Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry turned his focus to domestic issues Friday during a campaign swing through Wisconsin, one of several key states in the November election.
Senator Kerry said President Bush has let down America's middle class because of job losses and rising costs for health care and energy.
He told a supportive crowd at a small college in Milwaukee that voters have a chance to reverse direction on domestic policy on Election Day.
"On November 2nd, America has a choice," Senator Kerry said. "We can choose a president who understands the challenges that our economy is facing and actually has the vision and daring to meet them. We can choose a president who will create an economy where the doors of opportunity are once again open to all of the great middle class and those struggling to get into it. If you give me a chance, I will be that president."
Wisconsin, like several others states in the upper Midwest, has lost manufacturing jobs in recent years. Many of those jobs have gone overseas and Senator Kerry says that, if elected, he will work to create new jobs at home.
"First, we are going to focus on keeping and creating the good jobs right here in America," he said. "We will close the tax loopholes that actually reward companies for shipping jobs overseas and we are going to use the money from that to reward companies that create and keep good jobs here in the United States."
After Wisconsin, the Kerry campaign heads to Ohio and Florida, two more key battleground states in the November election. In the U.S. electoral system, the presidential election is decided on a state-by-state basis, and this year there are about ten states where the race is close enough that either candidate could win.
Senator Kerry is hoping to build on the momentum from the recent presidential debates. Public opinion polls suggest the Democratic candidate got a major boost from his performance in the debates, and most national polls indicate the presidential race is about even, with a little more than two weeks to go until the election.