While I agree with Haley Barbour that for the United States to have a real recovery from this recession, we're going to need to see better jobs numbers and economic growth than we're seeing now, he seems to be suffering from a bout of George W. Bush-amnesia with his arguments placing the blame entirely on the Obama administration for the jobs numbers not being better during this panel discussion segment on This Week.
Barbour harkened back to the Reagan administration to tout Republicans success at job creation, conveniently ignoring the fact that we were hemorrhaging around 700,000 jobs a month when Bush left office. He also seemed to forget that gas prices were actually higher under the Bush administration and that Bush didn't have any more success than the current administration in getting OPEC to open up their spigots. Barbour was also allowed to claim with no push back that more domestic drilling was going to lower gas prices or create jobs, which it won't as Paul Krugman pointed out this week.
Sadly, no one bothered to point out to Haley Barbour that for the first time, we have a political party in the United States doing everything they can to sabotage the economy on purpose rather than see President Obama be reelected and that they deserve a good deal of the blame for the economy not recovering quickly enough as well.
Transcript below the fold.
KARL: Governor, what's your take? You heard -- you heard a good sense of where they're going to come at you?
BARBOUR: Well, it -- just from here --
KARL: You're not a flat earth guy, by the way, right?
BARBOUR: Just hearing you and David talk, just as a reminder, the American people are being told by the news media, by the liberal media elite, how great the economy is. Well, the economy is not great out in America. Maybe it's gotten a little better. But it kind of reminds me of an old country song from my youth, the lyrics were, "I've been down so long it looks like up to me now."
And if you take in America today, last month, according to the Census Bureau, 58.6 percent of adult Americans had a job. Except for the Obama administration, you have to go back to 1983 to find a time when that small a percentage of Americans were working and 10 percent of them were working part time.
So, yes, we have had some improvements on jobs. Lord, we need a lot more, because the last real recession we had in the 1980s, we were creating jobs at 500,000, 600,000, 700,000 a month and we weren't out bragging about creating jobs at 200 and something thousand a month.
KARL: I mean, Bill, you guys can't run on it's morning in America, right? I mean it's -- people are still hurting.
BURTON: Well, I think the Clint Eastwood ad that it's halftime in America is probably a little more accurate. But if you look at the difference between --
KARL: That did look like a political ad, didn't it?
BURTON: Listen to Karl Rove it certainly was, from Republican Clint Eastwood, by the way.
But if you look at where our country is versus where it was, 3.5 million private sector jobs created over the course of the last couple year, the economy growing instead of contracting, things moving in the right direction, yes, things are getting better, but not at a pace where the president has demonstrated any satisfaction.
I don't think anybody is bragging necessarily that we're where we need to be. I think what you have is a difference between the president saying that we're moving in the right trajectory and the Republicans who are saying we're almost about to fall off a cliff. America is in the -- its darkest moment.
The American people are hopeful and optimistic about where this country is going. And I think that that is ultimately is going to be a big difference in the election and how people see this campaign.
HENDERSON: You do -- I mean, you do see Romney sort of reframing this and Santorum as well, saying the economy is a little getting better.
I think, oh, Romney this week said we are at -- in fact, in recovery, you can imagine that's probably going to be in a campaign ad for Obama at some point. And I think you see Santorum in some ways this can't be a campaign that's all about the economy, it has got to be about social issues. You hear him in that --
KARL: -- could lose the edge on economy.
HENDERSON: That's right. That's right. So that's why he's expanding. He's -- apparently wants to talk about pornography in some way, and that certainly, I think, energizes the base. I mean, we talk about whether or not this is going to be damaging now for the Republicans in the fall, but I think one of the things that it's doing, this protracted race, is keeping the base energized.
If they feel like they at least had a shot at this thing with Santorum as a candidate, and in the end, they lost, I've heard from Republicans that that would be essentially satisfying to them. They would feel like they, you know, they had their voices heard.
KARL: Are we going to be fighting this on pornography and contraception and --
BARBOUR: -- you know, 2010 was the greatest referendum of an incumbent president's policies in decades. And this will be a referendum on his policies, despite the fact that Bill and his friends would like for it to be anything but.
And the big policy right now that people are concerned about is the energy policy, because terrible energy policy for three years has brought about very high gasoline prices and other energy prices.
And the president says correctly, there's no silver bullet.
When you have had three years of terrible policy, designed to drive up the cost of energy, so Americans would use less of it, whether it's the Keystone XL pipeline, the moratorium in the Gulf, the least amount of offshore drilling lands available that we've had in decades, all of those things are going to lead to very high energy prices, which after all, is what the president's Secretary of Energy called for.
He said what we really need in America is to get the price of gasoline up to where it is in Europe. Well, they're halfway there.