"I don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims, who think that they're not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives," Obama said during a campaign appearance in Woodbridge, Va. "I don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today. I see hard-working Virginians."
Obama skewered GOP rival Mitt Romney and Republicans in general for wanting to keep tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in place, a move the president and Democrats say will cost trillions of dollars for the rest of Americans.
"Mr. Romney thinks that if we just spend another $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, all our problems are going to solved. Jobs and prosperity will rain down from the sky. Deficits will magically disappear. We will all live happily ever after. The end."
No one believes government should be helping those who refuse to help themselves, Obama said.
"But we do believe in something called opportunity," he said to applause. "We believe in a country where hard work pays off; where responsibility is rewarded; where everyone gets a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules."
He repeated several themes from his other stump speeches -- the road to recovery won't be easy, and outlining his five-point plan for job creation, growing the middle-class, rebuilding the economy on a stronger foundation and providing for U.S. troops at war and when they return home.
Republicans, he said, have said repeatedly that "bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way to go; that since government can't do everything, it should do almost nothing. Their basic attitude is, you're on your own."
"I've got a different vision," Obama said.
Campaigning Friday in Sarasota, Fla., Romney seized on a remark Obama made Thursday during a town hall in Miami, when the president said: "You can't change Washington just from the inside. You change it from the outside."
Romney Friday accused Obama of throwing in the "white flag" on change: "I will change Washington. I will get the job done from the inside."
Firing back, Obama said in Woodbridge, Va.
"For some reason, my opponent got really excited. He rewrote his speech, proudly declared 'I'll get the job done from the inside,'" the president said.
"What kind of inside job is he talking about?"