President Barack Obama, stopping in the swing state of Colorado en route to the Democratic National Convention, said his Republican opponents are offering nothing more than discredited policies they have touted before.
“They have tried to sell us this tired, trickle down, you’re on your own, snake oil before,” Obama told 13,000 people gathered at the University of Colorado-Boulder. “Those ideas don’t work, they didn’t work then, they won’t work now, they did not create jobs, they did not cut the deficit.”
Leading into the convention, which begins in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sept. 4, Obama is crisscrossing the country on a tour of key battleground states -- Iowa, Colorado, Ohio and Virginia -- all of which he won in 2008 and where he’s now locked in tight contests with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Trends aren’t necessarily on Obama’s side: the unemployment rates in Iowa, Virginia and Colorado increased in July from the previous month. Along with North Carolina, they hold 61 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
The president used his speech to contrast his proposals with those of Romney’s.
Appearances like today’s in Colorado are part of an effort to mobilize and register new voters. Campaign volunteers had voter registration forms for those at today’s rally, and Obama alluded to the need for them to register and vote.
“The good news is, you get to choose the path we take,” Obama said. “You can go with their plan to give massive new tax cuts to folks who have already made it, or we could go forward with my plan to keep taxes low for every American who is still trying to make it.”
Romney’s aides say he is laying out a clear plan for creating jobs, and charge Obama is trying to obscure his record.
“Instead of delivering hope and change, the president has resorted to divisive attacks to distract voters from the problems facing middle-class families,” Romney’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, said.
In his speech, Obama touted his support for allowing women to decide whether to have an abortion, for same-sex marriage, for his executive order ending deportations of those brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and for his health-care legislation, which allows young people to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.
“Despite all the challenges that we face in this new century, what they offered over those three days was an agenda that was better suited for the last century,” Obama said. “It could have been at ‘Nick at Nite.’ We’ve seen it before. You might as well have watched it on a black and white TV with some rabbit ears.”