Romney Made His Campaign Worse
The Romney campaign seems to have panicked over the accuracy of Mitt's oft-stated accusation that Obama has made the economy worse. On Thursday he abandoned the claim - and, bizarrely - denied he ever said it.
After repeatedly saying President Obama had taken over during a recession and made it worse, Mitt Romney now denies making that statement, which makes him look silly. He'd have been better off sticking to his original claim -- which by one important measure is actually true.
Under Obama, the economy has stopped contracting and resumed growing. So the recession is officially over. But most people judge the economy by how many people are working. And that number is pitifully low -- far lower than when Obama took office.
If you're being technical, then you make the claim based on the jobs numbers - the president doesn't gain much by starting an argument about whether Mitt's telling the truth about him having made things worse.
As data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show, the jobs picture is still very bleak. In January 2009, a year into the recession, the total number of nonfarm jobs stood at 133,563. Today, it's 131,043 -- off by 2.5 million. Despite our growing population, fewer people are working today than 10 years ago.
You can certainly argue on a broader level that White House policy has made the economy worse - ie, wasting a trillion dollars on a non-stimulative stimulus package dug us a deeper debt hole while arguably offering no ROI. The brilliance of the "he made it worse statement" is, 1) that's how it feels to the average voter and 2) defending the economy will anger voters, even if you're right.
Does Mitt have a glass jaw so delicate that he can't take his own punches?