Cantor: "I Do Think It Is Fair To Say That The Stimulus Is A Flop"
Fox News' Chris Wallace: "The latest jobs numbers show despite White House projections that the stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8%, it's now at 9.5% and climbing. Is it fair to say that the stimulus is a bust or just that it's too soon to tell?"
Rep. Eric Cantor: "Chris, I do think it is fair to say that the stimulus is a flop. The goal that was set when we passed it was unemployment wouldn't rise past 8.5% and what we see now is businesses just aren't hiring. Even the best projections have us losing 750,000 more jobs this year."
Cantor: "We Shouldn't Be Making It Hard For People To Hire Right Now"
Wallace: "So the White House is talking now about spending the current stimulus faster, getting the money out more quickly. I gather you want to rewrite the plan?"
Rep. Cantor: "Listen, we met and I met with the President along with our Republican Leader, John Boehner, back in January. We presented the President with our plan. And the President was insistent that we go his route and that we deploy the nearly $800 billion in order to get the money spent. We said from the very beginning we need to be about preserving, creating, protecting jobs."
Wallace: "So, how would you do that?"
Rep. Cantor: "How we would do that is we would, number one, give people the ability and incentives to hire people. I mean, it's very difficult. And when we see the cap-and-trade bill that just passed, when we see the health care that's being proposed this week, how those bills are coming down the pike is basically on the backs of small business people. We shouldn't be making it harder for people to hire right now. We should be giving small businesses an incentive to hire. Give them a tax break. Give individuals hope that we're going to lower energy costs, not increase it like we did with cap-and-trade."
Cantor: "Bad Policy Makes For Bad Politics"
Wallace: "We're beginning to see the first cracks in public support for President Obama. According to the Gallup Poll, support for the President among independents has dropped from 59% in June to 53% so far this month. And in the key state of Ohio, Mr. Obama's job approval has fallen from 62% in May to under 50% for the first time. How big an opportunity is this, Congressman, for Republicans?"
Rep. Cantor: "I think that all of us want this country to get back on track right now. We just have some huge challenges. What the public is beginning to see is that again the realization of the old adage that bad policy makes for bad politics. And that's what you've got here. You've got policies aimed at trying to arrest the downfall in this economy, and it's simply not working. And so the opportunity is for the Republican Party to demonstrate that it can and deserves to lead again, and that's why we've been very outspoken in terms of our position on how we address this growing unemployment situation."