The two candidates running for the South Florida congressional seat that U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is vacating focused on jobs Friday -- and threw jabs at each other on the subject.
Democrat Joe Garcia, a former Obama administration official who gave Diaz-Balart a spirited challenge in 2008, unveiled his jobs plan on Friday.
“We need to start growing our economy and stop shrinking the middle class,” wrote Garcia to supporters. “That's what the ‘Joe is for Jobs’ plan does. It's a bold, fiscally responsible plan that will create thousands of jobs, stimulate small businesses and cut wasteful spending. While career Tallahassee politician David Rivera is embroiled in scandals and making ridiculous accusations against me, I'm focused on the issues the people of South Florida care about.
"‘Joe is for Jobs’ is my fiscally responsible plan with 25 ideas to get our economy moving again and help families get back on their feet,” added Garcia. “My ideas are based on my talks with small-business owners, community leaders and working families. ‘Joe is for Jobs’ will create over 33,000 jobs right here in our community, cut taxes for the middle class and trim nearly half a trillion dollars of pork from the federal budget.”
Rep. David Rivera of Miami, the Republican candidate, pointed to failures of the Obama administration -- including Garcia -- for the state’s unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, well over the national average.
“According to the Obama administration, this was supposed to be a ‘Summer of Economic Recovery.’ However, with the news that Florida’s employment figures continue to fall, it doesn’t look like the congressional Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar spending agenda is producing the results it had intended,” said Rivera. “Florida’s families deserve better, and we must remain focused on continued job growth by creating an environment that fosters and encourages businesses to grow. Congress must control the wasteful spending in Washington, which will in turn ease the tax burden on working families and help stimulate the economy and create the desperately needed jobs.
“Unlike my opponent, who worked for the Department of Energy that used taxpayer stimulus dollars to create renewable energy jobs in China, I will fight to create jobs in South Florida where families are struggling to make ends meet and will stop the use of our tax dollars to send jobs overseas,” added Rivera.
“Growing jobs is one of my top priorities, and we must push harder and create new jobs through measures such as the Columbian Free Trade Agreement. We must put an end to this rise in unemployment and get the foundation of this country back on track, which is exactly what I plan to do when elected to Congress.”