As Economy Worsens, Obama Says Rivals Are Behind The Curve

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks during a press conference with Major General Scott Gration, U.S. Air Force, left, General Merrill McPeak, U.S. Air Force, and other military leaders from the United States armed forces Wednesday, March 12, 2008 in Chicago. Citing his judgment and ability to lead, admirals and generals from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, that together have served under the last nine Commanders-in-Chief today announced their endorsement of Obama for president. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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Fort Wayne, Ind. (AP) The latest unemployment figures are providing the democratic and republican presidential candidates a chance to highlight their differences on the economy.

The Labor Department reported today that unemployment rose to 5.1 percent last month.

Barack Obama says that's a sign the nation is “sliding into recession.” he says John McCain's response is to stand on the sidelines and watch the housing crisis unfold, while Obama's been pushing for action such as a crackdown on predatory lending practices.

Hillary Rodham Clinton also criticized McCain, saying today's jobs report might make the likely republican nominee “recognize that doing nothing is not an economic strategy in times of urgent need.”

Mccain issued a statement saying the news “underlines the need to focus on innovation.” he says that will help the economy grow and create a need for worker retraining.