As Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney fairly gloats about today’s weak jobs report, which showed 80,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate that remained at 8.2%, President Obama took his time getting to the numbers during a campaign speech in Poland, Ohio. When he did get around to addressing June’s jobs numbers, the President placed the blame squarely on the “gridlock” in Washington, DC, and lashed out at Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans.
The President delivered his standard stump speech for about the first 13 minutes of his 20-minute speech, right down to his joke about daughter Malia being too old to believe he had arranged 4th of July fireworks just for her birthday, and when he did get to the jobs numbers, he let Republicans in Congress, and Mitt Romney, have it.
After talking about the depth of the economic problem he inherited, and the progress that has been made, the President said “It’s still tough out there. We learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month, and that overall means that businesses created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs.”
The President later brought up the running theme of his campaign this year, a choice between two visions for the country. “Remember I told you this was a choice we have to make,” Obama said. “What’s holding us back right now is not that we don’t have good answers for how to grow the economy faster, or put people back to work. We have a stalemate in Washington. We have got two fundamentally different ideas of where we should take the country.”
“This election is about how we break that stalemate,” the President continued. “The good news is, it’s in your power to break the stalemate. It’s in the power of everybody who lives in Ohio, and everybody who lives in Poland, and everybody who lives all across the Midwest. All those folks out there, whether you are punching a clock or starting a business, you have a chance to move this country forward, but you are going to have to make a choice about which direction we are going.”
He then took aim at Romney and congressional Republicans, saying “My opponent, and his allies in Congress, and the special interests that support them, they have got a particular idea of how you grow an economy.”
“It’s actually a pretty simple idea,” the President continued. “Their basic idea is that if we spend trillions of dollars more on tax cuts, most of the benefits going to the wealthiest individuals in the country, the average millionaire gets a $250,000 tax break, even if we have a gut education to do it, or cut job training programs to do it, or increase middle class taxes to do it. If we cut trillions of dollars in taxes and we eliminate regulations, all kinds of regulations, the regulations we put in place to make sure that Wall Street doesn’t engage in reckless behavior that we have to bail out later, or regulations that prevent insurance companies from excluding people with preexisting conditions from coverage, or regulations that protect consumers from being taken advantage of by credit card companies. If we eliminate all the regulations and combine those with the tax cuts, then wealthy investors and companies will do very well and the benefits then will spread to everybody else. That’s the idea. I’m not making this up.”
What the President didn’t say, but what his campaign and advisers surely will, is that aside from global factors that affected June’s jobs report, Republican opposition to the President’s American Jobs Act (which independent estimates say would have created 2 million jobs) and forced budget cuts that have resulted in 700,000 public sector job losses, have contributed to a jobs report that, whaddaya know, politically benefits Mitt Romney and company.
Here’s the speech, from MSNBC:
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