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Friday, September 7, 2012

Obama numbers vs. Obama rhetoric: Why the Charlotte convention will fail

Newt Gingrich
The great challenge for the Democratic Convention in Charlotte this week is that Obama’s numbers will drown out Obama’s rhetoric.

President Bill Clinton will give a good speech—and then there are Obama’s numbers.

Michelle Obama will give a good speech—and then there are Obama’s numbers.

President Obama’s acceptance speech will soar and resonate—and then there are his own numbers.

There are three Obama numbers:

1. Unemployment: 8.3 percent

2. Gasoline: $3.80 a gallon

3. The national debt: $16 trillion

If Republicans calmly and methodically focus on these three numbers, this could become the week the entire Obama facade cracked.

Unemployment is the highest consistently since the Great Depression.

Under Reagan unemployment was coming down from a point even higher than Obama faced.

The Reagan recovery entered 1984 with 8 percent unemployment and by the fall it was in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. It ended 1984 at 7.3 percent and people were confident that the recovery would continue and unemployment would get even lower (which it did).

Gasoline prices have skyrocketed under President Obama. Gasoline was $1.81 a gallon in Charlotte the day after Obama became President. It was $3.79 this Labor Day. Gasoline has literally gone up a penny a day throughout the month of August (31 cents a gallon for the month). The Labor Day price was the highest in history.

By contrast the Reagan deregulation of oil production and gasoline distribution (ending Jimmy Carter’s gasoline rationing and waiting lines at gas stations as you could only buy gas every other day based in the last number of your license plate) produced a dramatic increase in supply and an equally dramatic decline in cost.

There was a profound reason the Reagan campaign had “leadership that is working” as one of its themes. There was an equally good reason that “morning in America” was one of the slogans.

In 1984 people felt better off because they were better off.

Read the full column

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