The head wind facing the economy, which could doom President Obama's re-election, grew stronger this month. Gasoline prices have spiked, food-price increases are imminent because of drought, and Friday's unemployment numbers further highlighted the fact that Obama's policies do not create jobs. The increase in unemployment to 8.3 percent in July is bad news for the United States and bad politics for the president.
Mitt Romney has spent time in the dunking booth the past couple of weeks, while the left and the media have thrown every ball they can get their hands on. The latest assault on Romney may have crescendoed for the time being with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid making wild accusations about Romney. Harry Reid is about to blow a gasket. He is to Romney's tax returns what the birthers are to Obama's birth certificate. Except maybe the birthers were more sincere. Reid taunts Romney with the lie of having a very credible source giving him details on 10 years of Romney's tax returns. He has no such thing, and everybody knows it. It is probably the most immature and unworthy display of any actor on the political stage this year. And that is saying something in campaign 2012.
But back to the economy. The price of gasoline, the coming increase in food costs and terrible job creation, along with stalled economic growth, make the ditch Obama's re-election bandwagon is in much deeper. This means Obama is more desperate than ever. He has less of a case for re-election now than he did a month ago. I wouldn't trade Mitt Romney's problems for Obama's problems.
And Obama still doesn't get it. His stump-speech refrain about the economy is this: "The Republicans' basic idea is that if you give more tax breaks to the wealthy, and you get rid of regulations on banks and polluters and health insurance companies, then somehow everybody is going to prosper." Well, setting aside the snarky tone, Obama has tried the opposite. He wants to raise taxes even more and layer private business with additional government regulations. The result of those policies is low economic growth and the associated consequences that Americans are suffering from today.
Ed Rogers is a co-host of The Insiders blog, offering commentary from a Republican perspective on Election 2012. He is also chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with Haley Barbour in 1991.