DAVENPORT — With Election Day fast approaching, President Barack Obama sought to make his case for a second term in a speech Wednesday at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, arguing he has a plan that will “leave nobody behind,” while warning that Republican rival Mitt Romney is trying to dodge his past positions.
The president appeared to address complaints that he is not emphasizing enough his ideas for a second term, repeatedly peppering his remarks with visions for the next four years and a plan that he says sets himself apart from Romney.
“I’ve got a plan that will actually create jobs, that will actually lower the deficit, that will actually create middle-class security,” the president said.
He called for ending tax breaks used by companies that shift jobs overseas, providing incentives for businesses that keep jobs here, cutting oil imports in half by 2020, hiring more math and science teachers and reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
The rally here kicked off a two-day tour that took him to Denver and Las Vegas the same day. Today, he’ll be in four more cities, including Chicago, where he will vote early, the first president to do so.
The president urged people at the rally to vote early. And he also took aim at Romney for what he said was his dash away from his own record on several issues, including the auto bailout. As he has this week, Obama described it as “Romnesia.”
“As long as you vote, Iowa, we can cure folks of this malady, of this disease,” he said.
The Obama campaign is laying out its vision in a 20-page pamphlet that it is circulating in swing states. The president urged people to compare his ideas to Romney’s.
The Romney camp has blasted the pamphlet, saying it offers nothing new.
“A glossy brochure full of the same policies that haven’t worked over the last four years is no substitute for a real agenda that will help grow the middle class and restore America’s strength,” said Shawn McCoy, Romney’s Iowa spokesman. “In two weeks, Americans will choose Governor Romney’s positive agenda over President Obama’s increasingly desperate attacks.”
Romney campaigned in Cedar Rapids Wednesday night.
The crowd that greeted the president was enthusiastic, and he acknowledged his deep roots here, talking about how some in the audience might even remember him from when he first began running for office more than a decade ago.
Obama said he was the same person who campaigned here four years ago.
“Iowa, you know me,” he said. “You know I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.”
That was a message that appeared to hit home with James Burrage, a 66-year-old man from Davenport.
“I believe he’s a guy we can trust,” Burrage said.
He said jobs were what the country needs, and he praised the president’s handling of the auto bailout.
Replay live coverage of the event below: