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July 6th, 2012
10:42 AM ET

Rep. Gingrey: June jobs report 'pitiful,' says it's bad news for President Obama and American people

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) responds to the June jobs report, saying it's bad news for President Obama and American people.

See transcript after jump.


O'BRIEN:Let's get right to Republican Congressman Dr. Phil Gingrey of the state of Georgia. Nice to have you with us. Let's start first to your reaction to 80,000 jobs created last month.

REP. PHIL GINGREY, (R) GEORGIA: Soledad, that's pretty pitiful. You are talking about 77,000 jobs, the adjusted number from last month going up to 80,000 jobs this month, an increase of 3,000 jobs. This cup is not nearly half full. That is really bad. And where those jobs are created, probably people, professionals, helping people go through bankruptcy. No manufacturing jobs. And much less than what was anticipated. So this is bad news for the president. But more importantly, it's really bad news for the American people.

O'BRIEN: Earlier this morning, I was talking to Ken Rogoff, the world famous economist, and he said, listen, at the end of the day, it's not really correct to lay the blame at the foot of the president. Here's what he said.


KEN ROGOFF, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC POLICY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think no matter who had been president the last four years, we would have seen very sluggish recovery. It's normal after a financial crisis. But there is a question of where things are going from here. What are the job numbers going to look like the next four years, and I think that's what the debate has to be around. And of course there are two very different visions for the economy between candidate Romney and President Obama, between growth and perhaps more fairness.


O'BRIEN: He also went on to say that he thinks Congress could be doing more, that this stalemate in Congress is a big part the problem, which would include you, sir. What do you think?

GINGREY: Well, nice spin on his part. Good try. But we all know that it's about the economy. Who was it that said that, after all? President Bill Clinton said, hey, it's the economy, stupid. I think that was back in 1992. And he was absolutely right. The same thing back in the late '70s with President Jimmy carter. You know, the president can put all kind of spin on it. He's got a nice swagger, a toothy smile, shows lots of gum. But what the American people want now is a little bit more gumption, a little less gum.

O'BRIEN: Mayor Landrieu, he says that the president just smiling as some of these numbers coming out. What do you make of Congressman Gingrey's comments?

LANDRIEU: Well, I don't like them. I think those comments are unnecessary. I think the president is doing a good job. We have 27 months of consistent growth. And I think that the professor is right. This is an economy that the world has not seen in a very, very long time. We're in a global economy and it's really critically important that we all pull together.

One of the things that the economist said is that Congress has done nothing. It's easy to sit back and criticize. If you're not moving forward fry trying to find common ground, it makes it very difficult. It takes two to tango.

THOMAS: Look, it's bad. This is what I do. One, two, three. I mean, that wasn't a response.

O'BRIEN: Well, let me ask Congressman Gingrey another question. When you look at the Georgia unemployment rate, in 2009 it was 10.5 percent. It's gone down to eight percent. Isn't that an indication there has been progress within your state, and who gets the credit for that progress?

GINGREY: Who gets the credit, our CEO, Governor Nathan Deal. We have a governor that knows what he speaks about and knows about economic development, that keeps our taxes low, stimulates job growth in the state of Georgia. But this president has done nothing of the such. These gentlemen from New Orleans criticizing the congress, they need to be more specific about that. And criticize the Senate led by Harry Reid and Senator Mary Landrieu and not Steve bitter or some of my Republican colleagues from the great state of New Orleans. We have passed over 30 job creating bills, and they are stacking up on Harry Reid's desk like cord wood. And that's why Congress is not making any progress. Speaker Boehner is doing a great job. Leader Reid is doing a horrendous job.

GINGREY: Congressman, let me ask you a question. If unemployment is down in Georgia and down in Louisiana, why doesn't the president get the credit for that rather than the blame? Y'all seem to keep trying to have it both ways. And you blame him for everything and give him credit for nothing. In the city of New Orleans, the unemployment rate is well below the national average. And one reason is because President Obama, in partnership with the state and the city, have put a package together that's really working down here and working all over the country. And you want to bust him, you know, when things are bad, and you don't want to give him any credit when things are good.

GINGREY: I don't think Governor Jindal would agree with you there at all.

O'BRIEN: Well, let me ask you about the $5.5 billion dollars in federal contracts and grants and in stimulus money that your state actually got, right? That funded 193,000 jobs. Wouldn't that just be a clear sign that stimulus money helped your state a lot?

GINGREY: He gives with one hand and he takes away with the other. He has expanded Medicaid in the state of Georgia over the next 10 years by about 750,000 individuals. It will increase costs to the Medicaid program of over $5 billion. So what this program has done for Georgia has been a net negative, not a net positive.

O'BRIEN: A net negative, and yet your unemployment rate has gone down a significant number -

GINGREY: Thanks to a great Republican governor who served with me in the house for 18 years. He is a great CEO.

O'BRIEN: Congressman Phil Gingrey joining this morning. We appreciate your time.

Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tia

    It's like that ole age arguement,"what comes first,the chicken or the egg". Truly whom cares. Facts are there are more unempolyed then empolyed.And for perhaps the few jobs that are out there,are out of region or educational or trade background of those seeking the positions. We have enough car manufactuers and contractors and bankers. Yet for the average citizen,one whom has little trade skills or higher form of education with experience,where do they fit in? I wouldn't put it all in the presidents lap,the economy has been falling since outsourcing and thats way before Barack's Presidency. Its just apparent that people need jobs,people need tools to do the job,so one to open the door,someone to teach and lead the way. Perhaps if employers cease from hiring merely inhouse on a who's who basis and small bussiness gets the aid they need,people can get out the unempolyment line and the subsidized line and chow line,and back on their feet independently and feel good about themselves and able to invest,build!

    July 7, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse | Reply

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