While GOP presidential campaign offices crafted long and careful responses to today’s unemployment numbers, House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, fired off a one-word, spot-on reaction to the report that showed 14.1 million Americans would like to work but can’t find a job. “Yikes,” Buck tweeted.
Yikes, indeed. Buck wins for best and most honest response. But, of course, Boehner’s office wasn’t the only to comment. Other congressional leaders had impressions to add and quickly related the report to the deficit reduction talks that began yesterday and continue Sunday:
Republicans were quick to use the disappointing report to bolster their argument against raising taxes. “These numbers serve as a warning that as we address the debt limit increase we shouldn’t do so in a way that raises taxes and impedes the ability of small businesses to create jobs and get people back to work,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said the report shows the economy isn’t adding jobs at an “acceptable rate.” But he said the government has to reduce a deficit in a way that won’t dampen job creation. “That means taking a balanced approach in which millionaires and billionaires contribute to deficit reduction,” Mr. Reid said.
And, of course, at least a few of those carefully-crafted campaign responses also deserve honorable mentions in any review of reactions to the jobs report. Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was one of the first to send out a statement, laying the blame squarely on President Barack Obama and the “architect” of his failed economic policies, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:
Today’s unemployment report is another stark reminder of the failure of President Obama’s economic policies. The President promised if we passed the massive stimulus package that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8 percent, we are now at 9.2 percent. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are suffering today as a result of the president’s broken promise and his policy of attempting to create jobs through massive government spending that has added over 35 percent to our national debt.
Amidst this economic freefall, it should not be lost that the architect of the President’s failed economic policies, Timothy Geithner, will head for the door after he attempts to cement the President’s legacy of massive spending and debt by raising the debt limit another $2.4 trillion dollars. We can only hope that the President will be right behind him after the next election.
The President promised ‘shovel-ready’ projects that would create jobs, but now the President says ‘shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.’ Mr. President, it’s time to take the shovel out of your hand and stop digging. ATM’s aren’t responsible for our high unemployment rate; your administration’s threat of higher taxes, massive government spending, and overregulation are.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, in keeping with the new image he’s trying to project (“The loudest guy … in the bar usually isn’t the toughest“), issued a brief, but stern reaction:
President Obama is out of answers and running out of time. His policies are not creating the necessary jobs and he has no plan to do anything about it. We will have continued anemic growth and disappointing job creation so long as Barack Obama is president. I will turn around the economy as president by setting bold growth goals and implementing specific proposals to achieve them.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich managed to whip together a video response — and a pretty solid one, for all that folks frequently seem to forget he’s running.
But, of course, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney topped them all with his “Fire Plouffe” comments — at least in terms of garnering attention.
Bottom line: Nobody’s pleased and nobody’s buying Obama’s “I’m totally innocent” act.