Va.'s Healthy Economy Could Pose Problem for Romney

Monday, 02 Jul 2012 10:15 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Mitt Romney could have a hard time explaining how President Barack Obama’s economic policies have hurt Virginia if the key battleground state’s economy continues to be relatively healthy.
 
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch this year’s presidential race could be “a tricky one” as well for Republican governors, like Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, who are trying “to tout their state’s [economic] successes without hurting” the GOP nominee’s chances.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, for example, has run ads recently highlighting the state’s comparatively low unemployment rate, which sits at 5.6 percent. He takes credit for it, according to the Times-Dispatch, and says Virginia’s success is an example of “what a Republican will do in the White House.”

“While we’re doing better than other states, that’s relative to how well we’d be doing under Mitt Romney,” McDonnell said recently.

But while McDonnell was talking the upside of the Virginia economy, the Republican National Committee was painting a gloomier picture in an attempt to shore up Romney’s message in Virginia — by suggesting that Obama’s policies were starting to drive unemployment up across the state.

Romney, in Virginia last week, blamed Obama for “40 straight months” of unemployment above 8 percent, the Times-Dispatch reported. But Virginia’s hasn’t been above 7.3 percent unemployment even at its peak and has settled at 5.6 percent for the past three months running.

Virginia political commentator Bob Holsworth told the Times-Dispatch that Romney may have to come up with a new message specifically designed for Virginia, and one that doesn’t ignore the economic realities of the state.

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