President Barack Obama's re-election campaign cheered the modestly improved economic growth data released on Friday as "more evidence" that the country is still clawing back from the 2007-2008 global financial meltdown. Republican candidate Mitt Romney called the news a "discouraging" sign of an anemic recovery.
"While we have more work to do, today's GDP growth report, showing the 13th straight quarter of growth, is more evidence that our economy continues to come back from the worst recession since the Great Depression under President Obama's leadership," Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement.
Fetcher's comments came after the Commerce Department reported that Gross Domestic Product grew at a 2 percent annual rate from July to September, compared with 1.3 percent from April to June.
It was unclear whether the news—though positive for Obama—would have much of an impact on his political battle with Romney. Aides to both campaigns say they think only a small percentage of voters can still be persuaded to change their minds about which candidate would be a better steward of the economy.
Romney responded to the data by saying, "Today, we received the latest round of discouraging economic news. Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take-home pay. This is what four years of President Obama's policies have produced. Americans are ready for change—for growth, for jobs, for higher take-home pay. Paul Ryan and I will deliver it."
Fetcher also said that Romney had proposed a "drastic plan" that would harm economic growth. "His plans would punish the middle class and take us back to the same failed policies that crashed the economy and created record job losses in the first place" he said.