Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told Breitbart News that the president’s reelection chances are “50/50” following the August jobs report released on Friday.
Breitbart News caught up with Goolsbee at Chicago’s O’hare Airport on his way home from the DNC convention, and asked his thoughts on President Obama’s reelection chances.
“I’d say pretty close to 50/50,” said Goolsbee. “It’s going to be—everything points to a razor-thin margin, I think—the polling, the economic conditions, all that stuff.”
The August report, which showed unemployment rate at 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July as 368,000 dropped out of the labor force, was the 43rd month in the row with unemployment over 8 percent.
Goolsbee downplayed the jobs report as “mediocre payroll growth numbers” and said we’ve had “modest growth for the middle part of this year,” while attributing much of the disappointing news to “events in Europe.” Goolsbee also cautioned against making too much of the one-month figures, and seemed skeptical that undecided voters would even pay attention.
“The three-month trend is far more accurate. The three-month trend is not terrible, not great, and as a result, I don’t know that it has that much direct implication on undecided voters who tend not to monitor exact statistics that closely,” he said.
When asked about President Obama’s ability to get a budget passed, Goolsbee took a somewhat pessimistic view that in future the country could “avoid going off a fiscal cliff.” He added, “I think as we come toward the end of the year, you’re likely to see a lot of industries begin to get nervous and freak out a little as to are they going to reach a deal or not reach a deal.”
Goolsbee said Obama had effectively presented the two different economic philosophies during his speech in Charlotte, saying, “I thought it was good, I thought he laid out an overview of what his basic philosophy was, and how it was different from Romney’s philosophy.”
As the interview wrapped up, Goolsbee added that he is a Breitbart reader: “I do read you guys…I know a bunch of the people, you know the White House people, get upset, but I find it interesting.”
Photo credit: Keith Koffler, White House Dossier