August 3rd, 2012
07:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Sununu: White House 'numb and dumb' on jobs report

(CNN) - As both sides of the aisle put political spin on Friday's job report, outspoken Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu weighed in, calling the White House and advisers' comments on the report "numb and dumb."

"They're numb because they're insensitive to the 25 million people that are unemployed and underemployed. And they're dumb because they're deceptive," the Romney national campaign co-chairman said Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

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Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor and chief of staff to former President George H.W. Bush, continued, "There were 162,000 jobs created primarily by the artifact of a seasonal adjustment. There were 175,000 fewer people working last month than the month before. These people - if (President Obama) wants to brag about 163,000 phantom new workers, the 152,000 who lost their job are not very happy to hear what Mr. Krueger and the president have to say about trying to spin this as good news."

July's jobs report showed an increase in hiring in the private sector but also an increase in the nation's unemployment rate, which a 10th of a percentage point from 8.2% to 8.3% from last month.

Earlier Friday, Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, touted the 172,000 new jobs in the private sector, steering away from the rising unemployment numbers.

Obama followed suit, highlighting the private sector portion of the report in remarks in Washington.

"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 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Friday. "Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work."

At a campaign event in Nevada - a state with unemployment numbers above the national average - presumptive GOP presidential nominee Romney said the report was a "hammer blow to struggling middle-class families."

"A lot of people are suffering in this country," Romney said. "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 as a recession."

Sununu also defended the Republican candidate on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's allegations that an unnamed Bain Capital investor told him that Romney had not been paying taxes. Reid and fellow Democrats have been calling for Romney to release more of his tax returns, suggesting that the wealthy businessman may have something in his financial profile that he wants to hide.

Romney has made public the full 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011, with a pledge to release the full year once it's complete. He filed an extension for an October deadline, refusing to release further tax documentation.

A loyal Romney aide, Sununu said the political conversation would veer away from distractions like Reid's comments as the public begins to pay more attention to the campaign - a shift that he says will happen about a week or two out from the Republican National Convention in late August.

–CNN's Tom Cohen and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Jobs • John Sununu • Mitt Romney
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. SafeJourney

    Stock market likes the jobs report. Stock market is up.

    August 3, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. youngpauldispatches

    Sunnunnunnu – is this guy still alive? He was an arrogant s.o.b. as chief of staff in the first Bush administration. What a bitter person.

    August 3, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. anthony76

    Hey Sununu.. this routine is getting a little old.
    You guys wait for the jobs report to be released and pray its negative. Why? Because you want the President to look bad, because you want more power come November. You know who is causing the job landscape to remain the way it is? You Republicans. You know who is on to you're 'party before country' b.s... the American voters.

    These guys are gonna be on the wrong side of history when this is all said and done, and the Obama haters will probably remain in denial for decades to come about the efforts he was actually doing for this country.

    August 3, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. Phillip Noe

    No, Obama shouldn't be expected to fix the many messes left him in just a few years. This economy takes time to change course. But change it must. The days of trickle down, deregulation, and unnecessary tax breaks for the wealthy need to end. A larger percentage of higher profits should be reinvested back into the system that enabled the gains. mitt, the Windsock Vulture Capitalist, has nothing to offer but his slash and burn business experience. This country is NOT a business and We The People and our environment are not pawns to be sacrificed for the wealthy’s short term gains!

    August 3, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Dakota57NM

    Funny how politicians and their support groups only see everything that takes place in America as the other side is wrong.
    I'm sick of the staunch division. I'm sick of our elected officials not working together.
    I'm sick and tired of the whole mess. If anything is hampering America from recovering its the moronic politics and the great divide the media is playing in making sure everyone is bombarded by this junk.

    I've always looked forward the campaigning and election day. But the last few years it's changed. We're not listening to candidates providing an insight into how they would govern. Providing an insight into their vision of America. The only thing campaigning represents anymore is lashing out at the other side.. spewing nonsense that means absolutely nothing of worth. I'm not the other guy, thats it. That's all we get and thats not enough.

    August 3, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. Ron

    A Republican calls the White House "dumb." A Republican from the party that put forth Sarah Palin as a VP candidate. The party that gave us the circus of Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Gingrich, Santorum, Sheriff Arpaio (AZ), Bush and Cheney, and all those "birthers." The party that wants us to believe that the solution to the economic crisis is the same one that caused it in the first place? Enough said.

    August 3, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. glorydays

    The only thing politicians have managed to do is become uncivilized....is THAT why they want to control the country???

    August 3, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. julius raynor

    Romney just show your taxes.......What's the problem?

    August 3, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. ron

    ......and sununu is just....well, dumb

    August 3, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. REG in AZ

    Get real Sununu, if anyone is "dumb" and out of touch it is you and those who support ignoring the public as you concentrate on your political ambitions above all else, at any cost to the people, including to totally serve only the interests of "the few", who strongly support and dictate to you, and then fault the opposition as if they are at fault.

    August 3, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. Kevin H

    It's time for the Romney team and Governor Sununu to put up or shut up themselves. I'm tired of the talk about how they're going to put America to work with no plan whatsoever. I haven't seen one major GOP plan that actually has some teeth. At least the Dems pretend to have a plan.

    August 3, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. Paul Williamson

    If Romney is so sympathetic to the middle class, why does his tax plan RAISE taxes on the middle class and LOWER taxes on the rich? This tax evading, draft dodging scoundrel only wants his family and rich friends to amass more wealth and power on the backs of the middle-class and poor.This guy has no empathy or sympathy with anyone who doesn't make $10M a year or more, and he wants it ALL.

    August 3, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. Tina

    Well I guess he would know on the numb and dumb considering he is a repub and worked for Daddy Bush, so I will give him credit for that. Although I think Bush Jr was more numb and dumb than his father.

    August 3, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. American Voter

    Almost 4 years later republicans are finally talking about jobs. What took you so long?

    August 3, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  15. Just a Thought

    This from the head moron of the clowns that tend to Mittsy campaign. How anybody that supports this idiocy looks in the mirror everyday and doesn't breakdown crying, is a completely a mystery to me. In other words being an idiot is the only qualification for supporting the GOP-Tea-a-tards.

    August 3, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. beevee

    Sununu is another crooked politician working for Romney. No surprise he will twist the job numbers news and blame the president. Who is going to listen to this guys crap. Let the economists and analysts say whath the numbers really mean. I think the economy is getting better and the hiring is on the increase. Obama 2012 and economic prosperity to USA.

    August 3, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Bart

    I remember when W Bush was criticized and republicans howled that it was unpatriotic to do so. Look at them now. Remember this if Romney takes the white house as they will say it again.

    August 3, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  18. MaryAnn in VA

    Mr Sununu still owes the American taxpayer over $650,000 dollars. All has been interest free in a deal worked out by GHW bush white house and the republican party. Corrupt from the floor up and he has the nerve to speak about anything in politics. Disgusting!!!!

    August 3, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  19. jake

    what has sununu done for the usa except feed his own face at the expense trough called expenditures. hes is a sham and a pathetic example of what a politician should be. shame on you sununu...shame on you.

    August 3, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Larry L

    Romney's newest (and most ridiculous) attack dog is trying hard to distract Americans from what has become a very pivotal issue. If even Republicans are calling for Romney to release his tax returns, and if he can make Harry Reid look foolish by actually having nothing to hide while strengthening his popularity with independents, why not release the returns? Could if be he has something so bad he knows he'll even lose some of the hard-core conservative faithful? Did he pay no taxes by using loopholes for the ultra-rich? Did he cheat his business partners? He wants us to trust him with our future... why can't we see his past and use that infrmation to judge his character?

    August 3, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Martha in CF

    The only numb and dumb ones in the White House are most of the redumblicans...enough said.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 3, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Sununu is why republicans have no business in government.

    August 3, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. MaryAngeline

    Hey John, don't hold your breath for this to turn around for Romney. He's the one who is dumb and has run one of the worse campaigns ever.

    August 3, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. Paul827

    Said the guy that got kicked out of the Bush Sr. White House for frivolous spending of taxpayer's money; Sununu is a joke.

    August 3, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  25. thinking outside the box

    Then what does that make the investors in the stock market? The Dow spiked after this jobs report because it was better than expected. And while unemployment did go up, coinciding with increased jobs is an indication that those that were discouraged and stopped looking for a job have become encouraged and are looking again, thus being included in the unemployment numbers again.

    August 3, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
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