On CBS' Face the Nation, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Indiana and Utah -- both governed by Republicans -- have the "lowest unemployment rates in their respective regions." However, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics records, neither Utah nor Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in its region, and several states with lower unemployment rates are governed by Democrats.
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During the November 16 broadcast of CBS' Face the Nation, former House Speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said that Republicans "who are about to face this question of, how do you get the economy growing again" should ask Republican governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Jon Huntsman of Utah, "[H]ow did they get to the lowest unemployment rate in their respective regions?" However, the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics records show that Gingrich's claim is false. In fact, neither Utah nor Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in its region, and several states with lower unemployment rates are governed by Democrats.
In Utah -- defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as part of the Western Region -- the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in September, higher than that of Wyoming, which had an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent under Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal. Indiana -- defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as part of the Midwest Region -- had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in September, ranking eighth out of 12 Midwestern states. Iowa (4.2 percent), Kansas (4.8 percent), Minnesota (5.9 percent), Nebraska (3.5 percent), North Dakota (3.6 percent), South Dakota (3.2 percent), and Wisconsin (5 percent) all posted lower unemployment rates than Indiana's in September. Three of those states -- Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin -- have Democratic governors.
From the November 16 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:
LOUISIANA GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R): Oh, well, sure, no -- I think it's great that Sarah Palin is speaking out. I think it's great that the governors that the speaker mentioned were -- are speaking out. I think the future -- I think the governors are gonna play a great role. And I think that, you know, our folks in Washington are gonna have important work to do, but I don't think all the answers and wisdom are gonna be in Washington, D.C. So, I think it's a great thing that she's speaking out. I think we're -
BOB SCHIEFFER (host): How do you feel about that --
JINDAL: -- going to need multiple governors.
SCHIEFFER: How do you feel about that, Mr. Gingrich?
GINGRICH: I mean, first of all, Governor Palin is a real asset to the Republican Party. She brought enormous energy to the party. She attracted very large crowds. But I would say, for example, to the Republicans who are about to face this question of, how do you get the economy growing again? Bring in Governor [Mitch] Daniels [R-IN] and bring in Governor [Jon] Huntsman [R-UT], and ask them, you know, how did they get to the lowest unemployment rate in their respective regions? Go back to a principled approach. If you don't understand health care, you can do a lot worse than to bring in Bobby Jindal who, maybe, may well know more about health policy than any other elected official in America and is doing an extraordinary job in Louisiana.
If you want to look at education reform, you can look at Governor [Sonny] Perdue in Georgia, you can look at Governor Haley Barbour in Mississippi. There are a lot of people doing smart things. The natural pattern in the news media is gonna be they know how to spell Sarah Palin's name. They've got it locked in their word processor. She's gonna be a much bigger story in the short run. But, I think, as she goes back to being governor, and as she works in Alaska, you're gonna see a group of governors emerge -- not just Sarah Palin. And there are 36 governorships up in 2010. And I think focusing on rebuilding the Republican Party from state legislature and governor to Senate and House is the right model. And I think that the Republican Governors Association is probably more important than the Republican National Committee in trying to get this done.
SCHIEFFER: So, you do not see her as the de facto leader of the party at this point?
GINGRICH: No, she's a wonderfully intelligent, aggressive, hard-working person who got, you know, hammered very badly by the press.