Mitt(wit) Romney vs. GOP Governors vs. Mitt(wit) Romney (Part II)
Exactly one week ago we wrote about the dilemma facing Mitt Romney and Republican Governors seeking re-election and we now have some brand new breaking news. The big problem facing these folks is that Romney wants to pretend that the economies of all states are suffering and getting worse because of President Obama’s policies. On the other hand, the Republican Governors from Ohio, Iowa, Florida and Virginia want to capitalize on their states’ economic progress so as to grab credit and votes in the next election. These Governors would also like to strongly endorse Mitt Romney, but they are reluctant to do so as long as Romney continues to bash their states.
Here is what we wrote last week:
The 2012 Republican Circular Firing Squad has been convened. All present say, “Aye”!
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican Governors seeking re-election this fall have a dilemma to overcome. Romney of course, is making the economy the number one issue in his campaign against incumbent President Barack Obama. In short, his argument to the American people (misinformed as it may be) is: “The economy is getting worse. You are suffering. It is Obama’s fault.” Romney feels that if the American electorate buys into that perception, then he will be elected as the economy’s savior. To convince voters that what he says is true, Romney must point out how each state is failing economically.
Problem is, that sort of argument directly attacks Republican Governors seeking re-election. Those Governors must convince the same state voters that they are doing well ,or at least much better than in other states . These GOP Governors must downplay high unemployment numbers in some places while celebrating low (relative to the national average) unemployment numbers as the result of economic progress in their home states. Hence, Republican Governors must proclaim that Mitt Romney is wrong.
Take a look at the State of Ohio as an example. Thinkprogress.org reports:
“During a speech in Ohio today, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney decried the economy, claiming, ‘almost everything the president has done has made it harder for entrepreneurs to start a business, has made it less likely for businesses like this [one in Ohio] to hire more people.’ However, led by the revival of the American auto industry, Ohio’s unemployment rate has been coming down, from about 11 percent in 2009 to just above 7 percent today.”
Of course, the aforementioned revival of the auto industry is a direct result of President Obama’s auto manufacturer bailout which Romney opposed. Also, Romney’s statement puts Ohio Governor John Kasich in an unenviable position. Kasich wants to support Romney and his Republican Party in the Presidential election, but he also wants to capitalize on the relatively recent and optimistic prospects of Ohio’s economy. Consequently, while Romney comes to Ohio and says businesses in the state cannot hire people for new jobs because of Obama’s policies, Kasich is simultaneously touting the fact that since 2010, Ohio went from being the third-worst job creator to one of the top job creators in the nation. In fact, 850,000 auto manufacturing jobs have been added to Ohio’s economy since the auto bailout in 2009. In his 2012 State of the state Address, Kasich said,
“A year ago, Ohio ranked 48 in job creation. We trailed only Michigan and California. Michigan, who has the automotive industry, and California is filled with a bunch of whack-a-doodles. Who would have thought we would have been third worst? Ohio is now ranked No. 1 as job creator in the Midwest and No. 9 in the nation.”
Iowa is another state where Mitt Romney and the Governor are at odds. The Wall Street Journal reports, “When Mr. Romney traveled to Iowa last month, his campaign released a Web ad highlighting Iowans who were struggling to find work—in a state with a 5.1% jobless rate, the seventh lowest in the U.S.”
Iowa’s Republican Governor, Terry Branstad, was not impressed with Romney’s characterization of his state. The Wall Street Journal article says, “Branstad, is part of a contingent of GOP governors and party elders urging Mr. Romney to re-tailor his message by highlighting the success stories under way in a half-dozen GOP-led states, even if it means diluting his gloomier national pitch.” Branstad said, “My state is seeing significant growth. We are doing very well.”
Florida’s Republican Governor (and Vote Purger in Chief) Rick Scott echoes Branstad’s and Kasich’s sentiments. Thinkprogress.org reported in May 2012 that Scott has said, ” Today’s unemployment report adds to the series of encouraging indicators that Florida’s economy is steadily moving in the right direction. With 243,594 job openings listed by various help-wanted websites and our unemployment rate down 2.2 points to 8.7%, more Floridians are finding new jobs throughout the Sunshine State.”
Virginia’s Republican Governor, Bob McDonnell, has not only extolled his states positive economic conditions, but he has also even given some credit to Democrats. Indeed, McDonnell’s own website says,
“Virginia’s unemployment rate has plunged 23% since January 2010, down to 5.6% in March 2012, and the private sector job-creators are driving that success. Virginia is growing strong again. Through a bipartisan effort in Richmond, and the hard-work, innovation and dedication of the people of Virginia, our economy is recovering. There is a lot to celebrate in our Commonwealth. With unemployment at over a 3-year low, agricultural exports at a record high, and thousands of Virginians working again, this is a great time to recognize all the great things happening in our tremendous Commonwealth. Virginians have written an incredible story; this ad tells it. Together, we are growing strong again.”
All in all, this cross-messaging by Mitt Romney (as well as his flip-flops) and a slew of Republican Governors may complicate matters for all of them as the November elections approach.
More fuel has just been added to the Romney/GOP Governors battle. Today, TalkingPointsMemo.com reports that the Romney campaign has, in fact, been accused of concocting an alleged scheme to keep good economic news about Florida under wraps. The report states:
“Late Wednesday night and into Thursday came the news that the campaign asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to stop talking up economic improvements in his state because of a view among Team Romney that good news about the economy from a swing-state Republican governor would damage their cause and potentially boost Obama. The sources behind the story: ‘Two people familiar with the matter.‘”
Will the embattled Governor Scott follow Romney’s marching orders? Don’t count on it if Scott wants to be re-elected in the Sunshine State.
Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s song parody.
The Beverly Hillbillies Theme song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFI-hhndCek
THE ROMNEY HILLBILLY
(sung to the theme of “The Beverly Hillbillies”)
Come and listen to a story ‘bout a man named Mitt
A rich profiteer who’s been known to pitch a fit.
Unlike Scott Brown he won’t model in the nude,
He likes to run for office but he doesn’t have a clue.
Knowledge that is, Hates Polls, Sanity.
Well the one thing we know is Mitt’s a millionaire,
Pinstriped suits and plastic molded hair.
Inside the beltway is the place he wants to be,
So he strapped his dog on top and drove down to D.C.
Washington that is, Lobbyists, Big black cars.
Well now its time to say good-bye to Mitt and all his friends,
He will lose this year’s election and that will be his end
He never will return again cuz of the Tea Party,
They much prefer Santorum and his beastiality.
Man on dog, that is, Ring a bell?, Take your pants off.
Don’t come back now, y’hear?