Urbandale, Iowa (CNN) – President Obama began his "Road to Charlotte" tour before 10,000 people here on Saturday, kicking off a string of events that will bring him right up to his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.
"There's a reason for me to begin the journey here in Iowa, where it first began more than four years ago," Obama said, reminding Iowans that it was a victory at the state's caucuses in 2008 that set him on his path to the presidency. "And it will be you, Iowa, who choose the path we take from here."
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Beginning what will surely be several days spent rebutting the messages of last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the president took his opponent to task for offering "rerun" policies "better suited for the last century."
"If you didn't DVR it, let me recap it for you," Obama said of the Republican's convention. "Everything's bad. It's Obama's fault, and Governor Romney is the only one who knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. That was the pitch. There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody ever actually bothered to tell you what they were."
As an alternative, Obama touted successes in cutting taxes, expanding health care, improving education, creating green energy jobs and saving the auto industry to lay out the choice facing voters in November.
"This Thursday night I'll offer you what I believe is a better path forward," Obama said. "A path that grows this economy, creates more good jobs, strengthens the middle class, and the good news is you get to choose which path we take."
Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the president was working on the speech aboard the morning flight to Iowa.
For the first time on the stump, the president also picked up a line of attack that his campaign began shortly after GOP nominee Mitt Romney finished his acceptance speech late Thursday night.
"This November you get to decide the future of this war in Afghanistan," Obama told the crowd. "Governor Romney had nothing to say about Afghanistan last week, let alone offer a plan for the 33,000 troops who will have come home from the war by the end of this month."
The Obama campaign pointed out this omission from Romney's speech in a statement released just hours after Romney left the stage in Tampa, and continued the attack in e-mails and a web video released Friday morning. Some conservative writers also criticized the GOP nominee for not mentioning U.S. troops fighting abroad in his acceptance speech Thursday night.
In a move reminiscent of the president's rock star status as an upstart candidate in 2008, Saturday's campaign event also featured performances by indie rock band The National and former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell before the president arrived.
Responding to the president's speech, Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said that Obama may have "dubbed this trip the 'Road to Charlotte' but his policies have taken us on a road to declining incomes, higher unemployment and more uncertainty for the middle class."
well, as a democrat – and a transplant from back east – I'm not a huge obama fan – he may be a nice guy – has a nice family – wife – kids & etc – But he had 3 1/2 years to "fix it" and there's still a lot of people really hurting out there – especially the rust belt states – I mean, he can't seem to get the unemployment rate below 8% – If he gets re-elected, I'll be a monkey's uncle – Nobody, and I mean Nobody has ever got re-elected with the unemployment rate that high. Here's MY opinion : I say let somebody ELSE try their "hand" at it. Obama might be better off staying at the white house every nite, and let the butlers / servants / and cooks take care of him & his family, for the next several months, I mean – If I was him, I would have the chefs make me filet mignon and margaritas every nite, til the next guy moves into the white house.
May the Best Man Win.
Go President Obama!
Go forward 2 victory
Romney &the Republican Party are offering the same tired tax cuts & extravagant spending that started with Ronald Reagan. Since Teagan the National Debt went from less than $1trilliom to over$11 trillion when Obama was sworn in. They offer nothing on the war in Afghanistan, nothing positive on women's rights, nothing on immigration @ they are not able to clearly explain their budget scheme. I don't see much future for the party.
Dr. Martin Lutter King was a republican and he fight for the African American people civil rights! This president want to take away those rights! If MLK is alive today he will died craying for what this president is doing to his own people. Cant believe! But I believe in Ameica, Mitt/Ryan 2012 Thanks
As a registered Republican, I am ver disappointed with my part and recent convention. I am voting for Obama, after voting for McCain in 08 because Obama is DOING someting about these problems. In 2010, when we voted Repubs in, they went all anti-abortion on the country and NOTHING ELSE!
President Obama is a great campaigner with personality, style and brains. I'm looking forward to the next four years knowing that he'll still be in the White House.
President Obama have the middle class at and he work very hard to help the us, that's why am voting for obama
The GOP convention seemed to be all about "Obama is bad so vote for us." I can't say that I saw anything postive and what they stand for. If there was, it wasn't much and didn't last long.
"Governor Romney had nothing to say about Afghanistan last week, let alone offer a plan for the 33,000 troops who will have come home from the war by the end of this month."
Of course he didn't Mr. President. Willard has spent his entire life running from all things military and so have his sons. The military is only a prop that he's using to get into the White House and I hope the people serving see that.
Great speech and I'm glad so many people in Iowa are behind you.
Is Iowa a state that can rise above "red state" status? Can they overcome the Fox News lies and look at America's challenges as good, solid citizens or will they fall to the propaganda of the right-wing? I think they can be better than the hateful neo-cons of the South and speak for the good of America. Romney is just a front for the fat-cats. Iowans will see through the B.S.
All I can say is I believe in this man and I believe he believes in us.
ROmmey is very 1900's!
Romney and Ryan are dangerous. They are proxies for big corporations, big business and millionaires. Their plan for America is to financially pulverize low and middle income and lavious millionaires with tax cuts among other financial advantagesm . They have turned emoTiOnally cold and indoifferent to lower and middle income families
Im proud of president obama in everything that he do I will vote for him this year again and he will be the next president again
We have a wonderful president who is doing a great job inspite of being torn down by copycat and people who hate him and the ones who want him out of office keep up the good work president oboma
OBAMA is ready he will let the people of America his ideas:he will finish as the IMPOSITIONER president,so be prepared if this man get reelected,he will be a true DICTATOR of the American PEOPLE.IF dont believed luck his socialist agenda,thanks
I never thought for a minute that the Republican Convention would come up with anything new. They r too stuck-up to see what the street American sees and feels. Not to talk of the rest of the world.
The path is easy-The Republicans want to go backwards and repeal laws and President Obama wants to go Forward and make new laws. The past is the past and it should stay there. We need to concentrate on the future and not double down on policies which brought us down before. We should improve our entitlemnet programs but not get rid of them. Education is a must and safety nets like healthcare and food are essentials. Republicans want to significantly cut these Programs. They want to even cut benefits for vets. Shameful.
I think the electorates should ask for specifics from both candidates. It's easy to say i can creat 10m jos in 4yrs but how?
I recalled that President Barack "Hussein" Obama said in February 2009 that his presidency would be "one-term proposition" if the economy did not recover in three years on NBC. Well I guess you failed... FAILED miserably and we should hold you to your promise. If I would not do my job like I promised I would be terminated and so should he. I now realize one thing that Re-Electing Obama is like backing the Titanic up and hitting the iceberg a second time. We can no longer stay on the path that this country is going.
By November Obama will have restored all 4.5million jobs lost by Bush. . Save the auto industry.. saved the country from financial ruin. Pass equal pay for equal work. klll Bin Lanln and pass a national health care law.
The road to recovery is slow and inadequate however ,it took George bush 8 years to completely destroy this economy.republicans are running away from him.Romney will cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires by slicing food stamps.Hitler was less cruel
The President is right we can not take backward path to america's and american's prospiety and positive future.
You all are doing a Great job. Re-elect President Obama.
Register to vote. It was hard to vote for are future before don't let it start again register to vote.