Republicans Blame Obama For Job Numbers

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) - Top Republicans were quick to fault the Obama administration for Friday's job numbers, which showed a lower-than-expected addition of 69,000 jobs in May and a slight bump in the unemployment rate to 8.2% from 8.1% last month.

"It is now clear to everyone that President Obama's policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America's middle class," Mitt Romney said in a statement.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee went on to describe the new numbers as "devastating news for American workers" and evidence of the president's "handling of the economy."

"The President's re-election slogan may be 'forward,' but it seems like we've been moving backward. We can do so much better in America," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner also piled on, saying the numbers represent a new "normal" for the White House.

"President Obama's failed policies have made high unemployment and a weak economy the sad new normal for families and small businesses," Boehner said in a statement.

He argued that for the last three years, "the unemployment rate has remained far above what the administration predicted with the 'stimulus' spending binge."

Boehner also blamed Congressional Democrats for halting legislation that Republicans argue would improve the economy, such as the production of the Keystone pipeline.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also fired off a statement hitting the president over the numbers.

"Today's extremely troubling jobs report proves yet again that President Obama's policies simply are not working and that he has failed to live up to the promise of his presidency," Priebus said.

He added: "The American people are still asking, 'where are the jobs?' Republicans are listening. It's time for President Obama and Senate Democrats to stop playing games and start listening too."

Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said while he doesn't blame the president for creating the problem, he holds Obama responsible for making it "worse."

"What we need is to promote economic growth, fundamental tax reform," he said on CNN's "Starting Point." "You won't get economic growth with this president's policies."

However, Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, made the case that "problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight."

Despite the sluggish job growth, Krueger said May marked the 27th month in a row with additional private sector jobs.

"The economy is growing but it is not growing fast enough," he said in a statement.

Krueger pointed to the president's "American Jobs Act" and his "To-Do List" for Congress, which includes proposals to cut tax incentives for moving jobs overseas, give a 10% tax credit to small businesses that add jobs or raise wage and help veterans find work.

"It is critical that we continue the President's economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession," Krueger siad.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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