Obama, Republicans focus on jobs in weekly addresses
June 11th, 2011
09:50 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama, Republicans focus on jobs in weekly addresses

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama urged Americans to be patient while waiting for the economy to improve Saturday, one week after a disappointing jobs report showed the country's unemployment rate rising to 9.1%.

"I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems," Obama said in his weekly address. "But the truth is, we didn't get into this mess overnight, and we won't get out of it overnight. It's going to take time."

Republicans, meanwhile, used their weekly address to criticize the president for not doing enough to promote job growth. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said the president hadn’t created an environment conducive to increased hiring.

“There’s been a lot of talk this week about how our economy isn’t creating enough jobs,” Kinzinger said. “I can tell you that here in the president’s home state, every day, we hear about a company that’s looking at leaving or is already on its way out the door. And why? Because taxes are too high, regulations are too burdensome, and the government won’t stop spending money it doesn’t have.”

In his address, Obama said a new community college initiative - announced earlier this week - would help private employers identify qualified workers for skilled jobs.

"If you're a company that's hiring, you'll know that anyone who has this degree has the skills you're looking for,” Obama said. “If you're a student considering community college, you'll know that your diploma will give you a leg up in the job market.”

On the Republican side, Kinzinger proposed a different set of policy changes that he said would help the economy grow.

“The road to refueling our economy and creating jobs means tackling our debt head on, simplifying the tax code, reining in Washington's red tape factory, passing pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and increasing domestic energy production, making our nation more energy secure, which would help lower costs at the pump and create jobs here at home,” Kinzinger said.

Obama also announced in his address that he would travel to North Carolina on Monday to meet with his jobs council, a group formed in January that is charged with looking at ways to improve hiring. Obama said the panel would discuss further initiatives for bolstering hiring in the short term at Monday’s meeting.

Obama and Kinzinger’s focus on the economy and jobs comes just one week after a jobs report for May showed job creation slowing and the unemployment rate rising, from 9% in April to 9.1% in May. In May, the economy gained only 54,000 jobs, a sharp drop from the 232,000 jobs that were added in April.

Americans overwhelming identify the economy and jobs as their most important concern. In a CNN Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted June 3-7, the economy is the only issue that more than half of the public says will extremely important to their vote for president next year.


Filed under: Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    So please tell America the names of the legislation or Bills that you have passed related to Jobs? N O N E!

    June 11, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. a in austin

    I am so tired of hearing the gop use the word uncertainty. You own the House and ran on jobs – WHERE ARE THE JOBS??? No introduction of jobs bills or anything that will help main street. Not so sure how much longer the unemployed can live on the edge...

    June 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Republicans.....we need MORE tax cuts for the wealthy so that they can create jobs
    President Obama.....we need to have more jobs programs and start looking into infrastructure and investing in our own production. Plus the GOP offering some new ideas and stop standing by on the sidelines complaining would help.

    Thus far niether of these plans have worked.

    June 11, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. lynn

    Jobs won't open up for Americans until companies quit the practice of laying off people and making their remaining workers work 12-15 hr. days, it happens people. And complain, you're next out the door. Less overhead for companies equates to more profits, that's simple math. The media needs to shine some light on this national disgrace. The Republicans love it, keep the unemployment numbers up they think will help their chances in next election.

    June 11, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. USwatcher

    Our lawmakers must to provide tax incentives for American businesses to return to the US to hire American workers.Penalize American businesses who refuse to operate here in the US.And we now know what little or no regulation(particularly in banking industry and Wall Street)can do to all our savings/investments.Thieves abound.

    June 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. John

    It was the Republican who ran on getting JOBS In 2010 , and you got control of the House. But you Republican have done nothing to get Jobs Or find JOBS. The Only thing you did was give the Rich more tax cuts that you say will make Jobs ,because they will have more money to hirer people. Well THAT HAVE NOT WORK FOR SIX YEARS NOW AND IT NOT GOING TO WORK. So no more BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH. Try and Listen to the American people for a change and not just the RICH AND BIG BUSINESS. You Republican better wise up, And quit listening to the Tea Party and the KOCH'S BROTHER. They are IDIOT.

    June 11, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems,"

    There's certainly a quick start to solving the country's economic problems: Obama's resignation.

    June 11, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The only jobs Republicans focus on is a "snow job" . It was the Republicans who said "continuing Bush's taxes for the rich would create jobs" and that never happened and won't happen as they come up with a new "snow job".

    June 11, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    All they DO is TALK!

    Where is there ANY substance by ACTIONS?

    NOWHERE!

    June 11, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Name jeremy@Dallas

    Republicans run on jobs last November. What effort are they making on their jobs promise? They are majority in the house and boasting big voicelous bodies in the Senate. But so far nothing on jobs except blaming the president.

    June 11, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Ernie

    Here's another one, why don't the politicians go to a "Job Fair" don't announce who they are and take a good look at how many people who are out of work. The politicians will get a "raality check" and then leave if they say who they are they will get an ear full. The saying the politicians have is "Do as I say Not as I do" this is begining to wear real thin now. People are pissed off and waiting for November 2012. A lot of politicians are going to be told " Your FIRED, Turn off the lights the party is over".

    June 11, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. FAITHFUL

    The President never get any help from the republicans. Why are they there?

    If Obama says the sun rise in the east, the republicans would say it rise in the north. Even if they know better!

    June 11, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Republicans aren't focused on jobs. They are focused on killing Medicare and Social Security. They are focused on taking away healthcare for women vis Planned Parenthood. They are focused on telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies. They are focused on granting tax breaks and exemptions to their corporate owners. They are focused on spreading lies and hate and fear.

    June 11, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |