WASHINGTON -- He may not have been openly celebrating, but President Barack Obama was clearly enthusiastic Friday as he weighed in on the latest jobs report that shows unemployment dipping below 8 percent -- a first since he became president.
"This morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. More Americans entered the workforce, more people are getting jobs," Obama said to cheers at a campaign event in Fairfax, Va. "Today, I believe that as a nation, we are moving forward again."
He didn't spend long celebrating the 7.8 percent unemployment rate, though. Instead, he immediately turned attention to the fact that plenty of people are still looking for work.
"Every month reminds us that too many of our friends and neighbors are looking for work," Obama continued. "Today's news is certainly not an excuse to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
Whether or not it was because of the jobs numbers, Obama was clearly having fun at Friday's event. He repeatedly poked fun at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who said during Wednesday night's presidential debate that he liked Big Bird but still wanted to gut public television funding.
Romney is "finally getting tough on Big Bird. Rounding him up. Elmo's got to watch out, too," Obama said to laughs. Romney is "going to bring down the hammer on Sesame Street. Makes perfect sense."
He later wondered aloud why Romney thinks "Big bird is driving the deficits" instead of wealthy people benefiting from tax cuts. The line, of course, drew more laughs.
Earlier Friday, Obama Campaign Co-Chair Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) took joy in the fact that Republicans can no longer hit the president for failing to bring unemployment below 8 percent.
"I'm sure they are extremely disappointed that there are better job numbers in the United States because they have been trying to sabotage ... any efforts that would actually make the economy better," Schakowsky said on MSNBC. "Now they're going to just have to live with that number."
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