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MO Sen: Blunt Reveals Jobs Plan

MO Sen: Blunt Reveals Jobs Plan

By Erin McPike - August 18, 2010


With "jobs, jobs, jobs" as the refrain of this election season, Missouri GOP Rep. Roy Blunt hit a milestone in his campaign Tuesday by rolling out his 21-page jobs plan. And while Democrats nationally have presented this year's election as a choice between visions, Missouri Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan took Blunt's roll-out as an opportunity to attack his extended stay in Washington.

To date, neither candidate has estimated how many jobs their ideas would create in the Show-Me State, although parts of Blunt's plan suggest jobs that could be saved should the GOP succeed in turning back recently enacted laws or preventing proposals. Blunt campaign spokesman Rich Chrismer noted that blocking cap and trade would "help protect more than 32,000 Missouri jobs."

Chrismer added that Carnahan does not have a comprehensive jobs plan, so proposals can't be compared. "Unlike Robin Carnahan who travels little and says even less in public, Roy Blunt has traveled to each of Missouri's 114 counties and held dozens of small business round-tables with job creators," he said.

In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Carnahan said she was spending the day touring small businesses in north Missouri and had not yet taken a good look at Blunt's plan. Instead, she berated Blunt for his record in Congress and accused him of inaction in the run-up to the financial crisis. She offered her own principles on job creation but did not provide specifics.

"We know that the country was losing jobs and had major jobs losses in 2008 and early 2009," Carnahan said. She added that in some ways, those losses are attributable to Blunt for the votes he's taken throughout his congressional career. "He had a chance," she said.

That's where the former House minority whip may run into trouble: Blunt faced skepticism when he launched his Senate bid early last year from members of his own party who viewed him as one of the GOP ringleaders who had lost their way and let spending spiral out of control. But he declares in his plan that as a senator: "I will cut spending and reduce the size of government."

Blunt's jobs blueprint is largely a reaction to policies enacted since Democrats took control of Congress. He begins in the introduction to his six-point plan: "Washington Democrats don't understand that the biggest obstacle to job creation is the mix of liberal policies they're promoting." His plan begins with his pledges to cut taxes and government spending, repeal the health care law and roll back federal regulations to free cash in the private sector.

He also includes a section on energy, which borrows almost entirely from House Minority Leader John Boehner's American Energy Act. He also reiterates his opposition to cap and trade. Blunt goes on to lament the effect of the recession on credit markets and ends that section with a link to a summary of the ways in which the financial reform bill "will negatively impact the economy."

Toward the end of the plan, Blunt pushes the U.S.-Korea trade agreement and offers a handful of regulations to change. He suggests creating an Office of Repeal, "which would be responsible for examining existing federal regulations for their impact on business and job-creators and repealing those that are duplicative or unnecessarily burdensome." And he suggests withdrawing from international organizations like the International Coffee Organization and the International Rubber Study Group, which he says could save the country $500 million a year.

Carnahan said she has her own "three-pronged approach" on job creation, including creating incentives for small businesses, prohibiting bailouts to corporations and "breaking the stranglehold on special interests." To that end, she admonished Blunt for "an explosion of earmarks" during his time in the House.

Missouri's unemployment rate in June was 9.1 percent, compared to the higher national rate of 9.5 percent that month. And Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon - who won his first race for governor easily in 2008, when Carnahan turned in an impressive re-election victory - remains highly popular. Carnahan called him a "great supporter" and intends to campaign heavily with him this fall.

Still, the RCP polling average gives Blunt a 6.7-point lead, and third-party polling has begun to show him leading by double digits.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at emcpike@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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