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Boehner blows it on jobs report

August 5, 2011: 8:51 AM ET

John Boehner doesn't let the jobs numbers get in the way of a political argument.

Speaker speaks before he sees

The July jobs report wasn't released until 8:30am this morning, but it looks like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wrote his reaction before seeing the actual numbers.

In a statement posted to his website, Bohener wrote:

"Today's unemployment report is more proof that all of the Washington spending, taxing, and regulating is devastating our economy. While the American people are asking 'where are the jobs?' the Democrats running Washington are determined to punish small businesses with higher taxes and more red tape – including hundreds of new regulations last month alone – and to keep their spending binge going at all costs. Instead of more jobs, they're creating more fear, more uncertainty, and more debt."

Really? Today's jobs numbers aren't anything to shout about, but they hardly reflect economic devastation. The economy added 117,000 new jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 9.2% to 9.1%. Both were above consensus expectations, and the only actual decline was in the public-sector jobs (private sector added 154,000). Aren't Republicans in favor of smaller government?

If you want to argue that today's report signals stagnation rather than significant growth, you'll get little argument here. But it's patently false to call it a negative reaction to Obama's economic policies. I understand why Boehner writes his statements ahead of time, but shouldn't he make some edits when the underlying facts have changed?

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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