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Strong Jobs Numbers Spark Conspiracy Talk From Mitt Supporters

Strong Jobs Numbers Spark Conspiracy Talk From Mitt Supporters

The September jobs numbers provided a shot in the arm for the political fortunes of President Barack Obama, and served as good news for the country. They were so good, in fact, that some Romney supporters claimed that the numbers were made up.

The jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent, matching the rate when Obama took office, and marking the first time since January of 2009 that the rate has been below 8 percent. The economy added 114,000 jobs in September, and numbers for July and August were revised upward by 86,000.

The jobs report was so strong that some Republicans insinuated that the Obama administration had rigged the jobs numbers, based on the evidence that the jobs numbers were stronger than they thought they should be.

Obama was cheered by the strong numbers.

“This morning we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. More Americans entered the work force. More people are getting jobs,” Obama said during a campaign stop in Virginia. He cautioned, however, that “we have still got too many of our friends and neighbors who are looking for work, and they’re two many middle-class families that are still struggling to pay the bills.”

Positive Job Growth Positive News for Obama

The economy has now added 325,000 jobs under Obama, even if you include the massive job losses in the first two months of Obama’s presidency, which occurred before the 2009 stimulus was passed. This growth undercuts the argument made repeatedly by GOP challenger Mitt Romney, who long argued that Obama had presided over a net destruction of jobs.

The strong job numbers were a shot in the arm for the Obama campaign, which leads Romney in the polls, but was dealing with a lackluster debate performance on Wednesday.

Supporters of Obama hailed the new numbers. “This month’s jobs report shows the economy is finally beginning to build some momentum, and this news could not come at a better time for the president,” said AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff Thea Lee.

Romney tried to put the worst possible spin on the numbers, issuing a statement saying the job growth “is not what a real recovery looks like.”

“We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office,” said Romney.

September’s job creation report was lower than August’s, but only after the release of corrections to the initial August report. 

Romney Supporters Spin Conspiracy Theories

While Romney tried to frame the positive report as a negative, Republicans sought to cast doubt on the numbers themselves.

Just as they have attacked polls for being “biased” toward Obama, Romney supporters insinuated, and in some cases outright stated, that the Obama administration was manipulating jobs numbers.

“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers,” said former General Electric CEO Jack Welch in a tweet. Talk show host Laura Ingraham agreed, tweeting, “Jobs [numbers] from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are total pro-Obama propaganda–labor force participation rate at 30-yr low. Abysmal!” And Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., tweeted, “I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here.”

The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll agreed there was a conspiracy, but blamed the conspiracy on Democrats instead of Obama, saying, “I don’t think [the Bureau of Labor Statistics] cooked the numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.”

Fox News’ Stuart Varney reported that there was “widespread distrust of this report.”

The assertions did not pass the laugh test, of course. Keith Hall, a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics under both President George W. Bush and President Obama, told the Wall Street Journal that it was almost impossible to manipulate the statistics.

“There’s nothing wrong with the numbers,” sad Hall. “The numbers are what they are.”

More to the point, the suggestion that the Obama administration was manipulating jobs numbers is simply incredible. If the Obama administration or Democrats were manipulating the jobs report, one would think they would have started before now.

The Romney campaign did not embrace Unemployment Trutherism, but neither did they entirely dismiss it. Romney policy director Lanhee Chen was asked by Varney, “You’re not going to say they’re cooking the books? It’s convenient for the Obama Administration? You are walking away from that, are you?”

“I’m going to leave that speculation to other people and just say that we’re going to address the numbers they’ve been released,” Chen said.

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166 comments

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4:13AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

If they counted all the people, like my husband who have given up looking for work and the ones who are under employed like my oldest son the unemployment rate would be more like 12%!

How can 7.8% be a strong employment number?

11:48AM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

Steven good to see you weighing in on this.

I guess, when your side is trying to buy the election through obscene campaign contributions, has spent the past several years legislating laws to fix a problem that doesn't exist, and when your side has a connection to a vulture capital investment company that Dorothy has been documenting that owns or has interests in all nearly all of the companies that provide the computerized voting machines (where is it has been proven the numbers can be jimmied to produce the result you want - see what happened up north this year during one of the primary voting events where Romney was shooed in over the other candidates wiping out whole districts) you have to expect that the other guy is breaking the law as much as you are in trying to cheat the election. Just get a prominent former big time CEO to cry foul and the dust gets kicked up.

I can't believe this is happening in America. I also find it absolutely amazing how much people hate the president who is definitely not part of the dominant sub-group and are willing, even desperate to allow an election to be thrown simply to elect at any cost one of the most disingenuous liars to replace him. Meanwhile pretending that the standing president is doing a bad job.

10:40AM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

If these numbers could be cooked like the uninformed think they can be why did not the Democrats change them months ago, instead of waiting for the last month of the campaign?

I have fully researched the numbers coming our of the BLS month by month back to 1939 and thoise of other federal agencies and can tell you they are not corrupted by either party. These bureaucrats are the government workers the Republican party wants to do away with because they cannot manipulate them like they can the Tea Party Members.

Get my book "As a Matter of Fact..." and fact check the debates as they are happening or fact
check these forums. As a non-partisan researcher I start with a problem or quandery and work my way to an answer gathering and organizing supporting data as I go. I do not start with the answer I want and work my way back trying to get the facts to match my answer like the partisan hacks do...

Paperback available @CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/3973360

eBook available @ Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008TGKZ2A

10:23AM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

Mike M
You have to be an idiot to think either party is allowed to "cook"...


10:21AM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

You have to be an idiot to think either party is allowed to "cook" these numbers. The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics is a Federal Bureau which has been collecting and collating this data the same way since 1939. The numbers are so secretive before they come out that janitors are prohibited from emptying waste cans from workers desks until the numbers are released. And you personally know these numbers coming out of DC are false how??? You are an idiot who gets played by those with the rhetoric that all government is evil....

9:11AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

On day 8 of his presidency overtly (rather than the covert side) right winged news reporters were already talking the failure of his policies as a president. They were doing it again 24 weeks later, 168 days into his presidency. His credentials must satisfy criteria the dominant sub-society will never be faced with.

Every success is always deemed a failure or that it falls short of what the dominant sub-group would have accomplished facing the same obstacles. The failures are judged even more harshly. Even if it isn’t true.

No matter what he does, ever, he will never quite measure up to the criteria of the members of the dominant sub-group who are acting this way and which they are applying to him, but not to Romney, who flubs left and right and they keep making excuses for him.

This racism remains pervasive in our society, in our social institutions causing the non-dominant sub groups to remain close to each other for safety. But those of you who are filled with hatred, bigotry and racist beliefs will always paint a skewed picture.

9:10AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Yes Michael M., I am amazed by

C. check your own numbers. I watched the 1st presidential debate and I have to say.. Mitt Romney outright lied about just about everything during that debate and I was absolutely sickened by the fact that your media claimed he won after all of that BS while Obama even had the guts to talk about how low-middle income spending power feeds GDP which is more truth than I'd expect from any politician.

Meanwhile, all of the loud mouthed cons and neocons are always claiming foul in regard to the obviously "Librull" media.

The media is hardly liberal. But there are problems that are evident and remain unspoken and beneath the surface.

The whites are merely ganging up on a non-white, someone who is not one of their dominant sub-group and are behaving towards him in ways they would not to each other. You are seeing the anthropological application of racism. It is no longer the behavior that was once tolerated in the south. It is not as overt as calling the non dominant by names or hanging them. This is 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act so the demonstrations of racism have altered.

7:02AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

well, as someone with a background in economics I will vouch for the fact that
A. the jobs numbers are completely accurate
B. conversely, I've heard about a thousand republicans make ridiculous claims about unemployment over the last few years that have been so exaggerated that they even made claims that it went up like 20 percent when unemployment has only ever gotten as high as about 10.4 in this recession (some people can't do basic math)
C. check your own numbers. I watched the 1st presidential debate and I have to say.. Mitt Romney outright lied about just about everything during that debate and I was absolutely sickened by the fact that your media claimed he won after all of that BS while Obama even had the guts to talk about how low-middle income spending power feeds GDP which is more truth than I'd expect from any politician.

So the real conspiracy is why the hell the media claimed that Mitt Romney won that debate when he didn't tell a single truth during the whole debate.

5:17AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Conspiracy conspiracy, I thought it was the "government people" that laught and swept it away with "conspiracy theories" every time people told /said things like that :-)

2:57AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

You call them "strong job number"? Now try Rob, much of the revisions had to do with the number of people estimated to die. Actually, you would think that the job reports would be based on some factual information, but it has never been so.

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