Romney blasts Obama for dropping daily economic briefing

posted at 4:15 pm on June 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last week in the OOTD feature, we noted that the daily economic briefing that the White House announced Barack Obama received at the beginning of his term in office has “slowly peter[ed] out,” as The Hill reported.  Interestingly, the news didn’t get much traction despite the relentlessly negative news about the US economy over the last couple of months, but that may change.  ABC’s Mary Bruce reports that Mitt Romney has picked this up as a new attack line against Obama:

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pounced on the scheduling change earlier this week. “If I’m President of the United States there will not be a day that I’m not being briefed on and thinking about bringing American jobs back to America and make America the number one job creator in the world. For me it’s everything you can do. Every lever you can pull, which is taxes, trade policies, energy policies, rule of law, good schools, and a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in,” he said in Derry, N.H.

The in-person economic briefing made a return to the president’s schedule yesterday, as a late morning addition. It was the first such meeting in more than a month. However, today it is nowhere to be seen on the agenda.

The White House has offered a mildly Orwellian response.  Despite Robert Gibbs’ clear statement in January 2009 that Obama specifically requested and would receive daily, in-person briefings on the economy as a priority on par with national security, Jay Carney now says that there never was a commitment to daily economic briefings, Winston:

Asked about the disappearing act, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters last week that the in-person economic briefing “happens occasionally, it doesn’t happen all the time.  And I think that was always the case.” …

“The President asked that this be added each day to his schedule, as the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and an economic emergency. And he felt it was important that each day he receive the most up-to-date information as it relates to the economy, as we put together an economic reinvestment and recovery plan, as well as future financial stability packages, to ensure that our economy gets moving again,” Gibbs said in January 2009.

Clearly, occasional in-person briefings were not “always the case.”  The White House trumpeted those briefings as a way to portray Obama as in charge and keenly interested in economic results.  Reading a memo once a day doesn’t exactly depict an engaged executive.

This could be a big problem for Obama if he starts appearing to be disengaged.  According to Gallup polls stretching back years now, Americans are much more concerned about economic matters than anything else.  According to the latest results, 60% now believe that the economy and joblessness are the most important issues of the day, up from 57% four weeks ago — and the number of people naming at least one economic issue as most pressing has risen to a two-year high:

One reason these results may not have changed much over the past month is that, at 72%, the overall percentage of Americans naming at least one economic issue as the nation’s most important problem is near the upper limit Gallup has recorded since 1991 when Gallup began compiling “net” economic and non-economic figures. The major exception to this is the few months following the Wall Street economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 when the figure was closer to 80%, reaching 86% in February 2009.

At the same time, satisfaction has dropped to almost a year-long low:

Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the country fell to 20% in early June from 26% at the start of May. Seventy-eight percent of Americans are now dissatisfied with the nation’s direction, according to a June 9-12 Gallup poll.

The six-percentage-point decline in Americans’ satisfaction with the country’s direction mirrors a 10-point drop in Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index over the past month, falling from -25 in Gallup Daily tracking for May 2-8 to -35 for the week ending June 12.

More generally, shifts in Americans’ satisfaction with the country have closely paralleled changes in Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index over the past decade, suggesting that economic perceptions have been a key determinant of Americans’ broader view of the country’s direction.

In other words, Americans are engaged on this topic, even if Obama doesn’t appear to be himself.  It’s an excellent point of attack for Romney and the other Republican candidates to replace Obama in 2012.  If you’re surprised to see Romney leading in the attack, well, you may not have been paying attention to Monday night’s debate.

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Comments

Good attack Mitt – where have you been for 2 years?

Oh yeh – not running for POTUS then – I get it.

jake-the-goose on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Romney the RINO speaks…

Underwhelming!

Roy Rogers on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I’m glad to see someone taking it to the Manchild-In-Chief. Too bad it has to be Romney.

Cicero43 on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Obama has picknicks to coordinate.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Good move – keep up the attacks

gophergirl on June 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Ed, any plans to rewrite your last post since its premised on a question that wasn’t actually asked in the Rasmussen poll?

steebo77 on June 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

This morning’s economic briefing: “Yes, Mr. President, we project that outlawing ATMs will bring employment levels almost to what they were during the Bush Administration.”

Cicero43 on June 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Why bother? He proved it was over his head when he started talking about “profits and earnings ratios.”

flyfisher on June 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

The coming months of political life are not going to be pleasant for Obama. Possessed by a self-perceived palatine mindset, that in his mind places him above criticism, how long before he cracks in public? Can America risk a man with a documented track record of lying and misrepresenting truth as a basic way of life, who is becoming increasingly more contumelious?

This was a great article by a man who should run for president.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Romney the RINO speaks…

Underwhelming!

Roy Rogers on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I don’t like Mitt all that much either but if he is the nominee, will you vote for him over Obama?

jawkneemusic on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Obama’s up to something…

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Good attack Mitt – where have you been for 2 years?

Oh yeh – not running for POTUS then – I get it.

jake-the-goose on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

His transparency is one of many problems Me-Too-Mitt will have to overcome.

SKYFOX on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Michelle Antoinette did tell everyone that her husband was more intelligent than all his advisers combined; why would President Mensa want to listen to the prattle of a bunch of dolts every single day? Good for him.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Asked about the disappearing act, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters last week that the in-person economic briefing “happens occasionally, it doesn’t happen all the time.”

They happen in the hallway sometimes as Comrade Zero is on his way out to the golf course.

Cicero43 on June 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

It’s almost as if Obama quit trying.
If he ever tried at all, that is.

carbon_footprint on June 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

This could be a big problem for Obama if he starts appearing to be disengaged.

Starts? He’s looked that way for a long time.

Can’t blame him for blowing off the daily economic reports, though. Daily bad news is difficult enough, all the more so when he’s the one behind it.

iurockhead on June 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

It’s almost as if Obama quit trying.
If he ever tried at all, that is.

When he finally realized he couldn’t talk a problem away, his arsenal was empty. Fore!

Cicero43 on June 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I’m glad to see someone taking it to the Manchild-In-Chief. Too bad it has to be Romney.

Cicero43 on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Calling him out on such a relatively nickle-dime issue as whether he gets a daily briefing on something he’s clearly clueless about anyway is hardly “taking it to him.”

When’s he going to take it to 0bama over government run health care?

Oh, wait…..

CurtZHP on June 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Where is the who will manage the economy better Romney or obama poll.

tomas on June 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

This was a great article by a man who should run for president.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I admit I had to look up “contumelious”, but it describes Obama’s attitude precisely.

SKYFOX on June 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

This could be a big problem for Obama if he starts appearing to be disengaged.

“Starts”? Honestly, you folks at HA produce some real belly laughs.

rrpjr on June 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Good thing Mittens is attacking Obama on the economy. Because he has no credibility on health care and energy unfortunately.

Doughboy on June 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Obama likes the Euro-weenie unemployment.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Gutsy.

oh wait, this is Romney, right….need a different word..hmm

ted c on June 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Michelle Antoinette did tell everyone that her husband was more intelligent than all his advisers combined; why would President Mensa want to listen to the prattle of a bunch of dolts every single day? Good for him.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Not only that (BO is smarter than everyone else), but he reads every single note and briefs. So he is much more and much better informed than everyone else, too.

Sir Napsalot on June 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

“Reading a memo once a day doesn’t exactly depict an engaged executive…”

Like he actually reads the memo…

… More like he holds it up for the photo-op, then crumples it up and tosses it whilst adjourning to the links.

Seven Percent Solution on June 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

For Obama, it’s not a briefing. It’s a progress report.

poorrichardsnews on June 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Mitt lands another good solid punch. Gotta credit him for that.

Perry 2012.

petefrt on June 16, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Michelle Mooch-Hell Antoinette did tell everyone that her husband was more intelligent than all his advisers combined; why would President Mensa want to listen to the prattle of a bunch of dolts every single day? Good for him.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Any attack on Obama is a good attack.

Go MittCo Go!

portlandon on June 16, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Will I vote for Romney if he’s the nominee?

Absolutely.

Troika37 on June 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

President Mensa want to listen to the prattle of a bunch of dolts every single day? Good for him.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

President Mensa.

Heh.

catmman on June 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

To be fair, those daily briefings really get in the way of an early tee time.

catmman on June 16, 2011 at 4:42 PM

I think Mitt is a bit progressive for a republican, but if he is chosen in the primary, I will happily vote for him and tell others to follow suit, as I did with McCain.

carbon_footprint on June 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

More Please! One a day from each GOP contender would be a good start.

txmomof6 on June 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

It is not every day that Cloward, Piven and Sooros can find time to direct their attention to the Won. There are many fires to be started and so little time.

fourdeucer on June 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

This was a great article by a man who should run for president.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

The following comments about the above article were overheard at the WH:

FLOTUS: “As if!”

POTUS: “Whatev.”

GrannyDee on June 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Why would Obama want daily briefings on a subject he doesn’t understand?

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2011 at 4:56 PM

What is worse than welfare day at WalMart on the 16th of the month?

NOTHING!

…………..

Totally filled with welfare swipe cards (with the American Flag) buying steaks, shrimp and pure butter. Must be nice!

I miss those days.

In the interim, I’ll keep paying taxes so that these people can eat what they like; I’ll have the beans and franks, thanks.

Key West Reader on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

This could be a big problem for Obama if he starts appearing to be disengaged.

STARTS to appear disengaged?!?

Vyce on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Agressive? It’s a flippin’ love tap!

Romney should be blasting Obama for trying to destroy the Constitution with the mandate, wipe out the private health care industry and draw 17% of the economy into the government — but then again, Mitt actually agrees with most of that.

Mitt is the wrong guy for the job. He is so vulnerable on his positions.

Aardvark on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Isn’t the reason obvious, -nearly his entire economic team has quit. They are likely fearful for their careers if their names are any longer associated with this idiot president.

slickwillie2001 on June 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I can understand why Obama wouldn’t want the briefing.

All that depressing news about how, despite his best efforts, an economy still existed… it was probably enough of a distraction to make him lose three or four strokes from his golf game.

malclave on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

For the record, I will not vote for Romney as President in 2012 if he receives the nomination. To me, he is not a conservative, and I will not vote for anything but a conservative.

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Okay….get ready for the cries of “RACIST” real soon.

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

For the record, I will not vote for Romney as President in 2012 if he receives the nomination. To me, he is not a conservative, and I will not vote for anything but a conservative.

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

No worries. There aren’t that many of you. You guys make so much noise it only appears that you will make a difference.

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Hey! Give Barry a break! Dropping one or two briefings a day gives him more time to work on his golf game!

Priorities!

At least going golfing keeps him out of Air Force One.

GarandFan on June 16, 2011 at 5:27 PM

The following comments about the above article were overheard at the WH:

FLOTUS: “As if!”

POTUS: “Whatev.”

GrannyDee on June 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

I’d add: “Uncle Tom!”

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM

This was a great article by a man who should run for president.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

From the article….

The Obamas behave as if they were sharecroppers living in a trailer and hit the Powerball, but instead of getting new tires for their trailer and a new pickup truck, they moved to Washington. And instead of making possum pie, with goats and chickens in the front yard, they’re spending and living large at taxpayer expense…..

Expensive, ill-fitting and ill-chosen wigs and fashions hardly befit the first lady of the United States

That was brutal!

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I love Romney when he is a conservative…but that is not often enough.
I love Romney when he attacks the dems…but that is not often enough.
I love Romney when he campaigns…but that is too often.

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:35 PM

For the record, I will not vote for Romney as President in 2012 if he receives the nomination. To me, he is not a conservative, and I will not vote for anything but a conservative.

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I’m not a fan of Romney, either, but I’ll vote for him if I have to. Imagine a Supreme Court with 5/4 lefty activists. Avoiding that nightmare is reason enough to crawl to the polls.

Aardvark on June 16, 2011 at 5:35 PM

How can he be on top of things, and engaged, when his strategy is to destroy, not build, repair and mend?

capejasmine on June 16, 2011 at 5:36 PM

No worries. There aren’t that many of you. You guys make so much noise it only appears that you will make a difference.

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Well, those “not many of you” seem to show up at election time and not vote for Romney.
If Romney was trustworthy, if we could rely on him actually being a conservative, than things would be different…but he isn’t, and that along with not being able to “close” the deal, after record spending of campaign money…he is a loser in the arena of national politics.
He should stick with what his dad taught him, state level politics, and our financial friends will get you a good state political hack job.

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:39 PM

How much of Mitts fighting stance, has to do with a woman doing it better the other night?

capejasmine on June 16, 2011 at 5:42 PM

For the record, I will not vote for Romney as President in 2012 if he receives the nomination. To me, he is not a conservative, and I will not vote for anything but a conservative.

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

So you would rather have Obama, than to have even a RINO?
Another 4 years of Obama and no conservative may be able to put the country back.
That’s like the people who say, “If I can’t have a boy, we will abort”…it just doesn’t make sense.
It’s either what you consider a “conservative” or Obama, how weird is that?
For me, Romney is not my first choice, but so much better than Obama or any other dem…not even close, not even a hesitation.
I have learned, I don’t get everything I want in life…

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

How much of Mitts fighting stance, has to do with a woman doing it better the other night?

capejasmine on June 16, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Ooooooh! Excellent point, is he feeling a little heat from a real conservative?

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Well, those “not many of you” seem to show up at election time and not vote for Romney.

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I think you are over estimating their numbers. The polling indicates that most GOP and Tea Party will go for Romney. Romney 80%. Palin 77%. 73% say beating Obama is more important than ideological purity.

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

right2bright: I prefer a liberal-who-acts-like-a-liberal over a liberal-who-acts-like-a-conservative.

You apparently feel that there is much more of a difference between Romney and 90% of the GOP, on one hand, and Obama, on the other, than I do.

I learned the hard way in the aftermath of the November elections last year that the GOP could not be trusted. Until and unless they do something that regains my respect and trust, I will not vote for any of their candidates.

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Scott H on June 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

OK, then you might as well vote for obama! Just think of 4 more years of no jobs, wars all over the world, turning our country into a socialist/communist haven, our guns taken away and the supreme court having 5 or 6 socialist/communists on it. You are just great!
I want to vote for Rubio/West, but I will proudly vote for Romney, if he is the nominee because our country will not be around in 4 more years with obama!

Bambi on June 16, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Romney the RINO speaks…

Underwhelming!

Roy Rogers on June 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

..oh good grief! He’s been doing this since he announced (and before). Cynical and sarcastic digs about RonmneyCare and other stuff aside, this is how you take down Obama: point out what a piece of crap president his is.

So maybe Romney won’t win the nomination; at least he’s setting the tone for the campaign. All I hear the nutless Pawlenty do is mumble “ObamneyCare” before the debate, run like the wind when given an opportunity to say it to Romneys face, and then tweet it again when he is out of gun range.

Now, that’s underwhelming.

The War Planner on June 16, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I think you are over estimating their numbers. The polling indicates that most GOP and Tea Party will go for Romney. Romney 80%. Palin 77%. 73% say beating Obama is more important than ideological purity.

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

..exactly!

The War Planner on June 16, 2011 at 6:58 PM

So you would rather have Obama, than to have even a RINO? Another 4 years of Obama and no conservative may be able to put the country back.

For me, Romney is not my first choice, but so much better than Obama or any other dem…not even close, not even a hesitation. I have learned, I don’t get everything I want in life…

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

..oh, leave Scott alone. People like him will grumble and grumble about Romney or Pawlenty or Perry and — unless the nominee is exactly down to their dead-ballz accurate conservative specs, — they’ll make some stupid-assed sacrificial “take my ball and go home” write-in vote and saddle us with The Chicago Jesus for four more years.

And then — on cue on November 7th, 1012 — they’ll show up hear and start pissign and moaning about how the country is going to hell in a bucket because Obama was elected.

The War Planner on June 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM

–er– 2012.

The War Planner on June 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Mittens hardest hit !!!

Ogabe on June 16, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Attack, attack, always attack!

Obama should be on a political dumking stool and everyone should be aiming to sink him in his own spewing ordure.

profitsbeard on June 16, 2011 at 8:38 PM

right2bright on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Thank you for making the point. I am so tired of “conservatives” who say I won’t vote for a middle of the road Republican. Well Scott H, you only have two choices – – it may be Romney (a middle of the roader) or Obama. If you are so wrapped up in your little world that you would allow Obama to be re-elected, then we don’t need you. Go back to that dustbin of mediocrity you came from.

outnumberedinparadise on June 16, 2011 at 8:39 PM