To begin, the dismal jobs report that was released on June 1 was still the focus of all the talk on the Sunday shows and drove the overall storyline of a weakening economic recovery throughout the week. To make things worse, news out of Europe has continued to be poor as Greece and now Spain are grappling with how to solve their debt problems. For Mr. Obama, there is potentially nothing worse for his re-election, as well as the U.S. economy, than the collapse of one or multiple countries in Europe.
However, not all was bad on the economic front; the Dow had it’s largest weekly increase of the year, and finance ministers in Europe decided to let Spain borrow 100 billion euros.
Further, President Obama’s campaign had believed it was coming out with very solid fundraising numbers on Thursday, touting a $60 M haul from May. That total was a 37.6% increase from April’s total of $43.6 M.
However, for the first time since 2007, Mr. Obama was beaten by his opponent in fundraising. Not only was he beaten this month, he was clobbered. Mitt Romney managed to raise a whopping $76.8 M, which was a 92 % increase from last month!
Finally, the gaffe of 2012. As the President was outlining the tumultuous situation in Europe to the press, he answered a question on how the public sector was doing with respect to the private sector. Obama remarked, “the private sector is doing fine”.
Anyone who’s ever seen an attack ad will be able to envision this quote being used relentlessly against Mr. Obama throughout the next few months, much like McCain’s “the fundamentals of he economy are strong” quote was used to portray McCain as out of touch. The President quickly admitted he had misspoken, but by then, it was too late.
To be fair, Romney made a couple of mistakes of his own. On Friday he seemed to endorse the idea of decreasing (or at least not increasing) the number of teachers, firefighters, and cops. But that statement paled in comparison to Mr. Obama’s, and the media barely noticed it.
This is the kind of week that gets Democrats really nervous about November. They were outraised, on the defensive regarding the economy, and gave Republicans a ready-for-TV attack ad that is sure to be potent. President Obama and his team better step up their game, because they are losing badly.
Who Won the Week? Mitt Romney