Jobs report leaves Obama, Romney campaigns wary
Republican Mitt Romney needs an ailing economy to fully exploit his image as a “Mr. Fix-It” who can restore the nation’s financial health, as he turned around the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics. President Barack Obama needs job-creation momentum to persuade voters that things are moving in the right direction, even if millions of people remain unemployed. The U.S. jobs picture was bleaker when Romney began his second presidential bid a year ago, emphasizing his experience in running the Olympic games and reorganizing companies while at Bain Capital. “Millions of Americans are paying a high price for President Obama’s economic policies, and more and more people are growing so discouraged that they are dropping out of the labor force altogether,” he said in a statement. Republican strategist Brian Nick said Obama will have a hard time convincing voters they should accept a poky recovery and an unemployment rate that has exceeded 8 percent for more than three years. The president said at The Associated Press annual meeting in Washington that Romney has embraced “thinly veiled social Darwinism” by backing a House GOP budget that would cut taxes for Americans, including the wealthiest, and reduce spending on many programs. Obama’s Chicago-based campaign paid less attention Friday to the jobs report than to a Washington Post story about Romney’s hard-to-find financial assets and an equal-pay dispute in Wisconsin.