Welcome to The Summer Of… Excuses?

July 11, 2011

One Year After Their “Summer of Recovery” That Didn’t Happen, Democrats Are Now Reaching for Excuses to Explain Their Failed Policies

  • The last two summers have seen some bizarre promises out of Democrats: in 2009, that their stimulus spending spree would keep unemployment below 8 percent; and that the summer of 2010 would be the “Recovery Summer.”
  • After Friday’s “horrific” jobs report, it appears the summer of 2011 will be the “Summer of Excuses.” The Democrats’ recent string of excuses to explain their economic failures contradicts their earlier claims that the economy already turned around and that they were willing to take responsibility for their policies.
  • Obama might want to remember his February 2009 pledge that he would “be held accountable” on economic recovery and that “if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”




The last two summers have seen some bizarre promises out of the Obama administration: in 2009, that their stimulus spending spree would keep unemployment below 8 percent; in 2010, that summer would be the season of recovery.


OBAMA’S STIMULUS “FAILING BY ITS OWN MEASURE” SINCE ’09: “Back in early January, when Barack Obama was still President-elect, two of his chief economic advisers — leading proponents of a stimulus bill — predicted that the passage of a large economic-aid package would boost the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8%.” (Stephen Gandel, “Obama’s Stimulus Plan: Failing By Its Own Measure,” Time, 6/14/2009)


FLASHBACK TO A YEAR AGO: WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES “RECOVERY SUMMER”: “The Administration today kicks off “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects that will be underway across the country in the coming months – and the jobs they’ll create well into the fall and through the end of the year.” (Press Release, “Administration Kicks Off ‘Recovery Summer’ With Groundbreakings and Events Across the Country,” The White House, 6/17/2010)

After Friday’s “horrific” jobs report highlighting the failure of the Democrats’ policies, the White House is now unveiling its latest project, which could be called “The Summer of Excuses”:

“HORRIFIC” JOBS REPORT WITH 9.2% UNEMPLOYMENT RAISING FEARS OF “DOUBLE-DIP”: (Patti Domm, ” ‘Horrific’ Jobs Report Renews Fears of Double-Dip Recession,” CNBC, 7/8/2011) 

” ‘People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’ … Plouffe said what voters really want is ‘vision.’ ” (Julie Mason, “Plouffe: It’s About Vision, Not Jobs,” Politico, 7/8/2011)

NBC’S DAVID GREGORY: “Talking about what’s good for the economy, a lot of this discussion about debt is ultimately to free up space for jobs to be created. It’s not happening. People are still out of work. Here’s the chart of the President’s economic record. This is based on government information, Treasury Department, U.S. Bureau Of Labor Stats – unemployment 7.3% on Inauguration Day, up to 9.2%. with latest report, up 26%. You see the debt figures up 35%.” SEC. GEITHNER: “David, let me just say, that’s a ridiculous table.” (NBC’s “Meet the Press”, 7/10/2011)

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF BILL DALEY SAYS THE “POLITICAL SYSTEM” IS TO BLAME FOR WEAK ECONOMY: “I do firmly believe that one of the wet blankets on this economy and on companies, on the system right now, is a question as to whether or not our political system, whether the leaders can get together, whether they can solve big problems or they’re going to just kick the can.” (Imtiyaz Delawala, “Bill Daley: President Obama Still Wants a ‘Big Deal’ on Deficit Reduction,” ABC’s “This Week”, 7/10/2011)

OBAMA CLAIMS “WE’VE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT WE’D HAVE UPS AND DOWNS.” (“Remarks by the President on the Monthly Jobs Report,” The White House, 7/8/2011)

(“Remarks by the President to Chrysler Workers in Toledo, Ohio,” The White House, 6/3/2011)  

 ” ‘There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years,’ Goolsbee said in a statement posted Friday to the White House blog.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama’s Economic Chief Says Job Numbers Are A Bump in the Road,” The Hill, 6/3/2011)
These attempts to downplay the Democrats’ miserable record on job creation reflect the president’s inability to defend a failed economic agenda. It’s no surprise that President Obama’s longest answer during Wednesday’s Twitter town hall was his rambling response to a simple question from House Speaker John Boehner: “Where are the jobs?”:


OBAMA TRIES TO RAMBLE HIS WAY OUT OF A SIMPLE QUESTION: “WHERE ARE THE JOBS?”: “It took President Obama 3,111 characters to answer the question put to him by House Speaker John A. Boehner in just 19: ‘Where are the jobs?’

“If he were Tweeting his answer, it would have taken just over 22 Twitter messages.

“That was the president’s longest answer during the first-ever Twitter town hall.” (Michael Shear, “Obama Averaged 2,099 Characters in His Twitter Answers,” The New York Times, 7/6/2011) 


For an administration that has admitted that they “own” the economy, this sudden string of excuses casts doubt over earlier claims from Democrats that they had already succeeded in turning the economy around and over their willingness to take responsibility for their policies:


DNC CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ CLAIMS DEMOCRATS “OWN THE ECONOMY”: We own the economy.” (Molly Ball, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz: ‘We Own the Economy’,” Politico, 6/15/2011)


OBAMA SENIOR ADVISOR SAYS “OF COURSE” PRESIDENT “OWNS” THE ECONOMY. “NBC’s Matt Lauer: ‘You would agree with that he [Obama] owns this economy?’

“Obama Senior Advisor David Plouffe: Of course he does.‘” (Remarks from David Plouffe, NBC’s “Today” Show, 6/30/2011)

OBAMA THINKS HE “DESERVES CREDIT” FOR ECONOMIC POLICIES:“President Obama told supporters at a fundraiser in Miami Monday night that he deserves credit for cleaning up the mess he inherited.” (David Boyer, “Obama wants credit for cleaning up ‘big mess,'” Washington Times, 06/14/11)


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: OBAMA “TURN[ED] THIS ECONOMY AROUND”: “We were able to, under President Obama’s leadership, turn this economy around.”(Remarks from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, NBC’s Meet the Press, 6/12/2011)


President Obama might want to keep in mind his pledge right after taking office that he would “be held accountable” and that “if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” Does he still intend to be “held accountable” or will the Summer of Excuses become the re-election campaign of excuses?:

OBAMA, FEBRUARY 2009: ” ‘I will be held accountable,’ the president said. ‘I’ve got four years and…. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there’s still going to be some pain out there…. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.'” (Mark Silva, “Obama: ‘One-Term Proposition’ If No Fix,” The Chicago Tribune’s blog “The Swamp”, 2/2/2009)