Obama Asks Voters for Support in ‘Clearest Choice’ in Generation

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama smiles while speaking at the podium during day three of the Democratic National Convention. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama said voters face a choice between two “fundamentally different visions” for America and vowed to continue his fight to “restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy that the world has ever known.”

Obama, in his speech tonight accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination to a second term, said his mission is to restore “the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot.”

“Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington -- on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace -- decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come,” he said.

Vice President Joe Biden in his address before Obama’s said Americans are at the “hinge of history,” and the direction the country is in voters’ hands.

Biden portrayed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as someone who sent jobs overseas during his time as a private-equity executive. He contrasted that with Obama, saying the president’s backing of the auto-industry saved a million jobs, while Romney wanted to “let Detroit go bankrupt.”

’Global Economy’

“Romney believes that in the global economy, it doesn’t much matter where American companies invest or put their money or where they create jobs,” Biden said.

He said Obama has “profound concern for the average American,” and “that’s what makes him tick.”

Democrats this week have sought to portray Romney as out of touch with the economic travails of most Americans and a candidate whose policies are weighted in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of the poor and middle-class.

The president is asking Americans to rally around his goals to create a million manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016, reduce oil imports in half by 2020, cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next 10 years and rein in the federal deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, in his speech to the convention tonight, said Romney lacks the foreign policy experience and “judgment and vision so vital in the Oval Office.”

Kerry, his party’s 2004 presidential nominee who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took note of the operation last year Obama authorized that killed the terrorist leader behind the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

`Ask Osama'

“Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago,” Kerry said, referring to the Republicans’ charge that Americans aren’t better off under Obama’s presidency.

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, lauded Obama for overcoming opposition to push through an overhaul of the U.S. health-care system.

“President Obama listened to my uncle Teddy, and staked his presidency on making health care accessible to all Americans,” she said referring to former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who died in 2009.

Romney, during an unannounced stop today in Concord, New Hampshire to greet veterans helping his campaign, said Obama in his speech is looking for a “promises reset.” Romney said he wants to hear a “report on his promises” that have been broken during his presidency.

Romney's Plans

Asked whether he would watch Obama’s speech, Romney told reporters: “Don’t plan on it,” returning a moment later to elaborate.

If Obama talks about “how he has performed on his promises, I’d love to watch,” Romney said. “But if it’s another series of new promises that he’s not going to keep, I have no interest in seeing him.”

Romney, who spent the week mostly out of the public eye in West Windsor, Vermont, preparing for three presidential debates next month, plans rallies tomorrow in Iowa in New Hampshire.

Obama and Biden leave for campaign events in New Hampshire and Iowa tomorrow. Obama will spend the weekend on a bus tour through Florida, one of the most hotly contested swing states.

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