When Bush speaks in front of a staged audience, he usually lies, receives a standing ovation and leaves. Lately, he's been taking questions from the audience to prove that he really cares. He usually does a great job of adding that "average Joe" tone to his voice, but tends to screw up after receiving a question he doesn't like (from Think Progress):
After getting frustrated at the length of the Q&A session of his speech in Cleveland today, Bush blurted out, "Anybody work here in this town?"
Bush inadvertantly hit upon a subject he otherwise ignored - unemployment in Cleveland. Economic conditions in the city have worsened considerably during Bush's presidency. Some facts:
- 5.8 percent: Cleveland unemployment rate, Jan. 2006
- 4.5 percent: Cleveland unemployment rate, Jan. 2001
- 5.3 percent: Ohio unemployment rate, Jan. 2006
- 4.0 percent: Ohio unemployment rate, Jan. 2001
- 31.3 percent: Cleveland poverty rate, 2003
- 24.3 percent: Cleveland poverty rate, 2001
So the answer, Mr. President, is that a lot of people in Cleveland don't work because they can't find jobs.