Obama is on the wrong side of the union debate

The president wants to send more federal money to states that just funnel it into bloated pension obligations. And Americans are tired of it

Edward Morrissey

As gaffes go in election seasons, the widely-ridiculed statement from Barack Obama on Friday that "the private sector is doing fine" certainly qualifies as a prize-winner. With 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed in the hangover from the recession, President Obama instantly gave credibility to claims from Mitt Romney that he has fallen out of touch with middle America. The line will live a thousand lifetimes in political ads between now and November, and it might end up being a defining moment in Obama's career.

That's not to say that the White House and the Obama campaign haven't tried to undo the damage. Within hours, Obama tried to walk back his statement by telling the press that "it's absolutely clear that the economy isn't doing fine." Over the weekend, Obama surrogates such as David Axelrod tried, with little success, to shift attention to Obama's larger point about the economic recovery. White House press secretary Jay Carney griped on Monday that the media focused too much on the sound bite rather than the context of Obama's remarks.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for HotAir.com. His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.