WASHINGTON, DC — Since President Obama took office in January 2009, Republicans have been quick to heap blame on him for every bit of poor economic news, no matter how large or small. In recent months, however, with jobs numbers improving and signs that the economy is rebounding becoming more evident, the same Republicans haven’t been as quick to praise the president.
Richard Mourdock, the insurgent Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who is locking in a primay contest against Sen. Richard Lugar (R), took a similar tack this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, telling ThinkProgress that while Obama’s policies were responsible for making the economy worse early in his term, the recent improvement has occurred in spite of Obama’s policies:
KEYES: If the economy does continue to improve over the next few months, is that something you’d be willing to give President Obama credit for, or not?
MOURDOCK: The American economy is incredibly resilient because Americans are incredibly resilient. It won’t be because of President Obama when we see recovery, it will be in spite of President Obama. He wants to add more and more layers of government, more and more government sector unions. Those are killing our economy. And while it’s possible we might see some recovery, it would be doing a whole lot more if we were rolling back the size of government.
The facts, however, tell a different story. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, despite Republican claims, has been a success, and since its implementation, the economy has added jobs for 23 consecutive months. The auto bailout, another favorite Republican target, has also worked, saving thousands of jobs and returning American automakers to profitability for the first time in a decade.
If anything, the economy is improving in spite of the best efforts of the Republicans Mourdock is trying to join in Congress. Republicans have targeted positive economic programs that benefit the less fortunate — like food stamps and unemployment insurance — for spending cuts, all while blocking other Obama proposals — like the American Jobs Act — that experts say would have had a positive effect on the nation’s economic recovery.