June 20th, 2012
09:56 AM ET
10 years ago

New ad keeps 'doing fine' in the spotlight

(CNN) - A major conservative organization, Americans for Prosperity, became the latest group Wednesday to capitalize on President Barack Obama's line that the "private sector is doing fine," with an ad in six presidential battleground states.

Backed by what they say is a $5.5 million ad buy, the AFP spot weaves the president's June 8th line with economic statistics and narration.

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"How can the president be so out of touch?" the narrator in the spot says while the screen reads "40 straight months of unemployment above 8%." "How can he fix the economy if he doesn't know what's wrong?" the narrator continues.

Obama made the statement at a press conference while saying the private sector added 4.3 million jobs in the past 27 months, compared to the performance of the public sector that he said was not at the same level.

He clarified the remark later in the day following heavy criticism from those on the other side of the political aisle.

"It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine," Obama said.

Mitt Romney, his campaign and the super PAC supporting his candidacy are among those who have attacked the president for the gaffe.

AFP said the latest commercial, which will run over the next ten days in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is part of $20 million spent since last fall criticizing Obama administration policies.

"Our new ad demonstrates just how far removed the president is from the real economy," AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement. "The fact is the private sector is severely hampered by the specter of rising taxes and new regulations."

The group that receives funding from the millionaire Koch brothers unveiled plans Tuesday, including ads, to influence Senate campaigns in Montana, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia that will tie Democratic senators to the president.

- CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success

Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    27 months of hiring. Setting records in the stock market. Sitting on nearly 2 trillion dollars that they don't know how to spend. I'd say the private sector IS doing fine, wouldn't you?

    June 20, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    Going for the overkill with this non-story eh, CNN? As I posted on the earlier non-story thread: Intelligent Americans understand exactly what President Obama was saying. While private citizens (real people, not corporation people) may be suffering the private sector is sitting on record amounts of $$$ and instead of hiring, they're trying to buy the office of the Presidency. And they can't blame taxes because their taxes are lower than they've been in decades. If the "job creators" took all that $$$ they're using to buy advertising to espouse lies, they could afford to hire tens of thousands of workers at a rate of $40k with bennies. Those tens of thousands of workers would in turn purchase goods and services, thereby creating more jobs. That's REAL trickle down.

    June 20, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Sandi Mc

    Out of context quotes have become the norm for both sides. I will never have respect for the party who is able to "buy" a President or any elected official (i.e. Wisconsin debacle). The Koch brothers, Rove and the rest of the good ole boys who own the GOP are corrupt, self-serving embarrassments to this country. Also, Fox Noise is about as bad as broadcasting gets since the fools who watch believe their constant barrage of out-of-context BS. "Fair & balanced" my behind! We are more "third world" than we care to imagine. On a positive note, I work in the private sector and we have had double-digit profit for the past two years. We are hiring and growing. Me and my family are sticking with our President; we know he represents middle America and not just the wealthiest.

    June 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. The Other Dale

    The problem with the GOP jumping up and down on this is that the public actually agrees with Obama on what he meant by the statement. It just seems to focus more on how out of touch Republicans are rather than anything to do with Obama.

    June 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. No plan + no solution + always complaining = GOP

    The private sector IS doing fine. If you look at all the money pouring into the GOP pockets you will see that instead of investing in hiring corporations and the wealthy are investing in their politicians and ad buys. If they were so broke they would not have any money to do this.

    The conservatives on the Supreme Court bench should be the ones who get the blame for this crap.

    June 20, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Dr. KnowItAll

    BO needs to go plain and simple[le. All these people say Obamacare is great while in reality the true costs of these programs have yet to be incurred and very conveniently will not hit home until after the election. Want to see true economic suicide, then keep Obama and the comedy genuis Biden.

    June 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. No plan + no solution + always complaining = GOP

    Last I recall back in the late 2008 and early 2009 the DOW was where? Where is the DOW today?

    How much has been paid in C-level compensation? Yet we do not see hiring.

    How are our companies doing today? Much better than 2008.

    June 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Joan

    Exactly. The huge private sector corporations are making record profits but sitting on it and not hiring because they don't want the unemployment number to go down and the economy to improve because that might help Pres. Obama. It is Reagan "trickle down" economics at its very worst. Despite this stonewalling, the private sector has continued to add jobs (althought slowly) for over twenty months rather than losing 700,000 jobs per month as it was when Bush left office. Quite a stark difference there. A large problem is that the austerity push to cut government jobs and lay off teachers, firemen, policemen, etc. has only led to more unemployment because the public sector is not keeping up with the private sector. The governors used the stimulus money to pay down their mismanaged debt instead of creating jobs. Austerity measures only in European countries are taking them back to recessions. That is what the Republicans are proposing. For goodness sake, learn lessons from the mistakes of others.

    June 20, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    Donkey Party
    27 months of hiring. Setting records in the stock market. Sitting on nearly 2 trillion dollars that they don't know how to spend. I'd say the private sector IS doing fine, wouldn't you?
    Unemployment stuck above 8%. Housing foreclosures backed up for years. Interest rates from the Fed almost zero just to keep the US Treasury able to make payments on debt. $1 trillion deficits and funding for Medicare running dry within 12 years. More downward death spiral than "fine". Denial is one of the greatest dangers of the Obama Administration.

    June 20, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Indy

    The more they spend on this out of context quote the dumber they look,and they are looking like fools right now. Let the GOP hang on to this misquote that actually has some truth to it and spend,spend,spend Republicans that is what you are best at, lying,spending and spewing.

    June 20, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. Darryl

    Thats just takeing that comment out of contex.The republicans are so immature and look for anything to grand-stand on.What a joke to try to make people think that at all.These people are really desperate and at all costs will hear what they want to hear & believe what they want to believe.They will distorte and totally lie about the POTUS just to find a few stupid and uninformed people who will support them again at any and at all costs for their agenda which is to make the POYUS a 1 term President period.Sad but true ! And this will come to pass when the POTUS is re-elected for his well deserved second term as POTUS.

    June 20, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    you know you keep going to the well too often it's going to go dry. Not a smart comment by the POTUS to be sure but you keep replaying it over and over again it's going to lose it's effectiveness. I think the Obama campaign has seen this with the Bain ads and have cut back on them. Besides if the private sector adds more jobs the next few months and the reports are better, which the GOP is praying against I'm sure, this is will be all for naught.

    June 20, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Yonni

    This tired idea that a phrase acute for grand idea expression is misleading. Only it means in contrast to the government sector the private sector is yes doing fine (actually great). The sad thing is that they try to appeal to the low informed voters which pool will be diminished every year as society progressed. This shows that republicans are very short sited do not have a vision and integrity to be a viable party in the future. Of course the private sector of the economy is getting better day by day the drag on the economy is government cut back. You cannot have adult conversation in front of children that is what happened when republicans invited to the discussion.

    June 20, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Luke Brown

    This is completely taken out of context. It is insulting and only makes me more fearful of a President Mitt, who has no backbone when it comes to standing up to these hateful people.

    For what it is worth, I think Obama is right. The stimulus did keep a lot of small businesses - like mine - from closing. I don't like big spending by the Federal government, but in this case his policies significantly helped us stay above water. While we may not be flush with cash, we are getting along. If the Prez wants to call that "just fine", then it is just fine with me too.

    June 20, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |

    YAWN. BORING. I thought the Romney campaign was really going to give President Obama a challenge. Apparently not. Ugh. And the whole "out of touch" meme? Please. Get an original idea, will you, Romney campaign? President Obama used it on McCain and now the Romney campaign thinks it'll work against the President. The Romney campaign is void of anything new. It's not exciting whatsoever. Lastly, can somebody please advise Romney that ironed mom-jeans are so 1980s?

    June 20, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Mikey

    @Four – You need to tone down the spin and state things accurately if you want to be taken seriously.

    1) 8% unemployment – Yes, we must do better, although the GOP in Congress is certainly not blameless here
    2) Housing foreclosure issues have little to do with POTUS – Non-GSE mortgage conduit produced 85% of subprime loans – failure of private industry and regulatory oversight
    3) Interest rates are not being kept low "just to keep the US Treasury able to make payments on debt". That is a silly uninformed comment. Rates are being kept low to keep the U.S. and global economy from falling back off the cliff.
    4) $1T deficits are down from the $1.5T deficts inherited from the Bush-Cheney "deficts don't matter" team
    5) Funding on Medicare is not going to "run dry". It is, however, a long-term issue we must deal with.
    6) Items 3-5 are not related to the President's comment you are referencing.

    But nice try. Keep stepping up to the plate and swinging away. Someday, like the proverbial blind squirrel, you might make contact with the ball.

    June 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Expat American

    How many millions of dollars are the GOP going to spend repeating a misquoted sound byte taken out of context? Why don’t the Republicans use some of that money to help the poor uneducated whites who vote for them – instead of stepping on their necks while using them for their votes?

    June 20, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Steve- Illinois

    You Obama super supporters that think the economy is "doing fine!" are going to be in for shock in November if it's not "doing a heck of a lot finer!" by then!

    This could be the most dense statement made by a President in an election year, ever!

    June 20, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    @Four – You need to tone down the spin and state things accurately if you want to be taken seriously.
    And you must be Obama's Excuse Czar. Good job!

    June 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Name willardbullock

    I said mocked of presdient obama what happened about frauad check scam from afrcian amercian so presdient obama was nothing to work his job for 4 year so he like play game with his word mouth
    I know that predient obama are not strong his presdient

    June 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. once upon a horse

    The GOP wants the economy to do better and more jobs for the American people, BUT they want that not only after the November elections but also if Romney happens to win. Then if that happens you'll see those right wing CEOs that are sitting on trillions of dollars in profits open up their wallets a bit and start hiring. Profits they made of course during Obama's term. We all know though some want to deny it that the GOP is rooting AGAINST an improving economy under Obama at the moment and normally when you put party before people and root against America YOU LOSE!

    June 20, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. anthony78

    Im pretty sure Mitt does not want Obama to open the door on the one-liner gaffes... or out-of-context mispokes...
    Romney's got a closet full of the, and they all say a heck of a lot more about him, then this ONE 'doing fine' line.
    As Romney and the RNC seem to be throwing everything and the kitchen sink out this early in the process, I can't wait until Obama's team starts unloading on this guys with much of their OWN words. Obama can run the same ads Santorum, Newt, Ron ran against Mitt.... then he's toast.

    June 20, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. patNY

    I like firing people
    Corp.s are people too
    I'm not worried about the poor.
    I'm unemployed too!

    Hmmm – Romney Gaffes!

    June 20, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    Name willardbullock

    I said mocked of presdient obama what happened about frauad check scam from afrcian amercian so presdient obama was nothing to work his job for 4 year so he like play game with his word mouth
    I know that predient obama are not strong his presdient


    Huh? What is it that you're trying to say willard?

    June 20, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. marjee123

    The gaffe is only on CNN who is trying to pull a Fox and keep this story going. All, and boy I mean all the zillions of gaffes Romney has made just in the last couple of weeks aren't even talked about by CNN. But we get it. They HAVE to safisfy their CONservative owners.

    June 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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