February 3rd, 2012
10:16 AM ET
The better-than-expected jobs numbers caught congressional Republicans, as well as economists, off guard. They were poised to send out pre-written press releases about the 'disappointing' numbers. But some offices had to take time to adjust those email blasts, two congressional Republican sources told CNN, prompting a noticeable delay.
House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor emailed out statements 40 minutes after The Labor Department announced the unemployment rate had dipped to 8.3% and the economy had added 243,000 jobs. They normally send out emails almost immediately.
Republicans leaders certainly had a common refrain of welcoming the lower than expected unemployment numbers, but House Speaker John Boehner in a release also warned, “[W]e must do better.”
Majority Leader Cantor sounded a more positive note in a statement saying, “[W]e are finally seeing some good news in today’s jobs report.” Cantor added, “These numbers are encouraging, especially for those millions of Americans out of work, but we should aim even higher.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement welcoming the news of lower unemployment but added, “[F]ar too many Americans are still without work. Our economy remains unacceptably weak, and families across the country are still struggling to make ends meet.” Priebus’s statement sent out to media about an hour and a half after the government released the January jobs numbers also called for President Obama to be a one-term president. He usually sends out a statement just minutes after The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report.