From this Sunday's Meet the Press, Robert Gibbs called out former GE CEO, Jack Welch for embarrassing himself along with the other "jobs report truthers" who were touting that there was some grand conspiracy theory at work with the latest report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even Chuck Todd had a few words about the fact that it's a "bad trend" when we've got conservatives out there getting traction with this nonsense.
But of course, since right-wing flame thrower Newt Gingrich was invited to the table, the waters on whether this sort of behavior ought to be tolerated or not were muddied up a bit, with Gingrich touting a far right, Koch-funded lobbying group and their "survey" as proof that "small business" he supposedly speaks to, don't believe the economy is getting any better. I believe this is the same group Chris Hayes and his panel mentioned on his show today and they said they were created because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wasn't far enough to the right to suit them.
Dan Froomkin has more on that here -- NFIB Exposed: 'Voice Of Small Business' Is A Front, Group Charges.
What's really disgusting is that the likes of Gingrich keeps getting invited to these panels and treated like he's some senior statesman, instead of the shyster that he is, but then, he's far from alone when it comes to the list of terrible guests for these shows.
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Transcript below the fold.
GREGORY: Let me pull back for a second because I want to stick to the-- the economy also gas prices. One thing that was striking about the debate over the jobs numbers, speaker Gingrich, was-- was some in-- in conservative corners were arguing about the actual numbers. Jack Welch made a lot of headlines with a tweet that said, unbelievable jobs numbers, the Chicago guys will do anything, can’t debate so that they change the numbers without any substantiation, he was on hardball with Chris Matthews and this is how he explained what was behind that analysis. Watch.
JACK WELCH: I’ve reviewed fourteen businesses this week, from restaurants to rental cars to widgets. I have seen everybody with a-- a third quarter equal to or weaker than the first quarter. In order to get eight hundred and seventy-three thousand new jobs, you would have to have a GDP going at four to five percent. The second quarter was downgraded from 1.7 to 1.3.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I know.
JACK WELCH: The third quarter is not going to be very strong. It just defies the imagination to have a surge larger than any surge since 1983 a month before the election. I leave it to you to do all the analysis.
GREGORY: One of the most important CEOs in America, formerly of General Electric. Does this ring true to you, speaker?
GINGRICH: Well, it-- it rings true at a deeper level without getting into the conspiracy of the-- the bureau of labor standards. Actually since it’s a survey, it’s just outside the statistical bounds of their survey, which is plausible but irrelevant. What’s interesting is you have a president who after four years, and by the way, his last budget got zero votes in the U.S. Senate, not a single Democrat voted for his last budget. So you have a president of the United States so deeply distrusted by people like Jack Welch who’s hardly a right winger. I mean, well, he’s one of the most successful businessmen in America. But Welch instantaneously assumes this is the Chicago issue. I’m just-- it’s worth looking at it.
TODD: Stop here. This has been-- this is really making me crazy. The Federal Reserve gets questioned out for politics these days, the Supreme Court and John Roberts. We have got-- we have corroded-- what we’re doing, we are corroding trust in our government in a way and one-time responsible people are doing to-- to-- to control it. And the idea that Donald Trump and Jack Welch, rich people with crazy conspiracies can get traction on this is a-- is a-- is a-- is a bad trend.
GIBBS: I assume, David-- I assume, David, there’s a number of people that believe the real unemployment report is somewhere in a safe in Nairobi with the President’s Kenyan birth certificate. I mean this stuff is absolutely crazy. The notion-- and the notion, quite frankly, that somebody as well respected as Jack Welch would go on television and singlehandedly embarrass himself for the entire day of Friday by saying somehow that these statistics are made up, I agree with Chuck, it’s incredibly dangerous and we wonder why institutions in this country are-- the perception of institutions in this country are failing because people go on TV and just make stuff up. Asked for evidence, he said he had none.
ROSEN: Well, and by the way, the Bush's head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out after Jack Welch did and said there is no way this could be. These guys are not influencing. It’s not possible.
TODD: When did you stop beating your wife?
GINGRICH: No, no. You guys-- you guys are missing the whole point. The reason people are losing…
GIBBS: I knew he was going to say that.
GINGRICH: …the reason people are losing respect for Washington is they’re losing respect for Washington. It’s not some Jack right-wing crazy thing. I don’t know a single small businessman or woman who believes that the next four years under Obama will be good. I don’t know a single small businessman or woman who expects to hire a lot more people if Obama wins the election. I mean I-- I travel a lot. These are not conspiracy theories. These are not right-wingers. These are people who get up everyday and they look at what are they going to have to pay in taxes, what’s the cost of their health insurance going to be, what’s the market going to be like? And-- and they are all-- all overwhelming-- look at the national federation of independent businesses, they go out and survey their members.