Jack Welch, the lionized former chairman of General Electric Co, provoked cries of outrage in Washington on Friday when he appeared to accuse the White House of manipulating September job figures for political gains.
White House officials dismissed as “ludicrous” a tweet Welch sent to his more than 1.3 million followers that suggested U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration rigged the data as a way of recovering from a poor Wednesday night showing in a debate against Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger for the White House.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch said in a posting on Twitter, apparently referring to Obama, who formerly served as a senator from Illinois.
The tweet was repeated more than 2,000 times, with many mocking posts comparing Welch to New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump - who during his failed bid for the presidency loudly argued that Obama was not born in the United States - and Clint Eastwood, who gave a widely panned speech to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in August.
Welch, who with his wife Suzy Welch, writes a column for Reuters, could not be reached to comment further on his view.
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