • drax

            Recession is an economic term with a specific definition.

            We are not in a recession.

          • novasteve

            But there are no laws concerning recession, let alone spelled out in the constitution, are there?

          • bubba

            bankrupcy has multiple definitions (3 in dictionary.com) only one of which is a legal definition, although all 3 relate to insolvency or lacking of things.
            Recession has 4 definitions but the other 3 are not remotely related to economics. Or was Murray trying to say we were in a religious parade?

          • novasteve

            Bubba, the correct term to say when you owe more than your worth is insolvent, not bankrupt. That many people improperly use the term instead of invsolvent doesn’t make it correct. It’s basically the legal version of saying “for all intensive purposes” when the correct statement is “for all intents and purposes”.

          • drax

            Steve, do you think there’s any basis for saying we are in a recession, by any use of the term?

      • bob 22207

        The Moran statement is true and his follow up indicates clearly how well he understands the fragile nature of the slow economic recovery, the pain people across the country are in, and the potential problems we will have locally as the deficit & budget issues hit home. The challenger needs to make hay wherever he can and lashed out, but calling a true statement a lie doesn’t make it a lie.

  • James

    Moran (Moron) will be changing his tune with the Federal cuts come and this area gets hammered badly.

    Arlington is a bubble waiting to burst…propped up on government salaries and excessive borrowing.

    To sit there and say we’re not in a recession is absurd. When you need government STIMULUS to counter the continual decline of jobs and salaries, then you are still in a recession. These democratic politicians are just out of touch with reality…but hey, as long as they have other people’s and governments money to spend…everything is fine…move along.

    • James

      Also, many businesses in the private sector who have government defense contracts (lots in the NOVA area) are already planning layoffs, etc to get ahead of the fiscal cliff that is coming. That will affect this area.

    • buba

      And here is yet another person who doesn’t understand basic economic terms or refuses to believe anything that wasn’t made up on fox news.

    • drax

      So let’s sum up your post, James.

      We’re not in a recession but we might be soon. We’re in a recession. We’re not in a recession because of the stimulus, but that means we’re in a recession.


  • novasteve

    Moran incorrectly uses the term bankrupt as a financial condition, which should be invsolvent. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding.

    • drax

      False, steve. Bankrupt has several definitions, and one is how he used it. Not all terms are restricted to their legal definition.

      • novasteve

        No it doesn’t drax. Bankruptcy is a legal term, it’s even in the US constitution.

        • novasteve

          Even if you were right, then why is “Recession” only allowed one definition? Bankruptcy is a legal term, spelled out in Article I of the US constitution, giving congress the power to make uniform LAWS re: bankruptcy.

          • drax

            Even if recession had multiple definitions, which it doesn’t now have, all that would mean is that Murray attacked Moran for using one that is accurate by substituting another.

            We are not in a recession. This is a true statement.

          • novasteve

            And people who haven’t filed for bankruptcy aren’t bankrupt. So I guess Moran is technically right that people aren’t “bankrupt” because they haven’t filed for it, though that surely wasn’t his intention.

          • drax

            But to say someone “went bankrupt” doesn’t mean they didn’t file for bankruptcy too.

            You knew exactly what he meant. You’re just trolling to deflect the original criticism of Murray, which is what you always do, every time.

          • novasteve

            But you’re criticizing Murray for not using the term recession correctly. Moran’s campaign does as well. Yet Moran used a word improperly himself.

            You don’t get it? That’s like if I correct someone’s spelling mistake on here and make one of my own in the process….

  • Renee

    A reminder to everyone that absentee voting has begun in Arlington. I already voted on Friday at Courthouse. For those interested, here is the link to hours and locations.

    Also, there are some bond issues and Virginia constitution changes voters will decide. Check the link for a sample ballot.

    Even if you work downtown and don’t think you can make it to the polls in time to vote, you can vote by absentee ballot. Every vote is important so be sure you do.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Yea – go out and vote for president – even before they have a debate. Nothing like make decisions with incomplete information. Oh wait – these are American voters – they don’t pay any attention any way.

      • Phineas


        Yeah, like the debates of 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992… are so historically memorable and changed the course of history.

        Aside from McCain calling the future president “THAT one,” Palin winking at the camera and Dan Quayle being body slammed by ol’ Lloyd Bentsen in ’88, the fall debates have become all cable- news-countdown-clock hype and nothing more.

      • drax

        So, sub, you are saying you’re undecided?

  • JnA

    More of what we heard at the CivFed debate. I question whether Murray would have been promoted to Brigadier General had he remained in the Army, based on his incompetent performance against Moran.

    • Huh

      Haven’t meet many generals have you ??

      • JnA

        I saw nothing in Colonel Murray’s performance at the CivFed debates that would make me want to follow him to Sunday brunch at the Ft. Myer Officer’s Club.

        He was obviously connected to the Bush Administration, given his assignments in the years before he retired.

  • Hasdrupal

    Is there hope of sending Moran into retirement? He and his ilk have been in office too long. We need term limits.

    • novasteve

      The only way Moran is going to lose is if you tamper with the printing press and switch the letter D to R following the name on the ballot

      • drax

        So would you vote for him if he had an R next to his name?

        No? So don’t insult those who vote for him now. You’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.

        • novasteve

          Right, because the people here don’t vote just for the (D) after the name…… How many more racist, antisemitic comments will Moran get away with simply because he’s a democrat?

          • drax

            You have no idea why people vote, steve, until you ASK them.

    • doug drabek

      I agree with you on term limits, but I’ll be damned before I vote for this Murray guy. Another Tea Partier.

      What happened to the Republican party of the 70s, 80s, and even 90s? Realists not idealogues

      Were compromise wasn’t blasphemy and their ideology was more than ‘tax cuts for the rich, inspite of all evidence to the contrary, are a panacea”

      • doug drabek


        • Columbia Pike Trolley

          Probably haven’t even met the guy or read his issues, rube.

      • Skeptical

        Well said. I’ve voted for some Republicans in the past, but the party as it exists now no longer represents a choice, except by accident (the occasional Republican who realizes that tax cuts don’t solve everything and that science actually produces better results than closing your eyes and wishing real hard).

        I also wonder when the local Republicans will realize that nothing is gained by vituperating an incumbent who, no matter what his past sins, clearly has traction with two-thirds of the voting public. Voters will reject Jim Moran only when they are presented with someone who channels the viewpoint of the average district voter at least as accurately *and* does not have a history of buyability and shenanigans. Tax-cut ideologues, social conservatives and political novices might as well save themselves the trouble, especially if the first thing they do out of the gate is hurl insults at Moran. Don’t you think he’s gotten used to it by now? It does not even faze him.

  • T

    Having failed in their mission to crash the economy and end a century of American preeminence, the Republicans continue to talk America down. Give us another chance they cry. “Bomb Iran! Invade Syria! Eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security! Repeal Obamacare! Cut the minimum wage to $1! Make unions illegal! Let Wall Street run free! Stop paying our debts! De-fund the government! Double the Pentagon budget! Let us give her one more whack and we are sure America won’t rise again. How dare those Democrats strive for a prosperous America with opportunity for all. We won’t have it!”

    • novasteve

      Hows the 16 Trillion dollar debt and massive inflation going to “fix” things? You realize that if you libberal communists cofiscated all the wealth of the 1% you still wouldn’t be able to pay off the debt, your irresponsible socialism is that devestating to the country. You are going to DESTROY the futuyre of future generations just so you coudl buy votes with handouts.

      • T

        Nonesense. Read and think: “National debt passes $16 trillion: Should you worry?” http://cbsn.ws/NMjZj5 This is written by a non-ideological economist — an expert. Not a wing-nut auto mechanic turned blogger.

  • FourMileRunner

    feels like two morons talking…

  • GreatRosslynDriver

    Do you think novasteve actually believes the things he writes? His comments are such a perfect, word for word caricature of tea party rhetoric that it makes me wonder if it’s all just a brilliant example of political theater.

    • drax

      Yeah, google Poe’s law.

    • Columbia Pike Trolley

      Whereas all of the comments that fail in their attempt to counter his points, are, a word for word caricature of the same tired and tried Dem talking points that have no record of success whatsoever. Time to get serious, pal.

      • drax

        Another example of CPT saying something and thinking that makes it true.


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