ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:
House Minority Leader John Boehner laid out the GOP’s “closing argument” in the Republicans’ quest for a House majority while addressing a campaign rally this afternoon at a small family-owned manufacturing plant in West Chester, Ohio.
“This speech is about jobs…because this coming election is about jobs,” Boehner told the welcoming campaign crowd in his home town. “It's about the jobs that were promised to the American people by the current administration, and never delivered. It's about the jobs our economy should be creating right now, but isn't creating, because of the policies coming out of our Congress. It's about the jobs our children deserve in the future, but may never have because Washington is burying them in a legacy of debt.”
In the final jobs report before voters head to polls for the congressional midterm elections next month, the Labor Department announced this morning that 95,000 American jobs were lost -- significantly worse than economists had projected -- while the unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent.
Today, Boehner, R-Ohio, told the audience that this morning’s jobs report “looks a lot like the reports we've seen every month since President Obama signed his "stimulus" spending bill into law.”
“Unemployment is high. Millions are out of work. Private-sector job creation is flat. That's what you got for your $787 billion dollars: Record high unemployment, a bigger government, and an economy struggling to create jobs,” Boehner said. “This is not what America asked for when they sent then Sen. Barack Obama to the Oval Office. The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in Ohio. They should be going to the members of Barack Obama’s economic team.”
The House minority leader recalled a conversation with President Obama at the health care summit last February, where Boehner said the president told Republicans that it's ok to have deep philosophical differences and different visions about where to lead the country because ‘that's what elections are for.’
“The people running Washington haven't been listening. The American people say one thing, and they see their government does another,” Boehner said. “People keep asking me – ‘John, what can we do about it?’ Well, my friends, as the president said: That's what elections are for.”
While pledging that if Republicans win the House majority in the November 2 midterm elections he would govern Congress differently than Speaker Pelosi, Boehner reemphasized a memorable phrase he had delivered on the House floor ahead of the Health Care reform vote earlier this year.
“Your government hasn’t been listening. Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your job, your children. Your government is out of control. Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it? Hell no you don’t!” Boehner exclaimed, drawing cheers. “Just remember what President Obama said during the health care summit: That’s what elections are for!”
Boehner said that while the GOP’s legislative agenda, A Pledge to America, does not address each challenge facing the country today, the Pledge is a set of Republican priorities that can be enacted immediately, including stopping a looming tax hike as the Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year.
“The bottom line is this: to help our economy create jobs, we have to stop all of the coming tax hikes and we have to cut spending -- and to get all of this done, we need to change the Congress itself now,” Boehner said. “The Pledge to America is a break not only from the direction in which President Obama is headed, but also a break from the direction Republicans were headed when we last had the opportunity to govern.”