Obama: GOP hasn't been honest with Americans
"We can't pretend that there are shortcuts," the president said, addressing about 70 voters in a grassy backyard.
"When you look at the choice we face in this election coming up," Obama said, "the other side, what it's really offering is the same policies that from 2001 to 2009 put off hard problems and didn't really speak honestly to the American people about how we're gonna get this country on track over the long term."
Five weeks ahead of midterm elections that will determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress, Obama confronted stark voter angst. The first question he got was from a woman who said of her son, a recent college graduate, and his friends: "They are losing their hope which is a message you inspired them with."
Obama responded by citing a list of areas of optimism, ones she could tell her son about it. He said his government is providing more students loans, trying to encourage private job growth, and making tough decisions now that will help the county reclaim its rightful stand as the top leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Over the long term, the president assured, "their future will be fine."
Obama spoke to about 70 people at the home of Jeff and Sandy Clubb. It's the second such "backyard discussion" he's holding in as many days as he tries to convince Americans to keep Democrats in power. The president will finish his four-state tour Wednesday afternoon with a meeting with voters in Richmond, Va.
In the Clubb backyard the president had a homey setting, with a birdfeeder and tiki lamps visible on the lawn behind him.
There is irony in Obama using Iowa as a venue to try to avert a Republican landslide. His victory in the January 2008 Iowa caucus put him on the path to the Democratic presidential nomination, and he carried the state comfortably that November against Republican John McCain.
But almost every state is a battleground in this fall's congressional elections, and Obama is devoting ever more time to campaigning for his party.
A rally he held Tuesday night at the University of Wisconsin came the closest so far to recapturing the enthusiasm of his 2008 drive to the White House.