Reuters: President Barack Obama tried to bolster his re-election campaign on Saturday with a fierce critique of the Republicans’ convention and a plea to supporters to cast their ballots as early as possible.
Speaking to a crowd of 10,000 in the battleground state of Iowa, Obama said rival Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans had offered no new ideas when they held the national spotlight for three days during their convention in Tampa.
“What they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda that was better-suited for the last century,” Obama said. “We might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV.”
Obama criticized Romney for failing to mention the war in Afghanistan or his plans for veterans care in his speech, and said he had failed to outline a credible plan to boost the economy.
“There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices ... but no one ever actually bothered to tell you what they were,” Obama said.
Obama is gearing up for his own star turn next Thursday at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he will lay out his argument for re-election in a football stadium that can hold almost 75,000 people.
The speech is likely to offer few surprises: Obama has been arguing since June that the election is a choice between continuing the policies he enacted in his first term, such as keeping his health reforms in place and bolstering education spending, and returning to policies enacted under Republican President George W. Bush that hollowed out the middle class in order to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Romney appears to have gained little ground after his high-profile speech at the end of the national convention. Though his speech was seen by 30 million television viewers, much of the chatter afterward was devoted to the antics of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, who preceded Romney with a rambling, at times incoherent critique of Obama.