Romney would like you to pretend the economy is worse

Why Obamacare is disliked; what Mitt and Britney share; his immigration dodge; and other top Thursday stories

Published June 21, 2012 12:05PM (EDT)

Romney leans on govs to be more dour: Bloomberg’s Michael Bender reports: “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter. Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named. What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.”

Unfortunately for Romney, these all happen to be swing states as well. This dynamic has led to some awkward moments where, at campaign events, a GOP governor gets onstage to tout the improving economy in the state, only to be followed by Mitt Romney slamming the terrible economy.

Why Obamacare is unpopular: As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the law seems to have already lost in the court of public opinion and this may be why: More than $200 million in advertising has been spent attacking the law, while just $69 million has been spent defending it. “Just $700,000 of that comes from the Obama campaign, and none of its ads mentioning the law are currently being broadcast, said Elizabeth Wilner, vice president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group. ‘It explains, in a nutshell, why polling shows attitudes about the law to be at best mixed,’ she said.”

Romney still has nothing to say on immigration: So much so that his campaign cut short a conference call with reporters when there were too many questions on the issue. "We don’t have any more questions on today’s topic," a Romney aide said before cutting reporters off.

Fox's in-kind contribution to the GOP: The New York Times takes a look at the conservative network’s morning show, “a high-decibel megaphone pointing directly at the Republican base.” “[W]hen leading Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott of Florida or Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have something to say, they do it on ‘Fox & Friends.’ It is easy to see why. Perhaps more than any other show on the Fox News Channel, ‘Fox & Friends’ has become a powerful platform for some of the most strident attacks on President Obama.” The show has promoted conspiracy theories about Obama’s religion and of course a four-minute attack ad hitting Obama.  Mitt Romney has appeared on the show 21 times,  far more than the four times each he has appeared on NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which draw five times the audience.

Southern Baptists take one step forward, one step back: A day after the country’s largest Protestant denomination elected its first black president in a historic move for a group that has struggled with race issues in the past, it nearly unanimously passed a resolution declaring same-sex relationships to be sinful. The Southern Baptist Convention affirmed its opposition to gay marriage and called it “unfair” to compare the struggle for marriage equality to civil rights.

What Mitt Romney and Britney Spears have in common: A $55,000 car elevator. They are both installing the same model in their homes.

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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