The Republican National Committee has already clipped and uploaded this new video to YouTube highlighting the seven words they’ll take away from President Barack Obama’s speech and press conference earlier today.
“The private sector is doing just fine.”
It’s a gaffe, if only for what Republicans can now do with it. It will become the other side of what Romney’s remark on how he “liked being able to fire people” became in January.
In addition to the email the RNC blasted out — which shaped the quote as Obama “addressing struggling Americans” — Mitt Romney responded to the President’s remark in a statement and in a speech in Iowa.
“Did he not get the message in Wisconsin?” Romney said in Iowa, referring to the recall election in which Gov. Scott Walker retained his seat. “It’s time for us to cut back on government.” He also called Obama “out of touch.”
Purely by coincidence, the RNC’s video cuts off right where Obama goes into the crux of his argument: He wants his jobs bill to provide an injection of employment into the public sector. Here’s what Obama said afterward:
“The private sector has been doing a good job at creating jobs,” Obama said. “State and local government hiring has been going in the wrong direction.”
The Twittersphere mirrored the Republicans. Only those 41 characters mattered — not the 137 others that came afterward. There is already a Twitpic — via a Romney spokeswoman — that portrays Solyndra as “#justfine.” So this is the end to an already bad week for Obama.
“My question to him would be, ‘Are you kidding? Did he see the jobs numbers that came out last week?'” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said today.
Well, let’s take a look at the jobs numbers that came out last week. They show that Obama’s argument today isn’t exactly wrong — in fact, he hasn’t really changed tone since he proposed the jobs bill in September. Per those jobs numbers that came out last week, last month the private sector added 82,000 jobs. State and local governments cut 13,000 jobs. Overall, job growth was dismally lower than expected.
We pointed out after the April jobs report how the government has shed about 630,000 jobs under Obama, compared with a net addition on the private side. It’s been pointed out — most recently today by Ezra Klein — that at this point in the George W. Bush administration, the public sector had added 3.7 more public sector jobs.
Here’s a look at private sector vs. public sector growth under Obama:
Photo: St. Louis FRED
The sharp drop is when the stimulus money stopped flowing. Republicans rode a tea-party fuelled wave to an overhaul of Congress, promising to tackle the issue of federal debt.
To be clear, private-sector growth is not great. Klein points out that since February of 2009, the first full month Obama was president, the net private-sector growth is about 780,000. It’s even better if you give him a little leeway into his time in office — which, it should be noted, Romney also does with his time as Massachusetts governor.
So, what’s contributing most to the unemployment rate that just rose to 8.2 per cent last week? It’s the public sector.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.