CHICAGO (AFP) – US President Barack Obama accused his Republican foes of wanting to turn the United States into a "Third World" country Thursday as he rallied support for his reelection campaign.
The attack came a day after Obama savaged Republican budget plans and unveiled his $4 trillion deficit reduction drive that aims to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to preserve key social services.
The debate over fiscal policy will prove critical to the 2012 campaign, and Obama sought to frame it as a "stark choice" between investing in the future or watching the country fall apart.
"Under their vision, we can't invest in roads and bridges and broadband and high-speed rail," Obama told a select group of the Democratic faithful at the second of three fundraising events in his hometown of Chicago.
"I mean, we would be a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought -- that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure."