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President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha/WHITE HOUSE


‘Tested and proven’ Obama asks for second term

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President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha/WHITE HOUSE

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, Sept 7 – US President Barack Obama Thursday implored Americans to grant him a second term to complete his battered crusade for change, warning of the starkest election choice in a generation.

Four years after his historic election win, Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for a second time, dispensing hard truths on US economic ills and warning that Republican Mitt Romney would endanger America abroad.

Sketching an agenda to create millions of jobs, cut $4 trillion from the deficit and bolster his nation’s strength overseas, Obama refused to abandon the hope of 2008, saying: “know this, America: our problems can be solved.”

“When you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation,” Obama said, forecasting fateful choices looming on jobs and taxes and war and peace.

“The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and I’m asking you to choose that future,” he said, warning Romney would gut the middle class and return to “blustering and blundering” abroad.

“America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder — but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer — but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind.”

Obama also blasted Romney and his vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, as neophytes that would endanger US national security, comparing their thin resume with his own “tested and proven” leadership.

“My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.”

“After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy — and not Al-Qaeda — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp.

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“You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.

“My opponent said it was ‘tragic’ to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will.”

Obama cast his speech as a rallying call for Americans to unite to tear open the gridlock that has paralyzed Washington, warning Romney would fire teachers, impoverish students, all to give more tax breaks to millionaires.

“We’ve been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back. We’re moving forward,” Obama said, drawing lusty cheers from 15,000 people packed into a sports arena at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.

In many ways, Obama’s address was an attempt to reconcile the heady promises of hope and change he dispensed four years ago, with the reality of impossible to meet expectations and an economy still staggering from the Great Recession.

“If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible — well, change will not happen.

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