In Florida, Obama says US not a nation in decline

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By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama says Republicans are "dead wrong" in calling America a country in decline.

In a spirited rally in Seminole, Fla., on Saturday, the president said the nation is still an engine of ingenuity and the envy of the world.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan recently spoke of the country's decline in noting that the national debt surpassed $16 trillion.

Obama, coming off his Democratic convention days ago, told the crowd that America's "basic bargain" is at stake in the election — the promise that "if you work hard it will pay off."

He pledged to make education more affordable, reduce dependence on foreign oil and slash deficits "without sticking it to the middle class."

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