The Washington Post

Obama must hide from more bad economic news.

Let's pause to remember that the November election will be about jobs and the economy. While America's political leadership has been consumed with whether Mitt Romney left private employment approximately 12 years ago or 10 years ago, and President Obama taunts his opponent with criminal charges, the economy is only getting worse.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global growth.  This could particularly hurt exports and manufacturing in the United States.

All this is happening while the American president declares his contempt for private business, attacks success and renews his call for punitive tax increases, and his Democratic allies in Congress celebrate the idea of pushing America off the "fiscal cliff" — not in pursuit of economic recovery, but to satisfy their death wish for the most productive Americans. Let's face it, Obama and the Democrats resent private accomplishment and want independent Americans to be cut down to size while the government is made a little bigger.

With the economy getting worse, do you think the 2012 campaign debate about solutions will get better? Or do you think Obama will double down on distractions and wild charges about Mitt Romney and Republicans?

As I said yesterday, the Obama campaign is too intense too soon. When the smoke clears from the latest grenade it has thrown at Romney, we will see even more economic rot that Obama is hiding from, and voters will be more frightened than ever.

Also, bad gets worse — retail sales dropped in June as consumers worried about their future. And stocks dropped following this disappointing news. So will the campaign debate shift quickly back to jobs and the economy? If you're Obama and you don't have anything credible to say, you have to try to keep up the distractions and keep hiding from the real news.

The recession continues and all the signs say it is getting worse. The president will pay a price if he continues to pretend that other things are more important. With the economy sinking, does he really believe Americans want to make it a priority to get to the bottom of exactly when Mitt Romney departed Bain Capital?

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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