With news breaking on Friday that the unemployment rate in Florida dropped to 10.6 percent, Republicans and conservatives at the state and national levels looked to blame President Barack Obama and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who is up for a third term in 2012, for the Sunshine State continuing to lag behind the rest of the nation in job recovery.
Soon after Gov. Rick Scott announced that the unemployment rate dropped from 10.7 percent in Florida in August to 10.6 percent in September -- the first time it fell in four months -- former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, now in a crowded Republican primary for the U.S. Senate election in 2012, took aim at Obama and Nelson.
"It's always good news when jobs are added, but the truth behind Florida's over 10 percent unemployment rate is that President Obama and Senator Nelson's policies just aren't working,” Hasner said in a statement. “Despite what the president and his liberal allies believe, bailouts of bloated state and local governments won't solve the economic challenges we face. Americans are looking for strong and decisive leadership from their president, not election year legislation designed to save his own job, rather than actually putting Americans back to work.
"To make matters worse, Senator Nelson continues to put his loyalty to President Obama over the concerns and well-being of Floridians,” Hasner added. “In fact, just last night he maintained his 98 percent record of support for Obama administration policies by voting for legislation that raises taxes on business owners and job creators. Florida is in desperate need of leaders who understand the common-sense, conservative principles that will turn our economy around. After voting to raise taxes over 140 times, it's safe to say that Senator Nelson doesn't understand."
American Crossroads, a conservative political organization with ties to many prominent Republican leaders including legendary strategist Karl Rove, also looked to link Obama and Nelson to Florida’s continuing high unemployment rate. The group sent out a news release, noting that the unemployment rate in Florida had been 3.9 percent when Nelson first took his Senate seat back in January 2001, contrasting that to the current rate and noting that Obama’s stimulus packages, which Nelson supported, have not worked.
“Today’s disappointing jobs report unmistakably demonstrates Bill Nelson’s support for the Obama agenda is failing Florida workers,” said Steven Law, a veteran Republican operative who serves as the president and CEO of American Crossroads, on Friday. “The Obama-Nelson scheme -- a wasteful, jobless stimulus package now followed by another round of identical stimulus spending -- is an unsuccessful one-two punch which will not get Floridians back to work. As Bill Nelson continues to embrace Obama’s failed policies, voters in Florida are ready to hold the Obama-Nelson team accountable next year at the ballot box.”
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