GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?
March 8th, 2013
10:04 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?

Washington (CNN) – With news Friday the economy had added a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February, Republicans quickly turned back to the ongoing battle with the White House over the bloated national debt.

"Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy," House Speaker John Boehner wrote in a statement released 45 minutes after the jobs report came out.

While the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level of President Barack Obama's presidency, Republicans still weren't satisfied with the 7.7% figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. The report was a measure of the jobs situation before the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts took effect at the beginning of March.

"We must recognize that America must do better than 7.7% unemployment," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a statement. "There is still more work to be done. Too many American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and too many of our fellow citizens have spent months and months looking for a good job."

But like Boehner, Priebus brought his criticism back the ongoing impasse over reducing the debt, writing that uncertainly in the business community over new regulations and tax increases was preventing job growth.

"We can accelerate this job creation if President Obama is willing to put together a serious budget, giving business more certainty and thus allowing them to hire more," Priebus wrote, pointing to measures accomplished by House Republicans and GOP governors as examples of fiscal responsibility.

"It's time for President Obama and his party to join us in working to get more Americans back to work and securing a debt-free future for our children," he concluded.

Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a White House statement that "While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction."

Krueger stressed that Friday's report reflected the hiring environment pre-spending cuts, which were triggered after the White House and Congressional Republicans failed to strike a deal to find alternative ways to reduce the federal debt.

"The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens," Krueger wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jobs • John Boehner • RNC
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Donna

    $100 bet these job numbers get revised DOWN to less than 200,000 next month and the month after. Any takers?

    March 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Paul

    Why can't these people just be happy? They are so unbelievably negative 24 hours a day.

    March 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Jules

    To the GOP: Why weren't you questioning George H. Bush when you were passing every spending bill he wanted, financed two wars on credit and issued a decrease in taxes? What about the debt? Now you ask the question – where were you years ago when it would have been much easier to handle and when the odds are we wouldn't have gone into a recession at all.

    March 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Steve

    So tired of the repbulicans "sky is falling"......................

    March 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Joe

    These trolls just can't handle the fact that the economy is improving under the standing President. I never saw such a bunch of sore losers who only care about their own self-serving interests. They'd prefer the economy go down just to score a win. Pathetic. Glad we have a President who fights for the middle class. The only thing he needs to hammer home is to get rid of corporate welfare....stop those tax breaks for big oil and close the tax loopholes.

    March 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Eric

    The entire debt should be paid by the families of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, Donald Rumsfeld, and the weasel neocons.

    March 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. plain&simple

    When you fail to give credit when credit is are a fool and lose all creditablity!

    March 8, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Mitt2016

    Start working with President...even without your help the president was able to get the economy back to life... Now work with him and do the right thing for the country

    March 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    President Obama..."I would like to announce that the debt has been reduced to zero"....GOP response..."What about ....?" It's so typical of the crying losers to always make bad out of good. Maybe if they would allow some of the rich benefactors hug tax loopholes to close and cut back on subsidies to oil companies already making record profits the debt would be effected. But no.....not that.

    March 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Diane

    Why would anyone think that an unemployment rate of 7.7 is good? America is in a sad sad place with this standing president. All he does is point fingers and plays the blame game. Worst president in modern history.

    March 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. T.W.A.

    That is good news, when just last week President Obama was saying the sky was falling!

    March 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    You know, CNN. This TeaPer thingy you keep trying to promote as the will of the people? It isn't my cup of tea ... nor I imagine is it the majority of Americans cup of tea.

    I'm also terribly sick and tired of the chicken little sky is falling doom and gloom Republican talking points being thrown out to your viewers 24/7.

    Thank God summer is around the corner ...

    March 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Colorado

    Where was all the righteous indignation when VP Cheney said "deficits don't matter". I just can't believe anything GOP says anymore.

    March 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Tired of This

    ALL Members of congress needs to stop asking questions about things they are responsible for, as a tax paying citizen my question is when are you going to do your job?

    March 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. BD70

    I expect the unemployment figure to go up when the sequester fully takes affect. Then the republicans will blame Obama for that to.

    March 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. sunnyjim

    the debt?
    oh we are going to cut congressional pay down to minimum wage and just give you a 401K and no paid time off. how's that work for ya? you just helped balance the budget. now your like the rest of us poor slobs

    March 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Bill

    To all those individual who cannot see the forest through the trees...the USA is in BIG TROUBLE in so many areas it is beyond comprehension that you cannot see it. First, it's almost a certainty that the numbers will be revised downward. This has been a trend for several years. Secondly, the debt IS staggering and must be corrected if we are to sustain a reasonable lifestyle for most citizens. Thirdly, have you bothered to pay attention to the medical costs problems, SS problems, Medicaid problems, Medicare problems in the USA? They are unsustainable. Things must be rectified and the standing president isn't doing much to rectify these enormous problems. I understand the concept of trying to remain positive however we cannot afford to have people think everything is "hunky-dory" because unemployment is 7.7% after 4+ years. Serious challenges must be addressed and addressed NOW! Many of the positive thinkers are going to be very happy with the things that must be done to resolve these issues. Please...take your head out of the sand.

    March 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. aCriticalEye I hate the GOP/Tea Trolls. 2014 midterm elections cant get here fast enough.
    The party of NO, has got to GO !

    March 8, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. PS Miller

    Why are people so negative here? They are more afraid of being a patsy or feeling like someone took advantage of them. Acting like perennial critics makes them feel like they are independent and like they know something. The nature of the Internet allows them to shrink away from their otherwise unsupportable positions unlike discussion in a classroom, debate or personal conversation at the water cooler.

    March 8, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "Why can't these people just be happy?"

    Their world is changing and they don't like that they can't control it. Yes...It all boils down to something that freekin simple.

    March 8, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Shorter GOP/Teatrolls: "Please shift your attention to the crises we're manufacturing to slow down recovery in hopes we can get you to blame Obama and the Dems."

    March 8, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. Laverne

    @TWA: This is good news! However, Obama was trying to engage the American people that with the huge cuts coming the economy can go back into free fall which means the numbers we got today will be erased. Keep in mind the cuts have not taken full effect yet and you can bet that when they do and the economy slip the republicans will be high fiving each other because they could care less about the unemployment or the debt, they are concerned with trying to tie the president's hand, blame him for a bad economy and hope like hell they can win back the White House in 2016. They are such fools, the only hope they have is Chris Christie who they are so mad at they don't want him around, but I got a feeling they will be sucking up to big boy once they come to their senses and realize they don't stand a snow ball chance in hell of winning without him!

    March 8, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. NickD

    Strange. When Bush took over from Clinton, with a GOP controlled Congress and senate, the GOP took a nation that was in perfect financial health, paying down its debts and groing jobs left and right, and immediately trashed every policy that was creating these positive developments. Since the GOP took over the debt went from below 4 trillion dollars to 10 trillion in 8 years.

    When Obma took over from where Bush left us, the economy was shedding millions and millions of jobs, our financial systems were within months of total collapse and our leading indusrial giants were about to close for ever.

    2 trillion dollars of the additional debt blamed on obama is the direct result of putting Bushs war debt on the books. Much of the other debt was spent saving our financila systems and our industrial base.

    But the GOP refuses to acknowledge the truth because they care about elections and not this country and not our people.

    Simply read the nate that falls from their words like so much poision. Thats all any reasonaboe person needs to see.

    March 8, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. shhh

    I studied economics. Jules is right. Sorry.

    March 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. ST

    Why is GOP and especially Boehner playing with peoples thinking and level of understanding? This is the the man who campaigned and got elected on creating jobs. How many has he created so far? Was he lying to people so that he got elected? He is not the only one, there are many republicans who campaigned on creating jobs and got elected in 2010.
    Back to the debt issue. The debt reduction should be done in a team work and not to be thrown to Pres. Obama alone as he didn't create the whole standing debt we have at the moment.
    Folks, think twice if not more, is there any reason of continuing electing these kind of people especially (Beohner) who has no clue at all where he came from, where is he now and how to proceed to benefit all people!

    March 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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