Romney seizes on job figures to blame US 'misery' on Obama

President hits back at Republican's attack during tour of crucial must-win states

Another consignment of discouraging employment numbers in the United States was seized on yesterday by Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger in the presidential race, as evidence that the economic policies of President Barack Obama are misconceived and that voters should fire him in November.

With the economy likely to decide the 2012 election, Mr Romney will be hoping to gain fresh momentum from the latest Labor Department jobs report. It said that US employers added a mere 80,000 new jobs in June, lower than forecast and not enough to shift an unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 per cent.

"American families are struggling; there's a lot of misery in America today," Mr Romney declared. "The President's policies have not gotten America working again. And the President is going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it." He added: "This kick in the gut has got to end."

A week after Mr Obama was boosted by a US Supreme Court ruling upholding his healthcare reforms, his campaign prospects have dimmed again. The Romney campaign is proving a fundraising juggernaut, hauling in $100m (£65m) in June alone. The government last week also revealed that US manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly three years.

The monthly job figures are not likely to improve significantly before the November vote, a reality that will weigh heavily on Mr Obama's re-election efforts.

The jobs report dropped as President Obama was midway through a bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania, two of his must-win states. He told supporters in Poland, Ohio, that the numbers were a "step in the right direction", and warned that Mr Romney has a low-tax, supply-side and trickle-down vision that would mean a return to the policies of George W Bush.

"Their basic idea is if everyone is on their own doing what they do, everyone is going to be just fine," Mr Obama suggested to ripples of laughter. "Now it's a theory, but I think it's wrong… We just tried it. We tried it in the decade before I took office." But if the election comes to down to trust and which of the two men is likely to right the economy, the road ahead for Mr Obama looks bumpy. Recent polls show a majority of Americans remain unhappy with his stewardship of the economy. Meanwhile yesterday's jobs report came at a time when voters are beginning to form more concrete views about who they will support in November.

Mr Romney will meanwhile be seeking to bolster any fresh momentum for his campaign by unveiling his choice of a running mate, perhaps earlier rather than later but certainly before the party convention at the end of August.

Secrecy remains tight around the process but speculation has begun to focus on Senator Rob Portman, who is regarded as solid if a bit grey. More important, perhaps, is his home state: Ohio.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map