As states see improving economies, Romney campaign tries to change the message

Jun 21, 2012

In a Bloomberg piece this morning, Michael C. Bender is reporting that, “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.”

But Romney doesn’t just have a Florida messaging “problem.” Last month, Rick Pluta, co-host of It’s Just Politics, and I took a look at the same problem that the Romney campaign is having with Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan’s improving economy.

During a visit to Michigan in May, Romney said, “These last few years have been hard on the people in Lansing, and frankly, they've been hard on the people of America.” This message didn’t quite mesh with Governor Snyder’s statement that, “if you look at where we're at, we’re the comeback state in the United States today.”

Also today, in a piece in TPM titled Kasich's Ohio Jobs Message at Odds with Romney, too, Pema Levy notes, "The Romney campaign’s message that the recovery has stalled under President Obama is hitting a few road bumps in key swing states where economic conditions are steadily improving."

This dichotomy, however, is nothing new. In the 1990s, the economy was booming as John Engler was the Republican governor of Michigan, and Bill Clinton was, of course, the Democratic president.

It'll certainly be interesting in the coming weeks to see how the Romney campaign tries to manage these Republican Governors' messages that their states' economies are improving. Rick Pluta and I will take a look tomorrow at how the Romney message could change in It's Just Politics. And you can listen back to the initial It's Just Politics segment, Governor Snyder thinks Michigan's economy is improving; Mitt Romney: Not so much, here.