As President Obama's bus tour traveled through Ohio, the campaign hit a roadblock with the lackluster jobs report.
In June, employers added only 80,000 new jobs, less than economists expected. One third of those jobs were only in "temporary services."
It's the third straight month of weak hiring, keeping the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2 percent. Those numbers put the president back on the defense.
"That, overall, means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs -- that's a step in the right direction," Obama said.
However, the president admitted the economy has to grow "even faster."
Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped away from his vacation in New Hampshire to say the jobs report is proof the president's time is up.
"It is another kick in the gut to middle class families," Romney said. "The president's policies have not gotten America working again, and the president's going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it."
Two Republican vice presidential possibilities - Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota -- are also in Ohio stumping for Romney.
Pawlenty said the president needs to get tough with China.
"He said he was going to crack down on China's improper practices when it comes to trade and currency, and he did almost nothing about it during his presidency," Pawlenty charged.
Stocks sank throughout the day on the jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 100 points in the first few minutes of trading.
On top of that, gas prices are inching back up for the first time since April in yet another reminder the economy is still the biggest issue leading up to the November election.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is gaining financial momentum. It raised more than $100 million last month -- a record for a Republican.