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'This Is Not What Recovery Looks Like': Ryan Tells CNBC

The weak American jobs picture is a direct result of a lack of leadership in Washington, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told CNBC.

Paul Ryan
CNBC
Paul Ryan

Speaking an hour or so after the August nonfarm payrolls report showed the economy created just 96,000 new positions, the Wisconsin congressman pointed his finger toward President Obama.

"If borrowing and spending and regulating and taxing was the secret to economic success, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece," Ryan said in a live interview from Los Angeles. "It's not, it doesn't work. We need sound money, low tax rates, fiscal discipline, regulatory certainty and we need to stop this notion of a government-driven economy."

Obama had promised that his more than $800 billion stimulus program would pull unemployment down closer to 6 percent, but it has remained above 8 percent throughout his term in office, Ryan pointed out.

"This is not even close to what recovery looks like," he said. "This is not what President Obama promised. I would argue this is the result of failed leadership in Washington.

Obama closed out the Democratic National Convention Thursday night with a speech in which he asserted that the administration's programs are working and would generate a stronger recovery if he was granted a second term.

Most polls show Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney running close to even.

The GOP team has been critical of Federal Reserve monetary policy and the central bank's efforts to boost the economy by creating money and purchasing government debt. (See More: Ryan Discusses Fed Policy and QE3 Chances)

Ryan said the White House has used the Fed and its two rounds of quantitative easing as a backstop for its failed economic policies. The weak jobs report is being seen by many in the market as a probabe catalyst for a third stimulus round, nicknamed QE3.

"Our monetary policy has been trying to serve as a substitute for really bad fiscal policy," he said.

But Ryan stopped short of committing to whether Romney would fire Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman should the Republican ticket prevail.

"I don't think it's appropriate to comment on what you do with personnel such as that. I've known Ben a long time. He and I have disagreements on these issues. We're respectful to one another," he said. On QE, he added that "the cost outweigh the benefits, but I would think this lackluster report probably increases the likelihood."

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