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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:56 AM ET, 06/14/2012

The Morning Plum

* Romney talking point continues to implode: Yesterday I noted here that the medical furniture company at the center of Mitt Romney’s latest attack on Obama did not move from Iowa to Wisconsin because of Obamacare. Indeed, one reason for the move is that demand for the company’s product has been slowed by the uncertainty caused by the drive to repeal or modify health care reform.

It gets better. My colleage Glenn Kessler has now looked into this further, and he finds that another reason for the move was ... federal spending cuts.

The company does a good deal of business with the federal government, Kessler notes, and cutbacks have harmed its bottom line. As Kessler suggests, Romney’s business background should have indicated to him that the original idea — that a health reform law that’s not even fully implemented yet caused this consolidation — was absurd.

Bottom line: This company’s move was prompted in part by policy ideas Romney supports: cuts to federal spending; and the drive to roll back health reform, the real cause of the Obamacare “uncertainty” here. This small skirmish goes directly to the heart of the big issues that the presidential campaign is really about.

* Tough new Romney ad slams Obama over “doing fine”: The Romney campaign is out with a very tough new ad juxtaposing horrific unemployment numbers with footage of Obama claiming the “private sector is doing fine.” The closer: “Doing fine? How can Obama fix the economy if he doesn’t understand that it’s broken?”

This ad shows just how bad a screw up Obama’s remark really was. This simple message — the economy is a disaster, and Obama is so out of touch with American’s econonmic suffering that he is incapable of fixing it — will be broadcast over and over in various forms to millions of struggling swing state residents. It’s hardly a coincidence that this was released just before Obama’s economic speech.

* Associated Press demolishes Romney claims about public workers: Good for the AP for directly debunking Romney’s claims about public sector job loss, including the notion that the federal government doesn’t pay them (it does) and that the stimulus only protected government jobs (it staved off economic collapse in the private sector, too).

This AP piece is important: Rarely do we see news orgs delve deeply into expert opinion about who is actually right about the policy dispute between Romney and Obama that underlies the daily back and forth.

* What Obama will say today: The Post previews the big speech:

The speech, advisers said, will contrast Obama’s efforts to strengthen the middle class — through such initiatives as education programs, the bailout of the auto industry and investment in infrastructure — with what Republican Mitt Romney says he would do as president. Obama is expected to argue that Romney’s proposals to extend and expand tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and to slice deeply into government spending without committing to new revenue, reflect the policies of George W. Bush’s presidency, which ended with huge deficits and a recession.

The speech will be followed by a blitz of surrogate appearances in swing states. One thing to watch for: How clearly Obama spells out how a Romney presidency versus an Obama second term would impact people’s lives. Also: Will the speech and the newly aggressive push that follows silences the hand-wringing among Dems about Obama’s need for a message revamp?

* Obama’s difficult balancing act: Must-read from Steve Kornacki on the difficulty Obama faces in defending his economic record (which he must do) without appearing out of touch with Americans’ economic suffering (which Romney will accuse him of relentlessly).

Also note Kornacki’s key point that the current situation is so unique that it’s not impossible that Obama will be able to win by laying some blame at the feet of his predecessor.

* Yup: Americans still blame Bush more than Obama: Indeed, a new Gallup poll finds Bush blame running strong: 68 percent of Americans still blame him for the state of the economy, versus 52 percent who blame Obama, barely more than in early 2010. Sixty seven percent of independents, and even 49 percent of Republicans, blame Bush.

Hmmm. I guess the American people are also “making excuses” for Obama, as Romney likes to put it when people note the disaster left to him by his predecessor.

* Jobless claims rise again: The big picture in chart form.

* Obama allies keep hitting Romney’s Bain years: Priorities USA Action is up with a new ad in New Hampshire highlighting layoffs that hit local workers after Bain came to town. The ad indicates that Dems have not shifted away from their strategy of attacking Romney’s private sector past, despite pundit assertions to the contrary.

* A boost for Obama in Ohio? A great point from Erin McPike: With both candidates in Ohio today, Obama could get a boost from a new $350 million Department of Energy investment in a nuclear facility in southern Ohio. This, plus the impact of the auto bailout on parts of the auto industry in northern Ohio, could give Obama a bit of an edge in this must-win state for Republicans.

* And Senators worship at the altar of Dimon: Fun read from Dana Milbank, who captures the most obsequious moments of Jamie Dimon’s appearance before Senators yesterday, and notes that Dimon went way off the GOP message by praising parts of Wall Street reform.

Also: David Dayen gets into the substance of the livelier exchanges on the question of whether Dimon owes his job to the federal bank bailoutand his self-contradicting on the need for a Volcker Rule.

What else?

By  |  08:56 AM ET, 06/14/2012

 
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