Mitt Romney, forever out of touch with the “real America,” today in Council Bluffs, Iowa told farmers that “It’s time for us to cut back on” firemen, policemen, and teachers.
Mitt Romney berated Barack Obama as “so far from reality” after the president said the private sector is “doing fine” during a press conference Friday.
“He said the private sector is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch? I think he is defining what it means to be detached and out of touch with the American people,” Romney said in Council Bluffs, Iowa after a roundtable discussion with farmers.
In his opening remarks in the White House briefing room, Obama addressed the economic crisis in Europe and offered his assessment of the state of the economy in the United States during a question and answer session with reporters.
“The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last two, 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. 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.”
The Republican presidential candidate criticized his 2012 competitor for “pushing aside the private sector” and instead wants to add more government jobs. He cited the recent gubernatorial recall vote in Wisconsin as a sign voters want the opposite.
Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. 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.”
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post notes:
When Republicans attack public workers, they often take care to exempt cops and firefighters, because they are culturally sympathetic figures, and muddle the message that government workers are parasites who are destroying the economic conditions of ordinary Americans.
But today Mitt Romney got a good deal more specific, claiming we do not need to hire more cops or firefighters specifically, which would, he said, cut against the interests of the American people. He also specificallly named teachers.
It’s hard to argue that the message from Wisconsin was that Americans don’t think we should hire more firefighters and cops. They were exempted from Scott Walker’s crackdown on public employee bargaining rights, which enabled him to “divide and conquer” labor.
But beyond that, this could resonate in the presidential race: It will allow the White House to reframe the debate over public sector workers and job creation on more favorable terms.
Or, to put it another way: #WedgeFail!
The Obama campaign responds:
In Iowa today, Mitt Romney shockingly promised to cut jobs for firefighters, police, and teachers if elected. As President Obama urges Congress to pass his plan to put cops, firefighters, teachers, and construction workers back to work — after they left as many as 1 million jobs from his plan on the table — Mitt Romney has decided we need less jobs for middle class Americans, not more. That’s the message he received this week.
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