Devastating job numbers for President Obama

Top Story 7/6


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: No "Talking Points" memo as we have to get right to the "Top Story". And I'm talking devastating jobs numbers for President Obama and for the country. The unemployment rate remained at a whopping 8.2 percent with only 80,000 jobs added; well under estimates from leading economists.

Mitt Romney pounced on the news.


ROMNEY: We have seen the jobs report this morning and it is another kick in the guts to middle class families. It's consistent with what I have heard as I have gone across the country and met with families in their homes, in cafes and restaurants and in break rooms. American families are struggling.


INGRAHAM: But somehow President Obama put a positive spin on it remaining optimistic about the economy and by extension his chances to be re-elected.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We learned this morning that our business has created 84,000 new jobs last month. And that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction.


INGRAHAM: Joining us now from New York David Callahan. He's a senior fellow at Demos a progressive organization and Elaine Chao the Former Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Ok, David, I'm going to let you take a swing at this right off the bat. Because when I saw these numbers came -- come down, I thought to myself, wait a second. It wasn't too long ago when I believe it was Senator Obama complaining that George W. Bush thought 200,000 or 300,000 jobs added was a good number. This is 80,000 jobs. This cannot be spun as good news for Americans.

DAVID CALLAHAN, PH.D., SENIOR FELLOW, DEMOS: It's not good news for America. Let's recall though that Obama made that complaint before we suffered the biggest financial crisis in American history, you know, after the -- the Wall Street crash of 1929; we lost nine million jobs as a result of that crisis.

When Obama took office we were hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs a month. Unemployment hit 10 percent. So in many ways we've come a long way. We haven't lost any jobs in the last two years. We are making progress, clearly not enough progress. In retrospect that stimulus was not nearly big enough in 2009. And that American Jobs Act --


INGRAHAM: So that -- yes.

CALLAHAN: -- that President Obama tried to pass last September should have been enacted by Congress which did nothing. So we're now paying the price for that.

INGRAHAM: But David as far as can I tell and Elaine you can get in on this as well.


INGRAHAM: As far as I can tell, the President blame shifts a lot. I mean, I really did not hear any evidence that the President is taking any responsibility for this economy. It's either Europe's fault, the banking industry's fault, Republican's fault or maybe Fox News' fault but it's almost never his fault.

CHAO: And don't forget the tsunami also.

INGRAHAM: Go ahead. Go ahead Elaine.

CHAO: Don't forget the tsunami too.

INGRAHAM: Yes well it's all -- or natural disaster or wildfires or global. I don't know what -- you know what --


CHAO: I think clearly --


INGRAHAM: -- but the point of the matter is people want a leader to take responsibility for the good and for the not so good. And I think this is -- this act is beginning to wear thin in my opinion, Elaine.

CHAO: I think you know three and a half years into his administration, I mean it is now his economy.

And yes, he may have inherited a bad economy and even if he did, I think the key word is he made it worse. The unemployment rate is up 8.2 percent. The average unemployment rate from the years 2001 to 2008 was 5.2 percent. The number of people participating, working in our economy is at an all-time low.

The labor participation rate is about 63.8 percent. Again, if you look back at 2001 to 2008, the average labor participation rate was about 67 percent. So with the workforce of about 155 million people, those four percentage points in terms of labor participation rate alone means that there are many, many Americans who have just grown discouraged. They have withdrawn from the workforce and they are not looking.

In fact we have over 12.7 million Americans who are still out of work.

INGRAHAM: Elaine -- Elaine these -- these numbers are dreadful I believe across the board.

CHAO: Yes.

INGRAHAM: And there's very little positive news to glean from these. Nevertheless, a number of conservatives have come forward and are a bit concerned that in tone and in enthusiasm, we seem to be missing something in the Romney campaign. Did you think that when he came forward today for a brief appearance that that was enough? That that was sufficient to kind of get people to stand with him for his positive solutions?

CHAO: You know, Governor Romney has a history of creating jobs and I think people understand that and I think we've got to focus on it. He is a job creator. He has created jobs, he have had companies that have created jobs. And his record speaks for itself. And I think that's the point that -- that's going to be very appealing.

Now all of us want the economy to improve. Now we don't want our fellow Americans to be suffering. But clearly something is not working. This economy is stuck and they are just, you know, business people, employers are concerned about all sorts of things.


INGRAHAM: Yes do you think he needed to -- right but Elaine -- Elaine, you seem a little bit more impassioned right now than Governor Romney did today. That's my point.

Do you -- would you prefer to see him a little -- well almost a little ticked off about these numbers? This is our country going down the tube.

CHAO: Yes.

INGRAHAM: Or is it enough just to say, look, I've heard from people? And this confirms what I've heard.

CHAO: You know politics -- politics is not theatrics. You know we're talking about employment --


INGRAHAM: In part it is. Ronald Reagan thought it was --


CHAO: We're talking about performance here. And now clearly this President has not performed. And -- this come this November the American person people will decide.

INGRAHAM: Ok so you're satisfied. There is nothing that you would critique about the Romney campaign so far at all.

CALLAHAN: Well, Romney doesn't -- Romney look --

INGRAHAM: Go ahead.

CHAO: Now I think the Governor -- I think the Governor can you know, has shown that he has lots of skills. And you know, so, whether he is, you know, whether he is he going to be exceptionally emotional, that's just -- I think the way he is and I think people are going to understand that. We're not into theatrics anymore.

INGRAHAM: Ok. All right, that's -- that's actually an interesting response. And that might be a response I would like to hear from the Romney campaign. It's not about theatrics. This is my record, this is what I'm going to do. That's interesting.


CALLAHAN: Unfortunately --

INGRAHAM: Go ahead David.

CALLAHAN: Unfortunately Romney doesn't really have a plan for creating jobs or one that will create jobs quickly. I mean what Romney is --


INGRAHAM: Have you been to his Web site, David? Yes he does, he absolutely does have plan to create jobs.


CALLAHAN: Well, well yes in fact Laura, I read -- actually I read his jobs plan and almost all the things that he proposes would not take effect any time soon. What he wants to do is he wants to cut regulations, he wants to restructure the corporate tax code.

INGRAHAM: Exactly.

CALLAHAN: He wants to change trade policy.


CHAO: But they work, but that works.

CALLAHAN: None of -- but none of that is going to -- none of that is going to be a short-term solution. The short-term solution we need is more stimulus spending and in particular --


INGRAHAM: More spending?

CALLAHAN: -- to put those construction workers back at work. I read the jobs report today. The highest rate of unemployment is among construction workers, almost 13 percent. That's why we need this investment in infrastructure that President Obama has been --

CHAO: Well I think there is a great deal of disagreement. I think in fact the stimulus was totally wrong-headed. It was a wrong move. And in fact if anything that has shown the lack of -- of right policies to drive this economy. What this economy needs is for the government to stay out and for the government to create the environment through which the private sector can create more jobs.


INGRAHAM: Yes. And I just don't think David, David I just don't think there is much appetite for more spending given where we are in this country today.


CALLAHAN: Well -- well --

INGRAHAM: I mean, we've been spending, spending, spending. We've been on a 45-year spending boom in America. And we owe China an enormous amount of money and we're passing the generation terrible debt.


CALLAHAN: Look the congressional -- the congressional budget, excuse me Laura.

INGRAHAM: It's a nightmare for people today. Go ahead.

CALLAHAN: Laura, the Congressional Budget Office found that the Obama stimulus created 3.3 million jobs.


INGRAHAM: How many jobs have we lost in that term as well? How many have we lost?

CALLAHAN: Well, we also lost a lot of jobs but the -- but the net.

CHAO: And that's the normal churn of the economy.

CALLAHAN: The net effect has been positive.


CALLAHAN: And look, look what China did. China had a massive stimulus after the crash of 2009. It came roaring out. It did a lot better than we did. Our stimulus was too small.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Well they are doing a lot of other things though, too like cheating. So they are doing a lot of things.

CALLAHAN: We have to -- Europe had austerity they've done very poorly we have to do more stimulus. That's the bottom line here.

INGRAHAM: All right, spending or restraint. Spending or fixing our - - you know our entitlement program. We'll continue to have this debate for sure. Secretary Chao and Mr. Callahan thank you very much.

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