WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) --- Maryland's Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley managed to dominate Monday's news cycle on the eve of the Democratic National Convention with his weekend talks show concession that Americans this year are not as well off as they were four years ago.
Republicans pounced, and O'Malley appeared on Monday morning television to walk back the remarks, which Republicans talked about all day.
It started on Sunday's CBS News broadcast Face The Nation.
"Can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago?" asked moderator Bob Schieffer.
"No, but that's not the question of this election," O'Malley responded.
Republicans issued a press release saying O'Malley's answer was "proof that President Obama's policies aren't working."
O'Malley backtracked Monday morning. "We are clearly better off as a country because we are creating jobs rather than losing them," he said on CNN.
Later in the morning, Romney's vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan said, "The president can say a lot of things and he will but he can't tell you you're better off."
Vice-president Biden had the soundbite-ready Democratic response: "You want to know whether we're better off. I've got a little bumper sticker for you. Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!"
It was all a distraction from the Democratic National Convention, where Michelle Obama checked out the podium from which she'll deliver her remarks in prime time.
Mitt and Anne Romney did not campaign Monday, spending the day with family at a New Hampshire lake.
The Romney's convention drew the attention of a campaigning Barack Obama.
"We saw three straight days of an agenda out of the last century. It was a rerun. You might as well have watched it on black-and-white tv, with some rabbit ears on there," he said.
What need candidate Obama accomplish in the next three days at the convention?
"The job he's going to have is defending this economy. He will say our policies will finally get us back on track, the other guy's policies will just make it worse," said Schieffer on a Monday newscast.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean doesn't think it will be a tough sell.
"Most Americans don't believe that Mitt Romney's measures will fix the economy. Giving tax cuts to people who make a million dollars a year and charging the middle class two thousand dollars a family to pay for those tax cuts is not my idea, or President Obama's idea of how to fix the economy and I think people do not trust Mitt Romney to look after middle class people because he is not for them," Dean told 9News