Mitt Romney is playing down Friday's unexpected drop in the unemployment rate, attributing the decrease to discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs.

In his weekly podcast, the GOP nominee said the jobless rate would be closer to 11 percent "if not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force."

"The results of President Obama's failed policies are staggering," Romney said. "We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell last month to 7.8 from 8.1 percent, a welcome boost for Obama after his lackluster debate performance on Thursday night.

Romney referred to the debate on Saturday, saying Obama "could not defend his record."

"He offered no new ideas for how to fix the economy," Romney said. "What we need is a real recovery – and, unlike the president, that’s exactly what I’m offering."

While short on specifics, Romney touted his plans for recovery, for reducing the national debt and for repealing the healthcare law on Saturday.

"I will repeal Obamacare – and replace it with real reforms that provide better and more affordable care," Romney said. "I will cut spending, restore our AAA credit rating, and balance our budget within a decade."

Romney is expected to hit these themes again Saturday night during a campaign stop in Apopka, Florida.