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. DeMJ

    OMG you didn't just defend Bush? He had 8 years to make a different. 8!

    September 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. DWI

    "These are tough times for many of you. " Thanks for noticing, John. I can almost feel him patting me on the head and saying "there there." What a tin ear for what's going on with our lives. I can't afford to buy a house, and Cindy McCain wears $300,000 worth of garb to the convention. This sucks.

    September 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. janine

    "Voters who choose McCain in November will be picking a president whose personal ideology places him near Bush on most major issues."

    Source: Online from NationJournal

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    To Anonymous and your writings " Now they also want to use their women such as Clinton,and others to go do the work.It sad that after the DNC mistreat and focerd MRS. CLINTON to suspend her campaign their asking her to go all over the country to help him.That's not how you treat women."

    This is why America is a great country! Because we have people like Hillary and Gore. The power of love and forgiveness takes us all farther into the future and beyond what other countries can accomplish!!

    India and China have 2 billion+ people, but there's no love. There's no forgiveness. There's no equality. There's no change.

    America is a great country! Gore bears the scars of Bush's election wins, but he TOOK it like an American. Instead of holding grudges, he went on to fight for what he believes.!! He went on to educate everyone!!

    God I love the American Spirti! Thank God for America!

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Leta

    Wait a Minute: I think they are probably refering to Papa Bush......But here again the only people sitting on the fence in Del Rio Texas watching illegal trade were Al Gore, Marc McDougal and none other but Hillary Clinton......HILLARY is going to SCREAM FROM THE MOUNTIAN TOPS THAT SHE "WAS NEVER FOR NAFTA" Lets take a look back to that great bean footage from Democratic Convention October 15, 1994...Bill was at the Hotel......Oh and does anyone remeber seeing Bill sign the NAFTA agreement.........each letter in his name was written with a different pen and then handed out to all those standing around.......???? ask the 6.1% how they lost there jobs in such a hurry.......send out a question aire.......We should make sure those numbers are correct.....?

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. New Opinion

    McCain said clearly that he would cut taxes. If you cut the taxes a company has to pay it means they have more money to HIRE EMPLOYEES! Doesn't that grow the economy? What a plan, don't take all my money in taxes, let me spend it the way I need to spend it. Why pay for social programs that I don't want or need?

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Patrick, Takoma Park MD

    I wonder what Sarah Palin has to say about this unemployment report? We'll never know, since the McCain campaign isn't allowing anyone to interview her.

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Tom

    A terrific 'non-comment' with no substance from McSame. If I close my eyes I can hear #43 saying the same thing a while back.

    September 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Lynn

    It doesn't matter anymore who did what , when and how.



    There is only one person to choose in this race that offers any HOPE for the changes we need to turn this country around. If you think things can't get worse, THINK AGAIN.

    McCain gave us NOTHING to VOTE FOR!!!!!!! NOTHING. This could very well be the most important election in the History of THIS NATION.
    God Graced Us with a BRAIN. WE MUST REALLY USE IT NOW.

    September 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. J. Dean


    September 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Ken Pittsburgh

    thanks for your comments back to Ian if you going to vote looked up fact for yourself do noy read the talking points and please turn off Rush for a day

    September 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Mikey

    wait a minute September 5th, 2008 4:12 pm ET
    What could Bush have done after Clinton pushed to sign the unfair trade agreements on his watch?
    Give me a break, so now those supporting the Republicans are against free trade? If you are, voting for the GOP would be exactly the wrong vote. This goes to the heart of the theory that Republican win elections by convincing people to vote against their own self interests.

    I guess that's what the 500 references to patriotism and McCain being a POW were all about. If you voted for Bush twice, are having trouble making ends meet, and THEN vote for McCain, you will get exactly what you deserve!

    September 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Michelle

    If we don't elect O and Joe into office we will continue to see unemployment rise because Cain and Sara just ain't Abel. I can tell you what will increase also the soup kitchens throughout America and foreclosures will continue. We at least need to try something new since a Republican president has done such a poor job by misleading the country into a war costing us billions. If you listen to the Republicans you can't get a straight answer on anything. The only thing they are worried about is tax increases for the wealthiest of people because the majority of them are the wealthiest people in the USA.

    September 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. FR

    Question: Why does Republicans have to wait for McCain to come into office to implement new policies that they were talking about in the RNC? Pres. Bush still have 4 months. I am sure he can avail this time, give McCain a headstart and start implementing those new policies.

    Answer: What new policies? There were no new policies discussed.

    September 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Erik

    I'm more interested in seeing Sarah Palin grant a few interviews with veteran journalists. Why not, Governor? is Ms. Pit Bull Barracuda afraid?

    September 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Dem Tax Cuts

    Cutting personal taxes is great! Go for it Obama! But guess what, if you raise taxes companies have to pay it rolls down hill. I will have to pay more for my products, ie food, gas, utilities. I will pay higher property taxes with his plan. How is that helping me?

    September 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Howard

    Unemployment at 6.1% simply reinforces McCain's argument that if you raise taxes on businesses, they will have to cut back their work force in order to keep their doors open. In the short run, Obama's desire to raise taxes on businesses, and give the money to struggling Americans sounds good ... but, it panders to people's desire for hand outs and immediate gratification ... for, in the long run, this kind of bad judgement is like eating the goose that lays the golden eggs ... or, like eating your seed crop, instead of using the seeds to grow more crops. Raising the taxes on businesses is the best way to dramatically increase unemployment in America.

    September 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. JImmy in California

    Obama is talking about issues here at home. He is talking about things that are hurting us deeply now and Palin tries to him him on Iraq. All she is doing is reporting what the McCain writers are telling her to say. Sounds like a puppet to me. She should look at Obama and Biden. Now there is a team. They consult with each other and work together. Biden is no puppet for Obama. Good for you Obama and Biden. Stay on the issues and let Palin wear her lipstick.

    September 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. leapfrog

    McCain? Fight for your future? Sure he will, right after he makes sure every major oil company rapes you for every dime you have and has oil wells covering every national park. Then he has to make sure that all the major corporations have their tax shelters and loopholes. THEN he'll fight to make sure you can get a job selling french fries...just as soon as he eliminates the minumum wage.

    September 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Tim Hutchins

    Which os the two senators will go to DC and sponsor bills to fix something NOW instead of just talk/talk/talk about what is hoped for in the future??? Keep in mind Obama has not written one single bill during his tenure in the Senate, nor while he was in Illinois.

    September 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. CitizenAJ

    People accused Obama of having no substantive plans but where are Senator McCain's? He talked about hard times but offered no solutions, he nor his new VP side show. This man is banking on the ignorance and lack of thinking on your own of the American people. That translates to, "I am not going to do nothing for you like the current President, I just want to get elected".

    America pulled out of Vietnam because the government finally realized it was bogged down in a conflict it could not win for the South Vietnamese. John McCain and many others saw that as defeat. This is why he describes withdrawing from Iraq as "surrender" or "losing". Yet, he nor G.W. have never clearly stated what is victory in Iraq. When will the Iraqis, who were supposed to be happy to be liberated, step up and take charge of THEIR sovereign nation? How long is John McCain willing to wait for the Iraqi government to take this responsibility? Why all of a sudden are their offenses into Pakistan in pursuit of the terrorist that attacked the U.S., something Senator Obama called for months ago? You smell that too?

    September 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. CW4Barack

    Down with McBushPalin!

    September 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Joe St Louis, MO

    Wait a Minute

    Bush and Mccain,

    They could have NOT given tax breaks to companies for moving jobs away.

    They could have NOT deregulated the mortgage industry. Then bailed them out.

    They could have STOPPED large tax breaks for their oil buddys.

    They could have stayed the course chasing Osama Bin Laden.

    They could have looked at the intel reports before 9/11.

    They could have NOT changed the Constitution to give the Pres free will to do what ever he wishes.

    That is what they could have done.

    September 5, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. ashley

    What does John McCain's experience have to do with America's needs? Where is Osama Bin Laden and why hasn't he been brought to justice? Is anyone scared that McCain said we could be in Iraq for 100 years|? Do we not care about the environment anymore? Drill baby drill with only 3% of reserves? How can anyone say our economy is strong? Is it okay Mr. McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time? Why are the republicans trying to act like Palin can match up to Hillary as if they stand for the same things? Why is it okay that her 17 year old unmarried daughter is pregnant? Why is it okay that we just lost 84,000 jobs this month? Why has the employment rate raised 1.1% in the past year? Aren't republicans supposed to be the moral value of the country? Is it okay the price of consumption increased but the hourly wages did not?

    If you have all these questions, Vote Obama Biden 08!

    September 5, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Grinell Meadors

    Which of the two senators will go to DC and sponsor bills to fix something NOW instead of just talk/talk/talk about what is hoped for in the future??? Keep in mind Obama has not written one single bill during his tenure in the Senate, nor while he was in Illinois

    September 5, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9