(CBS News) Shortly before the release of October's jobs numbers, set to low expectations, President Obama's senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs admitted on "CBS This Morning" Friday, "We're not where we all want to end up." Just four days out from the election, though, he added, "We're making serious, important progress moving forward."
"I think what we expect to see is continued movement forward, a 32nd month of positive, private sector job growth adding to the five million jobs that have been created as a result of those positive months," Gibbs said.
September's jobs report showed the lowest unemployment rate - 7.8 percent - since Mr. Obama took office, a welcome gift for the president and an alarm trigger for conservatives in a race that has tightened considerably in recent weeks. That unemployment rate is expected to be slightly higher in October's report, dampening what was an easy stump point for President Obama and fueling Mitt Romney's argument that his opponent's economic record has failed.
Gibbs reiteratedThursday on the trail - that the GOP nominee's new mantle of "change" is all talk, no walk: Romney is "not a change agent," Gibbs said. "He wants to go back to the economic theory that got us into this mess."
News that Romney will spend Sunday campaigning in Pennsylvania, considered relatively safe territory for the president, isn't worrisome for the Obama camp, Gibbs argued.
"I think it means the Romney/[Paul] Ryan campaign is desperate to try to figure out how to win this race outside of the states that they've been contesting it in for 15 months," Gibbs said. "I think that's all Pennsylvania is for the Romney/Ryan campaign. John McCain spent the last weekend in 2008 in Pennsylvania in a desperate attempt to try to do this as well."
As for the president's final days on the trail, Gibbs said Mr. Obama's focus on Wisconsin - a state also considered to be solidly in his column - shows he wants to "make sure we lock it in."
"I think what the president wants to do in the last stops... is present the case one last time in front of the people of Wisconsin," Gibbs said. "We want to show people we're moving this country forward, moving this economy forward."