Obama: It's Still About Hope, It's Still About Change

    At his first official rally, President Barack Obama takes swipes at "backward" Romney.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — After more than three years in office, President Barack Obama is still all about “Hope” and “Change.”

    “If people ask you want this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change,” at sweat-stained Obama said at his first official rally here. “It’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the fact of great odds we can make a difference in the life of this country.”

    At The Ohio State University on Saturday, Obama defended his record, but acknowledged that America today is far from perfect.

    “I’ve heard from too many people wondering why they haven’t been able to get one of the jobs that’ve been created,” Obama said. “Why their home is still underwater. Why their family hasn’t yet been touched by the recovery.”

    But Obama said Republicans aren’t offering an answer to those questions, but instead are trying to blame him with negative ads.

    “Over and over again, they’ll tell you that American’s down now, and they’ll tell you who to blame, and ask if you’re better off that you were before the worst crisis in our lifetime,” Obama said. “We’ve seen that play before, but you know what, the real question. The question that will actually make a difference in your life and in the lives of your children is not just about how we’re doing today, but how we’ll be doing tomorrow.”

    Obama also drew a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney, arguing that he is a stooge of Republicans in Congress, bent on cutting taxes for the rich and cutting spending on everyone else.

    “Republicans in Congress have found a nominee who is willing to rubber stamp this agenda,” Obama said, trying to tie Romney to the most unpopular institution in America.

    Mocking Romney’s declaration that corporations are people last year, Obama said, "I don't care how many different ways you try to explain it, corporations aren't people. People are people!"

    Obama also set out to frame Romney as a nice guy who is out of touch — much the same message that Romney uses against him.

    "Gov. Romney is a patriotic American who has raised a large family," Obama said, "The problem with our economy isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve been working harder than ever...Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get that."

    Saying Republicans want to double-down on the Bush agenda, but "on steroids," Obama said, "We were there, we remember, we are not going back, we are moving this country forward."

    “We have come too far to abandon the change we fought for in 2008. We have to move forward to the future we imagined in 2008,” he added, his rhetoric lofty as ever.