President Obama told a capacity crowd at a fundraiser in the Milwaukee Theatre that his opponents believe in top-down economics with tax cuts skewed toward the wealthy “and prosperity will rain down on everyone else.”
The president said that approach has been tried before, but “top-down economics never works."
Obama also took a shot at opponent Mitt Romney and his comments that 47 percent of Americans are dependent upon the government and considers themselves victims.
"We can't get very far if we're just writing off half the country as a bunch of victims, or presume they want to be dependent on government or take responsibility for their own lives," he said, according to a pool report.
Obama vowed Medicare will not become a voucher program and he will not turn Social Security over to Wall Street. He also spoke of the promises he’s kept to end the war in Iraq and create a timetable for the return of troops from Afghanistan. He also mentioned he set in motion the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The president also vowed that he would continue to "sustain the strongest military the world has ever known."
"I think after a decade of war, it's time for us to do some nation building here at home," the president said.
The president also referenced his comments earlier in the week about being unable to change Washington. D.C., from the inside. He said his opponent would change Washington from the inside.
"What kind of inside job is he talking about?" he said.
Obama thanked Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who was at the fundraiser with his wife, Kris, and recounted a story told to him by his campaign manager, Jim Messina.
Messina met some people who had a 4-year-old boy who said he knew who the president was. Asked what the president did, the boy said he “approves this message.”
"That's what I do. I approve this message," Obama said.
Messina, talking to the fundraiser about the Romney ground game, referenced the GOP organizing effort around the failed attempt to recall Gov. Scott Walker in June.
"This is one where ... because of the recall election, they test drove their car whereas in other states they haven't,” Messina said. “It would make sense they're strong here, as are we. They are stronger than McCain was in '08, no question, on the ground. But we continue to have a strategic advantage" because of more field offices and infrastructure.
Messina also noted the campaign is either tied or leading in every battleground poll 45 days out from the election. He said there will be a tightening in the national polls going forward, but he cares more about surveys coming out of battleground states.
“There are two different campaigns, one in the battlegrounds and one everywhere else,” Messina said. “That's why the national polls aren't relevant to this campaign."
After leaving the fundraiser, Obama stopped at Usinger’s Sausage shop in downtown Milwaukee on his way to the Summerfest grounds for his campaign rally.
According to the pool report, Obama, accompanied by Barrett, requested three sausages, a kielbasa, an Italian, and something hot and spicy. The president paid for his food, though Barrett offered.
He carried a box of sausage and was met outside the shop by Andy Fronek, of the Milwaukee Brat House, a Usinger's competitor. The president opened a Styrofoam container with a brat in a pretzel bun and took a bite and then posed for a picture with Fronek