Twenty years ago, when Democrats tried to oust an incumbent Republican president from office, they questioned his economic stewardship. Vice presidential candidate Al Gore famously bellowed: “Everything that ought to be down is up, and everything that should be up is down!”
The argument seems more relevant today than it was in late 1992.
Republicans are trying to fire an incumbent Democrat president amid the worst economic recovery since the Depression. And the economic news is not getting better for Barack Obama as the race heads into the final lap.
This was not the case on the eve of the 1992 election, when economic reports revealed both GDP and payrolls were in fact growing at a robust clip following a comparably mild recession.
Still, Gore indicted the record of President George H.W. Bush with stat after stat – stale as they were – showing lackluster economic performance.
He zeroed in jobs and incomes to show indicators that were wrongly down, and unemployment and the federal deficit to highlight what was errantly up.
Applying Gore’s test to Obama’s economic record produces far worse results.
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