Last night on Fox News’ On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, former top adviser to President Bush Karl Rove said that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “faces a tough general election in the midst of a war and a struggling economy.” But recognizing that he veered away from “Republican spin,” Rove quickly corrected himself, saying “or apparently struggling economy”:
ROVE: And Senator McCain, who faces a tough general election in the midst of a war and a struggling economy, or apparently struggling economy, has got to be very careful about not looking to distance himself but to differentiate himself [from Bush].
But the facts stand in stark contrast to Rove’s spin. In addition to the wide range of indicators pointing to an economic downturn, it’s “hard to find an economist who doesn’t believe the US is either in recession or so close it’s not worth arguing about” as a recent Wall Street Journal poll of economists found.
In fact, during a Joint Economic Committee hearing today on Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “acknowledged for the first time that a U.S. recession is possible“:
It now appears likely that real gross domestic product will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly.
While Rove has previously blamed the media for the sagging economy, today his Fox News brethren picked up where he left off. This morning, Fox and Friends wondered if talk of recession is a “media myth.” During the segment, co-host Steve Doocy suggested that there are perhaps some “liberal elements” in the media who are downplaying the economy because “they are trying to get a Democrat in the White House.”
Perhaps Rove thinks the economy is only “apparently struggling” because his lucrative post-White House speaking career doesn’t allow him to feel any of its negative effects.