In this week’s edition of It’s just politics, Rick Pluta and I take a look at the politics of taking credit for a good economy. Governor Snyder says Michigan’s economy is improving, but that’s not the story Mitt Romney wants to tell.
Zoe Clark: Rick, I have a great idea for this week’s show!
Rick Pluta: Actually, Zoe, I think maybe it was someone else’s idea first.
Mitt Romney: “So I’m going to take a lot of credit …”
PR: This is our cheap setup for the fact that Mitt Romney paid a visit to Michigan this week.
ZC: Indeed, he campaigned this week at Lansing Community College.
PR: Before hitting the ground here in Lansing, Romney gave an interview to an Ohio TV station where he said President Obama really followed his plan – the Romney plan – to bail out the auto industry. .
ZC: And, therefore, there is this disconnection. Was the bailout bad? Or, isn’t it? Governor Rick Snyder – a Romney supporter – says it’s time to stop talking about it.
Rick Snyder: “I think too much time is spent on the whole bailout issue. It worked, it’s done, it’s over. There are probably other ways to do it. But the point is, it was a success. “
PR: So go ahead, guys. There is nothing more to see here. Let’s talk about something else. And it is a testament to the sometimes awkward dance between governors and presidential candidates – when they belong to the same political party. Rick Snyder tells people things are getting better.
Snyder: “Now, if you look at where we are at, we are the state of return in the United States today.”
PR: The “Return State”, overtaking the nation in terms of job creation, manufacturing on the rise. What about Mitt Romney?
Romney: “The last few years have been tough on the people of Lansing and frankly, they’ve been tough on the Americans. “
ZC: Don’t hear that relentless positivity out there.
PR: This guy is tough on me.
ZC: Rick Snyder says there is still work to be done. That Washington needs a healthy dose of what works in Michigan. But that’s not Romney’s message.
PR: Law. Where Rick Snyder says life is good and getting better, Mitt Romney says you are worse off than you could have been. It’s not good, and anything that could be good is going to head south with no change.
ZC: This dichotomy is not new. In the 1990s, the economy was booming John Engler was the Republican Governor of Michigan, Bill Clinton, the Democratic President. When it comes to this success …
PR: Credit for a good economy was no problem for Governor Jennifer Granholm. With George W. Bush in the White House, the economy was bad and it was a battle of blame. And it became mutually assured political destruction – we saw that by the time they both took office – Bush in 2009, Granholm on January 1, 2011 – they were both quite unpopular.
ZC: It talks about several things, but one of them is that candidates for a position will take a lot of the blame for the bad, claim the good, but there really are a lot of things beyond their control that will decide the right. state of the economy and the state of their popularity.
PR: But that doesn’t mean they won’t pretend they’re handling events. Unless it’s in their best interests to do otherwise.
ZC: So Rick, does Romney’s visit mean Michigan is on the line this year? This state has not voted for a Republican for president since George HW Bush in 1988.
PR: George Herbert Walker Bush.
ZC: It’s this one.
PR: Well Michigan elects a lot of Republicans statewide – Governor Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, they’re all Republicans. But Michigan still seems to be in that second tier of states that are potentially competitive, but not yet battlegrounds. So Republicans will be looking at Michigan to see if they can make it a battleground. If they can take Michigan, a lot of people say it’s over. But if not even, because Michigan is competitive, they hope to at least force President Obama to spend time and money here that might otherwise be spent in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado …
ZC: But there seems to be a fight over “Michigan history”.
PR: Yes. President Obama ran a one-minute ad in nine states – Michigan is not one of them. But the recovery of the domestic auto industry is a big part of that message.
Obama’s political ad: “… and today our audio industry is back – firing on all cylinders …”
PR: The president seems to like coming to Michigan to tell this story – the rebound in manufacturing, the peak battery industry, the improving unemployment rate – to the rest of the country.
ZC: Sounds a bit like some nerdy governor we know.
PR: Is not it ? And by the way, you’ll never hear Rick Snyder denigrate Obama. He could put dirt on Washington’s shoes. But he never directly criticizes the president. When Lansing visited this week, Obama’s attacking job fell squarely on Mitt Romney.