Jobs report leaves Obama, Romney campaigns wary

Published April 6, 2012 9:09PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's steady-but-modest job growth presents political challenges for both of November's all-but-certain presidential rivals.

Republican Mitt Romney needs an ailing economy to fully exploit his image as a "Mr. Fix-It" who can heal the nation's financial health.

President Barack Obama needs job-creation momentum to persuade voters that things are moving in the right direction even if millions of people remain unemployed.

Friday's neither-hot-nor-cold jobs report leaves both campaigns unsure of whether they can sell their narratives.

Employers added 120,000 jobs last month. That's half the December-February pace and well short of the 210,000 economists were expecting.

The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in February to 8.2 percent. That's the lowest level since about the time Obama took office.

By Salon Staff

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