The Democratic National Convention begins today. (You’re welcome for the warning.)
The Republican National Convention one week ago was cut to three days because of Hurricane Isaac. The DNC was scheduled for just three days (which, in both cases, is three days too many) because unions cut back their DNC contributions because the DNC chose North Carolina, a right-to-work state, for the convention.
The Washington Post reports the Democrats’ weak rebuttal to “You didn’t build that”:
On Sunday, senior Obama advisers suggested that they will not address the anti-business allegations directly but will instead try to turn the tables on their GOP rivals by accusing them of being dishonest about what Obama meant. David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, said in an interview Sunday on ABC News that Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign is engaged in a broader pattern of dishonesty and is “built on a tripod of lies.” Plouffe cited accusations that Obama has gutted the work requirement for welfare and “raided” Medicare to pay for the nation’s new health-care law as other examples of untruths coming from the GOP.
The Obama team thinks that it has effectively dealt with the “build that” attacks and that the issue is overblown — the “drill, baby, drill” of 2012, a rallying cry for the right but ultimately one with limited appeal in the broader electorate.
Nevertheless, there are signs that they see a vulnerability. Obama has not repeated the words that sparked the controversy, and he has toned down the broader argument — that government help is essential to business success — in the six weeks since he ad-libbed the line near the end of a long campaign swing. His speeches have been shorter, with fewer references to wealthy Americans. He is more cautious about portraying the choice that he quite forcefully described that night between Romney’s worldview and his own.
Adviser David Axelrod, traveling with the president in Colorado on Sunday, said the public will come away from the convention “with a very clear sense” of Obama’s values, including his faith in private enterprise.
(I’ll pause here while you recover from those last five words.)
Jerry Bader points out how well the “build that” attacks are working:
“You didn’t build that” has been anything but an “empty hole” for Republicans. It has resonated with small business people, and many of those who work for them, all over the country. What hasn’t stuck is the defense by “fact-checkers” and the liberals they serve is the defense that the quote was taken out of context. Whether President Obama was referring to infrastructure and not small businesses when he said “you didn’t build that” is entirely irrelevant and the left knows that.
What is relevant is that Mr. Obama sees government more noteworthy in the growth of small business than the people who take the risks. It’s clear when you hear the entire quote that he is being dismissive of those who are proud of the businesses they built because they don’t give government enough credit. That’s why those four little words, as Kimberly Strassel called them in the Wall Street Journal, “you didn’t build that,” do strike fear into Axelrod and company.
I didn’t watch the Sunday morning talk shows, but apparently they didn’t go so well for the Democrats, as Bader further reports:
Team Obama now says Americans ARE better off than they were four years ago.David Axelrod whiffed on this, badly, on the Sunday Morning talk shows where he was unwilling to directly answer the question as to whether Americans are better off now than they were four years ago.
ABC’s Jake Tapper Reports that the Obama campaign has decided to fix that debacle by taking a do over. If Republicans are smart, they can turn this about face to their advantage. After seeing how devastating yesterday’s barrage of evasion was they’ve now decided to simply change their answer. This is a target rich envrionment for Team Romney to exploit. Just ignore the second round of responses and use the video from the first, because that was when they caught not knowing what to say.
Well, let’s see. Unemployment is higher than it was four years ago. Personal incomes are lower than they were four years ago. Despite the weak economy, gas prices are double what they were four years ago. Those are the answers to this question: