With the economy foremost in voters’ minds and the jobs report last week showing lagging growth, neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney appears to be convincing voters that he has a plan to change things.
On Fox News Sunday this weekend, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that “President Obama has had three disappointing months, but he’s holding his own. If I were in the Romney campaign, that would worry me.”
Kristol pointed to a Fox News poll in late June that showed voters very focused on the economy but unconvinced that either candidate knew how to fix it.
When asked whether Obama had a clear plan for fixing the economy, 51 percent said “no” and only 43 percent agreed — weak numbers for an incumbent president. But Romney’s numbers were worse. Fifty-five percent said that Romney lacked a clear plan for the economy, while 27 percent said he had one.
Last week’s discouraging jobs report had the Obama campaign dodging, according to Dan Balz at the Washington Post. “Obama barely mentioned the latest jobs report in his first appearance after it was released. ‘It’s still tough out there,’ he said. But June’s hiring numbers, like those for May, were another reminder that there is still no bigger issue in the campaign than the economy and that its weight threatens to defeat the president four months from now,” Balz wrote.
Even liberal stalwart Robert Reich is now questioning the longstanding Obama White House tactic of deflecting criticism by blaming Bush. “It’s his economy now, and most voters don’t care what he inherited,” Reich wrote in the Huffington Post.
Calling for bolder stimulus and more spending, Reich wrote that Obama has not yet shown that “he understands the depth and breadth of this crisis, and is prepared to do large and bold things to turn the economy around in his second term if and when he does have the votes in Congress. So far, his proposals are policy miniatures relative to the size of the problem.”
And yet, Kristol said on Sunday, Obama continues to cling to a narrow lead while the Romney campaign fails to exploit the weakness. “They seem to be playing prevent defense. And as a friend of mine said if they’re playing prevent — prevent defense doesn’t work that well even in the fourth quarter when you’re ahead by seven, 14 points, if you’re playing it in the second quarter and it’s in a tie game it just seems awfully risky. They’re very risk-averse, but being risk-averse can be risky,” Kristol said.
Eric Schulzke writes on national politics for the Deseret News. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments