From NBC's Mark Murray
Both Clinton and Obama quickly commented on today's jobs report, which showed employers cut payrolls by 17,000 last month -- the first net jobs loss since August 2003. Clinton was the first out of the gate. "Today's report that our economy actually lost jobs in January confirms my view that we are sliding into a second Bush recession," she said in a statement, indirectly referring to her husband's economic record after he succeeded George H.W. Bush. "This data shows what so many of the families I meet every day already know: this economy is failing middle class families. Washington must act immediately and aggressively to head off our growing economic crisis."
Obama released his statement shortly afterwards. "This morning's jobs report brings very troubling news for the economy and for working families... It underscores the urgent need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits for more time and to more people as part of any economic stimulus package, something I called for in my own plan three weeks ago. It is time to provide immediate relief to families who are struggling in this economy, and it's time to turn the page on the failed Bush policies of tax breaks for those who didn't need them."
*** UPDATE *** RNC spokesman Alex Conant e-mailed First Read this response to Clinton's and Obama's statements. "Senator Clinton's campaign says we must 'slow down the economy' to stop global warming. Clinton needs to come back to Earth and be honest about her policies. Her 'tax-it, spend-it, regulate-it' attitude would really bring the economy crashing down," he said. "Barack Obama's economic plans are so poorly crafted, Democrat leaders in Congress don't even consider his proposals. Obama's soaring rhetoric can't disguise the fact that his policies are just typical tax-and-spend liberal dogma."