FAIRFAX -- President Obama, speaking at a rally at George Mason University in Virginia, told an enthusiastic crowd that Friday's jobs report is a reminder that "we are moving forward" and have "come too far to turn back now."
"Today I believe that as a nation we are moving forward again," he said. "After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have added 5.2 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years. This morning we found out the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since I took office. More Americans entered the work force, more people are getting jobs. Now every month reminds us we’ve still got too many of our friends and neighbors looking for work, too many middle-class families struggling to pay the bills."
The president took a veiled shot at Republicans -- including presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- who responded to the report by pointing out that there is still plenty of bad economic data out there.
"Today’s news is not an excuse to talk down the economy, to score a few political points," he said. "It's a reminder this country has come too far to turn back now."
Then Obama played a little politics himself, saying the country can't go back to Republican leadership now. "We’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that created the problem in the first place," he said. "I cannot allow that to happen, I will not allow that to happen and that’s why I’m running for a second term."
"I’ve seen too much pain, too much struggle to let this country get hit with another round of top-down economics," Obama added. "Governor Romney wants to roll back the rules we put in place to stop that behavior? That’s not going to happen."