Is it politically wise for former Governor Romney to respond to President Obama’s Orlando visit in this manner?
[Obama is] going to be in Fantasyland, and it’s obviously appropriate because he’s been living in a sort of Fantasyland these last few years.
Florida has nearly a million tourism workers — more than 13 percent of the state’s workforce. Florida has suffered heavily in the housing downturn.
The state’s economy needs the jobs that its private sector could create if the public sector could more efficiently do its job, including processing visitor visas quickly and safely. Obama went to Florida to say that the government will do that.
Romney is criticizing Obama, not Florida’s jobs. But he should be careful not to confuse the two in low-lighting Obama’s attempt to encourage tourism.
For many Florida voters, including elderly voters, it is a mark of pride to have a relative working in or near a Disney Park. Waiters and waitresses — both the people who make a career out of it and the people who are making money for college — can make decent money.
Romney should be mindful — electorally, at least! — of implying that these jobs are unimportant or that they are somehow a fantasy.
If he is the nominee, Romney in general should not overplay his hand in attacking Obama on the economy. There’s much for which to criticize Obama. Romney will dilute these fair critiques, and seem unhinged, if he swings at everything and anything.
— Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.