Mitt Romney knew the day would come when a president would be able to swagger into the House Chamber and lay claim to a burgeoning economic recovery, as Obama did during his State of the Union remarks last month.
Romney, running for president in 2012, had hoped that it would be him.
“I wouldn’t be going after this job if I thought the future was bleak. I would not want to be president — be on watch if you will — as America goes over a cliff. I would not want to take this job and this responsibility if I didn’t think the future is going to be extraordinarily bright,” Romney told about 300 wealthy Missourians at a St. Louis fundraiser in early June 2012.
Instead, Obama defeated Romney to win reelection, and in 2015, the White House has moved increasingly aggressively take credit for the recovery. Unemployment is at 5.6 percent, the lowest since June 2008. Real GDP grewat 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014 (although it went back down to 2.9 percent in the fourth). Even the federal budget deficit — once nearing 10 percent of the economy — has been slashed to less than 3 percent, though it is projected to begin growing again in 2018. The nation’s economic rebound from the worst crisis since the Great Depression was a long time in coming, and as evidenced by Romney’s speech in 2012, many knew it was in some respects inevitable.
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