With Unemployment Above 7 Percent, President “Chuckles” Dismissing Keystone’s Jobs During First Leg of “Jobs Tour”
President Obama has resorted to a curious tactic in the administration’s latest pivot back to jobs and the economy – disparage and dismiss jobs. Last week, at the site of the first stop of the “pivot back to jobs” rally, President Obama had plenty of excuses for the administration’s obstruction of the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline. In an interview with the New York Times, the president scoffed at the union support for the project and the jobs that would be created from the pipeline’s construction. According to the interview transcript, the president “chuckled” when asked about the pipeline’s jobs and stated, “Well, look, they might like to see 2,000 jobs initially. But that is a blip relative to the need.” Later, on “Fox News Sunday,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew tried to shift blame for the pipeline’s delay to Republicans, stating, “Playing political games with something like this was a mistake.”
Despite the administration’s best attempts, it can’t rewrite history or change the facts. The only reason Keystone XL remains tied up in review, a process now surpassing 1774 days, is because the president himself chose to reject the original permit after years of delay, a move commentators like Chris Matthews decried as “a mistake.” The president is now engaging in a different kind of pivot by discounting Keystone’s jobs—jobs that the president once embraced when he endorsed the southern leg of the project, exclaiming, “I don’t want the energy jobs of tomorrow going to other countries. I want them here in the United States of America.” Are these private-sector jobs no longer welcome? The Wall Street Journal editorialized today on the administration’s “Keystone Contradictions”:
“…think about a President sneering at 2,000 jobs for ‘a year or two’ when the U.S. jobless rate is 7.6%. This is the same President who justified his $830 billion stimulus, and even now wants more government spending on public works, in the name of creating jobs, some of which are also for only ‘a year or two.’ The jobs Mr. Obama seems to despise are those created by someone other than government.” Read the full editorial online HERE.
The president’s own State Department found that Keystone could support over 40,000 jobs across the U.S. In the face of the president’s inaction, House Republicans continue the fight for these jobs. The House has now voted seven times to expedite construction of the project, most-recently approving H.R. 3, bipartisan legislation that would remove the need for a Presidential Permit, end the regulatory delays, and finally allow the landmark jobs and energy project to move forward. Democrats and Republicans agree that it’s time to build Keystone XL and American workers and job creators have also heralded the project’s jobs and affordable energy. Mr. President, Keystone’s jobs are no laughing matter.