September 5th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain, Obama jump on jobs report

(CNN) - With the conventions over, the running mates picked, and 60 days to go until the election, Friday began a new stage of the presidential campaign. And it came with a big new piece of fodder for both campaigns.

The latest government jobs report, released Friday morning, showed unemployment at a five-year high of 6.1 percent.

Related: Jobless rate soars to 6.1%

"You would think that George Bush and his potential Republican successor John McCain would be spending a lot of time worrying about the economy, and all these jobs that are being lost on their watch," Barack Obama told voters at a campaign stop in Duryea, Pennsylvania.

Instead, he said, speakers at the Republican National Convention "didn't say a thing about what is going on with the middle class."

On the campaign trail, Obama has been working to link McCain to the unpopular president, and to convince voters that McCain doesn't understand the economic troubles facing them.

Some speakers at the Republican convention did discuss the middle class, and McCain promised economic improvements during his speech Thursday night, saying, "These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and you're struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home."

McCain echoed those remarks Friday at a campaign stop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin - like Pennsylvania, a key swing state. "These are tough times. Today the jobs report is another tough reminder," he said.

He added, "All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's what I intend to do. Stand on your side and fight for your future."

Unlike the day after the Democratic National Convention, when McCain's surprise pick of Sarah Palin for his running mate quickly shifted the media's attention to the GOP camp, Friday brought no major new curve in the race to the White House. But it marked the beginning of a new swing-state blitz, with both camps facing an exhaustive schedule in the coming weeks.

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. cherrystrawberry

    "He added, "All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's what I intend to do. Stand on your side and fight for your future."

    but McFrankenstein forgot to say "and give big corps and rich people more tax breaks and loop holes in hope that they will create minimum paying jobs for all you peasant"

    btw. Palin in unimpressive to this woman

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Ready For Change

    The democrats have been in control of congress for almost three years now, I have not seen any help from them either.

    September 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Ian

    Stop the Obama lies!

    Obama continues his smear campaign in suggesting that McCain has voted with Bush 90% of the time.

    Aside from the fact that Bush doesn’t even vote, here is the real truth:

    According to the National Journal, the authority on Congressional vote ratings, McCain voted with his party 59.7% of the time during the 8 years of the Bush administration. That means over 40% of the time, McCain voted against his own party.

    Obama, on the other hand, in his brief 3 years in Congress has voted with his party 88% of the time and has become progressively more liberal; reaching a high of 95.5% in 2007. That means that Obama has only disagreed with the liberal party line 12% of the time overall and only 0.5% of the time in the past year.

    Apparently, Obama doesn’t even know what the other side of the aisle looks like, yet he claims to be able to reach across it and become the candidate of reform and unity.

    McCain has repeatedly shown the ability to work with Democrats and bring an end to partisan bickering.

    With his vote rating of 95.5% making him the MOST LIBERAL Senate Democrat in 2007, Obama has shown nothing but extreme partisanship and elitism.

    Don’t buy into the Obama lies America!

    McCain is no Bush, and his record proves it.

    If anyone is “more of the same,” it’s Obama; more partisanship, more senseless fighting, and more failures in Washington.

    September 5, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Mike from St. Louis

    How is giving big business more tax breaks fighting for my future as McCain says. He wants to extend the tax cuts of Bush and I guess he still doesn't see the end result of that. Companies are abusing the tax credits and still shipping those jobs overseas. It was those same tax cuts for the wealthy that they thought would eventually trickle down to the common folks that have us at a 5 year high on unemployment. Mccain stated last night he would reach out to anyone who was willing to fight and help him guide this country in the right that crossing the party aisle or not really knowing what the hell is going on and hoping someone will help him run this government that he has NO specific plan for???

    Think about this america!

    September 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Concern in Ohio

    I think the last Democratic President proved to be sound on the economy! Read the issues carefully voters, time for a change,...then maybe common americans will have some "change" to spend on themselves and not on rising gas/food/and energy costs!

    McCain: Pledged not to raise taxes, then equivocated, saying nothing can be ruled out in negotiating compromises to keep Social Security solvent. Twice opposed Bush's tax cuts, at first because he said they were tilted to the wealthiest and again because of the unknown costs of Iraq war. Now says those tax cuts, expiring in 2010, should be permanent. Proposes cutting corporate tax rate to 25 percent. Promises balance budget in first term, says that is unlikely in his first year.
    Obama: Raise income taxes on wealthiest and their capital gains and dividends taxes. Raise corporate taxes. $80 billion in tax breaks mainly for poor workers and elderly, including tripling Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credit for larger families. Eliminate tax-filing requirement for older workers making under $50,000. A mortgage-interest credit could be used by lower-income homeowners who do not take the mortgage-interest deduction because they do not itemize their taxes.

    September 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. S. Boatman

    Mccain Does Not Understand The Economy So How Can He Fix It?

    September 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. JC

    Is this all McCain can talk about is "fight, fight, fight"...I'm a little tired (and scared) of him always referring to "fighting"....Is that what having such a long military history will do? That's what scares me about McCain his attitude to ALWAYS WANT TO FIGHT! He is a very honorable man having lived served our country and lived through what he did, but enough already! You're not telling me what your "specific" plans are to turn this economy around. I need more than Rhetoric (isn't that what you said about Obama??)

    September 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Peter of Oregon

    My friends, McCain's speech lacked substance.

    Let me give you some REAL straight talk. His call for unity and stepping across the isle was drowned out by the devisive speeches of everyone else in his campaign including his VP. We heard about his biography tonight as we did the first 2 nights. We heard nothing of how his policies would improve American's lives.

    September 5, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. BJ

    I don't want anybody to stand by my our side while we sink and they wave, I want someone who will get out there and change things.

    After all of the falsehoods I can see McCain-Palin doing that. They don't want there to be any government help.

    September 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Bruce

    McCain there is no way to get the smell of the BUSH Administration off, and the perfume of a PRETY WOMAN will not make it smell any better. Obama has clearly stated, without the negitive smear attacks you seem to thrive on, how he plans to grow jobs by seeking new renewalbe energy. All I have heard from McCain and Palin is repeated lies thta have been proven to be lies but repeating a lie does not make it truer only show how stupid the person is that repeats it.

    September 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Joe

    How is McCain running a campaign on change when he's voted with Bush 90% of the time and is quoted saying he thinks Bush is a good President?

    September 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Beverly, NYC

    From which of your 7 home will you be standing at my side. People out of work and going through foreclosures need a plan, how do you and the pitbull in lipstick PLAN to fight for the future? I guess if you can't bomb it you have no answers.

    September 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. patrick

    free sarah palin

    September 5, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Probably not voting...

    Wow.. Mrs. Palin is a go-getter! Obama whined that Hillary was picking on him during the campaign and as she said, "If you can't take the heat get out...".

    Well, the fires burning and this Jr. Senator is going to get a taste of real politics. He's asking for Hillary's help but I recall that he didn't need her. That was his first major mistake – not taking Hillary as VP. He'll now pay for his arrogance and cost the dems the White House once again when we should have walked in there after 8 years of Bush.

    Go team... 🙁

    He's great at speeches but terrible with confrontation. Bill Riley had him squirming in his chair. If he that way with Bill, what about facing the leaders of this world? He is NOT ready...

    September 5, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Kay

    McCain can run from Bush, but can NOT hide – their policies are like twins, their masters are the same. Wasn't he proud to say he voted like Bush more than 90% of time?

    September 5, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. John

    John McCain voted 90 percent of the time with Dubya! NO MORE. He wants to give corporations more breaks..No Way, No HOW, NO McCain Palin

    September 5, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. anon

    Obama, how is raising taxes, raising the minimum wage, FORCING small businesses to pay health care for all workers, and closing down foreign markets going to CREATE jobs?

    Obama's big brother socialist meddling in free markets and business will cost even more jobs!

    September 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Terry, Butte, Mt

    "All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way."

    -Under Bush/McCain, government has got out of the way for the morgage companies and people are losing their homes, while standing by the side the CEO's and stockholders making millions.

    -Under Bush/McCain, government has got out of the way of the oil companies and gas prices have risen from $1.78 per gallon to over $4, while standing by the side of the oil companies and the CEO that have made Billions.

    -Under Bush/McCain, government has got out of the way of companies shipping jobs overseas and the Americans have lost jobs while standing by the side of the CEO's and big corporations that have made Millions.

    -Under Bush/McCain, government has got out of the way of inspecting goods arriving at our shores while the American people have eaten tainted food and children have played with led painted toys, while again standing by the side of CEO's and big corporation that made millions.

    -For decades the Republicans and Bush/McCain have worked to have government get out of the way of the environment, while ice caps melt and storms intensified, while standing by the sides of the big polluters to ensure they make millions.

    That list goes on and on....

    I agree with Obama.... ENOUGH!

    September 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. George Scott

    There is no doubt that John McCain is a war hero. His sacrifices are without question, but that does not qualify him for President and I sure in the heck don't want a soccer mom as Vice President. All I heard him talk about last night was about how Obama was going to close a door while he would open it and how Obama was going to raise taxes and he would lower them. Come on sounds like a grade schooler.

    September 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Kelby from Houston, TX

    While McCain did indeed mention that times were tough. He was just pointing out that times were tough. He has not provided any plan or idea on how to fix it. He and other repugs have stated their desire for Reaganomics also known as Trickle down economics. the repug econamic plan keeeps the rich rich and the poor can go to hell.
    You can not cut taxes and not government service and have a war. The repugs are not good at the economy at all and they fool people into thinking that they are

    September 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. We need Hillary

    What does John McCain know about the struggles of working Americans?

    He doesn't even remember how many homes he owns, he wears 500 dollar shoes, and he thinks someone has to make 5 million dollars a year to be rich.

    On top of that, his convention barely mentioned economic concerns in its first three days.

    Out of touch, out of time.

    September 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. inuk of the north

    Did we all take the short bus to school or what?

    Anyone who thinks the president of the United States controls the price of oil and gas, jobs leaving the country, mortgage foreclosures and deliquencies, or the American economy, or world economy, is out of their heads.

    There is a WORLD price for oil, not a separate one just for the US.

    Jobs WILL leave because they are low-skill, high-pay jobs which are transferable to anywhere on the planet.. And they're really not coming back.

    As people traded up, up, up on their homes, did they think that the ridiculous upward spiral of home values would continue in perpetuity?
    It's not normal to make 50K and own a $500000 home.

    Some politicians would have you believe that somehow you can hermetically seal off the US economy from the world economy. Those are the ones on drugs...............and they shouldn't be trusted.

    Economies run in cycles, it's that simple. Prosperity.....recession.......prosperity.......recession......that's how it goes. Anyone over thirty can tell you that. And NO politician can control the economic environment, but they can control the minds of simple voters.

    September 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Where are the issues...

    I think everyone reading this can tell you that "these are tough times" and spell out all the problems that the American people are going through without outlining what should be done...

    September 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Anthony

    Okay, John McCain is going to fight for us, WITH WHAT? I haven't seen one word of how he intend to make it happen! Not one word of what actions he's going to take. Let's see, I'll give more tax cuts to the same companies that SAID they would employ Americans, but sent jobs overseas. At least I can go to Obama's website and see substance of who, what, when, where, why and how. I don't mind paying more taxes if I see the country moving forward (Like in the 90's)

    September 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Wal

    2 members of a ticket don’t have the intellect needed as president of the most sophisticated economy and government in the 21st century, and no more than 4 years in college. One doesn’t even know how to use a computer. Good intention without understanding is useless.
    Palin never went out United States until last year.

    How can she understands the complexity of our interventionist abroad? Both will depends on advisers on any single decision.
    That will be worse than Bush because he at least has a master degree.
    The good judgment is based on: Intelligence (Obama), Wisdom (Obama) , Character ( Obama and Mccain) not character alone.

    September 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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