Last Updated:December 1 @ 09:13 pm

Convention over, Obama hit with weak jobs report

By Donna Cassata and Julie Pace

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - His convention over, President Barack Obama ran smack into the harsh reality of a bleak new report on the nation's unemployment outlook Friday. Republican rival Mitt Romney pounced on the disappointing jobs figures as fresh evidence that it's time to put someone new in the Oval Office.

"We're going in the wrong direction," the GOP nominee said flatly.

The candidates both campaign Friday in New Hampshire and Iowa, improbable battleground states in the too-close-to-call race. Their campaigning is sure to be dominated by the new Labor Department report showing that U.S. employers added just 96,000 jobs last month, failing to meet expectations.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work.

Romney, in an interview with Fox News, called it "another continuation of very bleak news on the employment front." He said it signals a "continued pattern, which is that we're not creating the jobs we need to create to put Americans back to work."

Obama, for his part, made a low-profile departure from his convention city en route to New Hampshire. He left it to Alan Krueger, chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, to frame the jobs report as "further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

Krueger added that it was "important not to read too much into any one monthly report."

Republicans chose to ignore that advice.

"This is not even close to what a recovery looks like," GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said in an interview on CNBC. "I would argue this is the result of failed leadership in Washington, bad fiscal policy coming from the administration."

Party leaders in Congress released statements offering rival spin on the meaning of the figures.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the report "underscores President Obama's failed promises to get our economy moving again."

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Obama and the Democrats had plenty of plans to create more jobs and boost the economy but Republicans "keep standing in the way of growth and certainty for our economy."

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tried to shift the focus to what he said were failings in Romney's economic plans, referring back to the GOP convention in Florida last month and the track record of the Bush administration.

"In Tampa, Mitt Romney didn't offer one idea that would create good-paying, sustainable jobs for the middle class," LaBolt said in a statement. "Gov. Romney has yet to explain how returning to policies that crashed the economy and devastated the middle class would now have the opposite impact."

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs was up early to pronounce that the Democratic convention had achieved its goals. Speaking before the jobs numbers were released, the adviser said the president "understands we still have a long way to go" to strengthen the economy.

Gibbs acknowledged there's a far different dynamic to this race than the excitement and novelty that were associated with Obama's historic first run for the White House.

"This isn't 2008, we understand that," he said on "CBS This Morning."

The November election could turn on whether voters see the economy as improving, remaining stagnant or getting worse under Obama.

Friday's numbers gave both campaigns something to work with. Supporters of the president focused on the drop to 8.1 percent, suggesting it shows the economy is on the mend, if slowly. Republicans kept their eyes on the raw job numbers.

Either way, the numbers suggest that not much has happened over the past month to change the overall picture of a painfully slow recovery.

Romney and the Republicans argue that three years of unemployment above 8 percent and minimal economic growth are valid reasons to fire Obama after one term. The incumbent contends that, having inherited one of the worst economic crises in history, he needs more time to turn the nation around.

"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have," Obama told Democrats at their convention Thursday night. "You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades."

For the candidates, the two months to Nov. 6 promise a high-stakes mix of debates, multiple appearances in a dozen battleground states and hours of campaign speeches. Both will be scrapping for the precious commodity of electoral votes to reach the winning number of 270, leaving no competitive state quiet this fall. The airwaves will be inundated with ads from the campaigns and outside groups, with Romney likely to have more money to spend.

The GOP nominee has new ads running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — mapping out many of the key battleground states where the race will play out. His campaign has purchased about $4.5 million in television advertising for the next several days, according to officials who track such spending.

The themes of those ads — deficit, home values, defense, over-regulation, manufacturing, energy, families — offer a preview of some of the issues sure to dominate the conversation in coming weeks.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with their wives, campaign Friday in New Hampshire — it offers four electoral votes — and Iowa — six votes — before the president ends the day in Florida, the highest-count swing state with 29.

While Romney hits Iowa and New Hampshire, too, his wife, Ann, presses for votes in Virginia — 13 electoral votes — and his running mate, Ryan, focuses on Nevada — six votes. The battleground list includes Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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  1. downdraftComment by downdraft
    September 7, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    What few tid-bits of things Obama did had nothing to do with the PRIORITY we gave him when hiring him…JOBS!

    He threw millions and millions at General Motors, 2/3rd of the jobs saved were from their overseas factories…and today when you look beyond the fancy advertising…you see as a stock holder that GM is again going down the tube…sell your GM stock, quickly.

    Obama’s “EMPTY PROMISES” from his first 4 years were just that…EMPTY..

    Now he stands before you and me and again makes promises he hasn’t the skill nor intentions of keeping…his soul itself is EMPTY, his promises are EMPTY, his conscience ignores his LIES…

    Look at his Platform…list what it contains…and what it doesn’t contain…

    Abortion at any time…
    Gay marriage and cohabitation
    Denial of GOD…
    Do what feels good…
    Illegal benefits…
    Spend other people’s money is OK…
    Successful people are BADDDDD….
    Let the Government and others take care of you…
    Tax, tax, tax, tax…others

    And worse of all…they DENY GOD…three times…(Jesus predicted that Himself…that you will deny me 3 times before the cock crows..

    The DNC chairman, before Obama’s speech…took a vote 3 time to determine if they should put GOD back in the DNC platform…and the DENIED the request…

    (ie, they denied God before their cock (Obama) crowed that night…they even BOOO’d God…

    Now…tell me just how would you explain that to your children, your teen, your grandchild?

    If any of us believe such filth as regurgitated from the mouths of Clinton, Biden…and Obama…from the whole DNC..then we are quite sick…and America is doomed.

    Its time to get tough and moral…regardless of Party…this is AMERICA…you owe AMERICA, not the Party…and to hell with the Party you might hang out with…its time for us to step up to the plate and kick arse…and save our country…NOW

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  2. battleground51Comment by battleground51
    September 7, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Welcome to the new normal, the bizarro world of leftist economics. Everything that should be up is down and everything that should be down is up.

    It’s the Obamanation, a welfare friendly, social bedlam that rewards failure and punishes success.

    But, Barack H. Obama has not finished us off yet. He needs another four years to bring America to its knees and obtain charter membership in the Third World.

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  3. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    September 7, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    For anybody interested Government Motors is now to be opening a new Cadillac plant … in China.
    In addition, as a defense measure, we will be transferring Volt technology to … you guessed it … China.

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  4. billwvComment by billwv
    September 7, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    For all the hot air expended between Ozero and Biteme at the Delusional Nutcase Constipation-ulterium a lot of words were spoken and NOW the report in the news is that all of it was lies, lies, lies. But did anyone think it would be otherwise? It is unwise to tell Americans how great they are doing when you’ve lost your job, cannot land any work that pays anything, are in the process of going hungry, losing all that you have and listening to some ding-a-ling jerk bag that has never worked a day in his life. Tell me about 4.5 million bogus jobs that have materialized out of thin air and though no one can see or touch them; really they’re there. I may have just come back from Alabama; but I didn’t just fall off one of the turnip trucks. Recovery my hind end!

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  5. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    September 7, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    Presidential Pasts are Presidential Prologues.

    Ask yourself this question – If Obama had the ability to turn the economy around do you not think he would have done it in the 4 years BEFORE the election, not the 4 years AFTER the election he wants us to trust him with and waste our precious time on????

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  6. David PeacockComment by David Peacock
    September 7, 2012 @ 4:05 pm


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  7. David PeacockComment by David Peacock
    September 7, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    RUSH LIMBAUGH SUMMED IT UP TODAY;;Obama could not say one thing Thursday night to make his failures go away; not one thing to make his incompetence less visible. he has no accomplishments to run on, non of the things he has done have worked for America.

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    • bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
      September 7, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

      You are Soooo Right ! And his worshipers were going nuts praising him. There was a man named Daniel who I think spoke of this.

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  8. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    September 7, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    Obama: “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear.”

    Nope. They elected him to pay off their house mortgages and fill their cars with gas.

    He hasn’t done those … EITHER!

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    • Eagle OneComment by Eagle One
      September 7, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

      You got that right! Thing is, they DID elect him due in large part because he said what they wanted to hear. I wonder if the infamous lady? who said I’m gonna get me some of that Obama money, ever got hers? ! :) I’m guessing not.

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  9. chubbyComment by chubby
    September 7, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Obama and his party have been the source of this economic disaster since 06′ when Pelosi an Reide ran congress.If Barrack was interested in fixing it, he’s had 3 years of free rein to do what he wanted. For a start maybe he should talk to the C.E.O. of G.E. his SAVE OUR JOBS appointee. He has SHIPPED 5000 jobs an a new plant to CHINA an makes LIGHT BULBS in MEXICO. We AMERICANS don’t need another four years of HIS INCOMPETENCE!
    Why were his DRILLING PERMITS ONLY 20% of GEO BUSH’S if he is wanting the U.S. to be energy INDEPENDENT. WHY give 500 million to a FOREIGN country to DRILL, while he rejects the

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      September 7, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

      At one time Americans believed actions spoke louder than words, but anyone who believes windmills and solar panels will replace coal, oil and natural gas in the immediate future is not being honest and doesn’t know the difference between dreams and reality. The Obama Administration wants us to abandon the mining and use of coal when this country has about 20% to 25% percent of the World’s coal. New drilling techniques and extraction methods developed by private companies have opened massive reserves of oil and gas, but this Administration is trying to use the EPA to block this development and has stopped the pipeline to move the oil from North Dakota and Montana to the the Gulf Coast refineries. In addition, they have allowed foreign ownership of our energy resources even as we still import from OPEC.

      This is not working for “energy independence” as claimed. but for “foreign interests” in the same manner as the takeover of the auto industry. I did find it interesting that S Carolina has been able to overturn the LRB edict on Boeing, but my impression of a re-elected Obama is that we’d see a new version of Cap and Trade, VAT and every other wealth transfer scheme that can be dreamed up to buy votes with other people’s money and the shipping of more jobs and resources to China.

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  10. loriecComment by loriec
    September 7, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    The Gallup poll had Obama’s approvial rate up to 53%; I just can’t believe it with the job rate being down again. I just can’t believe there are so many blind people in this country that would vote Obama back in office to do more harm to the economy.

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    • billwvComment by billwv
      September 7, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

      The only poll that will matter is the November voting poll and I personally believe Romney / Ryan will win going away.

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      September 7, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

      My wife and seemingly other Middle Class White wives say Obama has real sex appeal and many of them say they are going to vote for him. What a reason to select a president and it has to inspire the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt whose new president wants to put women back in the traditional role with his recent statement that women don’t belong in important government roles.

      When a woman like Sandra Fluke speaks on her right to have government supported birth control pills, that message goes world wide and feeds Muslim extremism. The entire reason for the success of the Feminist, Black and Hispanic preferences was to capture the creative and productive labors of a major part of our nation’s work force not to encourage promiscuous behavior, and these these were supposed to be temporary measures.

      It is time for rational people to take over these movements and work toward the objective of everyone working toward the improvement of our society and move away from extremists like those speaking at the D convention,

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    • liesmaComment by liesma
      September 7, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      Don’t be fooled by polls as they can be skewed to show any answer the people requesting the poll want. Especially in an election year.

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    • Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
      September 7, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

      There are ALWAYS “bounces” right after conventions.

      I’d like to know why Obama looked so emaciated at the convention. I think he knows he’s toast and it’s eating him alive.

      I don’t think there really are any good polls any more. I often wish there were none at all They are all over the place and many are intentionally skewed. Too many people have given up their land lines and most of the people I know won’t even talk to a polling entity. I also don’t believe there are people who are “undecided”. A person would have to be a absolute turnip to be undecided in this election year!

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  11. liesmaComment by liesma
    September 7, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    “but Republicans “keep standing in the way of growth and certainty for our economy.”

    I suppose it can seem that way since whenever a Rep. wants to meet with Obama to try to work things out, Obama “disappears” or isn’t “available”…

    “”important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”

    Actually it was three months since they also corrected and lowered the numbers for June and July.

    “In Tampa, Mitt Romney didn’t offer one idea that would create good-paying, sustainable jobs for the middle class,”

    That should read “In Charlotte, Obama…”

    “the president “understands we still have a long way to go”

    Yeah, some of those golf courses can really wear you out…

    “You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.”

    Decades? Really? As in plural? If he’s not including Clinton in this, then he’s including himself…or both he and Clinton. How’s your back feel right now, Bill?

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  12. mbmbcsComment by mbmbcs
    September 7, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    You got that right Vietnamvet …look at this clip! If it does not come out – cut and past, you will not believe it…or maybe you will

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  13. Mercy SwailsComment by Mercy Swails
    September 7, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

    The American economy has always rebounded unless interfered with, the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. You have to deliberately depress the economy with over regulation, so called stimulus packages, taxation & social programs. I haven’t had a raise in four years. Most people are in the same boat or worse. It’s called socialism, false equality. I prefer freedom thank you.

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  14. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    September 7, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    Awww, wut a shame. And to make it worse he couldn’t hold the convention in the open arena and make it lightening.
    Then the major screw up about throwing God out and about Jerusalem. If he can suddenly become the messiah the Jews are waiting for he might be able to win this election, but he is going to have to act fast.

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  15. gnafuComment by gnafu
    September 7, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    America needs real creative jobs and not from the Big Government. If they keep hands off, Americans will use their ingenuity and create but not under the current circumstances. WE don’t want Big Government in our lives telling us we don’t have the ability to start and grow our own businesses. That is totally un-American!

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  16. vevaComment by veva
    September 7, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear.”
    WOW. That is exactly what he has done 2008-2012. Tell us what he thinks we want to hear, because, after all, many will believe that he means it. Nonsense. He hasn’t done anything that should be done, but is dishonest, crooked and deceitful. The unemployment numbers are fudged. It is closer to 9%,(and his opponents should use that figure) and much, much more in many states! Especially among the youth and minority Americans. It’s easy to be so callous when your pay is $400,000.

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  17. AMVoterComment by AMVoter
    September 8, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    Obama and his thugs have said that it is important not to read too much into the jobs report over 30 times. Obama sounds like a broken record.

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  18. sunshine52Comment by sunshine52
    September 8, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    The job situation is weak, and the future for it improving is bleak. My son, who graduated with a degree in English, is finding it impossible to land a teaching job. Instead, he is selling cars for a living. Don’t misread me, there is nothing wrong with being a car salesman…but his dream upon graduation was to educate children. This is what he studied for, and his talent is being wasted. He even toyed with the idea of relocating his family to another state, but after filing numerous applications, he learned what he already knew. Teaching jobs, and jobs in general, are scarce no matter where you live. This problem is not a local one; it is nationwide…My husband was an investment banker who needlessly lost his life on 9/11. I am sure, without a doubt, he is looking down at our nation and “rolling his eyes” at the way it is regressing instead of progressing. People are losing their houses. They have had to swallow their pride and go on unemployment, collect food stamps, etc. “No jobs = no money”. I shudder to even think what lies ahead. If Obama thinks he has improved the job market, he is only fooling himself. We know better. The number of jobs out there is slipping at a steady pace, even if he did bail out GM. It’s time to give someone else out there a chance to turn it around. Mitt may be just the person to do it. He has my vote without a doubt.

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