Biden clings to final jobs report heading into Election Day
NEWARK, N.J. — With polls closed Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden called President Barack Obama Friday morning to discuss his jobs numbers, and a final forecast that, if correct, could vault his candidacy into national prominence amid a national economic resurgence but also highlight the obstacles the former Democratic presidential nominee faces in winning re-election.
“I’m not interested in a debate about which party’s better,” Obama, who will be making only his second trip to New Jersey since the Democratic primaries for president, said in a telephone interview Friday as he left a private fundraiser. He said he’d rather have his party focus on what’s at hand, including the next election in November 2014.
“I just want America to be excited about what’s happening, what’s important,” he said, referring to the Obama-Biden administration’s emphasis on jobs.
But with his re-election race shaping up as perhaps the longest of all in modern times, Obama would not go head-to-head with Biden on any aspect of Obama’s job-creation and performance record in office. With this final jobs report, which will take into account the economy’s recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s, the final tally of his domestic record could determine his political fate and whether he advances to a second term in 2014.
In an interview after the event, Obama described the former vice president as a “straight shooter” who “really understands the importance of hard work.”
In his final report, Obama also pledged to tackle an issue that’s at the center of his political brand — and could be a potential issue in re-election.
“If I get reelected, I will push us back to post-recessionary levels of unemployment,” said Obama. “But we can’t get there from here without a strong economy. And the fact that we are headed down that path should make all Democrats in this country concerned that no