TOPICS: Obama approval rating, approval on issues, effect of Iraq speech, Mideast pace talks
President Obama spoke Friday in the Rose Garden, surrounded by his team of economic advisors. (PHOTO CREDIT:Shawna Shepherd/CNN)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama went on the offensive on the politically critical issue of job creation Friday, promising to lay out a broad package of ideas next week and slamming Senate Republicans for blocking passage of his administration's small business aid legislation.
Obama renewed his call for the languishing bill in the wake of Friday's release of new unemployment figures. The jobless rate, according to the Labor Department, rose from 9.5 to 9.6 percent in August.
The economy lost a total of 54,000 jobs last month. Most of the losses, however, came from the public sector, as the government cut 114,000 temporary census workers. Private businesses added 67,000 jobs to their payrolls.
August was the eighth straight month that businesses added jobs, following nearly two straight years of job losses. So far this year businesses have added 763,000 workers to payrolls.
"That's positive news," Obama declared at the White House, flanked by his top economic advisers. It "reflects steps we've already taken to break the back of this recession."
(CNN) - When President Barack Obama heads to Wisconsin on Labor Day to talk about the economy, one of the top Democrat's in the state won't be teaming up with the president.
Obama is scheduled to talk to working families and union members at Milwaukee's annual Laborfest Monday afternoon. While Sen. Russ Feingold will make a stop at Laborfest in the morning, he'll be gone by the time Obama arrives.
According to his campaign, Feingold will be at events in his hometown of Janesville and in Kenosha during the afternoon, when the president is in Milwaukee. The campaign tells CNN their schedule was set before the White House on Monday announced the president's Labor Day visit.
The three-term Feingold faces a very tough re-election against businessman Russ Johnson, the presumptive Republican nominee. Two of the top political handicappers, the non-partisan Cook and Rothenberg political reports, rate the race as a "toss up."
(CNN) - It was the silence heard 'round the world.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's now infamous opening statement during a debate Wednesday night has gone viral many times over - as watching the cringe-inducing moment again and again just proves too tempting.
On Thursday, Brewer herself weighed in on what some are calling her 'meltdown,' joking with an Arizona radio station her deafening pause was the "longest 16 seconds of my life"
But will the performance prove fatal to Brewer's election bid?
Probably not, says Christina Boomer - a reporter for ABC15 in Phoenix - at least so long as Brewer is able to make light of the situation.
Washington (CNN) - The No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives wasted no time in responding to the monthly jobs report.
"Today's jobs report is a clear demonstration that the American economy still has a long way to go," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Minority Whip.
Cantor's statement was released less than eight minutes after the Labor Department reported that the country's unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a percent in August to 9.6 percent. According to the report, the economy lost 54,000 jobs last month, partially due to a decline in census jobs. But private sector employment was up 67,000 jobs.
"The policies being pursued by the White House and Democrat leaders in Washington continue to create uncertainty and fear that is inhibiting productivity, innovation and job creation," added Cantor.
(CNN) - A Democratic congressman from New York City who could face a competitive road to re-election this autumn is calling in a big gun.
And that big gun is former President Bill Clinton, who teams up at a campaign rally Friday morning with freshman Rep. Mike McMahon of New York's 13th congressional district.
The district covers Staten Island and a small portion of southwest Brooklyn, and is considered the most conservative in New York City. John McCain won the district by two points in the 2008 presidential election and George W. Bush carried it by 10 points in his 2004 re-election.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Businesses are hiring, but not enough to make up for the massive losses of temporary government jobs.
The economy lost a total of 54,000 jobs in August, according to the Labor Department, matching the revised estimate of jobs lost in July.
The bulk of the losses came from the public sector, as the government cut 114,000 temporary census workers. It was the third straight month that census worker layoffs caused an overall decline in jobs.
But the report showed some improvements in the jobs picture. The overall losses were not as bad as expected, as economists surveyed by Briefing.com had predicted a loss of 120,000 jobs in the month.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin has managed to set the blogosphere ablaze again, this time after appearing to use sexual metaphors to slam mainstream media reporters who rely on anonymous sources.
"Those who are impotent and limp and gutless and they go on their anonymous - sources that are anonymous - and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references," Palin said in her criticism of the press. "It just slays me because it's so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that they would take these anonymous sources as fact."
The comments, made Wednesday on Sean Hannity's radio program, appeared to be fueled by an unflattering Vanity Fair profile out the same day that, relying heavily on unnamed sources, claimed the former Alaska governor had a 'mean temper.'
(CNN) - A veteran House representative from Texas said she made a mistake when she awarded charitable scholarships to her family members instead of students in her district.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) has been under fire recently, accused of breaking rules in giving the scholarships to relatives.
"I've acknowledged that I was negligent. I've acknowledged that I made a mistake," Johnson said during an interview on CNN's "AC 360" on Thursday.
Johnson is accused of awarding scholarship money to her grandsons, David and Kirk Johnson, as well as the children of her Dallas district director, Rod Givens, last year. Each of the relatives were awarded two scholarships in the past year.