Romney surrogate calls Obama response to jobs data ‘dumb’

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) on Friday blasted the White House response to the July jobs report, saying they were underplaying a weak economy.

Sununu, a prominent surrogate for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, called the administration “numb and dumb” in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

“They're numb because they're insensitive to the 25 million people that are unemployed and underemployed.  And they're dumb because they're deceptive,” said Sununu. 

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Friday’s July jobs report showed that while the unemployment rate crept upward to 8.3 percent, the economy added 163,000 jobs, more than economists had expected and more jobs than were created in the last two months combined. 

But Sununu and Republicans were quick to jump on the figures, saying they highlighted a still weak recovery.

“There were 162,000 jobs created primarily by the artifact of a seasonal adjustment. There were 175,000 fewer people working last month than the month before,” said Sununu.

He said if the president wanted to “brag about 163,000 phantom new workers, the 152,000 who lost their job are not very happy to hear what Mr. Krueger and the president have to say about trying to spin this as good news."

Republicans Friday were quick to criticize White House economic adviser Alan Krueger and President Obama saying they were downplaying the increase in the jobless rate and that the growth in new jobs was not enough. 

Obama on Friday praised the July jobs data, while adding that there was still “more work to do.” The president focused on the new jobs figure saying, touting the gains as part of 1.1 million new positions this year. 

Romney hammered the White House over the rise in the unemployment rate, calling  it “another hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America because the president has not kept policies that would put Americans back to work.”

The presumptive GOP nominee said America was in its longest period in history with an unemployment rate hovering over 8 percent.