The Associated Press reports:

Obama told donors at a San Francisco fundraiser that “the other side” doesn’t have any new ideas.

“And because they don’t have any new ideas, what they will do is spend 500, 700, a billion dollars in negative ads and their simple message will be: This is someone else’s fault and that’s enough reason for you to vote for us,” he said.

“And,” he added, “if we don’t answer them, that can work.”

The president made no mention of the results of Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election. Democrats failed to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker, bad news for the president and the party that came just days after a dismal jobs report cast gloom on the economic recovery.

In “Virginia or Iowa or North Carolina or California, all across the country,” Obama said, “there are a lot of folks who are still wondering — are we going to be able to fully deliver on that promise of a country that is thriving and has an economy that is built to last?”

Obama offered no new prescriptions for how he would answer Americans’ economic questions. He said he’s pushing a number of bills in Congress aimed at boosting jobs and growth but has gotten little help from Republican lawmakers.

You gotta love the reporter’s skeptical, dry dig at the president — who doesn’t have a sliver of an agenda and has been spouting bile at Mitt Romney nonstop — accusing the other guy of not having ideas, going negative and blaming others. (The last part makes no sense whatever since, of course, Romney is blaming Obama for the lousy economy; It’s not like Romney has been president for 3 1/2 years.)

But you can bet the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign will be using this in upcoming ads: “There are a lot of folks who are still wondering — are we going to be able to fully deliver on that promise of a country that is thriving and has an economy that is built to last?” (“Well, come to think of it, we were wondering the same thing, and so are the 23 million people with no job.”)

Meanwhile, Larry Summers, a former economic adviser for Obama and the Clinton administration) got himself, and the president, tied up in knots on the Bush tax cuts once again, which not even the New York Times can help smooth over:

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Wednesday, Mr. Summers, one of the president’s closest economic advisers, was asked about Mr. Clinton’s comments on the tax cuts and last week’s poor jobs report. Pressed for what advice he would give the president, Mr. Summers said: “The real risk to this economy is on the side of slowdown, certainly not on the side of overheating, and that means we’ve got to make sure we don’t take gasoline out of the tank at the end of this year. That’s got to be the top priority.”

The Bush-era tax cuts expire Jan. 1, 2013.

But Mr. Summers, in an e-mail after the interview, said he was not contradicting Mr. Obama, who has vowed to let tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

There was this bit of unintended hilarity as well from Summers: “You’ve got to look to the people who’ve gotten the most gains from the economy over the last 30 years, and who have also gotten the biggest tax reductions. It’s not taking from them. It’s simply asking them to do their fair share at a time when the country has to pull together to work through some difficult problems.” (So this is some voluntary fundraiser for the Treasury?)

This muddle goes to the heart of Obama’s incoherence o the economy. What is his formula for preventing the slide back into recession? Why don’t his words when he last agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts in December 2010 apply with even greater force today? (“What we have is a situation in which the economy, although growing, although company profits are up, although we are seeing some job growth in the private sector, the economy is not growing fast enough to drive down the unemployment rate given the 8 million jobs that were lost before I came into office and just as I was coming into office. So what this package does is provide an additional boost that is substantially more significant than I think most economic forecasters had expected.”)

No wonder the American people have doubts about Obama. They have an incumbent with no dis­cern­ible economy policy, 8.2 percent unemployment, 15 trillion dollars of debt and less than 2 percent growth.