In an interview with MSNBC on Friday afternoon, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch admitted that he had "no evidence" to back up his claim that the Obama administration manipulated September's jobs report.
"I have no evidence to prove that, I just raised the question," Welch told host Chris Matthews. "I have no evidence of corruption, none whatsoever." Earlier in the day, Welch tweeted:
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers
— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
Welch stood by that tweet in spite of his lack of proof. "I don't want to take back one word in that tweet," he said. "These numbers defy logic."
As he did in an earlier interview with the Wall Street Journal, Welch argued that it was simply impossible for the household survey to find such a large jump in employment -- the biggest gain since June 1983, excluding annual Census population adjustments.
But he could not explain how, exactly, the numbers would have been manipulated. The career nonpartisan Bureau of Labor Statistics staffers who compile the jobs report operate in total secrecy. While it's possible that the household survey is wrong, the numbers are not implausible or irreconcilable with the rest of the data.