In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, President Barack Obama contrasted his vision for America with the vision of his opponent, Mitt Romney. Our Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
On Thursday night, President Obama made his pitch for a second term, in part by drawing a contrast with Republicans, whom he portrayed as narrowly focused on tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
"All they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last 30 years," he said. “'Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!'”
Obama touted his own record, from reinventing the auto industry to expanding renewable energy, though he steered mostly entirely clear of mentioning health care reform. On national security, meanwhile, he spoke of proven leadership.
"Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did," he said. "I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead."
The president also laid out specific goals, such as one million new manufacturing jobs by 2016 and cutting oil imports in half by 2020.
His opponent, Obama argued, would reverse progress on issues like education and climate change. And he took a swipe at Mitt Romney for his inexperience on foreign policy.
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally," he said.
It wasn't quite the spectacle that had been envisioned. Fearing thunderstorms, organizers moved the speech from a football stadium to a much smaller indoor arena, shutting out tens of thousands of ticket holders. Still, Obama did his best to rekindle the spirit of 2008, returning to the theme of hope and emphasizing our shared bonds.
"We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules," he said. "We don’t think government can solve all our problems. But we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles."
The celebration won't last long. It's back to the campaign trail Friday, with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden appearing together New Hampshire and Iowa, two of the swing states where the November election will be decided.