During a recent DNC event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., White House people laughed after President Barack Obama talked about jobs.
According to a June 20, 2011 press release from The White House Office of the Press Secretary, the President opened by stating the country was obviously going through one of the “toughest periods in American history.”
President Obama said, “We went through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and immediately after being elected, I had to take a series of very difficult steps to rescue ourselves from the brink. We had lost 4 million jobs in the six months before I was sworn in; lost another 4 million during the period probably six months after I was elected.”
President Obama continued discussing the response, “And so as a consequence, we had to do some things that we didn’t expect we would have to do, just to save the economy -- stabilize the financial system, make sure that states and local governments didn’t have to lay off police officers and cops and firefighters. We had to save an auto industry. I never expected to be a automobile executive. (Laughter.)”
While a chuckle might seem appropriate after President Obama mentioned himself as an automobile executive, it was less understandable after his next statements. President Obama continued, “As a consequence of that swift, decisive, and sometimes difficult period, we were able to take an economy that was shrinking by about 6 percent and create an economy that is now growing, and has grown steadily now over many consecutive quarters. Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.)”
Meanwhile, Forbes just reported Brazil created more jobs than the United States did in 2011. So far Brazil added 1.17 million jobs in 2011 according to the Labor Ministry while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the US created 783,000 jobs. While Brazil's numbers include farm payroll, it would not make a major difference. Could this be why people are laughing about job creation?
President Obama stated he was proud of the economic record produced over the first two and a half years of his term. He recognizes the economy is tough for many, saying, “Those at the very top had seen themselves do very well, but the bottom 95 percent, the bottom 90 percent, they were treading water at a time when their cost of health care and cost of college education, cost of groceries, cost of gasoline all were going up. And that was before the crisis hit. And now they’ve got to worry about homes that have lost value and businesses that are just barely getting by.”
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports about the national unemployment rate for May, 2011, “The national jobless rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, but was 0.5 percentage point lower than a year earlier.”
UPDATE: As of 4 p.m., the White House sent out a corrected version of the transcript to their press list, striking out "laughter" for "applause," making some wonder about this apparent error.