Romney Pounds Obama On the Economy
April 20, 2012
Newly minted Republican presidential nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney blasted President Barack Obama on the economy, the only message so far that seems to gain traction. Recent positive news, including a strong increase in private sector jobs and corresponding decrease in the nation’s unemployment rate, prompted the GOP to pound the same old message. Before Chief Justice John Roberts finished swearing in Barack Jan. 20, 2009, the GOP message was that the economic disaster was all Obama’s fault. When the nation began adding jobs in June 2010, the GOP, especially Mitt, continued to call the president a “jobs killer.” Since June 2010, the nation has added nearly 4 million jobs, recouping over half the jobs lost in what former Fed Chairman Alan Greespan called the worst recession since the Great Depression. Romney denies any improvement at all.
Saying Barack is “in over his head and swimming in the wrong direction,” Romney hopes to frighten voters into his camp. Mitt doesn’t admit the Dow Jones Industrials Average rose from around 8,000 on Inauguration Day to about 13,000 at its close today, a whopping 70% increase. Speaking in Charlotte, S.C., only blocks from the next Democratic National Convention, Romney said Barack’s economic policies were “putting in peril” the U.S. economic future. By anyone’s measures, other than Romney, the economy has made a good recovery from the dog days of 2008 when Dow dipped below 8,000. Without saying what he’d do differently, Romney insisted Barack was barking up the wrong tree. He delivered in Charlotte his “prebuttal,” telling voters what they won’t hear from the Obama campaign but likely what he’ll talk about between now and November.
Romney blamed the president for not doing enough to encourage jobs creation, despite working with a GOP-dominated Congress that refused to pass any tax increases. Romney often blames Obama for the nation’s big deficits, despite shrinking from $1.4 billion under Bush to around $ one trillion today. If the economy continues to add jobs at a brisk pace, federal budget deficits could dip under $1 trillion by Election Day. Romney likes to call Barack “in over his head” but never criticized former President George W. Bush when the nation began shedding some 200,000 jobs a month before Barack took office. Romney hasn’t acknowledged that the economy has added millions of jobs under Obama. “It is very clear his agenda has not accomplished what he said it would,” Romney told a crowd in Charlotte, despite knowing Barack’s agenda was turning the economy around.
Romney wants his audience to ignore the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics measuring jobs creation and the unemployment rate. “Obama Isn’t Working,” read a sign serving as a backdrop on the Charlotte stage. Regardless of the hard facts, Romney creates an alternative universe for his audience, insisting Barack’s economic policies don’t work. Looking a one’s 401k or IRA, most stock accounts and mutual funds are dramatically up under Obama. Romney rants about Barack’s health care reform called “The Affordable Care Act” that virtually mirrors his health care plan while serving as Massachusetts’ 70th governor [2003-2004]. Mitt talks about “what you won’t hear” from the Obama campaign but won’t admit the economy has improved under Barack’s economic policies. Mitt blames Barack for increasing taxes, when, in fact, taxes are the lowest in several generations.
Romney hasn’t said how he plans to stimulate jobs growth other than continuing to cut taxes. When the public learned of Mitt’s 14% tax rate and Cayman Island tax shelters Jan. 18, it launched fellow GOP presidential candidate former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) to victories in Mississippi and Alabama. Whether admitted to or not, Romney is one of the country’s wealthiest Americans, having made his fortune founding Bain Capital’s leveraged buyout operation. Mitt says Barack “deflects blame elsewhere” but doesn’t give the president credit for measurable improvements in the economy. When voters try to weigh the facts against his rhetoric, at some point Romney’s strategy might boomerang. It’s not credible telling voters things are getting worse when, in fact, they’re getting better. It’s hard to argue with monthly jobs reports and drop in the unemployment rate.
Since Mitt announced his run for the president June 2, 2011, he’s been bashing Obama economic credentials. Despite all objective measures, Romney continues to call Barack a “jobs killer,” despite the steady rise in employment since June 2010. “At some point, he has to acknowledge this is his economy,” said Mitt, not certain how to proceed attacking Barack’s economic record. If he owns the economy, there’s clear positive signs pointing to improved jobs growth and lowered unemployment. If Romney acknowledges any improvement in the economy, he undermines his message that the economy can’t grow under Barack. “He has failed by the measures he set. You won’t hear that at his convention, but you’ll hear that at ours,” said Mitt, admitting he’d continue bashing Barack’s economic credentials. Without pivoting, Romney’s risks selling voters on old news that doesn’t match today’s reality.
About the AuthorJohn M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma
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