July 10th, 2012
07:22 PM ET
(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – Arriving at an auditorium overflowing with supporters here this afternoon, President Obama made his pitch to Iowans in hopes of winning their support in November.
“This was a state that gave me a chance when nobody else would,” said the president, whose path to the Democratic nomination began with a win at the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
Obama went on to win the state by 10 percent of Republican Nominee John McCain in the general election, and while Iowa has only six electoral votes, it promises to be a battleground state once again. This was the president’s fourth visit to the state this year, and second to Cedar Rapids.
During his remarks, Obama repeated his message of restoring America’s middle class just one day after issuing a plea to Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year.
Before his rally at Kirkwood Community College, the president stopped at the home of Jason McLaughlin – an educator about to assume the job of principal at a local high school – and his wife Ali – a manager of a document scanning company. The president pointed to the McLaughlins as an example of the type of family that would benefit from a continuation of the lower tax rates for middle- and low-income workers.
“Extending the middle class tax cuts is just so important to my family,” said McLaughlin, the father of a 4-year-old son and another child on the way. “And the president is investing in our students’ Head Start, Pell grants, scholarships and job training programs.”
But health care, tax cuts for small businesses and the state of the economy drew the loudest reactions from the audience as the president laid out his vision for restoring jobs to the flagging US economy.
“I want hi-tech manufacturing to take heart in places like Cedar Rapids and Newton and Des Moines,” the president said to cheers from the audience. “I want goods stamped with ‘Made in America’ sold all around the world.”
Not to be outdone, Republicans went on the offensive Tuesday, staging their own event at Kirkwood prior to the president’s visit to attack his record on job creation. Addressing members of the media, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus rolled out a new GOP Web site, ObamanomicsOutsourced.com, claiming that federal money awarded by the Obama administration to foreign companies is tantamount to outsourcing.
The president did not directly respond to this new accusation, instead continuing his attacks on likely rival Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress who see tax cuts as a means of economic recovery.
“What’s at stake are two very different visions for our country,” the president said.