Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announces that he is formally entering the race for the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination Reuters

Republican presidential candidates seized on a new report showing anemic job growth to criticize Obama's stewardship of the economy.

The Labor Department analysis revealed slower than expected gob growth, with a mere 54,000 new jobs pushing the unemployment rate from 9 percent to 9.1 percent. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in his first town hall appearance since declaring his candidacy for president, said that Obama can no longer blame President George W. Bush.

This is now his economy, Romney said, adding that Obama's tendency to borrow and spend money is awfully European.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also sought to bind Obama to the poor economy, referring to the Obama recession.

Once again, weak job creation and an increase in unemployment to 9.1 percent is further evidence that the administration's policies are falling and the Obama recession could become much worse, Gingrich said.

Former Utah governor and presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman did not attack Obama directly, instead holding up his accomplishments as governor.

As governor of Utah - while our country faded into recession - we created an environment that brought jobs to the state without resorting to out of control spending and debt, Huntsman said in a statement. It is time for America to do the same, putting an end to the suffering of millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity.