President Obama said today’s jobs numbers are a ”step in the right direction,” but it’s a very different message than one Republicans are pointing to in a 2004 radio address from Barack Obama, then running for U.S. Senate from Illinois. Then he blasted President Bush on the state of the economy even though there were many more jobs created and a much lower unemployment rate.
“For the past few weeks, President Bush and members of his administration have traveled the nation to celebrate recent improved economic statistics. Well, I’ve been traveling too, all over this large and diverse state. In cities and suburbs, downstate and upstate, I’ve heard from people who say it’s way too early to claim victory when it comes to our economy,” Obama says in the Democrats’ radio address from June 26, 2004.
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Republicans point out the economy at that point was in a different situation and then-President Bush was touting the good numbers: the economy added 310,000 jobs and unemployment was at 5.6 percent.
“After three dismal years of job-loss, we all welcome encouraging statistics,” Obama acknowledges in the 2004 address. “But for most Americans, the health of our economy is measured in a different and more personal way: If I lose my job, where will I find one that pays as well and offers real benefits? Can I afford health-care coverage on my own, or the cost of sending my children to college? Will I ever be able to save and retire with dignity and security? These are the questions I hear hardworking people asking. For them, the basic rewards of a middle-class life, rewards that we once took for granted, have become an elusive dream.”
Democrats are having a flashback day as well with both Democratic superPACs American Bridge 21st Century and Priorities USA pointing to a June 2006 video where Romney argues it was “silly” to be criticized for the struggling economy.
“You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers,” Romney said at a June 24, 2006 press conference. “I came in and the jobs had been just falling right off a cliff, I came in and they kept falling for 11 months. And then we turned around and we’re coming back and that’s progress. And if you are going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should have immediately turned around, well that would be silly. It takes awhile to get things turned around. We were in a recession; we were losing jobs every month. We’ve turned around and since the turnaround we’ve added 50,000 jobs. That’s progress. … A lot of it is outside of our control, it’s federal, it’s international, it’s private sector.”
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