(CNN) - With the conventions over, the running mates picked, and 60 days to go until the election, Friday began a new stage of the presidential campaign. And it came with a big new piece of fodder for both campaigns.
The latest government jobs report, released Friday morning, showed unemployment at a five-year high of 6.1 percent.
"You would think that George Bush and his potential Republican successor John McCain would be spending a lot of time worrying about the economy, and all these jobs that are being lost on their watch," Barack Obama told voters at a campaign stop in Duryea, Pennsylvania.
Instead, he said, speakers at the Republican National Convention "didn't say a thing about what is going on with the middle class."
On the campaign trail, Obama has been working to link McCain to the unpopular president, and to convince voters that McCain doesn't understand the economic troubles facing them.
Some speakers at the Republican convention did discuss the middle class, and McCain promised economic improvements during his speech Thursday night, saying, "These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and you're struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home."
McCain echoed those remarks Friday at a campaign stop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin - like Pennsylvania, a key swing state. "These are tough times. Today the jobs report is another tough reminder," he said.
He added, "All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's what I intend to do. Stand on your side and fight for your future."
Unlike the day after the Democratic National Convention, when McCain's surprise pick of Sarah Palin for his running mate quickly shifted the media's attention to the GOP camp, Friday brought no major new curve in the race to the White House. But it marked the beginning of a new swing-state blitz, with both camps facing an exhaustive schedule in the coming weeks.