Political battle over the jobs
July 8th, 2011
10:29 AM ET
11 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. Marie MD

    It' very simple. RETHUGS WHERE ARE TYE JOBS? that tax favor to your rich friends hasn't worked, right? Get back to the table and renegotiate because your number on excuse is not working!!!!
    Please leave the cryers andnlittle boys back home. If you can find any ring in the big boys. I would add women ut this is the party of women in the kitchen!

    July 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. king

    when will these repugs concede that these trickle down crap dont work in a global economy. obama need to say hey weve tried it your way lets try it the dems way now. we need to stop focussing on the supply side of the capitalistic system, which is only 25 percent of the economy. lets start focussing on the demand side of the aile which is 75%. the repugs have a narrow view of thinking and that is all about the supply side which is only 25 percent, and what makes it so bad theyve got the docile dems following them around like puppy dogs. they forgot about the spending side with without spending supply is doom is doom. we are in a sales revolution now, because the repugs have sent all our factories over seas by stopping the dems efforts to make them stay in america. infrastructure infrastructure infrastructure, this will create millions of jobs and allow the money to stay in america, and stop letting the rich outsource our money to other countries.

    July 8, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. BinFL

    It is so obvious that this is the news these Repubs crave just so they can pounce on President Obama. If memory serves me, wasn't it the Repubs who ran on jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010. What have they done to help create jobs since they won the House – absolutely nothing. Oh wait, the extension of the Bush tax cuts was supposed to create jobs – well, as Boehner says "where are the jobs?". I am so sick of these political games and they have become so stark and dispicable since we elected our first half Black president. instead of being adults and coming together for the good of the country, it's all about power and greed for these jerks. Our politicians are failing us and it's time we don't let them get away with these games. BTW, even though the job report was below par for June it was still in the positive unlike the 700,000 month we were losing under Bush. We should all know by now that any news that can be construed as negative (which if spun correctly is anything) is all these "news" outlets depend on to create controversy.

    July 8, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. kyle

    It's pretty simple that the GOP wants the economy destroyed for political gains, don't hire until we are back in power, how sickening.

    July 8, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Wes B.

    As far as I can tell, these Bush tax cuts for the rich have been around for several years now...and as far as I can tell, the economy has been tanking much of that time. And the Republicans just want to enforce the Bush policies even more!

    Since Obama's taken office, things have been slowly going in the right direction–despite Republicans dragging their feet every inch of the way.

    July 8, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans said extending the Bush era tax cuts would create jobs and there was only one job created a "SNOW JOB".

    July 8, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Busted2010

    Um we extended Bush's tax cuts and so far we've seen unemployment rise.... it's just so sad that facts will never change the mindless rehtoric of the right.

    July 8, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. Anders Perillo

    @Marie MD you must be joking. This administration's policies and over regulation are killing the economy. Dems control the Senate and the White House, so don't try pointing fingers at Republicans in the House.

    July 8, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. NEFinCA

    Where are the jobs GOP? You have not taken one step to create jobs since 2010. Everyone knows that June, July, and August are slow months for hiring – only people on welfare would think a job report from June had any great meaning because if they worked – they would know that most working people go on vacation. Just like November and December are slow hiring months. The GOP and TP's are so desperate they will throw anything out to see if it sticks – unfortunately there are too many low-information people that are the GOP tools and will buy their idiocy.

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

    So, I guess the candidate's comments mean that the Republican policy of spending cuts that directly layoff workers is pro-growth. While the Bush Tax Cuts that got us into this mess was also pro-growth, and still is growing the economy.

    July 8, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Chumlee

    Republicans: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS - Is this NOT what your 2010 platform was all about? It is not the President's fault,
    IT IS THE REPUBLICAN'S sorry state of affairs.

    Republicans: GO Home! Voters: wake up – these obstructionists are destroying our country

    Re-elect President Obama – he has done more in a short period of time to turn around the total destruction of the US that
    Bush and Company were responsible for, and the Repukes in Congress need to be defeated and sent back to their
    pitiful holes.

    July 8, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. once upon a horse

    yep those tax cuts for the upper 2% sure are helping the job creators create jobs. The Republicans must think EVERYBODY is stupid. They want the economy to tank so they can get the WH back in 2012 and they know it.

    July 8, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Patrick from Minnesota

    When Boehner and his cohorts are unemployed after the 2012 elections, they should make use of their downtime and enroll in a high school economics course and learn how the economy really works.

    July 8, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    The UNEMPLOYMENT rate went UP when tax breaks for the RICH went DOWN and/or remained the same!!!
    Where are the JOBS Republicans??????????????????????

    July 8, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. pc

    we all know with the republican governors laying teachers, firemen and policeman off by the thousands that our unemployment will never improve. this is another thank you to the tea-baggers that are trying to ruin our president and at the same time bring america down with him. shame,shame to the republicans that could not care less about the middle class in this country!

    July 8, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. To tell the truth

    of course, the jobs number are disappointing because the politics is getting in the way of progress.. we have a do-nothing congress that won't do nothing to help the economy (Zero jobs bill, zero effort towards job creation) partly b/c they believe govt have no biz in job creation, partly bcos they wanna win d next election, so they block, obstruct, deny, kill any effort towards job creation, just to be the one to 1st respond to a "disappointing job numbers". Since Obama took over, we 've seen a reverser of 600,000 per month job loss, we started creation jobs, when repubs took ova congress early this year, bad economy news upon bad economy news has been rolling over.. American must know the fact, otherwise they will keep making wrong choices based on the news cycle

    July 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Bill from GA

    As long as the repugs in Congress can get by with blaming our President for the jobs picture, they will DO NOTHING.

    Why don't you people with repug Representatives contact your Congressmen and raise hell? Ask them: "What has our President done to stop you? Has the President vetoed your jobs bill? Or do you just not have one? When are you going to work for Americans rather than against our President?"

    Or do you all hate America?

    July 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. SecedingfromTexas

    Interesting how the Republicans took credit for the jobs increase in January 2011, even though they had only had the
    House majority for 19 days, but now that there is a downturn, it's all President Obama's fault. This is just one of
    many reasons I will never trust the Republicans. They refuse to help find solutions, they insist on the long proven to be a
    failure Bush tax cuts be "permanent" for goodness sake, they offer no alternatives, their admitted number one
    priority is not jobs, it is to destroy President Obama.

    July 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. David

    So tell me, how are those tax breaks to all of those big Corporations doing with their promise to hire based on the extension of those benefits that none of us get to have? I guess the Republicans were WRONG AGAIN. SUPRISE!

    July 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. AEK

    The party currently in control of the House of Representatives and their sponsors, corporate America, are not going to take ANY action that would contribute to a healthier economy. To do so would increase President Obama's popularity and ensure his reelection. The Republicans will do whatever it takes to regain control of the Senate and win the Presidential election so they can continue the changes on a national level that they have started in states like Ohio and Wisconsin. If you are a "working" American you need to be very aware of the real agenda of these Republicans as lackeys of corporate America..

    July 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. maggie

    Perhaps; but who caused the problem in the first place. Uhm, let's see. It was 2008 and the 8th year of Bush. So somehow we think that retreads with the same policy ideas are the answer? Hmmmm.

    July 8, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Kristina CA

    Hey Rethugs, you promised in the midterms that if elected jobs would magically appear, but all we've seen is attacks on teachers and seniors, some even want to do away with education, which is the key to a good job. When will American Citizens be more important to you than corporations & the few wealthy people you represent.

    July 8, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Sniffit

    GOP's response to everyone asking them "where is the jobs plan you promised?"


    July 8, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans said extending the Bush era tax cuts would create jobs and there was only one job created a "SNOW JOB".

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

    July 8, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "Dems control the Senate and the White House, so don't try pointing fingers at Republicans in the House."

    Nobody controls the senate. Go take a civics coursse and leaern about the filibuster rules.

    July 8, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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