(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement Friday President Obama should not declare economic success when the unemployment rate is still at 9.7 percent:
"No matter what spin the White House puts on these job numbers, it is unacceptable for President Obama to declare economic success when unemployment remains at 9.7 percent and a large portion of the job growth came from temporary boost in government employment," Steele said in the statement. "As Democrats grow Big Government, Americans grow weary of the strain on family budgets, job security and peace of mind."
Full statement after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - President Obama heads to North Carolina today to tout his plans to create jobs, his third visit to the politically important state since he entered the White House.
The president is expected to make his remarks at a Charlotte company that's hired new workers and beefed up operations partially because of grants from the economic stimulus program.
Obama last visited the state in July, when he held a town hall on health care reform in Raleigh. Prior to that visit, the president outlined his plans for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, during a speech at Camp Lejeune Marine Base in North Carolina in February of last year.
Washington (CNN) - A group of influential Republicans is launching a new independent organization with the goal of raising over $50 million to help their party topple Democrats in this year's midterm elections.
The group, American Crossroads, will raise money from "individuals and corporations who believe that Republicans offer better solutions to the challenges we face," according to one of the people involved in the group, who acknowledged that Democrats benefited from the help of outside groups in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
American Crossroads will be managed by Steven Law, who is leaving a top post at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to run the group. Board members include former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan, former RNC co-chair Jo Ann Davidson and GOP strategist Jim Dyke.
Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie will serve as informal advisers to the group.
The creation of the group was first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.
Washington (CNN) - A nearly $2,000 bar tab at a bondage-themed Hollywood night club has continued to cast a shadow on the Republican National Committee and has raised questions over the ability of its chairman, Michael Steele, to lead the party to victory in November 2010.
Conservatives started criticizing Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, after he blasted radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last year and later apologized. Some of the party faithful are also critical for his spending. And some fear he's not positioning the GOP well enough to hammer vulnerable Democrats in mid-term elections this fall.
Republican strategist Mary Matalin, noting the recent club tab controversy's effect on the chairman, offered Steele advice, saying he "needs to take a step back and ... raise some money and do some turnout and get the job done."
Washington (CNN) - The fastest reaction to Friday morning's release of the March unemployment report appears to go to House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.
The No. 2 House Republican sent out an e-mail response less than five minutes after the Labor Department released the jobs report.
"Any report showing that the economy added jobs is clearly a better alternative to one showing that it lost more jobs. Yet we must set our sights higher, our goals larger, and our actions bolder. Americans deserve far more than the up and down, roller coaster like unemployment reports of the past few months," said Cantor. "We must work to move beyond this uncertainty by creating a sustained period of real job creation, and that can only start once Washington stops actively impeding economic growth."
New York - (CNNMoney.com) - The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years in March, according to a government report released Friday.
The Labor Department said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in the month, compared to a revised reading of a 14,000 job loss in February. That makes March only the third month since the start of 2008 that employers did not cut payrolls. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 184,000 jobs.
Washington (CNN) – How tough will the midterm elections be for the Democratic Party?
Here's President Obama's take:
"These November elections, as Tim said, will be hard - partly because this country is still divided, and after 2006 and 2008 we hit a very high watermark in terms of Democratic representation in Congress and governorships and we're in the midst of what is still a very difficult time," said Obama Thursday night during comments he gave at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Tim he's referring to former Virginia governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, who introduced the president at the event.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: U.S. to implement new airport security measures
All flights entering the United States will be subjected to a new level of security screening, officials plan to announce Friday. The new security measures, that will be announced by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, will use "real-time, threat-based intelligence," according to the official.
CNN: Obama seeks to reassure small business on health care
President Obama sought to reassure jittery small-business owners Thursday that they stand to benefit from the recently enacted health care law - an assertion not universally shared by a traditionally Republican-leaning constituency. The president took his pro-reform message to Maine, a politically friendly state he carried by nearly 20 points in the 2008 general election.
The Hill: McCain: GOP hopes to sidestep veto in repeal efforts
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday backed a plan that he says would allow the Republicans to avoid a presidential veto while negating the effects of a new healthcare law. The 2008 GOP presidential nominee backed a plan that would strip funding from the healthcare law, which he says would not take an override to a veto to accomplish. Brooke Buchanan, a McCain spokesperson told The Hill that the move would be done using "fencing language" in an appropriations bill that would get rid of the health bill funding.
CNNMoney: Frank rebukes House staffer for taking lobbying job
House Financial Services chief Barney Frank publicly denounced a House Financial Services Committee staffer for leaving to become a lobbyist. Peter Roberson played a key role in writing House financial overhaul legislation and will now lobby on behalf of a company that the legislation directly impacts. Federal law prevents Roberson from talking with House staffers on the House Financial Services panel for a year. But he's free to lobby the Senate staffers, who are in the midst of crafting similar overhaul legislation before a final Senate vote.
CNNMoney: 34 miles per gallon: The new normal
Final rules for new fuel economy standards were unveiled by the government Thursday, placing the national average for all vehicles at more than 34 miles per gallon, well above current levels. The new standards were originally announced in May 2009 by the Obama administration. The final details were unveiled jointly by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Administration.
CNN Poll: Democrats lose edge on economy
Democrats have lost their large advantage over Republicans when Americans are asked which party would do a better job with the economy, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 48 percent of Americans say Republicans in Congress would do a better job dealing with the economy, with 45 percent saying that congressional Democrats would better handle the issue.
New Orleans Times-Picayune: Rep. Anh 'Joseph' Cao opts out of GOP moratorium on earmark requests
New Orleans Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao is one of only three Republicans to defy the House GOP's self-imposed one-year moratorium on earmark requests. Saying that New Orleans' needs are too great to abide by a ban on earmarks, Cao has submitted appropriations requests for about 75 projects - running the gamut from levee improvements to health care - totaling about $420 million.