The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Sharp Words from Republicans as Unemployment Edges Up

Updated 2:23 p.m.
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Republicans today sharply attacked President Obama and congressional Democrats after the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate had increased to 9.5 percent, accusing them of wasting money on an economic stimulus plan that hasn't worked.

"Today President Obama will hold another White House PR event with presidential spin instead of putting forth real world, free market solutions that will put Americans back to work," said Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. "With the unemployment rate now at 9.5 percent and continuing to rise, Americans need real solutions that help them find work -- not bigger government, higher taxes, increased federal spending and an unsustainable national debt."

The unemployment rate for May was 9.4 percent and many economists believe unemployment will continue to rise and ultimately pass 10 percent before declining.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio.) released a video which depicts a bloodhound sniffing around in search of jobs created in the last several months while a narrator, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), describes job losses around the country.

"At a time when Americans are looking to Washington for leadership, the trillion-dollar 'stimulus' isn't working," Boehner said in a statement. "Americans were promised the 'stimulus' would keep the unemployment rate from going above eight percent... Where are the jobs?"

The attacks continue the Republicans' strategy of casting Obama as a big-spending liberal whose policies have been ineffective at slowing the recession. GOP officials believe their constant critiques are sowing doubts about the president's policies, although he remains popular with the public and the Democratic Congress is largely following his lead on economic issues.

Congressional Democrats praised the president and said the unemployment rate would be even higher without the stimulus.

"Today's unemployment figures represent the struggles of millions of American families who are working to make ends meet through this historic recession," said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.). "As President Obama has made clear, an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent is not acceptable. But even in the midst of these dispiriting numbers, it is clear that without the Recovery Act, which became law 130 days ago, that number would be even higher."

Posted at 2:01 PM ET on Jul 2, 2009  | Category:  Economy
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Obama’s ill-advised $700B+ "stimulus" program is a train-wreck: these jobs figures are far worse than the ones the White House warned us about if we DIDN’T pass the bill- so it was passed, and then unemployment soars anyway?

Instead of creating jobs, interest rates were bumped up, the dollar slid... and it didn’t help anybody get any work. Much of this is due to the fact that Obama’s radical agenda has mortified almost every machine of job-and-growth creation in the country.

The One couldn’t deliver the type of "temporary, targeted, and timely" bill that he promised repeatedly- regardless of his image in the MSM as omnipotent, Obama simply lacks the the political stature to control Pelosi and Reid… who hit the trough hard, while bickering like siblings.

And the lack of GOP co-conspirators exposed Obama politically… this legislation now looks to be a HUGE gamble. When all this pork-n-welfare fails to generate any real economic gains, the Democrats will face a bloodbath in 2010.

One could even make the argument that Obama knows his legacy will be in tatters by 2012… and is just ramming through as much of his far-left agenda as he can before the day comes when people cringe at the mere mention of his name… sure seems like it.

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | July 3, 2009 11:54 AM

to aelemay who wrote:

"those of us who do have sense will just leave the US, turn in our passports and bring economic growth to other countries who will welcome us with open arms and not try to steal the wealth we earn and we bring to others."

American companies have been leaving for over a decade with all the tax breaks Bush could give them making no difference.

Slave wages, No health benefits, No pension plans, No workplace safety and cancerous environmental pollution are the "wealth" they are bringing to those countries now.
Go and join your traitorous friends.
We won't miss you

Posted by: seemstome | July 3, 2009 3:59 AM

Wait -

So conservatives are actually saying that Obama has failed to correct their economic disaster?

Party of NO your table is ready.
Perhaps you should try eating some crow.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | July 2, 2009 9:17 PM

You aren't leaving this country. Other countries worth living in will tax you higher.
Go ahead and leave you greedy piece of work.

Posted by: mjpierno | July 2, 2009 5:43 PM

I guess I am one of those ugly American rich people who disgustingly used my money to invest in new companies who wound up employing thousands of middle class Americans who respected my insight and courage to put a lot of money on the line. A Government bureaucrat would not invest because he has no expectation of a return.

So, tax me more, confiscate my wealth, take it away because those who have no ideas, no education, no sense, deserve it more than I do. Really?

So, there will be no new jobs, no new companies, and those of us who do have sense will just leave the US, turn in our passports and bring economic growth to other countries who will welcome us with open arms and not try to steal the wealth we earn and we bring to others.

Obama hates us. Too bad. Since when did a poor person hire people?

Obama is not only an imbecile, he is a criminal -- a Chicago thug.

Posted by: aelemay | July 2, 2009 5:27 PM

Yes the Republicans are idiots. They are responsible for this mess all the way.
They let the housing prices sell at "Price Gouging" prices and never wondered how people would pay those loans back. The economy was being fueled by borrowed money during the 6 years they were in charge. Money borrowed on the inflated prices of peoples houses. Responsible lending and adequate oversite of the banks was out the window when they were in charge.
It is going to take time to build an economy that is based on "real goods made and sold" here in America.
The infrastructure jobs are being planned and should be started soon. That is where the money is right now, the planning stage.
Soon there will be a lot of work under the American Restoration and Recovery Act.
I hope we never have a republican, greedy, money hungry, look out for the big guys, ever in charge again. They are rotten.
The republicans nearly totaled the world enconmy just the same as they nearly totaled the American economy.

Posted by: mjpierno | July 2, 2009 4:22 PM

I just read the most current RCP opinion polls regarding the President, Congress and the direction the country was headed. It showed the President with 60% approval rating, Congress with its traditional negative disapproval rating of almost 54% and over 51% of the people feeling the country is headed in the wrong direction.

For some reason, that does not make sense to me. Since the President sets direction and the Democratic Congress recently has been trying to row the boat that direction as fast as they can without any idea of the implications that direction may have, how do you get the people feeling we are going in the wrong direction yet having a positive view of the captain of the boat taking us that wrong direction?

This can be attributed to only one of two things: The American public has no idea who is in charge of the direction the country is taking despite the repeated reminders that the President has given by stating he is the President and that he calls the shots; or, the American public plays the role of Homer and continues to hear the Siren's songs of the anointed one while he calls the ship of state upon the rocks...that is, they continue to mesmerized by the IDEA of Barack Obama.

So that we can clarify this for my fellow Americans, the President IS in charge, the direction the country is taking is HIS and therefore if you don't think it is the right direction, I suggest you think about how entertained you are about the one driving it that direction. For anyone that missed the news back in January, George Bush ain't calling the shots anymore in case you still thought that was the case.

Mr. Obama is a thoroughly entertaining guy. He is a wonderful speaker. He says the right things. He has the right hand jesters. We showed how diversified and open minded we were as a nation that we elected him. Those are all wonderful things. But, if you don't like where things are going, it's time to get over the fact that he is a wonderful guy, with a lovely wife, two great kids and a dog and get down to the fact that his policies are taking the country in the wrong direction. It's time to end the love affair with the concept of Barack Obama and deal with the facts that are driving your disapproval of the country's direction.

Posted by: zebhead | July 2, 2009 4:11 PM


He said 8% unemployment (it's going to go higher still). Keep in mind that it's not just sharp words from Republicans -- I'm not holding my breath on this economy and I'm registered Independent -- Obama has essentially pinned his political future on his prescriptions for the ailing economy, going so far as to raise the possibility of a one-term presidency if he fails.

Posted by: JakeD | July 2, 2009 3:51 PM

Of course the neocon rightwing nutjob Republicans blame Obama.

They spent 12 years destroying regulations, throwing tax breaks at the richest of the rich, and did their best to destroy the American middle class.

In the first 6 months of this year, the Republicans have been the party of "NO" and fought every effort to provide relief to the middle class and meaningfully repair the damage done by Bush and his GOP buddies.

Thankfully, most Americans recognize that the Republicans put their own politcal power above the welfare of the nation.

The neocon rightwingers are crying wolf and pointing fingers, but most Americans know the GOP as destructive self-serving disasters.

Posted by: Continuum | July 2, 2009 3:50 PM

I know that when I served as a Boiler Control tech on the USS Ranger, an aircraft carrier, that no matter how rapidly we could 'throw the ship in reverse', the sheer mass of the craft would prevent it from slowing to where it could begin to reverse for nearly 2 nautical miles.

The same holds true for a massively screwed economy. Massively screwed thanks mostly to the Grotesquely Obtuse Pigs in this country. Thanks, you ignorant twerps, it's no wonder you can't understand why the economy would continue to degrade in certain ways, you don't understand the laws of momentum. Idiots!

On the bright side, I DO KNOW of three manufacturers here in Ohio who have been ADDING jobs - albeit slowly, a 1/2 dozen at a time, but STEADILY. So you who ascribe to the idiotic and contradictory balderdash of the far wrong just might want to bite your tongues - lest you wish to further prove your ignorance.

Posted by: TPartier | July 2, 2009 3:39 PM

The Republicans gave us 8 years of Bush / Cheney, how can you take anything that they say serious. They lied & cheated America & put us in this Depression. They sent our troops off to A war that was senseless. They're a party in ruin, all that's left is a lot of hot air and hate. They're nothing but a bad joke.

Posted by: wasaUFO | July 2, 2009 3:39 PM

Jonnydrama, I have to say you are not in touch with the thinking of anyone but the leadership of the Republican Party. They are scaring away potential voters and I only hope that the expected Republican comeback does not materialize. I do not want to have only one choice when I vote and as long as rank and file senators and congressmen follow the buffoons who lead the national party now I won't vote Republican.

You will say good riddance like you did when Spector left. My response to you is you missed out in life, it is a pleasant going through life an educated person, at least if you do not take it too seriously.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 2, 2009 3:13 PM

Obama's economic policies are going to make the recession deeper and longer. Our president must have studied economics at the Karl Marx Institute. His community oraganizing mind set might work running a food bank, but not for running a market oriented economy. No, this guy is a flop and we need change alright, but not the kind Obama is pushing.

Posted by: saelij | July 2, 2009 3:00 PM

The GOP should be hammering Obama as hard as they can on the economy. We have yet to see the stimulus do anything, and the White House just keeps claiming it will work soon. Others claim it has already "saved or created" jobs, but cute phrases don't put people back to work. Obama has failed on the economy and voters should hold Democrats accountable.

Posted by: johnnydrama36 | July 2, 2009 2:54 PM

I wish Republicans were so concerned about deficits when they lowed taxes during a war and furthermore gave the money almost exclusively to the wealthy who gave there money to money managers that went out and bought toxic assets.

Now when the economy is losing jobs because of excess capacity they want to lower the taxes on "business". Business won't hire because the problem is capacity and what is needed is money in the hands of the middle class.

As soon as the economy picks up we are going to raise taxes which will cut into the savings of the middle class. Revenues will pick up and our deficit problem will improve and the economy won't miss a beat.

Republicans are sheep that utter their mantra that taxes harms the economy. They were right in the eighties and they think that if it worked once it will work forever. These are tough economic times and every day I am thankful that the American people chose Obama instead of his counterpart.

We could use a few more smart Senators and many more with some intestinal fortitude.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 2, 2009 2:41 PM

The republicants are idiots. The President has said all along that unemployment would continue to rise.

As usual the Republicans have no new ideas. All they can do is whine and point the finger.

Posted by: paguy1 | July 2, 2009 2:27 PM

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