How low can he go?

Everyone has probably heard the corny “I once caught a fish this big” joke. A guy boasts about the size of the fish he reeled in, but when pressed, he gradually reduces the actual size of his catch. The little comedic routine is about exaggeration.

I wonder if Mitt Romney has heard it.

As recently as two weeks ago, Romney had a fairly specific number in mind when it came to the jobs created by his vulture-capitalist firm.

“I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”

A few days ago, the total dropped.

“People here in the state know that in the work that I had, we started a number of businesses, invested in many others, and that over all created tens of thousands jobs.”

This morning, the Romney campaign unveiled a new ad, which moved the goal post again. Greg Sargent picked up on the new message:

The ad claims Romney only created “thousands of jobs,” which is the latest shift in his campaign’s claims.

So, over the course of two weeks, Romney has gone from “over 100,000 jobs” to “tens of thousands” to “thousands.”

By next week, I expect Romney to tell us, “I probably created a handful of jobs.”

The criticism and scrutiny of Romney’s record of mass private-sector layoffs appears to be taking a toll on the Republican’s rhetoric.