Obama urges alternative energy subsidies

Sept. 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM
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URBANDALE, Iowa, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama campaigned in Iowa Saturday, saying Mitt Romney's ideas to improve the economy are "retreads of the same old" Republican policies.

During his speech at Morningside College in Sioux City, ridiculed Republicans for coming up with an agenda at their national convention in Tampa, Fla., "that was probably a little better suited for the last century."

"They were going so far backwards you might as well have watched it on black-and-white TV," he said. 'Put some rabbit ears on the convention hall."

Obama covered his usual stump speech, including his desire to see alternative energies grow to help the United States become energy self-sufficient. He touted the efforts of renewable energy businessman Rob Hach and his wife, Tara.

He said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan "would put those jobs at risk by ending tax credits for wind energy producers."

"Rob told you, he [Romney] said these new sources of energy are 'imaginary.' And Mr. Ryan called them a 'fad,'" Obama said. "You just saw Rob. He looks pretty real to me. I wasn't imagining him up here talking, was I? He has been in the wind energy business for nearly 20 years. He and his wife Tara now have 27 employees. Nearly 7,000 jobs in Iowa depend on the wind industry. These jobs aren't fads; they're our future.

"It's time to stop giving a $4 billion taxpayer subsidy to oil companies that are making money every time you go to the pump. And let's give some tax breaks to wind energy and homegrown energy and biofuels that are creating jobs right here in Iowa. That's the choice in this election. That's what we're fighting for."

On the way to the college, the president made an unscheduled stop Bob Roe's Point After Pizza, a sports bar in Sioux City where customers were watching the Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska football games.

"I've been missing football a little too much," Obama said as he shook hands and posed for photos, including one in which he had Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack snap a shot of him and a group of people wearing Iowa Hawkeyes garb.

Obama also handed out several presidential coins, including one to James McKenzie of Sioux City, a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran who said he didn't know if he will vote for Obama.

"I haven't made my decision yet," McKenzie aid. "He's working for the vets more. Yeah, I'm leaning towards him."

The president also ordered a large pepperoni pizza he later offered to people, saying, "Hey everybody, who wants some pizza?"

Speaking earlier at a campaign rally in Urbandale, Iowa, the president said the Republican campaign presents Romney as "the only one who knows the secret to creating jobs."

"But when the governor had his chance to let you in on his secret [at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.] he did not offer a single new idea -- just retreads of the same old policies that have been sticking it to the middle class for years," he told the campaign audience in Iowa.

The president said the Republican campaign is summed up by the claim that "everything is bad and it's Obama's fault."

Campaign spokesman Jen Psaki said the president's campaign trip leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., will highlight "American heroes."

The Saturday rally in Urbandale celebrated former National Guard member Lucas Beenken, who served in Iraq and then attended Drake University on the G.I. Bill.

The president was to travel to Denver Saturday night, his official White House scheduled indicated.

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