Romney Campaign Said To Ask Scott To Downplay Job Gains
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.
Scott should follow the advice of the Romney campaign and it won’t undermine his own message, said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida.
What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.
“This is one of those situations where you could have it both ways and there’s enough truth in it that it would resonate,” Stipanovich said. “It would be better if everybody was singing from the same hymnal.”
A Romney adviser made the request this week to Scott’s staff after press releases from the governor’s re-election campaign and Internet messages from the Florida Chamber of Commerce trumpeted the state’s drop to 8.6 percent unemployment rate in May from 8.7 percent in April, the people said. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.
Scott’s news release said the jobless rate had dropped 11 consecutive months in Florida and asked supporters to “spread the news” on Facebook, Twitter and by e-mailing their friends.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an e-mail that Romney frequently praises governors “for their ability to overcome the job-stifling policies of the Obama administration.” Scott spokesman Lane Wright didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.
Romney hasn’t campaigned with Scott, a first-term governor, whose approval rating is 39 percent, according to a poll yesterday from Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut. That’s down from 41 percent on May 24.
Romney’s staff has concluded there’s no benefit in appearing with Scott, said two campaign advisers who asked for anonymity because theyweren’t authorized to discuss the matter.
The state Republican party ran a television ad in March crediting Scott, who is a year and a half into a four-year term, for drops in the unemployment rate.
“Companies are hiring, expanding, putting more Floridians to work,” the ad narrator said. “Florida’s unemployment rate continues to get better.”
Florida’s jobless rate was 11.1 percent in December 2010 before Scott took office and 8.2 percent two years earlier when Obama was sworn-in.
“The first time I saw that ad I initially thought it was an Obama ad,” said Brad Coker, managing director of the Washington-basedMason-Dixon Polling & Research. “They’ll have to tamp it down.”
Two months later, Crossroads GPS, a super-political action committee that is supporting Romney, was on television in Florida with a spot featuring a female character saying her kids “can’t find jobs.”
“Unemployment Rate Stays High,” says a mock newspaper headline in the ad.
In Ohio, Governor John Kasich has been publicly touting the state’s falling unemployment rate and 75,700 jobs added during the past year. Rob Nichols, a Kasich spokesman, said the Romney campaign hasn’t asked the governor to change that message.
Kasich’s comments may appear to conflict with Romney’s. The two Republicans campaigned at an April 27 event at Otterbein University in suburban Columbus where Romney described a difficult job market for graduating seniors and Kasich talked about the state’s unfilled jobs.
Asked about the conflict after a May 17 speech in Columbus, Kasich told reporters that although Ohio’s economy is improving, “uncertainty” from the president’s policies on health care, taxes and regulation “puts wind in our face” that would change if Romney were elected.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on June 19 called Michigan “the comeback state of the United States,” noting its jobless rate dropped to 8.5 percent in May from 14.2 percent in August 2009.
“We still need to do better,” Snyder said. “The whole country needs to do better.”
Geralyn Lasher, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said the Romney campaign hasn’t asked the governor to downplay economic improvements.
In Virginia, Governor Robert McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia political action committee aired an ad in April that touts gains in the economy since he took office in 2010.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said economic progress was a key component of his successful defense against a June 5 recall election. Walker pointed to the state’s unemployment rate, which was 6.8 percent in May, down from 7.7 percent when he took office in January 2001.
In Florida, signs of a sagging economy remain.
The 18 percent of Florida mortgages in foreclosure or 90 days past due is the highest rate in the country, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Commercial buildings remain vacant across the state.
“Until you start seeing physical signs of those things starting to fill up again, I just don’t think people are going to believe a government statistic that life is getting better for them,” said Coker, the Mason-Dixon polling executive.
Mitt Romney would rather see the economy fail than Obama win.
Republicans in Congress are trying to stall the economy and Mitt Romney is issuing gag orders against talking about the recovery. “Rooting for failure” doesn’t even do all this justice.
Florida GOP To Mitt Romney: Drop Dead
Despite Romney campaign request to Gov. Rick Scott to tone down talk of economic recovery, Florida Republicans are still hyping the accomplishments of their governor — and by extension, President Barack Obama. This email went out to reporters today, hours after the Bloomberg report.
Read it here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/florida-gop-to-mitt-romney-drop-dead
Memo” the Truth Team put up from Romney to Governor Scott:
Mitt Romney to Swing State GOP Governors: Downplay Economic Improvement
By Ben Johnson and Slate V Staff
| Posted Thursday, June 21, 2012, at 4:33 PM E
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants Americans to keep thinking things are really, really bad—and ignore the data that in some swing states, they’re getting better.
Bloomberg reports the former Massachusetts governor recently asked Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to tone down statements about Florida’s improving unemployment rate, to better fit Romney’s message that President Obama’s policies are hurting the nation’s economy.
Romney is a spineless, lying, hypocrite who will do anything to get his way. No wonder he and the republicans were so silent about what the Bloomberg Poll revealed on yesterday. The republicans can’t deal with the poll results so they and their friends in the PL Brigade call the poll an “outlier,” and the Romney camp plots a campaign of lying about economic recovery to eat away at the president’s lead. None of these folks are worth a damn, and no one should take anything they say seriously. I’m using strong words because I hate lying. These same folks will help Romney get elected, watch him fail, and then pretend they had nothing at all to do with it. The only person I ever approved of using the ‘rope a dope’ was Muhammad Ali. I don’t like Etch A Sketches.
Hi majiir. You know if we had a neutral media, they’d report the facts, those of which Romney is a liar and is secretly holding his tax returns and not releashing them. Where’s the OUTCRY about his releasing his taxes? Our President got insane calls for his fucking birth certificate. Oh, that’s right; Romney owns the media who is carrying his water and showcasing the bigots.
Think Progress: “Although Romney continues to lament the economic failures of the country under President Obama, even his campaign now acknowledges that things are improving. As Americans continue to climb their way out of the Great Recession, the GOP’scontradictory messages aren’t telling them the whole truth about a slowly recovering economy.” http://bit.ly/PBnF3K
Greg Sargent: “We’ve already seen this tension on display with Ohio governor John Kasich, and Iowa’s Terry Branstad haseven explicitly called on Romney to stop downplaying good news in his state.” http://wapo.st/LE5Mj7
And it’s not just Florida. TPM reports thatKasich’s Ohio Jobs Message At Odds With Romney, Too: http://bit.ly/NUNJbD
Eclectablog: “With Republicans in Congress doing everything they can to prevent him from doing the kinds of things needed to get the economy back on its feet, President Obama and his administration are still managing to succeed. But that is decidedly NOT a message Mitt Romney can withstand or tolerate.” http://bit.ly/KWCZoV
American Prospect: “Of course, the problem with running on a lie is that, occasionally, reality intrudes.” http://bit.ly/PBol9j
Steve Benen: “Mitt Romney wants Americans to believe the economy is in worse shape than it really is, and he expects his allies “tone down” good economic news in order to deliberately encourage pessimism.” http://on.msnbc.com/LFho3N
Listen to the liar
That guy’s the 60 year old in Ohio who would vote against his own best interest, just to get the “blah” guy out of the WH.