"This morning we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office," Mr. Obama said. "So more Americans have entered the workforce more people are getting jobs."
For the first time in nearly four years the unemployment rate fell below 8 percent in what economists call a sharp drop down to 7.8 percent. For the president, a psychological and political barrier was suddenly broken.
"It's a reminder that this country's come too far to turn back now," he said.
For months the jobs numbers have been central to Romney's stump speech. Now with 114,000 jobs added in September, Romney faces a tricky balance arguing voters should change course in the midst of an improving picture that he says is improving too slowly.
"The unemployment rate as you know has come down very slowly but it's come down nonetheless. The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work," Romney said.
As Romney takes a three-day tour of Florida -- considered a must-win state for him -- Mr. Obama is heading west for a big fundraising concert and rally Sunday at Nokia Live, followed Monday by the dedication of the Cesar Chavez National Monument.
With a month to go, no matter where the candidates are, the economy and jobs remain two key issues.
Most national polls show the president with a slight edge and a larger lead in the key battlegrounds. Democrats think the drop in unemployment could be just what the president needed to push him across the finish line.