Obama on jobs report: We've "come too far to turn back now"
President Obama speaks at a campaign event at George Mason University, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in Fairfax, Va. / AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Celebrating a September jobs report that showed the lowest unemployment level since he took office, President Obama on Friday tried to make the case at a Fairfax, Va., rally that "this country has come too far to turn back now."
The Labor Department announced Friday that employers added 114,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent - a welcome gift for the president, up against newfound momentum from GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Positive news about Americans finding work could help to tip the scale in the incumbent's favor, something Mr. Obama half-joked about Friday.
Obama on jobs report: We've come "too far to turn back now"
"For the 'undecideds' who are here," he said to laughter in the crowd, "as well as those who are watching today - I've said before, this is a choice not just between two candidates and two parties, but a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America. And today, I believe that as a nation, we are moving forward again. We're moving forward again."
While the president acknowledged there are still "too many of our friends and neighbors" looking for work, he argued, "they were struggling long before the crisis hit."
"Today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points," he continued after talking up the jobs numbers for a minute and a half. "It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
Mr. Obama also continued to mock Romney's performance Wednesday at the first presidential debate - which pundits have largely awarded to the GOP nominee - calling his policy arguments an "extreme makeover" from his primary platform.
Obama: Romney "fact-checked by his own campaign"
After Romney claimed in the debate that he'd cover preexisting conditions under his health care plan, the president said, "I explained, 'Well actually your plan doesn't do that.' And then his campaign has to come out and say, 'Actually, that's not true, our plan wouldn't do that.' So Gov. Romney was fact-checked by his own campaign. That's rough."
And though Romney on Thursday night called "completely wrong" a remark he made privately that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government and consider themselves "victims," Mr. Obama didn't let up on the comments, saying Romney proved he is "willing to write off half the nation" before even taking office. He also kept up his ridicule of Romney's promise to cut federal funding to PBS as a way to bring down the deficit.
"For all you moms and kids out there, don't worry," Mr. Obama said, "somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird... Elmo's gotta watch out too. Gov. Romney plans to let Wall Street run wild again, but he's going to bring down the hammer on Sesame Street."
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