They’re not all trading in conspiracy theories, but conservatives are still downplaying the significance of the latest jobs numbers. On this week’s Fox News Sunday, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said the latest jobs report isn’t satisfactory progress because two unacknowledged factors account for the drop in the unemployment rate: Discouraged workers are dropping out of the workforce and more people are taking part-time work.
“I think if you told the American people four years ago that the unemployment rate was going to be 7.8 percent at this point during the President’s term, I don’t think anyone should be satisfied or happy with that,” said Ayotte.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, made headlines Friday when he accused the Obama administration of cooking the books to make the numbers appear rosier than reality. He later admitted he had no evidence for such a theory.
Ayotte didn’t echo Welch’s statement, but she did say the decline in the unemployment rate was because of an uptick in part-time employment, and that the rate would be 11% if it weren’t for workers dropping out.
Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley countered by saying the country is “moving in the right direction” and “making progress.”
The pair also discussed last week’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. O’Malley called foul on Romney’s claim that he would not cut taxes for the rich, saying “we saw Big Bird meet the big lie.” Ayotte replied, “Governor Romney made it clear in the debate that he is not going to lower the burden on upper income individuals.”