Obama's speech to party delegates laid out, in broad strokes, the agenda for Congress and the White House if he were to be elected to four more years. The president spent much of his address talking about the economy and job creation. Obama also took at his Republican rival in Election 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
1. Role of Government
Obama expanded upon his controversial "You didn't built that" remarks, which conservatives seized on earlier in the presidential campaign. The president maintains that government provides services such as public education, road construction and security that benefit private enterprise. He said "our destinies are bound together."
"We don't think the government can solve all our problems. But we don't think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."
He also said:
"America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer, but we travel it together. We don't turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth."
Obama has called for passage of the so-called Buffett Rule, or higher taxes on those who earn more than $1 million a year, a measure Romney opposes. Obama reiterated his call for greater levies on the most affluent Americans, and said he opposes the elimination of tax deductions for homeowners.
"I want to reform the tax code so that it's simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000, the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president; the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot."
He also said:
"I don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all that we've been through, I don't believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. We have been there, we've tried that, and we're not going back."
3. Deficit Reduction
Obama said he plans to cut the federal budget deficits by $4 trillion, though analysts and independent fact-checkers have raised questions about the calculations.
"You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. Independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficits by $4 trillion. And last summer, I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut billion in spending because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it, so that it's leaner, and more efficient, and more responsive to the American people."
4. Social Issues
Obama's speech mentioned social issues such as accepting openly gay members of the military.
"You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home, why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: 'Welcome home, welcome home.'"
5. Energy and Climate Change
Obama supports oil and gas exploration in the United States but tried to draw a distinction between himself and Republicans when he said it must be done in a way that's environmentally sensitive.
"We've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we'll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. We're offering a better path ... And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to our children's future. And in this election, you can do something about it."
"I will never turn Medicare into a voucher."
Obama called for hiring more teachers, cutting college tuition increases and providing better training of the workforce.
"And together, I promise you, we can out-educate and out-compete any nation on Earth. Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers within ten years, and improve early childhood education. Help give two million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. We can meet that goal together."
8. Manufacturing Jobs
"After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. And now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America. We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future."
9. Romney's Foreign Policy Experience
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally."
10. Nuclear Iran
"The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab World must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today."