Obama Hits Campaign Trail, Following Acceptance Speech

Posted September 7th, 2012 at 2:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has embarked on a three-day campaign swing, a day after accepting the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Both Mr. Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are spending Friday reaching out to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key states in the November 6 elections.

At an event in New Hampshire, President Obama repeated the main points of his convention speech, telling voters they face the “clearest choice” of any time in a generation when they go to the polls — a “choice between two different paths for America.”

Mr. Obama asked Americans to rally around his goals for manufacturing, energy, education, national security and deficit reduction, saying they will “lead to new jobs and more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation.” He said he is running for a second term as president to “finish the job,” “keep moving forward” and “build off the progress” the nation has made.

But in Iowa Friday for his own campaign rally, Mr. Romney told reporters that there is “almost nothing the president has done in the past three-and-a-half, four years, that gives the American people confidence that he knows what he is doing when it comes to jobs and the economy.”

Mr. Romney capitalized on the latest jobs figures to criticize President Obama. The U.S. labor market added just 96,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate remained above 8 percent for a 43rd straight month. Mr. Romney said the jobs report shows President Obama “hasn't lived up to his promises and his policies haven't worked.”

In his speech in New Hampshire Friday, President Obama acknowledged that the report was “not good enough.” But he noted that businesses had added jobs for 30 straight months after losing 800,000 jobs a month when he took office.

The president stepped up to the podium after Vice President Joe Biden, who talked up Mr. Obama to the crowd. Biden said the president has the “courage to make the tough calls,” adding that “almost all the calls today are tough.”

In his convention speech Thursday, Mr. Obama included fierce criticism of Mr. Romney, faulting his challenger and the Republican Party on a range of issues, including foreign policy, taxes and health care.

The president said that Republicans are calling for tax cuts as the solution to everything. But he said he does not believe tax breaks for millionaires will bring jobs or pay down the nation's deficit. On foreign policy, Mr. Obama accused Romney of wanting to take the nation “back to an era of blustering and blundering.”