Election a Choice Between 2 Futures for US: Obama
Facing a tough race ahead, US President Barack Obama today made a bid for his re-election attacking his Republican rival Mitt Romney saying he would imperil economy and lead the country to dangerous waters abroad.
Promising a better America, he asked the people to choose their future warning that his rival would harm the middle class and return to "blustering and blundering abroad".
Accepting the Democratic nomination for a second term with his supporters chanting "four more years", he made a subdued speech compared to his 2008 "hope and change" message apparently weighed down by wars and high unemployment and disillusionment among his previous supporters.
Rejecting Romney's proposals for growth as heartless, Obama said the paths of the two candidates were starkly different. His way may be hard but will bring economic renewal, he asserted.
"America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel in it together," the 51-year-old incumbent said.
His speech was rated by the media as not that brilliant as former President Bill Clinton's yesterday when he commended his candidature.
Locked in a bitter contest, Obama said "my opponent and his running mate (Paul Ryan) are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly."
"The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and I'm asking you to choose that future," Obama said.
He also unveiled an agenda for creating millions of jobs cutting deficit and improving the energy policy. "Know this, America: our problems can be solved."
Recalling his 2008 election and trumpeting his achievements in ending the Iraq war, universalising health care and more rights for lesbians and gays, the first non-white president said "the election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens -- you were the change.
"If you turn away now -- if you buy into cynicism that the change that we fought for isn't possible -- well, change will not happen."
Attacking his rivals, Obama said, "My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.
"After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy -- and not Al-Qaeda -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War time warp.
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.
"My opponent said it was 'tragic' to end the war in Iraq, and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will."
Vice President Joe Biden said the president had a "spine of steel."
Obama proclaimed that with him, Americans could stay with "leadership that has been tested and proven."
Again and again, Obama pitted his election as a choice between his policies to lift the troubled middle class and the Republican's "trickle down" policy which he said risked a return of recession.
"When you pick up that ballot to vote -- you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation," Obama said, predicting choices looming on jobs and taxes and war and peace.
Obama asked Americans to unite to break the gridlock that has paralysed Washington, warning that Romney would dismiss teachers, impoverish students, all to give more tax breaks to millionaires.
"We've been there, we've tried that, and we're not going back. We're moving forward," the president said, drawing lusty cheers.
Obama also argued that recovery was bound to be hard from the worst recession in decades. "You elected me to tell you the truth," Obama said.
"And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades."
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