CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa | “Hope you’re still fired up and still ready to go.”
That closing line summed up President Barack Obama’s message to a crowd of supporters during a stop in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday afternoon.
The president’s speech at Kirkwood Community College focused on the economy but also served as a rallying cry for what Obama predicted would be a close election in November.
“The thing you guys taught me four years ago is that when you have grassroots folks who are energized, who are enthusiastic, nobody can stop you,” Obama told the crowd, harkening back to his win in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses that launched him to the White House.
Obama painted the race between himself and republican nominee Mitt Romney as one based on economics.
“We’re going to have two choices in this election,” the president said. “One choice is to take us down a path of top-down economics. My vision, which says, when we grow best it’s because our middle class is doing best.”
The president also touted his plan to keep tax cuts for all but the richest Americans, set to expire at the end of the year.
“We want to go ahead and make sure that 99.9 percent of the people here, I suspect, would get the tax break they need to help provide for their families,” Obama said.
Before his speech, Obama met with the Jason and Ali McClaughlin family in northeast Cedar Rapids, a family the White House says would save about $2,000 a year if the tax cuts are extended. According to a White House media spokesperson, the McLaughlins, who have a son, Cooper, and another child on the way, said they would spend their tax savings.
Before leaving Iowa, the president’s motorcade stopped in downtown Cedar Rapids at Deb’s Ice Cream and Deli, where Obama ordered ice cream for his staff and security team. Obama had a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.
The president spoke briefly with people inside and outside the eatery, including discussing Sasha and Malia’s summer camp schedule with a girl who was on her way to camp.