June 21 - With the Federal Reserve forecasting unemployment to stay above 8 percent by year’s end, U.S. President Barack Obama faces an uphill battle this election but Romney has to convince voters he can do better. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL. Hopes of President Obama's re-election could be dimming as more and more bad economic data pours in. This presents leverage for his opponent Governor Mitt Romney. Romney economic advisor Glenn Hubbard: SOUNDBITE: GLENN HUBBARD, DEAN, COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL, AND ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO MITT ROMNEY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you talk to business leaders one of the biggest reasons for not hiring is policy uncertainty. Expert economists have estimated that we've lost maybe 2.3 million jobs just because of uncertainty in policy. We can stop that. Second is to encourage growth. We can make the kind of changes to the tax code that Governor Romney suggested and make gradual reductions in the size of government that make possible faster growth and job creation. And of course the healthcare act that Obama administration supported also had impediments to job growth." But there could be hope in the way Obama makes his argument: Robert Shapiro, the former undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton Administration thinks Obama can pull it off. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT SHAPIRO, CHAIRMAN, SONECON, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Presidents have often been re-elected, in fact typically are re-elected when they made as much improvement in the unemployment rate as the President has made. We have to remember that when he came into the office it was headed towards nearly 10 percent. He's brought it down towards 8.2 percent. It may even go to 8, it could even go below 8 between now and November if we're lucky." They will need that luck. The Fed just forecast even lower GDP growth and fewer jobs. And no U.S. president since World War Two has won re-election with an unemployment rate above 7.2 percent. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.