GOP Jumps on Obama’s “Doing Fine”

A statement by President Barack Obama is being taken out-of-context and used as a weapon by his Republican opponents.

In a press conference held Friday at the White House, Obama discussed the growth in jobs in the private sector as compared to a shrinking public sector.

The truth of the matter is that, as I’ve said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.

This is not really in dispute. In the last 27 months, the private sector has added 4.3 million jobs, while the public sector has shed 550,000 jobs. Indeed, if public sector jobs had just stayed flat over the past 27 months, the economy would be essentially at a break-even for jobs during Obama’s time in office.

However, because Obama’s statement can be divorced from context and turned into a single line — “The private sector is doing fine” — Republicans and the media have attacked Obama.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., sounded the typical theme. In a press conference, Cantor said:

My question would be to the president, are you kidding? Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, Iíd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game. Itís not because of the headwinds of Europe. Itís not, despite his attempt and his partyís attempts here in Congress, it is not because of House Republicans. Itís because of the failed stimulus policies and other items in his agenda that small businesses in this country just†arenít growing.

Of course, when the vast majority of jobs lost have been in the public sector, it makes it hard to argue that government is not playing a role in the downturn.

A functional media probably would note the context of what Obama said, but the American media is anything but functional. At Buzzfeed, Zeke Miller declared Obama’s line a “gift,” despite posting a chart that showed consistent private job growth as compared to consistent public job losses.

Obama later clarified his remarks, according to MSNBC, saying, “It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That’s why I had a press conference.” But he shot back at Republicans who were criticizing him.

“You know, and what I’m interested in hearing from Congress and Mr. Romney is what steps are they willing to take right now that are going to make an actual difference?” Obama said. “And so far, all we’ve heard are additional tax cuts to the folks who are doing fine, as opposed to taking steps that would actually help deal with the weaknesses in the economy and promote the kind of economic growth that we would all like to see.”

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Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

James thanks for the bullshit talking points from inside the right wing bubble. Now you can scurry back to fox news to get some more. The only problem with President Obama is that he has been unable to clean up the massive mess that eight years of Bush Jr. and his band of Republican idiots inflicted upon this country.

James C.
James Crowley4 years ago

Obama is simply out to distract us from the real issues and his own record
as President. The real issues we face - a faltering poor economy, very few
jobs, housing prices down 35%, heavy handed regs that keep piling on the
cost of business simply staying in business, the highest corporate taxes in
the world, the growing cost of entitlements and the unwillingness to rein in
record spending - are not being addressed. And when one takes a quick
look at the man's record, it helps to explain why he tries to distract us from
his 3 1/2 yrs in office - the record spending, record debt, record food stamp
outlays, record foreclosures, record bankruptcies, a new record of 40
consecutive months of unemployment above 8%, the nation's first ever
credit rating downgrade, his personal record of 100 plus rounds of golf
and more campaign stops than the last 5 Presidents combined, This is
Obama's record. It doesn't belong to Bush and it certainly isn't Romney's.

Beth K.
.5 years ago

Are all libertarians bugshit crazy?

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Yeah Forrest most of us are ashamed of your nitwit comments. Quick I think fox news is on, you might want to get some more talking points.

Forest K.
S Forest K5 years ago

Lee, like many 1%, I am not always in the group, but before the bubble burst was frequently. I am one of those who say you don't need a college education. Just ask Bill Gates or Steve Jobs if you need more validation. A college education establishes you are good at one thing; regurgitating what you are told. In fact it encourages the opposite of what makes a person creatively successful.

Worse, the education industry (yes there is such a thing) is marketing student loans similar to housing and automobiles. So now it's not how much of an education (or house or car) you can afford, it's how much of a monthly payment you can afford. Then the kids get out wondering how they are going to pay off $100's of thousands in debt. You buy right into that government enhanced paradigm. For shame.

Yes, some wealthy people are corrupt, but so are many people who are not wealthy. Wealth has nothing to do with morality. That's something you class warfare types refuse to accept since your logic is often masked by crass traits such as envy and greed.

And since you are so quick to generalize and feel the need to get personal, I find Romney to be almost as disgusting as Obama and Bush and Clinton and Carter (even disappointed in Reagan) and almost the entirety of our elected government. No partisanship here. I am not a "Republican". I am a supporter of liberty, whether social or financial. I am a supporter of individuality and freedom; as much as is possible within a society of humans.

Forest K.
S Forest K5 years ago

Kevin, I am almost ashamed to entertain your comments, but since there are people reading who might understand, I will try again. You have no more justification in denigrating a class of people due to their wealth than others who refer to all poor people as lazy and shiftless.

However your vitriol testifies to your inability to comprehend your hypocrisy. Your emotional outbursts expose your lack of reasoning, so keep up the good work. You argue quite nicely against yourself.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Lee W.-take another green star out of petty cash on me. And Lee why don't you take your canned right wing talking points and go back to the fox news bubble where you belong? After all you find the people on this site "so offensive."

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Forrest K.-Oh so I guess there are no rich bastards destroying the working and middle class? Standing up to evil people and bullies is not class hatred. And hell yes there is class warfare, I have been watching it happen for the last 30 years. The greedy rich started the war and now you want me to pretend it does not exist? Hatred is not calling someone a "bastard" (they deserve it) hatred is destroying the working and middle class just to make a few more grubby dollars that the uber-rich will never even be able to spend. So take your quaint "semantic" witticism and shove it.

Forest K.
S Forest K5 years ago

What disgusting human beings these threads expose. The people here pointing to the "rich bastards" are probably some of the first people to voice their disgust with stereotyping and discrimination. Yet when it comes to pointing to a subset of the population who actually earned their label via a life dedicated to hard work and forgoing the extravagances in life to become "rich", all gloves are off.

Simple minds use stereotyping. It makes life easier.

A rich person cannot legally exploit anybody. No person is bound to buy their product, work on their payroll, participate in what they are doing. On the other hand, a government can bind people to buy their product, work on their payroll, and uses violent force to do so.

A thinking person would realize their argument is not with the "rich", but with the corrupt. A thinking person would understand those evil crony capitalists cannot be cronies without a politician involved. A thinking person would also realize many companies and industries are forced to pay into this corrupt system to survive. It's too bad there are so many lazy people out there who rely on generalizations in throwing their verbal temper tantrums without pondering where the problem lies.

Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago

Anything taken out of context is potentially harmful and misleading. I distrust sound-bites. Period.