News of a rather stunning and significant drop of the jobless figures released today, appeared to not only catch the world of opinion journalists flat-footed today, but professional politicians as well. GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appeared this morning on Fox and Friends just as the news of the 8.6% unemployment rate broke (down .4% from last month’s 9%), and host Gretchen Carlson immediately asked the former Massachusetts Governor if he thought this was a “big boost for Obama.” Romney’s reply seemed to reveal that he put politics over the nation’s improved fortune, as he diminished the news as a “silver lining.”
The fact that more Americans are back at work, particularly during what can best be called a stagnant economy, is the sort of news that should first be celebrated by any political aspirant before leveling heated political rhetoric. So Romney’s gut-level reaction to the news seems tone deaf at best, politically incompetent at worst.
Romney said “This is the slowest recovery we’ve seen since Hoover,” adding “[Obama]’s going to try and put a silver lining in a very dark cloud, but the truth is that his economic policies have made us more and more like Europe, [with] high unemployment and low income growth. Median income in America dropped by 10%. He’ll have a hard time putting perfume on this pig.”
Host Brian Kilmeade seemed taken aback by Romney’s harsh reaction, and seemed to plead for the GOP presidential contender to reconsider his rhetoric, asking, “8.6, but below 9%, which is at least going in the right direction for the country.” At this point, Romney appeared to catch himself and pivoted his reply in a more positive light, saying “it’s very good news, obviously, going into the holiday season, people are shopping again, very good news that the unemployment rate is down.” For good measure, however, he got one last dig in, saying “but look overall at the president’s record on the economy, it’s been miserable.”
Watch the clip below, courtesy of Fox News:
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