The Romney campaign is getting lots of applause from the right for this research hit it released today, in the wake of the bad jobs report, showing that the White House has said dozens of times during Obama’s first term that it’s important not to read too much into a single monthly jobs report.
Obama repeated that claim this morning, and the fact that the President or the White House has said this multiple times is supposed to prove that they are trying to dodge responsibility for the economy.
There’s a small problem with this attack, however: The document itself shows that Obama and the White House have made this same assertion even when the jobs numbers were relatively good:
* The White House said this just after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 227,000 jobs added in February.
* The White House said this just after BLS announced 243,000 jobs added in January:
* The White House said this just after BLS announced 268,000 private sector jobs added in April of 2011.
* The White House said this just after after BLS announced 230,000 private sector jobs added in March of 2011.
* The White House said this just after BLS announced 220,000 private sector jobs added in February of 2011.
* The White House said this just after BLS announced 431,000 jobs added in May of 2010.
See the pattern? In all these cases, the White House was cautioning not to read too much into the monthly numbers, even though they were encouraging, and suggested the recovery was beginning to get underway or had gotten underway. It’s hard to see how this constitutes making an excuse for bad numbers. If the repetition of this phrase had any real significance, you could just as easily look at the above examples as proof that the White House regularly advised caution about relatively good economic news.
It’s still unclear what, exactly, this supposedly devastating piece of research is supposed to tell us, aside from the fact that White House analysts don’t think you should read too much into any one monthly jobs report, whether the news is relatively good or bad — exactly as they said again and again and again. Really, this one is beyond lame.