Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:01 am on June 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It turns out that Barack Obama made more than one economic howler at last Friday’s press conference.  At the same time he assured Americans that  “the private sector is doing fine,” the President tried to shift blame for any suggestion that it wasn’t onto both George Bush and the EU:

Concern that Europe’s economic problems could slow down and even reverse a U.S. recovery has now seemingly spread to the White House, where Obama already faces a tough re-election bid against Republican Mitt Romney.

“Right now, one concern is Europe, which faces a threat of renewed recession as countries deal with a financial crisis,” Obama said at his Friday news conference on the economy. “Obviously this matters to us because Europe is our largest economic trading partner.”

First, “Europe” isn’t a trading partner at all.  The EU isn’t a trading partner at all; its member states are individual trading partners.  Some European nations aren’t part of the euro currency, although they belong to the EU; the UK falls into that category, and the UKis our sixth-largest trading partner.

Does the Eurozone, compiled together, make our largest trading partner?  According to the Census Bureau … nope.  Data at the end of 2011 showed Canada, China, and Mexico as our top three trading partners in goods (the only data tracked by Census), accounting for 42.3% of all foreign trade.  Japan adds another 5.3% in fourth place to bring the total to 47.8% before we even get to our first European trading partner, Germany, with 4.0% in fifth place, and the UK with 2.7%.  They’re followed by seventh-place South Korea (2.7%) and eighth-place Brazil (2.0%), which brings us to 52.5% with nary a European sale taking place.  France comes in ninth at 1.8% and the Netherlands 11th at 1.8%, but the rest of the top 15 trading partners are outside the Eurozone.

Of the top 15 trading partners in 2011, Eurozone nations accounted for 10.3% of our total foreign trade.  Non-Eurozone nations in the top 15 accounted for 60.5% of our total foreign trade.  The Eurozone is indisputably important for the American economy, but it’s not our largest foreign trading “partner,” even in the composite.  Put together, they don’t even surpass Canada alone, let alone the combined North American Free Trade sector (28.7%).  Isn’t that something an American President should know?

Update: I’ll expect a little pushback on this along the line of “you didn’t include services, which is a significant part of foreign trade.”   That’s true, but it’s not significant enough to change these breakdowns to make the Eurozone our most significant trading arena.  Services including travel, licensing fees, and so on.  In the April report for the trade deficit, overall trade for the month came to $415.9 billion, of which services contributed $89.7 billion.  That’s only 21.6% of overall trade — hardly enough to move the needle, even if one assumes that we don’t do any service trading in Canada, China, and Mexico.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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He was supposed to be competent.

franciscodanconia on June 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Isn’t that something an American President should know?

D’oh!

quick, who can i blame this on?

cmsinaz on June 14, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Ed, this requires knowledge of both geography and math. Both are hard. What do you expect?

JimK on June 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Details, details. He’s more of a big picture kind of guy./

talkingpoints on June 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Dear Leader can’t be expected to be concerned with little things like details, facts, or anything remotely resembling the truth.

meci on June 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Hey economics and facts are difficult things. Especially, when both can not be spun to your favor. To may people are under the delusion that Obama has any kind of clue while using a TelePrompter or not.

EliTheBean on June 14, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Good catch Ed. I wondered when I heard him say that as well, and I wish Romney’s crew had incorporated that into their ‘out of touch’ spots, because it’s obvious to everyone here that BOs grasp of geography is second only to his financial skillz.

CitizenEgg on June 14, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Don’t know if it’s something a president would actually know off the top of their coke addled head, but it’s definitely something someone in their administration should know.

Sadly, the august klown kollidge that is the king putt (mis)administration has no idea about puny facts like this, for they are concentrating on the mega narrative of lil’ choomie’s fabled dreaminess.

As ever and yet again, ohblahblah FAIL.

GrassMudHorsey on June 14, 2012 at 8:11 AM

What is the real issue if the euro or EU stumbles is the money lent from US banks.

EliTheBean on June 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Isn’t that something an American President should know?

But in his case, he doesn’t CARE about facts. In spite of going to Columbia and Harvard (or perhaps because of!) he has the left wing notion that facts are what we want them to be. And that is the biggest Obamateurism of all.

radjah shelduck on June 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM

He was supposed to be competent.

franciscodanconia on June 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM

………….and the 52% that voted for the (insert noun here), were too.

Rovin on June 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Isn’t that something an American President should know?

Nah, he has Jay Carney to handle that, and to handle the fall-out when his teleprompter tells him to say stupid things.

DuctTapeMyBrain on June 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM

I’m sure the MSM will be quick to correct this misinformation.

forest on June 14, 2012 at 8:13 AM

He misspoke. TOTUS’s fault!

Never, ever let them see you accept ownership of your words and actions — Liberal mantra.

ProfShadow on June 14, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Obama has the intellectual depth of the last puddle of pee my puppy left on the floor. Can’t wait to hear the howlers coming from him in his big speech today.

Naturally Curly on June 14, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Isn’t that something an American President should know?

.
Ignorance of this breadth and depth in a Republican president would have Democrats deriding him hourly with the LSM reporting the derision 24/7 every 15 minutes. I’m sure the media will get their groove back on January 21, 2013, though.
.

ExpressoBold on June 14, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Facts are irrelevant. Just say whatever will sound best.

sammypants on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Here’s the talking points, for all you lap-dog journalists out there.

He’s so smart, this stuff bores him to tears.

Once a person becomes bored to tears, mistakes are inevitable.

See? That explains everything!

listens2glenn on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

….SCOAMF…….

t on June 14, 2012 at 8:17 AM

3.5 years and this is what Hope and Change looks like?

Obama is toast.

Electrongod on June 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM

He was supposed to be competent.

franciscodanconia on June 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Clean and articulate isn’t enough for you? The ability to slow jam the news isn’t sufficient? Being able to hold his own when dancing on Ellen’s show doesn’t count for anything?

You really expect the President to know facts and figures? Yeah, me too. Obama is a disgrace to this nation.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

See? That explains everything!

listens2glenn on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Except how this jug-eared Kenyan got elected in the first place.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Can’t wait to hear the howlers coming from him in his big speech today.

Naturally Curly on June 14, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Which is only occurring because he did such a bad job last Friday. Here’s hoping for yet another gaffe.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

First, “Europe” isn’t a trading partner at all.

oh…? Next you’ll tell me that Africa isn’t a country/

ted c on June 14, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Yep. Any Republican president would be accused of thinking that Europe was a country after a statement like that. Media specializes in oppo research after all, so why waste ammo on friendly fire against the Dems?

CitizenEgg on June 14, 2012 at 8:28 AM

“It’s embarrassing…”

What a poseur!

AubieJon on June 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Pizzing off our top trading partners 3 countries at a time. Priceless.

Kissmygrits on June 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM

It’s George W Bush’s fault that he doesn’t know that.

The Rogue Tomato on June 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM

That doofus is such a fraud. His presidency is a sad commentary on the media and on our politics in general.

mr.blacksheep on June 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM

It took me almost four years to realize, they elected Homer Simpson as president of the USA …

angrymike on June 14, 2012 at 8:31 AM

In the words of the most guilty; I confess–he did it!

Or, as in the case of the first man to fall: Lord, it was that woman YOU made. (Who know that it was Bush that picked that ole apple after all??)

Don L on June 14, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Can’t wait to hear the howlers coming from him in his big speech today.

Naturally Curly on June 14, 2012 at 8:14 AM

I usually don’t listen to him speak because his voice pattern and the way he hisses annoy the hell out of me, but this one I want to watch. Yep, I’m sure we’ll hear some doozeys out of him today.

Ed, I do hope HA will have an open thread for the occasion.

Flora Duh on June 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Facts are irrelevant. Just say whatever will sound best.

sammypants on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Admit it, your life would be so much easier if nobody ever held you to account for anything, right? It’s good to be the king.

SKYFOX on June 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

He’s just throwing it out there now hoping some of it sticks.His arm will be thrown out by September.

docflash on June 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

We need more “composites” to ponder and emulate. Maybe a half hour, prime time spot re: the “Life of Julia”.

/s

franciscodanconia on June 14, 2012 at 8:34 AM

What I will say, though, is that King Cannot is a textbook example of a “progressive”; in fact, to them he’s some sort of god, striding across the tingle in your leg.

So now it should be plainly revealed to all just what the intellectual and moral content of that sad throwback to 19th century economics, progressivism, actually is.

mr.blacksheep on June 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

And Sarah Palin was slammed mercilessly for – among other things – supposedly thinking Africa is a country. That for the Austrian-speaking citizens of the 58 states (everyone always says 57, but listen to him again – he said they had been to 57 states and had one more to go).

PJ Emeritus on June 14, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Since 2008 Obama has been arguing that capitalism, free enterprise, and free markets do not work and are “what got us into this mess”, though he doesn’t put it that explicitly, referring instead to the economic policies of “the last 30 years” — that is, the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years.

In the last year he has stepped up his socialist rhetoric to include class warfare and class envy elements, along with more specific attacks on the “rich”, banks, and private investment firms (Bain).

Now he’s pointing to the most socialist “democratic” republics on the planet, the countries of Western and Central Europe whose big government socialism he wants to emulate, and claiming their economic mess is also the source of our problems.

President “It’s Not My Fault” blames everyone else for our economic problems, ducks all personal responsibility, and makes a no logically consistent sense.

farsighted on June 14, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Clean and articulate isn’t enough for you? The ability to slow jam the news isn’t sufficient? Being able to hold his own when dancing on Ellen’s show doesn’t count for anything?

You really expect the President to know facts and figures? Yeah, me too. Obama is a disgrace to this nation.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Don’t forget–he also knows how to sing.

ABO2012

herm2416 on June 14, 2012 at 8:41 AM

This is an intentional lie, not a mistake or ignorance. Another crude, inaccurate set-up to blame something else for Obama’s failures.

But if they want to go down this road we can talk about why Europe is failing: unsustainable entitlements and with Spain in particular, idiotic “green technology investments”.

forest on June 14, 2012 at 8:43 AM

There’s no way he goes off script today. And that speech has been triple checked.

Unless everyone over there is incompetent.

taternuggets on June 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

What I will say, though, is that King Cannot is a textbook example of a “progressive”; in fact, to them he’s some sort of god, striding across the tingle in your leg.

So now it should be plainly revealed to all just what the intellectual and moral content of that sad throwback to 19th century economics, progressivism, actually is.

mr.blacksheep on June 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Many of them have lost the tingle. I was at Firedoglake the other day. 99% of the commenters were ripping him a new one.

Why?

Because they don’t think he’s progressive enough and has reneged on every progressive promise he made in 2008.

According to them, he may as well come clean, admit he’s a Republican, and officially switch parties.

I. Kid. You. Not.

Flora Duh on June 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

See? That explains everything!

listens2glenn on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

.
Except how this jug-eared Kenyan got elected in the first place.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM

.
Combination of “white guilt” and George Soros.

Also, the fact that Obama was relatively unknown to most Americans four years ago.

listens2glenn on June 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

He was a Harvard Professor, you know.

It’s amazing that the US managed to elect someone of such extraordinary intelligence.

CorporatePiggy on June 14, 2012 at 8:46 AM

President “It’s Not My Fault” blames everyone else for our economic problems, ducks all personal responsibility, and makes a no logically consistent sense.

farsighted on June 14, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Men hold themselves accountable and Barry is no man. Leaders don’t blame shift and Barry is no leader. Presidents don’t “inherit” anything, they hold an office and deal with the problems that come with that role, and Barry is a PINO.

Happy Nomad on June 14, 2012 at 8:46 AM

more bull manure from mr smart power
and yet he can jet off for three fundraisers today alone
wtf does this guy do except spend us into oblivion
NOVOTE4obama never evah!

p.s. obama has his enemies list

the people who contribute to obama should be on a list so future historians can point fingers to those who helped destroy America.

losarkos on June 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Unless everyone over there is incompetent.

taternuggets on June 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I wouldn’t rule that out.

The Rogue Tomato on June 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

My posts are irrelevant. Just saying whatever will pop into my little leftist head.

sammypants on June 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Come again?

MNHawk on June 14, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Dan Henninger has a great column in today’s WSJ on this topic:

Would Harry Truman Blame Paris?

Drained Brain on June 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Canada? Mexico? China? Guys, these are TINY countries…

Spiders from Mars on June 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

“Guys, can’t I just bogart this doobie?”

St Gaudens on June 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Europe must be punching above their weight.

Schwalbe Me-262 on June 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Many of them have lost the tingle. I was at Firedoglake the other day. 99% of the commenters were ripping him a new one.

Why?

Because they don’t think he’s progressive enough and has reneged on every progressive promise he made in 2008.

According to them, he may as well come clean, admit he’s a Republican, and officially switch parties.

I. Kid. You. Not.

So they’re admitting their stupidity in supporting him in the first place, I guess. A little research was all it took in 2008 to reveal Harrison J. Bounel a lightweight, poseur and a fraud.

mr.blacksheep on June 14, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Obama “knows” everthing there is to know about bringing down the USofA. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know all the things that we know and understand. He isn’t one of us and we are interfering with the job at hand.

BetseyRoss on June 14, 2012 at 9:02 AM

He sounds like a little kid using big words to impress even though he has no idea what they mean. Pathetic.

Xyz22 on June 14, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Isn’t Maldives the largest trading partner? I hope he is not helping his kids with their homework.

Sticky Wicket on June 14, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Does the Eurozone, compiled together, make our largest trading partner? According to the Census Bureau … nope.

Not to rain on the parade, but according to the Census Bureau, when taken as an entire entity, the EU IS in fact our largest trading partner. Quote:

As a single economy, the EU is the largest trading partner of the US with $367.8 billion worth of EU goods going to the US and $268.6 billion of US goods going to the EU as of 2011, totaling approximately $636.4 billion in total trade.

rcpjr on June 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM

The Eurozone is indisputably important for the American economy, but it’s not our largest foreign trading “partner,” even in the composite. Put together, they don’t even surpass Canada alone, let alone the combined North American Free Trade sector (28.7%). Isn’t that something an American President should know?

And Obummer won’t even let us buy oil from our largest trading partner (Canada), so he can bow to Saudi kings and pay higher prices in the Middle East and Hugoland (aka Venezuela).

Steve Z on June 14, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Isn’t that something an American President should know?
D’oh!

quick, who can i blame this on?

cmsinaz on June 14, 2012 at 8:06 AM

…I’m waiting for a real journalist to write an article referring to JugEars as “The Blamer-in-Chief” in a column. Usually the media sees… how things trend…when will one of them start spanking him instead of putting diapers on him?

KOOLAID2 on June 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

European headwinds.

Kraken on June 14, 2012 at 9:40 AM

The big issue here is just that the blame game is wearing thin – it isn’t very presidential – it never was – nor is it very adult. He is acting like a spoiled child – which when you consider how he has moved ahead in his life isn’t a bad comparison.

5 months until the whiner in chief can go back to his sandbox and play by himself.

Zomcon JEM on June 14, 2012 at 9:44 AM

First, “Europe” isn’t a trading partner at all. The EU isn’t a trading partner at all; its member states are individual trading partners.

But, but, Obama IS highly qualified for the Presidency and he’s, he’s, uhh, he’s SMART!

/ hapless Liberal.

Lourdes on June 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM

…it isn’t very presidential – it never was – nor is it very adult. He is acting like a spoiled child – which when you consider how he has moved ahead in his life isn’t a bad comparison.

5 months until the whiner in chief can go back to his sandbox and play by himself.

Zomcon JEM on June 14, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Obama’s BIZZY, man! He’s really bizzy, he’s got that online Father’s Day card he’s trying to get total strangers to sign and sign nowwwww! He’s BIZZY!

/SARCASM.

Lourdes on June 14, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Can’t wait to hear the howlers coming from him in his big speech today.

Naturally Curly on June 14, 2012 at 8:14 AM

I usually don’t listen to him speak because his voice pattern and the way he hisses annoy the hell out of me, but this one I want to watch. Yep, I’m sure we’ll hear some doozeys out of him today.

Ed, I do hope HA will have an open thread for the occasion.

Flora Duh on June 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

What Flora Duh said, all of that, DITTO.

Lourdes on June 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM

“Facts” are what Barry says they are.

GarandFan on June 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Equally Obamateurish is that he’s blaming looming problems in Europe while pursuing many of the same Utopian policies which put Europe in this mess.

Buy Danish on June 14, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Math is hard, science is harder and research is hardest of all.

chemman on June 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM

And Sarah Palin was slammed mercilessly for – among other things – supposedly thinking Africa is a country. That for the Austrian-speaking citizens of the 58 states (everyone always says 57, but listen to him again – he said they had been to 57 states and had one more to go).

PJ Emeritus on June 14, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Listen to the rest of what he says…..that his staff wouldn’t let him go to Alaska and Hawaii.
Which brings us up to 60 (sixty) states.

We’re gonna have to get a bigger flag.

//

Solaratov on June 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Ignoramus in Chief.

It is a good thing that Juan Williams and other “real” reporters aren’t doing any more fact-checking than they were four years ago, or slinging this BS would be a lot more difficult for Preezie Choombro.

novaculus on June 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Dear Barack,
As President of the USA (for another couple of months) you should know that the USA is in enough dodo that you should be concentrating on the USA instead of other countries. Let them work out their own problems while a real president works out those of the USA.

Oh and stop funding Chinese abortions while you are at it. We need that money at home.

katablog.com on June 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Oh, and even if people present facts and figures, ignore them. I tell you it’s not the truth.

katablog.com on June 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM

the President tried to shift blame for any suggestion that it wasn’t onto both George Bush and the EU:

Bush

EU

obumbles needs some new material.

Tim_CA on June 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

“European socialism/communism is so wonderful, I want it, except I want to blame it too”

“Most intelligent president ever to be elected” heh…

Or, as this historian put it: “I wouldn’t bet the ranch on his getting reelected.”
“More than that, Obama might not have the place in history he so eagerly covets. Instead of ranking with FDR and Reagan and other giants, it seems more likely that he will be a case-study in presidential failure like Jimmy Carter.”

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Bet TOTUS got a whoppin’ after making Obama look bad.

jqc1970 on June 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

“Let’s get real here,” McCain told The Hill. “There was never any outreach from President Obama or anyone in his administration to me.”

McCain disputes the notion that he has rejected entreaties to cooperate with the White House because he is bitter from his defeat four years ago.

So much for that get people in a room crap.

J_Crater on June 14, 2012 at 6:17 PM