Friday morning's weak jobs report made it easy for Republicans to attack President Barack Obama's economic policy, quickly blaming him for the lower-than-expected 69,000 jobs added in May and an increased employment rate from 8.1% to 8.2% as the White House played down the numbers.
Today's weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families, Romney said in a statement.
It is now clear to everyone that President Obama's policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America's middle class. The president's re-election slogan may be 'forward,' but it seems like we've been moving backward, he said.
The May job report marks the first time in eleven months the unemployment rate increased. The additional 69,000 jobs is scant compared to what was added to the economy in the past: 77,000 in April, 143,000 in March, 259,000 in February, and 275,000 in January.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus accused Obama of running away from his own words, attempting to distract voters by attacking free enterprise -- a reference to the Obama campaign strategy that uses Romney's experience at Bain Capital to describe him as a job-killer.
As President Obama jets off to multiple campaign fundraisers today, families across America are still struggling just to make ends meet, Priebus said in the statement.
Both Priebus and Republican House Speaker John Boehner used the jobs report to argue against a second term for Obama, with Priebus giving praise to Romney's ability to turn the economy around and Boehner touting the GOP-backed jobs plans he is trying to push through the Democrat-controlled Senate.
But the American people don't have to accept the president's new normal of fewer jobs and higher prices, Boehner said in a statement. Republicans have a Plan for America's Job Creators designed to remove the government barriers hold back economic growth and hurting job creation ... While Senate Democrats are blocking these and other important jobs bills, and President Obama is occupied campaigning, the House will continue to focus on liberating job creators and building a stronger economy for all Americans.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference, told CNN he doesn't blame the president for creating the country's economic problems, but held him accountable for making it worse.
What we need is to promote economic growth, fundamental tax reform, he told the network. You won't get economic growth with this president's policies.
Meanwhile, the White House sought to play down the statistics from a single jobs report with a positive outlook.
As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision, wrote economic adviser Alan Krueger on the White House website. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.
At the Honeywell Golden Valley facility in Minnesota Friday afternoon, Obama aimed to shoot down partisan attacks by speaking of economic recovery as a responsibility bigger than the election.
Hailing the auto industry, which has come roaring back, and manufacturing for adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, Obama said America deserve[s] leaders who will stand should to shoulder with you to do everything they can to strengthen the middle class.