DAVID BERGELAND/Durango Herald
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Democrats got ready Tuesday for their national convention by pushing the message that Americans are better off than they were four years ago.
The question tripped up senior advisers to President Barack Obama on Sunday, and Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced.
“This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right. But this president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office,” Romney said in a prepared statement.
But Democrats were pushing back in force Tuesday morning, when Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., visited the Colorado delegation for breakfast.
“There is no, absolutely not a scintilla of doubt, that America is better off today than it was in September of 2008,” said Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House.
The country lost 4.4 million jobs in the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency, but it has gained jobs over the last 29 months, although Hoyer conceded that jobs aren’t coming back fast enough.
Hoyer criticized Republicans for tearing down Obama at their convention last week and all throughout his presidency. The last president to face such a dire economic crisis was Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, he said.
“Roosevelt had the advantage of the public’s understanding for three years of how tough things were,” Hoyer said.
Viewers of the national convention can expect to hear much of the same over the next three days. Democrats plan to point out Obama’s successes while criticizing Republicans for having no specific plan for the country.
No one from Southwest Colorado won election as a delegate to the Democratic convention,
But several Coloradans will be on the podium. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks tonight, and Gov. John Hickenlooper is on Wednesday night.
First Lady Michelle Obama will be tonight’s final speaker.
The convention concludes Thursday at Bank of America Stadium, where the Obama campaign will try to replicate the energy the president got in Denver four years ago. However, convention officials were making contingency plans in case of dangerous weather to hold the final night in an indoor arena. Charlotte had drenching rain and lightning during the afternoon Monday.