WASHINGTON - As the mid-term elections draw near, President Obama is attempting to draw a sharp contrast with Republicans on government spending and the economy.
The move comes amid growing fears that the nation may be headed for a "double-dip" recession.
"Just to get any kind of work now would be great," said one unemployed worker.
At a town hall in Racine, Wis. where unemployment remains at 14 percent, the president made the case that his $862 billion stimulus plan prevented disaster and got the economy moving again.
He defended his economic leadership, which will play a role in the upcoming elections. Many Americans, especially those out of work, are suffering from bailout fatigue.
"The truth is, from the day we walked into the White House, we knew that the crisis we faced was so severe that it would take months, and maybe even years to heal," Obama said.
The president also promised to take on the nation's debt and spending through a gradual process.
International debt, especially among European nations, has had investors worried as markets have been falling for more than two months.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers argue it's time for a new kind of change -- one that includes less government regulation and less government spending.