US President Barack Obama has accepted his presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. In his speech, Obama hit out against Republican rival Mitt Romney who he faces in the November 6 election.
Four years after his election win, Obama has accepted his Democratic Party's nomination for a second presidential term before 6,000 delegates and thousands of Democratic loyalists in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Outlining a plan to create millions of jobs, cut $4 trillion (3.2 trillion euros) from the country's deficit and boost America's strength overseas, Obama told voters they face the clearest choice at any time in a generation.
"The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and I'm asking you to choose that future," he said.
Hitting out at his Republican presidential rival, Obama said Romney was not ready for global diplomacy.
"My opponent and his new running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly," Obama said. "After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy - and not al Qaeda - unless you are stuck in a Cold War time warp."
Obama's rhetoric at the Democratic convention was considered crucial, with the race against Romney too close to call.
Jobs drive campaign
Accepting his own Democratic running-mate nomination ahead of Obama's speech, Vice President Joe Biden said that over the next four years Obama would continue to tackle both unemployment and slow economic growth.
"We're on a mission to move this nation forward from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity." Biden said that was "a mission we will continue and a mission we will complete."
Earlier on Thursday former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords took to the convention stage to a standing ovation to endorse President Obama. She led a pledge of allegiance before leaving the podium to chants of "Gabby! Gabby! Gabby!" Giffords is recovering from an assassination attempt almost 20 months ago.
Hollywood stars Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johannson and Kerry Washington also took to the stage in support of Obama.
More time for economy
The Democrats opened their national convention on Tuesday with sharp criticism of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Leading a host of high-profile speakers, Michelle Obama laid out stark contrasts between her husband and his wealthy rival, saying it was life experiences that "make you who you are."
She urged voters to give Obama more time to fix the economy, saying change "never happens all at once."
Romney accepted his party's nomination to run for president against Obama last Thursday. He touted his experience as a businessman, which he said puts him in a better position than Obama to create jobs in America.
Romney pledged, as part of a 5-step plan, to create 12 million jobs as well as make North America energy independent by 2020. He also said he would take a tougher stance on Iran's nuclear program and when negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
ccp/ipj (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)