While acknowledging that Friday’s job numbers were disappointing, David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Obama, said on Sunday that GOP lawmakers should stop cheering bad news and work with the White House to pass its job proposals.
“Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers,” Axelrod said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Axelrod said while Friday’s job numbers for May, which showed only 69,000 jobs were created, were not good enough, manufacturing continues to be a bright spot. He also argued that problematic sectors such as construction and education could be boosted by Obama’s jobs proposals, which call for increasing funding for infrastructure projects and hiring back laid-off teachers.
“If you look at the jobs report, what was interesting about it, manufacturing up,” Axelrod said. “What was down was construction, what was down was education. The very things that the president has been trying to get the Congress to act on were the things that were down.”
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an adviser to Mitt Romney, pushed back against the White House’s attempts to blame Congress.
“The problem isn't what Congress hasn't done with the Republicans in control in the House. The problem is what Congress did when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate and the White House in the first two years of this presidency,” Gillespie said. “The stimulus bill and the healthcare bill and the Dodd-frank excessive [financial] regulations are part of what’s stifling our economy today.”
Gillespie declined to say whether Romney would push congressional Republicans to back some of Obama’s job proposals in order to help spur the recovery now, saying it would depend on the specifics of the legislation. He also defended Romney’s record of job creation as governor of Massachusetts against attacks from the Obama campaign.
Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tried to contrast Obama’s record with that of Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., who is facing a recall election on Tuesday. The race could offer a preview of voters’ mood ahead of November’s election.
“Scott Walker is one of those special people who’s made promises and kept promises,” Priebus said. “You contrast that to David Axelrod’s boss. He’s a president who’s in love with the sound of his own voice but hasn’t’ been able to follow through on too many promises.”
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