RICHMOND, VA — President Barack Obama visited Virginia Commonwealth University for the second of two campaign kickoff rallies today. In his speech, the president outlined why he believes his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, isn’t offering “real answers” in what he expects to be a tight race due to the country’s continuing economic woes.
“This election will be even closer than the last. Too many of our friends and neighbors are still hurting because of this crisis,” President Obama said. “I’ve heard from too many people wondering why they haven’t been able to get one of the jobs that have been created. … Why their family hasn’t yet been touched by the recovery.”
Though he acknowledged there’s still progress to be made on the economy, the president warned against the Republicans trying to ”exploit peoples’ frustrations for my opponent’s political gain.”
“The other side wont be offering these Americans any real answers to those questions. They won’t be offering a better vision. They won’t be offering new ideas, but what they will do, is spend more money than we’ve ever seen before, all on negative ads,” he said.
President Obama described the Republicans’ economic plan as consisting of “even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” “even deeper cuts to things like education, and medicare, and research and technology” and giving “banks and insurance companies even more power to do as they please.”
“We are making progress and now we face the choice, for the last few years the Republicans who run this Congress have insisted that we go right back to the policies that created this mess in the first place,” he said. “Now, after a long and spirited primary, Republicans in Congress have found a champion. They have found a nominee for president who’s promised to rubber stamp this agenda.”
The president offered Mr. Romney a backhanded compliment by praising his experience, but arguing his economic policies prove he’s learned “the wrong lessons” from an impressive career.
“Governor Romney is a patriotic American. He’s raised a wonderful family and he has much to be proud of. He’s run a large financial firm and he’s run a state, but I think he’s learned the wrong lessons from these experiences,” President Obama said. “He sincerely believes that if CEO’s and wealthy investors like him make money, the rest of us will automatically prosper as well.”
President Obama, who is facing widespread questions about whether his supporters are as enthusiastic about him as they were in 2008, wrapped us his speech by assuring the audience he’s still dedicated to the lofty ideals he championed in his first White House bid.
“If people ask you, ‘What’s this campaign about?’ you tell them, it’s still about hope, you tell them it’s still about change,” he said. “You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe in the face of great odds that we can make a difference in the life of this country.”