Political Musings May 4, 2014: Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush top polls, receive 2016 presidential run endorsements

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush top polls, receive 2016 presidential run endorsements

By Bonnie K. Goodman

In the pre-primary early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, the race is becoming clear even though none of the potential candidates have announced there are intending to run. At this time former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of…READ MORE/a>

 

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 23, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Interview on ’60 Minutes’ — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Transcript of Romney on ’60 Minutes’

The following is a transcript of Mitt Romney on CBS’ “60 Minutes”

SCOTT PELLEY:  We asked Mr. Romney how his vision differs from the President’s because recently Mr. Obama said this election is
the clearest choice in a generation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMNEY:  I think the President’s right. I think this is a very clear choice for the American people as to what America’s future will look like. The President’s vision is one of a larger and larger government with trillion-dollar deficits that promises everything to everyone. That’s the course that he has laid out. His policy for the — the economy is more stimulus, more government spending. My course is very different than that. Mine says make government smaller. Don’t build these massive deficits that pass debt on to our kids, rebuild the foundation of America’s strength with great homes, great schools, with entrepreneurship and innovation. Keep government as a — if you will, facilitator of freedom in America. But don’t have government take away the rights and the freedoms of the American
people.

PELLEY (on camera):  Ten years ago, when you were running for governor of Massachusetts, you were solidly pro-choice on abortion. Now you’re against abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. When you were running for governor, you ridiculed the idea of signing a “no new taxes” pledge, and yet now you’ve signed one. Some people, Governor, have an uneasy feeling that you’re not constant, that you say whatever you have to say in a particular moment.

ROMNEY:  Well, they can look at my record. I — I understand that my opposition will do its very best to try and — and change anyway they can, the narrative to fit their — their objectives. The President has certainly changed his view on a whole host of things. He was going to close Guantanamo. It’s open. Military tribunals were going to be ended. Now military tri — tribunals continue. The President was opposed to same sex marriage, now he’s in favor of same sex marriage. So I…

PELLEY:  But what about you?

ROMNEY:  Oh, so I…

PELLEY:  People wonder, does Romney believe the things that
he says?  You say what to those people?

ROMNEY:  The principles I have are the principles I’ve had from the beginning of my — of my political life. But have I learned?  Have I found that some things I thought would be effective turned out not to be effective?  Absolutely. If you don’t learn from experience, you don’t learn from your mistakes. Why, you know, you ought to be fired.

PELLEY (voiceover):  We spoke with the former governor of Massachusetts as he pitched a plan for a different nation; a government smaller than most Americans have ever seen, reform of Medicare and Social Security, a balanced budget and cuts in tax rates.

(on camera):  What would the individual federal income tax rates be?

ROMNEY:  Well, they would be the current rates less twenty percent. So the top rate, for instance, would go from thirty-five to twenty-eight. Middle rates would come down by twenty percent as well. All the rates come down. But unless people think there’s going to be a huge reduction in the taxes they owe, that’s really not the case because we’re also going to limit deductions and exemptions, particularly for people at the high end. Because I want to keep the current progressivity in the code. There should be no tax reduction for high income people. What I would like to do is to get a tax reduction for middle-income families by eliminating the tax for middle-income families on interest, dividends, and capital gains.

PELLEY:  The tax rate for everyone in your plan would go
down.

ROMNEY:  That’s right.

PELLEY:  But because you’re going to limit exemptions and deductions, everybody’s going to essentially be paying the same taxes.

ROMNEY:  That’s right. Middle-income people will probably see a little break, because there’ll be no tax on their savings.

PELLEY:  Now, you made on your investments, personally, about twenty million dollars last year. And you paid fourteen percent in federal taxes. That’s the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes fifty thousand dollars and paid a higher rate than you did?

ROMNEY:  It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as thirty-five percent.

PELLEY:  So you think it is fair?

ROMNEY:  Yeah, I — I think it’s — it’s the right way to encourage economic growth, to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.

PELLEY:  And corporate tax rates?

ROMNEY:  Corporate tax rates, also, I’d bring down and with the same idea let’s get rid of some of the loopholes, deductions, special deals, such that we’re able to pay for the reduction. I don’t want a reduction in revenue coming into the government.

PELLEY (voiceover):  We followed the governor last week on his relentless schedule — campaigning, raising money, practicing for the debates. And in Boston we asked him exactly which tax deductions and exemptions he intended to eliminate.

ROMNEY:  Well, that’s something Congress and I will have to work out together. My — my experience as a governor…

PELLEY (on camera):  You’re asking the American people to hire you as President of the United States. They’d — they’d like to hear some specifics.

ROMNEY:  Well, I can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. I will not raise taxes on middle-income folks. I will not lower the share of taxes paid by high-income individuals. And I will make sure that we bring down rates, we limit deductions and exemptions so we can keep the progressivity in the code, and we encourage growth in jobs.

PELLEY:  And the devil’s in the details, though. I mean, what are we talking about, the mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction?

ROMNEY:  The devil’s in the details. The angel is in the policy, which is creating more jobs.

PELLEY:  You have heard the criticism, I’m sure, that your campaign can be vague about some things. And I wonder if this isn’t precisely one of those things?

ROMNEY:  It’s very much consistent with my experience as a governor which is, if you want to work together with people across the aisle, you lay out your principles and your policy, you work together with them, but you don’t hand them a complete document and say, “Here, take this or leave it.”  Look, leadership is not a take it or leave it thing. We’ve seen too much of that in Washington.

PELLEY:  You talk about balancing the budget without raising taxes. But to do that you would have to have trillions of dollars in budget cuts. So let’s be specific in this interview — what would you cut?

ROMNEY:  The first big one is I am not going to go forward with Obamacare. I will repeal Obamacare. It costs about a hundred billion dollars a year. Second big area is taking major government programs at the federal level, turning them back to the states, where they’ll grow at the rate of inflation, not at a multiple of that rate. And that saves about a hundred billion dollars a year. And finally, I’ll cut back on the size of government itself, as well as go after the fraud and abuse and inefficiency that’s always part of a large institution like our — like our government.

PELLEY:  You would move some government programs to the
states. What would they be?

ROMNEY:  Well, for instance, Medicaid is a program that’s designed to help the poor. Likewise, we have housing vouchers and food stamps, and these help the poor. I’d take the dollars for those programs, send them back to the states, and say, “You craft your programs at your state level and the way you think best to deal with those that need that kind of help in your state.”

PELLEY:  So how does moving those programs to the states bring relief to the taxpayer?

ROMNEY:  Because I grow them only at the rate of inflation or in the case of Medicaid, at inflation plus one percent, that’s a lower rate of growth than we’ve seen over the past several years, a lower rate of growth than has been forecast under federal management. And I believe on that basis you’re going to see us save about a hundred billion dollars a year.

PELLEY:  So you’re going to cap the growth on those social welfare programs?

ROMNEY:  Exactly right.

PELLEY:  Why would shrinking the federal government on the large scale that you have in mind not throw the country back into recession?

ROMNEY:  Well, the — the plan I have to — to go after the deficit and to shrink federal spending is metered out in a very careful way, such that we don’t have a huge drop off with an austerity program that puts people out of work in government. But instead, through attrition, over time, we scale back the number of federal workers so I’m — I’m very careful in the way I do this.

PELLEY (voiceover):  But lasting budget reform isn’t likely without doing something about Social Security and Medicare. They are exactly one third of the entire federal budget. That’s one reason Romney chose as a running mate Paul Ryan, the chairman of
the House Budget Committee.

(on camera):  There is a lot of rhetoric about Medicare.

What do you intend to do?

ROMNEY:  Well, I don’t want any change to Medicare for current seniors or for those that are nearing retirement. So the plan stays exactly the same. The President’s cutting seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars from current Medicare. I disagree with that. I’d put those dollars back into Medicare.

PELLEY:  Mr. Ryan has proposed something similar, almost precisely the same number of seven hundred and sixteen.

ROMNEY:  Yeah. He — he was going to use that money to reduce the — the budget deficit. I’m putting it back into Medicare and I’m the guy running for president, not him. So what I do in my Medicare plan for younger people coming along to say this, “We’re going to have higher benefits for low-income people and lower benefits for high- income people.”  We’re going to make it more means tested. I think if we do that, we’ll make sure to preserve Medicare into the indefinite future.

PELLEY:  The idea under your plan for future seniors would be that the federal government would write that senior a check, essentially, and say, “Now, you can go buy a private insurance plan or you can buy Medicare from the federal government.”  Is that essentially it?

ROMNEY:  Yeah. That’s — that’s essentially it. People would have a choice of either traditional, government-run, fee-for-service Medicare; or a private plan, which has to offer the same benefits.

PELLEY:  Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the fifty million Americans who don’t have it today?

ROMNEY:  Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and — and die. We — we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

PELLEY:  That’s the most expensive way to do it.

ROMNEY:  Well the…

PELLEY:  In the emergency room.

ROMNEY:  Diff — different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some — some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn’t take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, “You’ve got to take the Massachusetts model.”

PELLEY:  How would you change Social Security?

ROMNEY:  Well, again, no change in Social Security for — for those that are in retirement or near retirement. What I’d do with Social Security is say this:  that again, people with higher incomes won’t get the same high growth rate in their benefits as people of lower incomes. People who rely on Social Security should see the same kind of growth rate they’ve had in the past. But higher income folks would receive a little less.

PELLEY:  So that in the Romney administration, in the Romney plan, there would be means testing for Social Security and for Medicare?

ROMNEY:  That’s correct. Higher-income people won’t get as much as lower-income people. And by virtue of doing that — and again, that’s for future retirees. For — by virtue of doing that, you are able to save these programs on a permanent basis.

PELLEY:  Balancing the budget will require sacrifice. What is it, specifically, that you’re asking the American people to sacrifice?

ROMNEY:  I’m going to look at every federal program and I’ll ask this question, “Is this so — program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?”  And if it doesn’t pass that test, I’m going to eliminate the program because we just can’t afford to keep spending more money than we take in that this is — this is something which is not just bad economics. I think it’s immoral.

PELLEY:  So many people at home look at Washington and think that it is completely broken. You are going to have to reach out to Democrats in order to get anything done. How do you heal that breach, especially after a fairly acrimonious campaign?

ROMNEY:  There’s no question but that Washington is broken and I happen to think that flows from the President. I think ultimately the buck stops at the President’s desk. He’d probably say the same thing. I think you have to have a President…

PELLEY:  The President would probably blame it on the Republican Congress, Governor.

ROMNEY:  His challenge with blaming it on the Republican Congress is, of course, that for his first two years right now the majority of his term, he had a Democrat Congress, a super majority in the Democrat Congress. And he had a whole series of things he said he was going to do, he didn’t do. Leadership is not just working with your own party, but working with both parties and I learned that. I was governor of a state with a legislature eighty-seven percent Democrat. Just as you — just as you said, Scott, I — I realized I was going to get nothing done unless I had a relationship — a respect, and trust with — with the members of the — of the opposition party.

PELLEY:  Governor, what do you have to do in these last six weeks?

ROMNEY:  Well, I have to go across the country, particularly, in the states that are closest, and describe how it is I’m going to get the economy going and how we’re going to restore the economic freedom that built this economy in the first place.

PELLEY:  Can you win this thing?

ROMNEY:  I’m going to win this thing.

PELLEY (voiceover):  In Florida a state with high foreclosure rates and unemployment over the national average, Romney hammered away with his economic message. That’s where he believes the campaign will be won. He does not spend much time at his rallies talking about foreign policy — a subject in which he has limited experience and no military background.

(on camera):  Governor, the President has the United States on track to get most of our combat forces out of Afghanistan by 2014. Is there anything that you would do differently?

ROMNEY:  Well, I also agree that 2014 is the timeline we should aim for. I thought that the surge troops should have been brought back in November of this year, not September. I don’t think you try and bring back troops during the fighting season. I think that was a mistake. I think it was also a mistake to announce the precise date of our withdrawal.

PELLEY:  How would you ease the anti-American sentiment that we see in the Middle East?

ROMNEY:  Communicate to nations like Egypt, and Egypt is — if you will, the major player, eighty million people, the center of the Arab world. Egypt needs to understand what the — the rules are. That to remain an ally of the United States, to receive foreign aid from the United States, to receive foreign investment from ourselves and from our friends, I believe, around the world, that they must honor their peace agreement with Israel. That they must also show respect and — and provide civil rights for minorities in their country. And they also have to protect our — our embassies. I think we also have to communicate that Israel is our ally., our close ally. The President’s decision not to meet with Bibi Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, when the prime minister is here for the United Nations session, I think, is a mistake and it sends a message throughout the — the Middle East that somehow we distance ourselves from our friends and I think the exact opposite approach is what’s necessary.

PELLEY:  There are a lot of unknowns in being President. I wonder how you would make a decision on whether to send U.S. forces into combat.

ROMNEY:  Well, it would be a very high hurdle. Number one, a very substantial American interest at stake. Number two, a clear definition of our mission. Number three, a clear definition of how we’ll know when our mission is complete. Number four, providing the resources to make sure that we can carry out that mission effectively, overwhelming resources. And finally, a clear understanding of what will be left after we leave. All of those would have to be in place before I were to decide to deploy American military might in any foreign place.

PELLEY (voiceover):  Governor Romney has been criticized lately for comments during a private fund raiser when he said that his job is not to worry about the forty-seven percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes and are dependent on government.

(on camera):  You’re the CEO of this campaign. A lot of Republicans would like to know, a lot of your donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around?

ROMNEY:  Well, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent President to the United States.

PELLEY:  As you know, a lot of people were concerned about the video of the fund raiser in which you talked about the forty-seven percent of the American people who don’t pay taxes. Peggy Noonan, a very well-known conservative columnist, said that it was an example of this campaign being incompetent. And I wonder if any of that criticism gets through to you and — and whether you’re concerned about it at all, whether…

ROMNEY:  Well, that’s not…

PELLEY:  … the concerns of Republicans…

ROMNEY:  That’s not the camp — that’s not the campaign. That was me, right?  I — that’s not a campaign.

PELLEY:  You are the campaigner.

ROMNEY:  I got — I’ve got a very effective campaign. It’s doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant. And — and I want to make it very clear. I want to help a hundred percent of the American people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PELLEY:  As we continue our conversation with the candidates, we asked them about the qualities of leadership and the lessons of history. We begin again with Governor Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PELLEY (on camera):  What are the essential qualities of a leader?

ROMNEY:  Well, a leader has to have the capacity to build trust in the people he or she works with. People have to look at that person and say, “I may disagree with them. But I know where they stand. And I can — I can trust them.”  A leader has the capacity of vision, the ability to see where things are headed before people in general see those things. That vision is typically a product, in part not just of their skill and brilliance, but even more of their experience, their life experience. And so if you’re looking for a leader to guide an economy, you hope that you have someone who didn’t just study it in school, but someone who’s actually lived in the economy.

PELLEY:  The historian, David McCullough, says that great presidents learn from the history of the office. And I wonder what you’ve learned from the history of Presidents in the White House.

ROMNEY:  You know I enjoy reading David McCullough’s writings. My favorite book is perhaps of a biographical nature, was his book on John Adams, a person who had extraordinary character, a relationship with his spouse who may have been even brighter than he. We don’t know as much about her as we do about him. But a man who had a very clear sense of direction, who helped guide the — the process of writing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He wrote the Constitution of my state of Massachusetts. And — and we saw in him an individual who was less concerned about public opinion than he was about doing what he thought was right for the country. And even though he was defeated in his run for reelection, he did what he thought was right for America. And I respect that kind of character.

PELLEY:  Presidents and presidential candidates are booked down to the minute. And I wonder if you ever have a moment to be alone with your own thoughts. If so, when?  And what does that mean to you?

ROMNEY:  Well, at the end of the day, usually at about ten o’clock, things have finally wound down. And I’m able to spend a little time. I talk to Ann. She is on her own schedule. And we — we spend fifteen or twenty minutes on the phone. And then I read. And I think. I think about the coming day and think about what I want to accomplish. I pray. Prayer is a time to connect with — with the divine, but also time, I’m sure, to concentrate one’s thoughts, to meditate, and — and to imagine what might be.

PELLEY:  You pray every night before you go to bed?

ROMNEY:  I do pray every night, yeah.

PELLEY:  What do you ask for?

ROMNEY:  That’s between me and God. But mostly wisdom and — and understanding. I — I seek to understand things that I don’t understand.

PELLEY:  Presidencies are remembered for big ideas, emancipation, Social Security, man on the moon. What’s your big idea?

ROMNEY:  Freedom. I want to restore the kind of freedom that has always driven America’s economy. And that’s allowed us to be the shining city on the hill. The kind of freedom that has brought people here from all over the world. I want people to come here, legally to want to be here. I want the best and brightest to say America’s the place of opportunity because of the freedom there to pursue your dreams. So my message is restore the kind of freedom that allows America to lead the world.

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 23, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Interview on ’60 Minutes’ — Transcript

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Source: FoxNews.com, 9-24-12

The following is a transcript of President Obama on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

STEVE KROFT:  Four years ago, as a young senator, Barack Obama offered the country more inspiration than experience. Today, the graying president runs with all the advantages of incumbency, and all the encumbrances of a record dogged by a sluggish recovery and chronically high unemployment. For nearly two years now a Republican House has blocked almost every initiative he’s offered. His signature domestic achievements, rescuing the auto industry and reforming health care remain controversial. Yet six weeks before the election, President Obama maintains a small lead in the polls.

We spoke on September 12th in the White House Blue Room.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KROFT (on camera):  Mr. President, you were elected four years ago, promising hope and change for the better. Your opponent argues that you have achieved neither. Country has rarely been so divided politically. And people are afraid for their jobs. I — I know you know that. People are fearful about the future for the families. How do you respond to that?

OBAMA:  I think it’s important to know where we’ve been and how far we have traveled. The month I was sworn into office, we were losing eight hundred thousand jobs a month. We ultimately would lose nine million jobs during the height of that Great Recession. We came in, made some tough decisions, everything from stabilizing the financial system to making sure that the auto industry survived, to making sure that we cut taxes for middle- class families so they had more money in their pockets, to helping states avoid massive layoffs of teachers and firefighters and police officers. And because of that we’ve now had thirty months of job growth, four and a half million new jobs, half a million jobs in manufacturing alone. And the question now for the American people is, “Do we keep moving forward and continue to make progress or do we go backwards to the very policies that got us into this mess in the first place?”  We probably have not seen a clearer choice in an election in my lifetime.

KROFT:  On the campaign trail, Governor Romney has been portraying you as a — a nice guy who doesn’t have a clue…

OBAMA:  Mm-hm.

KROFT:  … about the economy…

OBAMA:  Right.

KROFT:  … or how the country works. That private enterprises — the engine of growth in this — in this country. And that’s what create jobs, not big government.

OBAMA:  Yeah.

KROFT:  And that you’re crushing economic freedom with taxes, regulations, and high-cost health care.

OBAMA:  Yeah. Well, it’s a lot of rhetoric, but there aren’t a lot of facts supporting it. Taxes are lower on families than they’ve been probably in the last fifty years. So I haven’t raised taxes. I’ve cut taxes for middle-class families by an average of thirty-six hundred dollars for a typical family. When it comes to regulations, I’ve issued fewer regulations than my predecessor, George Bush, did during that same period in office. So it’s kind of hard to argue that we’ve overregulated. Now, I don’t make any apologies for putting in place regulations to make sure banks don’t make reckless bets and then expect taxpayers to bail them out. I don’t make any apologies for regulating insurance companies, so that they can’t drop a family’s coverage, just when somebody in their family needs it most. And, you know, the problem that Governor Romney has is that he seems to only have one note:  tax cuts for the wealthy and rolling back regulations as a recipe for success. Well, we tried that vigorously between 2001 and 2008 and it didn’t work out so well.

KROFT:  Your opponent, Governor Romney, has another note.

OBAMA:  Mm-hm.

KROFT:  That’s unemployment. Forty-three months above eight percent. Huge profits on Wall Street. You’ve got the stock market that’s doing incredibly well. And yet you’ve still got this unemployment.

OBAMA:  Oh, absolutely. Well, look, nobody’s more con — nobody’s more concerned about the employment situation than I am. The problem we have was the hole was so deep when we got in that we lost nine million jobs, we’ve created four point six. We’ve still got a long way to go. Now I’ve put forward very specific plans that we know would create jobs. And that’s not my opinion. That’s the opinion of independent economists. My JOBS Act that I presented to Congress over a year ago, we said, “Let’s help put folks back to work. Let’s make sure that we are getting construction workers on the job, rebuilding our infrastructure.”  It’s estimated that would create an additional million jobs right now. But we haven’t seen full implementation of that plan.

KROFT:  You’ve tried things that — that haven’t worked. I mean the jobs plan, the jobs bill — you haven’t been able to get it through Congress.

OBAMA:  Well, Steve…

KROFT:  I mean, isn’t that some of your responsibility?

OBAMA:  I take full responsibility for everything that we do, Steve, but you’re asking two different questions. You’re asking a question, number one, have I been able to get every plan that would work through a Republican Congress…

KROFT:  Right.

OBAMA:  … that said its number one priority was beating me as opposed to helping the American people?  And there is no doubt that I’ve been disappointed in trying to get more cooperation from those folks. And that’s something that we’re going to have to continue to do. The second question you’re asking, though, is has what we’ve done worked?  And the fact of the matter is is that what we’ve done has been effective in improving the situation in — in every area that we’re talking about. You know when I made a decision to save the auto industry that saved a million jobs. One in eight jobs in Ohio is dependent on the auto industry. So we’ve actually seen success.

KROFT:  How are you going to get the Republicans to agree to a tax increase for the top two percent?  You’ve been trying for a year. You haven’t been able to do it. And you’ve got a majority of — of — of Republicans in Congress, including Governor Romney, who has signed a pledge never to increase taxes under any circumstances.

OBAMA:  Yeah, well, we…

KROFT:  How are you going to get them to change their minds and make this deal?

OBAMA:  I — I won’t get them to make them change their minds. The American people will. I mean, ultimately, the American people agree with me that the only way we bring down our deficit is to do it in a balanced way. So, keep in mind, I’ve agreed with the Republicans. And we’ve already cut a trillion dollars of spending. And I’ve told them I’m prepared to do additional spending cuts and do some entitlement reform. But what I’ve said is, “You can’t ask me to make student loans higher for kids who need it or ask seniors to pay more for their Medicare or throw people off of health care and not ask somebody like me or Mr. Romney to do anything, not ask us to do a single dime’s worth of sacrifice.”

KROFT:  How are you going to make a deal?

OBAMA:  Well, I think…

KROFT:  Why can’t you — why haven’t you been able to make
a deal?

OBAMA:  Well, be…

KROFT:  And why do you think you will be able to make a
deal?

OBAMA:  Well, I think that when I first came into office, the head of the Senate Republicans say, “My number one priority is making sure President Obama’s a one term president.”  Now, after the election, either he will have succeeded in that goal or he will have failed at that goal. Either way, my expectation is, my hope is, that that’s no longer their number one priority. And I’m hoping that after the smoke clears and the election season’s over that that spirit of cooperation comes more to the fore.

KROFT:  You came in running as an outsider, somebody who was going to change Washington. Do you still believe after three years in this gridlock that we’ve had that — that somebody who claims to be an outsider can get things accomplished in Washington?

OBAMA:  Oh, yeah. Well, look, I mean, we — we passed historic legislation that strengthened our financial regulations. We passed legislation that will not only provide thirty million more people coverage, but also ensures that you know, kids can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans till they are twenty-six and seniors have lower prescription drugs. And so change has happened and positive change for the American people. I — I’m the first one to confess that the spirit that I brought to Washington, that I wanted to see instituted, where we weren’t constantly in — in a political slugfest, but were focused more on problem solving that, you know, I haven’t fully accomplished that, haven’t even come close in some cases. And you know if you ask me wha — what’s my biggest disappointment is that we haven’t changed the tone in Washington as much as I would have liked.

KROFT:  And you don’t bear any responsibility for that?

OBAMA:  Oh, I think that, you know, as President I bear responsibility for everything, to some degree and one of the things I’ve realized over the last two years is that that only happens if I’m enlisting the American people much more aggressively than I did the first two years.

KROFT:  The Great Recession began with the housing crisis.

OBAMA:  Mm-hm.

KROFT:  We still have the housing crisis. The banks got bailed out. The homeowners didn’t. That was one of the decisions that you made. Very few homeowners have gotten mortgage relief. And your efforts to get the banks and the mortgage companies to renegotiate loans and modify terms have been underwhelming, to say the least. What happened?

OBAMA:  We have helped several million homeowners avoid foreclosure and make sure that the terms of their mortgage were ones that they could pay. Not everything you do right off the bat — when you’ve got emergencies here, there, and everywhere, and we’re all putting out fires — not everything’s going to work perfectly the first time. So, for example, the housing mortgage assistance program that we put in a place, we modified when we saw that there wasn’t as much take-up as we wanted. And since that time, we’ve actually seen that the rates of people utilizing it go up dramatically. We still have a long way to go. But this is in contrast to Governor Romney’s proposal. When asked about what we should do with mark — the housing market, he said, “Just let it bottom out.”  That’s a quote. So he was opposed to even the modest proposals that we put into place.

KROFT (voiceover):  While most of our White House interview involved domestic policies, the President’s day was dominated by foreign affairs. The attack on the Libyan consulate that left the U.S. ambassador and three others dead had occurred the night before…

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL:  Wait for what?

KROFT (voiceover):  … and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had inserted himself into the presidential campaign, criticizing the President and pushing him to lay out conditions for a military attack against Iran.

(on camera):  How much pressure have you been getting from Prime Minister Netanyahu to make up your mind to use military force in Iran?

OBAMA:  Well, look, I have conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu all the time. And I understand and share Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran should not obtain a nuclear weapon because it would threaten us, it would threaten Israel and it would threaten the world and kick off a nuclear arms race.

KROFT:  You’re — you’re saying you don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?

OBAMA:  When it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out any noise that’s out there. Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis on these issues because it affects them deeply. They’re one of our closest allies in the region. And we’ve got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel’s existence.

KROFT:  Have recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?

OBAMA:  Well, I’d said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have — have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I — I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty — pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn’t been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And, you know, can — can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements but I do think that over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with — with our interests. This is a tumultuous time that we’re in. But we can and we will meet those challenges if we stay true to who we are.

(APPLAUSE)

KROFT (voiceover):  The day after our White House interview, we followed the President to Colorado, a crucial swing state in the upcoming election, to ask him a few more questions central to the campaign.

(on camera):  Most Americans think we’re spending too much
money.

OBAMA:  Mm-hm.

KROFT:  The national debt has gone up sixty percent in — in the four years that you’ve been in office.

OBAMA:  Well, first — first of all, Steve, I think it’s important to understand the context here. When I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history. And over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but ninety percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren’t paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now we took some emergency actions, but that accounts for about ten percent of this increase in the deficit, and we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower, in fact, substantially lower than the federal government grew under either Ronald Reagan or George Bush.

KROFT:  Since the Benghazi tragedy, your opponent has attacked you as being weak on national defense and weak on foreign policy. He says you need to be more aggressive in Iran, haven’t done enough to support the revolt in Syria, and that our friends don’t know where we stand, and our enemies think we’re weak.

OBAMA:  Yeah. Well, let’s see what I’ve done since I came into office. I said I’d end the war in Iraq. I did. I said that we’d go after Al Qaida. They’ve been decimated in the FATA. That we’d go after bin Laden. He’s gone. So I’ve executed on my foreign policy. And it’s one that the American people largely agree with. So, you know if — if Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KROFT:  President Obama also reflected on the nature of leadership with us. We spoke following his campaign stop in Golden, Colorado.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KROFT (on camera):  What are the essential qualities of a leader, in your mind?

OBAMA:  Well, you know, I — I think that leadership more than anything is about setting a course and describing a vision for people. And you know, in the history of — of leadership in this country that vision isn’t always realized immediately. You know, Abraham Lincoln understood that we were a single union. And it took a bloody Civil War and terrible hardship and sacrifice to achieve that vision. And that vision wasn’t even fully realized until after he was — he was gone. What I try to do is to constantly present a — a — a vision of America in which everybody’s got a shot, everybody’s treated with respect and dignity in which the — the divides of — of race and faith, gender, sexual orientation, that that those are not the determining factors, in terms of whether people succeed but instead it’s how hard you work and are you trustworthy and are you responsible and you — do you look after your family and do you — do you love people and love this country?

KROFT:  David McCullough, the noted presidential historian, said all the great Presidents have had a number of common traits. And one of them is an understanding of history and an understanding of the history of — of the presidency.

OBAMA:  Yeah.

KROFT:  Is there anything that you’ve read or learned from your study of this area that has helped you?  Any examples you can give me?

OBAMA:  Well, whenever I look at the — the history of Presidents I deeply admire. The one thing that I’m always struck by is persistence. It’s a quality that’s underrated. Being able to plow through, being able to stay buoyant in the face of — of challenges. And, you know, I think that’s a characteristic of the American people. And, I think our best Presidents are able to tap into that resilience and that strength and that grit. And — and — and be inspired by it.

KROFT:  Where do you go to kind of sort things out on your own? And when do you find time to just be alone with your own thoughts?

OBAMA:  Well, I’m a night guy as it is. And so, Michelle usually goes to bed about 9:30. She’s — she’s an early bird, maybe ten o’clock. The girls go to bed around ten. And so I’ve got those hours between ten o’clock and one o’clock in the morning, let’s say, where not only do I do some work, but I do some reading, I do some writing. There are times where I sit on the Truman Balcony and it’s as good of a view as you get with the — the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Monument — Memorial set back behind that. And so those are moments of reflection that, you know, help gird you for the next challenge and the next day.

KROFT:  Many times in our history there have been big ideas like going to the moon or the Marshall Plan. This campaign, some people think, has been devoid of big ideas, not necessarily that the budget deficit and some of these things aren’t big ideas. But what would you like to see happen in your…

OBAMA:  Well…

KROFT:  … in your four years?

OBAMA:  I — I got to tell you, Steve, I think there’s no bigger purpose right now than making sure that if people work hard in this country, they can get ahead. That’s the central American idea. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. Because there was an economy that worked for everybody and that allowed us to do that. I think what Americans properly are focused on right now are just the — the bread- and-butter basics of making sure our economy works for working people. And if we can accomplish that there’s no bigger idea than that. That’s the idea that has attracted people to our shores for — for generations.

Campaign Buzz August 11, 2012: Republican & Democratic Reactions & Responses on the Selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential Running Mate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

RESPONSES: MITT ROMNEY CHOOSES REP. PAUL RYAN AS HIS VICE PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING-MATE IN NORFOLK, VIGINIA ANNOUNCEMENT

REPUBLICANS

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: The Romney-Ryan Team Will Lead From Day One

“Gov. Romney showed today that he is determined to confront a host of growing crises that President Obama has ignored. Where the current President has simply refused to act, Gov. Romney has now pledged to lead. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice, and a confirmation that Gov. Romney is serious about strengthening America’s economic future, tackling the deficits and debt that have skyrocketed under President Obama, and returning to a path to solvency and security.

“Americans are looking for leadership that has been lacking on the most critical issues facing our country’s economic future. The Romney-Ryan team can return much-needed leadership from day one and help bring real recovery to our economy, reverse the damage of the Obama economy, and take a serious approach to the Obama debt and focus on growing jobs—not the size of the government.

“President Obama’s term has been marked by overwhelming national debt, a first-ever downgrade of America’s credit rating, high unemployment and a disappointing lack of leadership when it comes to addressing spending. It’s time to change that, and Gov. Romney and Chairman Ryan will be ready on day one to give America the leadership it deserves.”

 

Governor Chris Christie: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Get Results

“With Paul Ryan on the ticket this is a team that understands the economic stagnation our country has been facing the last four years and the urgency with which we need to change course. The Romney-Ryan team is uniquely positioned to make the tough choices necessary to confront our fiscal challenges and get results.”

 

Sen. John McCain: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Return America To Prosperity

“Governor Romney and Representative Ryan are the strongest team to return America to prosperity and to defend our interests abroad. Paul Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration. I look forward to working for the election of the Romney-Ryan team this fall.”

 

Speaker John Boehner: Paul Ryan Will Help Mitt Romney Get America’s Economy Moving Again

“Paul Ryan is a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track.  At a time when millions of Americans are still looking at President Obama’s policies and asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will focus on common sense solutions to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and get the federal government out of the way of small business job creators.

“I’m proud to call Paul Ryan a friend, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that he and Mitt Romney – along with our entire Republican ticket – are well positioned to win in November.”

 

President George W. Bush: Romney And Ryan Will Confront The Difficult Issues

“This is a strong pick.  Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations.”
Gov. Jeb Bush: Paul Ryan’s Command Of Economic Policy Will Prove Invaluable

“I applaud Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Congressman Ryan’s command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell: With The Romney-Ryan Team, America Is On Its Way Back

“Paul Ryan is a tremendous choice to serve as the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States. In selecting a bold, innovative thinker, Mitt Romney has ensured that his campaign—and ultimately his administration—will be led by individuals with courage, determination, judgment, and wisdom. With this great announcement, America is on its way back. The Romney-Ryan team will get our fiscal house in order, our economy back on track and Americans back to work.”

 

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Restore The American Dream

“I believe that by choosing my good friend Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has once again shown why he possesses the leadership and vision to get this country back on the right path. Paul has dedicated his career to promoting ideas of economic growth and fiscal responsibility. I am confident that a Romney-Ryan ticket will not only energize our party, but will energize our nation as well, further drawing a distinction between President Obama’s failed record on jobs and the Romney-Ryan record of solutions. The Obama Administration has relentlessly advanced policies that have deepened our economic malaise, causing many Americans to question whether their children will have the same opportunities for success that past generations had. Under the leadership of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, I believe we can restore the American dream and create a brighter tomorrow.”

 

Amb. John Bolton: Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan Will Restore American Leadership 

“Every American and every American ally abroad should be heartened by Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Congressman Ryan deeply understands that American leadership in foreign policy makes for a more peaceful world and a safer, more prosperous America. And he and Governor Romney will restore our economic strength at home that is the basis of our influence abroad.  For nearly four years, we have seen the dangerous conditions that are created when a president refuses to lead. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will restore American leadership.”

 

Senator Ron Johnson: Paul Ryan Has The Leadership And Integrity We Need

“Paul Ryan is going to be a great Vice President. He brings a record of leadership and personal integrity that we need in Washington. Nobody understands the federal budget better than Paul, or has worked harder to develop and offer real solutions to the fiscal challenges facing America.  Paul will be a tremendous asset to Governor Romney in crafting policy and helping get legislation passed through Congress.  I will look forward to working with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to repeal Obamacare and instill fiscal discipline in Washington so that we can restore real, self-sustaining private sector growth to America.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte: Romney And Ryan Will Put America Back To Work 

“Governor Romney has made a fantastic choice in selecting Paul Ryan to be our nominee for Vice President. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will put America back on a path to prosperity by reforming government, enacting real deficit reduction, and overhauling the tax code to spur economic growth. America needs a Romney-Ryan administration to get our fiscal house in order and put Americans back to work.”

 

Ted Cruz: Romney And Ryan Will Get Our Country Back On The Right Path

“In Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a champion of fiscal sanity and a formidable advocate for policies that will get our country back on the right path. When it comes to the federal budget, we can’t afford four more years of reckless, runaway spending. As the next President and Vice President of the United States, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will lead an administration that finally brings fiscal responsibility back to Washington.”

 

Sec. Condoleezza Rice: Paul Ryan Is A Bold And Inspiring Choice

“Paul Ryan is a bold and inspiring choice as Governor Romney’s running mate. Congressman Ryan shares the belief that American leadership is vital to a more peaceful and prosperous world.   He will help to restore America at home so that we can lead again because he understands that America is an exceptional and indispensable nation on the world stage.”
Sen. Marco Rubio: Paul Ryan Is A Courageous Reformer Who Understands Our Nation’s Challenges

“Throughout his life, Mitt Romney has made great decisions, and choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is a truly inspired choice. I got to know Paul during my Senate campaign when he endorsed me early on when I was still considered a long shot. Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.

“The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream. I’m excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall.”
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, 2008 REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE

Congratulations to Mitt Romney on his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. President Obama has declared that this election is about “two fundamentally different visions” for America. Goodness, he’s got that right. Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternat…e vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans….
Gov. Bobby Jindal: Paul Ryan Has The Courage Of His Convictions

“Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress.  He has the courage of his convictions, which is what our nation needs.”

 

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER, REPUBLICAN

“Governor Mitt Romney made a bold and reform-minded selection in Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. This election has to be about who is going to look out for the next generation. America needs a comeback team to turn around the economy and to turn around the fiscal status of our country. Romney and Ryan have the ideas and the experience needed to take on these core issues. This is a great day for Wisconsin and an even greater day for America.”

 

FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, REPUBLICAN

“Like Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan understands that government doesn’t create jobs, people do, and that the best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way. I’m confident that Congressman Ryan will be a great partner for Governor Romney in getting America back to work.”

 

U.S. SENATOR ROB PORTMAN, REPUBLICAN

“Mitt Romney has made a great choice in Paul Ryan. He is an accomplished public servant and a leading voice on the most pressing issues facing our country. Paul is one of my best friends in Congress and someone I have worked closely with as a former colleague on the House Ways and Means Committee.”

 

FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY, REPUBLICAN

“Congressman Ryan is a respected leader and a bold thinker regarding the changes needed to restore America. His selection will also help Governor Romney win the key swing state of Wisconsin. I am excited about a Romney-Ryan ticket and look forward to doing all I can to help them win this election.”
FORMER U.S. SENATOR RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN

“Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice as our country’s next vice president, and today’s announcement demonstrates Governor Romney’s commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C. I have long supported Paul Ryan’s fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health. At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan’s depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled. … He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities. I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come.”

 

DEMOCRATS

OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER JIM MESSINA

“In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy. … As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes.”
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS, A CONSERVATIVE ADVOCACY GROUP

“Tea Party Patriots welcomes the selection of Paul Ryan as the vice-presidential running mate for Governor Mitt Romney. With this selection, Governor Romney and the Republican Party make it clear that they have accepted the Tea Party Patriots’ values of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets as the best course of action for economic recovery and restoring personal freedom and individual responsibility to our national values.”

 

MARY KAY HENRY, PRESIDENT OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

“Representative Ryan has made a name for himself by fighting in the halls of Congress for tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations while proposing to gut vital services like Medicare and education, and eliminating any sense of retirement security for working families. His no-holds-barred record of attacking seniors, children, and working men and women is frightening for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich — but for Mitt Romney it was a calling card to choose him as a running mate.”

 

RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT OF THE AFL-CIO

“Whether its outsourcing American jobs or picking his running mate, Mitt Romney’s proven just how bad his decision making is for working people. Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle-class needs. We’re witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive its final nail in what was once the Republican Party.”
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, DEMOCRAT

“By picking Representative Paul Ryan, Governor Romney has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it. Romney’s choice demonstrates that catering to the Tea Party and the far-right is more important to him than standing up for the middle class. The months ahead will provide Americans with a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan to gut Social Security and Medicare and Democrats’ balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart spending cuts with asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Democrats in the Senate look forward to engaging in that debate.”

 

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRAT

“There is no question that former Governor Romney now owns the Republican Ryan budget that puts millionaires ahead of Medicare and the middle class. Congressman Paul Ryan led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America’s great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

 

JUSTIN RUBEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOVEON.ORG, A LIBERAL ADVOCACY GROUP

“Romney and Ryan are the 1 percent Dream Team. Representative Paul Ryan is an extremist ideologue who wants to end Medicare, radically redistribute wealth to the top 1 percent, and throw America’s middle class under the bus. Ryan’s proposed budget would cost America more than a million jobs in less than one year. Like Romney, Ryan believes the poor and middle class should pay more so the rich can get richer. Romney’s choice of Ryan is sure to energize MoveOn’s more than 7 million members as we work to ensure voters know the truth about Romney and Ryan’s extreme plans to demolish Medicare, raise middle class taxes to fund tax cuts for billionaires, and destroy jobs.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 11, 2012: Paul Ryan’s Speech at Announcement that he will be Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential Running-Mate in Norfolk, Virginia

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Paul Ryan: Remarks From Norfolk, Virginia

Source: Mitt Romney, 8-11-12
romney-2012-blog-image-mitt-paul-2.jpg
Thank you Governor Romney, Ann.  I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running mate.

Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country.

I want you to meet my family.  My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our sons, Charlie and Sam.

I am surrounded by the people I love, and I have been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country I love.

Janesville, Wisconsin is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now.

For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress.  There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.

I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.

That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. I still remember a couple of things he would say that have really stuck with me.  “Son you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”

Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem,…and Mitt Romney is the solution.

The other thing my dad would say is that every generation of Americans leaves their children better off. That’s the American legacy.

Sadly, for the first time in our history, we are on a path which will undo that legacy. That is why we need new leadership to become part of the solution – new leadership to restore prosperity, economic growth, and jobs.

It is our duty to save the American Dream for our children, and theirs.

And I believe there is no person in America who is better prepared – because of his experience; because of the principles he holds; and because of his achievements and excellence in so many different arenas – to lead America at this point in its history.

Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation.  And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda.  But that didn’t make things better.

In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.

  • This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years. Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.
  • We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WWII.
  • Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty–the worst rate in a generation.  Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.
  • Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

President Obama, and too many like him in Washington, have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different, and dangerous, moment. We’re running out of time — and we can’t afford 4 more years of this.

Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises–with painful consequences–if we fail to act now.

I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns.  Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need.  But what I have heard lately troubles me the most.  There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.

I hear some people say that this is just “the new normal.” High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal.  It’s the result of misguided policies.  And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.

America is on the wrong track; but Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the right track!

I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.

I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.

At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.

At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.

As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.

In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.

Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.

We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea.  It’s the only country founded on an idea.  Our rights come from nature and God, not government.  We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.

This idea is under assault.  So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.

We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:

We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!

We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!

We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!

We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:

  • What kind of country do we want to have?
  • What kind of people do we want to be?

We can turn this thing around.  Real solutions can be delivered.  But, it will take leadership.  And the courage to tell you the truth.

Mitt Romney is this kind of leader.  I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.

Thank you.

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 11, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announces His Choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as His Vice Presidential Running-Mate in Norfolk, Virginia

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks From Norfolk, Virginia

Source: Mitt Romney, 8-11-12

romney-2012-blog-image-va-uss-wi.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen:

It’s great to be back in Virginia and here in Norfolk. Your city’s beauty is only matched by its proud heritage as a defender of freedom. Today we take another step forward in helping restore the promise of America. As we move forward in this campaign and on to help lead the nation to better days, it is an honor to announce my running mate and the next Vice President of the United States: Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is a leader.

His leadership begins with character and values. And Paul is a man of tremendous character, shaped in large part by his early life.

Paul’s father died when he was in high school. That forced him to grow up earlier than any young man should. But Paul did, with the help of his devoted mother, his brothers and sister, and a supportive community. And as he did, he internalized the virtues and hard-working ethic of the Midwest.

Paul Ryan works in Washington – but his beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin. He is a person of great steadiness, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose word is good.

Paul’s upbringing is obvious in how he has conducted himself throughout his life, including his leadership in Washington.

In a city that is far too often characterized by pettiness and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception. He does not demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable people can have honest differences. And he appeals to the better angels of our nature. There are a lot of people in the other party who might disagree with Paul Ryan; I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment.

Paul is in public life for all the right reasons – not to advance his personal ambitions but to advance the ideals of freedom and justice; and to increase opportunity and prosperity to people of every class and faith, every age and ethnic background. A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.

With energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt – and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change course.

Paul Ryan combines a profound sense of responsibility for what we owe the next generation with an unbounded optimism in America’s future and an understanding of all the wonderful things the American people can do.

Paul also combines firm principles with a practical concern for getting things done. He has never been content to simply curse the darkness; he would rather light candles. And throughout his legislative career he’s shown the ability to work with members of both parties to find common ground on some of the hardest issues confronting the American people.

Paul and I are beginning on a journey that will take us to every corner of America. We are offering a positive, governing agenda that will lead to economic growth, to widespread and shared prosperity, and that will improve the lives of our fellow citizens. Our Plan to Strengthen The Middle Class will get America back to work and get our country back on track.

We offer solutions that are bold, specific, and achievable. We offer our commitment to help create 12 million new jobs and to bring better take home pay to middle class families.

To strengthen the middle class, we will provide our workers and our children with the skills to succeed. We’ll cut the deficit, have trade that works for America, and champion small business.  And finally, we will unleash our energy resources to achieve North American energy independence.

We will help care for those who cannot care for themselves, and we will return work to welfare. As poverty has risen to historic and tragic levels, with nearly one out of six Americans now having fallen into poverty, we will act to bring these families into the middle class. Unlike the current president who has cut Medicare funding by $700 billion, we will preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security. Under the current president, healthcare has only become more expensive.  We will reform healthcare so that more Americans have access to affordable healthcare, and we will get that started by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

And at a time when the President’s campaign is taking American politics to new lows, we are going to do things differently. We are going to talk about aspirations and American ideals; about bringing people together to solve the urgent problems facing our nation. And when that message wins in America, it will be a victory for every American.

Today is a good day for America. And there are better days ahead. Join me in welcoming the next Vice President of the United States – Paul Ryan.

Full Text Campaign Headlines July 11, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at the NAACP Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Faces a Tough Sell and a Few Boos at N.A.A.C.P.

Source: NYT, 7-11-12

Mitt Romney reacted to being booed at the N.A.A.C.P. convention in Houston on Wednesday.

Richard Carson/Reuters

Mitt Romney reacted to being booed at the N.A.A.C.P. convention in Houston on Wednesday.

Mitt Romney tried to appeal to African-Americans while still offering tough medicine and policy prescriptions unpopular with the group….READ MORE

NAACP Boos Romney as He Prods Obama

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-11-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

Mitt Romney was booed at the NAACP today as he tried to explain how the nation’s first black president has failed the country and how he’d do better….READ MORE

Romney Campaign Says NAACP Speech Received ‘Positive Reception’ Despite Boos

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-11-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Image

Mitt Romney’s address to the NAACP offended some in the audience who booed and said he “crossed the line” when he vowed to repeal “Obamacare” and lobbed insults at the president.  But the Romney campaign saw it differently, maintaining that the candidate received a “positive reception.”…READ MORE

Remarks At The NAACP Convention

Source: Mitt Romney, 7-11-12

romney-2012-blog-image-naacp.jpg

Thank you, Bishop Graves, for your generous introduction. Thanks also to President Ben Jealous and Chairman Roslyn Brock for the opportunity to be here this morning, and for your hospitality.  It is an honor to address you.

I appreciate the chance to speak first – even before Vice President Biden gets his turn tomorrow.  I just hope the Obama campaign won’t think you’re playing favorites.

You all know something of my background, and maybe you’ve wondered how any Republican ever becomes governor of Massachusetts in the first place.  Well, in a state with 11 percent Republican registration, you don’t get there by just talking to Republicans.  We have to make our case to every voter.  We don’t count anybody out, and we sure don’t make a habit of presuming anyone’s support.  Support is asked for and earned – and that’s why I’m here today.

With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP.  Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.

But there is another reason: I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president.  I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color — and families of any color — more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.

The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich.  Nonsense.  The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not.  The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich.  I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.

I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help.  The course the President has set has not done that – and will not do that.  My course will.

When President Obama called to congratulate me on becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, he said that he, “looked forward to an important and healthy debate about America’s future.”  To date, I’m afraid that his campaign has taken a different course than that.

But, in campaigns at their best, voters can expect a clear choice, and candidates can expect a fair hearing – only more so from a venerable organization like this one.  So, it is that healthy debate about the course of the nation that I want to discuss with you today.

If someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.  Picturing that day, we might have assumed that the American presidency would be the very last door of opportunity to be opened.  Before that came to pass, every other barrier on the path to equal opportunity would surely have come down.

Of course, it hasn’t happened quite that way.  Many barriers remain.  Old inequities persist.  In some ways, the challenges are even more complicated than before.  And across America — and even within your own ranks — there are serious, honest debates about the way forward.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone.  Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way.  The unemployment rate, the duration of unemployment, average income, and median family wealth are all worse for the black community.  In June, while the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually went up, from 13.6 percent to 14.4 percent.

Americans of every background are asking when this economy will finally recover – and you, in particular, are entitled to an answer.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, black families could send their sons and daughters to public schools that truly offer the hope of a better life.  Instead, for generations, the African-American community has been waiting and waiting for that promise to be kept.  Today, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide – but they are 42 percent of the students in our worst-performing schools.

Our society sends them into mediocre schools and expects them to perform with excellence, and that is not fair.  Frederick Douglass observed that, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  Yet, instead of preparing these children for life, too many schools set them up for failure.  Everyone in this room knows that we owe them better than that.

The path of inequality often leads to lost opportunity.  College, graduate school, and first jobs should be milestones marking the passage from childhood to adulthood.  But for too many disadvantaged young people, these goals seem unattainable – and their lives take a tragic turn.

Many live in neighborhoods filled with violence and fear, and empty of opportunity.  Their impatience for real change is understandable.  They are entitled to feel that life in America should be better than this.  They are told even now to wait for improvements in our economy and in our schools, but it seems to me that these Americans have waited long enough.

The point is that when decades of the same promises keep producing the same failures, then it’s reasonable to rethink our approach – and consider a new plan.

I’m hopeful that together we can set a new direction in federal policy, starting where many of our problems do – with the family.  A study from the Brookings Institution has shown that for those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and wait until 21 before they marry and then have their first child, the probability of being poor is two percent.  And if those factors are absent, the probability of being poor is 76 percent.

Here at the NAACP, you understand the deep and lasting difference the family makes.  Your former executive director, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, had it exactly right.  The family, he said, “remains the bulwark and the mainstay of the black community.  That great truth must not be overlooked.”

Any policy that lifts up and honors the family is going to be good for the country, and that must be our goal.  As President, I will promote strong families – and I will defend traditional marriage.

As you may have heard from my opponent, I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system.  I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed.  I’ve never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say, “You know, there’s too much free enterprise around here.  Too many shops, too many jobs, too many people putting money in the bank.”

What you hear, of course, is how do we bring in jobs?  How do we make good, honest employers want to move in and stay?  And with the shape this economy is in, we’re asking that more than ever.

Free enterprise is still the greatest force for upward mobility, economic security, and the expansion of the middle class.  We have seen in recent years what it’s like to have less free enterprise.  As President, I will show the good things that can happen when we have more – more business activity, more jobs, more opportunity, more paychecks, more savings accounts.

On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class.  And I don’t mean just those who are middle class now – I also mean those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.

I know what it will take to put people back to work, to bring more jobs and better wages. My jobs plan is based on 25 years of success in business. It has five key steps.

First, I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Low cost, plentiful coal, natural gas, oil, and renewables will bring over a million manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Second, I will open up new markets for American products. We are the most productive major economy in the world, so trade means good jobs for Americans.  But trade must be free and fair, so I’ll clamp down on cheaters like China and make sure that they finally play by the rules.

Third, I will reduce government spending. Our high level of debt slows GDP growth and that means fewer jobs. If our goal is jobs, we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare, and I will work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security, in part by means-testing their benefits.

Fourth, I will focus on nurturing and developing the skilled workers our economy so desperately needs and the future demands. This is the human capital with which tomorrow’s bright future will be built. Too many homes and too many schools are failing to provide our children with the skills and education that are essential for anything other than a minimum-wage job.

And finally and perhaps most importantly, I will restore economic freedom. This nation’s economy runs on freedom, on opportunity, on entrepreneurs, on dreamers who innovate and build businesses. These entrepreneurs are being crushed by high taxation, burdensome regulation, hostile regulators, excessive healthcare costs, and destructive labor policies. I will work to make America the best place in the world for innovators and entrepreneurs and businesses small and large.

Do these five things – open up energy, expand trade, cut the growth of government, focus on better educating tomorrow’s workers today, and restore economic freedom – and jobs will come back to America, and wages will rise again. The President will say he will do those things, but he will not, he cannot, and his record of the last four years proves it.

If I am president, job one for me will be creating jobs. I have no hidden agenda. If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.

Finally, I will address the institutionalized inequality in our education system.  And I know something about this from my time as governor.

In the years before I took office our state’s leaders had come together to pass bipartisan measures that were making a difference.  In reading and in math, our students were already among the best in the nation – and during my term, they took over the top spot.

Those results revealed what good teachers can do if the system will only let them.  The problem was, this success wasn’t shared.  A significant achievement gap between students of different races remained.  So we set out to close it.

I urged faster interventions in failing schools, and the funding to go along with it.  I promoted math and science excellence in schools, and proposed paying bonuses to our best teachers.

I refused to weaken testing standards, and instead raised them. To graduate from high school, students had to pass an exam in math and English – I added a science requirement as well.  And I put in place a merit scholarship for those students who excelled: the top 25 percent of students in each high school were awarded a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship – which meant four years tuition-free at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning.

When I was governor, not only did test scores improve – we also narrowed the achievement gap.

The teachers unions were not happy with a number of these reforms. They especially did not like our emphasis on choice through charter schools, particularly for our inner city kids. Accordingly, the legislature passed a moratorium on any new charter schools.

As you know, in Boston, in Harlem, in Los Angeles, and all across the country, charter schools are giving children a chance, children that otherwise could be locked in failing schools. I was inspired just a few weeks ago by the students in one of Kenny Gamble’s charter schools in Philadelphia.  Right here in Houston is another success story:  the Knowledge Is Power Program, which has set the standard, thanks to the groundbreaking work of the late Harriet Ball.

These charter schools are doing a lot more than closing the achievement gap.  They are bringing hope and opportunity to places where for years there has been none.

Charter schools are so successful that almost every politician can find something good to say about them.  But, as we saw in Massachusetts, true reform requires more than talk.  As Governor, I vetoed the bill blocking charter schools.  But our legislature was 87 percent Democrat, and my veto could have been easily over-ridden.  So I joined with the Black Legislative Caucus, and their votes helped preserve my veto, which meant that new charter schools, including some in urban neighborhoods, would be opened.

When it comes to education reform, candidates cannot have it both ways – talking up education reform, while indulging the same groups that are blocking reform.  You can be the voice of disadvantaged public-school students, or you can be the protector of special interests like the teachers unions, but you can’t be both.  I have made my choice: As president, I will be a champion of real education reform in America, and I won’t let any special interest get in the way.

I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school.  For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted.  And I will make that a true choice by ensuring there are good options available to all.

Should I be elected President, I’ll lead as I did when I was governor.  I am pleased today to be joined today by Reverend Jeffrey Brown, who was a member of my kitchen cabinet in Massachusetts that helped guide my policy and actions that affected the African American community.  I will look for support wherever there is good will and shared conviction.  I will work with you to help our children attend better schools and help our economy create good jobs with better wages.

I can’t promise that you and I will agree on every issue.  But I do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned.  We will know one another, and work to common purposes.  I will seek your counsel.  And if I am elected president, and you invite me to next year’s convention, I would count it as a privilege, and my answer will be yes.

The Republican Party’s record, by the measures you rightly apply, is not perfect.  Any party that claims a perfect record doesn’t know history the way you know it.

Yet always, in both parties, there have been men and women of integrity, decency, and humility who called injustice by its name.  For every one of us a particular person comes to mind, someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example.  For me, that man is my father, George Romney.

It wasn’t just that my Dad helped write the civil rights provision for the Michigan Constitution, though he did.  It wasn’t just that he helped create Michigan’s first civil rights commission, or that as governor he marched for civil rights in Detroit – though he did those things, too.

More than these public acts, it was the kind of man he was, and the way he dealt with every person, black or white.  He was a man of the fairest instincts, and a man of faith who knew that every person was a child of God.

I’m grateful to him for so many things, and above all for the knowledge of God, whose ways are not always our ways, but whose justice is certain and whose mercy endures forever.

Every good cause on this earth relies in the end on a plan bigger than ours.  “Without dependence on God,” as Dr. King said, “our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest night.  Unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what G. K. Chesterton called ‘cures that don’t cure, blessings that don’t bless, and solutions that don’t solve.’”

Of all that you bring to the work of today’s civil rights cause, no advantage counts for more than this abiding confidence in the name above every name.   Against cruelty, arrogance, and all the foolishness of man, this spirit has carried the NAACP to many victories.  More still are up ahead, and with each one we will be a better nation.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 28, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech in Reaction to the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Health Care the Affordable Care Act — Vows to Repeal Obamacare

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

TRANSCRIPT: Romney remarks on high court ruling upholding Obama health care law

Source: Fox News, 6-28-12

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made the following statement Thursday following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care law. 

“As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I agree with the dissent. What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal ObamaCare.

Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. What the court did today was say that ObamaCare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that ObamaCare is good law or that it’s good policy. ObamaCare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. ObamaCare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.

Let me tell you why I say that. ObamaCare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. ObamaCare cuts Medicare — cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, ObamaCare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations. ObamaCare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.

ObamaCare is a job-killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of ObamaCare.  Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said ObamaCare makes it less likely for them to hire people. And perhaps most troubling of all, ObamaCare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

For all those reasons, it’s important for us to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

What are some of the things that we’ll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system? One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so.  Having 20 million people –
up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.

No. 2, got to make sure that those people who have preexisting conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.

We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to
affordable health care.

And something that ObamaCare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.

And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor, whether you’re comfortable with more deficits, higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations, whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like, or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.

This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear:  If we want to get rid of ObamaCare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that:  that we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.

If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace ObamaCare. That is my mission, that is our work, and I’m asking the people of America to join me.  If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want, instead, a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat ObamaCare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and that’s killing jobs across this great country.

Thank you so much.”

Campaign Headlines June 27, 2012: Quinnipiac Poll: Barack Obama Leads Mitt Romney in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: QUINNIPIAC POLL: OBAMA LEADS ROMNEY IN SWING STATES FL, OH & PA

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-27-12

A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows President Obama with slight leads over Mitt Romney in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Florida, Obama has a 4 point lead.

  • Obama – 45 percent
  • Romney – 41 percent

In Ohio, Obama has a 9 point lead.

  • Obama – 47 percent
  • Romney – 38 percent

In Pennsylvania, Obama has a 6 point lead.

  • Obama – 45 percent
  • Romney – 39 percent

“Voters generally like the president’s plan to suspend deportation of some younger illegal immigrants,” Peter Brown, assistant polling director at Quinnipiac University, told ABC News Radio. “There’s strong support, double-digit leads on that question in all these states.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 22, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Immigration to Latino Leaders at the NALEO Annual Conference in Orlando

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SPEECH ON IMMIGRATION TO LATINO LEADERS AT THE NALEO CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO

Obama Swipes at Romney in Address to Latino Officials

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-22-12

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

It was billed as an “official” presidential speech on policy, but President Obama thrust election year politics front and center at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials annual conference today – including direct attacks on GOP rival Mitt Romney.

“Yesterday your featured speaker came here and said that the election in November isn’t about two people; it’s not about being a Republican or Democrat or an independent; it is about the future of America. And while we’ve got a lot of differences, he and I, on this point, I could not agree more,” Obama said at the top of his remarks.

But then the president framed the 2012 race as a stark choice, with high economic stakes for Latinos and the middle class….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at the NALEO Annual Conference

Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida

1:43 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Gracias!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Everybody please have a seat.  Ah, it is good to be back at NALEO.  Qué placer estar aquí con tantos amigos.  (Applause.)  It is wonderful to see a lot of good friends from all across the country.  It is nice to be at Disney World.  This is now the second time I’ve come to Disney World without my daughters.  They are not happy with me.  (Laughter.)

I want to thank Secretary Solis for the introduction, and for her hard work.  She is one of the best Labor Secretaries we have ever had and she is thinking about you each and every day.  (Applause.)  I want to thank Sylvia and Arturo for their outstanding leadership.  Arturo, happy early birthday.  (Applause.)  I will not sing — don’t worry.  (Laughter.)  Welcome to the other side of the hill.  (Laughter.)

And it is especially good to have Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte here with us.  We are very proud of her.  (Applause.)  When the Senate refused to confirm Mari, I sent her to El Salvador anyway — (laughter) — because I knew she was going to do an outstanding job.  And she has.  And I’m glad to see the Senate finally confirmed her last week.  So she’s now official.  (Applause.)

Last but not least, I want to thank all of you.  It’s always nice to get out of Washington.  It’s nice to get a little Florida sunshine.  But it’s especially nice to see folks who have devoted themselves to serving their communities and their country — who’ve dedicated themselves to making people’s lives just a little bit better each and every day, at every level — school board, state legislatures, county boards.  You guys are where the rubber hits the road.  And I’ve had a chance to see many of you in your local communities and hear the stories of all your efforts and all your hopes and all your dreams — and also some of your frustrations and the hardships that are taking place.

Yesterday, your featured speaker came here and said that the election in November isn’t about two people.  It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat or an independent.  It is about the future of America.  And while we’ve got a lot of differences, he and I, on this point I could not agree more.  This is about America’s future.  The defining issue of our time is whether we carry forward the promise that has drawn generations of immigrants to our shores, from every corner of the globe, sometimes at great risk — men and women drawn by the promise that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name, this is a place where you can make it if you try.  This is a place where you can make it if you try.

And whether our ancestors arrived on the Mayflower or were brought here on slave ships, whether they signed in at Ellis Island or they crossed the Rio Grande, their diversity has not only enriched this country, it helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.

Hungry people, striving people, dreamers, risk-takers.  People don’t come here looking for handouts.  We are a nation of strivers and climbers and entrepreneurs — the hardest-working people on Earth.  And nobody personifies these American values, these American traits, more than the Latino community.  That’s the essence of who you are.  (Applause.)

All we ask for is that hard work pays off, that responsibility is rewarded, so that if these men and women put in enough effort, they can find a good job, own their own home, send their kids to college — let their kids dream even bigger  — put away a little bit for retirement, not go bankrupt when you get sick.

And I ran for this office because for more than a decade, that dream had been slipping away from too many Americans.  Before I even took office, the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes pushed it even further from reach — particularly for a lot of Latino communities, which had already faced higher unemployment and higher poverty rates.

So the question is not whether we need to do better.  Of course the economy isn’t where it needs to be.  Of course there’s still too many who struggle.  We’ve got so much more work to do.  But the question is:  How do we make the economy grow faster?  How do we create more jobs?  How do we create more opportunity?  The question is:  What vision are we going to stand up for?  Who are we going to fight for?

That’s what we have to decide right now.  That’s what this election is about.  Who are we fighting for?  What vision of America do we believe in?

If America is about anything, it’s about passing on even greater opportunity to our children.  It’s about education.  And that’s why I expanded Pell Grants — which will give an additional 150,000 children in the Latino community a chance to go to college.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’ve invested in our community colleges, which are a gateway to a good job for so many Hispanic Americans — Americans of every stripe.  (Applause.)

That’s why schools in almost every state — some in the toughest neighborhoods around — have answered our challenge to raise their standards for teaching and learning — not by teaching to a test, but by expanding creativity, and improving curriculums, and focusing more on kids who are hardest to reach so that we give every child a fighting chance.  That’s part of the vision of America that we believe in.

In this country, we believe that if you want to take a risk on a new idea, you should have the chance to succeed.  And you shouldn’t have to have wealthy parents in order to be successful.  Latino-owned businesses have been the fastest-growing small businesses, and we’ve cut their taxes 18 times.  (Applause.)  We’ve expanded new loans and new credit so they can grow and they can hire.  That’s the vision we believe in.

In America, we believe you shouldn’t go broke because you get sick.  Hardworking people out there — sometimes two jobs, three jobs — still don’t have health insurance.  If you did have health insurance, insurance companies were able to discriminate against certain patients.  That was wrong.  It was wrong to let insurance companies just jack up premiums for no reason, and to have millions of working Americans uninsured –  with the Latino community having the highest rate of uninsured of any community in the country.

So after a century of trying, we finally passed reform that will make health care affordable and available for every American.  (Applause.)  That was the right thing to do.  That was the right thing to do.  That was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

Now, we’re not done yet.  We’ve got more to do.  We need to put more good teachers in our classrooms.  (Applause.)  We need to get colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition to make it more affordable for more young people.  (Applause.)

We need to invest in new research and innovation — especially new sources of energy and high-tech manufacturing.  We need to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and our highways and our runways.  Construction jobs can have a huge ripple effect in communities all across the country.  And nobody knows it better than state and local officials.  You know the difference it makes.  And with the housing bubble bursting, we’ve got tens of thousands of construction workers just ready and eager to get to work.

We need to give families in hard-hit housing markets like Florida and Nevada the chance to refinance and save $3,000 a year on their mortgage.  That’s good for those families.  It’s good for the housing market.  It’s good for the surrounding community.  There’s no reason why Congress hasn’t already done it.  (Applause.)

Instead of just talking a big game about “job creators,” we should give small business owners a tax break for hiring more workers or for paying higher wages.  Instead of rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas, we should take that money and use it to cover moving expenses for companies who are bringing jobs back to America.  (Applause.)

On almost every issue of concern to your community, to every community, what’s holding us back isn’t a lack of big ideas.  It’s not a lack of technical solutions.  By now, just about every policy and proposal has been laid out on the table.  What’s holding us back is a stalemate — a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction we should go.

The Republicans who run Congress, the man at the top of their ticket, they don’t agree with any of the proposals I just talked about.  They believe the best way to grow the economy is from the top down.  So they want to roll back regulations, and give insurance companies and credit card companies and mortgage lenders even more power to do as they please.  They want to spend $5 trillion on new tax cuts — including a 25-percent tax cut for every millionaire in the country.  And they want to pay for it by raising middle-class taxes and gutting middle-class priorities like education and training and health care and medical research.

And that’s it.  That’s it.  That’s their economic plan.  When they tell you they can do better, that’s their idea of doing better.  When they tell you they know how to fix the economy, that’s exactly how they plan to do it.  And I think they’re wrong.  I think they’re wrong.  (Applause.)

In this country, prosperity has never come from the top down — it comes from a strong and growing middle class, and creating ladders of opportunity for all those who are striving to get into the middle class.  It comes from successful, thriving small businesses that over time grow into medium-size and then large businesses.

We don’t need more top-down economics.  What we need is a better plan for education and training, and energy independence, and innovation, and infrastructure that can rebuild America.  What we need is a tax code that encourages companies to create jobs and manufacturing here in the United States, and, yes, asks the wealthiest Americans to help pay down the deficit.  (Applause.)  That’s what’s needed.  (Applause.)

And what’s also needed is immigration reform that finally lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and as a nation of immigrants, and continues the American story of renewal and energy and dynamism that’s made us who we are.  (Applause.)

I mean, think about it.  You and I both know one of America’s greatest strengths has always been our ability to attract talented, hardworking people who believe in this country, who want to help make it stronger.  That’s what keeps us young.  That’s what keeps us dynamic and energized.  That’s what makes us who we are.

But our current immigration system doesn’t reflect those values.  It allows the best and brightest to study here, but then tells them to leave, start companies somewhere else.  It punishes immigrants and businesses who play by the rules, and fails to address the fact that there are too many who don’t.  It separates families and it denies innocent young people the chance to earn an education or serve in the uniform of the country they love.

Now, once again, the problem is not the lack of technical solutions.  We know what the solutions are to this challenge.  Just six years ago, an unlikely trio — John McCain, Ted Kennedy, President Bush — came together to champion comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)  I, along with a lot of Democrats, were proud to join 23 Senate Republicans in voting for it.  Today, those same Republicans have been driven away from the table by a small faction of their own party.  It’s created the same kind of stalemate on immigration reform that we’re seeing on a whole range of other economic issues.  And it has given rise to a patchwork of state laws that cause more problems than they solve and are often doing more harm than good.  (Applause.)

Now, this makes no sense.  It’s not good for America.  And as long as I am President of the United States, I will not give up the fight to change it.

In the face of a Congress that refuses to do anything on immigration, I’ve said that I’ll take action wherever I can.  So my administration has been doing what we can, without the help in Congress, for more than three years now.  And last week, we took another step.  On Friday, we announced that we’re lifting the shadow of deportation from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children.  (Applause.)

We should have passed the DREAM Act a long time ago.  It was written by members of both parties.  When it came up for a vote a year and a half ago, Republicans in Congress blocked it.  The bill hadn’t changed.  The need hadn’t changed.  The only thing that had changed was politics.  (Applause.)  The need had not changed.  The bill hadn’t changed — written with Republicans.  The only thing that had changed was politics.  And I refused to keep looking young people in the eye, deserving young people in the eye, and tell them, tough luck, the politics is too hard.

I’ve met these young people all across the country.  They’re studying in our schools.  They’re playing with our children, pledging allegiance to our flag, hoping to serve our country.  They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds. They are Americans through and through — in every single way but on paper.  And all they want is to go to college and give back to the country they love.  (Applause.)  So lifting the shadow of deportation and giving them a reason to hope — that was the right thing to do.  It was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

It’s not amnesty.  It falls short of where we need to be –a path to citizenship.  It’s not a permanent fix.  This is a temporary measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while offering some justice to these young people.  But it’s precisely because it’s temporary, Congress still needs to come up with a long-term immigration solution — rather than argue that we did this the wrong way or for the wrong reasons.

So to those who are saying Congress should be the one to fix this — absolutely.  For those who say we should do this in a bipartisan fashion — absolutely.  My door has been open for three and a half years.  They know where to find me.  (Laughter.)

I’ve said time and again:  Send me the DREAM Act; I will sign it right away.  (Applause.)  And I’m still willing to work with anyone from either party who is committed to real reform.  But in the meantime, the question we should consider is this:  Was providing these young people with the opportunity for a temporary measure of relief the right thing to do?

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  I think it was.  It’s long past time that we gave them a sense of hope.

Your speaker from yesterday has a different view.  In his speech, he said that when he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it.  Well, he has promised to veto the DREAM Act, and we should take him at his word.  (Applause.)  I’m just saying.  (Laughter and applause.)

And I believe that would be a tragic mistake.  You do, too.

On all these issues — on the investments we need to grow the middle class and leave a better future for our kids, on deficit reduction that’s fair and balanced, on immigration reform, on consumer financial protection so that people aren’t exploited, whether at a payday loan shop or if they’re sending remittances back to their families — on all these issues, Washington has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the country.

The whole idea behind the DREAM Act, after all, was inspired by a music teacher in Illinois.  She decided to call her Senator, Dick Durbin, when she discovered that one of her own students was forced to live in the shadows.  But even as that idea fell prey to gridlock and game-playing in Washington, it gained momentum in the rest of the country:  From every student who marched and organized to keep their classmates from being deported; from every parent who discovered the truth about the child down the street and chose to stand up for them — because these are all our kids; from every American who stood up and spoke out across the country because they saw a wrong and wanted it to be righted; who put their shoulder to the wheel and moved us a little closer towards justice.

That’s what has always moved us forward.  It doesn’t start in Washington.  It starts with a million quiet heroes who love their country and believe they can change it.

We all have different backgrounds.  We all have different political beliefs.  The Latino community is not monolithic; the African American community is not all of one mind.  This is a big country.  And sometimes, in tough times, in a country this big and busy, especially during a political year, those differences are cast in a bright spotlight.

But I ran for this office because I am absolutely convinced that what binds us together has always proven stronger than what drives us apart.  We are one people.  We need one another.  (Applause.)  Our patriotism is rooted not in race, not in ethnicity, not in creed; it is based on a shared belief in the enduring and permanent promise of America.

That’s the promise that draws so many talented, driven people to these shores.  That’s the promise that drew my own father here.  That’s the promise that drew your parents or grandparents or great grandparents — generations of people who dreamed of a place where knowledge and opportunity were available to anybody who was willing to work for it, anybody who was willing to seize it.  A place where there was no limit to how far you could go, how high you could climb.

They took a chance.  And America embraced their drive and embraced their courage — said, “Come, you’re welcome.”  This is who we are.

Every single day I walk into the Oval Office, every day that I have this extraordinary privilege of being your President, I will always remember that in no other nation on Earth could my story even be possible.  (Applause.)  That’s something I celebrate.

That’s what drives me, in every decision I make, to try and widen the circle of opportunity, to fight for that big and generous and optimistic country we inherited, to carry that dream forward for generations to come.  Because when I meet these young people, all throughout communities, I see myself.  Who knows what they might achieve.  I see my daughters and my nieces and my nephews.  Who knows what they might achieve if we just give them a chance?

That’s what I’m fighting for.  That’s what I stand for.

This fight will not always be easy.  It hasn’t always been easy.  It will not happen overnight.  Our history has been one where that march towards justice and freedom and equality has taken time.  There will always be plenty of stubborn opposition in the way that says: “No, you can’t.” “No, you shouldn’t.”  “Don’t even try.”

But America was built by people who said something different — who said:  “Yes, we can.”  Who said, “Sí, se puede.”  (Applause.)  And as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I will be alongside you, fighting for the country that we together dream of.  (Applause.)

God bless you.  Thank you, NALEO.  (Applause.)  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
2:11 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 22, 2012: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Immigration to Latino Leaders at the NALEO Annual Conference in Orlando

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

 

romney-2012-blog-naleo.jpg

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY’S SPEECH ON IMMIGRATION TO LATINO LEADERS AT THE NALEO CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO

Romney Rips Obama’s Immigration Approach in Speech to Latinos: In a high-profile address to Latinos on Thursday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said President Obama had “failed to address immigration reform” after promising to do so during the 2008 campaign and vowed that, if elected, he would enact comprehensive measures that would enable families to remain together and improve economically.
“I will work with Republicans and Democrats to build a long-term solution,” Romney said in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to scattered applause from the audience. “I will prioritize efforts that strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.”
Romney’s much-anticipated address to the annual conference held by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) came at a time when Obama’s advantage with Latinos appears to be growing…. – ABC News Radio, 6-21-12

  • Romney’s immigration promises hard to deliver: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando…. – AP, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney immigration policy: Will it win some Latino voters? (+video): In an address to Latino officials Thursday, Mitt Romney softened his tone as he laid out immigration policy. But he still won’t say whether he would first overturn Obama’s new policy to help young illegal immigrants…. – CS Monitor, 6-22-12
  • Romney reaches out to Latinos: Mitt Romney offered a family-friendly approach to the nation’s immigration woes in his first general-election outreach to Latino voters, but the modest steps that he sketched underscored the political pull-and-tug the issue has…. – LAT, 6-21-12
  • Romney Exhibits a Change in Tone on Immigration: Mitt Romney struck a more conciliatory tone toward illegal immigrants on Thursday than he took during the Republican primary season, but he backed only limited steps to address the concerns of many Hispanic voters as he … NYT, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney seeks ‘common ground’ on immigration issue: If elected president, Mitt Romney said in a speech to Latino officials Thursday, he will strive to “find common ground” on the issue of immigration, which has stymied presidents of both parties. Reactions from groups on both sides of the issue Thursday…. – USA Today, 6-21-12
  • Mitt Romney tries to soften image among Hispanic voters: Mitt Romney, who courted conservative Republican primary voters with hard-line opposition to illegal immigration, took a first step Thursday toward trying to soften his image among skeptical Hispanic voters — pledging to speak in a “civil and…. – WaPo, 6-21-12

Remarks To NALEO: “Growing Opportunity For All Americans”

Source: Mitt Romney, 6-21-12

Thank you for inviting me to your annual conference. It’s an honor to be here among so many dedicated elected leaders.

I come to you today as a candidate for President of the United States of America. I will govern from the principle that while this is a land of extraordinary diversity, there is much more that unites us than divides us. Though each of us walks a different path in life, we are united by one great, overwhelming passion: We love America. We believe in America.  We are one nation, under God.

Today, we are united not only by our faith in America. We are united also by our concern for America.

This country we love is in peril. That is why I am running for President.

Almost four years ago, Americans did something that was very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn’t known for very long, who didn’t have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place.

At the time, we didn’t know what sort of a President he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama came to office, America wished him well and hoped for the best.

Three and a half years later, over 23 million Americans are out of work, underemployed or have just quit looking for work.  At a time when we should be gaining momentum, we’re losing it.  Job growth has slowed and this week, we learned that the number of job openings has fallen again.

Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard.  While national unemployment is still above 8%, Hispanic unemployment is at 11%.

The middle class has been crushed under President Obama. More Americans are living in poverty today than at any point in history. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office.

Home values have plunged, our national debt is at record levels and families are buried under higher prices for food and gasoline.

And yet our President says the private sector is doing fine. This is more than a policy failure; it is a moral failure.

Now, I know the President will say that he inherited an economic crisis.  But we shouldn’t allow the challenges he faced four years ago to divert our attention from another important fact:  The President pursued policies that have made this the slowest recovery since the Great Depression.  And he broke promises many were counting on to build a brighter future.

It did not have to be this way.

Just compare this President’s record with Ronald Reagan’s first term.  President Reagan also faced an economic crisis.  In fact, in 1982, the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 11 percent. But in the two years that followed, he delivered a true recovery – economic growth and job creation were three times higher than in the Obama Economy.

If President Obama had delivered a real recovery – a Reagan recovery – we would have five million more jobs today. The unemployment rate would be about six percent. And our economy would be at least one trillion dollars larger.

Tomorrow, President Obama will speak here, for the first time since his last campaign. He may admit that he hasn’t kept every promise. And he’ll probably say that, even though you aren’t better off today than you were four years ago, things could be worse. He’ll imply that you really don’t have an alternative. He’s taking your vote for granted.

I’ve come here today with a simple message: You do have an alternative.  Your vote should be respected.  And your voice is more important now than ever before.

This November, we’ll make a choice.  We can continue along the path we’re on – or we can choose a better way.

Instead of continuing with the policies of the last three and a half years, we can revitalize our free-enterprise economy.  We can lead the world in what we invent and build and create. And let me make this very clear—this is the only way we can strengthen the middle class.  And this is the only way we can create sustained prosperity. Raising taxes to grow government does not grow the middle class.

Today, I am asking you to join me because, while we may not agree on everything, we share the same goal, the same vision, and the same belief in American greatness that draws so many to our shores.  Liberty’s torch can burn just as brightly for future generations of immigrants as it has burned for immigrants past.

We know our businesses can’t succeed, grow, and hire more workers without a more competitive tax code. That’s why I will lower our corporate tax rate, and reduce individual marginal rates by 20 percent, across the board.

We also know that our businesses and families need affordable and reliable energy.  Producing more of our energy resources will create jobs in America and generate greater revenues for America.  It will also help bring manufacturing back to our shores.

We know our economy can’t grow if we’re mortgaging our future to pay for the big government programs of today.  As President, I will rein in spending and balance the budget.  And I will repeal Obamacare.  We cannot afford another $2 trillion entitlement.  Obamacare depresses job growth.  In one study, 73 percent of business owners said that Obamacare has made it harder for them to hire people.  Repealing Obamacare and replacing it will give businesses the certainty they need to hire, expand, and grow.

We can also jumpstart our economy by expanding trade in our hemisphere.  Yet, the President has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.  And he’s failed to crack down on countries like China that don’t follow the rules.

We know our kids can’t succeed if they’re trapped in failing schools. That’s why, as President, I will give the parents of every low-income and special-needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school.  When it comes to education, a choice for every parent means a chance for every child.

An effective immigration system can also strengthen our economy, as it has since the nation’s founding.

Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.

For two years, this President had huge majorities in the House and Senate – he was free to pursue any policy he pleased.  But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote.

Last week, the President finally offered a temporary measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election.  After three and a half years of putting every issue from loan guarantees for his donors to Cash For Clunkers before immigration, now the President has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on Day One.  I think you deserve better.

Some people have asked if I will let stand the President’s executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President’s temporary measure.

As President, I won’t settle for a stop-gap measure.  I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution.  I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner. We may not always agree, but when I make a promise to you, I will keep it.

Let me speak to a few principles that will guide me.

As I have said many times, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders. That means both preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa.  We should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high-tech fence, and implement an improved exit verification system.

Our immigration system should help promote strong families, not keep them apart.  Our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof.  But, today, too many families are caught in a broken system that costs them time and money and entangles them in red tape.  For those seeking to come to America the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to end.  And we can do this with just a few common-sense reforms.

As President, I will reallocate Green Cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof.  We will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.  And we will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from being together.

Immigration reform is not just a moral imperative, but an economic necessity as well.  Immigrants with advanced degrees start companies, create jobs, and drive innovation at a high rate.  Immigrants founded or cofounded nearly half of our 50 top venture-backed companies.  They are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business.  And that kind of risk taking is something we need more than ever because new business starts are now at a 30-year low.

I will work with states and employers to update our temporary worker visa program so that it meets our economic needs.

And if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here – so we will staple a green card to your diploma. We want the best and brightest to enrich the nation through the jobs and technologies they will help create.

We also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep this country safe. Since September 11, 2001, the United States has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the Armed Forces. Too many of these patriots died on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called “home.”

As President, I will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. Those who have risked their lives in defense of America have earned the right to make their life in America.

But improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. We must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration, so that people are rewarded for waiting patiently in line. That’s why my administration will establish a strong employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment.

We can find common ground here, and we must. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to ensure that our country remains a land of opportunity – both for those who were born here and for those who share our values, respect our laws, and want to come to our shores.

I’ve spoken often about how proud I am of my father.  He was born to American parents living in Mexico. When he was five, they left everything behind, and started over in the United States.

His dad – my grandfather – was a builder who went bust more than once. My grandfather didn’t make much money.  There were times in my dad’s life when he lived in poverty.   But my grandfather had big hopes for my dad, and tried to help him as best he could.

My Dad didn’t finish college. But he believed in a country where the circumstances of one’s birth were not a barrier to achievement – and he wasn’t afraid of hard work.  He held odd jobs – lath and plaster and selling paint.  He was lucky enough to live in America, where hard work can turn aspirations into realities. And he became the leader of a great car company and the governor of a great state.

This is my father’s story – but it could be any American’s. Most of you here today are leaders in your community. You are here because you have benefitted from this land of opportunity, and you want to give back to this country, to fight for its people, so that they have the same chance to succeed.

We are truly one America. Everyone here has made this exceptional nation what it is today.

This isn’t an election about two people.  This isn’t an election about being a Republican, Democrat, or an independent.  This is an election about the future of America.  I would ask each of you to look at the last three and a half years, and ask whether we can do better.

Is the America of 11% Hispanic unemployment the America of our dreams?  I know we can do better.  We can prosper again, with the powerful recovery we have all been waiting for, the good jobs that so many still need, and, above all, the opportunities we owe to our children and grandchildren.

Thank you all, and God bless America.

Political Headlines June 19, 2012: Mitt Romney Says Despite ABC News Report Marco Rubio is Being Vetted for Veep — Vice President Running Mate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Says Marco Rubio is Being Vetted for Veep

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-19-12

ABC News

Marco Rubio is being vetted for the vice presidential spot, Mitt Romney told reporters in Michigan Tuesday afternoon.

“Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process,” Romney said, adding reports from Tuesday that said Marco Rubio is not being vetted is “entirely false.”

“There was a story that originated today, apparently at ABC, based on reports of supposedly outside, unnamed advisors of mine,” Romney told reporters. “I can’t imagine who such people are but I can tell you this. They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that’s Beth Myers and myself.”

Myers is Romney’s long time aide heading up the vice presidential search and vetting process.

“I know Beth well. She doesn’t talk to anybody,” Romney said….READ MORE

Full Text Political Buzz June 15, 2012: President Barack Obama Announces US Will Stop Deporting Young Immigrants in Rose Garden Speech — GOP Candidate Mitt Romney Reacts

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES
& SPEECHES

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House (June 15, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 15, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES US WILL STOP DEPORTING YOUNG ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS — ROMNEY REACTS

U.S. will stop deporting some younger illegal immigrants: The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and have since led law-abiding lives, the AP reports. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of a growing Latino electorate that has opposed administration deportation policies. The administration’s decision will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants…. – WaPo, 6-15-12

Transcript of Obama’s Speech on Immigration Policy: The full text of the president’s remarks on changes to immigration policy. – NYT, 6-15-12

  • US to Stop Deporting Some Illegal Immigrants: Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration…. – NYT, 6-15-12
  • Obama spares many young illegal immigrants deportation: Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who were brought into the United States as children will be able to avoid deportation and get work permits under an order on Friday by President Barack Obama… Reuters, 6-16-12
  • Obama policy to spare many youths from deportation: President Barack Obama eased enforcement of immigration laws Friday, offering a chance for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. Immediately embraced by Hispanics, the extraordinary step touched off…. – Fox News, 6-15-12
  • Mexicans hail Obama’s call for a freeze on deporting young illegal immigrants: Today, President Obama ordered his administration to stop deporting young immigrants who came to the US illegally as kids and don’t pose a security threat…. – CS Monitor, 6-15-12
  • Obama Says Changes to Deportation Rules Make Policy More Fair: President Barack Obama said the US will immediately stop deporting some illegal immigrants brought to the US as children and make them eligible for work permits, in an election-year effort with appeal to Latino voters…. – Bloomberg, San Francisco Chronicle, 6-15-12
  • President Obama limits deportations for some immigrants: Using his executive powers to go where Congress would not, President Obama delivered on a promise Friday and ordered his administration to stop deporting illegal immigrants who came to the US as children…. – LAT, 6-15-12
  • Obama tells young illegal immigrants they can stay: Order doesn’t offer citizenship but reprieve from deportation. Critics call it an overreach of executive power. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants will get a chance to stay in the United States and work under a new policy announced Friday…. – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 6-15-12
  • DREAM ACT: We educated these children, shouldn’t they give back to our economy?: “This is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope…. – Washington Times, 6-15-12
  • THE POLITICS OF IMMIGRATION: President Barack Obama announces that his administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the US as children and have since led law-abiding lives, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House…. – Chicago Sun-Times, 6-15-12
  • Obama’s Immigration Shift Puts Pressure on Romney: President Obama’s unilateral shift on immigration policy is a signal to Hispanic voters that he is on their side, and a move that places Mitt Romney in a tough spot…. – NYT, 6-15-12
  • Romney says Obama’s immigration decision will complicate efforts to solve immmigration policy issue: Softening his rhetoric on immigration, likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that the status of younger illegal immigrants was important and should be addressed with legislation. He would not say if he would…. – WaPo, 6-15-12
  • Mitt Romney says Obama’s playing politics on immigration: Hours after the Obama administration announced that it would stop deporting some young illegal immigrants who came to the US as children, Mitt Romney suggested that the president was merely seeking a political advantage to secure a second term…. – LAT, 6-15-12
  • Young illegal immigrants’ amnesty could tighten competition for jobs, college: President Obama has just opened a floodgate of opportunity for young illegal immigrants in the United States, but could it squeeze the aspirations of legal Americans in the process?… – WaPo, 6-15-12

Obama Defends Immigrant Deportation Rules, Criticized as Political

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-15-12

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama flashed anger today as a reporter interrupted his speech on immigration in the Rose Garden.

Neil Munro of The Daily Caller, a conservative news site, shouted at Obama in the middle of his speech formally announcing looser deportation rules, “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?”

Irritated, Obama glared at Munro and told him not to interrupt, said he “didn’t ask for an argument” and said the new order is “the right thing to do.”…READ MORE

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Immigration

Source: WH, 6-15-12

Speaking from the Rose Garden, President Obama addressed a new policy from the Department of Homeland Security aimed at making the nation’s immigration policy more fair and more efficient — by removing the threat of deportation for young people who are low enforcement priorities.
He said:

Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.

Remarks by the President on Immigration

Rose Garden

2:09 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just — specifically for certain young people sometimes called “Dreamers.”

These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag.  They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one:  on paper.  They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.

Put yourself in their shoes.  Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life — studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.

That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act.  It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship.  And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away.

Now, both parties wrote this legislation.  And a year and a half ago, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House, but Republicans walked away from it.  It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it.  The bill hasn’t really changed.  The need hasn’t changed.  It’s still the right thing to do.  The only thing that has changed, apparently, was the politics.

As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans — they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country — to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents — or because of the inaction of politicians.

In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places.  So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history — today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years.  We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education.  And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent.  We’ve improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully.  Well, today, we’re improving it again.

Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.  Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  It’s not a permanent fix.  This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.  It is –

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  — the right thing to do.

Q    — foreigners over American workers.

THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me, sir.  It’s not time for questions, sir.

Q    No, you have to take questions.

THE PRESIDENT:  Not while I’m speaking.

Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act.  There is still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, because these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments.  And we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our 21st century economic and security needs — reform that gives our farmers and ranchers certainty about the workers that they’ll have.  Reform that gives our science and technology sectors certainty that the young people who come here to earn their PhDs won’t be forced to leave and start new businesses in other countries.  Reform that continues to improve our border security, and lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Just six years ago, the unlikely trio of John McCain, Ted Kennedy and President Bush came together to champion this kind of reform.  And I was proud to join 23 Republicans in voting for it.  So there’s no reason that we can’t come together and get this done.

And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy — and CEOs agree with me — not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period.  And I believe that, eventually, enough Republicans in Congress will come around to that view as well.

And I believe that it’s the right thing to do because I’ve been with groups of young people who work so hard and speak with so much heart about what’s best in America, even though I knew some of them must have lived under the fear of deportation.  I know some have come forward, at great risks to themselves and their futures, in hopes it would spur the rest of us to live up to our own most cherished values.  And I’ve seen the stories of Americans in schools and churches and communities across the country who stood up for them and rallied behind them, and pushed us to give them a better path and freedom from fear –because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.

And the answer to your question, sir — and the next time I’d prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question — is this is the right thing to do for the American people –

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t ask for an argument.  I’m answering your question.

Q    I’d like to –

THE PRESIDENT:  It is the right thing to do –

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  — for the American people.  And here’s why –

Q    — unemployment –

THE PRESIDENT:  Here’s the reason:  because these young people are going to make extraordinary contributions, and are already making contributions to our society.

I’ve got a young person who is serving in our military, protecting us and our freedom.  The notion that in some ways we would treat them as expendable makes no sense.  If there is a young person here who has grown up here and wants to contribute to this society, wants to maybe start a business that will create jobs for other folks who are looking for work, that’s the right thing to do.  Giving certainty to our farmers and our ranchers; making sure that in addition to border security, we’re creating a comprehensive framework for legal immigration — these are all the right things to do.

We have always drawn strength from being a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation of laws, and that’s going to continue.  And my hope is that Congress recognizes that and gets behind this effort.

All right.  Thank you very much.

Q    What about American workers who are unemployed while you import foreigners?

END
2:17 P.M. EDT

 

Adviser Suggests Romney Will Focus on Economy, Not Immigration

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-15-12

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

President Obama’s announcement that he will ease deportation for the children of some illegal immigrants underscores an area where Mitt Romney was to the right of most of his primary opponents.

While Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both endorsed pathways to legal residency for some illegal immigrants, Romney never did.

Romney has not yet reacted to the news Friday from President Obama that he will no longer pursue the deportation of many young undocumented citizens that came to this country as children by their parents….READ MORE

But campaign adviser Kevin Madden suggested he won’t be distracted by this issue and will instead remain “focus(ed) very intently on the issue of the economy.”

“I think the message that he has to Latino voters, Hispanic voters, is going to be related to what he can do to put the country on the right track and how it’s going to help, how it’s going to help folks who want more opportunity in this country,” Madden said on MSNBC Friday just before the president made the announcement in the Rose Garden….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 15, 2012: Mitt Romney Kicks Off 5-Day Bus Tour with New Hampshire Speech on President Barack Obama’s Economic Policy & the Middle Class

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: ROMNEY KICKS OFF 5-DAY BUS TOUR WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE SPEECH ON OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES

Romney Kicks Off Bus Tour, Says Obama Fails Middle Class

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-15-12

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Mitt Romney officially kicked off his five-day, six-state bus tour in New Hampshire Friday, on the very farm where he launched his presidential bid last June, telling supporters that there has been no president who has failed middle-class Americans more than President Obama and that if elected, he will “hear” the voices of the American people.

“Let us make today the beginning of the end of disappointments of the Obama years,” Romney said to a crowd of hundreds, standing on the back of a flat-bed trailer parked in a field on Scamman Farm. “Let us make today the start of a new and better chapter that we’re going to write together.”

“If there has ever been a president who has failed to give the middle class of America a fair shot, it is Barack Obama,” Romney said….READ MORE

Romney’s Bus Tour of New Hampshire Lets In a Bit of the Outside World

Source: NYT, 6-15-12

Mitt Romney was supposed to depart from his usual campaign approach on Friday, and he did — though not the way his strategists had envisioned.

The candidate kicked off a five-day bus tour, an ambitious barnstormer through small-town America that was billed as an effort to introduce Mr. Romney to a new set of voters. And the first two events, including an ice cream social on the village green here, kept him solidly in his comfort zone….READ MORE

 

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks In New Hampshire

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 6-15-12
Mitt Romney today delivered remarks in Stratham, New Hampshire. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Thank you for that warm welcome.  It’s great to be back in Stratham.  And I’d like to thank Doug and Stella for welcoming us once again to their beautiful farm.

Ann and I visited this farm a year ago when we launched our campaign for the Republican nomination.  It was a beautiful day, and the start of a remarkable journey.

Over the past year, it’s become clear that good things begin here, so today we’re back, with a few more friends and closer to the goal.  Every day our campaign grows as more and more Americans realize that we don’t have to settle for these years of disappointment and decline.

America can do better – and with your help, we will.  Together, we’re going to take this campaign all way to the White House.

Since last June, we’ve been to towns, big and small.  We’ve visited businesses – some generations old, others quite new, every one of them trying to make the best of a bad economy.  Across the country, people have welcomed us into their homes.  We’ve enjoyed long talks about family and country in break rooms and backyards, in diners and on factory floors.

Everywhere I go, I meet people who represent the best of America.  They are hopeful, hard-working, determined and proud.  But they are also worried and anxious.  They are tired of being tired.

And they are tired of a detached and distant President who never seems to hear their voices.

When Americans rose up and demanded, “Stop borrowing money and sticking our kids with the bill,” the President wasn’t listening.  He was on the line with China, taking out another loan.

When Americans went to town halls and said, “We don’t want Obamacare,” the President ignored us, and spent fifteen months ramming his health-care bill through Congress on a party-line vote.

And when we asked, “Where is the recovery we were promised?” this President lectured us saying “The private sector is doing fine.”

For so many Americans the distance between their town and the city of Washington has never seemed so far.  The federal establishment has never seemed so hostile or remote – so disconnected from economic reality, and yet so willing to use restrictions and regulations, taxes and fines, commissions and czars to direct our daily lives.

The President’s plans have Americans wondering whether our future can be as bright as our past.  But that lack of faith in our future is a bridge to despair that we cannot cross.

That’s why, from now until November, our campaign will carry a simple message: America’s greatest days are ahead!

Washington’s big government agenda should not smother small-town dreams. In the America we love, every town counts. Every job counts. And every American counts!

We’re here today to launch a campaign bus tour that will take us from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio and on to Iowa, Wisconsin and, finally, Michigan.

In the days ahead, we’ll be traveling on what are often called the “backroads of America.” But I think our tour takes us along much of the “backbone of America.”

This is the America known for thriving farms and factories. For prosperous towns and cities and great colleges and universities.  For solid communities and churches.  All of them born out of American optimism; nourished and sustained by hard work and a belief that the American future is one of limitless possibilities and that opportunity is an American birthright.

We will travel through the industrial heartland of America. This was once a model to the world for mining, manufacturing, and innovation.  Many of the greatest commercial enterprises in the history of the world were born here. They gave birth to an extraordinary middle class which never questioned their ability to build a better life for their children.

But in these past few years, too many of these Americans have been struggling and in distress.

But even where factories have closed and jobs are too few, the spirit of enterprise — the spirit that powered the engines of America’s remarkable economic growth and prosperity — that spirit still lives strong.  And it is the goal of this campaign — and will be the mission of my presidency — to nurture that spirit and to see it flourish once again.

The world knows the names of great cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. These were the arsenals of democracy, the forges of freedom, the melting pots of America. Their resilience and indomitable energy are a cornerstone of America’s future.

But we should never forget that some of America’s biggest dreams were also born in our smallest communities.  Our small towns have given us great writers, great thinkers, and great leaders.

Before they were literary giants who dazzled the world, great American writers like Mark Twain and John Steinbeck were kids playing in wide-open spaces, dreaming up the stories they would tell.

Before they were pioneers, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers looked out into the dark night and up at the clear blue sky, imagining great inventions that would someday change the world. And, no, Mr. President, they were not dreaming of a government loan.

And small towns gave us Lincoln and Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan – and so many sons and daughters who have sacrificed to defend our freedom on battlefields far away.

The vision and the values, the character and the can-do spirit that you find in our small towns have made America great.  In these places, you also find a special sense of community and a deep commitment to our country.

These Americans are quiet heroes. They raise strong families, run our factories, and grow our food.  They coach Little League and soccer.  They serve on the PTA.  They volunteer to help their neighbors.  And they dream big dreams – sometimes for themselves, but mostly for their kids.

Every town counts because the families who have lost a job, faced a foreclosure, or been forced to spend the money they were saving for college just to make ends meet are not statistics – they are our fellow Americans.

In recent years, they have shown great determination and real bravery. These men and women do the hard things that others say aren’t worth trying.  They keep pressing on, even when government bureaucrats and regulations keep getting in their way.  They have talent and creativity – and they aren’t about to let their family or our country down by letting their dreams go. They are the backbone of America.

Yesterday the President gave a speech. A Very. Long. Speech.

You might have thought that it would be a moment when he would acknowledge his policy mistakes and suggest a new course. But no. He promised four more years, of more of the same. Four. More. Very. Long. Years.

That’s really the divide in this race. The President thinks we’re on the right track and his policies are working.

And I…I believe with all my heart that we can — that we must — do better!

So let me ask where you stand. Do you believe America can do better? Do you believe that with new leadership and a new president our greatest days are still ahead? Do you believe we can take back the White House and reclaim the greatness of America?

Somewhere in that long speech, President Obama spoke of giving people a “fair shot.” I couldn’t agree more.

President Obama isn’t giving our students a fair shot when they graduate and only half of them can find jobs or work that matches their skills.

And he isn’t giving the middle class a fair shot when wages keep going down and prices keep going up. Under Barack Obama, more Americans are living in poverty than under any President in history. That’s a tragedy, not a fair shot!

He didn’t give the children of Washington, DC a fair shot when he proposed to end their scholarships to go to better schools.

And when he bows to the demands of the teacher’s unions, he isn’t giving a fair shot to kids across America.

He isn’t giving entrepreneurs and job creators a fair shot when he picks winners and losers, rewarding campaign donors with tax dollars in scandals like Solyndra.

Barack Obama isn’t giving a fair shot to our children and grandchildren when he saddles them with trillions of dollars of debts.

If there has ever been a president who has failed to give the middle class of America a fair shot, it is Barack Obama.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. And I know what we must do to truly give our fellow Americans a fair shot…and a better chance.

I see an America where free enterprise is nurtured and celebrated, not attacked, because freedom and free enterprise is what creates jobs, not government.  I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents — some successful beyond their wildest dreams — and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it. We must not allow the desperation of a failing Presidency to divide this great country.

I see an America that is fundamentally fair, that cares for those who cannot care for themselves, that never wavers from our commitment to our seniors, and that gives our veterans the respect and care they richly deserve.

In the America I see, character and choices matter.  And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded.  And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation. It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and most powerful economy in the world.

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision.

I am running for President because I have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mess. I am offering a real choice and a new beginning.

We can’t afford four more years of failed policies and weak leadership.

Starting on Day One, I will do what it takes to get America back to work.

Obamacare will end.

We’ll open markets around the world, and make sure that countries like China finally play by the rules.

We’ll get the Keystone Pipeline built and we’ll send a message to the world that a new era of energy independence has begun right here on our continent.

We’ll replace the Obama job killing tax policies with sweeping tax reform to jumpstart job creation.

The government regulators who are strangling small business will finally learn that job creators are our friends, not our enemies.

And once again, the Era of Big Government will be over!

No wonder Bill Clinton and so many other mainstream Democrats are revolting against the backward direction President Obama is taking his Party and our country!

Let us make today the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years.

Let us make today the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for every grandparent who can’t afford the gas to visit the grandkids… for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month…

To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer.  A better America begins today!

Today the hill before us is a little steep but we have always been a nation of big steppers.

Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny. Join me. Let’s walk together, every day until November 6th.

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 14, 2012: Ohio Showdown Over the Economy: President Barack Obama & Mitt Romney Give Opposing Speeches on the Country’s Economic Choice & Path — Transcripts

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

President Obama, left, and Mitt Romney both spoke at events in Ohio on Thursday.
Doug Mills/The New York Times; Kirk Irwin for The New York Times

President Obama, left, and Mitt Romney both spoke at events in Ohio on Thursday.

IN FOCUS: OHIO SHOWDOWN OVER THE ECONOMY: OBAMA & ROMNEY GIVE OPPOSING SPEECHES ON THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC CHOICE & PATH

Ohio Showdown: Obama, Romney Offer Economic Choice: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney gave economic speeches at almost the same time in Ohio today. But their arguments could not have been more different.
Set in one of the swing states that will decide the November election, the speeches laid out the stark contrast Americans face in November between the president’s economic policies and those of his challenger…. – ABC News Radio, 6-14-12

  • Obama Says Election Offers a Clear Choice on the Economy’s Long-Term Path: President Obama laid out his re-election bid as a stark choice between strong government action to lift the middle class and Republican policies he said had led to a deep recession…. – NYT, 6-14-12
  • Obama, Romney to give dueling speeches on economy: President Barack Obama seeks to re-energize his economic message Thursday with a campaign speech in the electoral battleground of Ohio, while certain Republican rival Mitt Romney will offer his take on the economy at the same time in the same…. – CNN, 6-14-12 Romney, Obama square off with Ohio speeches: The Democratic and Republican candidates took aim at each other and the economy in back to back speeches lobbed across the state of Ohio…. – CS Monitor, 6-14-12
  • Obama Says Election Offers a Clear Choice on the Economy’s Long-Term Path: Framing his re-election bid as a stark choice between government action to lift the middle class and a return to Republican economic policies that he said had caused a deep recession, President Obama on Thursday called the presidential…. – NYT, 6-14-12
  • Obama vs. Romney in Ohio: what dueling speeches were all about (+video): In back-to-back speeches in different parts of battleground Ohio, Mitt Romney sought to cast President Obama as hurting business, and Obama sought to move past two tough weeks…. – CS Monitor, 6-14-12
  • Obama and Romney stump in Ohio: In a set of dueling speeches Thursday in Ohio, President Obama and Mitt Romney highlighted the state’s ongoing role as a political kingmakerand center of this year’s election fight over the condition of the economy. Romney opened up in Cincinnati…. – USA Today, 6-14-12
  • Obama and Romney face off across Ohio: President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney dueled Thursday from opposite ends of a state vital to their November chances, framing the election as a choice between failure and economic progress — and differing sharply on who was…. – LAT, 6-14-12

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMY SPEECH IN OHIO


    Doug Mills/The New York Times
    President Obama delivered a speech on the economy on Thursday in Cleveland.

  • Obama says election will determine course of economy: President Barack Obama cast his re-election battle with Mitt Romney as a clash between starkly different economic visions on Thursday…. – Reuters, 6-14-12
  • President Obama rips Mitt Romney in economy reset speech: President Barack Obama delivered an extensive rebuke of Mitt Romney’s proposed agenda as he sought to reset his stumbling re-election…. – Politico, 6-14-12
  • Obama: Election is chance for voters to break stalemate about where country is headed: President Barack Obama says November’s election will give voters the chance to break a stalemate about America’s direction. Obama said at a campaign speech in battleground Ohio that his race against Republican Mitt Romney will present…. – WaPo, 6-14-12
  • Obama’s economic speech: What’s he trying to accomplish? (+video): Reelection bids often play out as a referendum on the incumbent’s first term. Romney is trying to make that the case. But Obama wants the focus to be on competing economic visions for the future…. – CS Monitor, 6-14-12
  • Obama: Election is chance for voters to break stalemate about where country is headed: President Barack Obama says November’s election will give voters the chance to break a stalemate about America’s direction. Obama said at a campaign speech in battleground Ohio that his race against Republican Mitt Romney will present…. – WaPo, 6-14-12

Remarks by the President on the Economy — Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland, Ohio

2:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Good afternoon, everybody.  (Applause.)  It is great to be back in Cleveland.  (Applause.)  It is great to be back here at Cuyahoga Community College.  (Applause.)

I want to, first of all, thank Angela for her introduction and sharing her story.  I know her daughter is very proud of her — I know her daughter is here today.  So give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  I want to thank your president, Dr. Jerry-Sue Thornton.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank some members of Congress who made the trip today — Representative Marcia Fudge, Representative Betty Sutton, and Representative Marcy Kaptur.  (Applause.)

Now, those of you who have a seat, feel free to sit down.  (Laughter and applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

So, Ohio, over the next five months, this election will take many twists and many turns.  Polls will go up and polls will go down.  There will be no shortage of gaffes and controversies that keep both campaigns busy and give the press something to write about.  You may have heard I recently made my own unique contribution to that process.  (Laughter.)  It wasn’t the first time; it won’t be the last.  (Laughter.)

And in the coming weeks, Governor Romney and I will spend time debating our records and our experience — as we should.  But though we will have many differences over the course of this campaign, there’s one place where I stand in complete agreement with my opponent:  This election is about our economic future.  (Applause.)

Yes, foreign policy matters.  Social issues matter.  But more than anything else, this election presents a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how to create strong, sustained growth; how to pay down our long-term debt; and most of all, how to generate good, middle-class jobs so people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.  (Applause.)

Now, this isn’t some abstract debate.  This is not another trivial Washington argument.  I have said that this is the defining issue of our time — and I mean it.  I said that this is a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class — and I believe it.  The decisions we make in the next few years on everything from debt and taxes to energy and education will have an enormous impact on this country and on the country we pass on to our children.

Now, these challenges are not new.  We’ve been wrestling with these issues for a long time.  The problems we’re facing right now have been more than a decade in the making.  And what is holding us back is not a lack of big ideas.  It isn’t a matter of finding the right technical solution.  Both parties have laid out their policies on the table for all to see.  What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take.

And this election is your chance to break that stalemate.  (Applause.)

At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two paths for our country.  And while there are many things to discuss in this campaign, nothing is more important than an honest debate about where these two paths would lead us.

Now, that debate starts with an understanding of where we are and how we got here.

Long before the economic crisis of 2008, the basic bargain at the heart of this country had begun to erode.  For more than a decade, it had become harder to find a job that paid the bills — harder to save, harder to retire; harder to keep up with rising costs of gas and health care and college tuitions.  You know that; you lived it.  (Applause.)

During that decade, there was a specific theory in Washington about how to meet this challenge.  We were told that huge tax cuts — especially for the wealthiest Americans — would lead to faster job growth.  We were told that fewer regulations — especially for big financial institutions and corporations — would bring about widespread prosperity.  We were told that it was okay to put two wars on the nation’s credit card; that tax cuts would create enough growth to pay for themselves.  That’s what we were told.  So how did this economic theory work out?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Terrible.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  For the wealthiest Americans, it worked out pretty well.  Over the last few decades, the income of the top 1 percent grew by more than 275 percent — to an average of $1.3 million a year.  Big financial institutions, corporations saw their profits soar.  But prosperity never trickled down to the middle class.

From 2001 to 2008, we had the slowest job growth in half a century.  The typical family saw their incomes fall.  The failure to pay for the tax cuts and the wars took us from record surpluses under President Bill Clinton to record deficits.  And it left us unprepared to deal with the retirement of an aging population that’s placing a greater strain on programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Without strong enough regulations, families were enticed, and sometimes tricked, into buying homes they couldn’t afford.  Banks and investors were allowed to package and sell risky mortgages.  Huge, reckless bets were made with other people’s money on the line.  And too many from Wall Street to Washington simply looked the other way.

For a while, credit cards and home equity loans papered over the reality of this new economy — people borrowed money to keep up.  But the growth that took place during this time period turned out to be a house of cards.  And in the fall of 2008, it all came tumbling down — with a financial crisis that plunged the world into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Here in America, families’ wealth declined at a rate nearly seven times faster than when the market crashed in 1929.  Millions of homes were foreclosed.  Our deficit soared.  And nine million of our citizens lost their jobs — 9 million hardworking Americans who had met their responsibilities, but were forced to pay for the irresponsibility of others.

In other words, this was not your normal recession.  Throughout history, it has typically taken countries up to 10 years to recover from financial crises of this magnitude.  Today, the economies of many European countries still aren’t growing.  And their unemployment rate averages around 11 percent.

But here in the United States, Americans showed their grit and showed their determination.  We acted fast.  Our economy started growing again six months after I took office and it has continued to grow for the last three years.  (Applause.)

Our businesses have gone back to basics and created over 4 million jobs in the last 27 months — (applause) — more private sector jobs than were created during the entire seven years before this crisis — in a little over two years.  (Applause.)

Manufacturers have started investing in America again — including right here in Ohio.  (Applause.)  And across America, we’ve seen them create almost 500,000 jobs in the last 27 months — the strongest period of manufacturing job growth since 1995.  (Applause.)

And when my opponent and others were arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers and the ingenuity of American companies — and today our auto industry is back on top of the world.  (Applause.)

But let’s be clear:  Not only are we digging out of a hole that is 9 million jobs deep, we’re digging out from an entire decade where 6 million manufacturing jobs left our shores; where costs rose but incomes and wages didn’t; and where the middle class fell further and further behind.

So recovering from the crisis of 2008 has always been the first and most urgent order of business — but it’s not enough.  Our economy won’t be truly healthy until we reverse that much longer and profound erosion of middle-class jobs and middle-class incomes.

So the debate in this election is not about whether we need to grow faster, or whether we need to create more jobs, or whether we need to pay down our debt.  Of course the economy isn’t where it needs to be.  Of course we have a lot more work to do.  Everybody knows that.  The debate in this election is about how we grow faster, and how we create more jobs, and how we pay down our debt.  (Applause.)  That’s the question facing the American voter.  And in this election, you have two very different visions to choose from.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  No, we don’t! (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Obama!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Governor Romney and his allies in Congress believe deeply in the theory that we tried during the last decade — the theory that the best way to grow the economy is from the top down.  So they maintain that if we eliminate most regulations, if we cut taxes by trillions of dollars, if we strip down government to national security and a few other basic functions, then the power of businesses to create jobs and prosperity will be unleashed, and that will automatically benefit us all.

That’s what they believe.  This is their economic plan.  It has been placed before Congress.  Governor Romney has given speeches about it, and it’s on his website.  So if they win the election, their agenda will be simple and straightforward.  They have spelled it out:  They promise to roll back regulations on banks and polluters, on insurance companies and oil companies.  They’ll roll back regulations designed to protect consumers and workers.  They promise to not only keep all of the Bush tax cuts in place, but add another $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of that.

Now, an independent study says that about 70 percent of this new, $5 trillion tax cut would go to folks making over $200,000 a year.  And folks making over a million dollars a year would get an average tax cut of about 25 percent.

Now, this is not my opinion.  This is not political spin.  This is precisely what they have proposed.

Now, your next question may be, how do you spend $5 trillion on a tax cut and still bring down the deficit?  Well, they tell us they’ll start by cutting nearly a trillion dollars from the part of our budget that includes everything from education and job training to medical research and clean energy.

AUDIENCE:  Booo –

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, I want to be very fair here.  I want to be clear.  They haven’t specified exactly where the knife would fall.  But here’s some of what would happen if that cut that they’ve proposed was spread evenly across the budget:  10 million college students would lose an average of $1,000 each in financial aid; 200,000 children would lose the chance to get an early education in the Head Start program.  There would be 1,600 fewer medical research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS; 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students and teachers.

Now, again, they have not specified which of these cuts they choose from.  But if they want to make smaller cuts to areas like science or medical research, then they’d have to cut things like financial aid or education even further.  But either way, the cuts to this part of the budget would be deeper than anything we’ve ever seen in modern times.

Not only does their plan eliminate health insurance for 33 million Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act –

AUDIENCE:  Booo –

THE PRESIDENT:  — according to the independent Kaiser Family Foundation, it would also take away coverage from another 19 million Americans who rely on Medicaid — including millions of nursing home patients, and families who have children with autism and other disabilities.  And they proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program, which will shift more costs to seniors and eventually end the program as we know it.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Even if you make all the cuts that they’ve proposed, the math still doesn’t allow you to pay for a new, $5 trillion tax cut and bring down the deficit at the same time.  So Mr. Romney and his allies have told us we can get the rest of the way there by reforming the tax code and taking away certain tax breaks and deductions that, again, they haven’t specified.  They haven’t named them, but they said we can do it.

But here’s the problem:  The only tax breaks and deductions that get you anywhere close to $5 trillion are those that help middle-class families afford health care and college and retirement and homeownership.  Without those tax benefits, tens of millions of middle-class families will end up paying higher taxes.  Many of you would end up paying higher taxes to pay for this other tax cut.

And keep in mind that all of this is just to pay for their new $5 trillion tax cut.  If you want to close the deficit left by the Bush tax cuts, we’d have to make deeper cuts or raise middle-class taxes even more.

This is not spin.  This is not my opinion.  These are facts.  This is what they’re presenting as their plan.  This is their vision.  There is nothing new — just what Bill Clinton has called the same ideas they’ve tried before, except on steroids.  (Laughter and applause.)

Now, I understand I’ve got a lot of supporters here, but I want to speak to everybody who’s watching who may not be a supporter — may be undecided, or thinking about voting the other way.  If you agree with the approach I just described, if you want to give the policies of the last decade another try, then you should vote for Mr. Romney.

AUDIENCE:  Booo –

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, like I said, I know I’ve got supporters here.   No, no, you should vote for his allies in Congress.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  You should take them at their word, and they will take America down this path.  And Mr. Romney is qualified to deliver on that plan.  (Laughter and applause.)  No, he is.  (Applause.)  I’m giving you an honest presentation of what he’s proposing.

Now, I’m looking forward to the press following up and making sure that you know I’m not exaggerating.  (Applause.)

I believe their approach is wrong.  And I’m not alone.  I have not seen a single independent analysis that says my opponent’s economic plan would actually reduce the deficit.  Not one.  Even analysts who may agree with parts of his economic theory don’t believe that his plan would create more jobs in the short term.  They don’t claim his plan would help folks looking for work right now.

In fact, just the other week, one economist from Moody’s said the following about Mr. Romney’s plan — and I’m quoting here — “On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term.  If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.”

That’s not my spin.  That’s not my opinion.  That’s what independent economic analysis says.

As for the long term, remember that the economic vision of Mr. Romney and his allies in Congress was tested just a few years ago.  We tried this.  Their policies did not grow the economy.  They did not grow the middle class.  They did not reduce our debt.  Why would we think that they would work better this time?  (Applause.)

We can’t afford to jeopardize our future by repeating the mistakes of the past — not now, not when there’s so much at stake.  (Applause.)

I’ve got a different vision for America.  (Applause.)  I believe that you can’t bring down the debt without a strong and growing economy.  And I believe you can’t have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.  (Applause.)

This has to be our North Star — an economy that’s built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class, that provides ladders of opportunity for folks who aren’t yet in the middle class.

You see, we’ll never be able to compete with some countries when it comes to paying workers lower wages or letting companies do more polluting.  That’s a race to the bottom that we should not want to win.  (Applause.)  Because those countries don’t have a strong middle class; they don’t have our standard of living.  (Applause.)

The race I want us to win — the race I know we can win — is a race to the top.  I see an America with the best-educated, best-trained workers in the world; an America with a commitment to research and development that is second to none, especially when it comes to new sources of energy and high-tech manufacturing.  I see a country that offers businesses the fastest, most reliable transportation and communication systems of anywhere on Earth.  (Applause.)

I see a future where we pay down our deficit in a way that is balanced — not by placing the entire burden on the middle class and the poor, but by cutting out programs we can’t afford, and asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share.  (Applause.)

That’s my vision for America:  Education.  Energy.  Innovation.  Infrastructure.  And a tax code focused on American job creation and balanced deficit reduction.  (Applause.)

This is the vision behind the jobs plan I sent Congress back in September — a bill filled with bipartisan ideas that, according to independent economists, would create up to 1 million additional jobs if passed today.

This is the vision behind the deficit plan I sent to Congress back in September — a detailed proposal that would reduce our deficit by $4 trillion through shared sacrifice and shared responsibility.

This is the vision I intend to pursue in my second term as President — (applause) — because I believe if we do these things — if we do these things, more companies will start here, and stay here, and hire here; and more Americans will be able to find jobs that support a middle-class lifestyle.

Understand, despite what you hear from my opponent, this has never been a vision about how government creates jobs or has the answers to all our problems.  Over the last three years, I’ve cut taxes for the typical working family by $3,600.  (Applause.)  I’ve cut taxes for small businesses 18 times.  (Applause.)  I have approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.  And I’m implementing over 500 reforms to fix regulations that were costing folks too much for no reason.

I’ve asked Congress for the authority to reorganize the federal government that was built for the last century — I want to make it work for the 21st century.  (Applause.)  A federal government that is leaner and more efficient, and more responsive to the American people.

I’ve signed a law that cuts spending and reduces our deficit by $2 trillion.  My own deficit plan would strengthen Medicare and Medicaid for the long haul by slowing the growth of health care costs — not shifting them to seniors and vulnerable families.  (Applause.)  And my plan would reduce our yearly domestic spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy in nearly 60 years.

So, no, I don’t believe the government is the answer to all our problems.  I don’t believe every regulation is smart, or that every tax dollar is spent wisely.  I don’t believe that we should be in the business of helping people who refuse to help themselves.  (Applause.)  But I do share the belief of our first Republican President, from my home state — Abraham Lincoln — that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.  (Applause.)

That’s how we built this country — together.  We constructed railroads and highways, the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge.  We did those things together.  We sent my grandfather’s generation to college on the GI Bill — together.  (Applause.)  We instituted a minimum wage and rules that protected people’s bank deposits — together.  (Applause.)

Together, we touched the surface of the moon, unlocked the mystery of the atom, connected the world through our own science and imagination.

We haven’t done these things as Democrats or Republicans.  We’ve done them as Americans.  (Applause.)

As much as we might associate the GI Bill with Franklin Roosevelt, or Medicare with Lyndon Johnson, it was a Republican — Lincoln — who launched the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, land-grant colleges.  It was a Republican — Eisenhower — who launched the Interstate Highway System and a new era of scientific research.  It was Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency; Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security, — and who, by the way, raised taxes to help pay down an exploding deficit.  (Applause.)

Yes, there have been fierce arguments throughout our history between both parties about the exact size and role of government — some honest disagreements.  But in the decades after World War II, there was a general consensus that the market couldn’t solve all of our problems on its own; that we needed certain investments to give hardworking Americans skills they needed to get a good job, and entrepreneurs the platforms they needed to create good jobs; that we needed consumer protections that made American products safe and American markets sound.

In the last century, this consensus — this shared vision  — led to the strongest economic growth and the largest middle class that the world has ever known.  It led to a shared prosperity.

It is this vision that has guided all my economic policies during my first term as President — whether in the design of a health care law that relies on private insurance, or an approach to Wall Street reform that encourages financial innovation but guards against reckless risk-taking.  It’s this vision that Democrats and Republicans used to share that Mr. Romney and the current Republican Congress have rejected — in favor of a “no holds barred,” “government is the enemy,” “market is everything” approach.

And it is this shared vision that I intend to carry forward in this century as President — because it is a vision that has worked for the American middle class and everybody who’s striving to get into the middle class.  (Applause.)

Let me be more specific.  Think about it.  In an age where we know good jobs depend on high skills, now is not the time to scale back our commitment to education.  (Applause.)  Now is the time to move forward and make sure we have the best-educated, best-trained workers in the world.  (Applause.)

My plan for education doesn’t just rely on more money, or more dictates from Washington.  We’re challenging every state and school district to come up with their own innovative plans to raise student achievement.  And they’re doing just that.  I want to give schools more flexibility so that they don’t have to teach to the test, and so they can remove teachers who just aren’t helping our kids learn.  (Applause.)

But, look, if we want our country to be a magnet for middle-class jobs in the 21st century, we also have to invest more in education and training.  I want to recruit an army of new teachers, and pay teachers better — (applause) — and train more of them in areas like math and science.  (Applause.)

I have a plan to give 2 million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges just like this one and learn the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  (Applause.)  I have a plan to make it easier for people to afford a higher education that’s essential in today’s economy.

And if we truly want to make this country a destination for talent and ingenuity from all over the world, we won’t deport hardworking, responsible young immigrants who have grown up here or received advanced degrees here.  (Applause.)  We’ll let them earn the chance to become American citizens so they can grow our economy and start new businesses right here instead of someplace else.  (Applause.)

Now is not the time to go back to a greater reliance on fossil fuels from foreign countries.  Now is the time to invest more in the clean energy that we can make right here in America.  (Applause.)

My plan for energy doesn’t ignore the vast resources we already have in this country.  We’re producing more oil than we have in over a decade.  But if we truly want to gain control of our energy future, we’ve got to recognize that pumping more oil isn’t enough.

We have to encourage the unprecedented boom in American natural gas.  We have to provide safe nuclear energy and the technology to help coal burn cleaner than before.  We have to become the global leader in renewable energy — wind and solar, and the next generation of biofuels, in electric cars and energy-efficient buildings.  (Applause.)

So my plan would end the government subsidies to oil companies that have rarely been more profitable — let’s double down on a clean energy industry that has never been more promising.  (Applause.)

And I want to put in place a new clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation — an approach that would make clean energy the profitable kind of energy for every business in America.

With growing competition from countries like China and India, now is not the time for America to walk away from research and development.  Now is the time to invest even more  — (applause) — so that the great innovations of this century take place in the United States of America.  So that the next Thomas Edison, the next Wright Brothers is happening here, in Ohio, or Michigan, or California.  (Applause.)

My plan to encourage innovation isn’t about throwing money at just any project or new idea.  It’s about supporting the work of our most promising scientists, our most promising researchers and entrepreneurs.

My plan would make the R&D tax credit permanent.  But the private sector can’t do it alone, especially when it comes to basic research.  It’s not always profitable in the short term.  And in the last century, research that we funded together through our tax dollars helped lay the foundation for the Internet and GPS and Google, and the countless companies and jobs that followed.  The private sector came in and created these incredible companies, but we, together, made the initial investment to make it possible.

It’s given rise to miraculous cures that have reduced suffering and saved lives.  This has always been America’s biggest economic advantage — our science and our innovation.  Why would we reverse that commitment right now when it’s never been more important?

At a time when we have so much deferred maintenance on our nation’s infrastructure — schools that are crumbling, roads that are broken, bridges that are buckling — now is not the time to saddle American businesses with crumbling roads and bridges.  Now is the time to rebuild America.  (Applause.)

So my plan would take half the money we’re no longer spending on war — let’s use it to do some nation-building here at home.  Let’s put some folks to work right here at home.  (Applause.)

My plan would get rid of pet projects and government boondoggles and bridges to nowhere.  (Laughter.)  But if we want businesses to come here and to hire here, we have to provide the highways and the runways and the ports and the broadband access, all of which move goods and products and information across the globe.

My plan sets up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans for new construction projects based on two criteria:  how badly are they needed, and how much good will they do for the economy.  (Applause.)

And finally, I think it’s time we took on our fiscal problems in an honest, balanced, responsible way.  Everybody agrees that our deficits and debt are an issue that we’ve got to tackle.  My plan to reform the tax code recognizes that government can’t bring back every job that’s been outsourced or every factory that’s closed its doors.  But we sure can stop giving tax breaks to businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America — in Ohio, in Cleveland, in Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)

And if we want to get the deficit under control — really, not just pretending to during election time — (laughter) — not just saying you really care about it when somebody else is in charge, and then you don’t care where you’re in charge.  (Applause.)  If you want to really do something about it, if you really want to get the deficit under control without sacrificing all the investments that I’ve talked about, our tax code has to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more — (applause) — just like they did when Bill Clinton was President; just like they did when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and a lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

And here’s the good news:  There are plenty of patriotic, very successful Americans who’d be willing to make this contribution again.  (Applause.)

Look, we have no choice about whether we pay down our deficit.  But we do have a choice about how we pay down our deficit.  We do have a choice about what we can do without, and where our priorities lie.

I don’t believe that giving someone like me a $250,000 tax cut is more valuable to our future than hiring transformative teachers, or providing financial aid to the children of a middle-class family.  (Applause.)

I don’t believe that tax cut is more likely to create jobs than providing loans to new entrepreneurs or tax credits to small business owners who hire veterans.  I don’t believe it’s more likely to spur economic growth than investments in clean energy technology and medical research, or in new roads and bridges and runways.

I don’t believe that giving someone like Mr. Romney another huge tax cut is worth ending the guarantee of basic security we’ve always provided the elderly, and the sick, and those who are actively looking for work.  (Applause.)

Those things don’t make our economy weak.  What makes our economy weak is when fewer and fewer people can afford to buy the goods and services our businesses sell.  (Applause.) Businesses don’t have customers if folks are having such a hard time.

What drags us all down is an economy in which there’s an ever-widening gap between a few folks who are doing extraordinarily well and a growing number of people who, no matter how hard they work, can barely make ends meet.  (Applause.)

So, Governor Romney disagrees with my vision.  His allies in Congress disagree with my vision.  Neither of them will endorse any policy that asks the wealthiest Americans to pay even a nickel more in taxes.  It’s the reason we haven’t reached a grand bargain to bring down our deficit — not with my plan, not with the Bowles-Simpson plan, not with the so-called Gang of Six plan.

Despite the fact that taxes are lower than they’ve been in decades, they won’t work with us on any plan that would increase taxes on our wealthiest Americans.  It’s the reason a jobs bill that would put 1 million people back to work has been voted down time and time again.  It’s the biggest source of gridlock in Washington today.

And the only thing that can break the stalemate is you.  (Applause.)  You see, in our democracy, this remarkable system of government, you, the people, have the final say.  (Applause.)

This November is your chance to render a verdict on the debate over how to grow the economy, how to create good jobs, how to pay down our deficit.  Your vote will finally determine the path that we take as a nation — not just tomorrow, but for years to come.  (Applause.)

When you strip everything else away, that’s really what this election is about.  That’s what is at stake right now.  Everything else is just noise.  Everything else is just a distraction.  (Applause.)

From now until then, both sides will spend tons of money on TV ads.  The other side will spend over a billion dollars on ads that tell you the economy is bad, that it’s all my fault — (applause) — that I can’t fix it because I think government is always the answer, or because I didn’t make a lot of money in the private sector and don’t understand it, or because I’m in over my head, or because I think everything and everybody is doing just fine.  (Laughter.)  That’s what the scary voice in the ads will say.  (Laughter.)  That’s what Mr. Romney will say.  That’s what the Republicans in Congress will say.

Well, that may be their plan to win the election, but it’s not a plan to create jobs.  (Applause.)  It’s not a plan to grow the economy.  It’s not a plan to pay down the debt.  And it’s sure not a plan to revive the middle class and secure our future.

I think you deserve better than that.  (Applause.)

At a moment this big — a moment when so many people are still struggling — I think you deserve a real debate about the economic plans we’re proposing.

Governor Romney and the Republicans who run Congress believe that if you simply take away regulations and cut taxes by trillions of dollars, the market will solve all of our problems on its own.  If you agree with that, you should vote for them.  And I promise you they will take us in that direction.

I believe we need a plan for better education and training — (applause) — and for energy independence, and for new research and innovation; for rebuilding our infrastructure; for a tax code that creates jobs in America and pays down our debt in a way that’s balanced.  I have that plan.  They don’t.  (Applause.)

And if you agree with me — if you believe this economy grows best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules  — then I ask you to stand with me for a second term as President.  (Applause.)

In fact, I’ll take it a step further.  I ask, you vote for anyone else — whether they’re Democrats, independents, or Republicans — who share your view about how America should grow.  (Applause.)

I will work with anyone of any party who believes that we’re in this together — who believes that we rise or fall as one nation and as one people.  (Applause.)  Because I’m convinced that there are actually a lot of Republicans out there who may not agree with every one of my policies, but who still believe in a balanced, responsible approach to economic growth, and who remember the lessons of our history, and who don’t like the direction their leaders are taking them.  (Applause.)

And let me leave you with one last thought.  As you consider your choice in November — (applause) — don’t let anybody tell you that the challenges we face right now are beyond our ability to solve.

It’s hard not to get cynical when times are tough.  And I’m reminded every day of just how tough things are for too many Americans.  Every day I hear from folks who are out of work or have lost their home.  Across this country, I meet people who are struggling to pay their bills, or older workers worried about retirement, or young people who are underemployed and burdened with debt.  I hear their voices when I wake up in the morning, and those voices ring in my head when I lay down to sleep.  And in those voices, I hear the echo of my own family’s struggles as I was growing up, and Michelle’s family’s struggles when she was growing up, and the fears and the dashed hopes that our parents and grandparents had to confront.

But you know what, in those voices I also hear a stubborn hope, and a fierce pride, and a determination to overcome whatever challenges we face.  (Applause.)  And in you, the American people, I’m reminded of all the things that tilt the future in our favor.

We remain the wealthiest nation on Earth.  We have the best workers and entrepreneurs, the best scientists and researchers, the best colleges and universities.  We are a young country with the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity drawn from every corner of the globe.  So, yes, reforming our schools, rebuilding our infrastructure will take time.  Yes, paying down our debt will require some tough choices and shared sacrifice.  But it can be done.  And we’ll be stronger for it.  (Applause.)

And what’s lacking is not the capacity to meet our challenges.  What is lacking is our politics.  And that’s something entirely within your power to solve.  So this November, you can remind the world how a strong economy is built — not from the top down, but from a growing, thriving middle class.  (Applause.)

This November, you can remind the world how it is that we’ve traveled this far as a country — not by telling everybody to fend for themselves, but by coming together as one American family, all of us pitching in, all of us pulling our own weight.  (Applause.)

This November, you can provide a mandate for the change we need right now.  You can move this nation forward.  And you can remind the world once again why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
2:55 P.M. EDT

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY’S ECONOMY SPEECH IN OHIO

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at Seilkop Industries in Cincinnati, Ohio. | AP Photo
Romney takes a new, and sunnier, tack in Ohio. | AP Photo

  • Mitt Romney: President Obama driving U.S. ‘forward over a cliff’: As Mitt Romney campaigned in Ohio with President Barack Obama just 200 miles away, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican nominee framed November’s presidential election as a choice between economic prosperity or certain failure…. – Politico, 6-14-12
  • Romney Assails Obama for Favoring Words Over Action: Speaking at a family-owned factory in Cincinnati, Mitt Romney tried to take the steam out of President Obama’s economic speech…. – NYT, 6-14-12
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  • Romney delivers prebuttal to Obama speech: Ten minutes early and in a tie with rolled up shirt sleeves, Mitt Romney turned his speech in Cincinnati into a full-throated prebuttal of President Obama’s economic address as the presidential contenders took their … USA Today, 6-14-12
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Mitt Romney: “President Obama Hasn’t Kept His Promise To Turn Around The Economy”

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 6-14-12

“Now when he was recently elected he went on ‘The Today Show’ and he was asked about what he’d do, how he’d measure his success, and he said: ‘Look, if I can’t turn the economy around in three years, I will be looking at a one-term proposition.’ And he’s right; he is looking at a one-term proposition. He’s going to be saying today that he wants four more years. He may have forgotten he talked about a one-term proposition if he couldn’t get the economy turned around in three years, but we’re going to hold him to his word.” – Mitt Romney

Remarks

Cincinnati, OH

June 14, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney Discuss President Obama’s Failure To Keep His Promise And Turn The Economy Around

MITT ROMNEY: “Now, you may have heard that President Obama is on the other side of the state.  And he’s going to be delivering a speech on the economy. He’s doing that because he hasn’t delivered a recovery for the economy. And he’s going to be a person of eloquence as he describes his plans for making the economy better, but don’t forget, he’s been President for 3 1/2 years. And talk is cheap, action speaks very loud. And if you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio, look around the country, and you’ll see that a lot of people are hurting. A lot of people have had some real tough times and the policies the President put in place did not make America create more jobs.  As a matter of fact, he made it harder for America to create more jobs. Now when he was recently elected he went on ‘The Today Show’ and he was asked about what he’d do, how he’d measure his success, and he said: ‘Look, if I can’t turn the economy around in three years, I’ll be looking at a one-term proposition.’ And he’s right; he is looking at a one-term proposition. He’s going to be saying today that he wants four more years. He may have forgotten he talked about a one-term proposition if he couldn’t get the economy turned around in three years, but we’re going to hold him to his word. Now I know that he will have all sorts of excuses and he’ll have all sorts of ideas he’ll describe about how he will make things better, but what he says and what he does are not always the exact same thing. And so if people want to know how his economic policies have worked and how they performed, why they can talk to their neighbor and ask whether things are better.  They can talk to the 50 percent of college kids graduating from college this year that can’t find a job. They can talk to the people who represent the unemployed. The President said that if we let him borrow $787 billion for a stimulus, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent, nationally. We have now gone 40 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. But then he’ll say, well, but the things he’s been doing have been good and helped to create growth and put people back to work. Oh, really? Go check on that.”

President Obama Hasn’t Kept His Promise To Turn Around The Economy

Source: Mitt Romney, 6-14-12

Now, you may have heard that President Obama is on the other side of the state.  And he’s going to be delivering a speech on the economy.

He’s doing that because he hasn’t delivered a recovery for the economy. And he’s going to be a person of eloquence as he describes his plans for making the economy better, but don’t forget, he’s been President for 3 1/2 years. And talk is cheap, action speaks very loud. And if you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio, look around the country, and you’ll see that a lot of people are hurting.

A lot of people have had some real tough times and the policies the President put in place did not make America create more jobs.  As a matter of fact, he made it harder for America to create more jobs. Now when he was recently elected he went on ‘The Today Show’ and he was asked about what he’d do, how he’d measure his success, and he said: ‘Look, if I can’t turn the economy around in three years, I’ll be looking at a one-term proposition.’ And he’s right; he is looking at a one-term proposition. He’s going to be saying today that he wants four more years.

He may have forgotten he talked about a one-term proposition if he couldn’t get the economy turned around in three years, but we’re going to hold him to his word. Now I know that he will have all sorts of excuses and he’ll have all sorts of ideas he’ll describe about how he will make things better, but what he says and what he does are not always the exact same thing. And so if people want to know how his economic policies have worked and how they performed, why they can talk to their neighbor and ask whether things are better.

They can talk to the 50 percent of college kids graduating from college this year that can’t find a job.

They can talk to the people who represent the unemployed. The President said that if we let him borrow $787 billion for a stimulus, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent, nationally. We have now gone 40 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. But then he’ll say, well, but the things he’s been doing have been good and helped to create growth and put people back to work. Oh, really? Go check on that.

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