As he seeks to consolidate his position as the outer-borough fighter in the wake of Anthony Weiner’s jump into the mayor’s race, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio outlined an economic agenda Thursday morning that would dramatically shift the city’s priorities. He described it as a bid to prevent the complete disappearance of New York’s middle class.
Speaking at the New School, Mr. de Blasio argued that, while the super-rich are living it up like never before, the ranks of those struggling to make ends meet continues to swell.
Just Like Obama
At a fund-raiser last night for his one-time deputy mayor Joe Lhota, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani not only came out swinging against Democratic officials’ counter-terrorism policies, he blasted this year’s crop of Democratic mayoral candidates, saying neither they–nor President Barack Obama–had ever held a real job.
Mr. Giuliani, one of Mr. Lhota’s biggest backers as he seeks the Republican nomination for City Hall’s top job, touted his former attack dog’s record in the private sector and as the city’s once-budget director.
“That’s exactly what we need. Not these career politicians who have never really held a job. Like our President, who never really held a job,” he said, to laughs, according to footage of the speech at the Excelsior Grand in Staten Island, captured by blogger Jacob Kornbluh.
Earlier today, there was a rare bit of good economic news with the announcement that job creation broke out in February as the United States’ unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent. This morning, however, Mr. Bloomberg urged the public to ignore the widely discussed unemployment number and instead look at the raw job total nationwide–a net increase of 246,000 new jobs last month.
“The unemployment number is relatively meaningless,” Mr. Bloomberg said during his weekly interview with John Gambling. “It is the number of people who have jobs–the number of jobs. I think the national economy is doing a little bit better. Not going down, it is going up a little bit better, [but] nowhere near fast enough to give jobs to a lot of the people who want them. And a lot of the people who have dropped out of the workforce [are] saying, ‘I’m never getting a job, I’m not going to even look.’ Then you don’t get counted. … That’s why the unemployment number is bad–is not really a good indicator.”
Mitt Romney appeared in friendly TV territory, Fox & Friends, this morning where he addressed recent statements made by President Barack Obama that the private sector is “doing fine,” why he thinks “Obamacare” is one of the “worst offenders” when it comes to killing jobs and what he thinks of the Obama campaign’s attacks on his work with Bain Capital.
“The president has the most anti-business, anti-investment, anti-jobs administration I think I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Romney said.
Jobs Jobs Jobs
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns launched into the week by releasing web videos focusing on jobs. President Barack Obama’s clip accuses Mitt Romney of wanting “to cut jobs for firefighters, police and teachers.” Mr. Romney’s video hits the president for his recent comment that the private sector is “doing fine” and asks”has there ever been a president so out of touch with the middle class?”
The Obama campaign released a new ad this morning calling Mitt Romney’s performance as governor of Massachusetts “one of the worst economic records in the country.” In the ad, which is called “We’ve Heard It All Before,” criticism that the state fell to 47th in job creation and fell into debt on Mr. Romney’s watch is interspersed with footage of Mr. Romney campaigning by touting his business record.
“Now, when Mitt Romney talks about what he’d do as president … remember, we’ve heard it all before,” a narrator says in the ad. “Romney economics, it didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul quickly issued a response calling the ad an attempt to shift the discussion after the weak May jobs report.
After a brief respite for the holiday weekend, the battle over Bain Capital waged on in the presidential race. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul took the first shot on CNN this morning by saying Mitt Romney’s work at the private equity firm led to more new jobs than President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House.
“Governor Romney has 25 years of experience as a businessman and entrepreneur, creating jobs. The only thing President Obama’s ever managed is his own narrative,” Ms. Saul told CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien. “Governor Romney has that experienced, he’s learned from his successes and failures and he created more jobs at Bain Capital, or helped create more jobs at Bain Capital, than President Obama has in the entire nation as president.”
In an interview with a local Virginia television station today, Mitt Romney explained why he thinks he’s better-suited to solve the country’s economic problems than President Barack Obama. Mr. Romney said the main difference between them is that, unlike the president, he’s “actually worked in the private sector.”
“The President’s a nice guy, but he’s never had a job in the private sector. He’s never created a job. I think it helps to have had a job to create a job,” Mr. Romney said.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, sent out a press release this evening slamming President Barack Obama for describing today’s jobs report as “good news.”
“Today’s anemic jobs report may be ‘good news’ in President Obama’s view, but it’s not good enough for America,” Ms. Saul said.
Hudson Valley Congresswoman Nan Hayworth blamed the nation’s economic woes on gridlock in the “Democratic run Senate” in the Republican Party’s weekly address today.
“Leaders in Washington shoald have no higher priority this year than getting our economy back to creating jobs,” Congresswoman Hayworth said. “The foundation for action is already in place. Right now, there are more than 30 jobs bills passed by the House with support from both Republicans and Democrats that are awaiting action in the Democratic run Senate.”