I will be held accountable…Look, if I can't turn the economy around in three years; I will be looking at a one-term proposition." -Barack Obama, The Today Show, Feb. 2, 2009
Apparently the President thinks he has fulfilled the above pledge to turn the economy around. Not only is he campaigning 24-7 for a second term, but he recently declared, "The truth of the matter is…the private sector is doing fine." The absurdity of that statement caused dozens of high profile Democrats to distance themselves from The One, and many to begin to openly criticize his campaign strategy.
The White House and much of the media tried to explain away the preposterous "doing fine" statement as simply a gaffe. Later that same day, the President tried to explain what he really meant, and over the weekend his surrogates were in major damage control mode. It didn't work.
David Axelrod, the chief strategist for the campaign, appeared on CNN's State of the Union supposedly to pull Obama out of the ditch, but instead he dug it deeper. When asked by Candy Crowley, "Is the private sector doing fine?" Axelrod said, "We need to accelerate job creation in the private sector. One of the ways we can do that is putting teachers, firefighters, and police back to work." An obviously stunned Crowley responded, "That's the public sector!" To which Axelrod only doubled down saying, "But, that will help accelerate the recovery."
Axelrod was really just repeating what the President had said two days before. After proclaiming the private sector was "doing fine", Obama went on to say, "Where we're seeing weakness in our economy [has] to do with state and local government." That he said was the fault of "cuts initiated by governors and mayors" as they scrambled to deal with declining revenues during the prolonged and deep recession.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said it was an "outrage" for Obama to blame state and local governments for the nation's economic woes. "He has the audacity to stand up this morning and say that it's the nation's governors and mayors who are driving our economy down by not hiring enough people for government work," Christie said.