Vice presidential debate Oct. 11, jobs report draws controversy

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (left), and Vice President Joe Biden.

Online Staff Report

About a week after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was declared victor over President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate, the two vice presidential candidates in the race for the White House will square off in their first, and only, debate from 8 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11.

Vice President Joe Biden (D) and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will discuss foreign and domestic policy issues in a debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. Moderator will be Martha Raddatz, ABC news chief and foreign correspondent.

The debate comes a little less than a week after a controversial jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the nationwide unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September. Some suggested the latest report may have been doctored to favor the Obama campaign.

Specifically, some challenged the latest BLS report after its release Oct. 5 noting the unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points, even though the report showed only 114,000 jobs were created in September.

Celebrating the lowest unemployment rate since he took office in January 2009, Obama said at a campaign rally at George Mason University Oct. 5: “Today, I believe that as a nation we are moving forward again. More Americans entered the workforce, more people are getting jobs.

It’s a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now,” he added.

Meantime, the Romney campaign has been critical of the Obama campaign for celebrating a jobs report that shows 7.8 percent of Americans are still unemployed.

Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on ABC’s This Week Oct. 7: “This economy is not doing well. And the fact that you have a White House celebrating an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent with 23 million Americans out of work or unemployed or underemployed tells you a lot about the failure of this administration’s policies.”

With the Tuesday, Nov. 6, General Election now less than a month away, the race for the White House remains close. Obama had extended a lead of up to 4 percentage points in many polls prior to the first presidential debate Oct. 3, but that lead has since evaporated. An Oct. 8 Gallup Tracking poll had Obama and Romney tied at 47 percent and an Oct. 8 Rasmussen Tracking poll had the two candidates tied at 48 percent.

Other remaining debates include the following:

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Moderator will be Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent. Debate will be a town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy.

Monday, Oct. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderator will be Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation. Topic will be foreign policy.

Posted Oct. 8, 2012

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