The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an unexpectedly strong monthly jobs report on Friday, finding a dramatic drop in unemployment to 7.8 percent and revised the number of jobs added in July and August up from initial estimates. While for most Americans, the growing economy is good news, conservatives immediately expressed their skepticism in the jobs report’s credibility.
1) Minutes after the report was released, Jack Welch, who famously cooked General Electric’s accounting books when he was CEO, accused President Obama of manipulating the numbers to distract from his debate performance:
2) Conn Carroll, a senior writer at the Washington Examiner, doesn’t think the problem is the BLS, but a widespread conspiracy of Democrats lying about their unemployment:
I don't think BLS cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.
— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) October 5, 2012
3) Former Rumsfeld Chief of Staff Keith Urbahn questioned the timing:
No, there's nothing at all curious about the last jobs report diving to 7.8% unemployment before the election.
— Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn) October 5, 2012
4) Stuart Varney on Fox News claims the drop in unemployment five weeks before the election is too “convenient”:
5) Also on Fox News, Charles Payne “guarantees” that unemployment rate will be revised back up to above 8 percent after the election:
6) Fox News’ Eric Bolling:
WOW Obama Labor Dept (7.8%)smarter than all 25 of Americas top Economists (8.2%est)..or something far more insideous 4p&5p FNC/DVR
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) October 5, 2012
7) Rep. Allen West (R-FL) may be the first elected official to weigh in:
In regards to today's Jobs report—I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here…http://t.co/OrQDRF5G
— Allen West (@AllenWest) October 5, 2012
8) Americans for Limited Government released a statement claiming the numbers are plainly false:
Either the Federal Reserve, which has its fingers on the pulse of every element of the economy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics manufacturing survey report are grievously wrong or the number used to calculate the unemployment rate are wrong, or worse manipulated. Given that these numbers conveniently meet Obama’s campaign promises one month before the election, the conclusions are obvious.
9) CNBC’s Rick Santelli questioned the unemployment drop:
I told you they’d get it under 8 percent — they did! You can let America decide how they got there!
10) Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham tweeted that the jobs report is “propaganda”:
Jobs #s from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are total pro-Obama propaganda–labor force participation rate at 30-yr low. Abysmal!
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 5, 2012
11) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) notes that he’s “not enough of an economist” to opine on the numbers before saying that he wouldn’t put “anything past” the Obama administration.
Full Transcript of McCain:
Q: We just had a Republican Congressman on who believes the same thing. What’s your opinion? What do you make of this number, and given what you see in your own backyard, does it ring true?
MCCAIN: Well, I think that it’s pretty significant that for the first time in nearly four years of this administration that we’ve gotten down to below 8%. They’re the same ones that when we passed the stimulus package back in 2009 that said the unemployment rate would go at least to 6%, and probably lower. And when we passed Obama care they said the same thing. But I think it is some good news for Americans. I think that a lot of families are still hurt very, very badly. Depending on how you count it, 23 million people are still out of work. A lot of this data is people who are part-time unemployment. But I can’t — frankly, I’m not enough of an economist to question exactly what those numbers are. Our discussion about the WARN act that just took place where there are blatant violations of the law — I wouldn’t put anything past this administration, the same one that trotted out our ambassador to the United Nations 5 days after an al Qaeda affiliated act of terror took place in Libya to tell the American people that it was a spontaneous demonstration caused by a video and I’m not making that up.
A McCain spokesperson denies that the senator was questioning the numbers: “He was taking about the WARN Act and Libya,” Brian Rogers told TPM. “And so when he said ‘I wouldn’t put anything past the administration,’ he was not referring to the BLS numbers.” “He’s not questioning the BLS numbers in any way.”