Vote 2012: President Obama Campaigns in Waterloo

President Barack Obama speaks during a grassroots campaign event Tuesday, August 14,2012 at the RiverLoop Amphitheater in Waterloo. The stop in Waterloo was President Obama's final scheduled event on the second day of his three day bus tour across Iowa. President Obama will also speak at events in Dubuque and Waterloo on Wednesday. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

WATERLOO, Iowa - President Barack Obama stressed an economic message Tuesday night in Waterloo, saying electing Mitt Romney would mean a return to trickle-down economics.

Speaking before a crowd of 1,800 at Waterloo's RiverLoop Amphitheater, Obama criticized Romney’s economic plans, saying the idea of giving more tax breaks to wealthy Americans won’t help the middle class and won’t help stimulate the economy.

“We tried this before. We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before. Guess what? It didn’t work then and it won’t work now,” Obama said to cheers from his supporters.

“It’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to reduce the deficit. It’s not a plan to move our economy forward. It’s not a plan to revive the middle class," he said

Obama praised the economic progress made under the Bill Clinton administration, indicating that’s the direction his vision for America is headed. In particular, he praised the deficit reduction and job creation in the Clinton years.

“I don’t believe in trickle-down economics, I believe in middle class-out economics. I believe in bottom-up economics. I believe in making sure everybody’s got a fair shot. That’s why I’m running for a second term as president of the United States of America,” Obama said.

His answer from the crowd was a chant of “four more years.”

Obama often credits Iowa as helping launch his presidential campaign, and he thanked the Waterloo crowd once again for giving him his start.

While speakers warming up the crowd hammered on Romney and running mate Paul Ryan for Medicare and Social Security changes in Ryan’s budget plans, Obama mostly stuck to drawing contrasts between his economic plans and those of his rivals.

In a working-class town like Waterloo which still retains a strong organized labor presence, the message was on key.

When he strayed from the economy, he touted his foreign policy record in ending the war in Iraq and eliminating Osama bin Laden.

Obama also talked of how the Affordable Care Act is now a settled issue after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on it in June. He also said it benefits Americans.

He talked of how he now uses the term “Obamacare” because he does care.

“I’ve never heard him embrace the term Obamacare. Tonight he did and I think it’s fantastic,” said Pierre-Damian Mvuyekure of Cedar Falls.

Obama painted his plans for America as one that creates opportunities for everyone, while Romney’s plan would help the rich and then rely on hope that the benefits would then reach the masses. He said he wants to continue to work to reduce waste in the government.

“We can't bring down our deficit and our debt just by asking for us to get rid of the things that help open up opportunities for Americans,” Obama said.

Tuesday was the second day of a three-day Iowa bus tour that began Monday in Council Bluffs. On Wednesday he will speak in Dubuque and Davenport.

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