Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis went on CNBC Friday morning to discuss today’s strong jobs report, which found unemployment falling to 7.8 percent. However, one host, Carl Quintanilla, was more interested in talking about the conspiracy theorists who claim the Bureau of Labor Statistic is fixing the jobs report to help President Obama win the election.
Quintanilla insisted on asking Solis to defend the BLS against conspiracy charges three separate times during the interview. When Solis attempted to turn the conversation to a more substantive discussion, Quintanilla asked her to respond to former GE CEO Jack Welch, who tweeted that Obama cooked the jobs report to distract from the presidential debate. The CNBC host praised Welch, who was caught manipulating GE’s accounting data as CEO, as someone who “knows a bit about how economic data is created”:
QUINTANILLA: A lot of people do not believe the 7.8 number. They believe that somehow BLS fixed this to coincide with the election cycle. What is Labor’s response?
SOLIS: I’m insulted when I hear that. Because we have a very professional civil service organization, where you have top top economists at work at the BLS. They’ve been doing these calculations, these are our best trained and best skilled individuals working at the BLS. It’s really ludicrous to hear that kind of statement. [...]
QUINTANILLA: We can go through all the talking points we do every month, Madame Secretary. Congress needs to do more, but I want to read you one tweet from Jack Welch who used to run General Electric, a man who I think most people would argue knows a bit about how economic data is created…what do you say to him?
SOLIS: I would say I have the highest regard for our professionals who do the calculations in the BLS. They are highly skilled economists trained in this area.
At the end of the interview, Quintanilla interjected to insist that “large sections of the country don’t believe the data.”