By Erik Wasson - 09/08/12 10:00 AM EDT
Republicans used their Saturday weekly address to urge Americans to ignore the rhetoric of the conventions and focus on hard economic data.
“The conventions are over now. The soaring speeches have ended. It's time for rhetoric to meet reality,” Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) told listeners.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August, well below expectations.
Republicans have moved quickly to politically capitalize on the disappointing Friday jobs report, released the morning after Obama accepted his party’s nomination in Charlotte.
“The undeniable truth is, President Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any President since World War II,” Barrasso said in his address.
He noted that the Obama administration had claimed that by passing a $800 billion stimulus bill in 2009, the unemployment rate would never exceed 8 percent.
“Instead, it’s been higher than 8 percent for 43 straight months,” the senator said.
Pundits are generally giving Democrats higher marks for their convention performance in Charlotte this week than the GOP got for their Tampa convention.
Polls show Mitt Romney failing to sustain a bounce in the polls after Tampa, while a Gallup poll on Friday showed a 3-point increase on President Obama’s approval rating in the wake of the Democratic convention. But the weak jobs data threatens undercut any boost Obama recieved from his Charlotte convention.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed Obama over the jobs report in a statement Friday, declaring that "if last night was the party, this morning is the hangover."
In the GOP address, Barrasso also blamed Obama for higher gas prices, and for lower competitiveness rankings for the United States.
“In terms of global competitiveness, the United States has dropped for four straight years. When President Obama took office, we were number one in the world. Now we’re number seven,” Barrasso said.
“American businesses are at a competitive disadvantage because our tax rates are the highest in the developed world. Americans know what works: low taxes, reasonable regulations, and living within our means,” he said.