This past week has been a rough one for the Obama campaign, probably the worst week ever for him. First we had doubts about the direction of the economy, with the stock market heading downhill. Then came the results of the hotly-contested Wisconsin recall election, which came out in favor of Scott Walker. Finally, Mitt Romney jumped on Obama’s recent gaffe about the economy, where he said that “the private sector is doing just fine.”
Bleak New Unemployment Numbers
The first on the headlines economy-wise last week was the new May unemployment rate. And it was bad news for the President. Going up to 8.2 percent with only 61,000 jobs created, it is grim news for a president who was about to make it a campaign talking point that the unemployment rate has steadily decreased since the start of this year.
Wisconsin Recall Election
On the heels of the new economy report, the Obama campaign received another blow. The fierce recall election held in Wisconsin was the talk of the nation last week. Seeking to oust the current governor of Wisconsin, Democrats in Wisconsin signed a petition to perform a very rare political act: to recall a governor. An 18-month battle ensued, with millions spent on both sides. Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, finally came in on top, defeating his challenger, Tom Barrett.
Obama’s Private Sector Gaffe
On Friday, at a press conference, President Obama had a big “oops” moment:
“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.”
Obama’s chief Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, was quick to pounce on this remark.
Is he really that out of touch? 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 of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.
With Obama back on the defensive and trying to explain himself, and with his press spokespeople going on the Sunday talk shows downplaying his remark, this is another costly mistake for the Obama campaign.