The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported unemployment soared to 9.2% and the economy added only 18,000 jobs in June.
Several GOP contenders and congressmen immediately released statements expressing exasperation with the numbers and with President Obama’s economic policy.
From his base in Orlando, Jon Huntsman issued a press release, saying, “Rising unemployment rates and extremely anemic job creation are not acceptable. The American people have been extraordinarily patient in waiting for the better and brighter times promised to them by this Administration. Their patience has rightly worn thin.”
Mitt Romney heaped scorn onto a senior advisor to the president. “If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment.”
“With their cavalier attitude about the economy,” Romney added, “the White House has turned the audacity of hope into the audacity of indifference.”
Herman Cain criticized a former economic advisor for the administration, Austan Goolsbee, for “fail[ing] to enact business-friendly policies that would get America’s job creators hiring again” after acknowledging the private sector must lead the economy into recovery.
“The government doesn’t create jobs. Business creates jobs. And it’s time to get America working again,” said Cain.
“It is clear his plan is not working for America,” Rick Santorum said of Obama. “I would urge President Obama to go out and talk to the people in America’s heartland […] and hope that he would see that they are looking for a President who believes in them again and not continued reliance on ineffective, big government bureaucracies.”
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions and Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan released a joint statement condemning the Democrats for their failure to adopt a budget for over two years.
According to Sessions and Ryan, “This report is more proof that job creation in America is nowhere near where it needs to be for a strong recovery to occur, and that immediate action is needed to change course.”
“800 days—and $7.3 trillion dollars—have come and gone since the Democrat-led Senate has adopted a budget,” read the statement. “Not only is a budget a concrete fiscal plan, but it expresses a philosophy of governing. Democrats’ refusal to pass a budget—and refusal to put their big-government economic theories on paper—is of extraordinary significance,” the statement said.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus criticized the effect the stimulus has had on the economy. “Unemployment has remained above 8 percent every month President Obama has been in office despite his trillion dollar ‘stimulus,’” he said in a press release. “The President’s own Council of Economic Advisors reported that the 2.4 million jobs supposedly ‘created or saved’ cost taxpayers $278,000 each.”
“It’s time to change direction and make Barack Obama a one-term president,” Priebus added, echoing Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann’s famous call from the first Republican debate.
The media commented extensively on the report as well, aghast at the staggering statistics and the state of the economy.
“What this job number, after a bad one last month too, needs to tell Washington is that we have not recovered,” said journalist Ezra Klein on “Morning Joe.” “They’re terrible, terrible numbers.”
Fox News’ Stuart Varney agreed, saying on “America’s Newsroom,” “This was an absolutely flat out terrible report. There’s no two ways around this, you cannot spin this positively.”
Chief economist of Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi told Politico that it “doesn’t sound like there’s anything redeeming in the report. […] It certainly calls into question the rebound later in the year. This can become self-reinforcing.”