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Transition 2012

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Midday Roundup: Obama Faces Hurdles on the Economy, Bain

by Newsteam Staff
May 22, 2012

Photo of the Day: Students are moved to tears during President Barack Obama's address at the 2012 Joplin High School commencement ceremony in Joplin, Missouri, May 21, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Students are moved to tears during President Barack Obama's address at the 2012 Joplin High School commencement ceremony in Joplin, Missouri, May 21, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that President Barack Obama still faces a number of obstacles on the economy this election year. Of those polled, 30 percent of voters said they are less well off financially now than they were when Obama became president, compared with 16 percent who said they are better off. More than 50 percent said things are mostly the same.

Such news will undoubtedly play into the heated debate over  the Obama campaign’s attacks on GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s former employer Bain Capital. At issue is whether he can use his time there as part of his economic record as a job creator at time when many voters are concerned about the sluggish job market and their economic future as they face increasing competition globally.

Responding to critics, President Obama defended (NYT) his campaign’s strategy of taking on Romney’s Bain record. “If your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you are missing what this job is about,” Obama said during a news conference on the sidelines of Chicago’s NATO summit Monday.

ABC News looks at whether Romney’s former employer is a job creator or a job destroyer. This Politico Arena debate, meanwhile, looks at whether Democrats should end attacks on Bain Capital. And the Wall Street Journal’s blog, Washington Wire, has a nice roundup highlighting the debate over Bain.


Mitt Romney expects to raise $10 million during a three-day fundraising swing through the New York area that included a video meeting with donors living in China (AP).

After meeting donors in Connecticut on Sunday night, Romney hosted a private conference via Skype with donors in Hong Kong and Singapore. Aides said all the participants were Americans. Non-citizens are barred from contributing money to U.S. elections, but Americans living or working abroad, in addition to green card holders, may donate.


In an interview with National Journal, Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top campaign strategist, said even if the economy rapidly improves over the course of the campaign, it will remain the race’s top issue.

I think the question will come down to, Do people feel that the country is headed in the right direction? What about their lives has gotten better? The fundamental question is, Do you think the solutions presented by this president have worked and will they work, or is there a better alternative?” Stevens said.

He also said the economic crisis has hit Hispanics particularly hard, and the Romney campaign will address that “with some more specificity” in the future.


Arkansas and Kentucky hold their state and presidential primaries today with a total of eighty-one delegates at stake in the GOP contest (ABC). Wins will bring Romney closer to, but slightly short of, the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.

Contributing Editor Gayle S. Putrich and Senior Editor Toni Johnson

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