Republicans Are Going To Have To Deal With An Improving Economy
In a departure from what we normally hear from Republican candidates, Mitt Romney sounded positively bullish on the economy. You’d think that would be inconvenient for his campaign chances, but what he’s doing is a sort of pre-emptive strike against what will undoubtedly be improving economic conditions over the next year.
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is running for president claiming to be the candidate best prepared to fix the ailing economy — but yesterday the Republican awkwardly let slip that he believes the economy is already improving without him.
“I believe the economy is coming back, by the way,” Romney — who has campaigned as a turnaround expert — said at a stop in Springfield, Ill.. “We’ll see what happens. It’s had ups and downs. I think it’s finally coming back. The economy always comes back after a recession, of course.”
Recognizing that bullish statements might undercut his election effort, Romney stressed that the recession has been “deeper than it needed to be and a slower recovery than it should have been, by virtue of the policies of this president. Almost everything [Obama’s] done has made it harder for this economy to recover.”
Romney is right. Obama’s economic policies have made economic recovery harder than it needed to be. Put another way, the economy recovered despite President Obama, not because of him.
But that’s going to be a tough argument for Republicans to make in the coming election cycle. Because the economy will improve measurably, the Obama administration and Democrats will take credit for it, and a sympathetic media will largely be willing to give them credit for it.
Any economic improvement will be relative to the gloomy days the nation just went through. For instance, an unemployment rate around 7% would have been enough to cost George W. Bush the election against John Kerry in 2004, but a 7% unemployment rate in October 2012 will seem, by contrast to the 8 – 9% we’ve gotten used to, like the dawning of a new era of prosperity.
That we could possibly have been down to 5 – 6% unemployment, with far less deficit spending, had we not followed President Obama’s economic policies is going to be a tough argument for Republicans to make. In fact, one reason for the improvement could be explained by the gridlock in Washington DC. House Republicans serving as a stumbling block to President Obama and Senate Democrats has restored some sense of confidence in the economy that government meddling was going to be at a minimum.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see economic improvement. I’d not wish suffering on my country for the sake of political convenience. But I’d hate to see voters mistakenly attribute that improvement to Barack Obama.Tags: Barack Obama, Economy, election 2012, mitt romney