Even while traveling in Europe on Friday, President Bush (search) couldn't help but toast the political blessings of a growing U.S. economy.

"248,000 jobs for last month is good for the American workers. It shows that our economy is vital and growing," the president said after a meeting with Pope John Paul II (search) in the Vatican.

The Bush team was quick to use the new numbers in a television ad that was released hours after the Labor Department (search) report.

The use of economic performance is a strategic shift for the campaign, which for months has been hammered by Democratic complaints about a "jobless recovery" (search). After six months of improving numbers, the Democrats are now nuancing their message.

"There are still too many people who can't afford health care, can't afford to go to college, there are too many people struggling while at the top end people get ahead. I think it ought to be the reverse," said Kerry.

Click here to watch a report by Fox News' Major Garrett.