VIENNA, Va. - Embracing the much-needed good news on the economy, President Obama told supporters this morning that the latest jobs report was a reminder "we are moving forward again" and have "come too far to turn back now."
"This morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office," Obama said at a campaign rally at George Mason University in the battleground state of Virginia. "More Americans entered the work force. More people are getting jobs."
Taking a swipe at Mitt Romney, the president told the enthusiastic crowd that while "there are too many middle-class families that are still struggling," today's news "certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points."
The GOP nominee downplayed the jobs report this morning, saying "this is not what a real recovery looks like.
"We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we've lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office," Romney said in a written statement. "The choice in this election is clear. Under President Obama, we'll get another four years like the last four years. If I'm elected, we will have a real recovery with progrowth policies that will create 12 million new jobs and rising incomes for everyone."
After his lackluster debate performance Wednesday night, today's jobs report couldn't have come at a better time for the president's campaign.
The economy added 114,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, the lowest level since January 2009, when Obama took office, the Labor Department announced. In addition, the jobs numbers for July and August were better than first estimated, with payrolls adding 86,000 more jobs than previously reported.
"Because of your strength and resilience, the strength and resilience of the American people, we've made too much progress to return to the policies that led to the crisis in the first place," Obama said. "I can't allow that to happen … and that is why I'm running for a second term as president of the United States."