President Barack Obama spent much of a half-hour speech in Oskaloosa drawing distinctions between himself and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"It is a choice between two fundamentally different visions on the path we need to take for our kids and our grandkids," Obama said.
Obama's speech acknowledged there remains considerable work on multiple fronts, including the economy. He said the nation "fought two wars on a credit card," and must mix responsible spending with tax policy.
While Obama praised Romney running mate Paul Ryan as, "a good man, a family man," he said there are fundamental disagreements on policy between himself and his opponents. He blasted Romney's economic policy as "trickle-down fairy dust."
"They don't have a plan to cut the deficit. They don't have a plan to increase jobs. They sure don't have a plan to restore the middle class. We don't need more tax cuts for people like me," he said.
The ability of the nation to do that, and the resiliance of the American people, was a theme Obama returned to repeatedly during his speech:
"We have everything we need in America to make the middle class strong again. We have the best workers in the world."
"Americans are tougher than any tough time. When we get knocked down, we get back up. That is the character of America."
As evidence, Obama pointed to wind energy, which has proven to be a growth industry in Iowa over the past decade. He praised it as an industry in which the part, labor and construction all take place within the country.
Romney, Obama said, has criticized tax breaks for wind power, saying you cannot put a windmill atop a car.
"Gov. Romney may have figured out that you can't drive a car with a windmill on it, but he hasn't figured out that America produces ... enough wind energy to supply 13 million homes with clean, renewable energy," said Obama.