Jobs take center stage, again, in weekly addresses
May 28th, 2011
09:23 AM ET
10 years ago

Jobs take center stage, again, in weekly addresses

Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden began the weekly address with “good news” Saturday, praising signs of growth in the economy as seen through the lens of the automobile industry.

“Not only is our economy overall growing,” he said, “one of the important sectors of economy is on the rise again: the American automobile industry.”

Citing the announcement that Chrysler Corp. will repay taxpayers for loans given at the beginning of the Obama administration “six years ahead of schedule” and the progression to three shifts at the GM Hamtramck factory in Detroit, Biden described the economy as “recovering” and “gaining traction.”

“When President Obama and I came into office, we faced an auto industry on the brink of extinction,” he recalled. “Total collapse.”

“Many people thought the president should just let GM and Chrysler go under…The president disagreed.”

“Because of what we did, the auto industry is rising again,” Biden declared.

But he also recognized persistent obstacles for others.

“Even for a lot of people with jobs, their wages aren’t keeping pace with prices of everything from gas to groceries to health care and college tuition.”

The vice president pledged that he and Obama would “remain focused” on “not just recovering from this recession.”

“We’re focused on making sure that if you work hard, play by the rules, you’ll be able to get ahead, put your kids through college, retire with dignity and security,” he said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave an opposing view of the nation’s economy in the weekly GOP address. He said the country’s choice is between “a future with more taxes and more government” or “more growth and more jobs.”

“We face new obstacles as this county finds itself at a crossroads,” Cantor said. “Before us is a choice about who we want to be as a country.”

And the top Republican blasted the administration for opposite findings of Biden’s key message. Instead of job creation, Cantor spoke of job deflation.

He blamed “Democrat-controlled Washington” for “the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus program which drove up our debt and failed to get people back to work.”

Cantor called for a change and outlined the GOP plan to make it happen.

“We’ve got to shift from a government that smothers new jobs and business growth to one that nurtures an environment for getting people back to work and back to what Americans do best: innovate, compete and lead,” he said.

The House leader explained a two-track strategy called “Cut and Grow” adopted in January and designed by Republicans to cut spending and grow the economy because “for too long Washington has relied on gimmicks or government-knows-best solutions.”

He described details of the plan, including: reducing the overall tax rate to 25 percent; increasing competitiveness for American manufactures to boost exports, production and, as a result, available jobs; and repealing “onerous” regulations.

“All of these elements will help encourage growth and long-term economic stability,” he said.

And, adopting a turn of phrase often used by the president to drive home his own point, Cantor confirmed, “Americans will out-work, out-hustle and, yes, ‘out-innovate the rest of the world.’”

The Democratic and Republican leaders both took a moment to remember Memorial Day in their respective speeches.

“I just want to mention once again Memorial Day and remember what this holiday’s all about … we still have thousands of troops deployed in harm’s way,” Biden said.

“All I ask you to do is what my wife, Jill, and Michelle Obama ask, to reach out to those families who have someone deployed in your community. Let them know you know.”

And Cantor shared his vision of the “true grit” of Americans.

“In America, our parents taught us and their parents taught them that, ‘No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, everyone’s got a fair shot, not guaranteed success but the opportunity to work hard and get ahead,’” he said.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. WiredwierdinSF

    Are we going to have another "summer of prosperity" like this hair plugged bozo told us we had last summer. When will they learn, that trillion dollars they gave to corrupt union executives for stealing the election for that corrupt, incompetent, inept idiot we have a president did not do a thing for us .Even the people who have been taught to blindly support the liberal democrats by the NEA must be able to see through that charade.

    May 28, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Cantor again promotes "tinkle-on economics". Give everything to the wealthy and they will dole out a few minimum-wage jobs here and ship the good ones overseas. If we didn't learn thru the past administration's shenanigans, shame on us.

    May 28, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. NVa Native

    The Repubs were talking jobs to get elected, of course they immediately switched to their radical social agenda of attacking minority segments of our population that they can present as un-desirable and a threat to their weak minded base.

    May 28, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. once upon a horse

    So Mr. Cantor how are those tax cuts for the wealthy job creators coming along? Seems to me very little has changed with that except that the so called job creators are putting more cash into their own pockets. The job growth we are having is far more due to what the POTUS has done than the GOP. The GOP didn't even want to save our American auto industry yet now that the industry has done a 180 you have guys like Romney trying to come out and take credit for it. PATHETIC!

    May 28, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Reggie from LA

    ...and I don't think Toyota is doing so great right now. I can only imagine that their situation gave a boost to domestic manufacturers.

    Mr Cantor should stop talking. Now he's done gone and reminded me that the the GOP-led tax cuts for people who have way more than what they know what to do with is supposed to sprout a bunch 'o jobs. Ahem, still waiting Mr Cantor. Those words were from YOUR mouth in defense of the "blackmail" the GOP served up which is a reuse to give rich people more money and to their party, more clout and contributions. Thanks slimy fellas.

    May 28, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. New Age Independent

    I don't know what Biden has been smoking. I haven't seen any improvement anywhere in my area. I live paycheck to paycheck barely making it while getting taxed more and more. I don't see how employers can afford to hire anyone as they are getting hit harder than anyone. I don't see Democrats learning anything as they tax our country into poverty. I won't be wasting my votes on any Democrat this year that supports higher taxes.

    May 28, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Ray

    There are millions of Americans who are unemployed, millions more who are underemployed. We are flat broke. We have suffered multiple natural disasters. We have the worst president in the past 100 years. A no guts, do nothing congress. Forgive Joe, he has no brain.

    May 28, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |