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December 2, 2021
WORLD

US Democratic convention kicks off

Facing a close election and Republican attacks that they have made things worse while in power, President Barack Obama and Democrats seek to emphasize what has been achieved and additional steps to bolster the middle class at their three-day national convention that began Tuesday.

The political conclave that will formally nominate Obama for a second term serves as a response to last week’s Republican convention that nominated Mitt Romney as the GOP challenger in November.
First lady Michelle Obama was expected to address the convention last night, and former President Bill Clinton headlines the second night before Obama concludes it with his nationally televised address on Thursday night.
Romney’s campaign is focused on the question of whether Obama has made life better for Americans, arguing that continued high unemployment and sluggish economic recovery from the 2008 recession show White House policies have failed to deliver promised results.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden launched their counterattacks Monday, telling Labor Day campaign events that the nation is better off now than it was when the new administration took office in January 2009.
Noting that Romney recently said the nation needed a “new coach,” Obama told a Toledo, Ohio, event that the former Massachusetts governor offered nothing new from Republican policies that Obama said failed in the past.
“The problem is everybody’s already seen his economic playbook. We know what’s in it,” the president said.
Biden led an effort to sharpen the message of Democrats after other senior party members struggled to formulate a definitive answer to the question of whether voters should feel better off since Obama took office.
“America is better off today than they left us when they left,” Biden told a Labor Day campaign event in Detroit, referring to the state of the nation the Obama administration inherited from the Republican administration of former President George W. Bush.
“You want to know whether we are better off?” Biden said, offering a favorite campaign line. “I’ve got a ‘better off’ — Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!”
Republicans seek to shrink the size of government and end chronic federal deficits and rising national debt through reduced spending, reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and slashing taxes on businesses and individuals as a spur for economic growth.
Obama and Democrats argue that a deficit-reduction plan also needs additional revenue as part of the equation, and they propose allowing tax rates on income of more than $250,000 for families and $200,000 for individuals to return to higher levels from the 1990s.
A senior Obama campaign official told CNN on Monday that viewers tuning in to the Democratic convention will hear how specific Obama policies and ideas will bolster the middle class to strengthen economic growth.
“You didn’t hear one tangible idea” at the GOP gathering in Tampa, Florida, the official argued, adding that “the advantage of going second is you get the last word.”
The race overall is very tight, with a new poll on Monday indicating Romney holds a slight advantage in North Carolina. Obama narrowly won the battleground state four years ago, becoming the first Democrat to carry the Tar Heel state in a presidential election since Carter in 1976.

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