Mitt Romney went after President Barack Obama on Monday for supposedly banning incandescent light bulbs.
But the legislation in question was passed during the administration of President George W. Bush and did not ban those types of bulbs.
"The government would have banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb," Romney declared at the University of Chicago. "Oh yeah, Obama’s regulators actually did."
Attacking standards on light bulbs has become a familiar trope for conservatives, who often use the issue to insist that the government is overregulating and limiting the freedom of consumers. Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann often mentioned the law in her speeches, and Iowa Rep. Steve King has said he fought "Stasi troops" under then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to continue using energy-inefficient light bulbs.
The law sets standards and eventually phases out the sale of energy-inefficient light bulbs, but doesn't force any particular form of lighting on anyone.
Even though a ban on U.S. sales of energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs began this year, American stores still market an incandescent light bulb that uses less energy.
Still, mentioning a light bulb ban provided a useful sound bite for Romney when discussing regulations that he said kill innovation.
"The reality is that, under President Obama’s administration, these pioneers would have found it much more difficult, if not impossible, to innovate, invent and create," Romney said, referring to Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and the Wright brothers.
"A regulator would have shut down the Wright brothers for their 'dust pollution,'" he added.