Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., repeated his criticisms of President Obama's record in a Friday appearance on CNN shortly before the monthly jobs numbers were released, a late milestone in the run-up to Election Day.
Here's his talk with CNN's Soledad O'Brien, in full:
OLEDAD O’BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Just minutes away from what could be a bombshell to the presidential campaign. The October jobs report comes out in about 13 minutes. Romney supporter, Greg Walden, nice to see you, sir.
REP. WALDEN: Nice to be with you.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Appreciate that. Unemployment could tick up, they're saying to 7.9%. Sluggish, slow, but job growth. What do you think of this number? Do you think that's probably accurate?
REP. WALDEN: I have no idea whether it's accurate or not. As you say, the economy is sluggish, it's slow. It’s not what we were promised. The president said if they just enacted his plan, unemployment rate would be at 5.3% right now. That’s 8.5 million Americans that don't have work that were told follow the president's plan, you'll have work. And they don't have it.
So, I mean, this is not the kind of recovery you expect. It’s not what we've had coming out of any other recession. You’ve had over 6 million Americans on long-term unemployment that, at its peak, is almost double any other president going clear back to Ronald Reagan’s days. I don't think the policies have worked as promised and pledged.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: President Obama has written an op-ed for CNN, as did Governor Romney. I’ll read you a little bit of what the president wrote: The wars in Iraq are over, Osama bin Laden is dead. Our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs in the last 2 1/2 years, home values, 401(k)’s are rising, we're less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years and the American auto industry is back. This has been what has been accomplished. Sounds good.
REP. WALDEN: I was in the radio business for 22 years; I’ve worked with small business owners all my life. It’s not what you're feeling out on the ground when you're around the country.
I’ve been all over my country, all over my district. We’ve got 10%, 11% unemployment in my state of Oregon, in my district. They’re not feeling this.
They’re talking about how families have to restructure and live at a lower level.
I heard some of the discussions about the jobs that are created are under $14. Some parts of this country, they would love to have $14 an hour jobs. They’re not even seeing those.
This is not what America can be. Governor Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. We can use our energy resources more than we are today.
I was in North Dakota a while back. They’ve hired 30,000 people there to work in the oil field. If the Keystone pipeline had been approved you would have 20,000 new American jobs coming. They would have a pipeline to bring that oil out of the Bakken fields as well as out of Canada, down through the country. We would have construction jobs going. We can do a lot better than what we are.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Thank you for talking with us this morning.
REP. WALDEN: Delighted to be with you. Thank you.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Thank you. Delighted. I like that.