"The Romney campaign slogan should be the title of Paul Krugman’s book which is 'End This Depression Now' because these are depression level [employment] numbers. And, if the Republican Party cannot win in this environment, it has to get out of politics and find another business."
So said George Will on ABC's This Week Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: George, let’s talk about Paul Ryan. Of course, I’m going to get to the conventions later, but you saw him jump right on that jobs report. Probably the best news Republicans had in a couple of weeks.
GEORGE WILL: The two numbers he stressed deserve stressing again: 368,000 people dropped out of the job market, which means that for every job created, four people quit looking for jobs. What this means is if the workforce participation rate today were what it was in June 2009 when recovery began, we would have an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent. If you add in the involuntarily unemployed, you’re approaching 19 percent. Which is why I should think from here on in on the basis of these numbers, the Romney campaign slogan should be the title of Paul Krugman’s book which is “End This Depression Now” because these are depression level numbers. And, if the Republican Party cannot win in this environment, it has to get out of politics and find another business.
I'm not sure I agree with Will on this one.
The reality is it's always difficult to beat an incumbent president. This cycle is even more challenging given the media malpractice we've witnessed since Inauguration Day.
This is particularly true of economic reporting which has been far more bullish than is warranted.
The fact of the matter is that if Obama were a Republican, the media would be tearing about his economic policies on an hourly basis while continually stressing how bad things are out there.
The evening news broadcasts would likely have a feature every day about some family struggling to make ends meet and folks that were successful in the previous decade now living on the streets.
Instead, they've done their darnedest the past 44 months to downplay the economic strife in the country while assisting the White House in distracting the public with ridiculous issues such as the made-up Republican War on Women.
Add it all up, and despite the state of the economy, it was always going to be difficult for this media-supported president to be defeated.
Think of it this way: a division 3 college football team could have beaten the New York Giants in the Super Bowl in January if the refs were all in the tank for the underdog.