Mitt Romney, on the campaign trail today, commenting on last night’s speeches at the Democratic National Convention:
“You’ve heard no one stand up and say that people are better off than they were four years ago,” Romney told reporters traveling with him as he picked up several extra large pies at a pizza joint here. “They really can’t say that. They can’t say it in all honesty.”
Huh, really? No Democrat last night said people are better off? Well, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is a Democrat. And he said this: “With 29 months in a row of private sector job growth, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By making college more affordable for millions of middle-class families, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By securing the guarantee of Medicare for our seniors, President Obama is moving America forward, not back!”
Rahm Emanuel is a Democrat. And he said this: “Today, our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month, to adding 4.5 million private-sector jobs in the last 29 months . . . today, because of President Obama’s courage, kids can stay on their parent’s plan until they are 26. Insurers cannot kick you off your policy because you have hit your limit. They will not be able to deny you because you have a pre-existing condition.”
Julian Castro is a Democrat. And he said this: “When Detroit was in trouble, President Obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. Seven presidents before him — Democrats and Republicans — tried to expand health care to all Americans. President Obama got it done. He made a historic investment to lift our nation’s public schools and expanded Pell grants so that more young people can afford college. And because he knows that we don’t have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers.”
Does all that count as saying people are better off? Here’s the crux of the matter. Things still suck, but they are getting better. By certain overall metrics (the unemployment rate or median income) large swaths of people are not better off. But by other metrics, millions of people are clearly benefitting from Obama’s policies. There are those who enjoy the benefits of Obamacare; those who are working in the millions of jobs that have been created since the recession ended; those who no longer need to fear deportation and those who benefit from access to more affordable educations.
What’s more, the economy is clearly in better shape than it was four years ago, and it continues to improve, even if it is improving far too slowly. When Obama took office, it was bleeding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month; now it is adding jobs every month. It is adding those jobs much more slowly than we’d like, but it is adding them.
The next time Romney argues that people are not better off than they were four years ago, which reporter will ask him point blank: Are all the people who are clearly benefitting from the various Obama policies outlined above not better off? Is the economy in better shape than it was four years ago, or not? Is the economy recovering, or not? Word is David Gregory scored an interview with Romney this Sunday. How about it, David?