JACKSON, Miss.---Mitt Romney did not specifically mention the new unemployment figures during a “town hall” event in Mississippi’s capital Friday morning. The closest he came was a swipe at President Obama over the “documentary” his campaign produced to tout the president’s achievements.

“Talk to the 24 million Americans that are out of work or underemployed in this country,” Romney said, and you would hear a different story than the one in Obama’s film. “How about our soldiers coming home, who can’t find work? You can talk to them.”

Otherwise, Romney’s stump speech followed a familiar pattern, criticizing Obama for the state of the economy: “We have fewer jobs. We have more debt. And we have bigger government. That’s why we have to get him out of office.”

Romney spoke to a crowd of several hundred in a hall at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market.

A day after Romney was ridiculed for telling supporters in Pascagoula, Miss., “I like grits,” Romney went one further. That morning, he said, he’d eaten a biscuit and cheesy grits. “The governor said I had to say it right,” Romney said when he took the stage, standing near Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), a supporter.

“Morning y’all!”

Romney also had an unplanned encounter with one of the Gulf Coast’s most famous--and least favorite--wildlife. A large bug scurried out into the candidate’s vicinity during the middle of an audience member’s question.

Romney, it turned out, is aw-shucks genial ... even when he kills.”Ooh, look at that. Look at that little guy right there,” Romney said. He squashed the bug under his shoe. “Got him!”

Then Romney seemed to think of preserving his hosts’ good reputation. “It wasn’t a cockroach. I promise you.”