Obama Braces for Jobs Report on Campaign Trip

Posted July 6th, 2012 at 8:05 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is facing the release of a potentially weak jobs report from June as he wraps up a two-day campaign bus tour in Ohio and Pennsylvania Friday.

A report that matches the dismal jobs figures from May, when the economy added just 69,000 jobs, would deal another blow to Mr. Obama's

claims that the U.S. economy has improved since he took office. Economists are predicting that employers added between 90,000 and 100,000 jobs last month.

Ohio and Pennsylvania are two crucial states in the November general election, both of which Mr. Obama carried in the 2008 election. The president is using the campaign swing to portray himself more like a champion of average, working-class Americans than his presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, a wealthy businessman before entering politics.

Romney's supporters have begun to criticize him for not taking a more forceful stance against the Democratic incumbent. An editorial Thursday in the conservative-leaning Wall Street Journal newspaper says Romney is “slowly squandering a historic opportunity” to undercut Mr. Obama's re-election bid by not putting out a clear message on a number of issues, including the national health care reform law that was upheld last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Republican Party officials announced Thursday that Romney had raised more than $100 million in June, along with state and national party committees.

The former Massachusetts governor is enjoying a break from the campaign, vacationing with his family in New Hampshire.

Speaking at a campaign stop near Toledo, Ohio Thursday, Mr. Obama announced a new complaint filed with the World Trade Organization on more than $3 billion in allegedly unfair Chinese duties on American-made cars. He told the crowd that Americans need a “fair playing field.”

Toledo is home to a big auto plant complex. Mr. Obama noted that six previous WTO challenges to China have been successful.