What unemployment-rate conspiracists were saying

The Associated Press

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch set off a wave of conspiracy theories Friday by tweeting, "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers."

"Chicago" refers to President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters. "Debate" is a reference to Obama's poor performance in Wednesday night's presidential debate.

Here's a look at some of the assertions and responses Friday.

_ "Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the Presidential election. This is Orwellian to say the least ..." said Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.

_ "I don't think (the Bureau of Labor Statistics) cooked numbers. I think a bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect," tweeted Conn Carroll, an editorial writer at the Washington Examiner.

_ "If there's anyone who knows about slashing American jobs, it's Jack Welsh. He was the real outsourcing pioneer," said Scott Paul, executive director of Alliance for American Manufacturing

_ "Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories. Good grief," said Tony Fratto, who worked for President George W. Bush. He said that the Bureau of Labor Statists is not manipulating data, adding: "I'll be in China in a couple of weeks if you want to see some (asterisk)real(asterisk) economic data manipulation!"

_ "It appears that Obama has hired infamous Iraqi Information Minister Baghdad Bob to calculate the unemployment rate. Anyone who takes this unemployment report serious is either naïve or a paid Obama campaign adviser," Rick Manning, the communications director of Americans for Limited Government, said in a statement.

_"Today's jobs report raises questions for me, and frankly it should be raising eyebrows for people across the country," Rep. Paul Broun, R-M.D. said in a statement.

_ Welch "just labeled himself an idiot," said Justin Wolfers, a professor of business and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.