Republican governors’ business friendly policies, not President Barack Obama, are responsible for low state unemployment rates, said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell this morning on CNN’s State of the Union.
“I think that there’s something going on with Republican governed states. Seven out of the ten states that have the lowest unemployment rates are Republican governed states,” said McDonnell, who chairs the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA).
Additionally, in February, which was one of the best months for job growth since Obama took office, 71.2 percentof the jobs created were in states with Republican Governors, as Red Alert Politics’ Allen Ginzburg previously reported.
McDonnell repeated Romney’s “F across the board” performance, refusing to give Obama credit for any of Virginia’s “good fortune” when the show’s host Candy Crowley suggested Obama was at least partially responsible for Virginia’s success.
“What would you point to that would lead you to say that that unemployment – ,” McDonnell exclaimed, before launching into an explanation of why the President’s failed Stimulus did not help Virginia in the long-term.
“Does [the Stimulus] help us in the long-term to cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no,” McDonnell said. “I’d say Republican governors are doing some things that are making a difference, and that’s why I’m trying to get more of them this year.”
After being pushed a third time by Crowley to give “just a tiny bit of credit to the president,” McDonnell finally agreed that “there’s national policies that have had some impact,” but he declined to say which ones.
Instead, McDonnell opted to point out how Obama’s policies are hurting his state.
“I can tell you this, if we didn’t have all these attacks on Virginia’s energy industry we’d be in a lot better place,” he said. “This President on coal, natural gas, nuclear, not letting us drill offshore … the Environmental Protection Agency’s over-burdensome regulations on coal and natural gas has made it much more difficult for us. We’d be lower on the unemployment rate if we didn’t have these policies.”
McDonnell is rumored to be on GOP Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s list of potential running mates. On State of the Union McDonnell neither confirmed or denied the speculations, saying only that Romney’s campaign staff had asked for his schedule to determine when and where he could help them in the future.