Rep. Michele Bachmann said the June jobs report proves that President Obama’s policies have not worked, and that voters she’s met with in her presidential campaign are “paralyzed with fear” about the economy.
“It’s stunningly bad news. It’s bad news for the president politically, but it’s even worse news for the American people,” the Minnesota congresswoman said in an interview on CNBC just moments after the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2%.
“Clearly the president’s policies haven’t worked. It’s a failure. The stimulus has only brought us deeper in debt with nothing to show for it,” she said.
In a statement, Mitt Romney -- the tentative national GOP front-runner -- slammed Obama advisor David Plouffe for telling reporters at a Thursday gathering that jobs numbers wouldn’t be a factor as voters consider the 2012 candidate.
“People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation?’” Plouffe had said.
“If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment,” Romney said, calling the jobs report “abysmal. With their cavalier attitude about the economy, the White House has turned the audacity of hope into the audacity of indifference.”
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Americans “have been extraordinarily patient” in waiting for a strong recovery. “Their patience has rightly worn thin,” he said.
The economy is certain to be the dominant issue of the 2012 campaign, even in the Republican nomination battle where social conservatives have often driven the conversation.
In the CNBC interview, Bachmann maintained that she is the Republican best suited to unite the party to defeat Obama.
“We need a very broad tent. We need national security conservatives -- I’m one of those. We need fiscal conservatives -- I’m one of those. We need social conservatives -- I’m one of those,” she said.
Bachmann’s colleagues in the House Republican conference also blasted the president in light of the June jobs numbers.
House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that the data provide “more evidence that the misguided ‘stimulus’ spending binge, excessive regulations, and an overwhelming national debt continue to hold back private-sector job creation in our country.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has worked for months to negotiate a debt ceiling increase, said the numbers “serve as a warning that as we address the debt limit increase we shouldn’t do so in a way that raises taxes and impedes the ability of small businesses to create jobs and get people back to work.”