(NBC) - The Democratic National Convention is officially underway in Charlotte, North Carolina. On his way to the convention, President Obama went to Norfolk, Virginia.
He did not mention Tuesday's bad economic news.
Factory activity was down for a third straight month, and construction spending was down in July as well.
Aides said the president knows more needs to be done.
"On Thursday night I will offer what I believe is a better path forward, a path that will create good jobs," he told the Norfolk crowd.
An Obama goal in Charlotte is to get key voters groups he needs reenergized and ready to go to the polls.
In last months NBC News poll, just 52% of young voters and only only 49% of Latinos said they're enthusiastic about the election, 20 points lower than last time.
Democrats hope Michelle Obama can help with her prime time speech, urging a big turnout.
"It's our responsibility at any age to exercise the rights that people before us fought so hard to have," she says.
The president doesn't arrive in Charlotte until Wednesday, and watching from Washington.
"I'm going to be at home and I'm going to be watching it with our girls, and I am gonna try not to let them see their daddy cry, because when Michelle starts talking, I start getting all misty," he says.
One hour of the convention will be broadcast tonight, Michelle Obama's speech and the keynote by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will urge Hispanics to vote.