As various Democrats have made plain, they’re gettin’ real sick n’ tired of us darn conservatives manufacturing a big to-do about President Obama’s “the private sector is doing just fine” remark during his press conference last Friday, so enough already! Mitt Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom had his work cut out for him, however, as MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell tried to dismiss Republicans for making such a big deal out of this on her show earlier this afternoon:
“I don’t know what he meant. I only know what he said. He said the private sector is doing fine. That’s not the case; not when GDP growth has been revised downward in the first quarter to 1.9 percent. I mean, you need time-lapse photography to detect any movement at all in this slow-growing economy. I think the big problem here, Andrea, is that the first rule of a turn-around is to recognize the magnitude of the problem you’re facing, but if the president thinks the private sector is doing fine, as he says, then he’s not going to take the steps necessary to lead a real economic recovery. …
Mitt Romney respects the job that teachers do, and firefighters and policemen. But it was just a month ago that President Obama was bragging about the fact that he has shrunk government employment. Now he’s suggesting that increasing the levels of government employment is going to lead us out of the economic problems that we’re having. If he truly believes that, and I’m not sure what he believes because he’s given conflicting messages on it, but if he does believe it, then we two very different visions between the president and Mitt Romney about how you get this economy going again. Barack Obama apparently feels you raise taxes, you borrow money, you give those funds to local governments and let them increase the level of public employment. He thinks that will create a robust recovery. Mitt Romney believes that the way to create the recovery is to unleash the power of the private sector, to empower our entrepreneurs and innovators, and the way you do that by reducing regulation, by keeping taxes low, by encouraging free trade, pursuing energy development, and making America the most attractive place in the world for investment and job creation.”
Forgive the compulsion, but I need to take Andrea Mitchell to task a little on this one. Uhm, no, I don’t know what the president ostensibly “meant” with his comment, I only know that he was proposing we spend more government (a.k.a. taxpayer) money so that states and localities can hire more cops and teachers, which is a poor excuse for a jobs plan.
As far as forgiving people for “misspeaking,” I really don’t think Obama’s private-sector remark and the Romney camp’s “etch-a-sketch” remark are comparable. Good for you for not making a big deal of the “etch-a-sketch” comment, because there were and are larger issues; but as to there being larger issues in regards to Obama’s remark? No. The economy is kind of the whole point in this debate, and the president’s comment is a reflection of what he really believes about how to get the economy moving again. He doesn’t have much faith in the private sector as an engine for growth; he has much more faith in government stimulus.
Fehrnstrom handled that one like a champ.