NBC's First Read, which is Chuck Todd (who I often think is quite good) and others; my emphasis added:
Another thing that struck us about yesterday’s dueling speeches by Obama and Romney: their selective amnesia. Romney’s remarks never acknowledged the Bush years -- either their economic record or the financial meltdown that took place before Obama took office. For his part, Obama pretty much skipped over the relatively slow growth and the political stalemate that occurred over the past three years. The election could very well come down to which side does a better job of reminding voters of those things.I can sort of see an argument that Obama downplayed slow growth over the last three years. Here's what he said:
OBAMA: But let’s be clear: Not only are we digging out of a hole that is 9 million jobs deep, we’re digging out from an entire decade where 6 million manufacturing jobs left our shores; where costs rose but incomes and wages didn’t; and where the middle class fell further and further behind.Is that "pretty much skipped over"? I'm not really convinced, but I suppose it's a question of interpretation.
So recovering from the crisis of 2008 has always been the first and most urgent order of business, but it’s not enough. Our economy won’t be truly healthy until we reverse that much longer and profound erosion of middle-class jobs and middle-class incomes.
So the debate in this election is not about whether we need to grow faster, or whether we need to create more jobs, or whether we need to pay down our debt.
Of course the economy isn’t where it needs to be. Of course we have a lot more work to do. Everybody knows that.
But stalemate? That was the entire theme of the speech! As Barack Obama might say (and I really wish he'd cut this out; anyone else as annoyed by it as I am?): this isn't my reading of the speech; it's just a fact. Or at least, it's what First Read's Michael O'Brien thought important enough to lead his speech story with yesterday. There's just no way that it makes sense to say that Obama downplayed policy stalemate. Emphasized it? Hyped it? Yup. "Pretty much skipped over"? No way.
It all reads suspiciously like the First Read squad had a criticism of Mitt Romney's speech and were flailing around looking for a parallel criticism in Obama's speech. But they wouldn't do that, would they?