(CNN) - Republicans hurried to criticize Pres. Barack Obama and congressional Democrats Friday after a jobs report showed the American unemployment rate falling slightly to 9%, with only 80,000 jobs created.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus appeared to be one of the first to respond, putting out a email statement just minutes after the Labor Department issued the October jobs report at 8:30am ET. Preibus said the numbers, which showed the economy adding half as many jobs in October as it added in September, were indicative of a president distracted by his re-election campaign.
"While President Obama spent October on the campaign trail, the American people endured another month of unacceptably high unemployment," Preibus said in a statement issued Friday. "Today's jobs numbers underscore the devastating toll President Obama's record of over-regulation, tax threats and reckless spending has taken on the American economy."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went after Obama for his stance on federal spending and debt, saying it was hurting job creation.
“President Obama’s reckless spending and trillion dollar deficits are hurting this economy and stifling job growth," Romney said in a statement. "Today’s employment report is a reminder that America continues to face a jobs crisis of historic proportions. At this rate, it will take years to get back the jobs that have been lost under President Obama. October marked the thirty-third consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been above 8%. It is time to once again unleash the tremendous economic potential of the American people, but that can’t happen until President Obama is defeated.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry identified government regulations as a cause for high unemployment.
"Today's jobs report showing the lowest growth in four months proves that American employers remain burdened by uncertainty and excessive taxes and regulations," Perry said Friday. "American workers and taxpayers need a president committed to private sector job creation and fiscal sanity in Washington, D.C. As president, I will fundamentally change Washington by cutting taxes to a low, flat 20 percent, cutting federal spending and regulations, and ending bailouts to protect taxpayers and jumpstart American job creation."
GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota placed blame on Obama for slow economic recovery, but also faulted protesters associated with Occupy Wall Street for taking on capitalism instead of corrupt government.
"President Obama joined with the Occupy Wall Street protesters who believe that the problem we face is capitalism, the free markets and job creators. It's not," Bachmann said in a statement. "This is more crony capitalism – forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician's political friends. If we are ever to get out of this ditch, President Obama, the Democrats and Occupy Wall Street need to wake up and stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians."
Former Utah Gov. and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, also a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, issued a statement through his spokesman painting himself as the best candidate to speed up economic growth.
"Jon Huntsman has proposed the most pro-growth plan to turn our economy around and he has the record to back it up, taking Utah to first in the nation in job growth," Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said.
He continued, "While Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are timid, Jon Huntsman is offering the bold solutions Americans need."
Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign manager said the jobs numbers fell short.
"We can and must do better," John Tate said. “More federal intervention is not the answer; it will only dig a deeper hole. Few in government seem to realize this."
House Speaker John Boehner used the jobs numbers to call on Senate Democrats to take action on jobs bills that passed the Republican-controlled House.
"Senate Democrats are out of excuses and the president must call on them to act," Boehner said in a statement. "The House has voted to remove government obstacles to desperately needed jobs - and we've done it in a bipartisan way. At a time when these bipartisan jobs bills are stalled in the Senate, it is unacceptable for the White House to be anything less than 100 percent engaged in the legislative process."