Conventional political wisdom says that if the economy is doing well, President Obama’s re-election chances improve. Both presidential candidates have made the economy cornerstones of their campaigns and are working to frame the debate in their favor.
A new report from Bloomberg, though, suggests that Mitt Romney is taking that message control one step further and trying to clamp down on any positive economic news coming out of Florida—a critical swing state governed by a Republican.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.
It’s not just Florida trumpeting positive economic news. Earlier this month, the Republican governor of Virginia admitted that the president deserved some credit for the improvement of the state’s economy.
Bloomberg points out that in addition to the Republican governors of Florida and Virginia, those in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin have also praised the improvements in their local economies.
Republicans will keep trying to spin the economic news in their favor as we head toward fall. One Republican strategist told Bloomberg that Gov. Scott ought to stop celebrating a decline in the state’s unemployment rate and get on board with the Romney’s messaging that the improvement would have been much greater under a Romney presidency. After all, “there’s enough truth in it that it would resonate,” he said.