missed a chance to create thousands of jobs by not giving a go-ahead to the Keystone XL pipeline — an issue on which the GOP and labor unions are aligned, Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday.
“For three years, this administration has given unions everything they wanted,” he said on CNBC’s “ The Kudlow Report .”
“The one time that we actually agree with them that Keystone equals jobs for U.S. Americans, for U.S. workers that will create tens of thousands of jobs here in America, help lower energy costs, that one time, he says, ‘Nope, I’m not going to side with the unions.’ That’s unbelievable,” he said.
Pressed on the issue by host Larry Kudlow , Democratic National Committee Communications spokesman Brad Woodhouse took a broad shot.
“Larry, you are Johnny One-Note — you and Sean Spicer are Johnny One-Note — when it comes to Keystone,” he said.
“Here’s the thing about the Republicans message on this: You couldn’t find a message with a flashlight and two hands. One day, you’re saying that the president’s in the pocket of big labor. The next day, you’re using big labor’s words against the president,” Woodhouse said. “You have no credibility on the issue of jobs and the economy. Your president ran the economy into the ground.”
Spicer fired back.
“This is probably the first time that the Republican National Committee has probably said, yeah, we agree with the AFL-CIO building trades, but their No. 1 priority, according to their president, is Keystone equals jobs — In their opinion, 20,000 to 500,000 jobs,” he said. “We’re with them.”
TransCanada, which is hoping to build the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry crude oil from north of the border south to refineries in the United States, told Congress that the project would directly create 20,000 jobs . However, the company has counted a two-year job as two separate jobs. Another 118,000 “spin-off” jobs were cited by the company.
A study commissioned by the company estimated more than 250,000 permanent jobs would be created.
The U.S. State Department put the number of Keystone-related construction jobs at 5,000 to 6,000.
Woodhouse said that labor unions would continue to support Obama regardless of Keystone.
“They know he’s the one who’s committed to real infrastructure projects all over the country — roads, bridges, high-speed rail — all of which the Republicans oppose,” he said. “They’d rather pass more tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Spicer claimed that Obama could change his tune after the election.
“These unions have gotten three years of everything they wanted. The president’s probably telling them, ‘Hey, give me a pass for a couple of months, and I’ll give you Keystone. I just need to placate the environmentalists for once,’” he said.
" The Kudlow Report " airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.
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