President Barack Obama delivered a highly anticipated "framing" speech in Cleveland Thursday, following several weeks of economic setbacks and failures to effectively deliver blows against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's experience in the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts. Five months before the election and before 1,500 supporters in the key battleground state, the president declared that this election will come down to two "fundamentally different views" about how to grow the economy and create jobs.
"Yes, foreign policy matters, social issues matter," President Obama said. "But more than anything else, this election presents a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how to create strong, sustained growth; how to pay down our long-term debt; and most of all, how to generate good, middle-class jobs so people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead."
The president and his team have spent the last few weeks repeating that "this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class." On Thursday the president said Americans will be able choose between the his policies and those of his opponent which he describes as claiming to offer job growth in exchange for "huge tax cuts, especially for the wealthiest Americans," and few regulations for big financial institutions and corporations. President Obama made sure to acknowledge that his opponent plans to keep the Bush tax cuts in place while cutting back on programs that include education and job training, medical research and clean energy"
"I want to be very fair here. I want to be clear.
They haven’t specified exactly where the knife would fall, but here’s some of what would happen if that cut that they proposed was spread evenly across the budget.
10 million college students would lose an average of a thousand dollars each on financial aid. 200,000 children would lose the chance to get an early education in the Head Start program. There would be 1,600 fewer medical research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS; 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students and teachers."
President Obama said his plan to cut down the deficit involves a balanced approach not placing the entire burden on the middle class and the poor, but by cutting out programs we can’t afford and asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute "their fair share." The president he said his vision for America focused on education, energy, innovation, and infrastructure.
Two Hundred Fifty miles away at a manufacturing company in Cincinnati, Mitt Romney had a different description of his economic plan compared to competitor's.
"You may have heard that President Obama is on the other side of the state and he’s going to be delivering a speech on the economy. He’s doing that because he hasn’t delivered a recovery for the economy," Romney said shortly before the president's remarks. "And he’s going to be a person of eloquence as he describes his plans for making the economy better. But don’t forget, he’s been president for three and a half years. And talk is cheap. Action speaks very loud. And if you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio, look around the country, you’ll see a lot of people are hurting."
Romney's speech slammed the president's economic policies over the last three and a half years which have left 23 million jobless or underemployed , and said that as president, he would push a economic agenda centered on free trade and would not tolerate currency manipulators like China.
On "Real News" Thursday the panel discussed the Obama campaign's "reboot" and whether Americans will buy into the common "middle class warrior" campaign pitch used by presidential candidates for decades. Both candidates recognize that their economic proposals follow very different agenda and philosophical viewpoints, yet both claim to represent those who work hard and play by the rules. Someone is misrepresenting themselves, watch the "Real News" panel discuss who: