The last president to win re-election with unemployment above the current level of 8.2 percent was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which is certainly a good indicator for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
But on his Monday program conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh warned the Romney campaign not to bank on that alone.
“The sad truth is — and the Romney people are going to have to learn this right now,” Limbaugh said. “The sad truth is that employment is not pivotal. The unemployment rate, the jobs circumstance is not pivotal and it’s not something Obama can lose the election on, not by itself. It’s not something Romney can win.”
According to Limbaugh, the availability of welfare benefits and the diminishing number of taxpayers cushion the pain of unemployment.
“We have 48 million, 47 million on food stamps and the regime is advertising for more,” he said. “We have 47-48 percent who pay no income taxes. We have 3 million more off the unemployment rolls, and on disability rolls and they all vote. What does it add up to? No jobs? No employment? No problem. And that’s no job, no employment, no pain for a whole heck of a lot of people whose expectations for themselves are not very high. You have food. You have a car. You have a cell phone. And you have a TV. And you’re set.”
“My only point is relying on what traditionally has always worked is not going to get it done,” Limbaugh added.
“The polling data indicates it. Then there’s another part of me, though. The other part of me says if the elections were today it would be a landslide with Obama sent out of town so fast in a cloud of dust he wouldn’t be seen in it. I still think that’s possible, probable.”