Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West sent President Barack Obama a very different kind of birthday wish Friday.
In an email to the news media, West's office released this statement:
"Happy 50th Birthday Mr. President! While surprises are for birthdays, it is no surprise to the American people that your failed economic policies ?- from TARP to your health care bill?- have resulted in disaster for our economy. Since taking office, unemployment has remained at or near 9 percent for 28 months, America has added $3.4 trillion in debt in 29 months -- the equivalent of about $4 billion per day -- we have an anemic housing market with record foreclosures, and an average price of nearly $4 for a gallon of gas. Even your budget did not receive one single vote in the United States Senate -- and the icing on the cake ?- a stock market slide of nearly 800 points in the last 5 days.
"While it may be hard to hear the American people's frustration over the pop of the champagne corks and R&B bands at your $30,000/person birthday party, the citizens of this nation are suffering under your failed leadership. The best present you can give the American people will be for you and your failed economic policies to be defeated in November of 2012."
At Washington's Navy Yards on Friday, Obama said he welcomed the latest jobs report as encouraging for the economy, saying "things will get better."
The Labor Department had reported earlier that the jobless rate inched down a bit, to 9.1 percent in July.