Republicans use Obama trip to highlight bad economy
November 30th, 2011
09:11 AM ET
11 years ago

Republicans use Obama trip to highlight bad economy

(CNN) - Republicans eager to knock President Barack Obama's record on the economy pounced on his trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, using it as an opportunity to highlight the dire economic condition in the region.

The Republican National Committee released a 30-second web video, called "Failed Promises: Scranton" ahead of the trip, using clips of Obama speaking previously in Scranton alongside text spelling out grim economic realities that persist in the city.

Speaking in March 2008, then presidential candidate Obama is shown saying: "Here in Pennsylvania, like the rest of the country, there's a lot of economic hardship and a lot of economic anxiety. People are at risk of losing their home or they've seen their home values drop."

Those remarks were made to a local television station during a campaign swing through the Keystone state during Obama's primary battle with then Sen. Hillary Clinton, who battled Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On-screen text makes clear that, at least by the numbers, the situation in Pennsylvania hasn't improved in the years since that trip. Citing figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the RNC displays the unemployment rate climbing by 19% and 37,900 manufacturing jobs lost.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also used Obama's Scranton trip to hark back to the 2008 election, sending a press release with quotes from then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell that present Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

"Three years ago, even fellow Democrats said Barack Obama wasn't ready to be president and that his campaign practiced 'gutter politics.' With over half a million Pennsylvanians out of a job today, President Obama and his allies still seem more interested in launching negative campaign attacks against Mitt Romney than getting the country back to work," Ryan Williams, a Romney campaign spokesman, said in the release.

Obama's trip Wednesday is his seventeenth trip to Pennsylvania since taking office. Obama won the state by a ten-point margin in 2008, but the state is seen as largely in play in the 2012 contest.

A Franklin and Marshall College poll taken in early November indicated Obama ahead of potential Republican rivals in Pennsylvania in hypothethtical 2012 general election showdowns. The closest match-up was between Obama and Romney, with Obama leading the former Massachusetts governor 35% to 26%. However, many voters surveyed said they hadn't yet made up their mind about whom to support in the presidential election.

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Little Jimmy Truth

    Republican group was correct about that. True, true. DAMN TRUE!!!

    November 30, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Martha in CF

    Sorry Republicans. You are the ones that got us into this mess. Two wars unfunded and the prescription program unfunded. The Obama administration is the ones trying to dig us out of the hole you created.
    I just don't understand that you don't want the rich to pay their fair share!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think most Repubs will be going home after the next election-

    November 30, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Laverne

    Interesting, but not surprised they would use graphics as if Obama is behind bars. I think there is an underlying message here and I think we all know what that is!

    November 30, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. gt

    thank goodness there is new leadership in pennsylvania... the natural gas industry is in full swing ... that means jobs jobs.. jobs... so much for green entergy ... america needs to convet its cars and trucks to natural gas... to bad obama is against fracking....

    November 30, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Mikey

    Unfortunately, for the GOP, they have to run one of the turkeys from their actual field against the President – and Thanksgiving is over.

    November 30, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Interesting use of the "paned" windows with our President standing behind them.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    November 30, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Really not much to say on the subject than these ads are extremely stupid.

    November 30, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. LegendRx

    America Dream Deferred and a "Promise" hijacked by the Republican Party who cringe at the thought of, not just the fact that there is a African American who is the leader of the "Free World" occupying the White House, But a would be successful one, at that. With out their grubby hands of sabotage of obstruction, his foreign policy is flawless. America, just think and imagine America if The Republican leadership would get out of America's way. The republican party has always been the problem. Raping, Pillaging and Plundering for the rich and now we have a deliberate act of treason through obstruction. This election is about congress not the president. I say vote the bumbs out. Keep the president. we must stand behind our majority elected President. Let him complete what we the people elected him to do. The repubs had their chance and look, here we are. Insanity at it's worst.

    November 30, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Mindie in Indie

    Perhaps if the GOP obstructionists in Congress had actually tried to do something to help struggling Americans instead of sitting on their butts saying "Obama's a Nazi" maybe Scranton wouldn't be in such a condition. I blame Republicans for the entire economic problems in this country, as do most Americans. So go ahead and spin it anyway you like – we know the truth.

    November 30, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. ObamaCares

    Sensible people know that the the repugs have done NOTHING but obstruct. Hypocrites!! They are going down.

    November 30, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Tony

    On the other hand, Republicans promised nothing–except jobs, jobs, jobs–in 2010, and they delivered nothing, including no jobs, after they took over the House. Now Republicans promise to repeal everything Obama has done and to go back to the way it was before the 2008 election. Remember, that was the time when the economy was losing 750,000 jobs a month, insurance premiums were doubling every 10 years, and the United States were fighting two wars. Well, we are not going back to a war in Iraq, but if Republicans win in 2012, we are probably heading toward a war with Iran.

    November 30, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Foo foo

    I find it disturbing that the GOP uses the word "Army". That evokes war. As always, fear is their main tactic.

    November 30, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Bessy

    What a joke this ad is. LOL This area, Northeast,Pa. has been in dire economic condition since before President Obama was born. The mines are mainly responsible for the bad conditions that consumed the area. They kept other worthwhile businesses out of the area and the only other reliable work was the factories which mostly closed when manufacturing started being sent overseas. The Republicans will try any dirty trick to make everyone think that our president is resposible for " everything". What people have to do is start " fact checking " every statement that comes out of their lying mouths.

    November 30, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Dan, TX

    Yes, some of the people of Scranton will be easily manipulated by propaganda that has been well tested in psychology. Propaganda works. It really does. How else can 1% manipulate 99%.

    November 30, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |

    *sniff* *sniff* What's that I smell? Oh, that's right: GOP/Tea party desperation.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    November 30, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Stop the Charade

    Pennsylvania has been hemorrhaging manufacuring jobs for 35 years as corporations moved to non-union areas and overseas. The Scranton area hit its high water mark 100 years ago and then the anthracite was mined out. For the RNC and GOP to somehow suggest that the economic conditions of this area is a reflection of what President Obama has done, and tried to do, is not only disingenuos, it is disinformation and propoganda of the worst sort. But I guess since the GOP cannot point to its doing anything for the economy since 2010, lies are all they have.

    November 30, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    do people REALLY pay that much attention to these ads?

    November 30, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. effelbee

    Another disguised (slightly) photo to disrespect the President by puttig him behind "bars." Has the GOP no conscience about lying? We added 200,000 jobs last month. We lost 700,000 jobs in Bush's last month in office. Get real with the American people...

    November 30, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. stevie

    Pennsylvanians should know that the economy will get worse if obama is relected. He`s set us up for a "lost decade" like Japan had following the same wrong policies.

    November 30, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Wyobob

    At least the republicans kept their promise to do anything they can to stop any democratic legislation, and their promise to norquist.

    November 30, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAhadists

    LAME! If this is the best Reince and his team can come up with with, they're toast.

    November 30, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Republicans have turned into the Grand Old Party of Stupidity. I don't know what is wrong with them, nor exactly when this metamorphosis occurred. Don't they realize that the more the RNC puts out bad economic news, the more it will drives home the point that it was Republicans who screwed up the economy?

    Most polls show that most Americans blame Republicans for the bad economy, even among registered Republicans. Does not the Repubilcan Party realize that it is time to start believing polling numbers, instead of believing that they are simply having mesaging problems and that people are just not listening to what they are saying? Don't they get it, that people *are* listening to what they are saying and most are beginning to see through the lies and deceptions?

    November 30, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    Actually, it was noted this morning by an economist that the "bad economy" has went from 5 miles per hour to 40. Therefore, it is getting better. It was said that it should be at 70 miles per hour but it is getting there. The Republicans are NOT going to be able to use that too much in this election. Also, how do you explain Black Friday? I truly believe that Americans are doing a little better than they were but it’s the Republicans that are LIARS and trying to steer it in their direction – they have NOTHING else!!

    ►...Obama leading the former Massachusetts governor 35% to 26%.◄ Wow, and President Obama has an overall approval rating of only 43%, according to Gallup – lower than Carter at this same time in his presidency?? Now who’s polling who to get these results? Pahleeeezzzzeeee!!!

    Obama 2012

    November 30, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Keith in Austin

    Hey Scranton! How's that Stimulous Plan working for you? As a city that depends on Manufacturing, someone ask this Bozo why he continues to burden Companies with excessive amounts of Federally-imposed corporate taxes and mountains of red tape in Government regulations. Jobs are lost to overseas ventures so U.S. Industry can compete in the world market. With the addition of Obamacare, Obama is FORCING manufacturing jobs to Taiwan, Mexico, India etc. Hopefully blue-collar workers looking for jobs can see that their BIG UNIONS and the Democrats are playing you like a fiddle all for VOTES! Per usual,You will get left holding the bag in return!

    November 30, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |