Fox News' Chris Wallace told Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry that his goal of creating 2.5 million jobs in his first term was "terrible."
In Perry's first campaign TV ad last week, the candidate promised to create at least 2.5 million jobs over four years.
"Governor, here's what I don't get about that 2.5 million jobs: 2.5 million jobs is terrible," Wallace said to Perry Sunday. "That wouldn't be nearly enough for the first four years of the administration. We looked at it. We would roughly need six million jobs in the first four years just to stay even with population growth. So, 2.5 million jobs, the unemployment rate would increase. Jimmy Carter created 10.5 million jobs in his first four years."
"Listen, I think it's amazing when we've lost 2.5 million jobs in this country and there is another state that is juxtaposition to that, that created a million jobs, and for people to go, 'Well, that's not enough,'" Perry replied. "Let me tell you, any jobs at this particular point in time helps."
"But how do you answer this question?" Wallace pressed. "Two and a half million jobs doesn't even keep pace with population growth. Our unemployment rate would increase under this goal."
"I don't believe that for a minute," Perry insisted. "It's just absolutely false on its face. Americans will get back to work."
When the stimulus law was passed in 2009, President Barack Obama set the goal of creating 3.5 million jobs in less than two years. In July, the administration estimated that the law had created or saved up to 3.6 million jobs.
The Texas governor also defended the charge that his flat tax plan would actually make the deficit worse.
"There's nothing wrong with lower revenue," Perry argued. "We will pay off that deficit. Our plan balances this budget in 2020 and we will pay off that debt."