The bleak jobs report on Friday predictably had heads snapping toward the White House, looking to President Obama to do something. Yet his proposed remedies only underscore how much the president, just five months before he faces voters, is at the mercy of actors in Europe, China and Congress whose political interests often conflict with his own…

[E]ven in 2008, with the financial system near collapse, most Congressional Republicans rejected the rescue plan of a Republican president, George W. Bush. And now, despite their own record-low numbers in the polls, they have next to no incentive to help an embattled Democratic president lift the economy…

Gene Sperling, the chief White House economic adviser, said, “There is no question that had Congress acted on the president’s proposals nine months ago to prevent teacher layoffs, put construction workers back to work and cut small-business taxes, our job situation today would be notably stronger and unemployment would be lower.” Analyses by macroeconomic firms and nonpartisan financial analysts agreed.


Republicans are hoping the economy continues to struggle so they can win the White House in November and should put those political concerns aside and take steps to boost job creation, top Obama campaign officials said Sunday.

“They need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”…

“Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers,” Axelrod said.


“What we really have here is a deficit in leadership. And this president came into office without any prior experience running anything. He never even ran a corner store. And I think it shows in the way that he’s handling the economy,” Fehrnstrom said on ABC’s This Week…

“I do think it’s important for Republicans in Congress to come together with the president on some bipartisan jobs legislation,” Fehrnstrom said. “The problem is, this president has made it nearly impossible to do that because of the way he demonizes his opposition – his personal attacks against Paul Ryan.”


“No one’s arguing whether Mitt Romney is qualified to be president,” Axelrod said of the former governor and private equity firm founder. “What we’re arguing is whether he’s qualified to call himself a job creator. That’s not what he did in his business. That’s not the purpose of his business, and it’s certainly not what he did in Massachusetts where they had one of the worst economic records in the country.”…

On Sunday Axelrod defended the strategy of speaking out in Boston: “We went up there to make a point about Governor Romney’s economic record,” he said. “Governor Romney offers himself as a job creator, a kind of economic oracle, and he’s saying the same exact things he said 10 years ago when he ran for governor of Massachusetts. And what happened? Massachusetts plunged to 47th in job creation. They lost manufacturing jobs at twice the rate of the country. They grew jobs at one-fifth the rate of the rest of country. It wasn’t the record of a job creator. He had the wrong economic philosophy and he failed…

“What was striking about what happened on Friday was how quick the leaders of Congress were out there wringing their hands. These are the architects of obstruction, and now they’re complaining about the pace of the recovery,” he said. “They should put down their political hats and join us and help solve these problems.”


Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Gillespie noted the healthcare reform law and the White House decision not to move forward with the Keystone pipeline this year as factors hurting “job-creators.” To improve the economy, Gillespie said those polices need to change, which can only come from the ballot box.

“This is a hostile environment for job creation in our economy and that’s why, frankly, it has a sense of urgency in terms of this year’s election to be able to turn things around because the only thing that’s going to change it are changing the policies and that means changing the person in the White House,” Gillespie said…

“Gov. Romney thinks we need stronger presidential leadership. You don’t see President Obama — all he does seemingly is campaign and go to fundraisers. Where is his leadership on this, on tax-mageddon and the sequestration? Has he done anything at all to try to bring members of Congress together to try to avoid this?” Gillespie said.


“Nobody is happy with the rate of job creation today. I believe that without the policies that the president put in place, we would not even have this level of job creation,” said Rattner on Fox News Sunday…

Rattner acknowledged Romney’s qualifications gained at Bain, but said Obama’s experience helming the economy since his election had the edge.

“Decades in the private sector give you an insight into all of the things that you speak about. But when Romney turns around and attacks the president’s qualifications. I would say three years in the trenches, fighting this economic war every single day, dealing with economic policy matters, auto rescues, bank rescues, every single day for three years actually gives you more qualifications to be president,” he said.


“The fact of the matter is, this president has not managed to get very much of what he wanted done,” Krugman said. “It’s terribly unfair that he’s being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress.”

But ABC News’ George Will said the Obama has not lived up to his economic promises, and has little time before the election to make further progress.

“With his predictions about what his stimulus would accomplish, what his green jobs programs would accomplish, the president gave a lot of hostages to fortune, and fortune has shot the hostages,” Will said.


Via Mediaite.


I sent Congress a jobs bill last September full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that would have put our fellow Americans back to work and helped reinforce our economy against those outside shocks. I sent them a plan that would have reduced the deficit by $4 trillion in a way that’s balanced – that pays for the job-creating investments we need by cutting unnecessary spending and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.

Since then, Congress has only passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that’s allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week. That was important. But Congress hasn’t acted on enough of the other ideas in that bill that would make a difference and help create jobs right now. And there’s no excuse for that. Not when so many people are looking for work. Not when so many people are struggling to pay the bills.

So my message to Congress is, get to work.


Via the Right Scoop.