Campaign Recap August 8, 2011: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Leads Prayer Rally Prior to Decision to Run for the Republican Presidential Nomination

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

Texas Gov. Rick Perry prays at the rally.

STATS & POLLS

Republican Presidential Candidates: Primaries 2012 — NYT

Democratic Nominee 2012: President Barack Obama’s Official Reelection Campaign Website — BarackObama.com

Republican National Committee

Democratic National Committee

  • Gallup Poll: Election 2012 — Track GOP Contender’s Images Week by Week — Generic Ballot Gallup
  • Gallup: Presidential Job Approval Gallup
  • Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval: Each result is based on a three-day rolling average Gallup
  • Poll Watch: Polls and Related Articles From The New York Times NYT
  • Romney’s shaky front-runner perch: In the coming week, a debate and a straw poll in Iowa could sort out the still-unsettled GOP field. Mitt Romney has staked a claim as the Republican Party’s front-runner for 2012, but key events in Iowa this week could shake up his status…. – LAT, 8-8-11

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Mitt Romney: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts mittromney.com

Rick Perry: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts rickperry.org

Ron Paul: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ronpaul2012.com

Herman Cain: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts hermancain.com

Michele Bachmann: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts michelebachmann.com

Newt Gingrich: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts newt.org

Jon Huntsman: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts jon2012.com

Tim Pawlenty: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts timpawlenty.com

Rick Santorum: Speeches & News — Full Text & Transcripts ricksantorum.com

Lord, you are the source of every good thing. You are our only hope, and we stand before you today in awe of your power and in gratitude for your blessings and humility for our sins. Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government, and as a nation we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that we cry out for your forgiveness.” — Rick Perry, the Republican governor of Texas

“Any bobblehead can stand up here and give you the words like Barack Obama did — dupe the Democrats in Iowa to catapult him on his way to the presidency — but we don’t need any more speeches. What we need is results….
The proof will be in the pudding. And I think you’ll see our campaign moving up from back of the pack to closer to front of the pack.” — Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, on “Fox News Sunday”

“I call on the president to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.” — Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota

“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership.” — Former Massachusetts governor and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney

“What we should be talking about is downgrading Barack Obama from president of the United States. We need to have a president who understands what it means to put our full faith and credit in the American people.” — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, campaigning Saturday in Grinnell, Iowa

“This president has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through … his inability to control government spending.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., called for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s ouster, told a Fox News interviewer

“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership on the economy. Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating. The only way things will get better is with new leadership in the White House.” — Mitt Romney

“Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked, and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread.” — Jon Huntsman

IN FOCUS: TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY HELMS HOUSTON DAY OF PRAYER RALLY

“Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government and, as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us.” – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible White House candidate, speaking to 30,000 people at a prayer rally.

“Lord, you are the source of every good thing. You are our only hope and we stand before you today in awe of your power and in gratitude for your blessings, and humility for our sins. Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government, and as a nation we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us and for that we cry out for your forgiveness.” — Gov. Rick Perry of Texas

    • Perry Leads Prayer Rally for ‘Nation in Crisis’: Standing on a stage surrounded by thousands of fellow Christians on Saturday morning, Gov. Rick Perry called on Jesus to bless and guide the nation’s military and political leaders and “those who cannot see the light in the midst of all the darkness.”
      “Lord, you are the source of every good thing,” Mr. Perry said, as he bowed his head, closed his eyes and leaned into a microphone at Reliant Stadium here. “You are our only hope, and we stand before you today in awe of your power and in gratitude for your blessings, and humility for our sins. Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government, and as a nation we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that we cry out for your forgiveness.”
      In a 13-minute address, Mr. Perry read several passages from the Bible during a prayer rally that he sponsored here. Thousands of people stood or kneeled in the aisles or on the concrete floor in front of the stage, some wiping away tears and some shouting, “Amen!”
      Mr. Perry, a lifelong Methodist who regularly attends an evangelical megachurch near his home in West Austin, has been speaking and preaching in sanctuaries throughout Texas since he was state agricultural commissioner in the 1990s. Organizers for the event, called The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis, estimated that more than 30,000 people were at Reliant Stadium when Mr. Perry spoke. The seating capacity is 71,500, and tens of thousands of seats in the upper decks were empty.
      The prayer rally was seen as one of the biggest tests of Mr. Perry’s political career, coming as he nears a decision on whether he will seek the Republican nomination for president… – NYT, 8-6-11

“We pray for our nation’s leaders, Lord, for parents, for pastors, for the generals, for governors, that you would inspire them in these difficult times.” — Gov. Rick Perry

    • Perry to evangelicals: I’m one of you: Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent a strong message to the nation’s evangelicals Saturday: he is a member of the important constituency for Republicans that he soon may call upon to help him secure the GOP presidential nomination.
      The state’s longest serving governor hosted what he called a national day of prayer, an event at Reliant Stadium that drew roughly 30,000 people and that was broadcast on cable Christian channels and the Internet nationwide, including in at least 1,000 churches…. – AP, 8-7-11
    • “He has the best record in the field on jobs, and doesn’t have to get off message beefing up bona fides on social issues, since they are firmly established.” — Mary Matalin, a former adviser during both Bush presidencies.
    • Prayer Rally Draws Thousands in Houston: Standing on a stage surrounded by more than 30,000 Christians on Saturday morning, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas called on Jesus Christ to bless and guide the nation’s military and political leaders and “those who cannot see the light in the midst of all the darkness,” in a brief but rousing sermon-style spiritual address at the controversial prayer rally that he sponsored at the same time that he is weighing whether to run for president…. – NYT, 8-6-11

A Rick Perry Primer: Everything You Need to Know About the Texas Governor ABC News, 8-6-11

  • Texas Gov. Perry’s day of prayer: Thousands gathered in Houston for a day of prayer at a Christian-revival event organized by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), to pray for an America he described as “in crisis.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry bows his head in prayer at “The Response,” a call to prayer … – WaPo, 8-6-11
  • Gov. Rick Perry leads Christians in prayer at Texas rally: A crowd of more than 30000 cheers the likely Republican presidential candidate; protesters decry the anti-gay philosophy of the sponsoring group…. – LAT, 8-6-11
  • Rick Perrys presidential pulpit: Rick Perry has yet to announce a presidential run, but he’s made clear that his Christian faith will define it if he does…. – Politico, 8-6-11
  • Perry mixes political script with Scripture: Turning a Houston football stadium into a Texas-sized mega-church, Gov. Rick Perry took a political leap of faith just as he is contemplating a run for president. The potential GOP contender delivered a script laced with Scripture… – CNN, 8-6-11

THE HEADLINES….

    • Voters Want a Change Politicians Can’t Deliver: The bad news for President Obama and incumbents in both parties is that voters expect a return to the postwar economic conditions that cannot be repeated…. – NYT, 8-8-11
    • Republicans Jostle for Position as Important Week Begins in Iowa: Candidates are increasingly turning on one another as they try to overcome their own weaknesses and capitalize on President Obama’s vulnerabilities…. – NYT, 8-7-11

“He’s hiding on these issues. He’s ducking on these issues. He should be leading. We can’t find him. … We shouldn’t have to play ‘come out, come out, wherever you are’ with this president.” — Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” while campaigning in Iowa

“He has the potential to appeal to both the economic conservatives and social conservatives. The economic conservatives are somewhat up for grabs. I really think it comes down to what does Perry do. I think there is the potential for him to change the race.” — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who is unaligned in the race, said of Perry

“Perry can come here and legitimately go after the economic message and, if he does, Romney’s in trouble. Perry can build a sense of momentum, starting in Iowa, that he’s the jobs candidate. He’s got a perfect opportunity.” — Iowa Republican Doug Gross, who was a top Romney supporter in 2008 but is unaligned this year

“If he does run, his message will be about the economy, jobs and how messed up Washington is. And he will talk specifically about his philosophy of governance and how to allow the private sector to create jobs and what Texas has done.” — David Carney, Gov. Rick Perry’s senior political consultant

    • Iowa focal point for potential shifts in GOP race: A nationally televised debate, a test vote in Iowa and a candidacy by Texas Gov. Rick Perry — should he decide to seek the GOP nomination as many insiders, activists and party leaders expect — could shake up the Republican presidential race in the coming days.
      The entire field of Republican candidates planned to participate in Thursday’s debate in Iowa — the first that will include former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman — and most were staying in the leadoff caucus state for a straw poll two days later when GOP activists will indicate their presidential preferences for the first time. Perry planned to be elsewhere, but his likely candidacy was looming large in Iowa and across the nation…. – AP, 8-7-11
    • Obama Team Now Focuses on Tough Re-Election Campaign: Despite the advantages of incumbency and the absence so far of a strong opponent, President Obama’s re-election is far from assured, analysts say…. – NYT, 8-7-11
    • A First Lady Who Has Avoided the Spotlight Now Faces an Even Bigger One: Anita Perry is not only an admirable first lady of Texas, associates say, but has the characteristics to shine in a larger role, should her husband’s possible presidential run cast her in one…. – NYT, 8-5-11
    • Governor Perry Pushes Adult Stem Cell Therapy: The governor, a potential Republican presidential candidate, underwent the therapy for his back, and is now helping lay the groundwork for its commercialization…. – NYT, 8-5-11
    • G.O.P. Looks to Rebuild Bush Fund-Raising Machine: No Republican presidential candidate has yet shown the broad appeal that drew the party’s donor establishment to George W. Bush’s first run…. – NYT, 8-4-11
    • Debt Talk Over, Republicans Head to Iowa: For the 2012 presidential candidates, the fun gets under way in earnest this weekend…. – NYT, 8-4-11
    • Obama, on Verge of 50, Returns to Fund-Raising: President Obama attended a $35,800 a plate fund-raiser in Chicago on the eve of his birthday, with Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock in attendance…. – NYT, 8-4-11
    • Huntsman Steps Up Critiques of Rivals: Once declining to attack his rivals, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. criticized both President Obama and Mitt Romney for their handling of the debt ceiling fight as he toured New Hampshire…. – NYT, 8-3-11
    • Republicans Seeking Election Remain Unsure About Embracing Tea Party: Despite the success of Tea Party lawmakers in the debt debate, Republican candidates in 2012 are still unsure about moving too far from the center…. – NYT, 8-3-11
    • Obama hits campaign trail with Chicago fundraisers: Trying to make up for lost time, President Barack Obama plunged back into his re-election campaign Wednesday, urging supporters not to be discouraged by the frustrating debt negotiations that consumed Washington and kept him from raising money for his 2012 bid… – AP, 8-3-11

“We’re going to raise significantly less in the third quarter than we did in the second quarter. We will not be able to replace all of these events just because of his busy schedule. We always knew that he had his job and we had to do this around his schedule, and the truth is we just have to deal with canceling a month’s worth of events.” — Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager

    • Obama returns to Chicago to resume fundraising: Trying to make up lost time, President Barack Obama plunged back into the search for money for his re-election campaign Wednesday with a coast-to-coast series of parties marking his 50th birthday after he was forced to cancel fundraisers because of the debt-ceiling crisis.
      Lowering expectations, Obama’s campaign said it would raise tens of millions of dollars less this summer than it did last spring because it had to scrap 10 fundraisers headlined by Obama and others in California, New York and elsewhere and now faces a sluggish time of the year to raise campaign cash…. – AP, 8-3-11
    • Texas Gov. Perry’s day of prayer shadows 2012 bid: “”One thing Republicans are going to demand this election is a candidate who can beat Barack Obama,” said Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist who has worked for Perry opponents but is now unaligned. “The election is all about him. … – AP, 8-3-11
    • 3 MSNBC hosts predict winner of presidential race: Lawrence O’Donnell, host of “The Last Word,” flatly predicted the re-election of President Barack Obama. Rachel Maddow also named Obama, attributing her pick to a thus-far weak Republican field. But “Hardball” host Chris Matthews waffled … – AP, 8-2-11

“While this framework is not my preferred outcome, it is a positive step toward cutting our nation’s crippling debt. Because the legislation promises cuts commensurate with the debt-ceiling increase, forces a vote on a much-needed federal balanced budget amendment and provides the only avenue to avoid default, I encourage members of Congress to vote for this legislation.” — Jon Huntsman

  • Conservatives warn 2012 field on debt deal: Conservatives are warning of lasting political consequences as the Republican presidential field offers conflicting positions on the debt-ceiling compromise…. – AP, 8-2-11
  • Among G.O.P. Hopefuls, Only Huntsman Supports Budget Deal: Jon M. Huntsman Jr. stood alone among the candidates in not embracing Tea Party sentiment…. – NYT, 8-2-11
  • Romney opposes debt deal: Mitt Romney said Monday he opposes the compromise to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, becoming the second Republican presidential contender to oppose a deal backed by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders in both parties. … The former Massachusetts governor says the compromise, backed by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders in both parties, opens the door to higher taxes and defense cuts. Romney opposes anything other than the House Republican “cut, cap& balance”…. – AP, 8-1-11
  • Gay marriage: awkward issue for some GOP hopefuls: Obama, though still not ready to endorse gay marriage, says he’s “evolving” on the issue and is supporting a bill that would extend federal recognition to same-sex couples who marry in the six states that allow it…. – AP, 8-1-11
  • Herman Cain wins straw poll of conservatives in Denver: Cain spoke to the Western Conservative Summit moments before the poll Sunday and drew the crowd to its feet with his life story and biting criticisms of President Barack Obama. With 508 people voting, 48 percent chose Cain as their favored presidential candidate… – AP, 7-31-11
  • Dem group raises $5M to counter Republican ads: An outside group founded this spring by two former Obama White House advisers has raked in millions in donations since April, relying in part on top-flight fundraisers and labor unions to counter GOP-leaning ads critical of the president and congressional Democrats…. – AP, 7-31-11
  • Niceness aside, Huntsman finds fault with rivals: But now, as Huntsman struggles against better-known opponents, he is both subtly and directly criticizing GOP front-runner Mitt Romney as well as the Democrat who named him US ambassador to China just a few years ago, President Barack Obama. … – AP, 7-31-11
  • Perry backs a constitutional limit on marriage: Perry said the stimulus and job creation efforts of President Barack Obama haven’t worked. “I think we poured about $4 trillion down that rat hole and government has not created a job,” he said…. – AP, 7-31-11

CAMPAIGN 2012: ANALYSTS &S HISTORIANS COMMENTS

  • Politico Arena: Daily Debate with Policymakers, Opinionshapers & Academics Politico
  • Larry Sabato: Predictions Grow of 2012 Obama Defeat: The long thread of bad economic reports, unemployment growth, and ineffective government spending is undermining President Obama’s efforts to build a path to re-election, according to political analysts.
    “If the economy doesn’t pick up soon, Obama’s once-bright prospects for re-election could be history, along with his White House tenure—assuming, of course, Republicans nominate a mainstream candidate that can appeal to swing voters and appears to be a credible possible occupant of the Oval Office,” said the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato. Said a former Reagan aide, “when it rains, it pours. It is tremendously hard to get your positives up when they have been pounded into the toilet. And it takes a very long time, something he doesn’t have.”
    “If a challenge to President Obama arises at all, we would expect it to be minor. But it is difficult to say precisely how angry liberals are at what they regard as a ‘cave-in’ to the Republicans on the debt deal—after a similar Republican-leaning agreement on the Bush tax cuts last December. On the one hand, the left might fear inadvertently helping the rising Tea Party, and once again give Obama the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, Sanders’ view might prevail, reminding Obama that the left has somewhere else to go, at least for the nomination contest,” Sabato wrote in his weekly column…. – US News, 8-4-11
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Full Text US Economy in Crisis August 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Remarks to the Nation on S&P’s (Standard & Poor’s) Downgrade of the US Credit Rating from AAA to AA+ & Repercussions on the Economy

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 8/8/11

QUOTES

Remarks by the President

State Dining Room

1:52 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  On Friday, we learned that the United States received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies — not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, they doubted our political system’s ability to act.  The markets, on the other hand, continue to believe our credit status is AAA.  In fact, Warren Buffett, who knows a thing or two about good investments, said, “If there were a quadruple-A rating, I’d give the United States that.”  I, and most of the world’s investors, agree.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem.  The fact is, we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction.  That was true last week.  That was true last year.  That was true the day I took office.  And we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in Washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least.  We knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling — a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip — could do enormous damage to our economy and the world’s.  That threat, coming after a string of economic disruptions in Europe, Japan and the Middle East, has now roiled the markets and dampened consumer confidence and slowed the pace of recovery.

So all of this is a legitimate source of concern.  But here’s the good news:  Our problems are eminently solvable.*  And we know what we have to do to solve them.  With respect to debt, our problem is not confidence in our credit — the markets continue to reaffirm our credit as among the world’s safest.  Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term.

Last week, we reached an agreement that will make historic cuts to defense and domestic spending.  But there’s not much further we can cut in either of those categories.  What we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps:  tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.

Making these reforms doesn’t require any radical steps.  What it does require is common sense and compromise.  There are plenty of good ideas about how to achieve long-term deficit reduction that doesn’t hamper economic growth right now.  Republicans and Democrats on the bipartisan fiscal commission that I set up put forth good proposals.  Republicans and Democrats in the Senate’s Gang of Six came up with some good proposals.  John Boehner and I came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing on a grand bargain.

So it’s not a lack of plans or policies that’s the problem here.  It’s a lack of political will in Washington.  It’s the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what’s best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology.  And that’s what we need to change.

I realize that after what we just went through, there’s some skepticism that Republicans and Democrats on the so-called super committee, this joint committee that’s been set up, will be able to reach a compromise, but my hope is that Friday’s news will give us a renewed sense of urgency.  I intend to present my own recommendations over the coming weeks on how we should proceed.  And that committee will have this administration’s full cooperation.  And I assure you, we will stay on it until we get the job done.

Of course, as worrisome as the issues of debt and deficits may be, the most immediate concern of most Americans, and of concern to the marketplace as well, is the issue of jobs and the slow pace of recovery coming out of the worst recession in our lifetimes.

And the good news here is that by coming together to deal with the long-term debt challenge, we would have more room to implement key proposals that can get the economy to grow faster.  Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year.

We should continue to make sure that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to.  That will also put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.

In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.  This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.

We should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, so that thousands of construction workers who’ve been without a job for the last few years can get a paycheck again.  That will also help to spur economic growth.

These aren’t Democratic proposals.  These aren’t big government proposals.  These are all ideas that traditionally Republicans have agreed to, have agreed to countless times in the past.  There’s no reason we shouldn’t act on them now.  None.

I know we’re going through a tough time right now.  We’ve been going through a tough time for the last two and a half years.  And I know a lot of people are worried about the future.  But here’s what I also know:  There will always be economic factors that we can’t control –- earthquakes, spikes in oil prices, slowdowns in other parts of the world.  But how we respond to those tests — that’s entirely up to us.

Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America.  No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a AAA country.  For all of the challenges we face, we continue to have the best universities, some of the most productive workers, the most innovative companies, the most adventurous entrepreneurs on Earth.  What sets us apart is that we’ve always not just had the capacity, but also the will to act — the determination to shape our future; the willingness in our democracy to work out our differences in a sensible way and to move forward, not just for this generation but for the next generation.

And we’re going to need to summon that spirit today.  The American people have been through so much over the last few years, dealing with the worst recession, the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s, and they’ve done it with grace.  And they’re working so hard to raise their families, and all they ask is that we work just as hard, here in this town, to make their lives a little easier.  That’s not too much to ask.  And ultimately, the reason I am so hopeful about our future — the reason I have faith in these United States of America — is because of the American people.  It’s because of their perseverance, and their courage, and their willingness to shoulder the burdens we face -– together, as one nation.

One last thing.  There is no one who embodies the qualities I mentioned more than the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.  And this weekend, we lost 30 of them when their helicopter crashed during a mission in Afghanistan.  And their loss is a stark reminder of the risks that our men and women in uniform take every single day on behalf of their county.  Day after day, night after night, they carry out missions like this in the face of enemy fire and grave danger.  And in this mission –- as in so many others -– they were also joined by Afghan troops, seven of whom lost their lives as well.

So I’ve spoken to our generals in the field, as well as President Karzai.  And I know that our troops will continue the hard work of transitioning to a stronger Afghan government and ensuring that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists.  We will press on.  And we will succeed.

But now is also a time to reflect on those we lost, and the sacrifices of all who serve, as well as their families.  These men and women put their lives on the line for the values that bind us together as a nation.  They come from different places, and their backgrounds and beliefs reflect the rich diversity of America.

But no matter what differences they might have as individuals, they serve this nation as a team.  They meet their responsibilities together.  And some of them — like the 30 Americans who were lost this weekend –- give their lives for their country.  Our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an America that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose.

Thank you very much.

END  2:03 P.M. EDT

 

President Obama on Common Sense Steps to Grow the Economy

Souce: WH, 8-8-11
Download Video: mp4 (100MB) | mp3 (10MB)

This afternoon, while speaking to the press from the State Dining Room, President Obama addressed the news from Friday that the United States received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies:

The fact is, we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction.  That was true last week.  That was true last year.  That was true the day I took office.  And we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in Washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least.  We knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling — a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip — could do enormous damage to our economy and the world’s.  That threat, coming after a string of economic disruptions in Europe, Japan and the Middle East, has now roiled the markets and dampened consumer confidence and slowed the pace of recovery.

The President discussed the need to tackle our deficits over the long term through tax reform that asks those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare. Though the issues of debt and deficits have dominated much of the recent conversation in Washington, the most immediate concern of most Americans is job creation and growing our economy. That is why President Obama laid out some common sense steps that can be taken right away to spur economic growth such as extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance:

Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year.

We should continue to make sure that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to.  That will also put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.

In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.  This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.

President Obama Delivers a Statement to the Press

President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Despite the economic hardship and challenges we face as a nation, the President is hopeful about our future:

No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a AAA country.  For all of the challenges we face, we continue to have the best universities, some of the most productive workers, the most innovative companies, the most adventurous entrepreneurs on Earth.  What sets us apart is that we’ve always not just had the capacity, but also the will to act — the determination to shape our future; the willingness in our democracy to work out our differences in a sensible way and to move forward, not just for this generation but for the next generation.

As the President said, there is no one who embodies these qualities of excellence more than our men and women in uniform. The President reflected on the 30 Americans who were lost in Afghanistan this weekend:

[N]ow is also a time to reflect on those we lost, and the sacrifices of all who serve, as well as their families.  These men and women put their lives on the line for the values that bind us together as a nation.  They come from different places, and their backgrounds and beliefs reflect the rich diversity of America.

But no matter what differences they might have as individuals, they serve this nation as a team.  They meet their responsibilities together.  And some of them — like the 30 Americans who were lost this weekend –- give their lives for their country.  Our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an America that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose.

President Obama: Our Problems Are Eminently Solvable

Source: WH, 8-8-11

The President today outlined a series of steps Congress can take to quickly add momentum to our nation’s economic growth. Click on the links below to find out more about how each of these proposals can help propel our economy forward:

  • Extend the payroll tax cut so that middle class families have more money in their paychecks next year.  If you’ve got more money in your paycheck, you’re more likely to spend it, and that means businesses of all sizes will have more customers.  They’ll be in a better position to hire.

We also need to make sure that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs to support their families are not denied needed unemployment benefits.

If Congress fails to extend the payroll tax and unemployment insurance it could mean one million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.

  • Pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. There are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding.  We can connect the two by helping private companies rebuild our roads and bridges and railways.
  • Pass the patent reform bill to give our entrepreneurs the chance to get their job-creating ideas to market faster by streamlining the patent process.
  • Pass the trade agreements that will help businesses sell more American-made goods and services to Asia and South America, supporting tens of thousands of jobs here at home.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Fact Sheet
South Korea Free Trade Agreement
Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Panama Free Trade Agreement

Campaign Buzz 2012 August 8, 2011: Texas Gov Rick Perry Plans to Make His Intentions for Running as a Republican Presidential Candidate Clear on Saturday

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 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.

 

CAMPAIGN 2012

Gov.  Rick Perry of Texas, who hosted a prayer rally in Houston Saturday, is expected to make his intentions for the 2012 presidential campaign clear this weekend.

Erika Rich/The Daily Texan, via Associated PressGov.  Rick Perry of Texas, who hosted a prayer rally in Houston on Saturday, plans an announcement on his 2012 presidential ambitions this weekend.

Rick Perry to Make Clear That He Intends to Run for President: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is preparing to make clear his intentions to join the Republican presidential race on Saturday, two associates said, by visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire on the same day that several of his potential rivals are taking part in the Iowa Straw Poll.
Mr. Perry, who has been inching closer to declaring his candidacy for weeks, is expected to stop short of making a formal announcement. But appearing before Republican crowds in the two early-voting states was intended to clear up any lingering questions about his plans…. – NYT, 8-8-11

“With President Obama’s dismal economic record and Texas’ success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run for The White House…. Stay tuned.” — Mark Miner, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry, who declined to elaborate on the timing of any announcement

“There is still a thirst for another voice to come in. They are looking for the kind of leadership he has shown in Texas, while the country has gone the other direction.” — Craig Schoenfeld, an Iowa Republican who is leading a group here called Americans for Perry, which has been signing up supporters for the governor.

  • Perry Signals Intent to Enter Race, Sending a Jolt to GOP Candidates: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign on Monday by signaling that he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the same day his rivals are battling for survival in the Iowa Straw Poll…. — NYT, 8-8-11
  • Rick Perry to make 2012 intentions clear Saturday: Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he’s running for president, POLITICO has learned.
    According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
    It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll…. – Politico, 8-8-11
  • Rick Perry to affirm plans for presidential bid: Texas’ GOP governor will probably signal his intentions Saturday in South Carolina before heading to a party in New Hampshire, another primary state. His plans will coincide with Iowa’s straw poll…. – LAT, 8-8-11Perry expected to reveal White House plans Saturday: While a host of 2012 contenders slug it out in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to inch closer to a presidential run in another critical primary state. Perry expected to use his speech at the 2011 Red State Gathering in Charleston, SC to make it clear whether or not he will run for president, according to a report in Politico this afternoon. … – USA Today, 8-8-11
  • Busy schedule is clear sign of Perry’s political intentions, aides say: Gov. Rick Perry appears to be bounding toward a full-scale plunge into the 2012 presidential race with visits to two early battleground states later this week, where he is likely to tout Texas’ robust economic growth … – Fort Worth Star Telegram, 8-8-11
  • Perry prepares to launch campaign he promised wouldn’t happen: Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is now upon us. He’s going to the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, and by the end of the day, it will be more obvious than ever that he will seek the presidency. … – Austin American-Statesman, 8-8-11
  • Politico: Perry to make clear hes running for president in S.C.: Gov. Rick Perry plans to “make clear” that he’s in the presidential race Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, when he’s due to give a long-scheduled speech to the RedState conference, Politico is reporting. Perry’s office earlier confirmed… – Houston Chronicle, 8-8-11
  • As Rick Perry Nears 2012 Campaign, His Top Adviser Plots A ‘New Playbook’ Strategy: A top adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cagey about reports that Perry will make his intentions to run for president clear at a Saturday conference in South Carolina, but an organizer of the event said he expects an announcement … – Huffington Post
  • Santorum launches pre-emptive attack against Perry: With news trickling out Monday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is poised to join the Republican presidential field, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum isn’t wasting any time attacking his soon-to-be rival. … – CNN, 8-8-11

Featured Historians Julian E. Zelizer: Where are the Democrats’ ideas?

FEATURED HISTORIANS

Julian E. Zelizer: Where are the Democrats’ ideas?

tzleft.julian.zelizer.jroemer.jpg
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lately, the silence of liberalism has been striking, says Julian E. Zelizer
  • During the debate over the debt ceiling, Republicans hammered home their point, he says
  • Yet the Democratic response was mostly half-hearted, he says
  • Zelizer: Unless Democrats put forth ideas of their own, they will suffer at the ballot box

Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” (Times Books) and editor of a book assessing former President George W. Bush’s administration, published by Princeton University Press.

When Sen. Ted Kennedy died in August 2009, many Democrats wondered who would replace him as the voice of modern liberalism. With a Democratic president who was then fighting for an ambitious health care program, many felt Barack Obama would be that voice.

But over the past few months Obama has not filled this role, as became clear during the debate over the debt ceiling. Other than a handful of party officials, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the silence of liberalism has been striking.

Since Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in 2010, Democrats have been acting like a football team that starts the game so focused on not allowing the other team to score that they themselves don’t have much of a plan for how to score.

One factor that allowed the GOP to rebound from the devastating loss it faced in 2008 was its ability to come together around a handful of ideas that animated supporters….

Unless Democrats start to put forward some ideas of their own, they will suffer at the ballot box. In the end, most Americans want something to vote for, and candidates they can believe in.

Candidate Obama realized this in 2008 and used it to defeat Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primaries. As president, Obama has acted very differently and risks intensifying the ideological vacuum that has caused so many problems for his party.

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