Once again, the differences between President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaign themes are striking. In this case, “Hope & Change” is taking second fiddle to the “rich guy is out of touch” meme.
In his interview with Charlie Rose (check out the video at Real Clear Politics), Obama once again portrayed himself as the poor man’s protector. Via RCP’s transcript of the comments:
“When some people question why I would challenge his Bain record, the point I’ve made there in the past is, if you’re a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. It’s not to create jobs. It’s not even to create a successful business – it’s to make sure that you’re maximizing returns for your investor. Now that’s appropriate. That’s part of the American way. That’s part of the system. But that doesn’t necessarily make you qualified to think about the economy as a whole, because as president, my job is to think about the workers. My job is to think about communities, where jobs have been outsourced.”
This is really just silly. I’m no fan of Mitt Romney’s candidacy, but Obama’s really stretching things here. A few examples:
1. RCP didn’t catch it in the transcript, but Obama said he’s focusing on Romney’s history with Bain because Romney is not talking about his four years as governor “very much.” I don’t know what the President considers “very much,” but I’m pretty sure Romney talked about his time as governor during his speech to the NAACP just this week. Hang on, let me check…yup. He did.
2. As Obama tried to claim Romney doesn’t talk about his time as governor, Rose interrupted him to say “or ran the Olympics.” I can’t tell whether or not Rose was agreeing with Obama or pointing out that Romney has another aspect to his campaign the President ignored in his comment, but either way Obama seems to be forgetting about another major aspect of Romney’s campaign.
3. Obama came into office dealing with a terrible economy and a recession that officially ended in June 2009. That’s before much, if any, stimulus money was handed out. Since then, including the stimulus, we’ve had trillions of dollars in new spending and Federal Reserve loans. We’ve seen welfare rolls go up because of unusually high unemployment, the economy stagger into something resembling a recovery, and “shovel-ready” jobs not be so shovel-ready. So I ask: what in Obama’s record makes him more qualified on the economy “as a whole?”
4. As President, Obama’s job is to first and foremost maximize freedom. Second, his job is to work with Congress to provide for the people what they cannot provide for themselves (such as national defense). That’s about it. It’s not his job to worry about communities — that’s what state and local governments are for. It’s not his job to think about workers instead of the entire country, either. What about the over-80% of American workers who are employed in the private sector? Should he worry about making sure their bosses, those dastardly business owners, have an efficient and economically fair tax and regulatory system under which to hire more workers? If so, Obama’s definitely failed in those areas.
I could keep going, but I’m speaking to the choir here. Again, this attack by Obama is just silly, and is so easily refuted on both the failure of his record and the breadth of success in Romney’s record I am surprised he’s making it.