Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides
November 2nd, 2012
09:59 AM ET
8 years ago

Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides

(CNN) – The final set of monthly jobs data before Tuesday's presidential election provided both campaigns fodder to drive home their closing arguments on jobs and the economy, with President Barack Obama's team arguing the numbers show the economy on the rebound while Mitt Romney's team claiming it shows an economy still struggling.

The GOP nominee spotlighted the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%, up from 7.8% a month ago. While the rate is lower than the benchmark 8%, it's higher than it was when President Barack Obama took office in 2008.

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"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill," Romney wrote in a statement soon after the report was released. "The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work."

Romney used the report to push ahead to next week's election, saying it makes the choice even clearer for voters who are still undecided in their presidential preference.

"On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity," Romney wrote. "For four years, President Obama's policies have crushed America's middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we're making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow."

"When I'm president, I'm going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery, so that the next four years are better than the last," he concluded.

Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, echoed Romney's points at a separate event in Colorado, then criticized Obama for the economic stimulus measure.

"The economy is growing at less than half the rate that the president said it would be growing at if only he could borrow a bunch of money and spend it on his cronies and stimulus package," Ryan said. "We are 9 million jobs short than what he said he would accomplish. Look, in the president's campaign for another term, he has offered nothing different and if he is reelected, nothing different is exactly what we would get."

Obama's team honed in on the 171,000 jobs that were created in October, according to Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number, which exceeded economists' expectations, gave Obama and his surrogates an opportunity to tout an economy on the upswing, and to advocate for another four years of Obama's economic policies.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan Krueger, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a blog post on the White House website. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."

Both Obama and Romney have events scheduled for later Friday morning, and both were expected to address the jobs report.

Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, said Friday the report was unlikely to sway many voters since it largely plays into what the candidates have been saying for months on the campaign trail.

"This is fuel to the same fire," Crowley said. "Both the president and the governor will come out and say, you see? I told you all along this was so, and this report is exactly what I was trying to tell you about."

Sheila Bair, the former chairman of the FDIC, said that since the numbers already played into the campaigns' economic narratives, the effect would be minimal on Election Day.

"I think the reality is the unemployment rate is now higher than it was when Mr. Obama took office, so that's going to give Mr. Romney a talking point, but the jobs creation number is a good one, so I think it's a wash and won't have much impact," Bair said on CNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. regan flint

    OBAMA , is on a roll. Gov.. Christie [R] loves , OBAMA. New York City mayor , BLOOMBERG [I] & COLIN POWELL [R] are for , OBAMA.
    Another good jobs report showing that America's on the right track after the BUSH policy years that destroyed the U.S' economy , as well as other things [which Romney , wants to return , too].
    ROMNEY , can have KID ROCK , SARAH PALIN , the N.R.A. , the Tea Party crazies , the big oil companies , the health insurance companies and Wall Street.

    November 2, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Borderless

    If Romney could be elected, we would see sluggish growth at best. When Obama's elected, we will plummet off the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, Romney will only win the popular vote. Obama will win the electoral college vote and after a lot of legal maneuvering and general ugliness, Obama will be re-elected. He will blame congress for the stagnation in Washington and he will be partly right. But he will not accept his part of the blame. CNN and the rest of the main stream media will focus on the House as being obstructionist in keeping with the Democratic Party line. Fox News and talk radio will focus on Obama and the Democratically controlled senate as being obstructionist in keeping with the Republican Party line. We are entering our ugliest, most divided era since the Civil War. The solution was out there, but we decided that it was more important that our national brands–Republican or Democrat–win rather than work together to find a solution. After her husband was elected in 2008, Michelle Obama famously said that for the first time, she was proud to be an American. Well, for the first time, I'm embarrassed to be one.

    November 2, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. rr

    I voted for Obama. Romney is not right for America because he does not believe in helping the 47%ers. Romney would eliminate FEMA as we know it now. Even Grover Norquist states clearly that he does not want a President to tell him what to do..he wants a President who will sign into law ANY BILL that Norquist brings across the desk of the presidency. Because Romney has signed Grover Norquist's pledge, Romney vows to uphold Norquist pledge of alliance over the pledge of alliance to the United States of America. Romney is not right to hold the office of President of the United States.

    November 2, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. rs

    The jobs report is really good news. The delusional "bet-against-America" Republican Party naturally thinks otherwise. The irony is while prissy fast-talking Romney wrings his hands about the Americans he doesn't really care about, Bain, his company (where he is still the single shareholder) is stil,l right now selling American jobs to China, and he's still hiding his money in the Caymans and in Swiss banks.

    On Election day elect the REAL American- not the phony Romney.

    November 2, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. RudyG

    171,000 new jobs and 170,000 new jobless. SOME AMMUNITION for Obama! WE ARE STUCK!! Do the numbers people.

    November 2, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Lulu

    I am enjoying profits from a small investment(wish I can afford more) I have in the US auto industry and housing sector in the past year or so. What does that tell you? This is an indication that the economy is getting better.

    Thank you Mr President, you have done a great job. I know it is not an easy job to fix 8 years of mismanagement by the previous administration but surely you will take America back on track again. I have confidence in you and know
    USA will continue to get better. I just dont want another person to get the credit for the hard work you have started. Good luck, Mr Obama !

    November 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Evergreen

    Businesses have put off hiring to help get Romney elected, companies continue to outsource jobs, congress is useless, State and local governments continue to layoff workers. It has been an uphill battle for the president.

    November 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. plain&simple

    Romney is the guy who comes in after the hard work has taken place and says "I could have done better". If you have ever known one of those won't vote for Romney!!!

    November 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Credibility

    President Obama actually took office on January 20, 2009 (not 2008). The unemployment rate in his first full month in office began at 8.3% and is now lower at 7.9%, adding more than expected jobs at 171,000.

    A net positive and good news for our country.

    November 2, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. tuscany590

    How is it ammo for both candidates? When it went down a tick, because of bogus reporting, it was a big plus for obama. Now that it is adjusting and going up, it should be a negative for obama..Unless, of course we use that bias that we have all have come to see.

    November 2, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. rs


    Here's one statistic we do know. Bain took more corporations into bankruptsy (with loss of retirement funds taxpayers had to absorb, defaulted loans, loss of jobs and more- while Romney lined his pockets), than those that went into bankruptsy after receiving Obama stimulus funds. The very bailouts that the Lyin' King called "wasted".
    One might therefore conclude that while Romney made himself rich, Obama was a better business leader because more companies did well and expanded under his leadership and economic help than under Romney's "creative destruction".

    November 2, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Alois

    The truth is in the jobless report and deadbeat obama losses again . This country cannot afford another 4 years of freeloading obama.Deadbeat obama and his super corrupt administration have done nothing but drag this country down with his idiotic, corrupt,policies and divide the nation like never before.Not to mention the numorus scandals, coverups,squandering the taxpayers money on bankrupt companies and the chronic lies and deciet that loser obama preaches to the people. The past 4 years have proven deadbeat obama to be extremely incompetent and a huge failure. It's time for him to go.

    November 2, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Already Casted My Vote

    My entire family casted our votes 2 weeks ago. For Mr. Romney. The insanity of the last 4 years needs to end!!

    November 2, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    Obama12. Period.

    November 2, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. pastorb

    I wonder how many of the jobs that has been lost was part of Romney's investment?

    November 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Embarrased by Cheap Romney Tactics

    I'm worried about what kind of cheap shots republican strategist Karl "Adolph Eichmann" Rove has planned for this weekend.

    November 2, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. St. James Place

    Under a president Willard all the job creation would be in China not America. Show me any jobs that Willard has created in the this country in the last 4 years.

    November 2, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. rs

    This report comes out on a set schedule, and yes, today is the appropriate release day. The markets and other economics watchers rely on it.

    November 2, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. FedUpWithRomnesia1%

    I cannot believe the constant spin CNN is putting on all news to help Romney!! They may as well be on the campaign trail for him! When did CNN start parroting FOX news? In the beginning CNN won awards for clear, unbiased reporting. I've seen nothing but right wing drivel & far more Republican "experts" adding to the spin than any Democrats or unaffiliated scholars of economics, history or democracy. Romney's campaign attack ads, sound bites & pathetic attempts to backpedal on his anti-47%, anti-FEMA, anti-Medicare policies are getting far more air-time than Obama's hard work to help out Sandy survivors and ALL Americans – not just the 1%-ers!!!

    November 2, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. alex

    how many job has mitt created

    November 2, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Deb

    Romney/Ryan really make me sick to my stomach....if they have a plan to put Americans back to work, then they should bring it forward. That would be the "patriotic" thing to do to help your fellow citizens. If they have the formula to create US jobs then why wait until after the elections to proceed??

    Romney would win more points among the citizens if he really revealed his plan & could create jobs for us instead of just talking about what he will do if he becomes president. He is in it for the power of being the president, not to help our country. He isn't doing it because he's full of crap!!! His claim to fame is that he outsources jobs, not creates them for Americans. He lies, cheats and steals from the rest of us so he and his wife and their 5 "wonderful" do nothing sons can continue with the rich existence they have become accustomed to. How so many people can still support and follow him is beyond my comprehension. With all his changing of his platform on many issues, sometimes within days of each other shows that he will say/do anything to be elected. He is a fake and so is Ryan. They deserve each other and I hope Ryan is booted out of Congress this time around. They are both poor excuses for Americans and are not the least bit patriotic. If they were and they have the power to make things better, then they should do it before the elections to show how genuine and serious they are. People, do not continue to fall for their lies and support them just because they belong to the same party, Republican, as you...

    November 2, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. cgire

    This is indeed a major election – an election highlighting two choices for change. The choices – incrementally build on the work that's been done, or throw everything out and start over from scratch.

    So, if you're not voting, you are leaving this critical decision to others. You're letting your neighbor vote for you. You're letting your grandpa vote for you. You're letting your ex-boyfriend vote for you. You're letting your crazy Uncle Charlie vote for you.

    Even if you believe the candidates' differences are not overwhelming, there is always a choice. Even if "you'd rather there was someone else," there is always a choice.

    And think about it – who benefits if they can keep you from voting?

    I'm not letting that happen with my vote.

    November 2, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Already Casted My Vote

    I'll be laughing and enjoying a bottle of expensive single malt scotch on Nov 7 after the child president is sent back to Chicago.

    November 2, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. julie

    Obama/Biden 2012...the ONLY WAY FORWARD

    November 2, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. alex

    please someone tell me how many job have mitt created

    November 2, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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