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Image: Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2021.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file

Job growth so strong, the GOP is (literally) at a loss for words

For months, Republicans tried to draw a direct connection between the White House's economic agenda. As it turns out, that wasn't a good idea.


It was around this time a few months ago when the public first saw the report on April's job growth. At face value, the numbers looked quite good: 269,000 jobs were created that month, which under normal circumstances, would've constituted a terrific total.

But there's nothing normal about the circumstances, and April's numbers were a bitter disappointment. Since most analysts expected far more robust growth, Republicans immediately pounced, blaming President Biden and congressional Democrats for the economic setback. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released this press statement soon after the data was released:

"Today's disappointing jobs report confirms once again that President Biden's tax-and-spend policies are bad for American workers, families, and small businesses.... Experts are calling this jobs report the 'worst miss in 23 years', and it was a direct result of President Biden's counterproductive policies. So President Biden is not fixing a crisis, but creating new ones."

In the days that followed, McCarthy continued to make a direct connection between the White House's economic agenda and the U.S. job market. A week after April numbers were released, the House GOP leader again argued, "President Biden and Democrats will make excuses for this abysmal reality, but the truth is their own massive spending agenda created this problem." McCarthy specifically pointed to Democratic unemployment benefits as "one of the main causes of the striking predicament our country has found itself in."

It wasn't just McCarthy. The Republican National Committee connected Biden's policies and job growth over and over and over again.

There was just one small problem with this strategy: it was apparently based on the idea that the U.S. job market would continue to fall short for the indefinite future.

That assumption was shattered on Friday morning, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy created 943,000 new jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since the start of the pandemic. Harvard's Jason Furman, an economist who isn't prone to exaggeration, said, "I have yet to find a blemish in this jobs report. I've never before seen such a wonderful set of economic data."

And that in turn got me thinking about the Republican efforts from the spring to draw a straight line between Biden's agenda and the domestic job market. What would Kevin McCarthy and the RNC have to say about the Democratic president and the nation's robust growth in American jobs?

As it turns out, nothing. McCarthy and the RNC didn't bother to note the good news at all. Job growth proved to be so strong that Republican officials were literally at a loss for words.

The only meaningful acknowledgement of Friday's jobs report from Republican leaders was on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) website, which as of Friday afternoon, blamed "persistent unemployment" on Democrats. Over the weekend, the phrase was quietly removed.

As for Donald Trump, the good news is, he acknowledged during his latest Fox News appearance that the economy under Biden is improving. The bad news is, the former president -- who swore for months that the economy would collapse if Biden took office -- insisted he deserves the credit for recent gains.