One thing is clear: The reactions from Romney and Obama to the jobs report couldn't have been any more distinct. Romney sounded sympathetic yet confident, while Obama all but ignored the news of our stagnant economy, and instead tried to spin the numbers as a positive development. Then again, this is Romney's forte, he knows what to do. Obama? Not so much - just more "excuses" as usual.
Speaking in New Hampshire this morning, Romney hammered the president’s same old ideas and policies that have failed to get America working again. He wasted no time in asserting that the jobs report is "another kick in the gut to middle class families.”
"Not only is the 8.2 percent number unacceptably high and that has been in place for over 41 months, but in addition if you look at the broader analysis of people who are out of work or dropped out of the workforce or that are underemployed in part-time jobs needing full time work, it's almost 15 percent of the American public," Romney said, according to a rush transcript. "Then there those that are working, but working in jobs well beneath their skill level or multiple part-time jobs. Kids that are coming out of college not being able to find work. Veterans coming home not being able to do anything but stand in an unemployment line. These are very difficult times for the American people."
"I know he’s been planning been planning on going across the country and celebrating what he calls “forward,” well forward doesn’t look a lot like forward to the millions and millions of families that are struggling today," he continued. Using the opportunity as a platform for his proposed policies, he assures the crowd he has a plan:
"My plan calls for action that will get America working again and create good jobs. Both near and long-term. It includes finally taking advantage of energy resources and creating energy jobs and convincing manufacturers that energy will be available and low cost in America. It means opening up new markets for American trade, particularly in Latin America where the opportunities are extraordinary and cracking down on china when they cheat and making sure they don't steal our jobs and bringing tax rates down. Cutting out the exemptions and deductions and loopholes that are unfair in many cases. In other cases we will limit the deductions so that we maintain our revenue through growth and limning of special deals and bringing tax rates down so they are competitive and attractive for jobs to come back to America."
The video is available here.
Update (Kate Hicks): Forty-five minutes after Romney's reaction to the dismal jobs report, President Obama gave a speech of his own in Poland, Ohio. His reticence to address the issue was apparent: he didn't mention the report until twelve minutes into his warm'n'fuzzy campaign speech. Instead, he spent the time opining about his childhood, including a minute or two on the lack of vacations his family took back in the day, and reminding us of the reasons why he decided to run for political office. Indeed, as the RNC points out, he spoke for 40 minutes, and only departed from his vague American Dream/"me"-centric language to speak about the jobs report for 26 seconds. Less than half a minute. It's below, courtesy of the Weekly Standard, along with a transcipt:
We learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month. And that overall means business have created 4.4 million new jobs over the last 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction. That's a step in the right direction.
Actually, the stagnant 8.2% unemployment rate doesn't look like a step in any direction. Forward, indeed.