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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks, in San Antonio, Texas. (Evan Vucci/AP)
June 10, 2012

President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney spent last week jostling over who would make the best Employer-in-Chief, after a weak jobs report released by the Labor Department showed the first jump in unemployment in 11 months.

During campaign stops and speeches throughout the week, each floated their own proposals to stimulate the economy. President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation that he said would put construction workers, teachers, police officers and firefighters back to work. Congress’s refusal to pass parts of his jobs bill has helped keep unemployment high, the president said in speeches in Las Vegas on Thursday and at the White House on Friday.

The message is reiterated in a new television ad put out by Obama’s re-election campaign that deflects blame to legislators, saying, “Tell Congress we can’t wait.”

Meanwhile, during a speech at a business in north St. Louis County, Mo., Romney vowed to grant waivers to states to “start the process of repealing Obamacare on Day One,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The sentiment appeared to be aimed at small businesses that Romney said employ half of U.S. workers and create most of the nation’s new jobs.

Romney tailored his message to Hispanic voters, releasing a Web video titled “Dismal” that emphasizes high unemployment rates among Hispanics. The same day, Romney spoke outside Southwest Office Systems in Fort Worth saying, “This Obama economy has been particularly hard on Hispanic businesses and Hispanic Americans,” the Associated Press reported. Romney claimed Obama’s policies have increased joblessness among Hispanics, whose 11 percent unemployment rate surpasses the national average of 8.2 percent.


President Barack Obama speaks in Los Angeles on June 6. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Obama’s camp shot back, saying that under the president, unemployment among Hispanics dropped nearly two percentage points in the last 27 months. The previous week, they went after Romney’s job creation record in Massachusetts, zeroing in on Bureau of Labor Statistics figures that ranked the state 47 out of 50 in job creation during Romney’s tenure from 2003 to 2007 — to which a Romney spokesperson responded by saying the campaign was “happy to compare” the state’s 4.7 percent unemployment rate under Romney with the national unemployment rate under Obama.

Catherine Ho covers law and lobbying for Capital Business, which she joined in 2011. She was previously a reporter at the Daily Journal in Los Angeles, covering LA civil courts and labor and employment law.
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