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White House flack: It’s “petty” to nail down stimulus numbers

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 27, 2010 10:51 AM

Over the weekend, White House operatives were all over the map with their stimulus job estimates.

(I think they were using “Mayan Math.”)

Anyway, talk show host Bill Wills in Cleveland asked White House spokesman Bill Burton about it. Burton airily dismissed criticism of the discrepancies as “petty.”

Here’s the audio:

And transcript:

WILLS: And finally Mr. Burton, on the Sunday shows, there were three different answers from the White House on jobs created out of the stimulus. Have you guys gotten together on that number yet?

BURTON: I have to say this is one of the more petty things that I’ve heard brought up in the last couple of days. What…

WILLS: I don’t think it’s petty when we’ve spent millions – well, hold on Bill —

BURTON: Oh, no, sir. It’s petty because — Robert Gibbs said 1.5 million. David Axelrod said 2 million. And Valerie Jarrett said thousands and thousands.

WILLS: And she named off schoolteachers, police, and fire.

BURTON: Right, right, right.

WILLS: Any jobs in the private sector?

BURTON: What the CEA has said is between 1.5 and 2 million. So there all in the range of things that, of, jobs, that are created. Eve independent economists say and USA Today on the front page yesterday said that we’ve created 1.2 million jobs. We think more than that, but yes, there have been some in the private sector. And if you look at some of the construction projects around Ohio, and I saw them, I was there with the President in Ohio last week, There are a lot of construction projects, a lot of energy projects. A lot of jobs being created in a lot of different sectors. And that’s what we’re going to need more of to get our economy back on track…

You’ll be very interested to know that the White House blog is teaming up with CNN — you know, objective news source — to spin the stimulus “faces of recovery” story in advance of the State of the Union speech. Read here and expect some of this to show up in the SOTU tonight.

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