LOS ANGELES — Paul Ryan reacted to Friday morning’s disappointing jobs report saying, “This is not even close to what a recovery looks like.”
“We would need to actually have 150,000 jobs created just to keep in pace with population growth,” Ryan said on CNBC. ”This is not what President Obama promised. I would argue this is the result of failed leadership in Washington, bad fiscal policy coming from the administration, and that is why we had this very tepid report.”
The report showed that the economy created 96,000 jobs in August, below economists’ expectations of around 125,000. The unemployment rate was down 8.1 percent, but it showed that nearly 400,000 people had stopped looking for work. Ryan said it means the country is not in “an economic recovery.” “We are limping along,” Ryan said. “This is stagnant growth. For every person who got a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job. That is not a statistic to brag about.”
Ryan also responded to the scathing critique Bill Clinton gave him in his speech to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, defending his claim that the president took $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
“When you write a budget, you write it based on the current CBO law baseline. That’s how budgets work,” Ryan said. ”You can’t count the same dollar twice. You can’t say, $716 billion is going to be used to shore up Medicare and that same $716 billion is going to be used to pay for Obamacare.”
Ryan continued: “This is just what happens when people don’t have a good record to run on. They try to distort. They throw blame.”
In his speech, Clinton directly called out Ryan.
“When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as the ‘biggest, coldest power play,’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Clinton said in his speech in Charlotte. “Because, that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he had in his own budget.”
Clinton added, “You got to [admit] one thing — it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.”
Ryan did include those same cuts in his signature budget plan — the same plan Mitt Romney has said he would sign if he becomes president — but Ryan says he was forced to build his plan on those cuts because they were already signed into law.
The $716 billion in cuts do not affect benefits for today’s seniors. Instead, they reduce provider reimbursements and are intended to curb waste, fraud and abuse.
Ryan’s plan has come under attack from Democrats because it would fundamentally change the plan, essentially making it a voucher program that critics say could cost senior citizens more, but the GOP vice presidential candidates says his plan is the only way to save Medicare from going completely bankrupt.
In the interview, he was also asked directly if he would fire Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, but he didn’t answer, just saying he didn’t “think it is appropriate to comment on what you do with personnel such as that.”
“I’ve known Ben a long time,” Ryan said referring to Bernanke. “He and I have disagreements on these issues but [we're] respectful of one another.”
However, he did say the Federal Reserve is “trying to bail out fiscal policy.”
The vice presidential candidate also responded to the president’s speech to the DNC Thursday evening saying, “He’s great at given speeches, he’s good at making lots of promises.”
“He made a whole bunch of promises four years ago that he hasn’t kept, he made a few more last night and if you take a look at his record it just doesn’t add up,” Ryan said.
He’s also expected to respond to the president Friday afternoon at a rally in Sparks, Nev.