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Democrats Respond to Romney, ‘Absolutely’ We’re Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago

posted at 7:56 am on September 4, 2012 by

After flubbing their answer for twenty-four hours, the Democrats finally said that America is “absolutely” better off than it was four years ago.  As reported today by Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times, “the focus on the campaign’s handling of the question, after halting and contradictory responses from Democrats on Sunday, complicated the White House’s effort to begin striking a set of themes the president intends to highlight here and carry through the general election.”

One of the most memorable acts of prevarication came from President Barack Obama’s Senior Advisor David Plouffe – who couldn’t directly say that we’re better off than we were four years ago on ABC’s This Week last Sunday.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) directly said that “we aren’t better off after four years” on Face the Nation.  However, “that’s not the question in this election.”  Governor, that is the ONLY question in this election.

Jill Lawrence of the National Journal reported yesterday that the most “succinct” response came from Vice President Joe Biden.

As he [Biden] put it on Monday in Detroit, ‘I’ve got a little bumper sticker for you. Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive. Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive. Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.’ That’s actually three bumper stickers, but, hey, that’s Biden, bless his heart.

Democrats start their convention on Tuesday in Charlotte dogged by the unforced errors of not one but three top Obama advisers and allies who muffed a fundamental question that’s been utterly predictable ever since Ronald Reagan asked it during his campaign against President Carter more than 30 years ago.

Why did Axelrod and senior campaign staff fail to have a direct response to this question?  As Lawrence wrote, it’s inexcusable because ”the question was inevitable…[according] to Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis. ‘Every reelection campaign is about that question. The Reagan campaign immortalized that question,’ he said. ‘That is not a surprise question.’ Kofinis called it a fantasy to believe that the country isn’t better off and asserted that there is plenty of evidence for Democrats to make a full-throated defense of Obama’s tenure.”
However, some, like senior communications strategist Doug Hattaway, said it’s ok ”to play down the administration’s accomplishments. ‘The challenge is that, with people still hurting, it’s tough to point at the successes, because it sounds like you don’t feel people’s pain.”  So, what’s it going to be?  We have mixed or contradictory messages, division on campaign strategy, and lack of foresight – no wonder why we don’t have a budget in Congress.
Nonetheless, as Rutenberg reported ”on Monday, the campaign settled on a definitive answer of, as the deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter put it, ‘Absolutely.”
I bet Democrats have to tweak some of their speeches to further entrench their narrative.  They have seventy-two hours to do so.  Rutenberg wrote that:

The Obama campaign began running a new commercial making the same point, and asserting, ‘The middle class is carrying a heavy load in America, but Romney doesn’t see it.’

As delegates streamed in for the opening of the convention on Tuesday, Mr. Obama and his team were putting the finishing touches on a program that requires a different kind of political daring from the one they showed four years ago, when Mr. Obama gave his speech in a stadium on a stage compared by some to a Greek temple.

This week Mr. Obama is planning to undertake a tricky two-step of convincing wavering supporters being aggressively courted by Mr. Romney that they made the right decision in choosing him four years ago and that he has the country on its way to a sustainable recovery even if they do not always feel it. He will make the argument in an outdoor stadium again, on Thursday night under the threat of rain, but aides say there will be no Greek columns.

Tonight, the Democratic National Convention begins with the “we’re better off” theme flowing through the delegates.  However, given the lies from this administration about the Romney campaign, I don’t expect this to be a successful pivot.  After all, this is the campaign that accused Romney of being a felon, a dog abuser, and a harbinger of cancer to America’s middle class.

To say that we’re better off now than we were four years ago, is an egregious act of willful ignorance.  A tragic characteristic of the political left in America.

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Democrats Respond to Romney, ‘Absolutely’ We’re Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago
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headline by Matt Vespa

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YEAH !

Double down on it! Triple down! Quadruple down!

Exponentially down!

Don’t let the Republicans rob you out of all that credit you’re due.

You really deserve it. . : )

listens2glenn on September 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I was making $65,000/yr before Obama was elected. I got downsized soon after he took office. After 13 months I found a job making $16/hr. 8 months later the company folded. I’ve been looking for a job ever since, keeping a roof over my head (barely) doing whatever odd jobs I can find.
I really don’t give a s**t what Wall Street is doing. I’m not better off. In fact, I’m preparing to live in a tent in the woods if Obama gets reelected. It’s a good thing I know how to hunt and forage.

single stack on September 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM

A simple question was put forth: Is the country better off than 4 years ago?

“No Comment”…..David Plouffe. Obama’s Senior Spokesman.

“Look Squirrell”….David Axelrod. Obama’s Campaign Manager.

“No”…Marty O’Malley. Democrat Governor of Maryland.

“No Comment”…Tony Villaraigosa Democrat Mayor of Los Angeles. Head of DNC.

“bin laden is dead….I like turtles” …Joe Biden. VP.

“I get an incomplete and the dog ate my homework”…Barry Obama – D

HumpBot Salvation on September 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

The Obama campaign began running a new commercial making the same point, and asserting, ‘The middle class is carrying a heavy load in America, but Romney doesn’t see it.’

There he goes again talking about the middle class. Will someone tell Obama, they are NOT the middle class if they are making their meals with food stamps. Perhaps they USED to be, but they are not the middle class if they are not among the 50% who pay taxes.

Fleuries on September 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM