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Obama Lays Out 'Clear Choice' In Convention Speech

  • RFE/RL

Barack Obama has formally accepted his nomination for a second term as U.S. president, telling voters that they face the "clearest choice of any time in a generation."

Obama was addressing the Democratic Party's national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"On every issue, the choice you face won't just be between two candidates or two parties," Obama said. "It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamental different visions for the future."

Obama said he wouldn't pretend the path he is offering is quick or easy, adding that "it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades."

The president, struggling to bring down an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, set a goal of creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs by 2016, training 2 million workers at community colleges, doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, and reducing by half net oil imports by 2020.

"Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met," Obama said. "The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place."

Obama is being challenged in the November 6 vote by Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who accepted the Republican Party’s nomination last week.

Recent opinion polls show Obama maintains a thin lead over Romney.

It's The Economy...

Obama took the stage in the convention venue -- not in a huge stadium as organizers had hoped -- after the speech was moved, with party officials citing weather concerns.

His speech marked the climax of the three-day convention.

Among the speakers preceding Obama on September 6 was Vice President Joe Biden, who also formally accepted the nomination for a second term.

"Together, we're on a mission, we're on a mission to move this nation forward from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity, a mission -- I guarantee you -- we will complete," Biden told the convention.

On September 5, former President Bill Clinton launched a full-throated defense of Obama’s policies, saying no president could have repaired in one four-year term all the economic damage that Obama inherited from the Republicans.

First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the first day, talking about her husband's humble roots and describing him as a "man we can trust" to revive the nation's weak economy.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters