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Republicans rooting for failure in economy, Obama campaign says

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times –

WASHINGTON — Republicans are hoping the economy continues to struggle so they can win the White House in November and should put those political concerns aside and take steps to boost job creation, top Obama campaign officials said Sunday.

“They need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod accused Republicans of “high-fiving each other” when bad economic news comes out.

“These are the architects of obstruction and now they’re complaining about the pace of the recovery,” Axelrod said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “They should put down their political hats and join us and help solve these problems.”

Obama’s campaign officials reiterated the president’s call for Congress to act on a series of job-creation proposals. Obama renewed that call after Friday’s dismal unemployment report, which showed the U.S. economy added just 69,000 jobs last month.

Republicans seized on the poor jobs report, saying it was evidence Obama’s policies have failed and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney was better suited to reviving the U.S. economy.

“For anybody who is urgently waiting for improvement in the economy, last week was not a very good week,” Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney campaign adviser, said on “This Week,” also citing a downward revision in economic growth in the first three months of the year and a rise in new claims for unemployment.

“We gave the keys to the largest economy in the world to a person who did not have any prior executive leadership experience,” Fehrnstrom said. “He never even ran a corner store and I think it shows in the way he’s handling the economy.”

But Cutter and Axelrod said that Republicans in Congress are stopping legislation that could help create jobs, such as Obama’s proposals to increase spending on road, bridge and school construction and money for state and local governments to hire or retain teachers, police and firefighters.

“Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers,” Axelrod said.

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