Obama Calls 2012 Election "Clearest Choice" in a Generation (W/ Video of Nomination Acceptance Speech)
Mr. Obama berated Romney for proposing to give the Pentagon funding it hasn't asked for rather than using that money to pay down the debt or invest in infrastructure. "After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation-building right here at home," he said.
He touted the investments he's made in areas like the auto industry, energy and education and laid out specific goals he planned to reach if given the chance to keep his strategies in place.
"Today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades," Mr. Obama said. "Now you have a choice - between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it... If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone."
The president touted his college loan reforms and policies that have spurred states to set new teaching standards.
"And together, I promise you, we can out-educate and out-compete any country on Earth," he said. "Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years, and improve early childhood education. Help give two million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years."
Mr. Obama railed on Romney for giving few policy details in his speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week, charging, "Our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right."
The GOP isn't sharing its plan, the president charged, because it hasn't changed in 30 years: "Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!"
While he didn't shy away from slamming his opponent in his speech, the president also conceded that voters are wary of the political rhetoric that's washed over the airwaves this year.
"I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly sometimes," he said. "Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me -- so am I."
He asked voters, however, to think of the stakes in this election and put aside their cynicism.
"If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void," he said. "Lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves. Only you can make sure that doesn't happen. Only you have the power to move us forward."