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Obama: Our path...'leads to a better place'

Published: Fri, September 7, 2012 @ 12:11 a.m.

Staff/wire report


His re-election in doubt, President Barack Obama conceded only halting progress Thursday night toward fixing the nation’s stubborn economic woes, but vowed in a Democratic National Convention finale, “Our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met.”

“The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place,” Obama declared in advance excerpts of a prime-time speech to delegates and the nation.

The president’s speech was the final act of a pair of highly scripted national political conventions in two weeks, and the opening salvo of a two-month drive toward Election Day that pits Obama against Republican rival Mitt Romney. The contest is close for the White House in a dreary season of economic struggle for millions.

David Betras, a delegate and chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “drew a clear distinction between the Democratic and Republican visions of America: for Democrats a job is about more than a paycheck, it’s about dignity, it’s about the most important family value: being able to provide for your kids.”

Betras, who was attending his first convention, continued: “For the GOP a job and the person who does it are mere entries on a balance sheet, entries to be manipulated in order to generate profits for corporations rather than opportunity for people.”

Obama’s and Romney’s differing approach to the domestic auto industry made that distinction sharp, he said. Obama’s bailout of the industry was about people “including the tens of thousands of people in the Valley directly and indirectly connected to the Lordstown plant” who make cars.

Romney, on the other hand, said let Detroit go bankrupt, which would have extinguished “the light of the American Dream for the millions of people who depend on the auto industry for jobs and the dignity and security those jobs bestow,” Betras said.

That, he said, makes this election the clearest choice in a generation.

In the run-up to Obama’s speech, delegates erupted in tumultuous cheers when former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 assassination attempt, walked onstage to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The cheers grew louder when she blew kisses to the crowd.

And louder still when huge video screens inside the hall showed the face of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind killed in a daring raid on his Pakistani hideout by U.S. special operations forces — on a mission approved by the current commander in chief.

With unemployment at 8.3 percent, Obama said the task of recovering from the economic disaster of 2008 is exceeded in American history only by the challenge Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced when he took office in the Great Depression in 1933.

“It will require common effort, shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent experimentation” that FDR employed, Obama said.

In an appeal to independent voters who might be considering a vote for Romney, he added that those who carry on Roosevelt’s legacy “should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.”

The hall was filled to capacity long before Obama stepped to the podium, and officials shut off the entrances because of a fear of overcrowding for a speech that the campaign had originally slated for the 74,000-seat football stadium nearby. Aides said weather concerns prompted the move to the convention arena, capacity 15,000 or so.

Obama’s campaign said the president would ask the country to rally around a “real achievable plan that will create jobs, expand opportunity and ensure an economy built to last.”

He added, “The truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade.”

The evening also included a nomination acceptance speech from Vice President Joe Biden, whose appeal to blue-collar voters rivals or even exceeds Obama’s own. Delegates approved his nomination to a new term by acclamation as he and his family watched from VIP seats above the convention floor.

Biden told the convention in his own speech that he had watched as Obama “made one gutsy decision after another” to stop an economic free-fall after they took office in 2009.

Now, he said, “we’re on a mission to move this nation forward — from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity. ... America has turned the corner.”

With Obama in the hall listening, Biden jabbed at the president’s challenger, as well.

“I found it fascinating last week — when Governor Romney said that as President he’d take a jobs tour. Well with all his support for outsourcing — it’s going to have to be a foreign trip.”

First lady Michelle Obama, popular with the public, was ready to introduce her husband, two nights after she delivered her own speech in the convention’s opening session.

Delegates who packed into their convention hall were serenaded by singer James Taylor and rocked by R&B blues artist Mary J. Blige as they awaited Obama’s speech.

There was no end to the jabs aimed at Romney and the Republicans.

“Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off than four years ago,” said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who lost the 2004 election in a close contest with President George W. Bush. It was a mocking answer to the Republicans’ repeated question of whether Americans are better off than when Obama took office.

The campaign focus was shifting quickly — to politically sensitive monthly unemployment figures due out Friday morning and the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 in Denver. Wall Street hit a four-year high a few hours before Obama’s speech after the European Central Bank laid out a concrete plan to support the region’s struggling countries.

The economy is by far the dominant issue in the campaign, and the differences between Obama and his challenger could hardly be more pronounced.

Romney wants to extend all tax cuts that are due to expire on Dec. 31 with an additional 20 percent reduction in rates across the board, arguing that job growth would result. He also favors deep cuts in domestic programs ranging from education to parks, repeal of the health care legislation that Obama pushed through Congress and landmark changes in Medicare, the program that provides health care to seniors.

Obama wants to renew the tax cuts except on incomes higher than $250,000, saying that millionaires should contribute to an overall attack on federal deficits. He also criticizes the spending cuts Romney advocates, saying they would fall unfairly on the poor, lower-income college students and others. He argues that Republicans would “end Medicare as we know it” and saddle seniors with ever-rising costs.

After two weeks of back-to-back conventions, the impact on the race remained to be determined.

You’re not going to see big bounces in this election,” said David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser. “For the next 61 days, it’s going to remain tight as a tick.”

Romney wrapped up several days of debate rehearsals with close aides in Vermont and is expected to resume full-time campaigning in the next day or two.

In a brief stop to talk with veterans on Thursday, he defended his decision to omit mention of the war in Afghanistan when he delivered his acceptance speech last week at the Republican National Convention. He noted he had spoken to the American Legion only one day before.

Romney’s campaign released its first new television ad since the convention season began.

It shows Clinton sharply questioning Obama’s credibility on the Iraq War in 2008, saying “Give me a break, this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” Obama was running against Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time for the Democratic nomination.

It will likely be a week or more before the two campaigns can fully digest post-convention polls and adjust their strategies for the fall.

Based on the volume of campaign appearances to date and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent already on television advertising, the election appears likely to be decided in a small number of battleground states. The list includes New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa, as well as Florida and North Carolina, the states where first Republicans and then Democrats held their conventions. Those states hold 100 electoral votes among them, out of 270 needed to win the White House.

Money has become an ever-present concern for the Democrats, an irony given the overwhelming advantage Obama held over John McCain in the 2008 campaign.

This time, Romney is outpacing him, and independent groups seeking the Republican’s election are pouring tens of millions of dollars into television advertising, far exceeding what Obama’s supporters can afford.


1IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

4 Years ago, the US was LOSING 800,000 JOBS A MONTH.

Paycheck processing firm ADP said private companies added 201,000 jobs last month, up from 173,000 in July.

So, yes, we are much better off than we were 4 years ago!!!

Those "job Creators" sure did help after all those tax cuts that their buddy Bush gave them.

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2greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Standby for words of wisdom from islandMike. "Who cares?"

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3AtownAugie(820 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Historians will refer to this as "Obama's lemmings to the sea" speech.

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Standby for words of wisdom from islandMike. "Who cares?"
I do
I like to read and hear all sides , not just the ones that I agree with .

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576Ytown(1318 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Jobs report just released. Don't forget that in Jan 2011 they changed the way unemployment is reported. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2...

Spin all you want, but here are the EYE POPPING facts directly from the Department of Labor Force Statistics which tells the real story of the unemployment.


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6DwightK(1458 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Thousands of people in the Mahoning Valley are working today because GM Lordstaown is open. The people at the plant, parts suppliers and ancillary businesses are all drawing a paycheck because presidents Bush and Obama knew that letting the auto industry go out of business would further depress the economy.

Romney wrote an op ed piece saying "we should let Detroit go bankrupt".

I'm not voting for the guy who would have let my neighbor lose his job.

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776Ytown(1318 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

GM is headed for bankruptcy AGAIN.


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8fcb(417 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Mitt says if you want to go to collage just "borrow the money from your parents"!! This is how far out of touch this guy is. He also said "It's not worth it to spend millions of dollars to chase Osama all around the world. He thinks in terms of money again. There is more to this election than the economy. The safety of my country is my top priority.

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9redeye1(5351 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

HellBB I can't wait for November when Mitt wins and then in January he starts to cut welfare programs. Making people work to get anything. Throwing Obamacare out

YBR You better look at BO 's voting record , He's has made more bad trade agreements then Clintton.. He makes you think he for you when he isn;t he's only in it for himself.

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1076Ytown(1318 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

GTX66: Chilling!

tcb: Romney wasn't talking about college and he didn't say "just" borrow money from your parents" He said:

Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents. Start a business. I was with a guy named Jimmy John. I've met Jimmy John. Jimmy John, hope I get the story entirely right, I think I will, he graduated from high school, and he didn’t want to go to college. And he said to his Dad can I borrow some money I want to start a business...

Wow! That's a novel concept...not asking the government for a handout first, but asking your family or friends if you can "borrow" money to start a business. That's just wrong! Without government funding, you won't be dependent on the government. Without government dependency, you have a lot less reason to vote for Democrat politicians offering handouts.

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11fcb(417 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

GTX66: Did you ever think that there are people out there that do not have money to lend to their children for any thing? However,Mitt,being born with a gold spoon in his mouth and having never to worry about money thinks every one does. Geez you people !!

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12DSquared(1564 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Who needs money to go to College? Look at Obama. He went to all the finest schools and never paid a dime! He even had extra money for weed!

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13georgejeanie(1185 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

The messiah is doing a great job, just look at the latest jobs report, WOW, what a guy. And this community orgainzer wants another 4 years to continue this downward spiral.

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14jojuggie(1621 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Before Obama was elected, in 2008, he made 508 promises, and broke 63%. Now, that's a great record.

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15fcb(417 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, I see Mitt Romney on Fox News today and he said he didn't watch the Presidents speech last night but he did read it. He said he was disappointed that the President didn't mention jobs or the economy in his speech!! Geez this guy is so far out of it it's unbelievable!! Fox News says that the President mentioned jobs 15 TIMES in his speech and mentioned the economy 6 TIMES!!!! So either Mitt was reading some thing other than the Presidents speech or he just doesn't understand what he's reading. I sure would hate to have this guy reading a peace agreement or a declaration of war for the country. Mitt to his secretary "I just read this but can you tell me what it means?" Secretary says "Well Mitt it's from Iran and they say they are going to nuke all their neighbors". Mitt replies "Well then, tell them we will sell them what ever they need.Then schedule me a trip to the Caymen Islands because I want to count my money again!

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16peacelover(823 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago


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17redeye1(5351 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

GTX As the great comedian RON WHITE Has already said I qoute " You can't fix stupid" So you shouldn't even bother with these fools of BO. BO are the correct intitials , because he really does STINK as a president.

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18southsidedave(5159 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

His re-election in doubt Obama must say anything to secure HIS job....

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19gordy850(22 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

“The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place,” Obama declared. Well, let's look at what a great example the Mahoning Valley is, a long time Democratic stronghold. The Democrats have run this area un-opposed for decades, its a utopia. Now if Obama can get re-elected, we could share this utopia with the rest of the nation. It would just be like the Mahoning Valley from coast to coast, an awesome thought! That truly would lead our nation to a better place??? NOT!

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20andersonathan(682 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

If Obam gets four more this country will be done put a fork in it and sell off states to other countries

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21jojuggie(1621 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Hey FLHT, so Fox News is the Repub News Channel. Tell me, what is MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC? How about the NYT, Boston Globe, LA Times, Washington Post, etc. etc, etc?

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22jojuggie(1621 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

"The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place".

Romney's Bain Capital invested private money in:
AMC Entertainment
Burger king
Burlington Coat Factory
Clear Channel Communications
Domino Pizza
Dunkin Donuts
Guitar Center
The Sports Authority
Toys "R" Us
Warner Music Group

Obama invested taxpayer money in:
Energy 1......................BANKRUPT
Beacon Power..............BANKRUPT
Abound Solar................BANKRUPT
Amonix Solar................BANKRUPT
Spectra Watt................BANKRUPT
Eastern Energy.............BANKRUPT

All of these companies were Obama Campaign Contributors

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23MOLOCH(21 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

better place ~ yea heaven cause we are all going to starve to death with no jobs.

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24jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Obama dropped the ball on 9/11. So busy with re-election-he forgot that 9/11 is a point of celebration in the middle-east. Our embassies were not on alert-no extra security. So the buildings burned and the diplomats died-dragged thru the streets like garbage. And Obama apoligizes for the American way of life to those that hate us in the middle east. And the foreign aid flows freely to them. Feed them, keep them strong over there so they can climb the walls of the embassies and burn our flag. Neither of the presidential candidates has much to offer,, but this is just stupidity on this administrations watch.

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25NOblahblah(6 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Four more years of the same garbage? So we should expect:
Gas was $1.79 - is $4.00 - will be $8.00
Milk was $2.99 - is $4.99 - will be $6.99
48 MORE months of 8% unemployment
12 MILLION MORE Americans on foodstamps
National Debt $21 Trillion
GM will be bankrupt - again
and of course it will STILL be Bush's fault

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26NOblahblah(6 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

My family grew up in Youngstown back in the glory days. There were steel mills, Idora Park was a glamorous place. My grandmother lived on Idora Avenue.and it was a beautiful peaceful neighborhood. Jobs were there for the taking. So what happened?

Democrats and their agenda happened. But Youngstown keeps voting for the same stupid Democrats and the same failed policies.

Abraham Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN and fought against DEMOCRATS who insisted on keeping slavery

Dr. Martin Luther King was a REPUBLICAN and fought against DEMOCRATS insisting on continued segregation

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