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Was today's jobs announcement good news or bad news? Boehner and Cantor differ

It's instructive to contrast the statements released today by John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the numbers one and two in the House GOP leadership, on today's jobs announcement.

In case you missed it, the Labor Department announced today that while unemployment had gone up to 9.9 percent, employers had added 290,000 jobs in April, far more than expected.

In response, Boehner's office released a one-sentence statement:

"Where are the jobs?"

Cantor, by contrast, said this:

"An employment report that shows job growth is always a good thing, period. What concerns me, however, is whether we are creating long-term, sustainable jobs that will help America reclaim its place as the world's sole economic superpower. The agenda being pursued by Democrats in Washington -- fueled by a spend-now, pay-later governing philosophy -- is a barrier to the kind of job growth that America so desperately needs."

Faced with the problem of how to respond to the good economic news, each man took a very different approach. Cantor saw fit to acknowledge the job growth, and described this as a "good thing" before detailing his other objections to Obama's approach. Boehner, by contrast, didn't acknowledge the additional jobs at all.

Now, in fairness to Boehner, he didn't say employers hadn't added any jobs. He just solved the problem by not taking note of the job numbers in any way.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: Turns out Boehner put out an earlier statement that said this: "Positive job growth is always welcome news." So he's more on the same page with Cantor than I thought.

That said, after Obama spoke about the news, Boehner followed up with a statement saying: "Where are the jobs?" Boehner was apparently referring only to Obama's remarks about the stimulus, but Obama did also talk about the jobs numbers, which Boehner sidestepped in his second statement.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  House GOPers  
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"Where are the jobs?"

This is almost as hard to believe as chickens for checkups.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

But before the jobs report came out Boehner said:

"Tomorrow we will receive the latest monthly jobs report. We are expecting to see some gains, which is always a positive sign..."

He then went on to detail his objections. Practically the same thing as Cantor does today.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

So WHY are you only exploring Boner and Cantor?? Are they the only ones with things to say about job growth?? THEY ARE RETHUGLICAN mouth pieces with a ridged agenda toward destruction of the economy and they're are all you can find??

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | May 7, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Boehner is such a committed, smart, attention-to-detail guy that he probably just wants to know exactly where each job is. Congratulation cards to follow.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

for those still looking for employment right now or just wanting to know how your salary stacks up, has real salaries posted, job listings, job search tools and a salary calculator to estimate your salary worth. you can post your own salary or view others all for free.

Posted by: castlewood | May 7, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi -- yeah, in fact, he may have been sincerely wondering where they are.

And yes, Ethan, this does have a certain chickens-for-checkups aura about it.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse


Someone hacked into Kendrick Meek's twitter account and posted some stuff in poor taste on his account.

Can we get a response from Sarah Palin?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Agent Orange couldn't find a real job if it kicked him in the shin. Funny thing about Republicans: they disparage Government and despise Washington but then want to be elected to go to ... Washington. As one of your intellectual giants said: Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why don't America see that tax cuts were in the stimulus and did little to slow the tide? It wasn't until the spending kicked in did we see true positive movement.

The democrats need to get in this messaging war of accept time in exile...

Posted by: soapm | May 7, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

All, this is big: Halter pushing for FEC probe of that shadowy group:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"spend-now, pay-later governing philosophy"

Absolutely incredible coming from the party that turned surplus into debt as they brought you the wholly unfunded Medicare Drug bill (which is something like $500 billion over the next 10 years), the wholly unfunded Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and the wholly unfunded tax cuts for top earners.

Not to mention TARP, signed by Bush and made necessary by his Administration's shocking fecklessness and genuine belief in a "self-regulating" free market.

And don't get me started on the total logical incoherence of Boehner's position. How does "I meant the stimulus" make his statement any more reality-based? Apparently, absent facts or argument, "bang the table" is his new governing strategy.

I simply can't believe these Banana Republicans are critiquing Obama's fiscal policies.

Posted by: theorajones1 | May 7, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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