If you were Republican and running for office Friday, it was a day to weigh in on the less-than-stellar employment numbers announced by the U.S. Department of Labor. With only 80,000 jobs created in June -- the third straight month of weak hiring that seems to underscore a still struggling economy -- Republicans on several levels all had plenty to say.
First up was Chris Collins, the fomer county executive now challenging incumbent Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul for the new 27th Congressional District. With unemployment continuing to hover at around 8.2 percent, Collins -- in his continued effort to link Hochul to President Obama -- said the policies espoused by the pair are not working.
"The policies of Obama-Hochul are failing miserably at creating an environment for hiring," Collins said. "Worse yet, the Obama-Hochul 'federal government knows best' approach is strangling job growth, investment and entrepreneurship.
"Hardworking New Yorkers who are currently unemployed or underemployed deserve better," he added.
Wendy Long, who won last month's Republican primary for the right to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand this November, dispatched her own press release mocking Gillibrand posing in a construction helmet by juxtaposing it with the now-infamous photo of 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis atop a tank in a military helmet.
She said Gillibrand earlier this week said she was “excited” about new jobs, but claimed there is little cause for optimism in the actual employment report.
“I am not ‘excited’ about today’s numbers," Long said. "New Yorkers are not finding jobs for three main reasons, all stemming from Kirsten Gillibrand's failed economic agenda.”
She listed the reasons as taxes, government spending and over-regulation.
"Sky-high taxes, ballooning debt, overspending, overregulation, no budget, no jobs bill, no jobs, and as a result no confidence," Long said.
Democratic responses and press releases, however, were hard to find in the wake of Friday's employment numbers.
--Robert J. McCarthy