The Washington Times - June 1, 2012, 10:23AM

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing the unemployment rate had ticked up to 8.2 percent, is “devastating news” for the nation and more proof that President Obama’s economic approach isn’t working.

The report showed 69,000 jobs were added in May, far below the 150,000 that many economists had forecast and the Obama administration had hoped.

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“This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another,” Mr. Romney said in a news release. “Slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims and now another dismal jobs report all stand as a harsh indictment of the president’s handling of the economy. It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class.”

The jobs report is another gut check for Mr. Obama, whose federal health care overhaul has been casted as a job-killer by Republicans and whose administration sold the $831 billion stimulus package on the idea that it would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent.

But that has not happened in the 39 months since Mr. Obama traveled to Denver in early 2009 to sign the bill into law — giving Mr. Romney an easy target to attack on the campaign trail.

The lower than predicted job creation numbers also seem to buoy Mr. Romney’s argument that he is better equipped than the president to tackle the nation’s economic problems after spending decades in the private sector.

Survey after survey shows that while voters may see Mr. Obama as the more likable guy, they trust Mr. Romney more when it comes to improving the economy.

“The president’s re-election slogan may be ‘forward,’ but it seems like we’ve been moving backward. We can do so much better in America. That’s why I’m running for president,” Mr. Romney said.