Obama: Economy is The ‘Defining Issue of Our Time’

CLEVELAND — President Barack Obama returned to Ohio for the fourth time this year, speaking to supporters at the Cuyahoga Community College Recreation Center on East 30th Street.

Both Mr. Obama and his competitor in the November Presidential election, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, have identified Ohio as a key swing state that could decide the election’s outcome.

Obama and Romney have both focused heavily on the economy in previous visits and the president drilled home his beliefs on the issue at today’s event.

“It’s the defining issue of our time,” Obama told the assembled crowd. “Debt, taxes, energy and education will have an enormous impact on the country that we pass on to our children.”

Obama spoke for 54 minutes and talked often of the stalemate in Washington on his tax plan, which has been voted down by members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“There are two fundamentally different views on which direction America should take,” said Obama, later adding, “What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views.”

Obama spoke of the economic climate he inherited from his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, and how he feels the Bush-era policies affected America.

“For the wealthiest Americans it worked out quite well,” Obama said. “But prosperity never trickled down to the middle class.”

According to Obama, Romney would restore many of the Bush-era policies. “This is not spin, this is not my opinion,” he said more than once. “This is their plan.”

The Obama campaign has made numerous visits to northeast Ohio in recent months. First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at a political fundraiser at Progressive Field in May, while Vice President Joe Biden recently campaigned in Youngstown.

At the same time Obama was speaking in Cleveland, Romney was speaking in Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon.

The former governor spoke at Seilkop Industries where he challenged the Obama tax plan, claiming the proposal will make hiring increasing difficult for business owners.

Romney will make his way to Brunswick’s Mapleside Farm on Sunday.