* Nice post by James Downie on Obama’s “private sector is doing fine” quote, and how it isn’t perhaps quite as important as, you know, what Obama and Romney each would do to fix the economy.
* But there’s no denying it was a serious misstep: As Karen Tumulty notes, it gives Republicans exactly the fodder they need to paint Obama as out of touch with Americans’ economic suffering.
* And Obama walks it back.
* Speaking of GOP attacks on the “doing fine” quote, and Obama’s walkback, the Tweet of the day, courtesy of Michael McAuliff:
huh, McConnell’s office sends out this quote from Obama today: “It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.”
He gets hit for saying the private sector is “doing fine,” he gets hit for saying it’s “not doing fine...”
* Brian Beutler translates the most important message Obama deilvered at the presser: He was simply asking Republicans to stop using the deficit as an excuse not to act to fix unemployment.
* Or, as Josh Benson rightly puts it, Obama has now explicitly embraced the argument about government that Republicans are always itching to have.
* House Republicans release a batch of emails showing that the Obama administration killed a proposal sought by liberals to placate the drug industry and keep it on board with health reform.
* Steve Benen anticipates the media and political world will pay less attention to Romney’s claim that we don’t need more cops or figherfighters than to Obama’s “doing fine” remark:
Here’s a radical idea I’ll just throw out there: maybe during the race for the White House, candidates and media professionals can spend a little time on this. I mean, honestly, isn’t this one of the more important positions Romney has taken all year? I’ll make this really easy: Dear Mr. Romney, please explain why America will be better off when more teachers, cops, and firefighters are unemployed.
* Travis Waldron has more on the larger policy context of Romney’s cops and firefighters claim, and why it shows that Romney is heavily invested in “the GOP’s ideological battle against government.”
* Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt puts out a statement seizing on the cops and firefighters claim to sharpen the contrast:
Not only has Mitt Romney opposed the President’s plan to create one million jobs, he is actually calling for further job loss in the sector that needs the most urgent boost.
The battle is now directly focused on government jobs and their role in the crisis. Getting interesting.
* As Jed Lewison notes, what’s amazing about the Romney cop/firefighter quote is how wrong it is at its most fundamental level: “Anytime somebody loses a job, it’s bad news for the economy.”
* Steve Benen’s regular Friday tally of Romney’s most glaring falsehoods and distortions of the week weighs in at a whopping 20 items, and it’s the 21st installment.
* John Harwood on how demographic shifts such as the decline in blue collar whites and rising Latino vote share could (very marginally) help Obama this fall.
* Jeff Merkley, in an interview with David Dayen, warns of backroom sell-out deals to aver the “fiscal cliff,” and says Dems have no coherent strategy to deal with the coming standoff.
* ICYMI: Good stuff from Jonathan Bernstein on hints that Senate Dems may again cave on the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and why that would be even more mind-boggling this time than last.
* And Andrew Sullivan says today’s “doing fine” gaffe signals that you’d better steel yourself for a very rough five months, and that the stakes for Obama’s entire agenda have never been higher.