Las Vegas Sun

April 25, 2015

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election 2012:

Line of Attack: Is it fair to label Obama ‘out of touch’ on jobs recovery?

Editor’s note: Today the Sun launches a feature that will run each week until the Nov. 6 election. In Line of Attack, we will parse a political attack, looking at the strategy behind it, how the campaign is delivering it and what facts support or refute it. We’ll assign it a rating on the fairness meter: Legit, Eye Roll, Guffaw, Laughable or Outrageous. We hope you enjoy.

Attack: President Barack Obama is so out of touch with Americans suffering in the economic recession that he thinks the “private sector is doing fine.” He said so.

Method of delivery: How do you know you’ve got a good line of attack? Everybody’s using it. Indeed within days of Obama uttering the now infamous line at a press briefing, Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign had television ads up slamming Obama for it. The line has made it into nearly every Republican’s talking points. And even the outside groups have taken up the mantel. In the days following the Romney campaign’s television ads, the super PAC Restore Our Future had its own version up, and then Americans for Prosperity, a national nonprofit joined suit.

That means voters in Nevada and other swing states are getting a triple dose of the same message: Never mind the foreclosures, the unemployment and the malaise, Obama thinks the economy is fine.

Strategy: This one is pretty apparent on its face. Romney’s entire campaign strategy is based on the premise that he is the better candidate to rescue the economy from the lingering recession. Obama’s slip of the tongue gave Romney two platforms from which to make that argument. First, it can be used to portray Obama as out of touch, and, second, that he thinks the public sector needs the attention.

“He’s making the case for greater spending,” one Republican operative said.

Fairness meter: As with most lines of attack, there is context here. Obama’s point was that the private sector is stabilizing, while the public sector continues to be a drag on the economy and thus needs federal resources. Later the same day he made the comment, he called a news conference to dial back, stating emphatically that he believes the private sector is not doing fine. Still, Obama said it. And the attack ads don’t even have to pull it out of context. That means this line of attack is legit.

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  1. He is out of touch on most everything... He and his wife tell us what they think we want to hear. There is no intention to do more than that. If he's elected to four more years we'll all be broke.
    He is determined to make this a socialist country at the citizens expense.
    He is an absolute amateur...

  2. The problems with job recovery in the state of NV can be laid directly on the state house steps. Owned by casinos and failure to diversify business by these "in the pocket individuals" is all that stands in the way of job recovery. If they had been on the ball with diversification all along the recovery would not be this difficult. As it stands, NV will be the last state to recover if it ever does at all. Especially in sight of all the states who have legalized gambling in one way or another throughout the USA. The federal government is in no way responsible for the problems of NV.

  3. Both Mick Davis and Milt1007 have a handle on the "reality" of the USA's employment problem. Any politician is going to say what the People want to hear and believe. That is fact.

    For me, both Obama and Romney are pretty equal in leadership and using words. Either way, with either one of them, nothing will signicantly change. Just more of the same of this great country spiraling out of control and downward in the great social experiment started by the Founders of our country. People kept changing the rules along the way. How that for governance?

    Blessings and Peace,

  4. No! It's not correct to say the president is out of touch as it relates to anything in the private sector. Why? Because to say one is out of touch, it then is implied that at one point that person had knowledge and experience at one time and has simply been uninvolved long enough to have fallen behind in current conditions, causes and effects. It may have been correct to say G.H.W.B was out of touch with average citizens daily experiences after decades of government service as Ambassador, CIA head, VP, etc.

    Assuming the same context, it is impossible for President Obama to be out of touch as neither his personal nor his professional education or experience would have ever provided the knowledge and experience to be in touch, if you will. He is primarily an academic whose knowledge is limited to his formal education and agenda driven employment for the government and one union. He has never held a private sector job outside of government that would give him the experience or practical education necessary to be otherwise than 'out of touch' if one must misuse the term.

    He has no experience to recommend him and that is nothing more than the absolute facts of the matter as put forth in his own written history. He did little in the Illinois Senate and began running for president almost as soon as he was elected to national office. No votes, safe votes and absentee votes over less than one term of office do not equip one for higher office especially when that individual has not the private experience upon which to build it.

    His short tenure as a part time instructor at a university, he was never a professor nor a constitutional scholar as some like to misrepresent, from which his single most important guiding position -- that the US Constitution is a charter of negative liberties that says more about what government cannot do than what it can is not a great breadth and depth of experience to fall back on. Neither is his short time using SEIU and the local churches to build his brand. It doesn't take much acumen to tell folks what they want to hear and promise them that your interests are the same.

    So, to say the president is out of touch with the economy or the jobs situation is like saying that a peace activist is out of touch with the military, or a military careerist is out of touch with conditions on the assembly lines at Ford or GM. What else could one expect?

  5. Has there ever been a President that some segment of the society, partisan or not, didn't think was "out of touch" with something? In either party?

    Not in all the Administrations and decades that I can remember!

    In all instances, while people focus on the current news cycles items and party agendas, with limited information, there are loads of things people never hear about that have huge ramifications for everyone during every Administration. Those go undiscovered, or unmentioned.

    Sometimes ideas and plans change due to the changing national or global circumstances that effect them, and they disappear, at least temporarily. Others go through as part of some huge budget bill, and few realize what is in there.

    At other times, a controversial facade is created to distract attention from something even more serious, enabling the real objective to succeed.

    All Presidents are 'in touch', and beyond the public's awareness, with complex agenda's which are influenced by many different interests on all levels. Certain agendas in particular consolidate power for the non-elected.

    That is the reality, and it isn't likely to be any different with the changing of Presidents from either party.

  6. Everything the administration DOES is against jobs for American citizens. They pay lip service saying they want jobs but they keep giving away our jobs and money by spending and sending it overseas--billions of new aide to dictators--search on Hillary Clinton news. 8 million and counting, non-agriculture jobs to illegals--search on NUMBERS. Failure to support federal immigration law. Preference for foreign nationals over the States of Arizona, Georgia, Arkansas, .... over all 50. What about the costs of illegals on states, cities, counties, school districts, all of the legal Americans?

  7. Why do American companies and contractors continue to hire undocumented workers? This cuts jobs for citizen and documented workers.

    Since they are breaking the law, why are they not fined substantially, or put in jail?

    Low level importance on employers breaking the law has gone on through Administration after Administration for decades.

    The current economic crisis with no growth illegal border crossings proves that if you cut the economic benefit, undocumented workers stop coming.

    I am glad that a priority has been made at deporting undocumented criminals.

    We need to do as much as possible to prevent the cartels from gaining a greater foothold in the U.S., especially since they are gaining ground.

    One way, of course, is for Americans to stop using drugs. Americans drug users create the problem in the first place. Stop using and the market dries up.

    American drug use is not limited to the poor. They have less money to spend on it. Those with money to spend on drugs are also to blame.

    Why do Americans keep supporting the drug related jobs in other countries, both through drug use and the War on Drugs that has been going on for decades?