From this Sunday's State of the Union, while discussing whether President Obama's reelection prospects might hinge on the economy improving or not, Virginia's wingnut Gov. Bob McDonnell decided to throw out here what TPM's Sahil Kapur thinks might be a trial balloon in case the economy continues to improve; it's Republican governors that deserve credit for the recovery, not Obama:
Virginia Governor and Mitt Romney surrogate Bob McDonnell (R) on Sunday floated what may turn into a Republican talking point if the economy continues to improve: It wasn’t President Obama who made it happen, it was the GOP governors.
“Look, I’m glad the economy is starting to recover, but I think it’s because of what Republican governors are doing in their states, not because of the president,” McDonnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” [...]
The intricacy of McDonnell’s argument is noteworthy: He didn’t say jobs are created on the state level, as opposed to the federal level. He said the improvements happened because of Republican governors. That’s a difficult argument to make when the recovery is taking hold across the country, even in states with Democratic governors.
It’s also problematic because Republicans have been eager to give Obama ownership of the economy. But McDonnell’s trial balloon suggests that if the economic indicators continue to tick upward, the 2012 elections could shift from a battle over who’s to blame for a weak economy to who deserves credit for an improving one.
During the segment above, after McDonnell took credit for how his and other Republican led states are doing, Crowley cut off Gov. Martin O'Malley before he had a chance to respond to him. I'm wondering if he was going to point out that Virginia is doing well because of the amount of stimulus money his state accepted.
And after all the layoffs of government workers, their attack on public sector employees, with Republicans doing everything they can to sabotage any economic recovery on purpose for political gain, recall elections of unpopular Republicans, and Republican governors tanking in the polls over the last year due to their unpopular agendas, I say good luck with trying to make that argument to the public.
As far as O'Donnell's claim that the stimulus didn't work, I'd just refer readers back to Karoli's post on that -- Dear Democrats: The Stimulus Worked, Start Acting Like It.
Transcript below the fold.