After jobs report, unemployed frustrated with partisan bickering

(CBS News) LAS VEGAS - With 95 days before the election, another report adds to President Barack Obama's job creation record.

The Great Recession was still on when President Obama took office. In January 2009, the economy lost more than 800,000 jobs. It continued to lose jobs for 13 months.

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Mitt Romney campaigns at McCandless Trucking in North Las Vegas, Nev., Friday, Aug. 3.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

In March 2010, jobs began to grow. There was another dip, but jobs have been created for 22 months now. Still, that growth is too modest to put a dent in the unemployment number.

Jobs are the issue likely to decide the race for the White House, and Governor Mitt Romney wasted no time attacking his incumbent opponent on the slow recovery.

Romney came to Nevada, a state with one of worst unemployment rates in the country -- 12.1 percent -- and blasted President Obama for Friday's job numbers.

"It's another hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America," Romney told a crowd at a rally.

The former Massachusetts governor laid out a broad five-point plan to fix the economy and help the middle class through energy independence, a balanced budget, by strengthening trade, education and small businesses.

"That will create more jobs and more take-home pay, and I know how to do that," Romney said.

As Romney spoke, down the road unemployed Nevadans lined up at the Professional Institute of Technology for help with resumes and interview skills.

Sixty-four-year-old Vietnam Vet Jim Hagen lost his casino job when tourism, like housing here, plummeted in 2007. He's applied for hundreds of jobs. So far -- nothing.

"It is frustrating," Hagen said.

As for the election, the veteran isn't thrilled about either candidate. Hagen said he is disillusioned with President Obama and uncertain about Gov. Romney.

"He just seems like a corporate person who was very successful running a corporation, but this is America," Hagan said. "I don't want to not vote, but it's hard to make up my mind which one I'm going to vote for."

John Wright talks to CBS News in Las Vegas on August 3, 2012.
John Wright talks to CBS News in Las Vegas on August 3, 2012.
CBS News

John Wright lost his job managing a call center one-and-a-half year ago. He favors Mr. Obama, but hates the tone in Washington.

"They don't come together to help people looking for employment," Wright said. "I'd want them to just reach across the aisle and shake hands and say 'look, America just needs some help. People have elected us to help and we need to just stop the bickering and go to work and help people out."

Romney brought his optimistic message to this depressed city where developments sit unfinished. Hagen, the unemployed Vietnam vet, told CBS News that it all sounds like so much campaign talk to him.