October 5th, 2012
05:08 PM ET
Cleveland, Ohio (CNN) – Appearing newly energized amid the release of a better-than-expected jobs report, President Obama touched down in rain-soaked Cleveland, Ohio Monday and warned that a President Romney would bring the country’s economic recovery to a halt.
“This morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office,” the president told a crowd that local officials say numbered 9,000. “More Americans entered the workforce. More people are getting jobs.”
The stop was the second of the president’s day. Earlier Friday, he rallied 2,000 supporters in Northern Virginia, delivering substantially the same remarks as those in Cleveland.
The Romney campaign has said it remains confident of its chances here, but sees a path to the necessary 270 electoral votes absent an Ohio win, especially if Wisconsin, the home state of vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, goes Republican.
Both stops came in the wake of the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report that indicated the unemployment rate has ticked down to 7.8 percent, the first time it has been below 8 percent since January of 2009.
Hours earlier, Romney told supporters at an event in southwest Virginia that the new employment figure does not reflect a healthier economy.
“The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work,” Romney said.
In fact, economists noted that the report indicated the workforce number actually increased from one month ago.
“Today’s news should come as some encouragement,” Obama hit back at the Cleveland event. “It shouldn’t be an excuse for the other side to talk down the economy just to score some political points.”
Still, the U.S. economy has not recovered all the jobs lost before his inauguration, a fact that led Obama to continue to tread lightly when discussing the matter.
“Every month reminds us that we’ve still got too many of our friends and neighbors who are looking for work,” he said. And there are too many middle-class families that are still struggling to pay the bills.”
The president heads back to the campaign trail Sunday afternoon, with fundraising stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco.