Romney says jobs numbers are 'kick in the gut' that must end
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Updated 10:27 a.m., Friday, July 6, 2012
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A sobering economic snapshot intensified the presidential campaign on Friday as President Barack Obama rolled through two vote-rich battleground states and Republican Mitt Romney fended off conservative complaints about his plan for winning. A stand-pat jobless report that left the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2 percent set a new standard from which to judge the president and for Romney to attempt to exploit with Election Day only four months away On his tour, Obama was promoting policies that he says have helped states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, particularly the government bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. Obama questioned Romney's motives on health care in the same interview, accusing his rival of caving under pressure from conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh for saying that requiring all Americans to buy health insurance amounts to a tax. The jobless numbers promised to command attention Friday and determine the nature of the political debate. The unemployment and hiring figures provide monthly milestones with which to measure the human toll of the weak economic recovery. "With the private sector continuing to create jobs for the twenty-eighth consecutive month, our economic recovery continues to push forward," Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second ranking Democrat in the House, said in a statement. Quick to counter Obama's message, Republicans dispatched former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, two potential vice presidential nominees, to argue Romney's case in some of the same towns Obama was visiting.