President Obama, before a wildly enthusiastic crowd of thousands at Cincinnati’s Eden Park, said his opponent, Republican Mitt Romney, “talks the talk, but I walk the walk” on a whole host of issues, from China policy to taxes to job creation.
And, while in the key battleground state of Ohio, in a county he won four years ago and desperately wants to win again, he told the estimated crowd of 4,500 at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion that, in 15 days, they have to work hard to get thousands of their friends and neighbors to vote early.
“The good thing about voting early is that you have time to get other folks to vote,’’ said Obama, who won Hamilton County with 53 percent of the vote four years ago – a factor in his narrow win in Ohio in 2008. “We’ve come too far to go back now.”
“Going back” was a consistent theme in Obama’s half hour speech, given under cloudy skies and the threat of rain in the outdoor theater.
Obama – as he always does in campaign speeches – talks about inheriting an economy in 2009 that was in deep recession and arguing that his opponent wants to turn back the clock to the policies “that got us into this mess in the first place.”
“We’re still fighting to recover from that tragedy,’’ Obama said of the recession. “The other side is happy to tell you what is wrong with America. But they don’t tell you how they will make it right.”
The only answer of Romney and the Republicans is to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
“That’s their answer to everything,’’ Obama said. “Want to lose a few pounds? Cut taxes.”
Obama argued that his administration has cut taxes for the middle class – an average of $3,600 for a family.
“I don’t think another round of tax cuts for millionaires will bring jobs back to Ohio,’’ said Obama, clad in a white shirt, a red tie and rolled up sleeves.
About the same time the gates were opening at Seasongood Pavilion Monday morning, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, and other Republicans were holding a “counter-rally” on a nearby street corner, where they decried the national debt which has grown to $16 trillion since Obama took office, calling it “unpatriotic.”
Obama said that he has laid out a plan to cut $4 trillion from the deficit and said he will work with congressional Republicans to cut it more.
“I’ll wash their cars; I’ll walk their dogs,’’ Obama said, getting a laugh from the crowd. “But I absolutely refuse to make middle class families pay $2,000 more in taxes so that the wealthiest Americans can have a tax cut.”
Obama, too, spoke of his administration’s action Monday morning filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s allegedly illegally subsidizing exports in autos and auto parts.
The Romney campaign issued a press release Monday morning, saying the Obama administration’s action was “too little, too late,” saying the president has ignored the problem throughout his term.
Obama answered Romney with a dig at the GOP candidate’s time as head of Bain Capital, a firm that invests in failing companies.
“My opponent has been running around Ohio saying he’s going to roll up his sleeves and take the fight to China,’’ Obama said. “But here’s the thing – his experience has been owning companies that were called pioneers in business of outsourcing jobs to countries like China.”
When Obama mentioned Romney’s name, the crowd booed.
“Don’t boo,’’ Obama said. “Vote.”
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