(NBC) -- President Obama got good news on the economy Thursday.
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment last week, and U.S. exports are on the rise.
He claimed he's been "righting the ship".
Conservatives fear Mitt Romney, trailing in most battleground states, needs a boost.
The influential Wall Street Journal urged him to pick Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Ryan is the controversial House Budget Committee Chairman who would cut the deficit by scaling back Medicare.
"The problem with picking Paul Ryan is the very thing conservatives intellectuals love about him, that he's serious about cutting Medicare, is not popular. In fact it's a big risk that Romney would take," says CNBC's John Harwood.
Less risky would be picking Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, or Senator Rob Portman of swing state Ohio.
In the meantime, Romney plans to air a new attack ad, accusing President Obama of waging a "war on religion" in the form of the Affordable Care Act.
More upsetting, even to some Democrats, is the newest attack ad blaming Romney for the death of a woman after Bain Capitol closed her husband's plant.
It claims she became ill a short time after her husband lost her job, then died.
In truth, it was five years after the plant closed.
The president's aides point out the ad is the work of a Super PAC he can't control, not the Obama Campaign.