Apparently, Mr. Obama doesn’t read the newspapers, or his staff reports leave out all of the bad economic news. If he depends on the nightly network news shows, he will rarely see any report about the economy’s persistent weakness.
But the news is getting bleaker. “The U.S. economy is drifting toward recession,” University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici said Tuesday.
“Job creation slipped alarmingly in April and May. Wages, which were rising modestly through the recovery, have been virtually flat for three months. An already tough labor market is getting worse,” Mr. Morici said.
Manufacturing orders have fallen in the last two months, and the Institute of Supply Chain management says prices are falling. That’s a sign of declining sales and a precursor of future layoffs.
The Obama economy is weakening further and people are hurting, especially the middle class, for which Mr. Obama goes to great lengths to show he understands their economic plight. Telling them that the private economy is “doing fine” undermines that appeal.
The Gallup Poll reports that confidence in the economy fell slightly last week. Notably, “The decline was driven by Democrats, whose confidence dropped eight points from the previous week.”
White House strategists are hoping the damage from Mr. Obama’s gaffe will be forgiven, especially after his flip-flop a few hours later that the economy is definitely not fine.
But former Gov. Mitt Romney, who is running neck-and-neck with Mr. Obama this week, will be reminding voters how out of touch the president really is. He’s running an ad right now about Mr. Obama’s remark as the voters tell of their struggles to find work.
The Romney ad ends with this text scrolling across the screen: “No, Mr. President, we are not “‘doing fine.’ “
This has been a bad week for Mr. Obama. The White House is being investigated for national security leaks meant to burnish the president’s image, Mr. Romney and the Republicans are out-fundraising him, Democrats were beaten in Wisconsin, his attorney general faces a contempt of Congress charge, and his commerce secretary has been given a felony hit-and-run citation.
Now the voters are discovering that the president is out of touch with their daily struggles and that deep inside, he really thinks the economy “is doing fine.”
He’s going to get a reality check on Nov. 6.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.