Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides
November 2nd, 2012
09:59 AM ET
2 years ago

Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides

(CNN) - The final set of monthly jobs data before Tuesday's presidential election provided both campaigns fodder to drive home their closing arguments on jobs and the economy, with President Barack Obama's team arguing the numbers show the economy on the rebound while Mitt Romney's team claiming it shows an economy still struggling.

The GOP nominee spotlighted the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%, up from 7.8% a month ago. While the rate is lower than the benchmark 8%, it's higher than it was when President Barack Obama took office in 2008.

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"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill," Romney wrote in a statement soon after the report was released. "The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work."

Romney used the report to push ahead to next week's election, saying it makes the choice even clearer for voters who are still undecided in their presidential preference.

"On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity," Romney wrote. "For four years, President Obama's policies have crushed America's middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we're making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow."

"When I'm president, I'm going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery, so that the next four years are better than the last," he concluded.

Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, echoed Romney's points at a separate event in Colorado, then criticized Obama for the economic stimulus measure.

"The economy is growing at less than half the rate that the president said it would be growing at if only he could borrow a bunch of money and spend it on his cronies and stimulus package," Ryan said. "We are 9 million jobs short than what he said he would accomplish. Look, in the president's campaign for another term, he has offered nothing different and if he is reelected, nothing different is exactly what we would get."

Obama's team honed in on the 171,000 jobs that were created in October, according to Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number, which exceeded economists' expectations, gave Obama and his surrogates an opportunity to tout an economy on the upswing, and to advocate for another four years of Obama's economic policies.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan Krueger, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a blog post on the White House website. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."

Both Obama and Romney have events scheduled for later Friday morning, and both were expected to address the jobs report.

Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, said Friday the report was unlikely to sway many voters since it largely plays into what the candidates have been saying for months on the campaign trail.

"This is fuel to the same fire," Crowley said. "Both the president and the governor will come out and say, you see? I told you all along this was so, and this report is exactly what I was trying to tell you about."

Sheila Bair, the former chairman of the FDIC, said that since the numbers already played into the campaigns' economic narratives, the effect would be minimal on Election Day.

"I think the reality is the unemployment rate is now higher than it was when Mr. Obama took office, so that's going to give Mr. Romney a talking point, but the jobs creation number is a good one, so I think it's a wash and won't have much impact," Bair said on CNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. LiberalsBSquirming

    Just a few more days until your king is one and done, you deluded, intellectually dishonest liberals.

    November 2, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Vote 2012

    We would have jobs had Congress/the party of NO passed President Obama's jobs bill.

    November 2, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Vote 2012

    We would have jobs in this country had Congress/the party of NO passed President Obama's Jobs Bill

    November 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Bill from GA

    We could always GO BACK to republican leadership, where the JOB LOSSES were increasing each month. W's final month in office saw us loosing 800,000 jobs per month.

    Give Obama a Congress that will work for PROGRESS. His biggest holdup is that Congress is blocking his agenda.

    November 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Oscar Pitchfork

    This is all standard Third-Grade Electioneering: say that anything that happened on "Obama's watch' is HIS fault, whether or not he could have conceivably had anything to do with it or not. Then point to one of Romtard's "ideas" and claim the good things that happened were somehow his idea or because of something he said. I guess if you flip-flop CONSTANTLY on both sides of every issue, you DO have something to refer to in regard to any issue...

    November 2, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. streetdude66

    Romneys record for creating jobs is a poor one & still the whackos think he can do better than Obama even though Mitt remains elusive how he will do it. Its sad that this demographic of sheeple that are the conservative party today dont have the cajones to question what theyre told by the lame right wing media. Pathetic

    November 2, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. truth hurts

    Obama/Biden have WASTED the last four years with ridiculous nonsense that did NOTHING to address the problems of the economy and unemployment. Their idiotic governemnt make work programs didn't work in the 1930's and didn't work over the last 4 years. And it left the country, sorry, it left OUR KIDS nearly a TRILLION more in debt.

    At a time when the country was experiencing severe economic problems, they spent a year and a half arguing and dividing the country to bludgeon through a giant new government entitlement program called Obamacare. The program is now slated to cost THREE TIMES as much as they said it would, and that cost will only GO UP. At a time when fiscal RESPONSIBILITY was required, Obama and the Democrats demonstarted BLATANT FISCAL INCOMPETENCE.

    Obama and the clueless Democrats that voted in Obamacare and wasted the last four years NEED TO GO.

    November 2, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Brian in TX

    My message to Barrack Obama: You didn't create those jobs.

    November 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Insight

    Mitt has promised 12, 000000 job in his first term as president if he is elected
    12, 000000/48months= 250000 jobs/month
    Job added this month= 171000 shy off 800000 jobs to reach the target of 250000.
    80000×48 months= 3, 400000= 3.4million
    Which means Mitt will be able to create only 3.4 million jobs in 4yrs
    Obama created 5.3million in jobs in 4 years.
    Mitt claims that there are 23 million unemployed in USA
    That means mitt will take 6to 7yrs to create jobs for 23 million (23/3.4= 6.75 yrs)
    Obama will take 23/5.3 = 4.3 yrs.
    So why can’t we give Obama another chance and take care of the business rather than handing it over to a person whose math doesn’t add up and doesn’t tell the truth.
    I have voted for OBAMA

    November 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Chelopez54

    You sir, will be kept out of our White house.
    You may have your voters, for me, I looked at you to see if I wanted you to be my President.
    I saw deceit, and a true lack of respect for the vote you seek from me. You refused to abnser questions that may help clear your name in my home. You did not- You refused to answer any questions and have been in hiding in your camp where no one challenges you.
    I have see the President- whom may have lost my vote to you had I seen ANYTHING Presidential about you! I did not see that AT ALL.
    Many vote for you, which I will NEVER understand.

    But I want you to know- should you win this election- YOU Sir, will NEVER be my President.
    My Obama-Biden sign will hang in my windows throughout you're being President until we vote the next President in- Hilliary Clinton.
    I think you lie, cheat and have no regard- oops – for that 47%.
    Well Guess what, you may fool some- Never me!
    To me, you are no better than a – slick car salesmen! I DO NOT NEED A NEW CAR
    I NEED OUR PRESIDENT,
    OBAMA-BIDEN 23012
    HILLIARY CLINTON 2016!

    November 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. William B

    171,000 New Jobs, 170,000 new jobless. Report the entire story.

    November 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. High Way

    For the Mitt and his republican friends its all about money, power and greed, while Obama its all about enpowering the middle-class to make it prosperous, creating jobs and an equal fair shot at the American dream for everybody. It two visions that constantly clash, even more so in this election cycle.

    November 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. CAWinMD

    I'm so sick and tired of Republicans and their two-faced approach to jobs. The rate goes down, and that's bad because people have stopped looking for work. The rate goes up because those people get back to looking for jobs, and the Republicans complain that the percentage is going up. It's amazing to me that anybody would vote for these clueless knuckleheads. I guess P.T. Barnum was right, in spades...

    November 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Phil

    So out of those 171,000 jobs from October. How many are PT or Seasonal jobs considering this is when companies do their season hiring for the Holidays coming up......

    November 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Patrick

    171,000 job gains and 170,000 just loses, I guess if you are totally in the sack with the President you could spin this as a positive. It is a net positive of 1000 jobs. The President did say it takes time. If I'm doing my math right we will have it under control in a 1000 years.

    November 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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