"Not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties, it is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America," the president said 10 days before voters will decide whether to re-elect him or send Republican nominee Mitt Romney to the White House.
"We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, everybody who has been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known," he said.
"But we also believe that the true measure of prosperity is more than just a running tally of corporate balance sheets, quarterly profit reports. We measure prosperity not just by how many millionaires and billionaires we produce; we measure prosperity by how well a typical family is doing -- by whether our kids are getting a great education and can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take us."
Obama said the country is "stronger when we can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security, when we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution; when there are rules in place to make sure that we aren't taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders or unscrupulous financial institutions."
"We know we're better off when politicians in Washington aren't allowed to make decisions about healthcare that women are perfectly capable of making for themselves," the president said.
He said Republican nominee Mitt Romney has been "running around saying he's got a five-point plan for the economy -- turns out it's a one-point plan."
"Folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do," he said. "They get to pay lower tax rates, outsource jobs. They want to let Wall Street run wild and make reckless bets with other folks' money."
Obama ridiculed Romney's campaign promise to "cut taxes for everybody, and ask something from nobody," saying when Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts, "he promised the same thing he's promising now."
"But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million."
Obama said fee increases under Romney led to higher prices for gas and milk.
"There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind," he said. "He raised fees to get a birth certificate -- which would have been expensive for me.
"He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes -- so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees."
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