Dueling web videos turn Monday focus to jobs
June 11th, 2012
08:03 AM ET
3 years ago

Dueling web videos turn Monday focus to jobs

(CNN) - The dust up Friday over President Barack Obama's remark on the private sector showed little sign of quieting Monday, as his rival's campaign put renewed effort in portraying the Democratic incumbent as out of touch with American workers.

A web video from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign - its second in two days - juxtaposed Obama's remark that "the private sector's doing fine" with news bulletins from earlier this month announcing May jobs numbers. The report showed 69,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%.

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In full context, Obama said during his Friday press conference that 4.3 million jobs had been added in the private sector in the last 27 months.

"The private sector's doing fine," Obama said. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in."

Obama later clarified his remarks, telling cameras in the Oval Office "it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine."

The struggling economy, he clarified, is "why I had the press conference."

Romney's campaign said Obama's initial remark revealed a detached position from struggling workers.

"Only a president that presides over forty months of unemployment over 8 percent would think that the last jobs report is 'doing fine.' These comments show that President Obama is completely out of touch with the middle class," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in a statement.

On CNN Monday, Obama campaign Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said her team was ready for the "out of touch" debate.

"We'd be happy to have a debate about who is out of touch with middle-class Americans with Mitt Romney," Cutter said on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

She continued, "I think that the American people understand that the president is trying to move this country forward. He's trying to strengthen our economy. He's the only one out there with solutions of how to do that. Mitt Romney’s solution of how to strengthen the economy? Fire more people. He believes that if we fire more teachers, more firefighters, more policemen, we're actually going too grow this economy."

Obama's campaign was similarly focused on jobs Monday, releasing a web video of their own highlighting Romney's comments Friday on public sector jobs. The president's re-election effort released a similar video Saturday, highlighting their GOP rival's remarks at a campaign event in Iowa.

"He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers," Romney said. "Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

The Obama campaign video claims Romney made cuts to public sector workers while governor of Massachusetts, and utilizes local officials who served with him to discredit his record.

Rob Dolan, mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts, says in the spot: "During Gov. Romney's tenure, local government was cut dramatically. We lost police, fire fighters, teachers at rapid rates. People that directly impact the lives of every citizen. Our cities were not as clean, less safe, larger class sizes."

"The man did not care. He didn't care what was going on in our communities," John Barrett, former mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, says.

On-screen text reads: "Mitt Romney's plan didn't work in Massachusetts. It won't work now."

Obama's campaign recently began using former elected colleagues of Romney's to highlight what they claim is a failed record in Massachusetts. Romney's campaign points to a low unemployment rate in Massachusetts and reduced deficits as evidence of a strong fiscal record.

Also see:

Axelrod weighs in on Obama's private sector comments

Romney video goes after Obama's comments on economy

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold


McCain: Obama responsible for leaks, Holder has no credibility


Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    The President has created more jobs in 4 years than Bush did in 8.

    June 11, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Things are getting better slowly. Some people are getting jobs again even if they're underemployed, but they've got an income and can pay their bills while they look for another job. I was no different. I was out of work for 18 months before I found a job.

    June 11, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  3. Dean

    Obama's job record is worse than bad...due to the fact that he constantly lies about it.

    June 11, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. John

    No the Republican In Congress are the one NOT WORKING. The Republican have show No sign at all that they are even willing to try and work with President. When President Obama was elected Mitch McConnell the Republican leader said he going to do what every It take to make President Obama a one term President. Now I all thought It was up to the American People who they want for President ,And NOT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. The Republican Party have put there Party ahead of America and the American People for the last three and half year now. And i don't think ant of them should be reelected.

    June 11, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. Rmoney, Ryan, Rubio, Recession

    Rmoney's job plan is to LAY OFF more firemen, more policemen, more teachers; INCREASE defense spending, and STOP Wall Street regulations.

    Must be a SEVERELY conservative job plan!

    June 11, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. DP SMH

    Mittens is off his rockers, if thinking we don't need more police, firefighters, and teachers especially with good pay and benefits. I don't believe private sector growth will assist with much needed jobs in this area. SMH.

    June 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Wall Street has been near record highs for months. CEOs are making record shattering salaries, and so are their companies. Profits for banks and big oil are setting records. Companies are reported to have close to $2 trillion now sitting on the sidelines. Big companies are doing just fine. It is the small business owner on Main Street who is hurting.

    When are the small business owners gong to figure out that it is the larger corporations that threatening their existence in most cases. The local drugstore has been replaced by the drug store chain with lower prices. The local bookstores and recod stores have been replaced by chain stores. The local shoe store where you could shoe repairs done is gone and replaced by a mall.

    June 11, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    Are you talking about Working???where did you go when we did not find WMD from IRAQ???Where did you go when this nation sold contract to HALIBURTON and Dick Cheney made huge money? Where did you go nation looted treasury on WARS? Where did you go nation looted on TAX-CUTS? Where did you go INSURANCE THUGS denied per-existing condition patients???? Not working. Folks, country men, my lovely women, Ask these without fear, duress, hesitation. God bless our beautiful nation. Yes, on OBAMA12.

    June 11, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  9. Mario

    Teaching is no long a good profession to be in thanks to the Republicans. Over 3 million Teacher have lost their jobs because republicans in congress have NOT passed any jobs bills since 2010 to help education and ROMNEY is loving it.

    June 11, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |