Obama Touts Health Law, Contraception Record In Energetic Campaign Kick-Off Speeches

News outlets report that the president attacked his likely GOP rival, Mitt Romney, while highlighting his own health care record.

MSNBC: Obama draws on spirit of '08 at campaign launch
His two stops on Saturday were in Columbus, Ohio and Richmond, Va. — the state capitals of two crucial swing states Obama had won against Sen. John McCain. And two staple blocs of Obama's 2008 coalition, those young voters and black voters, showed up in throngs for this weekend's events. He sought, in no uncertain terms, to draw a line from their effort that year to this fall's campaign, taking strides to remind them of the accomplishments in the meanwhile — his health care law, Wall Street reform (O'Brien, 5/6).

The Washington Post: Obama Launches Campaign Against Romney, But His Real Opponent Is The Economy
Though the president has been campaigning for months, Obama’s advisers billed Saturday’s rallies in the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia as an opportunity to draw distinctions with Romney and the Republicans in ways he had not done previously. The contrasts he drew were more sharply etched and at times hard-edged. The litany was long. Tax cuts. Health care. Education. Financial regulation. Energy. Climate change. Women’s rights (Balz, 5/5).

Toledo Blade: Obama Makes Pitch For Another 4 Years
In two major rallies in two red-turned-blue states nearly 500 miles apart, on the campuses of Ohio State and Virginia Commonwealth universities, Mr. Obama sought to reignite the "Yes we can!" passion that helped him win election in 2008. ... He offered no regrets for the controversial economic stimulus package and health-care overhaul that GOP critics cite as failures or, in the case of the latter, unconstitutional (Provance, 5/6).

ABC News: President Obama Hits Romney Directly at First Re-election Rally 
“We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood, or taking away access to affordable birth control,” he said (Larontonda, 5/5).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Obama Tells Siegel Center Crowd He'll Fight For Middle Class
"I refuse to pay for another millionaire's tax cut" by cutting medical research or eliminating health insurance for poor or elderly Americans on Medicaid, he said (Kapsidelis and Meola, 5/5).

National Journal: Obama: It's Not About the Economy, (Stupid), It's About Romney
A Washington Post poll released this week found Obama leading Romney 51 to 44 percent in Virginia, with a double-digit edge among women. Seeking to hold that advantage, Obama warned that Romney would limit access to abortion rights, Planned Parenthood and birth control. “We are not turning back the clock,’’ he said. (Reinhard, 5/5).

Politifact: Barack Obama debuts stump speech
Obama claim: Health care reform allowed "2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance." ... The claim is based on analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services on a survey that found an 8.3 percent increase in the number of 19- to 25-year-olds who had insurance coverage between the third quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011. ... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded the number was a little smaller ... The Obama camp chose to repeat the higher figure, which earned them a Mostly True rating. (Gorman and Madsen, 5/5).

Meanwhile --

CBS News: In GOP Address, Sen. Corker Says Obama "Punts" On Major Issues
 In the video address, [Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob] Corker called for "pro-growth" policies that includes tax reform and changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He said reforming those two areas of the economy would "cause our economy to just take off." Corker offered no details on how to ensure the entitlement programs are financially sustainable for the long-term (Caldwell, 5/5).


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