August 3rd, 2012
07:37 PM ET
11 years ago

Sununu: White House 'numb and dumb' on jobs report

(CNN) - As both sides of the aisle put political spin on Friday's job report, outspoken Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu weighed in, calling the White House and advisers' comments on the report "numb and dumb."

"They're numb because they're insensitive to the 25 million people that are unemployed and underemployed. And they're dumb because they're deceptive," the Romney national campaign co-chairman said Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

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Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor and chief of staff to former President George H.W. Bush, continued, "There were 162,000 jobs created primarily by the artifact of a seasonal adjustment. There were 175,000 fewer people working last month than the month before. These people - if (President Obama) wants to brag about 163,000 phantom new workers, the 152,000 who lost their job are not very happy to hear what Mr. Krueger and the president have to say about trying to spin this as good news."

July's jobs report showed an increase in hiring in the private sector but also an increase in the nation's unemployment rate, which a 10th of a percentage point from 8.2% to 8.3% from last month.

Earlier Friday, Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, touted the 172,000 new jobs in the private sector, steering away from the rising unemployment numbers.

Obama followed suit, highlighting the private sector portion of the report in remarks in Washington.

"That means that we've now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year," Obama said at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Friday. "Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work."

At a campaign event in Nevada - a state with unemployment numbers above the national average - presumptive GOP presidential nominee Romney said the report was a "hammer blow to struggling middle-class families."

"A lot of people are suffering in this country," Romney said. "I think it's an extraordinary failure of policy, a failure of leadership, and I think it's a moral failure for a country as successful and prosperous as our own to go now four years in a mode which feels to many people as a recession."

Sununu also defended the Republican candidate on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's allegations that an unnamed Bain Capital investor told him that Romney had not been paying taxes. Reid and fellow Democrats have been calling for Romney to release more of his tax returns, suggesting that the wealthy businessman may have something in his financial profile that he wants to hide.

Romney has made public the full 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011, with a pledge to release the full year once it's complete. He filed an extension for an October deadline, refusing to release further tax documentation.

A loyal Romney aide, Sununu said the political conversation would veer away from distractions like Reid's comments as the public begins to pay more attention to the campaign - a shift that he says will happen about a week or two out from the Republican National Convention in late August.

–CNN's Tom Cohen and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Jobs • John Sununu • Mitt Romney
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Tyler Durden

    "they're dumb because they're deceptive," Well, let's see... deceptive implicates hidden knowledge, whereas dumb implicates a lack of knowledge (i.e., ignorance). Sunnymumu, methinks thou protest too much... does all that repressed rage make you hungry for a nice, greasy, fattening processed slab of various chiken parts between two buttery buns at Chik Fil A – you can slather out the secret sauce between the buns... be true to yourself!

    August 4, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    It seems to me Mr Sununu is the one who is numb and dumb! Next VP Ronald Reagan,him former this and former that = living in past he chooses to ignore. In the period October 2008 to July 2009 between 7-8m jobs were lost due to Bush policies and policies that brought about a recession not only in the US but globally. He like Romney forgets that the country was officially in recession for long after Obama took over so its not 4years of Obama recession. as the most recent numbers show its 29 months of job growth creating $4.5m jobs you cannot make that a negative, nor GDP We'd all like both those to be higher. If Republicans had voted for AJA they would have been higher=better.
    Problem Boehner and McConnel don't run the Republican party Grover Norquist and his PAC, The NRA, guns and the council of Catholic bishops on moral issues like DADT, Gay rights, and Contraception/ Abortion.

    August 4, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  3. Cynthia

    If you weren't so sad, sununuu, you'd be funny. Who is responsible? Why, that would be the 'New' Conservatives. Who is name-calling and using hateful and vitrio rhetoric? Why that would be you and other leaders on the right. How does any reasonable, rational and informed person believe or support the party who almost put the US into bankruptcy..the GOP? I guess their is such a thing as short-term memory loss and self-imposed ignorance, we are witnessing it daily...everytime an extremist on the right opens their mouth or posts a comment. Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater, was, unfortunately, correct about the consequences of allowing extremists and the Christian Right to take over the GOP. He would be the first to condemn this GOP Congress, the previous administration, Mr. Romney and the other right-wing extremists.

    August 4, 2012 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  4. DarthShizNit

    Yes, how dare they use facts! Bad Democrats, bad!

    August 4, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  5. scott

    this coming from a govenor, who as chief of staff, for the elder bush, didnt care, when his administration would only talk about their victory in the gulf war....

    August 4, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  6. Nodack

    Oh good news? Well let's just insult the President then. Any good ideas of our own? Nope, let's just insult the President instead because negative stuff works better than actually doing or saying anything positive.

    August 4, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Twenty five million people are unemployed? Really? Perhaps you're right. That songs like the number of jobs Mitt Romney and the GOT outsourced. Good Observation!

    August 4, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  8. ctguy123

    I don't know why CNN keeps having Sununu on. Whether it's Wolf Blitzer, Soledad O'Brien or any other talking head on, Sununu embarrasses them all with facts that President Obama has done a terrible job with our economy. They all try to defend Obama but just end up looking like fools, I actually feel bad for them.

    August 4, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  9. Stephen

    And Sununu's brain is frozen! Has he forgotten the policies that he supported that got us into this mess and does he realize that his Republican colleagues share responsibility for the state of our economic/job woes? Who took their eyes of the U.S. economy in favor of Iraq! Why is the Congress on a 5 week vacation if they're working for the American people? Are any jobs, other than their own and their wealthy friends important to them?

    August 4, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  10. Johnny DC

    There's a reason why every time a jobs report comes out, the Democrat leaders launch another personal attack against Romney or make such a ludicrous statement that it distracts the voters and the media from what really matters.

    Open your eyes, people. This isn't coincidence. It's strategy. Think about what really matters and look for the information. Romney's dog, Romney's high school pranks, Romney's purported dodging of all taxes since 2000, Romney's "gaffe" in London for simply answering a reporter's question honestly. All distractions.

    August 4, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  11. G

    What a bunch of freakin hypocrites! Romney who is the birth father of the job destroying conglomerate Bain Capital and legendary outsourcing pioneer who should be memorialized in the vultue capitalist hall of fame, was and still is numb to all the pain he caused as many Americans lost their jobs to overseas plants. And, dumb because he thinks that Americans will not hold him accountable for all the damage he has done!

    August 4, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  12. Veteran For Truth

    Trickle down economic theory, deficit spending with tax breaks for the rich, and more deregulation is not the answer. It is the problem. We need to get behind this president and send a message to corporate America that the future is fairness. And if they don't like it, they can move their corporations and their products overseas. Someone will surely take their place. And we need to get behind the president's initiative to support small businesses and reduce the taxes for small businesses...

    Going back is not the answer. The GOP is hoping that Americans are dumb enough to fall for their economy stall tactic. But people have to forget how we got into this hot mess to begin with. And what crashed the economy certainly isn't what will fix it. That's insanity....

    August 4, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  13. JD

    Sununu and truth are like oil and water. Sununu has brought NH the highest electric rates in the US thanks to his backroom deals with Seabrook nuclear power, a judicial system that is based on nepotism and a police state to keep the masses from revolting. His polices towards education brought NH education to some of the lowest achievement levels in the nation. Here in NH we were happy to see him go help his fellow incompetent GWB. Sununu remains persona non grata here in NH. Please keep him with the rest of the criminals in D.C.

    August 4, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  14. some guy in New Hampshire

    The arrogant, clueless Sununu was governor of my state for four years. Take my word for it: for him to call someone ELSE dumb is a study in irony - which, of course, makes him a perfect minion for the Romney campaign.

    August 4, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  15. Neutral Observer

    Team Obama has not been able to give honest transparent responses throughout its time in office. Can hardly expect it now that the election is on the horizon. I especially liked the idea that the fact that the unemployment rate went up was actually a good thing somehow.

    August 4, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  16. Reggie from LA

    Dear Mr Smart Man (Sununu). I ain't all that bright, but save for the 163,00 gain, how many people would be out there out of work? No one said that the earth moved because of the gains, he11, there's losses EVERY SINGLE MONTH!!. Only this report, at this time when your candidate is roaming around the world, stepping on toes and stepping in it, I guess his campaign geniuses (you nunu being one of them), decides to politicize a given. I know the comments were aimed at the White House, but when publicizing the DUMB comments, the assumption on your part is that we don't know what you're up to. Assuming we are stupid, like so many of your political brethren do....IS DUMBER. So Sununu wants to be insulting. Here's one back. Romney is a 2-time loser (for now). Draft dodger. Tax dodger. Get back on task, minion!

    August 4, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  17. snowdogg

    John Sununu is a fat mouthpiece for the far right... could fill in for Rush. What's missing from his hysterical diatribe is the fact that for the past 22 consecutive months there has been an INCREASE in the number of employed persons. Does the GOP have a magic wand they are keeping hidden which will bring full employment to American workers? Yeah, I didn't think so. And, please, enough of the BS about the rich being "job creators" – if they could, why haven't they done so?

    August 4, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  18. frag

    John Sununu is a Republican television troll. He's not going to be around much longer so they send the dying dog out to take his last bites, attempted sound bites that is. The desperation of the Republicans is showing more and more. This guy has the charisma of Dick Cheney. "numb and dumb"? I mean really, that sounds like the low level remarks from some ignorant blogger. How low can they go? Wait and see when Mitt's about 10 points behind in the polls instead of 6.

    August 4, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. TAK

    I am surprised that Romney would even consider having such an irrelevant relic as John Sununu speak for him in the current campaign. That big 'ol boy was out-of-touch when he was part of the White House staff way back when, and nothing seems to have changed. Maybe Sununu works cheap and Romney's campaign is counting pennies.

    August 4, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. MrSmooth

    that would still make obama smarter that Sununu.

    August 4, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  21. MrSmooth

    O well, the slander doesn't stop. And they call themselves Christians.

    August 4, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. cisco4

    Since when is a republican like Sunnunu.. sentive about people out of work when they like to outsource our jobs.... and oppose minimum wage etc?

    August 4, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  23. AGuest9

    And what jobs did the Bush I White House create? Oh, yeah, Gulf War I.

    August 4, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  24. Indy

    Speaking of "numb and dumb" have you heard the one where Republicans still think tax breaks for the wealthy creates jobs ? Republicans are numb and dumber when it comes to who and why jobs are created,a big hint is that Presidents are not the economic drivers of any countries economy,but the middle class is the engine that keeps every economy running in every country and when there is an economic problem you better make sure you start with the middle class to get it going again.

    August 4, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |

    Mr. Sununu is too kind... "Super Stupid" would have been a better description.

    August 4, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
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