This is not a repeat from a couple of weeks ago, when President Obama blamed his lack of “storytelling” for his weak poll numbers. Wait, it is repeat of that. That’s exactly what this is.
You said one of the mistakes you see in the first term was not telling that story better. What does it mean to tell the story better in the next four years?
Well, what I meant by that is that we were in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, so we had to just do stuff fast. And sometimes it wasn’t popular. And we didn’t have the luxury of six months to explain exactly what we were doing with the Recovery Act, which was basically a jobs act and making-sure-middle-class-families-didn’t-fall-into-poverty act.
23 million unemployed = failure.
And there were all kinds of things we could do to have explained that effectively, but we didn’t have time. The auto bailout — now a lot of people are coming around and saying that was the right thing to do. But at the time, I think it polled at 10%. And we didn’t have time to worry about that. We had a million jobs at stake in places like Ohio and Michigan, and we needed to make sure that we acted quickly.
So moving forward, what I want to make sure the American people understand is that investments in education, investments in basic science and research, an all-of-the-above American energy strategy, in making college more affordable, in rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges and our ports and our airports — all those things that help make us grow are compatible with fiscal discipline as long as everybody is doing their fair share.
And that’s a story I’m doing my best to tell during the campaign. That’s a story I will continue to try to tell, if I’m fortunate enough to have a second term, in Inaugurations, in States of the Union. I want to make sure that people understand that I’ve got a focus on growing this economy, not growing the public sector, but doing enough to ensure that we’ve got the best workers in the world, we’ve got the best technology in the world and we’re competitive in the 21st century.
So, four more years = more of the same policies and more speeches to convince us not to believe our lyin’ eyes.
The Romney campaign, here in force in Tampa, was quick to respond. Romney spokesman Ryan Williams pounced: “Just last night, Paul Ryan clearly communicated that the problem with the Obama Administration is a lack of leadership in the White House, not a lack of empty political rhetoric. But President Obama believes that he hasn’t communicated enough and would use a second term to focus on becoming a better storyteller. America doesn’t need a storyteller-in-chief. We need a leader who will work to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and turn around our economy.”