Obama Clarifies: Economy 'Not Doing Fine' Romney: First statement is a historic gaffe By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jun 8, 2012 3:32 PM CDT 140 comments Comments President Obama speaks to the media on June 8 at the White House. (Getty Images) (Newser) – President Obama sought to limit the political damage from his statement this morning that the "private sector is doing fine." At a subsequent event, he declared, "It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine," reports MSNBC. One Republican after another had beaten up Obama over the first statement, though the Huffington Post's Mark Gongloff points out that Obama wasn't saying the overall economy was doing OK, just the private sector, and he argues that there's some truth to that. (MarketWatch rounds up some relevant charts to judge for yourself.) Mitt Romney wasn't about to lay off, notes AP. "Is he really that out of touch," he asked at a campaign stop. “For the president of the United States to stand up and say the private sector is doing fine is going to go down in history as an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who’s out of touch."