(NBC) -- Before the release of today's jobs report, President Obama was on message. "Our goal isn't just to put people back to work tomorrow; it's also to build for the long haul an economy where hard work pays off," said the President.
A drop in unemployment claims is good news, but not good enough to cinch his re-election.
"What Barack Obama's gotta do is convince people that their lives would be worse if Mitt Romney gets elected," says CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, John Harwood.
And that's a tall order with voters like Shannon Diehl. "Every week I apply for four or five jobs and, nothing."
Later today, the President will sign a big transportation bill designed to create jobs, after wrapping up a two-day battleground state bus tour.
In Ohio, he announced his administration's getting tough with China for unfair trade practices.
Mitt Romney's campaign was there to answer.
"You have heard the phrase 'Johnny come lately' when it comes to getting tough with China this is 'Barack come lately,' " said the former Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty.
Potential GOP Vice Presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindall have been crossing paths with the Obama bus tour, trying to give the President a rough road.
After today, there are just four jobs reports before the election, and the last is released just four days before voters go to the polls.