President Obama is trying to fight back against the hue and cry raised over his saying the private sector is doing fine.
In responding to a question about Republicans saying that Obama is blaming the Europeans for the failures of his own policies, Obama said, "the private sector is doing fine.":
"The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government -- oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in." - President Barack Obama, White House Press Conference, June 8, 2012.
Saying the private sector is doing fine may have been a blunder, but it wasn't a gaffe. It may have been a revelation to some, to others it was a confirmation.
Mitt Romney quickly pounced on Obama's tone deaf statement calling it an "extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a President who is out of touch.":
"Now this morning, the President had a press conference. I don’t know if you heard it, but he called a press conference and pulled people in and said a number of things, and one of the most interesting things he said was this: he said the private sector is doing fine. He said the private sector is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch? I think he’s defining what it means to be detached and out of touch with the American people. Has there ever been an American president who is so far from reality as to believe in an America where 23 million Americans are out of work, or stopped looking for work, or can only find part-time jobs and need full-time jobs, where the economy grew in the first quarter of the year at only 1.9 percent, where the median income in America has dropped by 10% over the last four years, where there have been record number of home foreclosures, for the President of the United States to stand up and say the private sector is doing fine is going to go down in history. It's an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a President who is out of touch, and we're going to take back this country and get America working again."
You can watch a video of Romney reaction here.
The Romney campaign quickly launched a @ObamaDoingFine parody Twitter site. The RNC put up a YouTube video titled "Doing Fine," showing headlines highlighting the lousy economy, Obama saying "the private sector is doing fine," and asking how can President Obama fix our economy if he doesn't understand what's broken?
Other Republicans joined in.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told The Weekly Standard that Obama’s comments reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy:
"There are two very different views in the country,” Walker said. “The current administration seems to think that success is measured by how many people are dependent on the government. I think success is measured by how many are not."
Speaking at the regional Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Chicago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called Obama's statement an outrage:
"It's absolutely clear the economy is not doing fine. That’s the reason I had a press conference. That’s why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month and this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger.
"The economy is not doing fine. There are too many people out of work. The housing market is still weak, too many homes underwater and that’s precisely why I asked Congress to start taking some steps that can make a difference." - President Barack Obama, Remarks after bilateral meeting with President Aquino of the Philippines, White House, June 8, 2012.
Confused? Don't be. Saying it's clear the economy is not doing fine is not a retraction of the private sector is doing fine. It doesn't mean Obama doesn't believe the private sector is doing fine. To the contrary, both statements support Romney's observation that Obama seeks a government-centered society. Romney laid out the Romney's private equity vs. Obama's public equity comparison in his "Obama's Government-Centered Society" speech after sweeping the primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C.:
"The president has pledged to transform America. And he's spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government-centered society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of an opportunity society led by free people and free enterprises."
Today Obama's so-called truth team is out with another misleading ad, still trying to distance Obama from his the private sector is doing fine statement. The "Romney Economics: Fewer Teachers, Fewer Firefighters, Fewer Police Officers" ad implies that Romney wants fewer firemen, policemen and teachers. That is not what Romney said. Romney pointed out that Obama says we more firemen, policemen and teachers, then asked whether Obama got the message from the rejection of the Obamacrats attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:
"And his answer for economic vitality, by the way, was, of course, pushing aside the private sector, which he said is doing fine. Instead, he wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers: did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people." (Gov. Mitt Romney, Remarks, Council Bluffs, IA, 6/8/12).
The new ad is still more deception and distortion from Obama.