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Obama: "The economy is getting stronger"

President Obama hailed the latest report on job growth while visiting a Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant.

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks after touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant, on March 9, 2012 in Prince George County, Virginia. President Obama talked about jobs and today's Labor Department report showing employer's added more jobs than last month. (Mark Wilson/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama hailed the latest report on job growth, addressing a crowd while visiting a new Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant on Friday, according to The New York Times.

Expressing cautious optimism, Obama said, "Day by day, we’re restoring this economy from crisis," while speaking to a crowd of around 1,500 people in Virginia, a key battleground state.

The Los Angeles Times noted that Obama won Virginia by 6 percentage points in 2008, showing gains in a historically conservative state.

Gearing up for re-election, Obama warned that Republican policies were "what got us into this mess," adding, "I did not run for this office just to get back to where we were. I ran for this office to get us where we needed to be. And I promise you, we will get there," according to the Associated Press.

The Labor Department reported today that employers in the US added 227,000 jobs in Feb., while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.3 percent, according to Bloomberg. Job growth in the last six months has reportedly been the strongest since 2006.

More on GlobalPost: US economy adds 227,000 jobs in February

According to The Times, 4 million jobs have been created in the last two years. However, that is half the number of jobs that were lost in the recession that hit after the financial crisis of 2007.

While acknowledging that there were still many Americans looking for work, Obama addressed the crowd at the new manufacturing plant and said, "When I come to places like this, and I see the work that's being done, it gives me confidence there are better days ahead," according to The LA Times.

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Speaking at the manufacturing plant was a symbolically significant gesture, as Obama sought to emphasize the key role that manufacturing would play in an economic recovery. Obama's budget for 2013 allocated $1 billion to be used to establish "as many as 15 manufacturing hubs nationwide and a $45 million commitment of existing funds from the Defense, Energy and Commerce departments and the National Science Foundation for a competitive program that will help support research and advanced manufacturing equipment development," said Bloomberg.

Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, pointed out the unchanging unemployment rate to a crowd in Mississippi, saying, "This president has not succeeded; this president has failed — and that's the reason we're going to get rid of him in 2012," according to the AP.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120309/obama-job-growth-manufacturing-rolls-royce