Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a real debbie downer. Romney’s entire economic message is centered around his career at Bain Capital (which has serious issues) and not so much his actual record as Governor of Massachusetts (because he has serious issues in his record). Now it turns out that he wants the American economy to do worse, or at least seem to be doing worse, so that he can continue to attack President Obama for failing to fix it fast enough.
Bloomberg News is reporting that Florida Governor Rick Scott had a talking to by the Romney campaign criticizing his recent ads and positive talk about Florida’s improving jobs numbers. The Romney camp doesn’t want Governor Scott to highlight Florida’s dropping unemployment rate, because doing so would contradict Romney’s message that the economy is in the crapper and it’s all President Obama’s fault.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.
What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors inOhio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.
Scott should follow the advice of the Romney campaign and it won’t undermine his own message, said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida.
Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich is in the same dilemma as Scott. But Ohio is faring much better than Florida on the jobs front, and it’s become clear that Republican governors have a real problem with touting an improving economic situation in their states without stepping all over Mitt Romney’s core message. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has openly acknowledged that improved economies in selected swing states are going to be a problem for Romney.
And there is something wrong with that. The Romney campaign is running on cynicism, basically saying that any improvement on the economy is bad for Romney. A truly presidential candidate wouldn’t view more jobs for out of work Americans as a bad thing, even if it hurt his political messaging a bit.
Romney should root for America, not against it. If Romney really thinks this is a messaging strategy that makes him look like he cares about Americans and wants to fix the problems then he might want to try again. Betting against Americans in order to become their elected leader doesn’t seem like a winning strategy.