Slow job creation and an uptick in the nation’s unemployment rate today provided fuel for Mitt Romney’s complaint that President Obama is mismanaging the nation’s recovery from the Great Recession.
In a pair of e-mails - and sure to be bolstered during a hastily arranged appearance on CNBC - the presumptive Republican presidential nominee bashed his Democratic opponent.
The US Department of Labor said employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, while the unemployment rate rose from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent.
Economists fear a further spring/summer slowdown in economic growth, and the stock market plunged over 200 points on the news.
“Today’s weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families,” Romney said in a statement.
Citing other indices such as slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims, Romney added: “It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class.”
The president was traveling to Minnesota for a public appearance aimed at prodding Congress to work on his “To-Do List,” as well as a series of fund-raisers for his reelection campaign.
He had no immediate comment, but Alan Kreuger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement: “Problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight. The economy lost jobs for 25 straight months beginning in February 2008, and over eight million jobs were lost as a result of the Great Recession. We are still fighting back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
In a second e-mail, the Romney campaign lumped the jobs report into its ongoing “Obama Isn’t Working” critique of the president’s record.
It included a variety of media stories about the jobs report that alternately labeled it “bleak,” “uniformly bad,” and suggested the economy is “sputtering.”
Before the jobs report was released, the Romney campaign released its third consecutive television commercial depicting what the nominee would do on his first day as president.
Titled, “A Better Day,” it said: “From Day One, President Romney focuses on the economy and the deficit, unleashes America’s energy resources, and stands up to China on trade.”
Striking a more emotional chord, it added: “But there’s something more than legislation or new policy; it’s the feeling we’ll have that our country’s back, back on the right track.”
The ad, like its two predecessors, will air in both English and Spanish, part of the campaign’s outreach to Hispanic voters.
The campaign also released a less expensive web video branding the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra a “symbol of failure.”
Romney visited its shuttered Fremont, Calif., headquarters on Thursday, two years after Obama visited to highlight his administration’s support for the company, to underscore its failure and the related job losses.
After a series of snippets about Solyndra’s downfall and federal and criminal investigations into it, Romney is shown saying, “Two years ago, President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus. Well, you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today: It’s a symbol not of success, but of failure.”