A delegate wears a Barack Obama dress. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
President Barack Obama plans to warn American voters who may be wary of giving him a second term in the White House that it will take "more than a few years" to revive the economy and create jobs while pleading for another chance to chart a course he warned would not be "quick or easy."
"Know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I'm asking you to choose that future," Obama will say, according to excerpts of his acceptance speech to be delivered to the Democratic National Convention.
"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade," read Obama's remarks.
"It will require common effort, shared responsibility and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one," Obama will say. "And by the way—those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.
"I'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country—goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That's what we can do in the next four years, and that's why I'm running for a second term as president of the United States."
Obama plans to lay out a series of goals—some of which he has already announced—like creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016, doubling exports by the end of 2014, cutting net oil imports in half by 2020. He will also say he wants to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers over the next decade, and cut growth of college tuition in half over the same period.
In a nod to public anger at deficits swelling the already bloated national debt, which has risen $5.3 trillion on his watch, the president will call for reducing the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released a statement calling on the president to talk about the promises he has made in the past. "I think this is a time not for him to start restating new promises, but to report on the promises he made," said Romney. "I think he wants a promises reset. We want a report on the promises he made."
Obama's main vulnerability is the still-sputtering economy, with stubbornly high unemployment at 8.3 percent nearly four years after he took office vowing to restore it to health.