‘Can’t debate so change numbers’: Critics attack pro-Obama job data
A strong U.S. jobs report has been met with skepticism today as critics questioned whether a substantial unemployment-rate drop was perhaps too conveniently timed for Barack Obama after the president’s widely panned debate performance on Wednesday.

The jobs numbers give Obama an upbeat end to a startling week for both campaigns, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney finally addressed his secretly taped disparaging remarks about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes, calling his words “just completely wrong.”

The government’s new jobs report showed that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% last month, dropping below 8% for the first time in nearly four years. It’s now at the level it was when Obama took office. Unemployment had been at 8.1% before Friday’s report, and economists had expected the number to edge up instead.

The report broke an important psychological barrier before the Nov. 6 election. No president has been re-elected with unemployment above 8% since the Great Depression.

The report also had the potential to swing momentum back to Obama after he suffered through a weak first debate against Romney on Wednesday night.

Romney said shortly after the jobs report that 7.8 unemployment “is not what a real recovery looks like.”

The final monthly jobs report before the election will come just days before Nov. 6.

The surprising report so soon before the election brought skepticism from some — “can’t debate so change numbers,” former General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted — and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis found herself defending her work from suspicions that the Obama administration might have skewed the jobs numbers.
Posted by: tipper 2012-10-05