Political battle over the jobs
July 8th, 2011
10:29 AM ET
10 years ago

Political battle over the jobs

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidates pounced on the June jobs report Friday, sharply criticizing President Obama and touting their plans to improve the country.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said the president "has failed to get this economy moving again."

“Today’s abysmal jobs report confirms what we all know," Romney said in a statement. "The White House has turned the audacity of hope into the audacity of indifference.”

He also took a swipe at the president's campaign manager, David Plouffe, who earlier this week said "People won't vote based on the unemployment rate."

"The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers," Plouffe said at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News.

"If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment," Romney said.

The economy gained just 18,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate rising from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent, the government reported Friday.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman called the rise in unemployment "not acceptable," adding that the patience of the American people has "worn thin."

"We need free-market, pro-growth policies to spark a wave of job growth – the same policies we implemented in Utah to make it the fastest-growing state in the nation," Obama's former U.S. ambassador to China said in a statement. "America needs new leadership to turn our country around."

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was the first major GOP presidential candidate to issue a statement, labeled the report a "failure" and delivered a message to Obama: "Mr. President, it's time to take the shovel out of your hand and stop digging. ATM's aren't responsible for our high unemployment rate; your administration's threat of higher taxes, massive government spending, and overregulation are."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the president is "out of answers and running out of time."

"His policies are not creating the necessary jobs and he has no plan to do anything about it," Pawlenty said in a statement. "I will turn around the economy as president by setting bold growth goals and implementing specific proposals to achieve them."

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania similarly said the report is "one more sign that the current Administration's policies are impeding economic growth in America" and that he looks forward to a debate with the president.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson responded by issuing a plan to "kick-start" job creation, which included eliminating the corporate tax rate and cutting spending by $300 billion.

“Americans can’t wait any longer for the hand-wringing to produce results," Johnson said in a statement. “The politicians in DC like to make us think these types of actions are complicated and difficult. They aren’t."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich posted a video on his website saying the economy could turn around with "tax cuts, regulation reform and an American energy policy," steps "the Obama administration seems incapable of doing."

Priorities USA Action, the Democratic super PAC started by two former senior members of the Obama administration, released their own response, accusing Republicans of "playing a reckless and irresponsible game with the American economy."

"Hundreds of days after taking control of the House, Republicans have done nothing but stand in the way of progress on the economy," senior strategist Bill Burton said in a statement. "Every day they obstruct progress it seems more and more as if they believe they benefit politically if they hurt America economically."

Chairman of the president's Council on Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, said this month's report "reflects the recent slowdown of economic growth due to headwinds faced in the first half of this year."

Although the unemployment rate ticked up, Goolsbee said the report also shows that private sector payrolls increased by 57,000.

"The unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn," Goolsbee said in a statement.

But he also cautioned Americans "not to read too much into any one monthly report."

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain said he agreed with Goolsbee's comments.

"Why if the Obama Administration acknowledges this economic truth, they still fail to enact business-friendly policies that would get America's jobs creators hiring again," Cain said in a statement.

Jobs and unemployment rates are a centerpiece of all elections, with the high unemployment rates in presidential battleground states contributing to their impact on the 2012 election.

According to numbers released in May, Nevada's unemployment rate rests at 12.1 percent with Florida's at 10.6 percent, Michigan's at 10.3 percent and North Carolina's at 9.7 percent.

The president's overall approval rating in most national polls stands in the mid-to-upper 40s, but his numbers on the economy and jobs range between the upper 30s and 40 percent.

Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • President Obama • unemployment
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. tv22

    How does this become the Republicans' problem? I don't get it, when the economy started to go bad, it was the President's fault, even though the Dems controlled Congress. Now that after a new administration has been in, and every policy they've introduced was rebuked by the business community, and the entire government was controlled by Dems until a few months ago, and now it's the Republicans' fault? It makes no logical sense. In fact the only party that has presented a budget plan is the Republican party. The lack of a budget, never mind budget discipline by the White House sends a simple message – we are going to spend and someone is going to pay. Everyone that actually pays taxes thinks that means them – so they aren't going to invest or do anything that will bring more taxation their way.

    The only cure for the economy now is a Republican in the White House.

    July 8, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Kristina CA

    We were told that if we extended the Bush tax cuts that corporations would magically feel secure & start to hire, but it hasn't happened. The 2 billion dollar corporate tax credit for jets would pay for 50,000 teachers a year for 10 years, but somehow in the Republicans minds taking that tax credit away is equivelant to raising taxes on the American people.

    July 8, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Hope And Change!!!! YES WE CAN!!!!

    July 8, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Kwesoe

    Some people,
    They stand and look,
    At what others do,
    Then come and say,
    How it ought to be.
    To them, the world is never right.

    July 8, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Kristina CA

    @ bill, I did contact my Repug Congressman, he reaffirmed tax cuts would work. His monthly email says that if we don't raise the debt ceiling we will the live on a cash basis & basically then have to choose wether to pay the military or seniors. In his email he said we wouldn't 'default', we just wouldn't have extra. Hmmm! Never mind the fact that my business line of credit interest rate will skyrocket out of control. I made it through the first financial crisis, i've managed to grow my biz & now like thousands of other small biz owners, might lose it all because a few selfish people are putting politics above the people.

    July 8, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Ander Perillo wrote:
    This administration's policies and over regulation are killing the economy.
    Financial regulations on Wall Street were put in place the market has risen from 8000 to over 12,000. CEO pay rose by nearly 25% last year.

    We had 2 years of month to month improvement on the jobs numbers. I would say the economy was recovering fairly well until Republican governers started laying off every public worker in sight to pay for more tax cuts.

    July 8, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Tony Z

    @Anders- please show me one policy or regulationthat has killed jobs. You do realize companies are turning profits and for some record profits. If the two parties don't start working together nothing is going to get solved. In over 6 months, I have not seen or heard of any job growth bills. Main goal of Mitch McConnell is to make Obama a one-term President.

    You are probably in agreement to not change the tax rate for folks over $250K. You probably don't remember that we raised the debt ceiling 7 times in 8 years.

    July 8, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Oregon Calling

    If the jobs report had been better, the GOP would not be able to say what they are saying now. It's all a show folks, tell me one jobs bill that has been put forth on the House floor...........

    Peace 🙂

    July 8, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Your man Obama just inferred that he's looking to make the "Bush tax cuts" permanent. What say you now??
    Stop listening to right wing media.

    July 8, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Mike Janouski

    I as an American, unaffiliated with the Democrats or the Republicans and not fond of the Independents, am tired of the political party correctness that ALL of our politicians seem to use to run this country. I vote in every election that I have the opportunity to, but am finding that no matter who I vote for turns out to be a game player. Using their political position to pursue their individual party gains without consideration or thought about the effect that it may have on us or on the economy. I have listened to these righteous politicians for over 60 years and as time goes by I find that their concerns for us is less and less. I would like to hear what they are actually they are going to do without the concerns of how much money they will receive from their parties for taking their position or their lobbyists who are putting money in the pockets. The people of the US have been brainwashed to the maximum about what is good for us and what these individuals are going to do. It is time we wise up and take the position that if you aren't going to fix the problems then we will take you out of office, no matter what party you are. The number of people out of work should mean something to all of us. What is going to happen to the men and women who have taken or been given the opportunity to forged forward for an education that in most cases have no future? We talk as Americans of a home of the free but are we really at this point or has brainwashing convinced us that we are? Just a little food for thought coming into an election year that has what to offer from any party.

    July 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    ok let me see if I have this right, the Bush tax cuts, loopholes, and corporation breaks are still in effect and have been for quite some time, YET the corporations have not been hiring. Yet the GOP is trying to say that the mere mention of raising taxes and cutting out some of those breaks has these job creators so scared that they now won't hire for sure? PLEASE!! They have to come up with a better excuse than that. Don't blink President Obama...stand firm with your party and fight for the middle class.

    July 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Financial regulations on Wall Street were put in place the market has risen from 8000 to over 12,000."

    Well, Rudy... since you're such an expert on everything, maybe you can educate the class by explaining what percentage of the increase in the Dow was due to the improving health of the Dow component companies and how much was a direct result of the weakening dollar?

    July 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Bill from GA

    To Anders Perillo – ". Dems control the Senate " (And all the other repugs who use this argument)

    If I'm driving a car and you have your foot on the brakes, you can halt all progress. mcconnell and his repugs do just that. Though the gutless dems should put bills forth anyway, and MAKE the repugs ilibuster them.

    July 8, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Bob in Pa.

    BO thinks that there is threshold of unemployment that must be achieved for his Social / Communist society to take off and thrive. With 18% unemployment, he will get a mandate to strip accumulated wealth form the middle and upper middle classes in America. It's just a matter of time to back door enough regulations and illegal imigrants into our society.Then you can kiss your 401K and pension goodbye as it is absorbed into the government coffers all for the better good.

    July 8, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. mk1

    And the Republicans have helped how? They have stood in the way of every attempt to boost the economy so they have tried as hard as they can to make sure the economy stay in the tank for political purposes. Their plan is to take us back to the exact same policies that got us here in the first place. Ah what a great plan. Never again!!!

    July 8, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Peter s

    Now the Republicans tells the public to go and feed their kids the rhetoric of the last midterm!!! " Job creation, blah blah blah, " I have waited tables, please hold on wuahaaaaaa!!! mmhhmh, all my life" We fell for that but never again!! GOP WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

    July 8, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    @Fair is Fair:
    The facts are that we have seen slow but steady growth since June 2009 when The Great Recession officially ended. The pace was not fast enough for Republicans, who promised a faster recovery through quickening job growth.

    Republicans took control of the House in January. We saw the jobs numbers in a couple of years and *you* claimed all of the credit just on the mere fact that "Republicans are in the House" y'all.

    All policies out of Washington have met the approval of House Republicans, that means extensive spending cuts. GOP Governers across the board have followed suit. These jobs numbers are the result of "the Republicans are in the House" y'all.

    July 8, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. To tell the truth

    @Tv22 – a republican in the white house, again??? Dont you love this country? I believe u do my friend, I believe u do

    July 8, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. BinFL

    Games, games, games, that's all these politicians do. Time to wake up people. If the job numbers were good this month, Boehner and gang would have claimed the credit even though things have been turning around although not as quickly as we would like. But, the numbers weren't that good so they quickly jump on blaming Obama. But, wasn't it the Repubs who ran on jobs, jobs, jobs – what have they done to contribute to the health of the economy. If they were really patriots as they always like to claim they would be working with the "other side" and the President to help turn this economy around but that is NOT THEIR GOAL!

    July 8, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. diridi

    drive these nasty Rethugs out of office in 2012....Obama2012.....

    July 8, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Fair is Fair

    @ Rudy...

    I didn't ask you for talking points. I asked you a direct question , challenging your statement on the Dow, which of course you could not answer. Care to try again?

    July 8, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Dave

    Where are the jobs, Redumblicans? You all promised that your policies would create jobs and that's all everyone heard during the 2010 election cycle. Well, where are they?

    July 8, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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