Campaign: 'We feel good' about direction

Sept. 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A spokeswoman for the Obama re-election campaign said Tuesday the campaign "feels good about the direction the country is moving" but "more work" is needed.

Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked whether the campaign is concerned an unemployment report to be released Friday might take away from any polling bounce following the Democratic National Convention, which opens Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. She said the United States has had 29 consecutive months of private sector job growth but "we know more needs to be done."

"But we feel good about the direction the country is moving in," Psaki said. "Regardless of what the numbers are on Friday, we know the American people are still facing a choice who they would rather have standing up for them in the White House."

President Barack Obama, speaking Tuesday at a campaign rally in Norfolk, Va., repeated a theme he has emphasized consistently in campaign speeches that Republican job-growth ideas are "just retreads of the same old policies that have been sticking it to the middle class for years."

"Basically, they said, first of all, everything is bad and it's Obama's fault, and Governor Romney knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy," the president said. "The only problem was he kept it secret.

"And when my opponent had the chance to offer his secret sauce, he did not offer a single new idea."

Obama said his policies -- including billions in federal aid to the auto industry that Republican nominee Mitt Romney opposed -- have helped improve the economy.

Romney running mate Paul Ryan said in Greenville, N.C., the president "can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off" -- a comment Vice President Joe Biden quickly rebutted.

"Folks, let me make something clear," Biden told a Detroit union audience. "I'll say it to the press. America is better off today than they left us," referring to the George W. Bush administration.

Biden and his wife, Jill, were scheduled to travel to Charlotte Tuesday afternoon.

"Putting Americans back to work" is the No. 1 item on the party platform. Other parts of the 19-item platform -- a list of actions the party supports -- include "asking all to pay their fair share," Wall Street reform, "protecting rights and freedoms," defeating al-Qaida and "maintaining the strongest military in the world."

The prime-time speakers' schedule Tuesday included first lady Michelle Obama and a keynote address by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Castro was expected to emphasize the importance of investing in education, the Journal said.

Psaki said the first lady will "speak about the values and experiences that drive [the president]. She'll give a personal, passionate speech."

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking Wednesday, is to argue Democratic policies like those he and Obama embrace led to economic expansion when he was president, the Journal said.

Psaki said Clinton will address "the choice middle class families in this country are facing, the difference between the vision President Obama is presenting to the American people and the vision Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are presenting."

Attending the convention are 5,556 delegates and 407 alternates, convention information indicates. Fifty percent of delegates are women and 27 percent are black, Democratic National Committee Secretary Alice Germond told USA Today.

The oldest delegate is 98-year-old Mississippian Elzena Johnson. The youngest is 17-year-old Iowan Samuel Gray.

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