President Obama canceled out whatever benefit could have come from today’s impromptu press conference on the economy when he said, “The private sector is doing fine.” Perhaps he knows something we don’t. It’s possible, since he is the president. Perhaps he was channelling Steve Rattner, his former adviser whose “Morning Joe” charts on Monday showed that three-quarters of the economy is recovering. But coming a week after the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent and other bad economic and fiscal news, Obama’s rosy assessment will strike folks as a bit daft.
Republicans wasted no time hurling Obama’s oops in his face with a video showing devastating headlines from last week.
According to tweets from Mark Knoller of CBS News, the president used a photo-op with Philippines President Benigno Aquino III to clarify his message. The economy is not doing fine, but the private sector is getting better. That may be. But after unease about the attacks on Bain Capital, the off-message comments of surrogates and the anemic jobs numbers, what’s not getting better is a worry among Democrats that Obama’s edge is slipping.