Friday, January 20, 2012

"Have you got a better one, Laura?"

On Laura Ingraham's show today, Mitt Romney previewed how he'd defend Obama's general election claim that the economy's getting better.

See if he's compelling or not.

INGRAHAM: You've noted that there are signs of improvement in the economy on the horizon. How do you answer the president's argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying that it's getting better?

ROMNEY: Well, of course it's getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession. There's always a recovery. There's never been a time anywhere in the world where the economy has never recovered.

But the question is: has it recovered by virtue of something that the president's done, or has he delayed the recovery and made it more painful?

If there's a real sense that the economy is on the rebound, I don't think voters are going to care much about Romney's last distinction -- that the economy would've recovered faster without Obama.

Whether or not Mitt's right, it probably won't matter to people if they see the sun ahead.

A bit later, Ingraham again returned to the question.

INGRAHAM: Isn't that a hard argument to make if you're saying -- Okay, he inherited this recession, and he took a bunch of steps to try to turn the economy around, and now we're seeing some more jobs, but vote against him anyway?

Isn't that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? [laughter] It just happens to be the truth.... at some point it's going to get better, but I don't think President Obama's helping it.

Ouch -- "Have you got a better one, Laura?"

Again, that's a tough sell to make to Americans if there's the perception that things are getting better.

Remember, things were getting better in the last year of George H.W. Bush's tenure, but people didn't feel the recovery.

But if people can feel this one, Mitt's argument might be a tough sell.