House GOP Leaders Slam ‘Failed’ Economic Recovery as ‘New Normal’

By Matt Cover | June 1, 2012 | 12:48 PM EDT

House Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( House Republican leaders blasted President Obama’s poor job creation record Friday as the government reported anemic job creation and poor economic growth, calling it the country’s “new normal.”

“President Obama’s failed policies have made high unemployment and a weak economy the sad new normal for families and small businesses,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a lengthy statement.

“For three years the unemployment rate has remained far above what the administration predicted with the ‘stimulus’ spending binge. Half of recent college graduates are out of work or underemployed, and for those lucky enough to have a job, prices for everything from gas to groceries have risen faster than paychecks.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) issued similarly scathing remarks calling the recent jobs numbers “pathetic” and saying they showed that Obama’s economic policies had failed.

“You know, these job numbers are pathetic. The American people really deserve better, and I think under the right leadership we can do better,” Cantor said at a Capitol Hill press conference Friday.

“Too many Americans remain out of work and because of the President's policies, our nation’s small businesses remain hesitant to hire and reluctant to grow,” Cantor said in a separate statement.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blamed Obama’s constant campaigning, saying that the economy would not be fixed “from the campaign trail.”

“Economic indicators from the month of May, including this morning’s employment report and yesterday’s downward revision of first quarter GDP growth to 1.9 percent from 2.2 percent, are confirmation that our economy is once again stagnant,” McCarthy said in a press release.

“The one thing Americans know for sure is that our economy cannot and will not be fixed from the campaign trail,” he added.

Fourth-ranking Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Republican Conference, rounded out the assault, issuing a statement noting that May marked the 40th straight month with unemployment higher than eight percent – the number President Obama vowed to stay under.

“Today’s report marks 40 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent – a devastating milestone for millions of Americans suffering through the Obama economy. When we count those who’ve had to stop searching for work or can’t find full-time jobs, the real unemployment rate is actually 14.8 percent, totaling more than 23 million Americans,” he said.

The White House sought to downplay the bad news, pointing out that the economy continued to add jobs, arguing that it was “critical” that Obama’s policies be continued.

“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” White House Council of Economic Advisors chairman Alan Krueger said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue the President’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession.”

The White House again blamed the recession – which ended three years ago – for the economy’s continued poor performance.

“Problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight,” Krueger said. “We are still fighting back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”