Obama campaign officials David Axelrod and David Plouffe both struggled to answer the classic 1980 Ronald Reagan question “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” when it was put to them on the Sunday morning news shows. Both could not answer with a simple “yes” and instead repeatedly changed the subject to attacks on Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace showed Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod a clip of Romney asking the Reagan question and asked: “David, can you honestly say the average American is better off today than they were four years ago?”
Axelrod responded: “Here’s what I can say, Chris: I can say we are in a better position than we were four years ago in our economy in the sense that when this president took office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. The quarter before he took office was the worst quarter that this country has had economically since the Great Depression. And we are in a better place: 29 straight months of job growth, 4.5 million private sector jobs. Are we where we need to be? No.”
He then turned to an attack on Mitt Romney, calling his convention in Tampa “a terrible failure.”
Wallace stuck to his line of inquiry, noting that unemployment is up from 7.8 percent when Obama took office to 8.3 percent today. He also noted that median income has fallen from $55,000 annually to $51,000 and the price of gas has doubled to $3.78 a gallon.
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