In what was billed as a "closing argument," House Republican leader John Boehner on Friday seized on a bleak federal unemployment report to promote the GOP's "pledge to America," which calls for repealing President Obama's health care overhaul and extending tax cuts for the wealthy, among other things.
Boehner is hoping he'll get a chance to enact the pledge as speaker of the House if Republicans win control of the chamber next month, as many political analysts expect.
At a rally at a family-owned manufacturing company in Ohio, Boehner fired up his audience, declaring that an "out-of-control" government is disrespecting them. He asked rhetorically if they had to accept it, then he shouted: "Hell no, you don't!"
Boehner spoke in his southwest Ohio home district hours after the late jobless report showed 95,000 jobs were lost in September and the unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent.
Boehner said the jobs report was reason to immediately enact the GOP pledge.
"We have to stop all of the coming tax hikes and we have to cut spending and to get all this done, we need to change the Congress itself – now!"
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back that Boehner's closing argument lacked credibility.
"Instead of continuing to turn the failed Bush economy around, Leader Boehner and congressional Republicans want to take us back to the 'exact same' policies that nearly destroyed the economy," the California Democrat said in a written statement. "We must keep moving America forward on behalf of the middle class and small businesses."
Boehner said the November election will be a referendum on high unemployment and what he calls job-killing policies. He that it looked a lot like the reports every month under President Obama's economic stimulus plan.