URBANDALE, Iowa - Kicking off a four-day swing-state tour leading to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., President Obama today promised his party would showcase a "better path forward" for the country in contrast to what he called the "rerun" of outdated Republican ideas presented at the GOP convention.
"Last week the other party gave you their pitch," Obama said, drawing boos from the sprawling crowd at Living History Farms. "It was something to behold. Despite all the challenges that we face… what they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda more suited for the last century.
"It was a rerun. We've seen it before. You might as well have watched it on a black and white TV," he said. (The president's aides have said over the past few days that neither he nor the first lady watched any of the televised RNC proceedings, only read about them in news reports after the fact.)
The president echoed criticism of his top campaign aides of the past few days that Romney's convention was lacking a discussion of "bold truths and hard choices" and instead peddled personal attacks.
"They talked a lot about me, they talked a lot about him [Romney], but they didn't say much about you," Obama said. "And they spent even less time talking about what they planned to do. Not because they know you don't like it, but because you lived through it and can't afford to repeat it."
White House aides said today that Obama has been busy at work crafting his pitch for a prime-time Thursday night address at Bank of America Stadium. He brought along speechwriter Jon Favreau on board Air Force One for a huddle over the text.
While the president didn't tease many new details, he told the crowd of an estimated 10,000 Iowans - one of his largest crowds of the 2012 campaign - that his speech would offer a "better path forward" for restoring economic prosperity from the "middle out."
Underscoring a line of attack that Republicans will amplify against the president this week, Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams accused the administration of setting the country on a "road to declining incomes, higher unemployment and more uncertainty for the middle class."
"In the face of a record of failure, he offered no new solutions, just misleading attacks," he said.