Hours after Barack Obama told delegates at the Democratic National Convention that he “never said this journey [to economic recovery] would be easy,” new job numbers show growth remains slow.
The US added 96,000 jobs in August, moving unemployment from 8.3% to 8.1 %, according to the Labor Department. However, the drop in the unemployment rate was not viewed as good news because more than 300,000 workers left the labor force last month.
Thursday night, Obama highlighted a job policy that he said could create 1 million manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016. It would give tax breaks to companies that open plants, and it would build on the 500,000 manufacturing jobs that have been created since he took office, Obama said.
The president also distinguished himself from Mitt Romney during his speech by emphasizing the importance of civic engagement versus individual achievement.
“We also believe in something called citizenship…the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations,” Obama said.
Overall, response was mixed from pundits. On CNN, Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the address was the “same old…same speech” that contained “many of the promises” of four years ago.
Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin titled her column in response to the speech “Obama at the DNC: That's it?” She said the president had no credible plan to reduce the debt or intention of attacking the drivers of debt. “For those Democrats and independents who though he would eventually get serious about our most serious problem, the answer tonight was: ‘You've been had,'” she wrote.
Others praised the acceptance speech. MSNBC's Chris Matthew said Obama “did it again” and delivered a “home run speech,” while Al Sharpton said it was “epic.”