Gingrich on jobs report: 'Anemic growth is not growth'

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"Newt Gingrich is so detached from reality that he doesn't even know the current jobs numbers. Maybe on the moon it doesn't matter, but it does in Nevada," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.

But after reviewing the numbers, Gingrich largely sided with Romney, who said in a statement earlier Friday that the economy would be doing better had President Obama not been elected.

"I believe the economy will begin to recover the day Barack Obama is voted out of office," Gingrich said.

Buoyed largely on the jobs data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday at its highest level since May 2008, before the brunt of the economic recession. The report found that the United States had added 243,000 jobs in January — nearly 100,000 more than most projections — and that unemployment fell to 8.3 percent.

At an event in Arlington, Va., earlier Friday, the president told Congress not to "muck up" the recovery and pass an extension of the payroll tax cut.