FAIRFAX, Va. -- President Obama wasted no time Friday morning touting the new unemployment rate, the lowest of his tenure, as a sign that the economy is moving in the right direction.
Kicking off his stump speech with a riff on the new figures, Obama also suggested that anyone who would talk down the report is just trying to make political hay.
Today’s news is “not an excuse to try to talk down the economy, to try and score a few political points,” Obama said. “It’s a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now.”
Speaking to a crowd at George Mason University, Obama argued that Republican policies would turn back the clock on economic progress by bringing back trickle-down ideas that don’t help the middle class.
The new job figures drop the unemployment rate below 8%, forcing Republican Mitt Romney to excise or amend a line from his stump speech in which he notes the number of months the rate has hovered above that point.
In Weyer’s Cave, Va., Romney emphasized the bad news in the report.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Obama told the crowd at his morning rally that their “strength and resilience” is bringing the economy back to full-strength. His reelection will keep that train moving in the right direction, he said.
Romney wants to reinstate policies that “led to the crisis in the first place,” he said. “I can’t allow that to happen … and that is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States.”