Originally Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2012, 11:42 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 25, 2012, 12:38 am

Obama: 'My math adds up'

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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

President Barack Obama told a crowd of thousands in Davenport that he'd kept the promises he made four years ago and asked for their support to send him back to the White House for a second term.

He delivered a passionate sales pitch as he attempted to lock up Iowa's crucial electoral votes with Election Day in less than two weeks. A crowd estimated at 3,500 by the Davenport fire marshal turned up at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds to hear the president.

He touched down at the Quad City International Airport about 9:15 a.m. then spoke for about 20 minutes at the fairgrounds before taking his motorcade to Antonella's Pizzeria in downtown Davenport.

The street was shut down by police while he chatted inside the restaurant with three supporters: Vicki Felger, a nurse; Marcia Teshak, a retiree; and Deb Willaredt, a small-business owner, according to a pool report.

Antonella's owner Giovanni Sgro said he learned the president was coming 10 minutes before he arrived. The president ate an all meat pizza topped with pepperoni, ham and sausage.

After the pizza break, the president's motorcade made its way back to the airport, and Air Force One took off for Colorado, the next stop on the president's tour of battleground states.

During his speech at the fairgrounds, President Obama tested the new catchword his campaign used to describe what they see as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's flexible policy positions.

"We've come up with a name for this condition -- it's called Romnesia," President Obama said. "I want to go over the symptoms with you, Davenport, because I don't want you to catch it."

Mr. Romney had promised to cut taxes for the wealthiest, President Obama said, but now says the share of taxes they pay won't go down. Mr. Romney also said he loves American cars, the president added, but had wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt.

The president defended his own record in office and said he'd kept the commitments he'd made to end the war in Iraq, repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses and pass health-care reform.

He also spoke of his plan for the next four years if he wins re-election.The president unveiled a 20-page manifesto Tuesday that includes commitments to double exports, cut oil imports and use savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to invest in infrastructure at home.

"I've got a plan that will actually create jobs, that will actually reduce the deficit," President Obama said. "And unlike Mitt Romney, I'm proud to talk about my plan because my math actually adds up."

A spokesman for the Romney campaign, responding to the president's comments in Davenport, said another term for President Obama would plunge the middle class deeper into economic trouble.

"Another four years of President Obama's policies will mean lower incomes, higher taxes and more debt," Romney spokesman Shawn McCoy said. "A glossy brochure full of the same policies that haven't worked over the last four years is no substitute for a real agenda that will help grow the middle class."

Mr. Romney has promised his economic policies -- which include across-the-board reductions in tax rates, making the U.S. energy independent and expanding trade -- will lead to the creation of 12 million jobs over the next four years.

At one point during the president's speech, the crowd booed when he mentioned Mr. Romney by name. The president quickly responded, "Don't boo; vote."

He wrapped up his speech by saying Republican policies would "turn the clock back 50 years" for women, gay people and immigrants. In contrast, the president said, he stood for an America that embraces everyone.

The crowd at the fairgrounds was enthusiastic, with many turning up at 7 a.m. or earlier to wait for hours to hear the president. Long before he arrived, they crowd broke out into spontaneous chants of "four more years."

The race is extremely tight, and President Obama exhorted his supports to push hard for a win in the closing days of the campaign.

An average of national polls on Wednesday by Real Clear Politics had Mr. Romney slightly ahead. But the president still has a slender lead in key battlegrounds states such as Iowa and Ohio that could decide the election.

After speaking in Davenport, President Obama flew to Denver for a campaign event and also was scheduled to fly to Nevada later Wednesday. Mr. Romney, meanwhile, spoke in Nevada Wednesday morning and Cedar Rapids later in the day.