Today the RNC came out with a solid ad hitting President Obama for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s comments yesterday related to the President’s lack of public meetings with the Council. Specifically, the ad hit Carney for these comments (via the White House’s official transcript of yesterday’s press briefing):
Q So there’s no reason they [the Jobs Council and the President] haven’t met publicly?
MR. CARNEY: No, there’s no specific reason except the President has obviously got a lot on his plate.
The ad then notes Obama has had 10 golf trips and 106 fundraisers in the last six months. Given that the President had, as of last week, held about 73% as many fundraisers as Bush and Clinton held in their combined respective re-election campaigns, this should be a pretty effective method of showing the President’s lack of seriousness when it comes to actual governing. Check out the ad in full below:
In the interest of fair commentary, I do have to note that the ad cherry-picks Carney’s quotes regarding the President’s interactions with the Council. If one believes Carney, the President is doing a lot of work with and without the Council to try and get people back to work. From the same White House transcript, with the ad’s quoted section emphasized:
Q I just had one quick one. On the Jobs Council, obviously who haven’t met formally or publicly for six months — why exactly is that?
MR. CARNEY: Look, the President solicits and receives input and advice from members of his Jobs Council and others about economic initiatives all the time. And I would point you to the numerous initiatives put forward by the Jobs Council that this administration, under the President’s direction, has taken action on, including a presidential memorandum in August of last year that selected 14 job-creating, high-priority infrastructure projects for expedited review — four of those are already under construction; in March of this year, just a few months ago, an executive order launched an interagency effort to cut red tape and improve outcomes for infrastructure projects; new federal plan that will require timelines concurrent instead of sequential reviews; early coordination among federal, state, and local agencies to reduce duplication and adoption of other best practices. There are numerous initiatives that have been proposed by the Jobs Council that this administration has acted on, and that will continue to be the case.
Q So there’s no reason they haven’t met publicly?
MR. CARNEY: No, there’s no specific reason except the President has obviously got a lot on his plate. But he continues to solicit and receive advice from numerous folks outside the administration about the economy, about the ideas that he can act on with Congress or administratively to help the economy grow and help it create jobs.
Unfortunately for Obama, even Carney’s extended commentary does not really help him make the argument that Obama should be re-elected based upon economic success. It definitely doesn’t excuse all the time the President spends fundraising. In fact, if he’s really pushing for jobs policies as much as Carney claims, it means we have a President who spends a lot of time worried about his own job instead of the jobs of his constituents and whose ideas on job creation are so poor that even when he’s pushing them forward at his own pace they don’t really do much.
Conservatives have bashed Mitt Romney as too moderate and/or too liberal on a myriad of issues, and given his “tinker around the edges” promises on spending reductions and his center-right tax proposals, we are right to do so. However, with his wide experience in business, governing, and general management, Romney is far more qualified than Obama when it comes to proposing what it takes to get people back to work, no matter what the President says. This is especially true when it comes to how each man views businesses and the importance of entrepreneurial spirit, in light of Obama’s view that “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Keeping the pressure on Obama regarding both his lack of seriousness on job creation and his lack of ability in the same area will highlight that important difference, especially as the economy continues to crawl to a recovery.