Economic Forecast Bleak for Obama’s Recovery Bus Tour

The Hill reports President Obama will kick off his jobs-focused “Betting on America” bus tour this week, an odd choice of timing considering the dreary economic news out today and the likelihood of another bad jobs report on Friday. The real question is whether Obama will at least use an American-built bus this time around?

President Obama’s campaign is tagging his two-day bus trip in the Midwest later this week the “Betting on America” tour, an opportunity for the campaign to push its economic message against Mitt Romney in two key swing states.

Manufacturing activity dropped in June for the first time in three years, an indication of economic downturn, according to Reuters. Obama is planning a protectionist message for his tour, emphasizing the outsourcing of jobs at Romney’s Bain Capital. Many of Obama’s claims are unsubstantiated; found no evidence that Romney shipped American jobs overseas during his tenure at Bain. But even the false attacks won’t change the fact that the economic outlook dropped to a new low this month, or change the jobs numbers later this week, via Gallup:

Both components of the index — Americans’ ratings of current economic conditions and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or getting worse — declined slightly in June. The -18 economic outlook rating reflects 38 percent of Americans saying the economy is improving and 56 percent saying it is getting worse. At the same time, 15 percent of Americans say the economy is in excellent or good shape, while 41 percent consider it poor, resulting in a -26 current conditions rating.

Americans’ economic outlook in June averaged lower than in any month since January, while their rating of current conditions remained in the narrow range between -28 and -23 seen since March.

The protectionist message could be effective in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, but voters are already pessimistic about the direction of the economy and understand the problem is about much more than job outsourcing. If Obama’s message comes off as out-of-touch or an attempt to shift blame, it could actually end up backfiring.