Obama begins campaign with rallies in Ohio and Virginia


President Obama: "This is not just another election, this is a make or break moment for the middle-class"

US President Barack Obama has kicked off his campaign for re-election in November with rallies in two key battleground states, Ohio and Virginia.

He told supporters in Ohio that the US had been fighting back from recession and pledged further efforts on the economy if given a second term.

He hit out at his rival Mitt Romney, saying the Republican challenger would "turn back the clock".

But he also acknowledged that the 6 November vote would be tight.

He said he understood that many in the country are dissatisfied with the slow pace of the change he promised when he came to power.

On Friday, Mr Obama fended off criticism from Mr Romney over disappointing job figures. The jobless rate in the US has been stuck above 8% since early 2009.

Official figures showed that the US economy created 115,000 jobs during April, down on the previous month and fewer than analysts had expected.

'Wrong lessons'

President Obama strolled on stage in Columbus, Ohio, to cheers and chanting from thousands of supporters already warmed up by glitzy campaign videos and an introduction from his wife Michelle.

Start Quote

We have been through too much to turn back now”

End Quote Barack Obama

Confronting his critics head-on, he reminded the audience that he had inherited the financial crisis. He said he acknowledged that many Americans were still hurting, but urged voters to give him a second term to continue making progress.

"This is not just another election, this is a make or break moment for the middle class. We have been through too much to turn back now," he said to some 14,000 supporters in a sports arena.

"That's the choice in this election and that is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States," Mr Obama said.

The audience erupted into chants of "four more years".

US first lady Michelle Obama introduces Barack Obama at Ohio State University in Columbus First Lady Michelle Obama introduced her husband at the rally at Ohio State University

Mr Obama described Mr Romney as a good family man and businessman, but said he had learned the "wrong lessons" from being a CEO, saying his policies would only benefit the wealthy.

"I think he has drawn the wrong lessons from those experiences. He sincerely believes that if CEOs and wealthy investors like him make money the rest of us will automatically prosper as well."

A spokeswoman for Mr Romney said in response: "While President Obama all but ignored his record over three-and-a-half years in office, the American people won't. This November, they will hold him accountable for his broken promises and ineffective leadership."

Mr Romney had no public campaign events on Saturday.


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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    The unfortunate problem with a two party system like in the USA is that the candidates often act in the best interests of their party which is sometimes to the detriment of the country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    I sincerely hope American voters do not fail to realize the gross inadequacies of our current president; being better than George W. Bush does not warrant you a second chance. Obama's administration claims to have created some 120,000 jobs per month, or around 1.5 million per year. We need 10 million per year. Vote for Ron Paul and real change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Obama is a human being, and like all human beings, he can make mistakes. And I think that in his first term, significant mistakes have been made.

    But there has also been significant success - healthcare reform and the finding of Bin Laden for instance. Obama is easily the most credible candidate in this election, and for the sake of science and sanity, I hope he wins a second term.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Obama may not have had the easiest time passing legislation with the Republican Congress, but the legislation that has been passed has helped America. Such proposals as Romney has let slip - his larger plans are still secret - will cost America trillions over a four-year Presidency. Obama can sustain prosperity and make America respectable on the world stage again.


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