Republican governors in states across the country have been touting their states’ economic growth, pointing to falling unemployment rates and continued signs of economic recovery. Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) has expressed frustration that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is using his state as an example of the nation’s economic woes.
However, since positive economic messages directly contradict Romney’s central campaign push — convincing voters that Obama has made the economy worse — the Romney campaign would prefer to downplay any signs of recovery.
In fact, the Romney campaign has directly asked Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) to “tone down” his positive statements about Florida’s improving economy because they inconveniently clash with Romney’s national narrative. Two campaign officials confirmed that Scott has been asked to instead say that his state’s economy would improve under a Republican presidency, Bloomberg News reports:
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. […]
A Romney adviser made the request this week to Scott’s staff after press releases from the governor’s re-election campaign and Internet messages from the Florida Chamber of Commerce trumpeted the state’s drop to 8.6 percent unemployment rate in May from 8.7 percent in April, the people said. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.
Although Romney continues to lament the economic failures of the country under President Obama, even his campaign now acknowledges that things are improving. As Americans continue to climb their way out of the Great Recession, the GOP’s contradictory messages aren’t telling them the whole truth about a slowly recovering economy.