Monday, February 8, 2016

Corbett's remarks on jobless, not new

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett continues to come attack for his comments suggesting the jobless are coasting on their unemployment checks and not looking for work - comments he is now apologizing for making.

Corbett's remarks on jobless, not new


Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett continues to come attack for his comments suggesting the jobless are coasting on their unemployment checks and not looking for work - comments he is now apologizing for making.

But apparently it wasn't the first time Corbett questioned how hard the unemployed were working to find work.

At a stop at a Lancaster County unemployment office in March, Corbett said he saw people looking for work but they were the minority.

“I think, what I heard was that’s only 10 percent of the people that are on unemployment in this county,” Corbett said in reponse to a question from an Associated Press reporter. “The other 80, 90 percent, where are they? Are they looking for a job? And I think that’s a problem.”

Corbett's spokesman, Kevin Harley, told  Capitol Ideas blog today that, in fact, Corbett believes "the vast majority of people on unemployment are looking for work and want to find a well-paying job."

Corbett's comments from the primary campaign in March were unearthed today by the campaign of his Democratic opponent, Dan Onorato.

Brian Herman, a spokesman for Onorato told Capitol Ideas, Corbett “can try to back himself out all he wants, but it’s what he really believes” about the unemployed.

“He’s inconsistent on every issue, but this is one thing he’s been consistent on,” Herman said.

On Friday in Elizabethtown Corbett told reporters: 

“The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are going to sit there … I’ve literally had construction companies tell me, 'I can't get people to come back to work until … they say, I'll come back to work when unemployment runs out,' " Corbett said last week.

During the March campaign stop in Lancaster, Corbett questioned the Congress-approved extensions to unemployment benefits saying:

“And it’s a problem. As you know, they’ve extended benefits because of the economic times – I understand. But there’s … two sides to that,” he said. “Yes, we are taking care of people, but are we encouraging them not to look?”



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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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