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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– Read More: Romney hits July jobs report as a 'moral failure'

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. Isaac

    We know that Bush and his republican party put us in this mess. This guy have struggle to added more than 4million jobs since he became president despite strong opposition from republicans in the congress.

    August 3, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. SEA12

    @Rudy NYC

    Newflash: the coutries with the "largest governments" (i.e. socialist) are the largest economic disasters in the world.
    Let's rebuild our culture into a "cookie cutter" Stepford Wives, economically redistributed, zero incentive waste land evidently envisioned by the cool-aide drinking Obamaites. This ship is heading for cliff because the pilot is out of his league.

    August 3, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. m

    what some fail to remember is that the unemployment rate also is based on those actively looking for work. So, when it goes up, it's not always because people are losing jobs, but because more people have joined the search. Why do people join the search? Because confidence slowly grows that jobs may be out there. Would I like to see bigger growth? Of course. But if more people are back to trying to find a job, that makes me happy that they have some hope where they previously did not.

    either way, Obama can't win any republican hearts. If the unemployment rate went down they'd say it only went down because people left the work force which is bad. If it goes up they'll never cut any slack due to the opposite.

    August 3, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. goog

    Thank Allah for president Osama bin bama...

    August 3, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. TOMTOM

    I will put this in a way were as a Republican/ tea person or a third grader can understand. When the president took office the economy was on a downward slide. This slid into the abyss of a depression / recession caused by the inadequacies of his predecessor (a Republican) has been halted. That alone is worth a standing ovation. The man is not a miracle worker nor is he a great messiah, like some have hoped him to be and others have jokingly budded him as. It will take time and team work by our elected officials (Congress) to correct this mess we have allowed ourselves to get in. Not just the work of one man.

    August 3, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. SEA12

    One last comment: let's quit with the "Bush made the deficit" or "Bush did this . . . " Whatever deficits that were made by the Bush Administration, they have been tripled by Mr. Obama and Co. Remember that George W. Bush has not been President over the past 3.5 years. These facts are some of those stubborn things that one should have to consider before being allowed to vote.

    August 3, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. hurryup 2012

    Obama is drinking his own koolaide

    August 3, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. winston

    "more remains to be done" When are you going to get started??

    August 3, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. NameKen

    Reading some of these post makes one wonder why on earth would any politician want to cut education funding. It's no wonder the US has fallen behind in science and math

    August 3, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Ricardo Martinez

    I just know one thing. Obama got our nation going into a deep depression, 2 wars from WB. He fixed all the mess and put the country back in track. It make me really embarrassed to see many patriotic republicans here commenting, wishing our economic fail again just to see Obama down. Any person using a common sense can see the economic graphic from 2009 to 2012. All the policies that Democrat congress created made the country grow to 3.0. After Republican took place. The economic has been slowly dropping, because they have not done anything to stimulate the economic and everything that they do and wish is to make the country fail. This is to be a republican????

    August 3, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Mike A

    Unemployment keeps rising.... The economy is NOT improving, and whoever thinks it is is obviously fooling themselves, or are extremely lucky not to feel the effects of the recession. Unlike the majority of us...

    August 3, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Khaleeshi

    Good job Mr. President – despite the GOP's moral failure to do anything that would help this country you have added more than 4 million jobs. Just think what could have been accomplished if the republican's only objective wasn't to make President Obama a 1 term president? McConnell, Cantor and Boehner have all got to go – the biggest bunch of losers ever!.

    Obama/Biden 2012 – 4 more years!

    August 3, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. warren

    yeah cause it all. If listen the rich steak eating

    August 3, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Tired of the smoke

    Go President Obama you are the best no matter what the haters say. I am one of the underemployed once unemployed . I stand behind my President Barak Obama.

    August 3, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. DJ

    Jobs increases and unemployment rate increases?????? Only OBOZO could make the math come out in his favor. The jobs being added are mostly minimum wage jobs. What a moron and his campaign idiots. Why doesn't everyone start comparing promises kept and broken by this guy and why is the public not holding his feet to the fire. I expected so much out of this guy and just like all politicians you can't believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Romney will disclose his taxes only if OBOZO unseals all of his records, bet everyone forgot about that.

    August 3, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. demogoat

    This election cycle is more like an Ohio State vs. Michigan game. Red and Blue teams hurl crap at one another, never hearing or even trying to listen to each other. Neither team can play offense, only defense in this election. We are all part of one nation under god. If either team scores for Americans, shouldn't we all be cheering?

    August 3, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. SEA12

    @TOMTOM

    I'll put this in a way that even a Democratic/Cool-Aide drinking/Non thinker can understand: President Obama's policies have held any economic recovery back. The downward slide you describe was worsened by Obama's insistence in pursuing a Health Care agenda at the expense of serious economic policy (you still with me, or are you watching the ED
    SHOW?). The President has not led; he has postured and rushed to take credit whenever others (Democrat of Republican) have succeeded. I suspect that you will remain convinced, however, that ALL the problems of this President are the fault of the previous Administration. So goes the thinking of most folks who don't think for themselves.

    August 3, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. 96 Days until Obama gets RE-ELECTED !

    @SEA12 – One last comment: let's quit with the "Bush made the deficit" or "Bush did this . . . "
    --------------------------
    Why? is the TRUTH that distastful? How can Obama "own" the economy and the national debt when the Grand Obstructionist Party has put party ahead of country? You can slice and dice any way you want, but the worst President in history (Dubya and his minions) are the direct cause of this GREAT RECESSION, that the Dems (once again) are trying hard to fix. That has proven to be a challenge given that the GOBP has done eveything in their power to play AGAINST the POTUS.

    August 3, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. kevin

    Government is suppose to create an environment for business not try to create and run the business. During the Civil War the 37tn Congress passed the Homestead Act. This act gave 130 arces of public land to any person (male or female) and they needed only to improve the land (mostly farming) over 5 years and they would own the land. This was a hand up not a handout. Didn't tell people what the improvements had to be didn't breath down their necks just let them have the land to get a new start on life. Passed an act that gave each congressman 30,000 acres of public land to build universities, gave the railroads public land and loans, gave our present money system with the legal tender act. By their actions they spanned a great domain with farms, iron rails, univesities, and primed the money pump without interfering or running the show while almost totally consumed with fightinga great Civil War. You people outa read what the North accomplished and how they ceated today's world

    August 3, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Tom

    Susan never was a Rep. Only a human with a brain will vote Reb. Only a human with half a brain will vote Dem.

    August 3, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. wondering

    I wonder: if elections resulted in republican president and house and senaten they continue the policies they used to cause the recession, and finally destroy our economy and the lives of all but the rich will they finally take credit or blame pass as usual.

    August 3, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Debbie

    OBAMA 2012!!! It is going to be very hard to create jobs in our country.....#1. We don't know how to make any of the stuff we use....#2. We don't know how to fix any of the stuff we use....#3. Our education system is wacked, been wack since the 1970"s, and our kids can't make or fix any of the things we use.....What will we create jobs in???

    August 3, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. ll

    Thank you President Obama for actually working FOR the people while CONGRESS has chosen to not lift a finger for them for 4 years.

    August 3, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. nautiusm

    I see there is still Bush blaming going on. When is Obama and his devout followers going to own this failed administration? Obama nixed the Keystone pipeline, gave amnesty to millions of illegals who drain our budget, added more the $5T to the deficit, bolstered the unions (if you haven't figured this out yet, companies do not like unions and high corporate taxes – that's why they go overseas), illegally expanded welfare and on top of all that enacted the largest government power grab since Roosevelt (Obamacare).

    So, I am curious, what more do people need to hear to understand that he's just not a good leader?

    August 3, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. gregrustin

    "Even with all the fervor the Republicans have used to destroy the middle class....Obama keeps chugging along...Good Job Obama."

    EXACTLY.

    August 3, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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