Jobs numbers released on Friday showed unemployment dropped to 7.8%—the lowest it has been since January 2009. After an awful debate performance Wednesday night, the numbers were a boost for President Obama.
That prompted some conservatives to suggest there must be something fishy going on. Less than hour after the news broke Friday morning, Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE and a Romney backer, sparked an uproar over Twitter by suggesting the Labor Department was cooking the books to make Obama look good.
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
Fox News’s Stuart Varney got into the act too. “There is widespread mistrust of this report and these numbers because there are clear contradictions,” he said. “Oh how convenient the rate dropped below 8% for the first time in 43 months, five weeks before the election.”
And conservative columnist Conn Caroll tweeted:
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
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis called Welch’s comments “ludicrous” on CNBC Friday morning. “I have the highest regard for our professionals who do the calculations,” she said.