House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) normally begins his weekly press conference with an already infamous, “The American people want to know, where are the jobs?” and after a less-than-impressive May jobs report was released Friday, the Ohio Republican didn’t hesitate to use it again.
Boehner, along with other GOP leaders, took advantage of the relatively low number of jobs created in May – 69,000 – and the slight uptick from 8.1 to 8.2 percent in the unemployment rate. Like lions pursuing prey, they pounced on the White House using the recently released figures as evidence to what they’ve been pushing since 2010; President Obama’s economic policies are failing Americans.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) expressed his distaste for May’s jobs numbers and alluded to the notion that the country would be better off under “the right leadership.”
“These jobs numbers are pathetic,” Cantor said. “The American people really deserve better and I think under the right leadership, we can do better.”
Like Cantor, Boehner also took some swipes at Obama who is scheduled to attend a series of campaign events in Minneapolis and Chicago Friday.
“Instead of another campaign speech, the President might want to engage with Democrats and Republicans here on Capitol Hill to handle the big policies that are affecting our economy,” he said. “Maybe the President ought to get out of the badminton game and get into the rugby game that’s right in front of him.”
The White House is trying to remain optimistic by pointing to the fact that the country has added jobs to the economy for 27 straight months. According to a statement released by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger, the uptick in unemployment was affected by a rise of 0.2 percent in the labor force participation rate.
“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” Kreuger said in the statement.
“Just like last year at this time, our economy is facing serious headwinds, including the crisis in Europe and a spike in gas prices that hit American families’ finances over the past months. It is critical that we continue the President’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession.”