Politicians React to Dismal Jobs Report

By Meghan Kiesel

Jun 1, 2012 11:52am

The May jobs report, released Friday, showed a paltry 69,000 jobs added to the economy and a slight uptick in the nation’s unemployment rate to 8.2 percent. Republicans were quick to pounce on the report as an indictment of President Obama’s stewardship of the economy. Mitt Romney called the report “devastating news.”  President Obama is expected to address the numbers later today at an event in Minnesota designed to prod Congress – and more specifically the Republicans who control the House of Representatives – to pass elements of the “to do list” he has suggested to help the economy.

Here’s a roundup of what politicians and would-be politicians are saying:

REPUBLICAN (PRESUMPTIVE) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE MITT ROMNEY:
“Today’s weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families. This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another. Slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims, and now another dismal jobs report all stand as a harsh indictment of the President’s handling of the economy. It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class. The President’s re-election slogan may be ‘forward,’ but it seems like we’ve been moving backward. We can do so much better in America. That’s why I’m running for president.”

THE WHITE HOUSE - MORE COMMENTS ARE EXPECTED FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA AFTER NOON:

In its first reaction to this morning’s disappointing jobs report, the White House says the nation is still fighting back from the recession and that the “problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight.”

“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, writes in a White House blog.

SEN. ROB PORTMAN, R-OHIO, A FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE OMB AND POTENTIAL ROMNEY RUNNING MATE, VIA A PAPER STATEMENT FROM ISRAEL:

“This is disappointing news for families in Ohio and around the country as they try to make ends meet in the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression.  We are on the wrong track. Coupled with the recent downward economic growth revision, it should now be clear President Obama’s stimulus hasn’t worked, nor has class warfare, anti-business rhetoric or his big government approach.

“There’s a better way; good ideas that can help turn things around, including pro-growth tax reform, regulatory relief and a new national energy plan that Congress and the Administration should enact on a bipartisan basis.

“With the tax code more complicated than it’s been in decades, regulatory and tax uncertainty freezing entrepreneurs, and spending out of control, Washington needs to act to free up the private sector to create the jobs the American economy is capable of and Ohio families deserve.”

HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A CAPITOL HILL PRESS CONFERENCE:

“Whether it’s the tax rates that all expire at the end of the  year, whether it’s the sequester that’s due to go into effect in January that will gut our military, or our $16 trillion national debt, our 1.3 trillion budget deficit,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Maybe the president ought to get out of the badminton game and get into the rugby game that’s right in front of him.”

Asked whether there is any overlap between the president’s to-do list and House Republicans’ Plan for American Job Creators, Boehner stressed that Republicans have attempted to find common ground with Democrats but he said the president has been a distant partner.

“Listen, we’ve worked together to pass the three free trade agreements. We’ve worked together to pass the veterans jobless bill. I can go down a long list,” he said. “[House Majority Leader Eric Cantor] and the Minority Whip [Steny Hoyer] have worked together on the Export Import bank to get it reauthorized. There a number of places we have found common ground, but it’s a constant search and it’s hard to sit down and find common ground when the president’s always out campaigning every day.”

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