Friday's dismal jobs numbers gave backers of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney yet another opportunity to slam President Obama for his performance on the economy, proving that even the worst economic news can be welcome political news for some.
Republicans were out in full force across the Sunday talk shows, with Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom using the poor state of the economy to jab Obama on everything from Solyndra to health care reform to foreign policy. These attacks all came from the premise that each misstep is further evidence of Obama’s inability to fix the economy, and in fact, his negative effect on its health.
“This president came into office without any prior experience running anything,” Fehrnstrom said on ABC's This Week. "He never even ran a corner store. And I think it shows in the way that he’s handling the economy.”
It's a classic line of attack, and led at least one prominent Democrat to question whether Republicans are committing schadenfreude -- joy at the misfortune of others. A 2008 study by several University of Kentucky psychologists concluded that politics "is prime territory" for such feelings, and that in several experiments they conducted found that Republicans who strongly identified with their party were especially likely to report schadenfreude as a result of poor economic news.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod made his feelings clear about the issue on CBS' Face the Nation: “Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers.” Read more
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT
Candidates Have College, Spicy Chicken and ‘Star Trek’ in Common
[New York Times, 6/3/12] In everything from their food preferences to their leadership styles, Romney and Obama have much in common.
Mike Leavitt, the Man Planning the Mitt Romney Presidency
[Politico, 6/3/12] Leavitt has been tapped to run Romney's transition process and is already shaping a possible Romney administration.
Ten Game Changers That Could Decide the 2012 Presidential Race
[The Hill, 6/3/12] A European financial meltdown, the Supreme Court striking down Obama's health care law, and a new terrorist attack are just a few of the possible events that could significantly change the path of the election in advance of November.
Obama Outspends Romney On Online Ads
[CNN, 6/3/12] The Obama campaign has spent almost $16.4 million worth of online ads, according to a CNN analysis of campaign finance data, in contrast to the $7.8 million spent by Romney's campaign on online ads this year, indicating the web is a newly fierce battleground for the two competitors.
On Foreign Policy, Obama Focuses on Economic Issues, Not on Syrian Turmoil
[Washington Post, 6/2/12] Obama's doing his best Romney in his single-minded focus on the economy, refusing to address the unrest in Syria even after the recent massacre there.
Fehrnstrom: Obama Has 'Deficit in Leadership' on the Economy
[National Journal, 6/3/12] Eric Fehrnstrom, a top adviser to Mitt Romney, slammed President Obama and the Democrats on Sunday, accusing the president of a “deficit in leadership” on the economy and of preventing bipartisan solutions because he “demonizes” the opposition.
Axelrod to Republicans: Stop 'High-Fiving' Bad News
[National Journal, 6/3/12] While acknowledging that Friday’s job numbers were disappointing, David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Obama, said on Sunday that GOP lawmakers should stop cheering bad news and work with the White House to pass its job proposals.
Romney Economic Adviser Says Reforms Must Target the Wealthy
[National Journal, 6/3/12] Glenn Hubbard, an economic adviser to Mitt Romney, clarified some of the details of Romney’s plan to improve the economy on Sunday, insisting that all options were on the table when it comes tax reform, but also asserting that such reform would have to focus on wealthier Americans.
At Wisconsin Tea Party Rally, Republicans Look To November
[BuzzFeed, 6/2/12] Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan appeared at this 1,000-strong rally in Wisconsin. "On Tuesday, we save Wisconsin," Ryan said. "On November 6th, Wisconsin saves America."
Losing Faith in Democrats' Religious Outreach
[Associated Press, 6/3/12] Though the DNC has launched a faith outreach effort, Obama and the Democrats may have squandered some of their goodwill with the religious community, making it difficult this year for Obama to gain headway and votes among that community.
Court's Ruling on Ariz. Immigration Law to Echo in November
[USA Today, 6/3/12] The Supreme Court will rule on the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, this month, and the Court's decision could alternately rile up the Democratic base or bring Republicans surging to the polls in protest.
California a Rich State for Obama and Romney
[L.A. Times, 6/3/12] Californians have already given $60 million to Romney and Obama, and so it's no surprise the two have made and are planning to make multiple fundraising stops along the coast.