Today’s jobs report was followed by a steady stream of responses from Republican presidential candidates criticizing President Obama’s economic stewardship. In statements released by their campaigns, several candidates laid blame on specific members of the president’s administration.
“If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment,” Mitt Romney said in a statement, referring to comments from Plouffe, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, that “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation?”
“His comments are an insult to the more than 20 million people who are out of work, underemployed or who have simply stopped looking for jobs,” Romney’s statement continued.
White House press secretary Jay Carney defended Plouffe's statement today, saying Plouffe meant that "most people do not sit around their kitchen table and analyze GDP and unemployment numbers. They talk about how they feel their own economic situation is."
Rep. Michele Bachmann went after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
“Amidst this economic freefall, it should not be lost that the architect of the President's failed economic policies, Timothy Geithner, will head for the door after he attempts to cement the President's legacy of massive spending and debt by raising the debt limit another $2.4 trillion dollars. We can only hope that the President will be right behind him after the next election,” she wrote.
Herman Cain said he agreed with the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Austan Goolsbee, who emphasized the need for private sector recovery, but criticized the Obama administration for not doing more to enact such policies.
“According to President Obama's own former economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, the private sector must lead this recovery. I agree with Mr. Goolsbee, but wonder why if the Obama Administration acknowledges this economic truth, they still fail to enact business-friendly policies that would get America's job creators hiring again.”
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter blamed both President Obama and Romney, his a fellow Republican presidential contender.
“Inflation is rising. Real wages are declining - everywhere except at the Obama White House. To Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney's big government and bailout banks, this is an economic statistic. To Main Street, this is real suffering.”
Jon Huntsman demurred from taking the president on directly - referring only to the failures of “this Administration.”
“The American people have been extraordinarily patient in waiting for the better and brighter times promised to them by this Administration. Their patience has rightly worn thin. We need free-market, pro-growth policies to spark a wave of job growth – the same policies we implemented in Utah to make it the fastest-growing state in the nation. America needs new leadership to turn our country around."
Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum also talked about what they would do differently as president.
“I will turn around the economy as president by setting bold growth goals and implementing specific proposals to achieve them,” Pawlenty said.
Santorum ticked off a few policies he proposed as part of his economic plan: “eliminate the corporate tax burden for U.S. manufacturers, streamline the patent and FDA approval process, and increase incentives for research and development would do.” He said he looked forward to having a debate with President Obama over jobs.