Team Romney already produced one web ad this weekend that focused on Barack Obama’s assertion that “the private sector is doing fine,” a mash-up of previously-aired anecdotes from long-term unemployed people culled from previous Romney ads. This morning, the Romney campaign released a 60-second, ready-for-TV spot titled “Jolt” that takes a more macro look at the economy, especially in light of the latest jobs report, and asks — again — if we’ve ever had a President this out of touch:
Kevin McCullough asked the same question in his Townhall column this weekend, and wonders whether that’s why Obama holds so few press conferences:
One of the reasons, I’m earnestly convinced, that President Obama does so few press briefings in recent days is partly due to the fact that he does not seem to be able to appear without demonstrating a considerable distance between himself, and “the little people.” He has demonstrated this in his positions on fiscal issues, the manipulation of our national defense–and access for Hollywood insiders, and even every day American moral values. Bottom line: the king has no clothes.
His attempt to back pedal later on Friday was all spin to save face, and to not take a blow in this tightening election cycle in which normally blue states like Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, and Colorado–maybe even California are all coming into play for the GOP. But don’t be confused–he believes he created jobs, he’s done his part, and he has a tee time at 4pm.
Perhaps the most “out-of-touch” assertion ever issued by a sitting President, has also sealed–at least for Obama–the reality, that he is also… finally… for the good of America…
On that note, Michael Tomasky asked why Obama held a press conference at all. Was there some news he needed to break? Looking past the “fine” gaffe, Tomasky sees nothing of consequence at all in Obama’s statement. Obama may be out of touch and out of time, but he is definitely out of gas:
Anyway, the bigger problem with Obama’s press conference was that there wasn’t any news in Obama’s prepared remarks. This really makes me shake my head. If you’re going to call a press conference, you have to give beat reporters something new. New is the root of news. If you don’t say something new, a misstatement is bound to dominate, or an answer to an off-message question. In this case, his response on the national-security leaks would have probably led the stories—as it did Daniel Stone’s Beast report. Not as bad as a gaffe, from the spin-room point of view, but also not what they wanted to put out there.
At bottom, then, the press conference reflected the general drift that Clift described. The White House doesn’t have an argument right now. Ever since the jobs report, Romney’s got all the momentum. The White House has tried but then dropped arguments, as I wrote earlier this week, and it sounds a little whiny and ineffectual when Obama urges Congress to pass something that everybody knows Congress isn’t going to pass. And by the way, he ought at least to say “Republicans,” not “Congress.” I’m sure there are risks associated with sounding too partisan, but to me, he has little choice but to lump Romney and the GOP Congress together.
It’s not the first time that Obama has convened a presser with nothing much to say; in fact, he does that more often than not. That creates a situation where an anticlimax ends up being your best-case scenario, and “the private sector is doing fine” closer to the other end of the spectrum.