Last week in the presidential race, both candidates defended their policies amidst widespread criticism.
Romney Faces Criticism from Rupert Murdoch and other GOP supporters
High-profile media mogul and GOP supporter Rupert Murdoch voiced criticism against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney this week on Twitter, claiming that in order to beat Obama in November’s election, Romney will need to dismiss his current staff and hire “some real pros.” This critique was echoed in the Wall Street Journal (which Murdoch owns), reiterating the idea that Romney’s campaign has been largely reactionary, slow to respond to criticism and at times contradictory. One example cited occurred on Monday, when Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said in an interview that Mr. Romney believes the Individual Mandate clause of President Obama’s healthcare law is a penalty, not a tax. This was Mitt Romney’s position on a similar fine that he instituted in Massachusetts, said Fehrnstrom, and Romney’s views had not changed since. This brought on criticism from the Republican Party, who considered the Supreme Court’s classification of the fine as a “tax” to be a damaging blow to President Obama, since he promised not to create any new taxes for the middle class. Mitt Romney later recanted, saying first that he considered the fine an “unconstitutional penalty”, then later, that “The majority of the court said it’s a tax, therefore it’s a tax.”1 The Wall Street Journal pointed to this inconsistency as an example of weakness in the Romney campaign which, coupled with a lack of specific details about Mr. Romney’s alternative plans, are “slowly squandering an historic opportunity”2 to overtake President Obama in the November election.
Obama Denounced for High Unemployment Numbers in June
President Obama is facing his own criticism this week as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report on job creation. Only 80,000 new jobs were created, in contrast to the 100,000 new jobs estimated by economists. The unemployment rate remained high at 8.2%, which ended what most considered to be a disappointing spring season for the economy’s recovery. Mitt Romney commented on the report from New Hampshire today, saying “This is a time for America to choose whether they want more of the same, whether unemployment above 8 percent month after month after month is satisfactory or not.. And this kick in the gut has got to end.”3 Meanwhile in Ohio, Mr. Obama downplayed the significance of the report, saying that the 80,000 new jobs are “a step in the right direction” but more work needs to be done to improve the economy. He also emphasized his role in saving the auto industry in Ohio, preserving thousands of local manufacturing jobs.
1. CBS News
3. US News