“Today, we’re at the lowest level of new business start-ups in 30 years,” Romney said in a speech that repeated his recent mantra of “real change.” “So I want to change this dynamic and make business recognize they have a friend in Washington, not a foe.”
Obama kicked off his trip with a rally on the tarmac at the airport here in Green Bay, in the Central Time Zone, where he mocked Romney for offering himself as the candidate of change, stealing the mantle Obama used four years ago.
Romney is simply dressing up the policies used by former president George W. Bush, Obama told the crowd, the same ones that drove the country into a recession.
“Let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. What the governor is offering sure ain’t change,” Obama said.
Then he ticked off more policies he said Romney would pursue that did not represent change: rolling back Wall Street reform, giving a tax cut to the wealthy and overturning the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature health-care reform legislation.
“Turning Medicare into a voucher system is change, but we don’t want that kind of change,” Obama said. “After four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision and you may be frustrated by the pace of change. But you know I will fight every single day for you and your families as hard as I know how.”
He added, “I know what change looks like because I fought for it. So did you. After all we’ve been through, we can’t turn back now.”
After wrapping up his remarks, Obama reboarded Air Force One to fly to Las Vegas (Pacific time). He was then scheduled to travel to Boulder, Colo. (Mountain time), then catch a few hours sleep in Columbus, Ohio (Eastern time), after arriving there at around 2 a.m. on Friday. The president is making up for lost time after he suspended campaigning on Monday to focus on the federal response to Hurricane Sandy, visiting New Jersey on Wednesday to join Gov. Chris Christie (R) in viewing hard-hit areas along the coastline.
“Even though this is President Obama’s last campaign, he’s fighting for the same things he’s always believed and run on — that this country cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class,” campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement.
“Middle-class security — which has been undercut by the policies and decisions of the last decade — is what’s at stake in this election, and the president will talk about our fight to reclaim it.”
Obama has sought to define the election as a choice between his and Romney’s contrasting visions on how to boost the economy and create jobs. The president has emphasized investing in education and infrastructure, while Romney has focused on reducing spending and the federal debt.