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Maddow Blog | Latest great jobs report leaves GOP leaders at a loss for words

In World
June 11, 2024

For those rooting for the U.S. economy, there was a lot to like about the latest jobs report, which was released on Friday morning. The data showed the economy adding 272,000 jobs in May — far more than expected — as well as wage growth that continues to outpace inflation.

All of this comes on the heels of 2023, which was arguably the best year for job creation in the United States since the late 1990s.

In fact, the closer one looks, the better the figures appear. Over 1.2 million jobs have been created so far this year, and if this pace keeps up, the United States will see roughly 3 million new jobs this year, which is extraordinary. Based on the latest data, American job growth across the first five months of 2024 is better than the first five months of any year of Trump’s presidency.

At a campaign rally in Nevada yesterday, the presumptive Republican nominee insisted, with apparent sincerity, “A hundred percent of the new jobs have gone to illegal aliens.”

Reality, of course, tells a very different story, but at least Trump said something. What did we hear from GOP leaders on Capitol Hill? In keeping with the recent trend, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson responded to the job numbers by saying literally nothing about the good news. No press releases, no tweets, and no public comments.

It appears that the American job market is so good, Republicans have literally found themselves speechless — again.

Circling back to our earlier coverage, this wasn’t at all new: The GOP leadership in both chambers has spent nearly all of the Biden era pretending not to notice extraordinarily good job growth.

(For its part, the Republican National Committee issued a statement that claimed the latest jobs report was “miserable,” which is only true for those rooting against the American economy.)

The importance of the political implications should be obvious. Economic growth is healthy; economic confidence is growing; the stock market is up; wages are up; the job market looks great; and the United States is experiencing the world’s best post-pandemic recovery. If Republicans were to talk about this, voters might hear about it — and if voters heard about it, Democrats might reap electoral rewards.

GOP silence is intended to keep the public conversation away from good news that might interfere with Republicans’ election-year strategies.

But part of the party’s plan included attacking Democrats on the economy, which as Politico reported in February, is suddenly more difficult than GOP officials had hoped.

The Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore, who is closely aligned with the Trump campaign, told Politico at the time, “I think that is the question of the day. You can’t blame the president when policies go wrong, and then say he’s not responsible if things are going right.”

If recent history is any guide, Republicans will simply pretend things aren’t going right, ask voters to believe their version of reality, and hope for the best, all while turning the other way as good news rolls in.

So far, that’s working: Despite the fact that Biden’s economic record far exceeds his predecessor’s, recent polling has shown Trump with a sizable advantage over the Democratic incumbent on handling the economy.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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