President Obama made the short trek from the White House to Northern Virginia Friday to champion a new jobs report, calling the recent dip in joblessness “a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now.”
The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, representing the lowest such figure since Obama took office, delivering the Democrat a badly needed economic boost one month before the election.
“This morning, we found out that the employment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office,” he told a crowd at George Mason University. “More Americans entered the workforce. More people are getting jobs.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney counters that Obama has still failed to deliver on the lofty economic promises he made four years ago.
“This is not what a real recovery looks like,” Romney said in a statement. “If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent.”
According to the Labor Department, employers added 114,000 jobs in September, causing the unemployment to drop significantly from 8.1 percent in August. The unemployment rate has not been this low since January 2009, the first month of Obama’s presidency.
Amid a tightening in the Virginia polls, Obama also sought to make inroads with arguably the most critical voting bloc in the commonwealth: women.
“They want to take us back to the policies of the 1950s,” Obama said of the Republican ticket’s position on health care and contraceptives.
For months, the Obama campaign has sought to frame Romney as too extreme on women’s issues, a portrait they hope will negate misgivings from female voters about the state of the economy.
Obama is looking to regain momentum after a poor debate performance Wednesday in which Romney demonstrated a better command of economic issues. The president will travel to Cleveland, Ohio for another rally Friday afternoon.