The above was Mitt Romney's response to President Obama's "gaffe" regarding the private sector doing "fine" compared to the public sector. Now, leaving aside that Obama's gaffe is more of a questionable word choice than a misrepresentation of how things are doing--if you compare private and public sector job growth, private sector jobs have come back, but not public sector jobs--it makes sense that Romney would try to capitalize on a statement that rings wrong in the ears of a lot of listeners.
But as Steven Benen at The Maddow Blog points out--this is how he responds?
Let's be clear about this: Romney is rejecting the idea of saving the jobs of cops, firefighters, and teachers. He sees this as an applause line. The Republican nominee for president believes we can "help the American people" by laying off, not just public-sector workers in general, but specifically cops, firefighters, and teachers.
As Greg Sargent explained, Romney "has singlehandedly reframed the debate from one over despised government bureaucrats to one over whether we should hire more cops, firefighters and teachers to get the economy going."
I've been mentally referring to the phenomenon of Romney gaffe-hood as "Next day-itis", where whenever his campaign has a little success, he's usually putting his foot in it the next day. That time frame is narrowing. He was handed something to work with, but he's given up a gaffe of his own for ad-makers to work with. Just to clean up a comment I made about this over at Rumproast , there is a real difference in terms of the demand for private and public sector employment. There may be increased demand for, let's say, lawn care specialists, if people have money to spend on their lawns and would rather someone else do it. If money's tight, they'll do it themselves. Or auto factory workers--if money's tight, people hold on to their beaters. But cops, firefighters and teachers do recognizable jobs that there is always a demand for--or more particularly a civic need for. If a police force is cut by 15%, the local crime isn't going to oblige by cutting itself.
(And don't get me started about potholes not filling themselves, trash not collecting itself, bridges not building themselves, etc, etc. People who don't depend on these services, or know people who have these kinds of jobs, take them for granted.)