GOP Governors Say They Should Get Credit for Improving Economy

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A manufacturing facility in Oakland, California.

As President Barack Obama prepares to speak this afternoon about an improving U.S. economy, Republican governors are trying to claim some credit, too.

Citing November state unemployment rates released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Republican Governors Association says the unemployment rate dropped in every state with a GOP governor. That includes 30 states.

The BLS said 45 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate drops between October and November, so there are also plenty of Democratic governors who can see good things in the numbers as well.

The five states with the lowest unemployment rates — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa — are all led by Republicans, the RGA said.

In Florida, the unemployment rate has dropped nearly 5 percentage points since Republican Gov. Rick Scott was sworn into office, dropping to 6.4 percent from 10.9 percent in January 2011, the RGA said.

Statistics for several other Republican-led states were also cited by the RGA, including Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“This is no accident or coincidence,” the RGA said in a statement. “Republican governors have transformed their states and put their citizens back to work through targeted pro-growth, pro-business reforms anchored by bold tax cuts.”

Not included on the RGA’s release was New Jersey, led by the new chairman of the RGA and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, Gov. Chris Christie.

That state’s unemployment rate of 7.8 percent is still above the national average of 7 percent. Christie will need to keep working on lowering that number if he wants to have a more compelling story to tell in 2015 and 2016.

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