Vote 2012: President Obama Campaigns in Davenport
By Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times
DAVENPORT, Iowa — With Election Day fast approaching, President Barack Obama sought to make his case for a second term in a nearly 20-minute speech at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds Wednesday morning, arguing he has a plan that will “leave nobody behind,” while warning that Republican rival Mitt Romney is trying to dodge his past positions.
The president appeared to address complaints that he is not emphasizing enough his ideas for a second term, repeatedly peppering his remarks with visions for the next four years and a plan that he says sets himself apart from Romney.
“I’ve got a plan that will actually create jobs, that will actually lower the deficit, that will actually create middle-class security,” the president said.
He called for ending tax breaks used by companies that shift jobs overseas, providing incentives for businesses that keep jobs here, cutting oil imports in half by 2020, hiring more math and science teachers and reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years,
The rally in Davenport kicked off a two-day, six-state tour that will take him to Denver and Las Vegas later today. On Thursday, he’ll be in four more cities, including Chicago, where he will vote early, the first president to do so.
The president urged people at the rally to vote early. And he also took aim at Romney for what he said were lapses in describing his own record on several issues, including the auto bailout. As he has in past campaign appearances, Obama described it as “Romnesia.” “As long as you vote, Iowa, we can cure folks of this malady, of this disease,” he said.
The Obama campaign is laying out its vision in a 20-page pamphlet that it is circulating in swing states. The president urged people today to compare his ideas to Romney’s. The Romney camp has blasted the piece, saying it offers nothing new. “As much as President Obama might try, you can’t gloss over four years like the last four,” Lanhee Chen, Romney’s policy director, said in a memo Wednesday. “And you can’t fool the American people into thinking you have a real plan for the future when all you are offering is more of the same.”
Romney is scheduled to campaign in Cedar Rapids Wednesday night.
The crowd that greeted the president was enthusiastic, and he acknowledged his deep roots here, talking about how some in the audience might even remember him from when he first began running for office more than a decade ago.
Obama said he was the same guy. And that was a message that appeared to hit home with James Burrage, a 66-year-old man from Davenport. “I believe he’s a guy we can trust,” Burrage said.
He said jobs were what the country needs, and he praised the president’s handling of the auto bailout.
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