View Full Version : Left with no choice, Romney pivots on economy

03-21-2012, 11:21 AM
Left with no choice, Romney pivots on economy
By Steve Benen - Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:24 AM EDT
Maddow Blog--MSNBC (http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/21/10792014-left-with-no-choice-romney-pivots-on-economy)

Did you catch Mitt Romney's victory speech in Illinois last night? Echoing the themes -- and at times, the literal phrasing -- of his economic speech at the University of Chicago on Monday, the former governor spoke at length about his vague appreciation for "freedom."

Romney did not, however, do what he spent 2011 doing: he didn't accuse President Obama of making the economy "worse."

This is not an accident. I first started reporting in January about the subtle -- and at times, not-so-subtle -- shift in Romney's rhetoric about the economy, as the candidate and his campaign began to come to terms with the fact that the recovery is picking up steam. Romney had a choice: stick to a line no one would believe, or adapt to improving circumstances. He chose the latter, and now acknowledges practically every day that the economy is getting better on Obama's watch, while trying to deny the president credit for the progress.

The L.A. Times had a good report (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gop-2012-economy-20120320,0,2766261.story) on this yesterday, noting that Romney effectively had no choice.

[A]fter months of steady job growth, improved consumer confidence and big gains on Wall Street, the economy seems in less dire need of fixing, and Romney has been forced to alter his message or risk seeming out of touch.

"I believe the economy's coming back," Romney said at a breakfast stop Monday in Springfield, where the former Massachusetts governor campaigned ahead of Tuesday's Illinois primary.

But he gave absolutely no credit to President Obama -- "the economy always comes back after recession" -- and insisted the administration's policies had made matters worse and the recovery slower than it should have been.

Greg Sargent added , "This yet another sign that the Romney campaign is betting heavily on the possibility that the American people won't remember or factor in just how awful a crisis Obama inherited upon taking office."

Quite right. At this point, the old Reagan line -- "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" -- is the one question Romney and the Republican Party doesn't want Americans to ask, because it's so transparently obvious that national conditions have improved considerably.

This is not to say that conditions are good, necessarily, only that they're better. When FDR sought re-election in 1936, the unemployment rate was 17%, but he won re-election in a historic landslide -- not because a 17% unemployment rate was satisfactory, but because Americans realized Roosevelt inherited a crisis and helped get the country back on track.

It was about the direction, not the condition -- like now, the economy went from losing jobs to gaining jobs, from contraction to growth.

It makes Romney's challenge very difficult. His pitch is, in effect, "Sure, Obama inherited a global crash, took steps to turn the economy around, and I'll concede that things are now better. But vote against him anyway because I perceive us lacking ... economic 'freedom.'"

This is the single most important aspect of the 2012 presidential election, and Mitt Romney appears to have found himself without an argument.

03-21-2012, 12:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Romney did not, however, do what he spent 2011 doing: he didn't accuse President Obama of making the economy "worse."

This is not an accident.</div></div>LOL, no kidding. With the government indoctrination led education in this country as low as it is how on Earth could Romney explain that in a way they could understand? It is not that the truth isn't there it is just that no one would listen because they are dying for good news and will take a couple months of progress and inflate it to something it really isn't.


03-21-2012, 12:28 PM
[...] they are dying for good news and will take a couple months of progress and inflate it to something it really isn't.

LOL! "A couple of months" = a couple of years, actually.

Multi-year long improvements in the jobs picture, and also, in the manufacturing sector. GM at record profit levels, beating an old glory days record profit ('97, iirc), back to number 1 in the world for auto manufacturing, about to open 17 new plants in THIS COUNTRY? (Might be wrong on the number, as I have 17 on the brain recently.)

03-21-2012, 12:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">LOL! "A couple of months" = a couple of years, actually.
</div></div>I get the same "out loud" laughter when I read your correction. Quite funny to think.


03-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Yes, the lack of familiarity with whatever good signs there are in the economy is a sign of a closeted observer who has a limited source of information, which said limited source of information intentionally hides headlines of this nature by simply refusing to carry them at their headline levels. Hence, the 'God you must be joking!?!?!' reaction-- you have simply not heard of these things, because of your cloistered selective (and self-selected) information sources.

Just as something like 80% of people don't realize that their taxes have been cut since 2008, and instead imagine they have gone up under this president.

It took only about 3 months to slow and then reverse what was a freefalling economy as of Jan '09, and that inflection point coincided exactly with the passage of the stimulus and its beginning to take effect. This effect is obvious in countless graphs of the data, which I take you have not ever seen?

03-21-2012, 02:04 PM
Well, you just continue thinking everything is peachy and reality will continue in a world where Obama's hope and change has failed them.


03-22-2012, 12:06 PM
This is a disappointingly slow recovery, with tepid at best economic growth, and a continuing problem with UE, especially with long-term unemployed at a rate never seen before, I think.

However, to deny what progress is there has occurred is both untrue and either misinformed or a deliberate false presentation.

I'll say misinformed for you.

Even Romney, who has shown no signs of embarrassment about lying about almost anything, isn't willing any longer to maintain his previous position in this regard, which is a significant data point proving progress is occurring that is undeniable any longer.

All that is left is the hypothetical that it could have been much better, for which there is no evidence, and actually evidence against. The austerity in fiscal policy that is the chief alternative being suggested has proven to ACTUALLY WORSEN those economies that are trying it, which have slipped back into actual measurable recession upon trying it.

03-22-2012, 03:16 PM
What. Krappynomix duznt work. Golly gosh gee.