August 3rd, 2012
01:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama touts job record, says more remains to be done

(CNN) - President Barack Obama touted overall job creation numbers from his time in office on Friday morning, hours after a jobs report brought mixed news on the nation's employment picture. He also urged Republicans in Congress to pass a tax measure which remains a rift between the two parties.

Private sector hiring was up in July, with the economy creating a net 163,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate also increased from 8.2% to 8.3%, according to the Labor Department's report.

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Obama touted the private sector portion of the report, which showed 172,000 new jobs. The public sector lost some 9,000 jobs.

"That means that we've now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months, and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year," Obama said in remarks in Washington at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. "Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work.

But Obama is still 316,000 jobs away from being a net job creator in office - as 4.316 million jobs were lost in his first 13 months in office, and 4 million jobs have been added since then.

"We've got more work to do on their behalf, not only to reclaim all the jobs that were lost during the recession, but also to reclaim the kind of financial security that too many, Americans have felt was slipping away from them for too long," he said of the unemployed. "And we knew when I started in this job that this was going to take some time. We haven't had to come back from an economic crisis this deep or this painful since the 1930s."

At a press conference following the president's remarks - and at his own concurrent event - presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said "the president's policies are to blame for not having gotten the economy back on track."

"It's very clear the president's policies have not worked the way the said they would," he told reporters in Las Vegas, Nevada. "I think it's an extraordinary failure of policy, a failure of leadership, and I think it's a moral failure for a country as successful and prosperous as our own to go now four years in a mode which feels to many people like a recession."

At his event, Romney said the report was "another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of America."

Obama's remarks took place at an official, rather than campaign, event, and he declined to specifically name Romney, but he did blast "the policies that helped to create this mess in the first place."

The president then turned his focus to Republicans in Congress, who he said "voted to hold these middle-class tax cuts hostage unless we also spend a trillion dollars over the next decade on tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans."

Republicans and Democrats differ on extending the Bush-era tax breaks, with Republicans generally supportive of extending the cuts on income of all levels and Democrats generally favoring an extension on income below a certain threshold, such as the $250,000 number advanced by Obama.

"I just think we've got our priorities skewed if the notion is that we give tax breaks to folks who don't need them and to help pay for that we tax folks who are already struggling to get by. That's
not how you grow an economy," Obama said. "You grow an economy from the middle out and from the bottom up. And the kind of approach that the House Republicans are talking about is bad for our families and it's bad for our economy."

The break, Obama said, would still result in a break for the wealthy - on the first $250,000 of their earnings.

But while Republicans and Democrats sort out their differences on breaks for the rest of wealthy individuals' income, Obama repeated his call for Congress to act soon - well before what some call the "fiscal cliff" at years' end.

"There's no reason to wait," Obama said. "There's no reason to make families and small businesses anxious just so one party can score political points. Let's go ahead and give them that guarantee now that their taxes won't go up next year."

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Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Are you serious????

    The American public asks you, Obama... are you ignorant or apathetic?

    Obama replies – "I don't know... and I don't care".

    August 3, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. ll

    Thank you President Obama for actually working FOR the people even though CONGRESS hasn't lifted one finger to help you with any real jobs creation bills that are pre-negotiated across the aisles to ensure their passage.

    Mitt Romney's plan – to return back to the exact same economic polices that crashed this economy to begin with. 750K jobs lost per month under them. Let's never go back!

    August 3, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Ready

    Please no more Obama, you've done enough damage!!

    August 3, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Norma Vessels

    All those Republicans that went into Congress in 2010 .. promised jobs just as soon as they were settled in their new jobs. Yes, they got their jobs, but they immediately forgot about their promise to find us jobs. So now Mitt Romney promises all those jobs for us, in his first year, if he becomes President. Sir, I don't want your promises .. I want real jobs .. and President Obama is doing everything he can, against all odds, to help us find jobs, and he has ... I think I'll stick to the reality of jobs actually materializing, slowly, but surely .. and they aren't just a promise, laden with hot air. President Obama's jobs are putting food on the worker's table, clothes on their back.

    August 3, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    Great job!!! Unemployment goes up, and he "touts job record." You can't make this stuff up!!!

    "The private sector is doing fine!"
    "You didn't build that!"

    The sit-com never runs out of lines!

    August 3, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. cali girl

    Thank you congress for being the do nothing GOP party. No job bills, no legislation to help struggling families. Keep on the fight 31 times to repeal ACA, wasting time on that instead of helping regular Americans. Time is running short for all of you.

    August 3, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Jon

    Wait ... when Obama ran for office he didnt say that I will insure you are as bad off in 4 years as you are today. So why is Obama saying ... look at us, yay ... we have almost created as many jobs as we have lost under my adminstration.

    August 3, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. simp

    @fari is fair "the American public ask you are ingnorant or apathetic?"

    Really? Well this sounds like something a republician can answer better than President Obama after all the party of get nothing done are the biggest losers. You hate it because President Obama is a very intellengent man, that's why the repubs won't work with him. By the way, you have no idea how President Obama would answer this dumb question, your IQ does not go up that high!!

    August 3, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. truth hurts

    democrats and lefties like to say obama is soooo smart, intelligent, etc. he's proving them wrong. only a moron would stand up there and say this stuff given the jobs numbers, unemployment rate and gdp growth. obama and the democrats think the american people are just plain stupid and believe their constant lies about the economy. we could have had a stuffed money in the whitehouse over the last 4 years and gotten better results than obama has. this guy is a total joke, a horrible joke played on the country by the democrats.

    August 3, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Jon

    Norma Vessels ... I could give you a list of 25 jobs bills that the House has voted on and passed – then sent it to the US Senate. Not a single one of this bills have ever been voted on by the Senate. I am not saying that the Republicans are not working against Obama ... but based on Obama's latest comments, where he essentially said: it was bad when I came into office, we have worked really hard, it is almost that bad again.

    And yes you can turn around an economy in 4 years ... Reagan did it. If you think the housing market is dead today, think about it when Regan took office ... Interest on home mortgages was over 10%

    August 3, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. ourjungle

    The last 42 monthly job report numbers were negative (below expected numbers), and Obama told us over and over, "Not to read too much into the numbers". Obama even claimed the negative monthly jobs report numbers were "just the head winds"...versus his inept abilities to deal with our Nation's family wrecking economy. All of Obama's economic practices/policies have only made things worse. Since Obama's election, the economic status of women has gotten 68% worse. A very,very small up tick in job creation, does not a recovery make.....especially if the majority of those jobs were "temporary service" jobs. Don.t read too much into Obama's bragging and boasting;as he is totally ignoring the most important number, which is the Unemployment Rate number that has jumped from 8.2% to 8.3%....things are still getiing worse. Obama has been President for 3 1/2 years, and I no longer want to see his sealed College records.....he has failed our Nation as President.

    August 3, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Jazel Washington

    8.2% TO 8.3% and this man is still thinking his policies and 16T deficit and stimulus plans are good is in definitely OUT OF HIS MIND. While most Americans can't buy school supplies for their children, Obama's wife wears a $6,000 blouse. No wonder why this Obama guy thinks economy is fine and boast job creation because his family is not impacted. Oh wait, he lives in the Whitehouse with the servants and cooks paid by taxpayers money. I am mad as hell because I am tired of this economy going to where and this administration just keep on PROMISING HOPE AND CHANGE.. NOW FORWARD! FORWARD TO WHERE? HELLISH ECONOMY and SOCIALISM!

    August 3, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. kramer

    Thank You President Obama!!

    30 Straight Months of Job GROWTH, Always Adding Jobs since Correcting the Economy after Republicons were LOSING 800,000 Jobs per MONTH when they Handed their Disastrous Economy to You..!!!

    August 3, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Steve- Illinois

    Great job!!! Unemployment goes up, and he "touts job record." You can't make this stuff up!!!
    ----------------------------
    Unemployment is lower than what it was at the end of the Great Recession. It was given that name for reason. Had it not been for social safety nets, we would have collapsed into another depression. Another one would probably have been worse than the Great Depression because of the simple fact that we have 3 times the population now.

    We were losing 750,000 jobs/month on Inauguration Day. GDP was running at negative 8%. Unemployment was 7.8% on Inauguration Day, which was up a full point from a few weeks Thanksgiving. What stopped the economic freefall? You guessed it. The Stimulus.

    August 3, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. carolyn davenport

    think you president obama for everything keep up the good work

    August 3, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    ... Obama said. "You grow an economy from the middle out and from the bottom up. And the kind of approach that the House Republicans are talking about is bad for our families and it's bad for our economy."
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Obamanomics 101. Against the backdrop of America 2012, this is starting to look like a Saturday Night Live comedy skit. But there are a lot of Americans not laughing. Not working. And not owning the home they thought they owned 5 years ago. It's time to admit the philosophy is flawed. Why don't we try proven Economics instead. Romney 2012.

    August 3, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. truth hurts

    >But Obama is still 316,000 jobs away from being a net job creator in office – as
    >4.316 million jobs were lost in his first 13 months in office, and 4 million jobs
    >have been added since then.

    this story is sooo deceiving. obama is a jobs destroyer, not creator. over the last 3.5 years the country would have had to create 10.5 million jobs just to account for the population increase. the real story here is that obama has failed to create 6.5 million jobs minimum he should be held to.

    obama is a massive failure no matter what job or economic numbers you look at but hey look SQUIRREL, or is it tax returns, or war on women, or gay marriage, or whatever. the country is doomed with another 4 years of this clueless clown. wake up america before it is too late.

    August 3, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Howard

    - URGENT APPEAL TO ALL AMERICANS –
    Mortgage your homes ...
    Sell the Gold from your teeth ...
    Cash in your Social Security checks ...
    confiscate your children's lunch money ...
    ... and, send it all to the Obama's, so that
    they can hold onto the lavish lifestyle
    they've become accustomed to.

    August 3, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Jazel Washington wrote:

    8.2% TO 8.3% and this man is still thinking his policies and 16T deficit and stimulus plans are good is in definitely OUT OF HIS MIND.
    ---------------
    So, let's put the party back in charge that set the stage for this economy.

    Did you know that someone on Bush's staff publicly predicted trillion dollar annual deficits? The Bush administration went into a full court messaging blitz. That's when Cheney announced, "Deficits don't matter." What happened to the guy who made the prediction? They fired him. I believe his name was Mitch Daniels, currently Gov. of IN.

    August 3, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    More needs to be done; can Congress get off its duff to do something Obama has requested? I am beginning to think that the teapublicans wouldn't spend a dime even if it would cure the world's problems.

    August 3, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. BeverlyNC

    President Obama has done an outstanding job working for the benefit of the PEOPLE. He took a Bush 750K a month jobs loss and turned into more than 40 months of straight job growth, We would far down the path to full recovery had obstructionist Republicans in Congress not blocked EVERY JOBS bill, every economic recovery bill, and sat and did NOTHING to help the nation for 3+ years. President Obama can only do so much, Congress is responsible for legislaion and Republicans have introduced exactly ZERO jobs bills in over 3 years. Republican Senate Leader McConnell proclaimed his "sole goal was to destroy Obama" so what od you expect ? Destroy the economy, make sure no jobs are created, work for America to fail for sick poltical games – that is the Republican Party of today – and ALL should be thrown out of office locally, statewide, and nationally for betraying We the People for an economy they destroyed in the first place. We need real leaders who know their oath and their job n Congress is to Serve the People – not corporations and the richest Americans. Better read the Rtan budget before you consider voting Republican. It is the Republican plan for America that Romney calls"marvelous" and destroys every program we depend on – Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, public education, college grants, veterans healthcare and pensions, all agencies that protect us from greedy corporations like the EPA, the FDA, the CDC, FEMA, NIH which does most of our disease reseach and cures, our mortgage tax deduction, all middle class tax breaks, and ends bank regulation yet again so Wall St can destroy our financial system and economy yet again. What exactly has Romney stood up and declared he is FOR?? NOTHING. He gives fluff speeches with no details, no People issue solving answers, no policy statements – all he does is throw around words like "freedom". Does "freedom" buy your groceries or save your home from the corrupt banks? President Obama has real solutions and all he could get done have WORKED. Just think what we could accomplish with no more hate-filled, lying, racist, obstructionist corporate puppet Republicans?

    August 3, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. rs

    Mr. Obama's administration is the biggest job producer in 12 years. That sounds like enough reason to keep him in office.

    August 3, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Randy

    @simp, you are a very ignorant individual. Oblame-O has not done one thing for the American people, other than take away our rights and grant liberties to illegal aliens. He has added 6 trillion in debt to our budget, our grand children will not have it paid back when they die. He's taken away our medical services and replaced it with a socialist style of healthcare. This is going to place the largest tax rate on the middle class in American history. We'll be waiting weeks to see a doctor, months for surgery, and if we need major surgical it will have to be approved by a panel of non doctors. The average annual family income has decreased by $4000 per year. The average family wealth has decreased by 40%. Unemployment has been over 8% for 42 months straight, again for the first time in American history. Our congress has done exactly what we elected them to do, to prevent Oblame-O from adding trillions of more dollars to our debt. His only solution is to throw money at the problem. Oblame-O is touting his job record because the economy added 163000 jobs, which is a pittance of the jobs that should've been created. Unemployment also went up, and how many thousands of people are not even being counted because they have given up. Another first, more Americans on food stamps than in our history. 50 percent of the American population is on some form of welfare. When Reagan took office after Carter his administration was creating near, and sometimes more, than a million jobs a month. I can go on all day with his failures.

    August 3, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. rs

    Jon- Does the name George W. Bush ring a bell? 8 million jobs vanished on his watch

    August 3, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. truth hurts

    >Rudy NYC – What stopped the economic freefall? You guessed it. The Stimulus.

    the recession ended before a dime of it was even spent on all those non-existent shovel ready jobs. you're quite insane if you believe what you wrote. the recession ended 18 months after it began, which is what just about all recessions have done. and none of those had wasted nearly a trillion dollars to save government union jobs, that eventually had to be cut anyways.

    August 3, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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