With surrogates like these, who needs enemies?
Today, former PA Governor and DNC Chair Ed Rendell expanded on his criticism of the Obama administration. In an interview with CBS Morning News – video above, helpfully posted by the GOP – he said Obama lacked executive experience and ceded too much power to Congress during the formulation of Obamacare and the stimulus package.
“I think the president was hurt by being a legislator only; for example healthcare and stimulus. Two bills that I think did good things for the American people. He sort of said ‘here’s what I want, flush it out.’”
He went further. He said former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would have been more effective as president.
“I think [Clinton] would’ve come in with a lot more executive experience,” Rendell said.
Needless to say, national Republicans jumped at the opportunity to use one of Obama’s surrogate’s words against him. The Republican National Committee released a press release in response to Rendell’s comments, echoing the former governor’s statements.
“The President’s dismal attempts at improving our economy (sic) clearly weren’t enough,” the statement said.
“Even prominent Pennsylvania Democrats like Ed Rendell are calling into question his judgment and saying that those failed policies are hurting President Obama’s chances of winning Pennsylvania in 2012.”
After criticizing President Obama’s campaign attacks on Romney’s experience in private equity a number of times, Rendell told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that Pennsylvania is very much “in play” in November’s election, despite many outsiders deeming the state as leaning Democrat.
“It’s going to be a close election. The president is not going to do well in the west. He lost 11 of 12 southwestern Democratic counties in 2008, even though he won the state by 11 points,” Rendell said.
“I think he will improve the vote there because a number of them are construction workers, etc. … and I think they know what is going on. I think he will do better there. But I don’t think he will carry there. The election will be determined by basically the four Philadelphia suburban counties.”
Rendell’s comments yesterday preceded the release of a poll by Franklin and Marshall College indicating that Obama holds a 48 to 36 percent lead over Romney in Pennsylvania.
Why the sudden surge of off-the-reservation comments from Rendell? It’s impossible to say for sure, but it’s important to note that he has a book to sell. “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great,” which serves as a critique of contemporary politics, hit shelves a few days ago.