In a press gaggle with the White House's principal deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest (who had the misfortune of repping 2006 Florida gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis) thanks the Republican Party of Florida for talking about good economic numbers, which have put President Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Scott on the same page for a few months now:
MR. EARNEST: Good morning, everybody. Welcome aboard Air Force One as we wing our way to the Sunshine State. I have some brief opening remarks, and then we'll open it up to questions.
In Orlando this afternoon, the President will speak to NALEO about his efforts to help America's middle-class families and America's economy recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. He'll note that we've made progress but we have a long way to go, and he's continuing to push Congress to act on legislation that will support our economy, support responsible homeowners, and put construction workers, first responders and teachers back to work.
I'll note some statistics recently cited by the Republican Party of Florida that bear out the progress that we've made and the work that remains to be done. Specifically, the Florida Republicans note that the unemployment rate in Florida has declined for 11 consecutive months and that more than 99,000 private sector jobs have been created in Florida alone over the last year and a half.
Yet the President is not satisfied. And unfortunately for our economy, Republicans in Congress won't act on legislation submitted by the President that would put by our estimates -- or by some estimates, I should say -- these are actually outside estimates -- 1 million people back to work. This stalemate isn't good for our economy, but it reflects the choice in this election....
RPOF is shocked --shocked!-- that Earnest would do this. It's statement:
Today, White House deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest, cited information from the Republican Party of Florida regarding the continued drop in unemployment in our state, claiming that President Obama was responsible. However, the facts seem to tell a different story.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, unemployment in Florida was 8.7% and was up to 10.9% in January 2011, when Governor Rick Scott took office. Since Scott has been Governor, Florida's unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6%-the lowest we've seen since December 2008. Governor Scott has put in place policies that have cut taxes for small businesses, streamlined government and reduced unnecessary regulation. It is these changes that have been critical to Florida's ongoing recovery.
"Florida has seen increases in job creation and economic growth in spite of what the Obama Administration and Democrats in Washington have done to hinder it, and that is thanks to the common-sense policies put in place by Governor Scott," said RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry. "However, Florida now needs a national partner in the White House who will help amplify the growth we have seen in our state, and that is exactly what Governor Mitt Romney will do."