Republican front-runner Mitt Romney built his entire presidential campaign on the boast he will restore the American economy. In his hurry to cement that narrative it appeared Romney forgot two words (economic recovery) Romney’s campaign fervently believes that the damage republicans have done to the economy starting with eight years of George Bush, to their absolute obstruction to everything president Obama has done to fix the economy, is more than enough to see the president kicked out before his policies can return enough jobs to ordinary Americans.
This strategy is a serious bet against the very American people republicans claim they want to help. Before we talk about the economy I just want to speak a little bit about the Romney campaign. As I said in a recent blog it is instructive that Romney chose not to run on his record as a liberal Governor of Masseschutes. most American presidents were former governors, if Romney’s record as an executive was good why then has he chosen not to run on that record, if he is indeed serious about becoming president of the United States of America?
The truth is, under Governor Romney’s stewardship his state was near the bottom, 47th in job creation. Romney’s health plan which has a mandate that forces people in Massachuset to buy health care or be fined , is the template for the much maligned Obama care which most Americans are yet to see or understand. Romney came to the conclusion that he cannot run on that record and as such he would gamble on running on his record as a businessman . The only problem with that strategy is that the facts do not line up with his narrative, as head of Bain Capital a venture Capitalist company, Romneys objective was not to create jobs, conversely what Bain did was take over companies, gutted them , took the capital out and filed for bankruptcy.
Despite these facts that Romney will not allow to get in the way of his narrative Romney continue to hammer away at the economy , lambasting the president as incompetent, over his head and making the case he will do a better job. Never mind that when the president took office the economy was shedding 750 thousand jobs each month and has now turned around and is now adding almost a quarter million jobs per month, even as the country recovers from the worst recession since the great depression.
Romney in response to the new jobs numbers for January took some time to come out with a statement, and when he did he said the economy is rebounding but it would have been better if not for the policies of the president, in fact Romney is finding it hard to articulate the reason why anyone should vote for him for president. On the radio show of right-wing talker Laura Ingram, Romney was asked how can he say the economy is getting better, then turn around and say that we should change the president ? Romney asked Ingram if she had a better suggestion.
INGRAHAM : How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying that it’s getting better?
ROMNEY: Well of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession. But the question is, has it recovered by virtue as something the president has done or has he delayed the recovery and made it more painful? The latter is, of course, the truth.
INGRAHAM: Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?
ROMNEY: Well, have you got a better one, Laura? This happens to be the truth.
The economy is getting better, of course, compared to where it has been. It would be absurd to say different. (The economy grew by 2.8 percent in the last quarter.)
Mitt Romney left himself no escape valve that would relieve some of the pressure in the event the economy continue to add jobs, which will indicate to the voting public that the policies of this president are working, or at worst aren’t as radical as Romney and Gingrich would like to scare them into believing. So what will Romney do if the economy continues to add manufacturing jobs, Israel does not attack Iran causing the price of oil to skyrocket, or there are no terror attacks on the country? How does Romney pivots when he built an entire presidential campaign against the economy? They have stated that Obama owns the economy, with no mention of the fact that the economy was almost sent into a depression by George Bush’s tax cuts for the richest Americans who do not need them, undeclared wars, and an unrestrained “do as you please green light” given to big banks and financial institutions.
Romney clearly cannot articulate a path forward on foreign policy. The Iraq war is over, Osama Bin Laden is dead, troops in Afghanistan will soon be heading home, there is a strangle hold economically on the Iranian economy over their nuclear programme, and despite their lies America’s image has been restored abroad to the extent that is possible, because of this president. So it seem Romney whom it seem more and more will be his party’s nominee will get desperate and clearly will have to scare voters about Obama , of course David Axelrod will be prepared to fight back despite citizens united big money let into the political discourse by the Supreme Court.
In a stump speech after winning the nevada caucuses Romney told the people gathered [H]e’s been trying to take a bow for 8.3 per cent unemployment. Not so fast, Mr. President. … We welcome any good news on the jobs front, but it is thanks to the innovation of the American people in the private sector, not to you.’ … Romney’s comments are a hint of how he would campaign … if … the unemployment rate continues to fall: with a two-fold attack that the official figures do not reflect the true scope of joblessness and that any improvement is despite, not because of, the president.(Politico .com)
There is Romney’s strategy , blame the president for a bad economy, but deny he has anything to do with it when it improves. How effective this strategy will be is yet to be seen. Romney and his minions must be desperate or they really take voters for absolute fools. Romney cannot have his cake and eat it too , either the president owns the economy as they are quick to point out, good or bad, or he doesn’t and cannot be held responsible for it. As president Obama said Republicans can make a decision to have a strong military, , a decrease in the national debt, and balanced budgets , or they can continue to give the wealthiest 1% tax-cuts they do not need , but the country cannot afford both. On every issue republicans want to have it both ways.
It’s also interesting that whenever they talk about unemployment figures republicans use a different methodology, general unemployment numbers are not used by republicans, they talk about people who have stopped looking for jobs and others who aren’t counted, for a plethora of reasons. All of a sudden people who do not want to work, people who decided to stop working are brought back into the framework, as they seek to fudge the numbers in an effort to distort the narrative.