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June 4, 2009

Karl Rove: It's the economy, stupid...

Posted: 10:14 AM ET

By Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush

Tomorrow will likely bring more bad news for President Barack Obama on the number one issue for voters - the economy. The Labor Department's monthly job report will almost certainly show unemployment topping 9%, with a couple hundred thousand more jobs lost in May.

It will get worse before jobs get better. Congressional Budget Director Douglas W. Elmendorf recently predicted that unemployment will continue rising into the second half of next year and peak above 10%.

Mr. Obama has an ingenious approach to job losses: He describes them as job gains. For example, last week the president claimed that 150,000 jobs had been created or saved because of his stimulus package. He boasted, "And that's just the beginning." However, at the beginning of January, 134.3 million people were employed. At the start of May, 132.4 million Americans were working. How was Mr. Obama magically able to conjure this loss of 1.9 million jobs into an increase of 150,000 jobs?

As my former White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto points out on his blog, the Labor Department does not and cannot collect data on "jobs saved." So the Obama administration is asking that we accept its "clairvoyant ability to estimate," and the White House press corps has let Mr. Obama's ludicrous claim go virtually unchallenged.

Read MORE of Rove's commentary from the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Economy • Karl Rove • Politics


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Dave of Detroit   June 4th, 2009 1:04 pm ET

Karl-What happened to "We gotta win the war, stupid?"I mean the stupid war.....Anyway, I can still remember the dying words of the McCain Presidential Campaign-The U.S. Economy is sound! Weren't you one of the people that kept telling us that te economy was sound Karl? How about those loans from the Saudi's and China to finance the war? Wasn't that an indicator that something was wrong? Then, the fact that Secretary of the Treasury and Fed. Chairman Bernacke turned all pale and major company after major company started going belly up like a bunch of closely placed dominoes may have also been an indicator....Glad you finally noticed that there is a problem that occured on your watch as a result of your policies. Where you been Karl?


John, San Antonio, TX   June 4th, 2009 2:25 pm ET

Ted – They discontinued the Senator calls Cheney a Liar subject so I will use this one in order to respond to your most recent comment. I was born in Chicago and lived there during my early years or just about 50 miles north in Lake County, Illinois so of course I have heard of Al Capone as well a many others. My mother lived just one block down the street from the Theater where they finally caught up with and killed John Dillinger. There is no doubt in my mind that Al Capone was and dangerous criminal and unfortunately, took a tax evasion charge to bring him to justice. Problem is, by your way of thinking, if you think a person is a criminal, then he must be a criminal and that fact that he or she has never stood trial is meaningless. Cheney may well have committed a crime but he has not yet stood trial and therefore is innocent until proven guilty. You may believe in your heart and soul that someone is a criminal but the burden of proof is on your shoulder and accusations alone to not consititute proof.


leona   June 4th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

go to jail, K Rove!..think he was stunned when Fla Pa & Oh went for Obama & not to McCain,,


Dodie - California   June 4th, 2009 5:12 pm ET

On Tuesday, May 08, 2007 Karl Rove stated the following:

"The American economy has created more jobs than all the countries in the Euro zone and Japan combined... Employment is at near all-time high. Claims for unemployment insurance are at a five-year low. The unemployment rate is 4.7 percent; well below the average for each of the last three decades."

For years, the Bush administration has used Rove’s strategy of insisting that nothing is wrong with the economy. Although the United States has been in a recession before 2007, the Bush administration has continued to insist that the economy was strong. This resulted in a government unprepared to deal with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.


Judith   June 4th, 2009 7:27 pm ET

Instead of Rove walking around flapping his jaws he should be sitting in jail.Why isn't he??That's what so many of the America people want to know.
He as many in the Bush Adm had done enough damage to America and now after 8 yrs of heck we have a President who is a working President and these guys of the Bush adm along with Rush L and Fox News 'still' flap their jaws pulling America down by slamming President Obama.No matter what Obama does the GOPS have others to talk for them and when they do themselves they look very nervous.

While many Americans were facing job loses,home loses and health care Bush,Rove and their speakers kept saying 'the economy is sound'.In fact McCain kept saying it while he was campaigning until Bush knew he was going to retire in a few months than bang all of a sudden Wall Street had to be bailed out in Sept 08.

Bottom Line the Bush adm did enough damage costing lives of over 4,000 troops because of their lies of The Iraq War.They should be held accountable.None of those people dead are in the lives of the living because of the Bush Adm.

Cheney keeps trying to plant Fear in the American People.His daughter Liz should shut the heck up and let her father get ready for a trial that might happen because of War Crimes.She herself has nothing good to say about Obama even with this new trip he's on trying to bring Countries together.Why CNN on Wolf had her on many of us have no idea.

Bottom Line we had a failed Republican in office for 8 yrs and our Country as I'm sure other Countries around the globe aren't looking too thrill to have another one anytime in the near future.


vee   June 4th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

sometimes people suffer in silence. you can have everything in the world and feel like you have nothing or no one at all. its very hard to understand. some of the best people in the world committe suicide. its a bad darkness to have. i hope David is happy now...if he actually did kill his self


Terry, TX   June 4th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

You go Mr. Rove....the way this defacto Muslim President is spending, borrowing or printing more trillions than every president combined since George Washington. He won't stop spending...he will not cut spending...and yet he wants more creepy agendas passed.....carbon tax and illegal aliens. I want Bush back. I mean someone who takes his wife on a date on a government plane and the security involved to New York...after screaming at CEO's ....what nerve...arrogance and stupidity. We are in a recession....hello....I bet he didn't do that on his own dime in Chicago.


Fatou   June 4th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

I find very interesting the insistence on referring to the president as "Mr. Obama." What a subtle form of disrespect. You may not agree with his policies but the fact of the matter is, he is the president and should be referred to as such.
His "date" with Michelle was actually a continued tradition, and I can not believe that we are still on this Muslim thing, which is so insulting to the Muslim American community. When are we going to understand that "Muslim" refers to a religion, not a race, and that all that practice it are not extremists? By that logic we could punish all Christians for the actions of the KKK, who swore they were godly people.


Rich   June 4th, 2009 11:40 pm ET

Rove.......This piece in the Wall St. Journal is a disgusting!! From the man who should be behind bars for "Contempt of Congress" for flaunting the subpoena for the political firings of US Attorneys. The GOP and the Bush administration has had no domestic policy except to to be the first President in history to "cut taxes" during a time of war!!

You and Dick Morriss are two of a kind.............weasles to the core!!


als   June 5th, 2009 12:38 am ET

Karl Rove should be in jail with Dick Chaney.


Terry, TX   June 5th, 2009 6:01 am ET

If Karl Rove should be in jail with Dick Cheney....with that rationale...then we should turn over our current president to Somalia for ordering the three sniper kills to the heads of those three Somalian Islamic Pirates ....after being behind bars in the US for a few years.

Oh and by the way.....everyone knows the definition of Muslim and Islam... and until these Muslim Terrorists or Islamic Terrorists.... whatever you want to call them.... the American Muslim Community needs to stand up and scream against these psychopaths....but they don't.....so silence is approval....or would they kill you in the name of Allah.... if you spoke any outrage. Any outrage over the way women are treated in th name of religion in your world? I think not... that's a subject the American Muslim Community is silent over....is this again approval.


Fatou   June 5th, 2009 7:45 am ET

Perhaps you were trying to prove a point by putting terrorist behind Islamic and Muslim, but your statement as well as the propoganda that is coninuously spread are both proof that everyone may not know the true definition or even care to find out. Islam happens to be the religion of a particluar region, just like Christianity is the majority religion of our region. It is no more the true reason behind their heinous actions than our religious choices are the reasons behind the actions of our most heinous criminals. A psychopath is a psychopath and will use anything as justification. Albeit we have access to more information and freedoms so we have a variety of religions here. This does now and will always create a problem in our society. Ignorance leads to a lot of blanket assumptions.

Not sure what you mean by "my world' but my world is really yours too as I am right here in Florida and grew up right here in the states. And again, all Muslims are not extremists who kill at the first sign of dissent from popular opinion...and yes there are a number of Muslim-American activists, particularly women who are fighting to change the status of women in that region. That's a rather noisy silence don't you think? Another blanket assumption.
The media only gave the Muslim American community time to voice opinions right after 9/11, but there were plenty who spoke against the terrorist attacks and urged other Americans to educate themselves on true Islam and have done so since. Lest we forget that they lost family members in those towers also. I do not understand why there needs to be a formal statement released from the community as a whole in order to understand that they do not all think the same way. Do you know any Muslims? Because the media has a particular way of framing issues..like stressing Somalian "Islamic" pirates (which actually is incorrect to say), or "Muslim" terrorists. There have been Catholic and Christian "terrorists" too but that is usually not stressed.


Debbie Kansas City   June 5th, 2009 1:25 pm ET

If you ask me, the economy is better and I have confidence in that continuing forward. President Obama does not intend to leave these huge deficits run up by the Republicans with their wars, dependence on foriegn oil, and tax cuts for the wealthy. He had to relieve the pain for the everyday person that the Republicans want to crush, and get the bleeding stopped. Once we are out of this mess an on our way to a sustainable domestic economy, with jobs of the future ensured for Americans; then he will set to balancing the budget and correcting the deficit. Republicans are just nasty, negative old men, who ruined this country's economy and reputation and now want to blame President Obama.


Christine   June 5th, 2009 2:15 pm ET

I'm sure that this current administration does not "mean" to leave a huge deficit. However, did you read the news yesterday? Bernanke quote to the current administration to STOP spending. Why won't anyone mention this?? is it because Obama is a celebrity now? Regardless if you are Republican or Democrat. Our debit is even higher now. I worry about my children.


Shirley Butler   June 6th, 2009 12:37 am ET

Kerry...what the heck do you suggest the President should do? Of course he is spending money...he has to. He didnt' spend the trillions of dollars on getting us in to this mess. Is he supposed to fix it via osmosis? A magic wand?
This is so typical...no matter which party is in "power" gets blamed for the previous parties MESS. I don't understand this constant GOP slamming of a President before he can be in office long enough to breathe. Message to the GOP: It's the REALITY...Stupid!!


Shirley Butler   June 6th, 2009 12:44 am ET

Sorry... I meant to respond to Terry from Tx. not Kerry. My apologies. Well, since I'm writing again...I will ad that I agree with Fatou regarding the Muslim comments regarding our President....and yes, our President... NOT Mr. Obama. Show some respect Terry, please remember that type of mentality and comment is partially responsible for winning President Obama the election. The majority of this country has spoken...that mentality and character assasination to avoid the real problem solving in this country is out-dated; useless; and tiresome. Let's move forward with dignity, learn from the past and be responsible for the future.


Shirley Butler   June 6th, 2009 12:47 am ET

I appreciate your most accurate comments Debbie. Thank you.


Jay   June 6th, 2009 1:47 pm ET

Maybe Mr. Rove want more tax cuts for the rich cooperations so they can send more jobs to China.


Dodie ~ California   June 6th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

@ Christine

I agree with you regarding the spending concerns. However, history shows that Hoover was too slow to react and we ended up in a depression for 10 years. Our stock market did not rebound to the 1928 level until 1956!!!

China is also spending a trillion dollars, Europe is spending billions, possibly trillion dollars. All to jump start the economy. So which is worse, go into debt for the next generation, or 1/4 of this generation homeless, jobless and living in tents possibly starving.

I vote for the entire BUSH administration be placed on trial and sent to prison for war crimes, lying to the American people, fraud and stealing from the taxpayers


Cindy Howard   June 7th, 2009 1:14 am ET

Gee Karl. You got better ideas? The last administration got us in to this mess and yet can take no responsibility. It's weird. As if the country were left by the bush administration in excellent condition. The absence of just plain old common sense here astounds me.


Lauro Silva - Brazil   June 7th, 2009 8:50 am ET

For the moment what´s more important to discuss is not whether jobs are increasing or not but instead to investigate if the industries, factories, services, imports and others are in condition to match the people demand in case they start spending to avoid a demand inflation that nobody knows how high its rates might be.


Christine   June 9th, 2009 5:55 pm ET

So now the answer is the new Health care Reform? I guess my question is to the president and the Congress is "Where is this money going to come from? The only answer is higher taxes period. We are already in the red so to speak so why not go farther? Yikes!! The american voters and tax payers are ok with that? As it stands right now statistics show that only 40% pay their taxes. Very scary.. who will suffer?


LANCE-huffman tx.   June 16th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

karl we told you 2 years aqo when money was going to the iraq war,wall street was going crazy,housings bubble would never pop.
over bushes terms as president took vacations,equaling a year,
this is a capitalist society as long as you are in the society.
if you will remember we have gone through the job reduction market before. business that were over employed were purged of waste.
by the way i have watched your daughter in debates and hass the o'reilly effect talking over everyone in order to dominate the conversation. she is a whack. it amazes me that all you voices of the republic no longer are serving{if you call it that.}.it seems like you are ,it has been said ,a bunch of old frustrated white men.
you have trained your party well


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