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There is little doubt President Barack Obama is regretting the words he uttered Friday, as what was surely a gaffe continued to dominate the news cycle Sunday. On Friday, Obama managed to make Republicans across the country very happy by declaring that “the private sector is doing fine.” Although he quickly backpedaled from the remark—“it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine”—it still gave Mitt Romney and Republicans an opening to say the president is the one out of touch with regular Americans, notes the Associated Press.
Mitt Romney’s campaign quickly released a web ad, criticizing Obama for the comments, following his "fine" remark with clips of workers discussing how they’re struggling amid a weak economy, reports CNN.
The issue dominated the Sunday talk shows, with Republicans trying to maximize the effects of the remark while Democrats tried to change the subject, saying the GOP is using it as a way to distract from the president’s jobs plan. “They're more eager to have a debate over an out-of-context clause in his remarks than the substance of what he said,” senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said, according to the Hill. Yet Indiana Gov. Mitc Daniels, rumored as a potential Romney running mate, said the statement put into question whether Obama even understands how employment works. “He does not understand where wealth and jobs come from. It comes from a successful private sector or not at all,” Daniels said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As much as Democrats are trying to play down the remark, it’s likely that the president’s gaffe will matter because it “plays directly into the story that Republicans are trying to tell about him,” points out the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. Experience has shown a single gaffe can turn out to be very dangerous in a campaign, which is why Republicans will certainly try to make the most out of this one while they can. It might, however, not turn out to be that big of a deal. “If you’re gonna have a bad week, June is a good time to have it,” writes Politico’s Mike Allen. “The voters who matter aren’t tuned in—and won’t decide on micro issues, anyway.”