ROMNEY: "And the government would have banned Thomas Edison's light bulb. Oh, that's right. They just did." — Speaking about the Obama administration strangling innovators Tuesday night after winning the Illinois primary.
THE FACTS: In 2007, Bush signed the law requiring bulbs to use less electricity, an act for which Romney blames Obama. The standards do not ban the traditional incandescent bulb but require a higher level of efficiency than the old generation of them can achieve, making them passé to produce anymore when far more efficient alternatives are available.
The law only became contentious after its enactment, as some conservatives seized on it as an example of overreaching government. At the time, the legislation was passed with bipartisan support and enacted with praise by the Republican president.
In an economic speech Monday, Romney explicitly accused "Obama's regulators" of banning the bulb. The Washington Post called him on it.
On Tuesday night, Romney still unmistakably cast Obama as the bad guy in asserting that the government "just did" ban the bulb and in saying that pioneers such as Edison and the Wright Brothers would have had a hard time inventing "under Barack Obama."
Last year, four of Edison's descendants endorsed the new standards and said the great inventor would have been opposed to politicians trying to hang on to an outdated light bulb.
Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.
Naval Institute blog: http://blog.usni.org/2012/03/20/500-acts-of-audacious-planning-in-the-last-500-years/
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at statements by political candidates and how well they adhere to the facts.
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