To get reelected, Republican governors in swing states need to say they've led their states to over growing economies, but to get Mitt Romney elected, they need to say their economies are awful and it's President Obama's fault. It is a tricky needle to thread, and Florida Rick Scott is not doing it very well. Romney's campaign asked Scott stop issuing statements about Florida's shrinking unemployment rate, Bloomberg's Michael C. Bender reports. Instead, this week they asked him "to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency." The request was made after Scott issued press releases saying the unemployment rate had dropped 11 months straight and people should "spread the news" on social media.
Scott isn't the only Republican governor who keeps forgetting to say how terrible things are. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been talking about the states falling unemployment rate, though Romney hasn't asked him to stop, Bloomberg reports. Gov. Rick Snyder calls Michigan "the comeback state of the United States," noting that since August 2009, the jobless rate has fallen from 14.2 percent to 8.5 percent.
This highlights a problem with Romney's campaign. His most important message is that Obama has crippled the economy, and that he could make it better. But the swing states where the unemployment rate is higher than when Obama was sworn in -- Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico -- are also states with growing Latino populations, and those voters are trending toward Obama. The Republican Party has not been very successful in reaching out to Latinos this year. Instead, Romney is increasingly focused on the Upper Midwest, The Hill's Cameron Joseph reports, taking a tour last week through Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio. But the economies of most of those states are improving. Since Obama took office, West Wing Reports notes, the unemployment rate has dropped in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, not to mention two other key swing states Virginia and Florida. Only Pennsylvania's is higher.