Online Staff Report
“On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future,” President Barack Obama said during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
Obama’s acceptance speech came exactly one week after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 30.
In his acceptance speech, Romney said the nation was not better off today than it was four years ago when Obama took office and that the future was not as bright as it had been.
Obama both refuted many of Romney’s assertions and also made new promises for the future in his acceptance speech.
Obama touched on the first-term accomplishments mentioned during many of the various introductory speeches at the Democratic convention over the week, including the resurrection of the U.S. auto industry despite a staggering economy, the successful decision to kill Osama bin Laden during a moment of uncertainty, the expansion of health care to Americans in the face of severe political opposition and the creation of manufacturing jobs.
“After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two-and-a-half years,” Obama said. “And now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America. We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future.”
Among the goals for the future, Obama said he would work to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016; double exports by the end of 2014; end the war in Afghanistan by 2014; and reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” Obama said. “I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. It will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”
Obama also set goals including cutting the growth of college tuition in half and recruiting 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next 10 years.
In reelecting him, Obama said, “you can choose a future where all Americans have the skills they need to compete, no matter how much money they have.”
Obama also committed to the goals of cutting net oil imports in half by 2020 and supporting 600,000 natural gas jobs by the end of the decade.
A Sept. 7 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Obama gaining in the poll against Romney with Romney at 46 percent and Obama at 45 percent. A Sept. 4 Rasmussen Reports poll had Romney leading 47-45 percent. Meantime, a Sept. 6 Gallup poll had Obama leading Romney 47-46 percent.
Durbin mentions Belvidere in prime time
Prior to Obama taking the stage, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., touted the expansion of the Belvidere Chrysler Assembly Plant as an example of Obama’s leadership in creating new jobs and supporting manufacturing.
The production of the Dodge Dart brought 1,800 jobs to the Belvidere plant, which was closed as recently as three years ago as Chrysler reorganized under bankruptcy. The addition of the 1,800 jobs brought the plant’s total workforce to more than 4,500.
Chrysler also invested more than $600 million and built a more than 600,000-square-foot body shop in Belvidere in 2011 in preparation for the Dart production. The first Dodge Dart rolled off the Belvidere Chrysler Assembly Plant assembly line Monday, May 7.
“Our friends in the other party have a theory about America,” Durbin said. “They tell us we’re all in this alone. They say builders never need a helping hand. Democrats know better. America knows better. History and this president have shown us we are stronger when we are all in this together.
“Come to Belvidere, Ill., and meet 5,000 proud Chrysler UAW workers,” Durbin said. “Some said let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. President Obama said let those workers go back to work.”
Presidential debates scheduled
The first presidential debate between Obama and Romney is scheduled for 8 p.m. (Central), Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the University of Denver. Topic of the first debate will be domestic policy with Jim Lehrer, host of PBS’s NewsHour, as moderator.
The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate. The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.
Other scheduled debates include the following:
• Thursday, Oct. 11, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), vice presidential debate between U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Vice President Joe Biden at Centre College, Danville, Ky. Moderator will be Martha Raddatz, ABC news chief and foreign correspondent. Topic will be foreign and domestic policy.
• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Moderator will be Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent. Debate will be a town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy.
• Monday, Oct. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderator will be Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation. Topic will be foreign policy.
Posted Sept. 7, 2012