President Obama made a costly verbal gaffe during a news conference on Friday and his Republican challenger wasted little time taking advantage of it. Obama was hyping his jobs plan and trying to urge Congress to boost hiring in state and local governments. Then the president uttered the seven words that could haunt him for the remainder of the 2012 campaign. “The private sector is doing just fine.”
Obama’s ill-fated timing worked perfectly for Romney, who visited Council Bluffs for a late morning rally. Within an hour of Obama’s gaffe, the former Massachusetts governor pounced. “For the President of the United States to stand up and say ‘the private sector is doing fine’ is going to go down in history,” Romney said. “It’s an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who is out of touch. And we’re going to take back this country and get America working again.”
Three and a half years ago, the Obama administration told Americans that unemployment would stay below eight percent if they passed the stimulus plan.
It has been above eight percent for 39 straight months. The number climbed upwards in May to 8.2 percent. The evidence is indisputable. The private sector most definitely is not doing fine.
“Has there ever been an American president who is so far from reality as to believe in an America where 23 million Americans are out of work or have stopped looking for work, or can only find part time jobs, and need full time jobs, where the economy grew in the first quarter of the year at only 1.9 percent?” Romney asked the crowd of hundreds gathered in Bayliss Park.
Romney evisceration of Obama did not end there. He used the president’s campaign themes from four years agost again him, much to the delight of the large crowd.
“It was a campaign of hope and optimism,” Romney said. “It was a campaign of getting America stronger again and cutting back on the deficit. How disappointed the people of Iowa have become over these last three and a half years and how committed we are to having real change that gets the American people back to work again and sees rising incomes again.”
Obama attempted to walk back his errant statement later on Friday, but the damage is already done. Attack ads will replay the words over and over. The president known for relying too much on his teleprompter went off script and unleashed gaffe that could seriously damage his reelection hopes.
“He’s out of ideas, as he saw this morning. He’s out of excuses. And in 2012, the people of Iowa are going to make sure we put him out of office,” Romney said.
This was Romney’s second visit to Iowa in the past few weeks. He delivered a major policy speech on reducing the deficit during a stop in Des Moines last month. Both campaigns are counting on Iowa’s six electoral votes to push them over the top in the bid for the presidency. A recent NBC poll showed Obama and Romney tied in Iowa.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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