‘The private sector is doing fine’?

The president on Friday uttered a remark he will regret as the campaign for the White House heats up.

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While speaking about the economy, he said, “The private sector is doing fine.” By some measurements, that may be true. But by making such a declarative statement, he handed his opponents a perfect opportunity to label him as “out of touch.”

In case you can’t watch the video, the president said:

“The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.”

Single sentences are all it takes to destroy—or hamper—political careers. On Sept.15, 2008, John McCain insisted “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” He said that at the very moment Lehman Brothers was collapsing and the stock market was plummeting. That clip was used to show how out of touch he had become, and it proved fatal.

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