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Romney, Obama send out troops to spin the bad news on jobs

The latest news on US employment is grim – fewer jobs created than expected and an unemployment rate that ticked up to 8.2 percent. On Sunday, the Obama and Romney campaigns sent surrogates to spin the news on TV talk shows.

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“It's just that his policies are not working,” Mr. Fehrnstrom said. “We gave the keys to the largest economy in the world to a person who did not have any prior executive leadership experiences."

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“Governor Romney has led in the private sector,” Fehrnstrom continued. “He organized and ran the Winter Olympic Games in 2002. He’s run a state successfully. I think that’s a big difference between these two.”

The problem, say Democrats, is that Republican lawmakers are dragging their heels on proposals Obama has put forth for partisan political gain. (Or as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said, the GOP's top priority is making Obama a one-term president.)

As the President himself put it in his radio address Saturday: “Right now, Congress should pass a bill to help states prevent more layoffs, so we can put thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers back on the job. Congress should have passed a bill a long time ago to put thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our runways. Instead of just talking a good game about job creators, Congress should give small business owners a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages.” 

Also speaking on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Obama, said an estimated 1 million jobs would result if Congress approved Obama's job proposals.

"They need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure," she said. "That's really what's going on right now."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and an Obama supporter, and Obama senior adviser David Axelrod also criticized lawmakers.

"What we have right now is a Congress which has decided that there is a political advantage in stymieing this president, putting ideology ahead of country," Gov. Patrick said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Mr. Axelrod put it this way: "These are the architects of obstruction, and now they're complaining about the pace of the recovery. They should put down their political hats and join us and help solve these problems."

At least one Romney surrogate gave Obama some credit for stimulating the economy.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell acknowledged that Obama’s economic stimulus package had helped his state balance its budget.

“Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure,” Gov. McDonnell said.

But, he added, “Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no.”

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

RECOMMENDED: Unemployment rate: How many Americans are really unemployed?

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