Former US president Bill Clinton has presented incumbent Barack Obama's nomination to the Democratic Party, arguing that voters face a stark choice between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Clinton sought to contrast President Obama's support of public investment in infrastructure, science and education with former Massachusetts governor Romney's emphasis on deregulation and the free market as a means to stimulate America's flagging economy.
"We believe that 'we're all in this together' is a far better philosophy than 'you're on your own'," the former president said during his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday.
The US presidential election campaign has focused mostly on job creation. Some 12.8 million Americans are currently unemployed, four years after the near collapse of the financial sector threw the US into its deepest economic contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Romney stresses business experience
In Florida last week, Governor Romney, a former venture capitalist, had touted his experience in the private sector, arguing that President Obama does not have the business experience to improve the economy.
"Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us," Romney had said during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Clinton criticizes Republican policy
But Clinton sought to counter Romney's attack on Wednesday, saying that President Obama had navigated America through difficult economic straits by bailing out the automobile industry and implementing economic stimulus measures.
"No president, not me, not any of my predecessors, not anyone, could have fully repaired all the damage that he (Obama) found in just four years," Clinton said.
The former president attacked Republicans for supporting "trickle-down economics," in which the creation of wealth by the rich supposedly benefits the middle and lower classes. Clinton argued that such policy was the source of America's current economic ills.
"We can not afford to give the reigns of government to someone who will double down on trickle-down," he said.
slk/ipj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)