A few months ago, Karl Rove told us the GOP would win the Congressional elections on the strength of the Iraq War. He said voters would back the president. When the war would not diverge from its downward spiral and the terrorist plot in Great Britain was foiled, we were told that the war against terror would win the day. But when polls showed that the president didn’t get a rebound after the arrests, it’s time to again change strategies.
“If I were a candidate … I’d say, ‘Look at what the economy has done. It’s strong. We’ve created a lot of jobs. … I’d be telling people that the Democrats will raise your taxes. That’s what they said. I’d be reminding people that tax cuts have worked in terms of stimulating the economy,” Bush told reporters at a news conference.
Of course, there’s a slight problem with this approach, too.
The economy has slowed in recent months, in part because of the slump in the housing market. Recent economic indicators showed a 4.8 percent jobless rate in July and 4 percent annual economic growth rate through the first half of the year.
The Labor Department recently said employers added just 113,000 new jobs in July, down from 124,000 in June.
Only 37 percent of Americans support Bush’s handling of the economy, according to the Associated Press-Ipsos poll in early August.
Thirty-seven percent? Well, it’s probably better than support for his war and nobody really believes that Iraq is related to the war on terror, although I’m not really sure what that it. His overall support is back down in the 33% range, so 37% is better than that.
Next thing you know, Bush will be telling Republicans to invoke the name Terri Schiavo in their campaigns. What’s sad is that at this point, it can only help.