LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada economy was hit harder than most places in the country, President Barack Obama told supporters during a quick campaign stop Wednesday in Las Vegas.
But he said Democratic policies would help the middle class more than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's proposals to cut taxes for the wealthy.
"Here's the thing. I don't think the best answers for today's new challenges are old sales pitches," Obama told a crowd of more than 8,000 people at a convention hall just north of downtown Las Vegas.
"That's what the other side's been selling," he said. "More tax cuts, especially tilted toward the wealthy. That's their prescription."
When the crowd booed mention of Romney, Obama stopped them.
"Don't boo," he said. "Vote."
Obama's campaign speech was his eighth appearance this year in Nevada. He spent just a few hours in Las Vegas before departing aboard Air Force One for Denver.
The crowd cheered "four more years" when he took the stage, but Obama turned serious and mentioned the slaying of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in an attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
He said the Americans had been risking their lives "to help one of the world's youngest democracies get on its feet."
Obama said he had a message for the rest of the world: "No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America."
Obama soon moved into a standard stump speech about differences between Democratic and Republican platforms on education, tax policy, Social Security and veteran's affairs. The crowd struggled to hear him in a hall with poor acoustics as he called for support Nov. 6.
Protesters were few outside the hall, where tourist Edward Maikranz, 48 of Abilene, Texas, brought signs supporting Romney while taking a chance to see the president.
"We're Texans. We're up for protesting," said his wife, Lisa. She held a sign reading, "NoBama. He can keep the change."
The couple said they got free tickets to the speech and brought their 13-year-old son, Isaac, because they didn't want to miss a rare chance to see a president in person.
Wendell Cosey, 56, a musician and lifelong Las Vegas resident, wasn't protesting. He said he has been working to register Obama voters in the minority community.
"He's going to talk about jobs and tell people to hang in there," Cosey said. "I believe there will be more jobs if he has the opportunity to follow through on his plans."
Associated Press writers Charles Babington in Las Vegas and Matthew Daly in Washington, D.C., contributed to this story.