Fighting to become the first president since World War IIto win re-election with unemployment above 8 percent, Barack Obama on Friday acknowledged “more work to do” to boost job growth. The Democrat also accused Republicans of practicing “upside-down economics” that help the wealthy but neglect the middle class.
Obama defended his economic record shortly after the release of new data showing that the economy created 163,000 new jobs in July, but that the unemployment rate rose from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.
“We’ve now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year,” the president said. “But let’s acknowledge: We’ve still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. We’ve got more work to do on their behalf.”
Obama, surrounded by a hand-picked group of middle-class families and workers, pushed Republicans to rally behind his call to extend Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000 but let those that benefit only the very wealthiest Americans expire.