President Barack Obama’s convention honeymoon lasted all of eight hours.
As soon as the president jetted out from a mostly successful convention, he had to address another dismal jobs report suggesting the entire rationale for his campaign – that the economy is moving in the right direction, so just hold on tight – might be dead wrong.
The latest jobs report showed the nation added just 96,000 job in August, a big drop from July and well below expectations. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, but it did so for the worst possible reason: discouraged workers dropping out of a shrinking labor force.
There was nowhere to hide in a report that painted a picture of an anemic economic recovery that seems unable to take flight and ease the lingering concern among voters that a president they still like personally has nonetheless failed in his main task of boosting growth and jobs. The poor report from the Labor Department took on added significance for Obama after a convention acceptance speech that received decidedly mixed reviews – even from sympathetic Democrats in Charlotte – and included nothing new in the way of policy initiatives or fresh approaches to job creation.
Instead, Obama made the case that he needed more time to carry on with his current policies while warning that the tax cuts and deregulation proposed by Republican nominee Mitt Romney would return the nation to conditions that helped bring on the 2008 financial crisis.
Obama on Friday returned to his consistent theme that while growth is not fast enough, the nation has now created more than 4 million new jobs in 30 straight months of employment growth since the crisis bottomed out in 2010.
“Today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row,” Obama said to the crowd of 6,000 outside the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., in his first campaign appearance following the Democratic National Convention. “But that’s not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster.”
But Republicans quickly seized on the report as a result of what they call Obama’s failed economic policies.
In remarks to reporters, Romney ripped into the president.
“After the party last night, the hangover today, the jobs numbers were very disappointing. For almost every net new job created, approximately four dropped out of the workforce,” Romney said. “Seeing that kind of report is obviously disheartening for the American people that need work, and are having a hard time finding work. Real incomes, real wages are also not rising. this is a tough time for the middle class of America. There’s almost nothing the president has done in the past three and a half, four years that gives the American people confidence that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to jobs and the economy.”
Read more at POLITICO.