Maryland governor flip-flops on ‘better off’ question … in 24 hours

posted at 9:31 am on September 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

What a difference a day makes … twenty-four little hours …  Why, just yesterday all was doom and gloom for Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, who admitted to Bob Schieffer yesterday that he couldn’t say that people are better off now than four years ago, although he rushed to add, “but that’s not the question for this election”:

One day later — and presumably, one Cory Booker-esque call from Team Obama — suddenly the world looks a lot rosier to Governor O’Malley:

A day after saying, no, the country was not better off than it was four years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reversed course on Monday and said, yes, indeed it was.

“We are clearly better of as a country because we’re now creating jobs rathare than losing them,” O’Malley, a Democrat, said on CNN’s Starting Point. “But we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward.”

He then motioned to a panel that included Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, among others. “Is there anyone on this panel that thinks we’ve recovered all we lost in the Bush recession? Clearly we’re moving forward, we’re creating jobs, unemployment is down, job creation is up. And that job creation would not happen without the president’s leadership.”

That is, of course, an absurd point.  Some jobs were going to be created regardless of government policy; even the Christine Romer rationale for Obama’s stimulus package acknowledged that in its now-notorious chart. This, by the way, is the latest iteration of what impact Obama’s stimulus actually had against the prediction without the stimulus:

Since the June 2009 recovery, we’ve added less than 66,000 jobs a month on average, about half of what’s needed just to keep up with population growth. That’s why the civilian population participation rate has dropped since June 2009 from 65.7% to 63.7% and hit a 30-year low in April at 63.6%.

Not even O’Malley can actually believe that spin, which is why his initial unguarded answer was a more accurate “no.”  But as National Journal reports, Democrats are now desperately trying damage control over their fumbles yesterday on the “better off” question:

With their national convention starting this week, Democrats took to morning television on Monday to better answer a question that many struggled with on Sunday’s talk shows: is the country better off four years after President Obama took office.

With a definitive “absolutely,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the country was moving in the right direction by pointing to job growth and the auto industry.

“By any measure the country has moved forward over the last four years,” she said on NBC’s Today. “It might not be as fast as people hoped. The president agrees with that. He knows we need to do more. That’s what this week is about, laying out a road map of how we can continue this progress, how we can continue moving the country forward.”

Cutter then placed blame on Congressional Republicans for not moving on Democratic jobs proposals, saying the GOP has not cooperated with Democrats to promote economic growth. She also said the situation left by President George W. Bush was a grave one.

Actually, it’s the Democratic Senate that’s not moving on jobs bills from the Republican House — and it was a fully Democratic Congress that ignored job stagnation for nearly two years to pass ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. That’s the point made by the RNC in a new 60-second spot, one that shows Barack Obama saying the same thing over and over again, and asking the “better off” question once again:


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Let’s see what the employment and economic numbers are when they are released later this week (after the DNC convention). The early buzz is they are not good. Even if they remain stable, that is still not good. Malaise.

Philly on September 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Omalley got Booker-ed. That’ll teach him to NEVER to tell the TRUTH !

TeaPartyNation on September 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Two words that’ll sink O’Malleys POTUS run: Sade Baderinwa

ManWithNoName on September 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

FANTASTIC Spot.

More Please.

Tim_CA on September 3, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Maybe he got a conference call from Little Debbie, Pelozilla and Baghdad Barbie, all three telling him in no uncertain terms that he BETTER break into a rousing chorus of “THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT, WE GOTTA WEAR SHADES!” if he knows what’s good for him.

pilamaye on September 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I concur. And that’s scary.

EL on September 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM

So if he thinks we are better off now, is that George Bush’s fault, too?

albill on September 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM

This RNC ad is very powerful… It shows that the welfare queens agitator is nothing but reading the same tired speeches and empty rhetoric… This utter fool is running in 2012 as if he has not been a President for the last 44 months… Folks, the majority of voters clearly realize the shocking incompetence of this man and on November 6 2012 they are going to utterly defeat him…

mnjg on September 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Whether you are looking at the Unemployment Rate or the Employment-Population Ratio, the inconvenient truth is:

The worst month under Bush was better than the best month under Obama!

And…

Obama is officially worse than Carter!

Higher unemployment and lower employment is worse than lower unemployment and higher employment.

By either measure, Obama is doing worse than George W. Bush, worse than Bill Clinton, worse than George H. W. Bush, worse than Ronald Reagan, and even worse than Jimmy Carter.

When Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid in November 1980, the unemployment rate was 7.5%, and the Employment-population ratio was 58.9%.

When Obama became part of the majority party in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2007, the December 2006 unemployment rate was 4.4%, and the Employment-population ratio was 63.4%.

Democrats, who held majority control of the House and Senate in 2007 and 2008, drove the economy into the ditch, and by the time Obama was sworn in as President on January 20, 2009, the December 2008 unemployment rate was 7.3%, and the Employment-population ratio was 61.0%.

In July 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.3%, and the Employment-population ratio was 58.4%.

Repeating for emphasis…
When Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid in November 1980, the unemployment rate was 7.5%, and the Employment-population ratio was 58.9%.

Employment is now lower, and unemployment higher, than when Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid.

Obama is worse than Carter.

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Ah the Cory Booker memorial woodshed works its wonders again. But O’Malley isn’t really a true test: he’d say anything to become President in 2016. We here in MD understand that’s his goal and we will work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen!

Christian Conservative on September 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

If you look at the chart at the upper right, note the labor participation rate note. If Obowma has as many employed under GW Bush as now, the unemployment would be 11%.

Only in the world of Obowma is 120% HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT at 11%, better than under Bush at 5% which was the 8 year average under Bush, considered a success.

Obowma simply dropped out those jobs from the overall job pool.

dthorny on September 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

2007 also had the minimum wage increase resulting in a recession, which happens every time the national minimum wage is increased. You combine that with a democrat congress spending at record levels, higher than every year prior under Bush, followed by the 1.2 trillion dollar deficits for the next 5 years, add the housing crisis democrats forced on lenders to make loans to those who couldn’t pay them and an economic illiterate as president which places us on the verge of bankruptcy.

dthorny on September 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Last 6 Presidents ranked by Employment-Population ratio:

63.4% Clinton Presidency (January 1993 – December 2000)
62.7% G.W.Bush Presidency (January 2001 – December 2008)
62.2% G.H.W.Bush Presidency (January 1989 – December 1992)
59.9% Reagan Presidency (January 1981 – December 1988)
59.1% Carter Presidency (January 1977- December 1980)
58.7% Obama Presidency (January 2009 – July 2012)

(To get these numbers, take the Employment-Population ratio data from 1977 to present, use Microsoft Excel to average the monthly numbers for each Presidency, and then sort them.)

Obama is officially worse than Carter.

And the July 2012 numbers, at 58.4, were three-tenths of a point below Obama’s average. Obama has not been above his average since August 2009.

Each and every month of the Obama Presidency has “featured” an Employment-Population ratio that was lower than it ever was under President George W. Bush. The worst month under Bush was better than the best month under Obama.

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

2007 also had the minimum wage increase resulting in a recession, which happens every time the national minimum wage is increased. You combine that with a democrat congress spending at record levels, higher than every year prior under Bush, followed by the 1.2 trillion dollar deficits for the next 5 years, add the housing crisis democrats forced on lenders to make loans to those who couldn’t pay them and an economic illiterate as president which places us on the verge of bankruptcy.

dthorny on September 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Thank you for adding that. It is an inconvenient truth that raising the minimum wage actually HURTS minimum wage workers, not helps them, because many of them end up unemployed. Why not raise the minimum wage to $1,000 per hour? Wouldn’t that just be awesome for workers? No, of course not, because no one who wasn’t worth more than $1,000 per hour to their employer would be employed at that pay rate!

And the Democrats absolutely caused the housing crisis, while Republicans were trying to increase regulation and oversight of Fannie and Freddie.

The Republicans tried for years to rein in Fannie & Freddie, while the Demonrats obstructed, said that there were not any “safety and soundness” issues, and falsely accused the Republicans of racism. (shocker!)

Watch Maxine Waters and other Democrats accuse Republicans of racism as the Republicans tried to increase regulation of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and Democrats covered up the corruption.

It was the Democrats who drove the economy into the ditch, including Senator Obama who was a Senator in the minority in 2005-6, a Senator in the majority 2007-8, and a top recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions.

It wasn’t the Bush Tax Cuts that tanked the economy. It was the Democrats’ reckless, irresponsible, and likely criminal handling of Fannie/Freddie the created the sub-prime mortgage crisis that tanked the economy. And his crony capitalist Stimulus made things WORSE, not better.

And let’s not forget that in early January 2009, Obama specifically asked President Bush to request the second half of the TARP money. Bush got all of the blame, but Obama got half of the TARP money.

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM

We will all be better off than we were four years ago, come election day. May this stain be removed from this great land.

Bmore on September 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Very, very credible!

Lonetown on September 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

“So, as the tides receed and the air cleans itself, I promise to keep my promises starting now. I believe in the concept of ‘do overs’ and second, third or even fourth chances. I also ask that you all not be so literal on the promises I make and realize that I have to promise things I have no intention of keeping in order to be elected. Just trust me…I got your back….no,no don’t turn around, just trust me.”

DWoDiego on September 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

We will all be better off than we were four years ago, come election day. May this stain be removed from this great land.
Bmore on September 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

You racist bastard. Stain = Obama = Black You pig. This party wants a return not to 1812 but to 500B.C.
/sarc

Btw, what’s with this old timey meme. Romney wants to take us back to the 1950s….villaraigrossa says 1812? Wtf?

adurb44 on September 3, 2012 at 12:34 PM

“We’ve heard it all before” is a great ad………but who will see it?

What happened to the $200 million or whatever it was in magic nomination money that Mitt was supposed to get?

Where is the movement in the polls people?

We can tweet pictures of empty chairs until we are blue in the face but what is the gop doing to change the numbers? No bounce from the convention?

If that’s the case then the media won, and America lost.

PappyD61 on September 3, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Martin O’Malley will never be President.

Bmore on September 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Omalley, Jerry Brown, Rahm Emmanuel, Villiagarosa, they are killing their cities and states……

…….and then……the FEDERAL government will have to move in and administer the states like they did GM and Chrysler.

It’s almost as if it was planned this way…..or sumthin.

PappyD61 on September 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I guess that description of the democrats as THE PARTY OF DEATH holds true not only for aborted babies and death panels for the seniors but also for America and its economic power.

Way to go TEATERS……you’re drinking the Federal sow dry.

TEATERNAMI!!!!

November 6th

PappyD61 on September 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Love it. Just posted it to FB so all my liberal friends cold enjoy it as well. *wink*

magicbeans on September 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Mr. Governor, someone from Chicago is on the phone; says “awfully nice family you got there – be a shame if anything happened to it…”

Midas on September 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

“What the Maryland governor says in 2012 about a Reagan-era catchphrase really matters,” says no one. Ever.

Americans don’t like Romney — and Ryan is a simple liar.

The GOP is on track to lose in November.

bifidis on September 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM

“What the Maryland governor says in 2012 about a Reagan-era catchphrase really matters,” says no one. Ever.

Americans don’t like Romney — and Ryan is a simple liar.

The GOP is on track to lose in November.

bifidis on September 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Hmm…STILL going on about the GM factory that has already been proven that it WAS still producing vehicles and open until April 2009? Libs just won’t give this up, will they?

Oh, and polls are showing that Romney broke through the Obama campaign rhetoric about who he is at the RNC, and are looking much more favorably upon him now…pretty much equal to your Messiah.

Highlar on September 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

True story- I once saw one martin o’malley crawling down the sidewalk. Drunk off his ass, spewing vulgarities at anyone and everyone. On his hands and knees, he crawled, drooling, escorted by MD state police, down the sidewalk of Fells Point MD.

I was there. He was piss your pants loaded. He couldn’t even stand or walk.

wolly4321 on September 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

CNN is reporting that O’Malley’s family has been released unharmed.

Mason on September 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

O’Malley and Biden……….

Separated at birth……..could be.

RealMc on September 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

“What the Maryland governor says in 2012 about a Reagan-era catchphrase really matters,” says no one. Ever.

Americans don’t like Romney — and Ryan is a simple liar.

The GOP is on track to lose in November.

bifidis on September 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Keep telling yourself that, precious. Eventually you might even believe it.

fitzfong on September 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

This thread is featured on Drudge, top/left.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

bifidis on September 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I love delusional leftists.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Someone must have sent O’Malley a dead horsehead over night.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Time to let the JEF go. It’s not working out Barry, so YOU’RE FIRED!

Robert Jensen on September 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Sure is getting crowded in the Democrat Woodshed ….

ProfShadow on September 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Aha – now we know the real reason ‘Dead Fish’ Rahm sent 50 of Chicago’s finest to Charlotte is to corral all wayward Dem’s back onto the reservation. That is what they meant when they said CPD’s officer’s will be ‘working perimeter security detail’ at the convention. O’Malley must have been ‘visited’ by the detail and brought back inside the ‘perimeter.’

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/crime-wave-50-chicago-police-dem-convention/story?id=17142595&nwltr=blotter_featureHed#.UEUHXMGubdJ

NeoDawg on September 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Another Democrat hostage video. Creepy.

OxyCon on September 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

Anyone care yo point out where things got better?

There’s a nice easy graph there; just point it out for me…

gekkobear on September 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I wonder what kind of threats were directed at him and his family? Maybe a horse head in his bed?

xmanvietnam on September 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

That ad needs its own thread.

mattshu on September 3, 2012 at 4:31 PM

This thread is featured on Drudge, top/left.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Permanently archived here:
http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2012/09/03/20120903_165946.htm

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

Anyone care yo point out where things got better?

There’s a nice easy graph there; just point it out for me…

gekkobear on September 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

The average under Obama (January 2009 to present) has been 58.7%.

Obama has been at or below his average for every month of the last three years.

Each and every month under Obama has been worse than each and every month under President George W. Bush.

We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, or even 3 or 2 years ago. There has been no recovery at all in the Employment-population ratio, and in July, Obama was BELOW the average level of his pResidency.

And oh, by the way, the average Employment-population ratio under Jimmy Carter was 59.1%…

Obama is officially worse than Carter!

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM

By the way, congratulations to Ed & HotAir on the addition of the post to RCP’s front page today. :)

22044 on September 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

And the Democrats, the Stupid Party, fell right into the trap!

Imagine you’re a Democrat voter out there who isn’t feeling too good because of the economy. Perhaps their home is underwater, or only one of their kids found a job out of college and the other moved back home, or the husband is now holding down two jobs just to make ends meet…and this voter hears:

You’re better off now than you were four years ago. Yes you are.

Huh? Are you sh*tting me?!?!?! How can I trust you for another four years if you don’t know what’s going on out here?!?!?

MaggiePoo on September 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

If you haven’t seen this ad….watch it now.

WE’ve heard it all before….

ted c on September 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

We are clearly better off as a country because we’re now creating jobs rather than losing them.

…NOW? Because its close to election day? What a crock of shitzola.

TX-96 on September 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM

good to see my governor strikes again. maybe he’ll put on his muscle shirt and sing a tune at the convention while telling us how much of a fiscal conservative he is.

what a putz

analog kid on September 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Omalley is a horrrible Gov. He has been one of the major reasons people in MD are much worse off. His tax increases have made MD one of the highest taxed states in the country.

triumphus04 on September 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Seems to me there must be enough data around now to demonstrate the effects of raising the minimum wage, nationally and state by state. Has anyone put together an rigorous analysis?

Count to 10 on September 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I pray for the safety of him and his family.

tomas on September 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

So if Obama gets to blame Congress and get away with it, does he agree that Bush can blame the 6 years when the Dems controlled Congress during his 8 year term?

txmomof6 on September 3, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Stephanie Cutter: “By any measure the country has moved forward over the last four years”

Measurements like net worth, average income, percentage of population working, debt? Thanks for some awesome out in the open lies that should make a wonderful GOP advertisement.

ray on September 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

At least Axlerod and Plouffe know deep down that if they say voters are better off, it is going to really piss off the 23 million unemployed. Stephanie Cutter has no clue or doesn’t care what those people think.

txmomof6 on September 3, 2012 at 8:29 PM

analog kid on September 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM

We are drowning in the same sorrows here in AA County.

We drove through very rural NC today and the Obama yard signs say:

Occupy the Vote
Re-elect Obama

It is interesting that this ‘Occupy theme’ still plays as a positive in the uninformed territory.

bettycooper on September 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Well, if you can’t trust the Governor of Maryland, who can you trust?

listens2glenn on September 3, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Occupy the Vote
Re-elect Obama

It is interesting that this ‘Occupy theme’ still plays as a positive in the uninformed territory.

bettycooper on September 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Perhaps it would be helpful if you showed this video of an Occupy rally in Oakland California to as many people in uninformed territory as possible, so they can see for themselves what the Occupy movement is all about.

The Socialist OWS mob invades Oakland, California: “Occupy Oakland”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuFQuEwJ5xI

If we elect people to office who believe in the Occupy movement, it will not end well.

wren on September 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Occupy the Vote
Re-elect Obama

It is interesting that this ‘Occupy theme’ still plays as a positive in the uninformed territory.

bettycooper on September 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Here is another video of the Occupy Oakland mob to share with people in uninformed territory.

THE OCCUPATION DEVOLUTION: Oakland Descends Into Anarchy And Chaos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwG4AuhOsrg

The video shows how quickly the Occupy mob turns to violence.

And yes, that is actor Danny Glover and filmmaker Michael Moore, that you see in the video with the Occupy mob.

wren on September 3, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Even with snorkeling sycophants they are in free fall. Good times.

ConservativeLA on September 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession.

It’s not “the Bush recession”, it’s the “Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Clinton recession”.

Bush ceased to be in the majority party, and Obama started his time in the majority party, on January 3, 2007, NOT January 20, 2009.

The Democrats inherited a GOOD economy when they took majority control of the House and Senate on January 3, 2007.

Democrats were in the driver’s seat when the economy as driven in to the ditch.

By several different metrics, the worst month under Bush was better than the best month under empty chair Obama.

ITguy on September 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM

I love what Tucker Carlson said on Cavuto’s show tonight regarding the quick filp by the governor…”We now know for sure that waterboarding works!”

Old Coach on September 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Another hostage video for the terrorist Obama administration?

Jaibones on September 4, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Nanzi, Dingy and Barkey, what a team…spending your money like drunkin’ Commies and borrowing on your children’s future from other communist countries to pay for their failed, ridiculously stupid and moronic utopian-commie vote-buying policies…
But hey, they “feel good” about their intentions…
F’in useless idiots…

Strike Hornet on September 4, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Is there another link? I kept on picking up an echo while watching the video.

Oh.

Never mind.

Shy Guy on September 4, 2012 at 5:34 AM

I have to give O’Malley credit for proving one democrat talking point: His raising taxes in Maryland has created a lot of jobs. Of course you could point out that those jobs are in Virginia being created by businesses fleeing Maryland, but pointing that out would make you a racist in Chris Matthews eyes.

It makes me wonder if the rising stars of the democrat party are truly rising, or if it only seems that way because the bar is being lowered.

a_feral_duck on September 4, 2012 at 8:47 AM

O’Malley should know. His state is in sh*t load of trouble. Businesses are jumping ship to VA. Illegal aliens are moving in in droves. Montgomery County is paying for so many illegals, it can’t afford to fill its pot holes. Taxes are skyrocketing. Millionaires are establishing homes in Florida and Arizona, so what’s a true liberal to do? O’Malley’s bringing in the mob. Into Prince George’s County. A place you probably don’t want to be after dark. Martin knows all about things not being good.

If the housing market hadn’t tanked, we’d be outta here. But like so many, we’re stuck. At least we’re stuck in Southern MD, where there’s a whole lot of EX-dems.

Portia46 on September 4, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Others may have commented this, but the man is a craven coward.

chai on September 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM

I live in western Maryland and I tell you, everyone I know hates this guy. He never met a tax he didn’t like, that’s for sure.

garry on September 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM

My own gub-oh-nor . . . was the lead story in Wesley Pruden’s article: Fat new targets for the Gaffe Patrol

williampeck1958 on September 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I’ve had 2 jobs in the past 3 years. I didn’t work them simultaneously. Does that count as obama created 2 jobs(not that he had anything to do with it)? I’m sure there are thousands of people who have quit one job to start another. Are all of those counted as multiple jobs created? They claim they have created millions of jobs, but are they just the same jobs being filled over and over? If so, is there anyway to expose this?

Salukidog on September 4, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Clearly, we are better off now that “Luke” has his mind right.

Stepan on September 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

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