Nearly three months ago, President Obama was asked at a press briefing about the economy. "The truth of the matter is that, we've created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months -- over 800,000 just this year alone," he said. "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."
The political world ignored the context, went bonkers, and the Romney-Ryan ticket continues to reference the "doing fine" line just about every day as proof of, well, I'm not entirely sure. Apparently, we're supposed to think Obama's out of touch or something.
Last night, however, there was an unexpected twist -- Romney largely endorsed Obama's line.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared to parrot a line used by President Barack Obama that Romney has repeatedly targeted on the campaign trail.Speaking at a fundraiser, Romney said that "big business is doing fine in many places," a remark that sounded similar to Obama's now infamous proclamation that "the private sector is doing just fine." [...]"Big business is doing fine in many places," Romney said.
In context, any fair examination shows that Romney was trying to make a point about small businesses -- larger corporations are "doing fine," but more modest-sized enterprises are not. Obviously, everyone knows what he meant and the argument he intended to present. This need not be controversial.
But therein lies the rub: everyone also knows what Obama meant and the argument the president intended to present, but that didn't stop Romney from turning the out-of-context phrase into a major campaign offensive -- and then echoing the exact same sentiment.
In fact, Romney's comments are arguably worse, because he went on to say big businesses are "doing fine" because they can utilize "low tax havens around the world."
Really? Like stashing cash in the Caymans and creating shell corporations in Bermuda?
I don't know if Romney will become president next year, but I do know he's not an especially good candidate.