The Straits Times
Published on Oct 06, 2012

Good jobs number electrifies Obama campaign


CLEVELAND, Ohio (AFP) - A relieved Barack Obama basked on Saturday in shock good news as unemployment dipped below 8 per cent to the lowest point of his presidency, stealing headlines from his rival Mitt Romney's thumping debate win.

Unexpected data which showed the jobless rate fell to 7.8 per cent electrified Mr Obama's re-election campaign, which was knocked back by the president's grim performance in Wednesday's first presidential debate.

"Today, I believe that as a nation we are moving forward again," said Mr Obama who was pumped up at a rowdy rally in Virginia, in a marked contrast to his listless performance in his clash with Republican challenger Romney.

Mr Romney, banking on a turnaround in the polls after the debate in Denver, immediately claimed the Obama economy was not in a "real recovery", but the Labour Department figures robbed the attack of its previous potency.