Democrats – headed into an historic health care vote this weekend — got smacked in the face with a 10.2 percent unemployment rate in October, the government reported Friday.
The jobless rate is well above the 9.9 percent that economists expected and breaks the psychological barrier of 10 percent, topping double digits for the first time in 26 years. It's the last headline the Obama administration wanted to see going into the House healthcare vote, and White House officials were already heading to the airwaves Friday morning to talk up the economy.
In all, employers shed 190,000 non-farm jobs last month.
The tough numbers arm House Republicans with fresh political ammo against the trillion-dollar House health care bill, which could come to a vote as early as Saturday. The GOP has been relentlessly pushing the narrative that Democrats are obsessed with creating ever-bigger government at the expense of the economy, and Democratic response to the bad employment news was thin on Friday morning while Republicans pounced.
“Democrats Job-Killing Agenda Must Cease,” declared a press release from Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).
"As unemployment tops 10 percent this holiday season, Republicans have put jobs and the economy first, and are focused on developing real solutions that will put Americans back to work," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. "Increasing taxes on small business, as Democrats will do to pay for government run health care, is the wrong approach."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele slammed the Obama for pushing a “phony” message on economic recovery that GOP election wins Tuesday prove voters aren’t buying anyway. (continues here at POLITICO)