Jobs Numbers Disappoint: Did Obama Know?

New unemployment figures released the day after president's speech at DNC.
3:00 | 09/07/12

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Transcript for Jobs Numbers Disappoint: Did Obama Know?
As we come on the air, the confetti and crackle of the political conventions have ended, and it's back to a hard reality. Those new jobs numbers, showing an american economy stuck in neutral, just 96,000 jobs created in the month of august. And that is far below prediction. And everyone is wondering, if the president already knew these numbers last night. If we were looking at it in his face. Abc's jake tapper is here to tell us right now. Jake? Reporter: Greeting from iowa city. White house officials had been hoping for the economy to start picking up this fall to help the president, but these numbers indicate that likely will not be the case, paving an all the more treacherous road for the president's re-election chances in these last 60 days. For the first time this campaign season, the president, vice president, and their wives hit the campaign trail, trying to portray an image of success and triumph. But disappointing jobs numbers rained on their parade. Though in portsmouth, new hampshire, the president attempted the best possible spin. Today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row, a total of more than 4.6 million jobs. But that's not good enough. We know it's not good enough. Reporter: No, it's not. The white house was given the jobs numbers yesterday but officials will not say if the president saw them before his big speech. This morning mitt romney called that speech extraordinarily surprising and disappointing. Saying last night's party was followed with this morning's hangover. Almost 400,000 people dropped out of the workforce all together. It's just simply unimaginable. Reporter: The race remains tight with neither candidate at majority support. The latest gallup poll has obama up 48% to romney's 45%. Those undecided voters will decide the election. The president hopes they'll see this election not as a referendum on his performance as president, but as a choice between two competing economic visions. His -- tax increases on wealthier americans and spending on education, an on putting people back to work with jobs constructing roads and bridges. Today romney attacked the president's economic policies as a massive failure. If president obama was re-elected, we would have four more years of the last four years and the american people are going to say no to that. Romney is pushing less regulation and lower taxes for businesses, a pitch that met with the president's momery. All they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. Tax cuts. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. Tax cuts to improve your love life. it will cure anything. According to them. Reporter: Almost 36 million americans watched the final night of the democratic national convention, about 2.5 million fewer than watched it four years ago, but with these wanting economic numbers, the president's ratings numbers can't issue foremost on his mind. Now let's break down the jobs numbers. You saw the net number, 103,000 jobs added in the private sector. It would have been higher if not for the losses in the government sector and manufacturing. What about the corporations, what are they saying about hiring? Why the stall? We asked so many economists about this. Theynt out corporations are sitting on an extra $300 billion in profit, not spending it to hire, because they're going to wait until the election. So they won't hire unt after the results of the election which leaves us with 8.1% unemployment. What does that mean for the president? That's what we asked for the economists. We could see the unemployment rate go from 8.1 to 8.9%. That's a psychological threshold. That he got it back to the number it was at when he took office. If he doesn't get it there, the mney campaign will hammer it home. Thank you, david. Jobs in america will be front and center with george stephanopoulos with paul ryan on "this week" on sunday and we'll all be watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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