Unemployment has stagnated at 8.2 percent. Consumer spending is down. Manufacturing fell for the first time in three years. The U.S. economy is sinking. And according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll released today, Obama’s reelection chances are sinking right along with it.
Back in April the same poll shows Obama and Romney tied at 46 percent. Now the poll has Romney up two points, 45 percent to 43 percent. Looking beyond the head-to-head match-up, back in April, 44 percent of respondents approved of Obama’s handling of the economy compared to just 48 percent who disapproved. Now, only 39 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the economy while a solid majority, 55 percent disapprove.
So, with the economy beginning to break down, and Obama’s campaign falling apart right with it, what is the Democratic game plan going forward? Apparently the plan is to threaten the economy with a $500 billion tax hike on January first. According to Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler, Democrats believe “the economic consequences of tumbling over the fiscal cliff won’t really be felt until the election is over” and that “if Congress pulls the country over the fiscal cliff, it can at any point deploy a parachute. It’ll harm the economy, but in a quickly reversible way.”
All we can say is, “good luck with that.”
Super PACs: American Crossroads, the 527 group co-created by Bush White House aide Karl Rove, is launching an $8.8 million ad buy defending Romney from Obama’s attacks on Romney’s business record. The ad says of Obama: “The press, and even Democrats, say his attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record are…’misleading, unfair and untrue.” Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman has donated $1 million to Obama’s Super PAC.
Romney: The Romney campaign released a new video featuring a small business owner affirming that his family did, in fact, build their business. The Huffington Post is reporting that Romney did not disclose his full 2012 tax return and that Bain co-workers say Romney thought he would he would never have to release his tax returns.
Obama: Thanks to the unsolved foreclosure crisis, Obama campaign workers are having trouble identifying Obama voters.
Virginia: According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Romney has closed an 8-point gap and is now tied with Obama in Virginia, at 44 percent.
Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Bomb Strikes Syria Leader’s Inner Circle: Syrian rebels pierced the innermost circle of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime with a bomb blast that killed three high-level officials and raised questions about the ability of the country’s security forces to sustain the embattled government.
The Wall Street Journal, Israel Says Iran Behind Deadly Blast in Europe: Israel accused Iran of orchestrating the bombing of a bus packed with Israeli tourists in a Bulgarian resort town Wednesday that killed at least six people and injured 30 others, adding to tensions across the Middle East.
Lav Vegas Journal-Review, Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, heavy federal subsidies: The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened.
The Washington Post, Defense contractors speak out against budget cuts: Defense contractors warned Wednesday that across-the-board federal spending cuts posed a calamitous threat to their businesses and that thousands of jobs were on the line unless lawmakers find another way to shrink the deficit.
The Los Angeles Times, San Bernardino declares fiscal emergency ahead of bankruptcy filing: The San Bernardino City Council on Wednesday declared a fiscal emergency, an acknowledgment that the city is nearly broke and a legal maneuver that will allow leaders to file for bankruptcy protection without going through months of state-mandated mediation.
The Los Angeles Times, Compton on brink of bankruptcy: City officials announced that Compton could run out of money by summer’s end, with $3 million in the bank and more than $5 million in bills due.
The Wall Street Journal urges Romney to make a positive case about his tenure at Bain.
Kevin Williamson details the Democrats’ Dependency Agenda.
The Washington Examiner explains why Romney’s “you didn’t build that” attack is the most substantive argument of 2012
Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler reports on “How Democrats Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Fiscal Cliff.”
Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg explains why Romney is “so afraid of talking about what he did at Bain.”
Tax lawyers Edward Kleinbard and Peter Canellos speculate what is in Romney’s tax returns.