MAUMEE, Ohio — With four months to go until election day, President Barack Obama marked the beginning of the heavy campaign season at the first stop of his two-day bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“Unless you have been hiding out in the woods somewhere, you are aware of the fact that it’s campaign season,” Obama said, noting a barrage of negative ads on television.
"I know sometimes you want to TIVO everything so you can skip over the commercials," Obama quipped," saying unnamed Republican groups are trying to get the electorate to tune out the race because of how negative its getting.
"Here you are in the heat — “I’m betting you’re not going to lose interest. I’m betting you’re not going to lose heart. I still believe in you," Obama said, sweating with his audience under the blistering sun in front hay bales and an American flag at the historic Wolcott House Museum.
Obama is using the bus tour to highlight the success of the auto bailout to this region.
"I was betting on the American worker. I was betting on American industry. And three years later the American auto industry has come roaring back," Obama said as the crowd of 520 supporters cheered.
"Romney said we should just let Detroit go bankrupt," Obama said. "I refused to turn my back on communities like this."
"I'm not a Democrat first, I'm an American first," Obama added.
Obama also trumpeted his administration's move to charge China with unfair trade practices in a complaint to the World Trade Organization for putting tariffs on American auto imports.
The administration has denied the timing was political, but in his speech Obama noted that the complaint was filed "just this morning."