US President Barack Obama on Saturday called for renewed focus on “nation-building here at home” after a decade of war in Afghanistan, as he prepared to hit the campaign trail in Ohio and Virginia.
In his weekly address, Obama recapped his trip earlier in the week to Afghanistan, where he signed a strategic partnership agreement with President Hamid Karzai and marked the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“The tide of war has turned in Afghanistan. We have broken the Taliban's momentum. We've built strong Afghan security forces. We have devastated Al-Qaeda's leadership,” Obama said.
“After more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation building here at home,” he said, highlighting his vision of an economy that offers a “fair shot” to everyone Ä especially US troops heading home from Afghanistan.
“What kind of country will they come back to? Will it be a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by?” the Democratic incumbent asked.
“Or will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules Ä a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?”
Obama took a thinly veiled stab at his Republican foes, saying:
“I don't think we should prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that built a strong middle class.”
“That's why I've called on Congress to take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America.”
Obama first official campaign rallies on Saturday will be in Ohio and Virginia Ä battleground states that could be key to his hopes of winning a second term in November. -Sapa-AFP