President Obama held nothing back in his return to the campaign trail on Thursday, ticking off Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s policy proposals -- repealing health care reform, lowering tax rates, easing financial regulations -- and blasting each one at a rally in Green Bay, Wisc.
“Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years. And he’s been offering them up as change,” Obama said.
“Well let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like, and what the governor’s offering sure ain’t change,” the president added.
Obama canceled campaign events on the first three days of the week, focusing his attention on the government’s response to Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged parts of New Jersey, New York City and other areas along the East Coast. The president toured the Jersey Shore on Wednesday with the state’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, a vocal critic of Obama’s leadership. Both men set politics aside and praised each other’s efforts.
But with only five days before the election, Obama resumed his pitch for a second term as earnestly as ever on Thursday.
In an approach he has taken more frequently in one-on-one interviews, Obama also acknowledged the disenchantment of some of his backers, and he addressed those voters directly.
“You may not agree with every decision I’ve made. You may be frustrated at the pace of change,” Obama said. “But you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I’m willing to make tough decisions, even when they’re not politically convenient. And you know I’ll fight for you and your families every single day, as hard as I know how.”
Romney has painted Obama as a gifted speaker and well intentioned president who has not delivered on the promises of his original campaign for the White House. The national unemployment rate, 7.8 percent, remains more than two points higher than what Obama’s economic advisers forecast before he took office. Obama’s pledge to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term went unfulfilled.
“As president, Mitt Romney will deliver real change by implementing pro-growth policies that actually create millions of good-paying jobs for American workers,” Amanda Henneberg, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement.Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.