Full Text October 15, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address at a GM Plant in Detroit, Michigan Highlights the Bipartisan Trades Bill Passed by Congress



From a GM plant in Detroit, President Obama highlights landmark trade agreements which will support American jobs, level the playing field for American workers and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 10/14/11

Weekly Address: “Made in America”

Source: WH, 10-15-11

From a GM plant in Detroit, President Obama highlights the landmark trade agreements passed this week which will support tens of thousands of American jobs, level the playing field for American workers, and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.

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WEEKLY ADDRESS: Working Together to Create Jobs

Speaking to the American people from Detroit, Michigan, President Obama highlighted the landmark trade agreements passed in a bipartisan way this week which will support tens of thousands of American jobs, level the playing field for American workers, and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.  The President will continue to urge Congress to do more and pass the American Jobs Act so we can grow our economy and create jobs now.  Republicans in Congress will get a chance to support these common-sense measures or explain why they oppose providing tax breaks for working Americans, putting teachers, firefighters, and cops back to work, and repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 15, 2011

I’m here in Detroit visiting workers at a GM plant in the heart of a resurgent American auto industry.  And I brought a guest with me – President Lee of South Korea.

We’re here because this week, Congress passed landmark trade agreements with countries like Korea, and assistance for American workers that will be a big win for our economy.

These trade agreements will support tens of thousands of American jobs.  And we’ll sell more Fords, Chevys and Chryslers abroad stamped with three proud words – “Made in America.”

So it was good to see Congress act in a bipartisan way on something that will help create jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work and need them now.

But that’s also why it was so disappointing to see Senate Republicans obstruct the American Jobs Act, even though a majority of Senators voted “yes” to advance this jobs bill.

We can’t afford this lack of action.  And there is no reason for it.  Independent economists say that this jobs bill would give the economy a jumpstart and lead to nearly two million new jobs.  Every idea in that jobs bill is the kind of idea both parties have supported in the past.

The majority of the American people support the proposals in this jobs bill.  And they want action from their elected leaders to create jobs and restore some security for the middle class right now.  You deserve to see your hard work and responsibility rewarded – and you certainly deserve to see it reflected in the folks you send to Washington.

But rather than listen to you and put folks back to work, Republicans in the House spent the past couple days picking partisan ideological fights.  They’re seeing if they can roll back clean air and water protections.  They’re stirring up fights over a woman’s right to make her own health care choices.  They’re not focused on the concrete actions that will put people back to work right now.

Well, we’re going to give them another chance.  We’re going to give them another chance to spend more time worrying about your jobs than keeping theirs.

Next week, I’m urging Members of Congress to vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets, and firefighters back on the job.

And if they vote “no” on that, they’ll have to tell you why.  They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again.  They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.  They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have them vote on the other parts of the jobs bill – putting construction workers back on the job, rebuilding our roads and bridges; providing tax cuts for small businesses that hire our veterans; making sure that middle-class families don’t see a tax hike next year and that the unemployed and our out-of-work youth have a chance to get back in the workforce and earn their piece of the American Dream.

That’s what’s at stake.  Putting people back to work.  Restoring economic security for the middle class.  Rebuilding an economy where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded – an economy that’s built to last.  And I’m going to travel all over the country over the next few weeks so that we can remind Congress that’s their job.  Because there’s still time to create jobs and grow our economy right now.  There’s still time for Congress to do the right thing.  We just need to act.

Thank you.


White House Recap October 8-14, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Fights for American Jobs Act Passage, Hosts 1985 Chicago Bears & Tunisian Prime Minister & South Korean President’s State Visit



Weekly Wrap Up: Building Relationships

Source: WH, 10-14-11

This week, the President continued to fight for the proposals in the American Jobs Act, welcomed the 1985 Chicago Bears and the Tunisian Prime Minister, traveled to Pittsburgh and hosted the President of South Korea for a State Visit.

West Wing Week

Download Video: mp4 (195.1MB)

A Strong Bond The President and Mrs.Obama hosted President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea for an official White House State visit. On a rainy Thursday President Lee and his wife arrived at the White House to a crowd of people on the South Lawn. Later that day President Obama and President Lee held a joint press conference to discuss theglobal economy and how to capitalize on the strong U.S.-Korean relationship to create jobs. That evening, the Obamas hosted a State Dinner in honor of President Lee, featuring produce from the White House kitchen garden fall harvest.  On Friday, both leaders travelled to Detroit where they toured General Motors Orion Assembly and gave remarks on the recent Landmark Trade Agreement between the two countries.

Breaking Records  On Thursday the First Lady led 400 local students in a bid to help break the Guinness World Records title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. National Geographic Kids Magazine “jumped” in on the fun on the South Lawn in support of the First Lady’s Lets Move! Initiative. Figure skater Michelle Kwan and Today show host Al Roker were also on hand.

Fighting for Jobs The morning after the Senate’s failure to pass the American Jobs Act, the president addressed student, business, and cultural leaders at the Forum on Latino Heritage where he talked about his unwavering focus on creating jobs and putting people back to work. “The media will look at last night’s vote and say, well that’s it—let’s move on to the next bill. But I’ve got news for them… not this time. Not with so many American outs of work…we will not take no for an answer.”

Jobs for Law Enforcement Vice President Biden visited Flint, Michigan, a town that has been forced to cut its police force in half due to budget cuts. The Vice President talked with local law enforcement and firefighters about the American Jobs Act and how it would both create jobs and protect the nation’s “most basic obligation” to keep our citizens safe by putting cops and firefighters back to work. “This is a fight for the soul of this country. It’s a fight for the middle class. … It’s about making sure America’s fire departments, police departments continue to be a large part of the American fabric and be able to do their job.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 11, 2011: Bloomberg / Washington Post GOP Republican Presidential Debate on the Economy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire Transcript — 7th & Least Combative GOP 2012 Debate has Mitt Romney as Front Runner, Herman Cain in the Hot Seat & Rick Perry in the Sidelines




Republican Debate transcript

Pool photo by Toni Sandys

The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators. More Photos »

Source: WaPo, 10-11-11

Bloomberg/Washington Post/WBIN-TV Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Republican Candidates: Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN); Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain; Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA); Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R); Representative Ron Paul (R-TX); Governor Rick Perry (R-TX); Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R); Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) Moderators: Charlie Rose; Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg TV White House Correspondent; Karen Tumulty, Washington Post Political Correspondent Location: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire Time: 8:01 p.m. EDT Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
CHARLIE ROSE:  I am pleased to be here at this table to have an opportunity to talk to them about the issues that all of us are thinking about, and I begin this evening first with Herman Cain.

As you know, when Standard & Poor’s downgraded American credit, they noted not only the economic difficulties but the political   dysfunction.  So we begin this evening with the question:  What would you do specifically to end the paralysis in Washington?

HERMAN CAIN:  Two things:  Present a bold plan to grow this economy, which — I have put my 9-9-9 plan on the table, and it starts with throwing out the current tax code and putting in the 9-9-9 plan.

Secondly, get serious about bringing down the national debt.  The only way we’re going to do that is the first year that I’m president and I oversee a fiscal year budget, make sure that revenues equals spending.  If we stop adding to the national debt, we can bring it down.

So the answer is, we must grow this economy with a bold solution, which is why I’ve proposed 9-9-9 and at same time get serious about not creating annual deficits, so we can bring the national debt.  That will re-establish confidence in our system, and I believe we could get our credit rating back.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry, are you prepared, even though you have said you want to make Washington inconsequential, to go to Washington and, as Ronald Reagan did, compromise on spending cuts and taxes in order to produce results?

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R-TX):  Well, certainly, as the governor of the second-largest state, I’ve had to deal with folks on both sides of the aisle.

I’ve signed six balanced budgets as the governor of — of Texas.  So working with folks on both sides of the aisle and — and bringing ideas, whether it’s ways to redo your tax structure or what have you.

One of the things that I laid out today I think is a pretty bold plan to put 1.2 million Americans working in the energy industry.  And you don’t need Congress to do that; you need a president with a plan, which I’m laying out over the next three days, and clearly the intent to open up this treasure trove that America’s sitting on and getting America independent on the domestic energy side.  It’s time for another American Declaration of Independence.  It’s time for energy independence.

MR. ROSE:  We’ll come back to energy and also your economic plan this evening, but I go now to Governor Romney.

The paralysis is there and everybody’s concerned about it.  What specifically would you be prepared to do to make the country moving again on addressing its problems?

MITT ROMNEY:  I’d be prepared to be a leader.  You can’t get the country to go in the right direction and get Washington to work if you don’t have a president that’s a leader.  And — and three years ago we selected a person who’d never had any leadership experience, never worked in the private sector, never had the opportunity to actually bring people together, and he hasn’t been able to do so.  He said he’d bring us hope and change.  Instead he’s divided the nation and tried to blame other people.

The real course for America is to have someone who’s a leader, who can identify people in both parties who care more about the country than they care about getting reelected.  There are Democrats like that.  There are Republicans like that.  I was the governor of a state that had a few Democrats.  (Laughs.)  People in this room know how many we had in Massachusetts.

MR. ROSE:  So it’s essential to deal with Democrats —

MR. ROMNEY:  Yeah, you have to —

MR. ROSE:  — and to be prepared to compromise on the big issues of our time?

MR. ROMNEY:  You have to stand by your principles.  At the same time, you know that good Democrats and good Republicans who love the   country first will be able to find common ground from time to time and recognize we can’t keep on spending like we’re spending.

We can’t demand more from tax revenue from people, because that kills jobs and hurts working families.  We have got to help the middle class in this country.

The only way that’ll come together is if you have people on both sides of the aisle who will listen to a leader who has the experience of leading.  And that’s what America’s looking for and desperately longing for.

MR. ROSE:  And back to Governor Perry:  this plan that you would like to lay out — because Governor Romney has said you’ve had two months to produce a plan, an economic plan.  He’s had a 59-point plan. What’s the plan?  What will you say specifically?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, clearly, opening up a lot of the areas of our domestic energy area; that’s the real key.  You’ve got an administration that, by and large, has either by intimidation or over- regulation, put our energy industry and the rest of the economy in jeopardy.  And we’ve got to have a president who is willing to stand up and to clearly pull back those regulations that are strangling the American entrepreneurship that’s out there.

And it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s “Obamacare,” whether it’s Dodd-Frank, or whether it’s the tax burden, a president, particularly with the plan that I’m going to be laying out over the next three days — and I’m not going to lay it out all for you tonight.  You know, Mitt’s had six years to be working on a plan; I’ve been in this for about eight weeks.  But clearly, we’re going to be focused on initially the energy industry in this country and making America again independent and clearly the place where domestic energy needs to be produced from.

MR. ROSE:  Let me introduce my friend Karen.  Karen?

KAREN TUMULTY:  Congresswoman Bachmann, three years after the financial meltdown, Main Street continues to suffer.  People have lost their jobs, they’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their faith in the future.

But Wall Street is thriving.  The banks not only got bailed out by the government:  They made huge profits; they paid themselves huge bonuses.  Do you think it’s right that no Wall Street executives have gone to jail for the damage they did to the economy?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN):  I think if you look at the problem with the economic meltdown, you can trace it right back to the federal government, because it was the federal government that demanded that banks and mortgage companies lower platinum-level — level — lending standards to new lows.  It was —

MS. TUMULTY:  But the federal government had also deregulated them.

REP. BACHMANN:  It was the federal government that pushed the subprime loans.  It was the federal government that pushed the Community Reinvestment Act.  It was Congressman Barney Frank and also Senator Chris Dodd that continued to push government-directed housing goals.  They pushed the banks to meet these rules.  And if banks failed to meet those rules, then the federal government said, we won’t let you merge; we won’t let you grow.  There’s a real problem:  It began with the federal government, and it began with Feddie and — Freddie and Fannie.

If you look at these secondary mortgage companies, which the federal government is essentially backing 100 percent, they put American mortgages in a very difficult place.  We had artificially low interest rates.  Freddie and Fannie were the center of the universe on the mortgage meltdown, and we had lending standards lowered for the first time in American history.  The fault goes back to the federal government.  And that’s what’s wrong with Dodd-Frank:  Dodd-Frank institutionalized all of these problems that were put into effect by the federal government.  That’s what I introduced the bill to repeal Dodd-Frank.  It’s the “jobs and housing destruction act.”

MS. TUMULTY:  So Speaker Gingrich, it sounds like Congresswoman Bachmann does not believe that Wall Street is to blame for the financial mess.  You’ve said that the current protests on Wall Street are, in your words, “the natural product of Obama’s class warfare.”

Does this mean that these people who are out there protesting on Wall Street, across the country, have no grievance?

MR. GINGRICH:  No.  I — let me draw a distinction.  I think there are — virtually every American has a reason to be angry.  I think virtually every American has a reason to be worried.  I think the people who are protesting on Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who, frankly, are very close to the tea party people in actually caring. You can tell which group is which.

The people who are decent and responsible citizens pick up after themselves.  The people who are just out there as activists trash the place and walk off and are proud of having trashed it.  So let’s draw that distinction.

If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disastrous chairman of the Federal Reserve.  The second person to fire is Geithner.  The fact is, in both the Bush and the Obama administrations, the fix has been in, and I think it’s perfectly reasonable for people to be angry.  But let’s be clear who put the fix in.  The fix was put in by the federal government.  And if you want to put people in jail, I want to second what Michele said: You ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  And let’s look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment, and the politicians who put this country in trouble.

MR. ROSE:  Clearly, you’re not saying they should go to jail.

MR. GINGRICH:  Well, in Chris Dodd’s case, go back and look at the Countryside deals.  In Barney Frank’s case, go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at — at the — at Freddie Mac.  All I’m saying is, everybody —

MS. TUMULTY:  So if you were in the White —

MR. GINGRICH:  — everybody — everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country, and ought to start with Bernanke, who has still not been exposed for the hundreds of billions of dollars — (applause) —  MS. TUMULTY:  But —

MR. GINGRICH:  I’m going to say one other thing.  I’m going to repeat this:  Bernanke has in secret spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out one group and not bailing out another group.  I don’t see anybody in the news media demanding the kind of transparency at the Fed that you would demand of every other aspect of the federal government.

And I think it is corrupt and it is wrong for one man to have that kind of secret power.

MS. TUMULTY:  So, Congressman Paul, where do you come down this?

(Laughter, cross talk.)

REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TX):  The one thing — one thing I might — might say — that we have made some inroads on the Federal Reserve.  We passed a bill last year — we got a partial, you know, audit of the Fed.  We’ve learned a whole lot.  They were dealing in $15 trillion.  Five trillion (dollars) went overseas to bail out foreign banks.

But you know what?  The Congress did a lot.  I’ve worked on it for a good many years.  But Bloomberg helped and Fox helped.  They had court cases, Freedom of Information Act, and there are some, even at this table, who didn’t think auditing the Fed was such a good idea, that we could call up the Fed and ask him — and it would tell us what to do.  And I’ve been calling them up for 30 years and they never tell me.  (Laughter.)

But we’re getting to the bottom of it.  But if you want to understand why we have a problem, you have to understand the Fed, because the cause comes from the business cycle.  We shouldn’t be asking what to do exactly with the recession — obviously we have to deal with that — but you can’t solve, you can’t cure the disease if you don’t know the cause of it.  And the cause is the booms.  When there are booms, and they’re artificial, whether it’s the CRA or whether it’s the Fed, easy credit, when you have bubbles, whether it’s the NASDAQ or whether it’s the housing bubbles —


REP. PAUL:  — they burst.  And when they do, you have to have corrections.  And that’s what we’re dealing with.  And we can do this by building coalitions —

MR. ROSE:  Thank you.

REP. PAUL:  — and not sacrificing any principles.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.  JULIANNA GOLDMAN:  Thank you, Charlie.

Senator Santorum, I want to turn to jobs, because you’ve said that when you were growing up in a steel town in Pennsylvania, 21 percent of the country was involved in manufacturing.  Now it’s down to 9 percent.  Can those jobs ever return?  And what would you do to create jobs now?

RICK SANTORUM:  Yeah, the jobs can come back if you create a climate for them to be profitable.

I — I — we have a lot of businesspeople, manufacturers in Pennsylvania.  I don’t know a single one who wanted to ship their jobs offshore, who didn’t want them in their own community to be able to employ people and see the fruits of their labor being — benefiting the community that they live in.  What happened was we became uncompetitive.

So we need to be competitive.  And that’s why I proposed taking the corporate tax from manufacturers and processors, taking it from 35 percent and eliminating it, zero percent tax.  Allow this to be the — the — the manufacturing capital of the world again.  Take that money — $1.2 trillion that over — that’s overseas from manufacturers who did send their jobs overseas — bring it back, zero percent tax rate if you invest it in plant and equipment in this country.

Repeal every regulation the Obama administration has put in place that’s over $100 million.  Repeal them all.  You may have to replace a few, but let’s repeal them all because they are all antagonistic to businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

And do as Governor Perry suggested.  We need a bold energy plan — I’ve put one out there — to drill.  Pennsylvania — I don’t want to brag, Governor, but Pennsylvania is the gas capital of the world right now, not Texas, because —

MR. ROSE:  All right.


MR. SANTORUM:  — we are — we’re doing a great job.  And energy prices and gas went down by 75 percent —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But let me just follow up because we are in a crisis.  So what would you do right now to create jobs?

MR. SANTORUM:  The — the cool thing about my plan as opposed to Herman’s plans and some of the other plans out here, it’ll pass tomorrow.  It would pass tomorrow.  Why?  Because industrial-state Democrats want those jobs and they know if we put a pro-manufacturing- jobs plan on the table it will pass overnight.  We’ll get votes from Indiana and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan, all of those states.

So it’s not just proposing a plan that will get — get things started that The Wall Street Journal will smile at — excuse me, The    Washington Post — or — but it’s a plan that can actually pass and get things done and bring people together.  That’s why I put it on the table.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.

I want to follow up now to Governor Huntsman.  From the Erie Canal to the Internet, it’s what — innovation is what’s always fueled economic recovery.  So shouldn’t the focus now be on trying to create the innovative jobs of tomorrow?  And what do you think those are?

JON HUNTSMAN:  We need to regain our industrial base.  I would, first and foremost, disagree with Rick on one measure.  And that is, Pennsylvania is not the gas capital of the country; Washington, D.C., is the gas capital of the country.  (Laughter.)

GOV. PERRY:  (That’s OK — that’s OK ?).

MR. HUNTSMAN:  There are two things that critically need to be done for us to stay ahead in this highly competitive world, and when we lose one or both of them, we lose out to the Chinese and the Indians.  One is maintaining a strong commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and freedom in the marketplace.  We have the sense of innovation that no country has been able to replicate.  Some have tried, and some will continue to try, but nobody does it like we do here.  And that gives rise to high technology, to regular manufacturing jobs cross the board.  It makes this economy hum when it’s working well.

The second part of this:  You need a marketplace, like Rick described a moment ago, in which you can translate those innovations into products.  We are losing our ability to maintain a competitive marketplace today.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  That’s taxes, that’s regulation.  We’ve lost it to others, so right now we’re not able to translate innovation to the — we’ve got to regain the magic of a strong marketplace, so that we have the complete package.

MR. ROSE:  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Congressman Gingrich — Speaker Gingrich, Medicare —

NEWT GINGRICH:  Newt — (off mic).

MS. TUMULTY:  (Laughs.)  Medicare is going broke.  Consider the fact that half of all Medicare spending is done in the last two years of life.  And research that has done — been done right here at Dartmouth by the Dartmouth Atlas would suggest that much of this money is going to treatments and interventions that do nothing to prolong life, or to improve it.  In fact, some of it does the opposite.  Do you consider this wasteful spending?  And if so, should the government do anything about it?  MR. GINGRICH:  You know, I’m really glad you asked that, because I was just swapping emails today with Andy von Eschenbach, who was the head of the National Cancer Institute, the head of the Food and Drug Administration.  But before that, he was the provost at MD Anderson, the largest cancer treatment center in the world.

And he wrote me to point out that the most recent U.S. government intervention on whether or not to have prostate testing is basically going to kill people.  So if you ask me, do I want some Washington bureaucrat to create a class action decision which affects every American’s last two years of life, not ever.  I think it is a disaster.  I think, candidly, Governor Palin got attacked unfairly for describing what would — would, in fact, be death panels.

And — and — what von Eschenbach will tell you if you call him is:  The decision to suggest that we not test men for — with PSA will mean that a number of people who do not have the — who are susceptible to a very rapid prostate cancer will die unnecessarily. And there was not a single urologist — not a single specialist on the board that looked at it.  So I’m — I’m opposed to class intervention for these things.

MS. TUMULTY:  Well, Congresswoman Bachmann, of course no one wants the government to come between a doctor and a patient, but do you think that Americans are getting the most for their money in Medicare spending?  And how can we make sure that the money that is being spent is being spent on the treatments and the — and the preventive treatments that do the most?

REP. BACHMANN:  We have a big problem today when it comes to Medicare, because we know that nine years from now, the Medicare hospital Part B Trust Fund is going to be dead flat broke.  So we’ve got to deal with this issue.

I was in the White House with President Obama this summer.  We asked him not once but three times:  President Obama, what is your plan to save Medicare?  And the president mumbled and he didn’t give an answer the first time, the second time.  And the third time the president said something very interesting, Karen.

He said “Obamacare.”  I think that senior citizens across the country have no idea that President Obama plans for Medicare to collapse, and instead everyone will be pushed into “Obamacare.”

And just like Newt Gingrich said, the way that “Obamacare” runs, there’s a board called IPAB.  It’s made up of 15 political appointees. These 15 political appointees will make all the major health care decisions for over 300 million Americans.  I don’t want 15 political appointees to make a health care decision for a beautiful, fragile, 85-year-old woman who should be making her own decision.

MR. ROSE:  We’ll come back to Medicare as well and medical issues and the cost of medical in the United States.

I want to talk about advisers and appointees.  Tell me, Governor Huntsman, whose advice do you seek on economic issues?  And who — what’s the profile of the kind of person you’d like to have advising you in your White House?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I’d like the profile of my own father, who was a great entrepreneur.  And he started with nothing, and he built a great business, and my brother now runs that business.

People who have been out in the world, who have actually had their hands on products and manufacturing and know something about how to build something from the ground up.  That’s what this country has always done, is what we need to continue to do.

But in order to have the right policies in place.  And some I put forward as governor of the great state of Utah.  Tax reform:  I created a flat tax in the state of Utah.  It took that state to the number-one position in terms of job creation.  Regulatory reform and energy independence.

I want the kind of people who understand what makes an economy work.

But let’s be real about what it takes to get into federal government service these days.  Who on Earth from the private sector is ever going to want to give up their privacy and enter government service with the background checks, the financial disclosures, and everything else that serve as tremendous disincentives for good people to get into government.  So what we have today, Charlie, we’ve got a professional governing class of people on one end, and then you’ve got private- sector — (inaudible) — on the other —

MR. ROSE:  And so what would you do about that to change that, to attract those —

MR. HUNTSMAN:  We need —

MR. ROSE:  — kind of people so that they would be willing to serve — a cross section of people from every —

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Let’s get back to —

MR. ROSE:  (Inaudible.)

MR. HUNTSMAN:  — what we did a generation or two ago when we were more open in terms of accommodating people from all backgrounds who wanted to take a little bit of their life and serve in government, and then leave and go back to what it is they did best, whether on the farm or whether insurance or whether business or whether academia.

MR. ROSE:  When you mentioned the flat tax, does that mean that you look with some favor upon 9-9-9 that Herman Cain mentioned at the beginning of this conversation?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  I think it’s a catchy phrase.  In fact, I thought it was a price of a pizza when I first heard about it, Herman. (Laughter, applause).

MR. ROSE (?):  Price of a pizza.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Here’s — here’s — here’s what — here’s what we need:  We need something that’s doable, doable, doable.  And what I have put forward is a tax program that is doable.  It actually wipes clean all of the loopholes and the deductions.  This is right out of what the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended — a bipartisan group of people that took a thoughtful approach to tax for corporate and individual — individual, and on the corporate side, phase out all of the corporate welfare, all of the subsidies because we can’t afford it any longer; in a revenue-neutral fashion, buy down the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, leveling the playing field for businesses big and small, allowing us to be a whole lot more competitive in the second decade of the 21st century.  MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.  We will be coming back to 9-9-9, but first —

MR. CAIN:  (Now ?), wait, wait —

MS. GOLDMAN:  Well, but — but —

MR. CAIN:  He mentioned me —

MR. ROSE:  Give him 30 seconds.

MR. CAIN:  And he — (inaudible) — me, and you didn’t give me an opportunity to respond.

MR. ROSE:  And you have that opportunity (now ?).

MR. CAIN:  Thank you very much.  (Laughter.)  9-9-9 will pass, and it is not the price of pizza because, it has been well-studied and well-developed.  It starts with, unlike your proposals, throwing out the current tax code.  Continuing to pivot off the current tax code is not going to boost this economy.

This is why we developed 9-9-9 — 9 percent corporate business flat tax, 9 percent personal income flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax.  And it will pass, Senator, because the American people want it to pass.

MR. ROSE:  This is beginning to sound more like my table. Julianna — I mean, Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Mr. Cain, who do you turn to for political advice and for economic advice?

MR. CAIN:  My advisers come from the American people.  Now, I will have some experts.  One of my experts that helped me to develop this is a gentleman by the name of Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Ohio. He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career.  I also have a number of other well- recognized economists that helped me to develop this 9-9-9 plan.  It didn’t come off a pizza box, no.  It was well studied and well developed because it will replace the corporate income tax, the personal income tax, the capital gains tax, the death tax, and most importantly the payroll tax.

MS. TUMULTY:  So who are some of these economists?

MR. CAIN:  Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Texas is one of the economists that I have used.  He’s been my lead economists on helping to develop this.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you.  Governor Romney, it’s 2013 and the European debt crisis has worsened, countries are defaulting, Europe’s largest banks are on the verge of bankruptcy, contagion has spread to the U.S., and the global financial system is on the brink.  What would you do differently than what President Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke did in 2008?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, you’re — you’re talking about a scenario that’s obviously very difficult to imagine, and — and — and —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But it’s not a hypothetical because more than half the —

MR. ROMNEY:  It — it is — I’m — I’m afraid it is a hypothetical.  MS. GOLDMAN:  It’s not — Governor, it’s not a —

MR. ROMNEY:  Do you want to explain why it’s not a hypothetical?



MS. GOLDMAN:  Because more than half the country believes that a financial meltdown is likely in the next several years, and the U.S. banks have at least $700 billion in exposure to Europe.  So it’s a very real threat, and voters want to know what you would do differently.

MR. ROMNEY:  There — it’s still a hypothetical as to what’s going to precisely happen in the future.

I’m not very good at being omniscient, but I can tell you this:  that I’m not going to have to call up Timothy Geithner and say how does the economy work, because I’ve spent my life in the economy.  I spent my entire career working in the private sector, starting businesses, helping turn around businesses, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.  And I know how to make tough decisions, and to gather the input of people from around the country to help make the important decisions that have to be made.

Clearly if you think the entire financial system is going to collapse, you take action to keep that from happening.  In the case of Europe right now, they’re looking at what’s happening with Greece. Are they going to default on their debt?  Are they not?  That’s a decision which I would like to have input on, if I were president of the United States, and try and prevent the kind of contagion that would affect the U.S. banking system and put us at risk.

But I can tell you this.  I’m not interested in bailing out individual institutions that have wealthy people that want to make sure that their shares are worth something.  I am interested in making sure that we preserve our financial system, our currency, the banks across the entire country, and I will always put the interest of the American people ahead of the interests of any institution.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But — so would you — so would you or would you not be open to another Wall Street bailout?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, no one likes the idea of a Wall Street bailout.  I certainly don’t.  Asset — asset —

MS. GOLDMAN:  But you said in 2008 that it prevented the collapse of the financial —

MR. ROMNEY:  There’s no question but that the action that President Bush and that Secretary Paulson took was designed to keep not just a collapse of individual banking institutions but to keep the entire currency of the country worth something and to keep all the banks from closing and to make sure we didn’t all lose our jobs.  My — my experience tells me that we were on the — on the precipice and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people.  So action had to be taken.

Was it perfect?  No.  Was it well-implemented?  No, not particularly.  Were there some institutions that should not have been   bailed out?  Absolutely.  Should they have used the funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler?  No, that was the wrong source for that funding.

But this — but this approach of saying, look, we’re going to have to preserve our currency and maintain America and our financial system is — is essential.

MR. ROSE:  So you agree — you agree with Speaker Gingrich about Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed?

MR. ROMNEY:  I wouldn’t keep Ben Bernanke in office.  I’d choose someone of my — of my own — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  And who might that be?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I haven’t chosen that person.  I haven’t even chosen a vice president.  I’m not sure I’m the nominee yet. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  Well, we’d like to — we’d like to have — we would like to have — nor has anyone else, but we’d like to have an idea of the kind of people, you know, that you would have confidence in, in playing this very important role — although, Congressman Paul may differ about how important it is.

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I wish we could find Milton Friedman again. Although what Milton said to us was, he said, you know, if you took all the economists in America, and you laid them end to end, it would be a good thing.  And I — (laughter) — and I have more respect for economists than that.  The people who help guide my economic policy are Greg Mankiw at Harvard —

MR. ROSE:  Right.

MR. ROMNEY: — and Glenn Hutchins at Columbia.  They were both former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers.  I don’t always agree with them.  I also talk to a number of business leaders.  I talk to people who are currently in the economy, in the financial sector, and in the manufacturing sector.  And on the basis of these various viewpoints I make my decisions.  And I believe that drawing on the best minds in this country, including economists, is something that’s essential to make sure that we preserve our financial system.

Right now America’s in crisis.  We don’t need to think about a hypothetical of what happens if Europe explodes and pulls us under. Although, if that does happen, you want to have someone who’s smart, who has experience, who knows how the financial services sector works, who knows how to protect American jobs — and I do; I’ve done it.

MR. ROSE:  And as far as you’re concerned, there’s no institution — no financial institution that’s too big to fail.  MR. ROMNEY:  Well, no, you don’t — you don’t — you don’t want to bail out anybody.  The idea of trying to bail out an institution to protect its shareholders or to protect a certain interest group: that’s a terrible idea, and that shouldn’t happen.  You do want to make sure we don’t lose the country, and we don’t lose our financial system, and we don’t lose American jobs, and that all the banks don’t go under.  So you have to take action very carefully to make sure that you preserve our currency and preserve our financial system.

But bailouts of individual institutions?  No one has interest in that, I don’t think.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Mr. Cain, back in 2008, you wrote that the Wall Street bailout was a win-win for the taxpayer.  You just heard Governor Romney.  Do you agree?

MR. CAIN:  Conceptually, I made that statement based upon the concept, but I happen to agree with Governor Romney.  The way it was administered is where it got off track.  They were discretionary in which institutions they were going to save, rather than apply it equitably, which is what most of us thought was going to be done.  The implementation of it is where they got off track.  I didn’t agree with it.  I don’t think Governor Romney agreed with it, so did a lot of us. The implementation was at fault.

MR. ROSE:  Housing is considered one of the real problems in terms of our economy, and getting housing starts up —

MR. GINGRICH:  Can I say one thing before we go to housing?

MR. ROSE:  Yes.

MR. GINGRICH:  Because I think this is really important.  There’s a real possibility that you can’t have the euro and the Greek economy in the same system.  There’s a possibility we could have a meltdown in the next year.  The thing that is most obvious, looking back, is that Paulson and Bernanke and Geithner didn’t have a clue — not because they’re not smart, but because they were operating in a world that has suddenly changed so radically, they didn’t know.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. GINGRICH:  One of the reasons I’ve said that the Congress should insist that every decision document from 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the Fed be released is we are not any better prepared today for a crisis of that scale, because the people who were in that crisis and were wrong are still in charge.  And I think we need to learn what did they do right —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. GINGRICH:  — and what did they do learn — wrong — precisely for the reason you raised about 2013.  MR. ROSE:  Let me go to housing.  What would you do — would you get the federal government out of housing?  Yes?

REP. PAUL:  Absolutely.  I mean, there’s no need to.  Look at the —

MR. ROSE:  No Freddie — no Freddie Mac, no Fannie Mae, nothing?

REP. PAUL:  No, that’s where the distortions come.  That’s where the moral hazard comes from.  That’s where the mal-investment — overbilled.  It was predictable.

You talked about what economists we should look to, and unfortunately we’ve been living with Keynesian economics for many, many decades, and everybody who was right about predicting the bubbles were Austrian economists.  They said they were coming.  And yet they’re also saying — and I agree with them — that everything that we’re doing right now is wrong.

So what we did with the housing bubble, yes, we had too many houses.  It was glaring in our face.  The bubble was doomed to burst, and it came because of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, easy credit, and also the Community Reinvestment Act.

So who — who got into trouble?  The people who did the speculating and the Wall Street, the derivatives market.  They got the bailout.  They got privileges.  So what happened to the middle class? They lost their jobs.  They lost their houses.  This whole system is all messed up.

And you’re — what I hear here is just tinkering with the current system and not looking at something new and different, and it’s a free-market economy without a Federal Reserve System, with sound money.  If you don’t have that, you’re going to continue with a bubble.

And this propping up this debt and keeping the correction — you need the correction.  You need to get rid of the malinvestment and the debt.  The debt is the burden on the economy.

MR. ROSE:  Time.

All right, we’ll be back.  Take a break and be right back.  Stay with us from Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.


MR. ROSE:  In order to take the pulse of America, we have partnered with LinkedIn — LinkedIn — and they have some 120 billion (sic) networked professionals, and we’ve asked them to take part in this by giving us some polling that they have done.  But before I bring some of those results in, I want to take a look at a series of clips we’ll show you in this segment, beginning with this one of a former president.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN:  The single-most important question facing us tonight is, do we reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or do we accept bigger budget deficits, higher interest rates and higher unemployment simply because we disagree on certain features of a legislative package which offers hope for millions of Americans at home, on the farm and in the workplace?

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. ROSE:  Let me go to the governor of Texas.  Do you agree with the former president?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I think we’re certainly talking about different times, because what I heard him say there, that he was willing to trade tax increases for reductions, and I don’t think he ever saw those reductions, he just saw the tax increase.  As a matter of fact, in his diary he made that statement that he’s still looking around for those — those reductions.

So I mean, from the standpoint — that’s one of the problems that we got in Washington, D.C.  One of the reasons that I think Americans are so untrustworthy of what’s going on in Washington is because they never see a cut in spending.  They always hear the — the siren song of, you know, if you’ll allow us to raise taxes, then we’ll make these reductions over here, when the fact of the matter is the issue is we need to have a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.  (Applause.)  And the next president of the United States needs to spend his time passing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.

MR. ROSE:  But I want to stay with this idea of spending cuts and revenue increases and go back to you, Governor Romney.  This is where it is, it seems in Washington right now, not only the paralysis, but also you got the supercommittees.  And if in fact they can’t find an agreement, you’re going to have a trigger with automatic cuts, including defense.  So doesn’t that demand some kind of compromise, as Reagan suggested?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I — I don’t know what particular compromises he was referring to.  We can take a look at that.

But I can tell you this, if you go back a few years before that clip and go to JFK’s time, the government at all levels — federal, state and local — was consuming about 27 percent of the U.S. economy. Today it consumes about 37 percent of the U.S. economy.  It’s on track to get to 40 percent.  We cease at some point to be a free economy. And the idea of saying, we just want a little more, just give us some more tax revenue, we need that, that is the answer for America.

The answer is to cut federal spending.  The answer is to cap how much the federal government can spend as a percentage of our economy and have a balanced budget amendment.

And the second part of the answer is to get our economy to grow, because the idea of just cutting and cutting and taxing more — I understand mathematically those things work, but nothing works as well as getting the economy going.

MS. TUMULTY:  But can we —

MR. ROMNEY:  Get Americans back to work.  Get them paying taxes. Get — get corporations growing in America, investing in America. Bring dollars back, as Rick said, repatriation dollars — bring a trillion-three (dollars) back from overseas.  Invest in the United States.  Get this economy going.  And I’ll tell you, these kinds of problems will disappear.

MS. TUMULTY:  But could we get back to the actual choice that is likely to confront Congress at the end of the year, which is some mix of revenues and cuts or these draconian automatic spending cuts that would include defense.  Which of those two, if that is the choice, would you prefer?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, my choice is not to cut defense.  I think it’s a terrible idea to cut defense.  I think it’s a terrible idea to raise taxes.  Particularly at a time when the economy’s struggling, the idea of raising taxes, taking more money away from the American people, so government can spend it, and can spend it — right now the president has a jobs bill.

MS. TUMULTY:  So this is —

MR. ROMNEY:  How’d his last jobs bill work out for us?

MS. TUMULTY:  But this is the automatic cut —

MR. ROMNEY:  Not — not so well.

MS. TUMULTY:  — (inaudible)?

MR. ROMNEY:  Yeah, the — no, I do not want the automatic cuts. I want to see that supercommittee take responsibility for getting the economy going again by reining in the scale of the federal government —  MR. ROSE:  OK.

MR. ROMNEY:  — and saying we’re going to pull back on some of the programs we have —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — and reform our entitlements, so they’re sustainable.

The American people want to see growth and jobs, and they believe that the right way to do it is by cutting back on the scale of government.  And they’re right.

MR. ROSE:  Without any increase in revenue?  (Applause.)

(Cross talk.)

MR. GINGRICH:  I just want to say one — I want to say one thing about the entire way Washington works, which was just posed in that question.  First of all, the Congress couldn’t figure out how to get the debt ceiling done with a president who shows zero leadership, so they adopt a truly stupid bill, OK?

And the bill basically says:  We’re either going to shoot ourselves in the head, or cut off our right leg.  And we’ll come in and — around Thanksgiving, and we’ll show you how we’re going to cut off the right leg.  And the alternative will be shooting ourselves in the head.

Let me just say bluntly, all of the spending cuts that are built into the debt ceiling bill — all of them are acts of Congress.  They can all be repealed at any moment.  It is nonsense to say we’re going to disarm the United States unilaterally because we’re too stupid to balance the budget any other way.  (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  All right.

Congressman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  Charlie, last summer I was a leading voice in the wilderness of Washington, and a lone voice as a matter of fact, saying:  Do not increase the debt ceiling.  By that, what I was saying is, let’s not give Barack Obama another $2.4 trillion blank check to spend.

Think of what this means.  Our government right now — this is significant.  We are spending 40 percent more than what we take in. We all paid a lot of taxes this year.  We paid $2.2 trillion in taxes. That’s a lot of money from all the American people.  The American government spent a hundred percent of that 2.2 trillion (dollars). But the travesty is they spent 1.5 trillion (dollars) more than that. That’s the problem.  Every year, we are spending about 40 percent more than what we take in.

Our answer has to be that we cut back on the spending so we get to balance.  We can’t do this because all —

MR. ROSE:  Will cutting back on the spending —

REP. BACHMANN:  — all around us are young people that are going to be paying for this burden.  And their tax rates won’t be our tax rates.  Their tax rates could come at some point, their overall effective burden — I’m a federal tax lawyer; that’s what I do for a living.  And my background is in economics.  Their tax rates some day in their peak earning years, Charlie, could be as much as 75 percent. Who’s going to get out of bed in the morning to go to work, if they’re paying 75 percent tax rates?  We’ve got to get our spending house in order and cut back on spending.

MR. ROSE:  Cutting back on spending, in your judgment, will do it?

REP. BACHMANN:  That’s one piece of the answer.  That’s not the whole answer —

MR. ROSE:  Yeah —

REP. BACHMANN:  — but we have to cut taxes —

MR. ROSE:  I want you to take a look — we’ll come to all of you, but let me take a look at another clip; this one you will recognize as well.  Here it is.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

MR. CAIN:  It’s called the 9-9-9 plan.  (Applause.)  It imposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent personal flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. ROSE:  Go ahead, Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thanks.  I said we would get back to 9-9-9. (Laughter.)

Mr. Cain, you say that your plan is revenue neutral.  And last year, the U.S. collected $2.2 trillion in tax revenue.  But Bloomberg Government has run the numbers, and your plan would have raised no more than $2 trillion.  And even with that shortfall, you’d still be slapping a 9 percent sales tax on food and medicine.

MR. CAIN:  The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect.  (Laughter, applause.)

MS. GOLDMAN:  Well — well —

MR. CAIN:  The — the reason — the reason it’s incorrect is because they start with assumptions that we don’t make.  Remember, 9- 9-9 plan throws out the current tax code.  And it starts with three simple economic driving principles:  production drives the economy;    risk-taking drives growth; and we need sound money — measurements must be dependable.

Now, what 9-9-9 does, it expands the base.  When you expand the base, we can arrive at the lowest possible rate, which is 9-9-9.  The difference between the 9-9-9 plan and the other plans that are being proposed is that they pivot off of the existing tax code.

We’ve had an outside firm — independent firm —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. CAIN:  — dynamically score it, and so our numbers will make it revenue neutral.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Karen — go ahead.  I’m sorry, go ahead.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But then explain why, under your plan, all Americans should be paying more for milk, for a loaf of bread, and beer?

MR. ROSE:  And pizza.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Yeah, and pizza.  (Laughs.)

MR. CAIN:  I don’t buy beer.  (Laughter.)

You have to start with the biggest tax cut a lot of Americans pay, which is the payroll tax, 15.3 percent.  That goes to 9 percent. That’s a 6 percentage point difference, and the prices will not go up. So they’ve got a 6 percentage point difference to apply to the national sales tax piece of that, and in doing so they have the flexibility to decide on how much they want to spend it on new goods, how much they want to spend it on used goods —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. CAIN:  — because there is no tax on used goods.

MS. GOLDMAN:  But Congresswoman Bachmann, you’re a former IRS lawyer.  Do you agree?

REP. BACHMANN:  I would have to say the 9-9-9 plan isn’t a jobs plan, it is a tax plan.  And I would say that from my experience being in Congress but also as a federal tax lawyer, when you — the last thing you would do is give Congress another pipeline of a revenue stream, and this gives Congress a pipeline in a sales tax.  A sales tax can also lead to a value added tax.

The United States Congress put into place the Spanish-American War tax in — in 1898.  We only partially repealed that in 2006.  So once you get a new revenue stream, you’re never going to get rid of it.  And one thing I would say is, when you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil’s in the details. (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I have to —

MR. CAIN:  You’ve got to let me respond.

MR. ROSE:  We’ve given you several chances to respond.  I’ll come back.  We will continue to talk about taxes and spending.

We also know here that there has been a paradigm shift in the world economic order.

We know about China and we know about India.  Here is our next clip, and we will respond from that.  Here it is:

(Video begins.)

MR. ROMNEY:  And I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator, and I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property, and they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay.  I certainly don’t want a trade war with anybody, and we’re not going to have a trade war, but we can’t have a trade surrender either.

(Video ends.)

MR. ROSE:  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Governor Huntsman, you were also ambassador to China, and you say that this would risk a trade war.  But if China is indeed keeping its currency low, that means that everything they sell in this country is artificially cheap and everything that our companies try to sell in China is artificially expensive.  So what do you say to people who ask, aren’t we already in a trade war with China?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Well, first of all, I don’t subscribe to the Don Trump school or the Mitt Romney school of international trade.  I don’t want to find ourselves in a trade war.

With respect to China, if you start slapping penalties on them based on countervailing duties, you’re going to get the same thing in return because what they’re going to say, because of quantitative easing part one and part two, you’re doing a similar thing to your currency.  And then you’re going to find yourself in a trade war very, very quickly.

And what does that do?  That disadvantages our small businesses. It disadvantages our exporters.  It disadvantages our agricultural producers.  So I say, for the first and the second-largest economies in the world, we have no choice; we have to find common ground.  We have to of course use our trade laws, and use them very, very aggressively.

But at the end of the day, we’ve got to find more market-opening measures.  We’ve got to get more governors from this country together    with governors from provinces of China, mayors together with mayors, and exploit the opportunities that exist for exporters.  That’s a job- creator in this country.  It’s a huge job creator.  And we have to get used to the fact that as far as the eye can see into the 21st century, it’s going to be the United States and China on the world stage.

MS. TUMULTY:  You know, Governor Romney, this issue does carry a lot of resonance, especially in states like New Hampshire which, as you probably know, has lost a greater percentage of its manufacturing jobs to China than any other state.  But voters have heard candidates talk tough on China before — George W. Bush did it, Barack Obama did it — only to see that, once elected, the president takes a much more cautious approach, because of the complexity of the relationship and the fact that this is our biggest creditor.  Why should voters believe that you would be any different?

MR. ROMNEY:  I’m afraid that people who’ve looked at this in the past have been played like a fiddle by the Chinese.  And the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking our currency and taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future.  And I’m not willing to let that happen.

I’m in this race to try and get America to make sure we’re strong again, we’re creating jobs, we’re the best place in the world to be middle class again.  And for that to happen, we’ve got to call cheating for what it is.

MS. TUMULTY:  But is —

MR. ROMNEY:  And you can’t — you can’t — you know, people say, well, we might have a trade war with China.  Well, now, think about that.  We buy this much stuff from China; they buy that much stuff from us.  You think they want to have a trade war?  I mean, this is — this is a time when we’re being hollowed out by China that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago. And that’s having a massive impact on jobs here.  It is the wrong course for us, when people have pursued unfair trade practices.  You have to have a president that will take action.

And on day one — I’ve indicated, day one — I will issue an executive order identifying China as a currency manipulator.  We’ll bring an action against them in front of the WTO for manipulating their currency, and we will go after them.  If you’re not willing to stand up to China, you’ll get run over by China.  And that’s what’s happened for 20 years.  (Applause.)

MS. TUMULTY:  But as recently as —

GOV. PERRY:  But we’re —  MR. ROSE:  Let me go to Governor Perry and then governor — then Governor Huntsman.

Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY:  We’re missing this so much.  What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we’re going to have this policy or that policy.  What we need to be focused on is how we get America working again.  That’s where we need to be focused.

And let me tell you, we’re sitting on this absolute treasure trove of — of energy in this country.  And I don’t need 9-9-9, we don’t need any plan to pass Congress.  We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of — of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country.

I can promise you that we do that and we’ll create an environment in this country where the manufacturing will come back to this country.  We did it in Texas.  We brought CHI Manufacturing, that had business in China, back to the state of Texas.  You free up this country’s entrepreneurs where they know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on investment and all of this conversation that we’re having today becomes substantially less impactful.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I want to come back to these issues, but let me introduce — speaking of CEOs and business — this is a New Hampshire native.  His name is David Cote.  He is chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and he is a former member of the Simpson-Bowles commission. Here he is.

DAVID COTE (chairman and CEO, Honeywell):  (From videotape.) Twenty years ago there were a billion people actively participating in the global economy.  Today there are more than 4 billion active participants in the global economy, with China, India, former CIS states and other emerging economies now in the game.  While that is a good and peaceful phenomenon, it also means we need to compete more strongly than we did in the past.  We need an American competitiveness agenda.  We need to inspire that American competitive spirit that has served us so well for over 200 years.

I would like to ask, what would be on your American competitiveness agenda?  And with one last small request.  My guess is, all of us are ready to accept that we’re a great country and a great people, so if your response could focus on specifics, it would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum, we talked about jobs in Pennsylvania.  A competitive agenda of yours would be what?

MR. SANTORUM:  Well, I already put forward a plan.  You know, Mitt, I don’t want to go to a trade war.  I want to beat China.  I want to go war with China and — and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business, and we need to do that with the agenda that I outlined, which, unlike Herman’s plan, which could not pass, because no — how many people here are for a sales tax in New Hampshire?  Raise your hand.  There you go, Herman.  That’s how many votes you’ll get in New Hampshire.

MR. ROSE:  Yeah.

MR. SANTORUM:  You know, we’re not going to — we’re not going to give the — we’re not going to give the federal government, Nancy Pelosi, a new pipeline, a 9 percent sales tax, for consumers to get hammered by the federal government.  How many people believe that we’ll keep the income tax at 9 percent?  Anybody?  There.  There’s — that’s why people won’t trust —

MR. ROSE:  All right.  So if you keep —

MR. SANTORUM:  — giving people — (inaudible) — if you if you give us a plan —

MR. ROSE:  — if you keep mentioning 9-9-9 and Herman Cain, I’m going to have to go back to him every other question.

(Cross talk, laughter.)

MR. CAIN:  That’s right.  (Applause.)

MR. SANTORUM:  Charlie, whoa, whoa.  I’m not done yet.

MR. CAIN:  Thank you.

MR. ROSE:  (Chuckles.)

MR. SANTORUM:  I’m not done yet.  I’ve — I’ve only been able to answer one question, unlike everybody else here, so let let me just finish what I’m saying.

MR. ROSE:  Right.

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal “Obamacare.”  That’s the first thing we need to do.  We want to create jobs.  I went to Osippi (ph) today and I talked to a small-business man there, and he said:  I will not hire anybody, I will not do — I will not make a move until I find    out what’s going to happen with this health care bill and how it’s going to crush me and — and — and so repealing “Obamacare” — and we can do it, not by waivers.  That’s the wrong idea, Mitt.  And you — reason it’s the wrong idea — because you get a waiver — California going to waive that?  No.  New York going to waive it?  No.  All these states — many of them, liberal states — are going to continue on, and then states like New Hampshire that will waive it will end up subsidizing California.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal it — let me finish.

MR. ROSE:  Yes, you do, but you —

MR. SANTORUM:  We need to repeal it —

MR. ROSE:  All right, but their time —

MR. SANTORUM:  I know.  Well, I’m —

MR. ROSE:  Time.  You see the red light.  Time!

MR. SANTORUM:  — (spending up the ?) time.  We need to repeal it —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  — by doing it through a reconciliation process, and since I have the experience and know how to do that, we’ll take care of and get it rid of it the first —

MR. ROSE:  I’ve got to go to the break and I’m — but I’m — both — give both Herman Cain and Governor Romney a chance to make their point, because they were both mentioned — first Cain, then Romney, then break.

MR. CAIN:  Therein lies the difference between me, the nonpolitician, and all of the politicians.  They want to pass what they think they can get passed, rather than what we need, which is a bold solution.

9-9-9 is bold, and the American people want a bold solution, not just what’s going to kick the can down the table — down the road.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Romney.  (Applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Rick, you’re absolutely right.  On day one, granting a waiver for — to all 50 states doesn’t stop in its tracks entirely “Obamacare.”  That’s why I also say we have to repeal “Obamacare,” and I will do that on day two with a reconciliation bill, because, as you know, it was passed by reconciliation, 51 votes.  We can get rid of it with 51 votes.  We have to get rid of “Obamacare” and return to the states the responsibility —

MR.     :  (Inaudible.)

MR. ROMNEY:  No, not if you get rid of it.  And by the way, the Supreme Court may get rid of it.

MR.     :  (Inaudible.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Let me finish.  Let me finish.

MR. ROSE:  OK.  Let him finish, then we’ll go to Huntsman, then we go to break.  And then when we come back, each of you can question each other.  (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  All right.  (That’s a good deal ?).

And let me — let me just say this, which is, we all agree about repeal and replace.  And I’m proud of the fact that I put together a plan that says what I’m going to replace it with.  And I think it’s incumbent on everybody around this table to put together a plan that says, this is what I’ll replace it with, because the American people are not satisfied with the status quo.  They want us to solve the problem of health care, to get it to work like a market, and that’s what has to happen.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Government Huntsman, then we go.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  It’s disingenuous to — to just say that you — you can can waive it all the way.  The mandate will be in place.  The IRS is already planning on 19,500 new employees to administer that mandate.  That will stay, and that’s the ruinous part of “Obamacare.” And that — Mitt, your plan is not going to do anything.  MR. ROMNEY:  (Inaudible) — a way to repeal it.  Did you miss that?

MR. HUNTSMAN:  (Inaudible.)  It doesn’t — it doesn’t repeal the mandate.

(Cross talk.)

MR. SANTORUM:  Through reconciliation you can repeal the taxes, you can repeal the spending, and therefore the mandate has no teeth because there’s no tax penalty if you don’t enforce (them ?).

MR. ROSE:  All right, we have much to talk about.  When we come back, the candidates will ask questions of each other, after this break.  (Applause.)


MR. ROSE:  Welcome back.  We’re at the Republican presidential candidates’ debate.  We’re at Dartmouth College in New Hanover (sic) — in Hanover, New Hampshire — and we’re pleased now to turn around a bit and have the candidates question each other.  They will each have 30 seconds to pose and answer — will have one minute to respond — 30 seconds per question, one minute to respond.

They’ll proceed in alphabetical order.  I remember that — I want you to remember, as we talk about this, we’re talking about the economy or those things that affect the economy.

Beginning in alphabetical order:  Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  Thank you.  In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan introduced an economic miracle.  And while all of us were wishing and yearning for a third term for Ronald Reagan, Governor Perry, you were campaigning and cochairing Al Gore’s election campaign for president of the United States.  You went on to increase spending in Texas by over 50 percent, and you financed that spending by increasing bond debt by over 137 percent.  That’s exactly what Barack Obama has been doing:  increasing debt by trillions of dollars.  How can we trust you to not go down the Obama way and overspend and pay for that spending with indebtedness on the backs of the next generation?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I, like most people in the state of Texas and in those southern states, grew up a Democrat.  Michael Reagan and I were talking just the other day, Charlie, that I came to the Republican Party sooner in age than his dad, Ronald Reagan did.

And let me just address this issue of the debt in the state of Texas.  Texas has the sixth-lowest debt per capita when I started as the governor back in 2000.  And today, Texas has the second-lowest debt per capita in the United States.  I think that’s what America’s looking for, is a president of the United States that understands how to balance budgets, how to deal with the spending issue and how to get Americans back working again.

MR. ROSE:  Herman Cain — question.

MR. CAIN:  Yes.  One of my guiding principles has been and will always be:  Surround yourself with good people.  The 9-9-9 plan that I have proposed is simple, transparent, efficient, fair and neutral.

My question is to Governor Romney.  Can you name all 59 points in your 160-page plan?  And does it satisfy that criteria of being simple, transparent, efficient, fair and neutral?  (Laughter, applause.)

MR. ROMNEY:  (Laughs.)  Herman, I — I’ve had the experience in my life of taking — taking on some tough problems.  And — and I must admit that — that simple answers are — are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate.  And in my view, to get this economy going again, we’re going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan.

And the other parts of my plan are these.

One is to make sure that we stop the regulatory creep that’s occurred in Washington.  And all of the Obama regulations we say no to — we put a halt on them and reverse all of those that cost jobs.

Number two, we have trade policies that open up new markets to American goods.  And I lay out a number of things I’d do in that 59 points that open up more markets to American goods.  And we of course stop the cheating that goes on.

We also have to have the rule of law.  By that I mean you can’t have the federal government through its friends at the National Labor Relations Board saying to a company like Boeing that you can’t build a factory in a non-union state.  That’s simply wrong and violates the principle of the rule of law.

We also have to have institutions that create human capital. We’re a capitalist system, but we don’t — don’t just believe in — in physical capital or financial capital —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — also human capital.  We need great schools, great institutions.

Finally, you got to have a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in.

Those are the seven major pillars of those 59 points.

MR. CAIN:  So no, it’s not simple is what you’re saying.  MR. ROMNEY:  It — I — let me — let me tell you, to get this economy restructured fundamentally to put America on a path to be the most competitive place in the world to create jobs is going to take someone who knows how to do it.  And it’s not one or two things; it’s a good number of things to get America — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Speaker Gingrich, question.

MR. GINGRICH:  Now, Governor Romney, let me say first of all there’s an awful lot in your plan that’s very good and that I think would be very helpful if implemented — a lot better than what Obama is doing.  But one of the characteristics of Obama in his class- warfare approach has been to talk about going after people who made over $250,000 a year and divide us.  And I was a little surprised — I think it’s about page 47 of your plan — that you have a capital-gains tax cut for people under $200,000, which is actually lower than the Obama model.

Now, as a businessman, you know that you actually lose economic effectiveness if you limit capital-gains tax cuts only to people who don’t get capital gains.  So I’m curious:  What was the rationale for setting an even lower base mark than — than — than Obama had?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, the reason for giving a tax break to middle- income Americans is that middle-income Americans have been the people who have been most hurt by the Obama economy.  The reason you’re seeing protests, as you indicated, on Wall Street and across the country is middle-income Americans are having a hard time making ends meet.  Not only do we have 25 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, or in part-time jobs needing full-time employ, we just saw this week that median income in America has declined by 10 percent during the Obama years.  People are having a hard time making ends meet.

And so if I’m going to use precious dollars to reduce taxes, I want to focus it on where the people are hurting the most, and that’s the middle class.  I’m — I’m not worried about rich people; they’re doing just fine.  The very poor have a safety net; they’re taken care of.  But the people in the middle, the hard-working Americans, are the people who need a break, and that’s why I focus my tax cut right there.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Since this discussion is all about economics, Governor Romney, I promise this won’t be about religion.  (Laughter.) Some — (laughter) — sorry about that, Rick.

Since some might see it because of your past employment with Bain Capital as more of a financial engineer — somebody who breaks down    businesses, destroys jobs as opposed to creating jobs and opportunity, leveraging up, spinning off, enriching shareholders — Since you were number 47 as governor of the state of Massachusetts — where we were number one for example — and the whole discussion around this campaign is going to be job creation, how can you win that debate given your background?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, my background is quite different than you describe, Jon.  (Chuckles.)  So the way I’ll win it is by telling people an accurate rendition of what I’ve done in my life.

And fortunately, people in New Hampshire, living next door, have a pretty good sense of that.  They understand that in the business I was in, we didn’t take things apart and cut them off and sell them off.  We — we instead helped start businesses.

And they know some of the names.  We started Staples, we started the Sports Authority, we started Bright Horizons children centers. Heck, we even started a steel mill in a farm field in Indiana.  And that steel mill operates today and employs a lot of people.  So we began businesses.

Sometimes we acquired businesses and tried to turn them around — typically effectively — and net — net created tens of thousands of new jobs.  And I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do that. That’s a big part of the American system.  People are not going to — in my opinion, are not going to be looking for someone who’s not successful.  They want someone who has been successful and who knows how fundamentally the economy works.

I — look, I — I would not be in this race had I spent my life in politics alone.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  But right now, with the American people in the kind of financial crisis they’re in, they need someone who knows how to create jobs, and I do.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  Congressman Paul.

REP. PAUL:  Since the Federal Reserve is the engine of inflation, creates the business cycle, produces our recessions and our depressions, the Federal Reserve obviously is a very important issue. And fortunately tonight, we have a former director of the Federal Reserve at Kansas City, so I have a question for Mr. Cain.

Mr. Cain, in the past, you’ve been rather critical of any of us who would want to audit the Fed.

You said — you’ve used pretty strong terms, that we were ignorant and that we didn’t know what we were doing, and therefore there is no need for a(n) audit anyway because if you had one you’re not going to find out everything because everybody knows everything about the Fed.  But now that we have found — and we’ve gotten an audit, we have found out an awful lot on how special businesses get, you know, bailed out — Wall Street, the banks and special companies, foreign governments. And — and you said that — you advised those of us who are concerned and you belittled.  You say, call up the Federal Reserve and just ask ’em —

MR. ROSE:  Question?

REP. PAUL:  — to get the PR person.  So do you still stick by this, that this is a — this is frivolous?  Or do you think it’s very important?  Sixty-four percent of the American people want a full audit of the Fed on a regular basis.

MR. ROSE:  Mr. Cain?

MR. CAIN:  First of all, you have misquoted me.  I did not call you or any of your people “ignorant.”  I don’t know where that came from.

REP. PAUL:  (Off mic.)

MR. CAIN:  All right?  Now, so you got to be careful of the stuff that you get off the Internet because that’s just not something that I have said.  (Laughter.)

Secondly, when I served on the board of the Federal Reserve in the 1990s, we didn’t do any of the things that this Federal Reserve is doing.  I don’t agree with the actions of this Federal Reserve.  I don’t agree with the actions that have been undertaken by Ben Bernanke.  We didn’t have a $14 trillion national debt to prop up with some of the actions that they are taking.

And I have also said, to be precise, I do not object to the Federal Reserve being audited.  I simply said if someone wants to initiate that option, go right ahead.  It doesn’t bother me.  So you — I’ve been misrepresented in that regard.  I don’t have a problem with the Federal Reserve being audited.  It’s simply not my top priority.  My top priority is 9-9-9.  (Laughter.)  Jobs, jobs, jobs! (Applause.)  MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry, question for —

GOV. PERRY:  (Chuckles.)  Governor Romney, your chief economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, who you know well — he said that “Romneycare” was “Obamacare.”  And “Romneycare” has driven the cost of small business insurance premiums up by 14 percent over the national average in Massachusetts.

So my question for you would be, how would you respond to his criticism of your signature legislative achievement?

MR. ROMNEY:  You know, the — the great thing about running for president is that you get the chance also to talk about your experience as governor, and I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in my state.  And the problem was that we had a lot of kids without insurance, a lot of adults without insurance, but it added up to about 8 percent of our population.  And we said:  You know what?  We want to find a way to get those folks insured, but we don’t want to change anything for the 92 percent of the people that already have insurance.  And so our plan dealt with those 8 percent, not the 92 (percent).

One of the problems with “Obamacare” is, he doesn’t deal with the people without insurance, he takes over health care for everyone. Then he does something else that Chris Christie said today.  He said: The problem with “Obamacare” is he spends an extra trillion dollars and raises taxes.  And raising taxes is one of the big problems — something we didn’t do in Massachusetts.

He also cuts Medicare!  Only — but — but with people out there talking about Medicare — it’s President Obama that did that.

And I — I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.  I’ll tell you this, though.  We have the lowest number of kids, as a percentage, uninsured, of any state in America.  You have the highest.  You have over —

GOV. PERRY:  (Inaudible) —

MR. ROMNEY:  — I’m still — I’m still speaking.  I’m still speaking.

GOV. PERRY:  — Mr. Glenn Hubbard’s criticism.    MR. ROMNEY:  I’m still speaking.  We have — we have less than 1 percent of our kids — they’re uninsured.  You have a million kids uninsured in Texas — a million kids.

Under President Bush, the percent uninsured went down.  Under your leadership, it’s gone up.

I care about people.  Now our plan isn’t perfect.  Glenn Hubbard is a fine fellow.  I (will ?) take a look at his quote.

Some people say that.  Just because people say something doesn’t mean it’s true.  (Chuckles.)  The truth is, our plan is different.  And the people of Massachusetts, if they don’t like it, they get rid of it. Right now, they favor it three-to-one.

But I’m not running for governor of Massachusetts; I’m running for president of the United States.  And as president, I will repeal “Obamacare.”  I’ll grant a waiver on day one to get that started.  And I’ll make sure that we return to the states what we had when I was governor:  the right to care for our poor in the way we thought best for our respective states.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum.

MR. SANTORUM:  Romney’s before me — R.

MR. ROSE:  No, I’m sorry, you’re right.  You’re right. (Laughter.)  Governor Romney.  (Laughs, laughter.)  Very good. (Applause.)

I missed school that day.  I missed school that day when they said R is before S.  (Laughter.)

MR. GINGRICH:  Think of us as your — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  That’s right.  (Laughs.)

MR. ROMNEY:  You’d think someone from PBS would know that, wouldn’t you?  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  I was — I was thinking how much I was enjoying this. (Laughter.)

MR. ROMNEY:  (Laughs.)  Yeah, exactly — exactly right.

Let me turn to Congresswoman Bachmann, and just ask you Congresswoman, as we’ve spoken this evening, we’re all concerned about getting Americans back to work.  And you’ve laid out some pretty bold ideas with regards to taxation and cutting back the scale of the federal government.  And there’s no question, that’s a very important element of getting people back to work.  And I’d like to ask you to expand on your other ideas.

What do you do to help the American people get back to work, be able to make ends meet?  You’ve got families that are sitting around   the kitchen table, wondering how they’re going to make it — make it to the end of the month.  You got — you got young people coming out of college — maybe not here at Dartmouth, but a lot of colleges across the country — wondering where they can get a job.  What would you do, beyond the tax policies you described, to get people back to work?

REP. BACHMANN:  Well, I do understand that.  I’m a mother of 28 kids — 23 foster kids, five biological kids.  I get how difficult it is for young people right now to get jobs right out of college.  It’s very, very tough.  And the solutions that I’m offering in my plan — which, if I can give a commercial, are at michelebachmann.com — the solutions that I’m offering aren’t just a silver bullet.

It’s not just the tax code.  It’s also dealing with the regulatory burden, because businesses — my husband and I started our own successful business.  I’m 55.  I spent my whole life in the private sector.  I get job creation, too.  And the business world is looking at 1.8 trillion (dollars) every year in compliance costs with government regulations.  That has to go.  So I want to get rid of that.  It’s the mother of all repeal bills.

But the number-one reason that employers say that they aren’t hiring today is “Obamacare.”  And I was the leading critic for President Obama in Washington, D.C., against “Obamacare.”  That’s why I was the first member of Congress to introduce that bill to repeal “Obamacare.”  I understand that’s what’s inhibiting job creation and job growth.  We have to repeal that.  I also introduced and I fought on Barney Frank’s committee against Dodd-Frank, which is the “housing and jobs destruction act.”  That’s why I was the chief author of that bill as well.

MR. ROSE:  Time.

REP. BACHMANN:  There’s much more to my solutions.  Go to michelebachmann.com and you can find out.

(Cross talk, laughter.)

MR. SANTORUM:  We’re in the “live free or die” state, and I opposed the single-biggest government intrusion into the private sector, the Wall Street bailout, the TARP program.  I opposed it because it violated the principles of our Constitution, the spirit of our Constitution, because the experience I had, that if you open up the door of government involvement in the private sector, some president will, and in fact did, drive a truck through it and explode the size of the federal government and constrict our freedom.

The interesting thing here is, is the four people on this panel that actually supported TARP at the time of its — of its passage are the people who say that they are the anti-Washington candidates, that they are the business candidates, and they’re the four on this — on this program that supported the Washington bailout, giving Washington — naively, I would say — tools to constrict our freedom.

MS.    :  So do you have a question for one of them?

MORE  MR. SANTORUM:  My question is — you’ve — you’ve prompted it perfectly because here’s my question.

MR. CAIN:  (Laughs.)

MR. SANTORUM:  My question is, since I think Herman Cain is giving naively a tool in his 9-9-9 plan of giving Washington a huge new tax — tax opportunity to get money through a sales tax, why can we trust you that, with your lack of experience, that you won’t continually give Washington the ability to take freedom away from freedom-loving people here in the Live Free or Die State?

MR. CAIN:  There are three deterrents to the —

MR. SANTORUM:  And by the way, it’s one — the four people were Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry, Herman Cain and Governor Romney all supported TARP.

MR. CAIN:  There are three deterrents to this nightmare scenario you described in terms of how bad things are going to be because we are trying to fix the real problem.

The first deterrent is that I’m going to ask the United States Congress to include a two-thirds majority vote before they can raise the 9-9-9 tax.

The second deterrent — the second deterrent is the fact that because it is visible, simple and transparent, the American people are going to be the ones to hold Congress — Congress’ feet to the fire.

The third deterrent is that I would be president and I won’t sign anything that raises the 9-9-9.

MR. SANTORUM:  You’re not going to be president forever.

MR. ROSE:  With that we take a break and come back for our final segment.  Stay with us.  (Applause.)


MR. ROSE:  We are back at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, talking with the eight Republican candidates about a variety of issues.  Clearly, we come back to health care.  I want to go to Governor Perry.  Explain to me what you think the difference is about your health care ideas and Governor Romney’s health care ideas and how you see mandates and how he sees mandates and the Constitution, because not only has there been some exchange here, Governor Christie got involved today.

GOV. PERRY:  Well, certainly the issue of health care is probably one of the biggest one that’s facing us.  I mean, there are a lot of Americans sitting out there today, and — and getting those people back to work’s the most important thing that we do as a country so that they can have the opportunity to purchase health care.  And I think that is probably the biggest issue that are facing Americans. There are people sitting out there around the kitchen table watching TV tonight who are looking for someone to lay out an idea that truly will get this country back working again.

And that’s why I lay out, without having any congressional impact at all, how to get our energy industry back to work and back to work very quickly.

But in the state of Texas, from the standpoint of what we’ve done to make access of health care better, we passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation in — in 2003.  We also passed Healthy Texas, which expands the private sector insurance, and we’ve driven down the cost of insurance by 30 percent.

So those are some of the ways that the states — but the real issue for us is Medicaid and how to get the flexibility on Medicaid so that the innovators can occur in the states.  I can promise you whether it’s Governor Jindal or myself or Susana Martinez over in New Mexico, that’s where you’ll find the real innovation in health care. The way to deliver health care more efficiently, more effectively is to block grant those dollars back to the state and keep this federal government that has this one-size-fits-all mentality from driving the thought process that we’ve seen that’s destroyed health care in this country today.

MS. TUMULTY:  But Governor Perry, as The Washington Post fact- checker noted, Texas has had 16 waivers for Medicaid.  So how can you say that the problem is that the federal government has not given Texas enough flexibility?

GOV. PERRY:  They haven’t anywhere near given the states — I think what you should see is the block granting, not having to go to Washington, D.C. and ask them mother may I every time you come up with a concept or an idea.  Block granting back to the states, I’ll guarantee you the governors and — and their innovators in — in their states will come up with ways to better deliver health care more efficiently, more effectively, more cost-efficiently.  And that’s what this country’s looking for, is a president who understands that we have these 50 laboratories of innovation.  Free up these states from Washington, D.C.’s one-size-fits-all.

MR. ROSE:  Julianna.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Thank you, Charlie.

Mr. Cain, you disapprove of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and we all know that your priority is 9-9-9.

But one of the most important appointments that you’re going to have to make your first year, should you be president, would be Fed chairman.  So which Federal Reserve chairman, over the last 40 years, do you think has been most successful and might serve as a model for that appointment?

MR. CAIN:  Alan Greenspan.


MR. CAIN:  Because that’s when I served on the board of the Federal Reserve in the early 1990s, and the way Alan Greenspan oversaw the Fed and the way he coordinated with — the way he coordinated with all of the Federal Reserve banks, I think that it worked fine back in the early 1990s.

Now, on that same point, I have already identified two candidates, which I cannot give their names, to replace the — Bernanke in anticipation of having that responsibility.  We must narrow the mission of the Fed first.  I don’t believe in ending the Fed; I believe we can fix the Fed by getting their mission re-focused on monetary price stability.  And I have candidates in mind that will help us do that.

MS. GOLDMAN:  So you have two appointments waiting in the wings for — for 2013, for this — when his —

MR. CAIN:  Yes.

MS. GOLDMAN:  — term is up, 2014?

MR. CAIN:  Yes.  I have two candidates waiting in the wings to take that job.

MS. GOLDMAN:  How about a hint?

MR. CAIN:  I got to keep them confidential.

MS. GOLDMAN:  OK.  Congressman Paul?  (Laughs, laughter.)

REP. PAUL:  Spoken like a true insider.  (Chuckles.)  No, Alan Greenspan was a disaster.  (Laughter, applause.)  Everybody in Washington — liberals and conservatives — said he kept interest rates too low too long.  Of course, the solution was lower ’em even more, and they think that’s going to solve our problems.  But if I had to name one person that did a little bit of good, that was Paul Volcker.  He at least knew how to end — or help, you know, end the inflation.

But of course, with my position that I don’t think highly of the Federal Reserve and I think we should have sound money and we shouldn’t have somebody deciding what the interest rates should be and how much money supply we should have, I mean, nobody satisfies me.

But certainly Alan Greenspan has ushered in the biggest bubble. And what did we do?  We’ve continued the same thing, doing the same thing.  We think the inflation of — under Alan Greenspan was bad, so we’re trying to solve the problem by inflating even further.  So Bernanke compounds the problem.  He’s inflating twice as fast as Greenspan was.

But Greenspan caused so much trouble.  And he used to believe in the gold standard.  I think he’s coming around to that.  And before he retires, he’ll write his biography and explain why he’s coming back to the gold standard.

MR. ROSE:  I want go to from the gold standard to a small- business person who is from New Hampshire, who’s in the audience with us and has a question about small business, of which she has founded one:  Margot Thompson (ph).

MARGOT THOMPSON (ph):  Businesses like mine have great difficulty obtaining credit.  What specifically would you do to make bank lending more accessible to small businesses?

MR. ROSE:  You would direct it to —

Q:  I was told to direct it to you —

MR. ROSE:  Oh, Governor Romney?  (Laughter.)

MR. ROMNEY:  Give her the answer, Charlie.  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  I ask questions, not answer them, governor.


MR. ROSE:  I forgot to explain that.

MR. ROMNEY:  What’s happened in this country, under the Obama administration, is that you have a president who I think is well- meaning but just over his head when it comes to the economy.  And the absolute wrong time to have the absolute wrong people put together a    financial regulatory bill was right now and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  They were the wrong guys at the wrong time.  Because what they did with this new bill is usher in what will be hundreds and thousands of pages of new regulations.

The big banks, the big money center banks in Wall Street, they can deal with that.  I spoke with one banker there that said they have hundreds of lawyers working on that legislation and trying to implement it.

For community banks that provide loans to business like yours, they can’t possibly deal with a regulatory burden like that.

Then you have inspectors coming in and writing down your — their — their assets and saying they’re not worth as much as the bank thought they were worth, and therefore the banks are unable to lend.

Small community banks across this country are starving and struggling because of inspectors that are making their job impossible and because of regulation that’s fine for the big banks, because they can deal with it.  It’s a killer for the small banks.  And those small banks loaning to small businesses and entrepreneurs are what have typically gotten our economy out of recession.

What’s — what the president has done on almost every dimension —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. ROMNEY:  — is exactly the wrong thing to get this economy going again.


MR. ROSE:  Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  I’d like to add to that, because the Dodd-Frank bill IS the — the jobs and housing destruction act.  And I have spoken to — to Iowa bankers, and they told me that they are going to see the collapse of community banks, just like Mitt said, all across the state.  I talked to a banker in Texas who owns multiple branch banks.  He said he’s going to lose 20 million (dollars) on his bottom line this year because of all of the compliance.

So government is putting a huge layer of regulation on banks.  We will literally thousands of banks close their door.  That will be hard for small business owners like you and like me.  And so that’s going to hurt real people, and it will lead to job destruction.

MR. ROSE:  All right.

REP. BACHMANN:  That’s why I introduced the bill to repeal Dodd- Frank, because it’ll hurt credit, not add to credit.  And by the way, that’s why we see the new $5 debit card fee that people are paying    every — every month that they’re upset about, because of Dodd-Frank. And that was insider dealing, because Senator Durbin had former staffers that came to lobby him on behalf of retailers.  This is dirty dealing.  As president of the United States, I would end all of these payoffs to political donors by — by — by our legislators.

That’s a — that’s wrong.  That’s got to end.

MR. ROSE:  OK.  Here, and then go over here — first, and then there.

MR. CAIN:  In addition to what Governor Romney said, I agree, repeal Dodd-Frank.  But also, get rid of the capital gains tax. That’s a big wall between people with ideas and people with money. And we know which plan gets rid of the capital gains tax.  (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL:  I just want to add one quick thing.  You know, Dodd- Frank, obviously, is a disaster.  It’s estimated it’s going to cost a trillion dollars.  I think one of the reasons we’re not getting anywhere, and we’re not getting anywhere in Washington, is it’s a partisan fight; it’s a fight over power.  Because Sarbanes-Oxley, which was done by the Republicans, it cost a trillion dollars, too. Let’s repeal that, too.

I mean, if you look at what we’ve done as Republicans, we have caused a lot of problems.  To say it’s all in these past two years, I mean, I think that is so misleading.  That’s why the American people are sick and tired of listening to the politics — (inaudible).

MR. ROSE:  All right, I want to bring my colleagues in.


MS. TUMULTY:  Right.  Governor Perry, taxpayers stand to lose half a billion dollars in the collapse of Solyndra, which is a solar energy firm that was a centerpiece of the Obama green jobs initiative. Do you think there were inadequate safeguards there, or do you think this is just the risk we run when the government gets involved in subsidizing new industries and technologies?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, I don’t think the federal government should be involved in that type of investment, period.  If states want to choose to do that, I think that’s fine for states to do that.

MS. TUMULTY:  And you have in Texas done that with the emerging technology fund.  But your own state auditor said earlier this year that that fund is neither accountable nor transparent.  The Dallas Morning News reported that that fund gave $16 million to companies that are connected to your campaign contributors.  And like Solyndra, some of the emerging technology fund investments have gone bust.  So how is this different in principle from the Obama administration’s efforts to pick winners in the future economy?

GOV. PERRY:  Well, first off, the Texas legislature has full oversight of that committee.  It’s approved it for — I think since 2003.  So every two years the Texas legislature looks at it and it’s had full oversight, and I can promise you the 54,600 jobs that have been created and the 14-plus billion dollars worth of investment that has come out of the Enterprise Fund in the state of Texas, those people that have jobs today in the state of Texas, they are absolutely happy that we’ve got a program like that.  And — and 75 percent of those Emerging Technology Fund dollars — or my appointees never made a contribution to me, period.

MS. TUMULTY:  But you talk about — you talk about oversight. The fact is that in some instances your appointees have overruled the regional boards that have tried to turn back some of these deals.

GOV. PERRY:  Every — every one of those projects had the lieutenant governor, the speaker and the governor’s office.  So there’s extraordinary amount of oversight in those programs, and we’re proud of them.  I mean, we feel like that those are part of the reason that Texas has led the nation in the creation of jobs.  While this country was losing 2 1/2 million jobs, Texas was creating 1 million jobs.  That’s the kind of leadership that America’s longing for, someone that actually understands that you have to be able to give a climate where people know they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on that investment.

MR. ROSE:  We have one more video I want to show.  Here it is.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:  (From videotape.)  The more people who own their home, the better off America is.  And we’re making good progress.  Our nation’s 68 percent homeownership rate is the highest ever.  More people own homes now than ever before in the country’s history, and that’s exciting for the future of America. (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  Speaker Gingrich, is the American dream of owning a home no longer a realistic dream?  And is it too easy in America?

MR. GINGRICH:  You know, there’s a stream of American thought that really wishes we would decay and fall apart, and that the future would be bleak so the government could then share the misery.  It was captured by Jimmy Carter in his “malaise speech.”  It’s captured every week by Barack Obama in his apologias disguised as press conferences. (Laughter, scattered applause.)

The fact is — and the governor is exactly right.  When we get back — I mean, a lot of these folks are right about a lot of things. His energy plan, his industrial manufacturing plan, most of what he put down — a fair amount, but not totally what my good friend said there — hard money with a very limited Federal Reserve —

MS. TUMULTY (?):  Repeal “Obamacare” —

MR. GINGRICH:  What Huntsman has done —

MS. TUMULTY (?):  Repeal “Obamacare” —

MR. GINGRICH:  And she — she’s right on repealing Dodd-Frank. I’m shocked that the House Republicans haven’t repealed Dodd-Frank. They ought to do it now.

MS. TUMULTY:  (Off mic.)

MR. GINGRICH:  They ought to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley now.  If we get back on track, the — and you know this, as a former ambassador — the Chinese couldn’t compete with us in a hundred years if we got our act together in this country and we got back to doing the right things in this country; at which point we could afford to buy houses, which would solve virtually everything else.  You got to be able to afford it to be able to buy it, and that’s where things went wrong in the — in the last decade.

MR. ROSE:  All right.


MS. GOLDMAN:  Mr. Cain — (applause) — you recently said, quoting you:  Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks; if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.  So are you telling the 14 million unemployed Americans that it’s their fault that they don’t have a job?

MR. CAIN:  No, the question was — that response was directed at the people that are protesting on Wall Street, not that 14 million people who are out of work for no reason of their own other than that the economy is not growing, not the millions of people that are underemployed.

That statement was not directed at them.  It was specifically directed at the people who were protesting on Wall Street.  And I also said that they have basically targeted the wrong target.  It should be against the failed policies of this administration, not Wall Street, is where they should be protesting.

MS. GOLDMAN:  Governor Romney, I want to ask you, because President Obama’s jobs bill was stalled in the Senate today, and so it may have to be broken into component parts for Congress to vote on. If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that would mean a tax increase for all Americans.  What would be the consequences of that?

MR. ROMNEY:  No one likes to see tax increases, but look, the — the stimulus bills the president comes out with that are supposedly going to create jobs, we’ve now seen this played in the theater several times.  And what we’re seeing hasn’t worked.  The American people know that when he — when he went into office and borrowed $800 billion for a massive jobs stimulus program, that they didn’t see the jobs.  Some of those green jobs we were supposed to get, that’s money down the drain.  The right course for America is not to keep spending money on stimulus bills, but instead to make permanent changes to the tax code.

Look, when you give — as the president’s bill does, if you give a temporary change to the payroll tax and you say, we’re going to extend this for a year or two, employers don’t hire people for a year or two.  They make an investment in a person that goes over a long period of time.  And so if you want to get this economy going again, you have to have people who understand how employers think, what it takes to create jobs.  And what it takes to create jobs is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus.  It needs instead fundamental restructuring of our economy to make sure that we are the most attractive place in the world for investment, for innovation, for growth and for hiring, and we can do that again.

MS. GOLDMAN:  So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts —

MR. ROMNEY:  Look, I don’t like — (inaudible) — little Band- Aids.  I want to fundamentally restructure America’s foundation economically.

MR. ROSE:  Before a closing question, I want not this hour and a half to pass without some recognition and conversation about the question of disparity in America.  Karen.

MS. TUMULTY:  Governor Perry, over the last 30 years, the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans has grown by more than 300 percent.  And yet, we have more people living in poverty in this country than at any time in the last 50 years.  Is this acceptable? And what would you do to close that gap?

GOV. PERRY:  The reason we have that many people living in poverty is because we’ve got a president of the United States who’s a job killer.  That’s what’s wrong with this country today.  You have a president who does not understand how to create wealth.  He has overtaxed, over-regulated the small-businessmen and -women to the point where they’re laying off people.

Two-and-a-half million Americans are out there who have lost their jobs.  We have 14 million without work.  This president, I will suggest to you, is the biggest deterrent to getting this country back on track.  And we have to do everything we can to replace Barack Obama in 2012.  (Applause.)

MR. ROSE:  All right, let me just —

MR. SANTORUM:  There’s more — there’s more to it —

MR. ROSE:  OK, but we’re almost out of time.  I want to give you a chance, and then we have to go to a final question.

MR. SANTORUM:  There’s more to it than that.  I agree with Rick, what he said.  But the biggest problem with poverty in America we don’t talk about here, because it’s an economic discussion.  And that is the breakdown of the American family.  You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have two — a husband and wife working in them?  It’s 5 percent today.  A family that’s headed by one person?  It’s 30 percent today.

We need to do something.  We need to talk about economics, the home — the word “home” in Greek is the basis of the word “economy.” It is — it is the foundation of our country.  We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage —

MR. ROSE:  All right.

MR. SANTORUM:  — that has fathers take responsibility for their children.  You can’t have limited government, you can’t have a wealthy   society, if the family breaks down that basic unit of society.  And that needs to be included in this economic discussion.

MR. ROSE:  All right, I’ve got one last question.

One last question with 30 minutes of — one last question —


MR. ROSE:  All right.  One last question as we close this evening, and each of you 30 seconds.  What is it about you that you want to connect with the American people in their both despair and in their hope for the future that says something essentially about who you are?  And I begin with Congresswoman Bachmann.

REP. BACHMANN:  I’m sorry, Charlie.

REP. PAUL:  (Chuckles.)  A little distraction.  (Laughter.)

MR. ROSE:  It is about the individual.  We have 30 seconds here. We’ve talked about issues here, but I want to talk for a moment, as a last impression, a sense of what it is about you that you want to hear and let the American people know about you and your sense of recognizing their own pain as well as their hope?

REP. BACHMANN:  Well, I do — I grew up in a middle-class home. We went to below —

MR. ROSE:  Thirty seconds.  I’m sorry.

REP. BACHMANN:  We — we went to below poverty when my parents divorced, and my mother worked very hard.  We all did.  We all got jobs and we were able to work our way through college.  And — and eventually my husband and I started a business.

We have broken hearts for at-risk kids, Charlie.  That’s why we took 23 foster children into our home.

I believe the best solutions are the ones closest to home.  If we reach out as individuals to help people and have broken hearts for people and care for them on a personal basis, then we don’t need big government to step in and do that job.  The more that we can do to love people, the better off the society will be.

MR. ROSE:  And Herman Cain.  Thirty seconds.

MR. CAIN:  I can connect with people’s pain because I was po’ before I was poor.  My dad worked three jobs.  I understand what that means.  But more importantly, with my career and with my record, I    understand that leaders are supposed to make sure we’re working on the right problems, we assign the right priority; surround yourself with the right people, which will allow you to put together the right plans — and yes, sometimes those plans will be bold plans, because this economy is on life support.

We don’t need to trim around the edges.  We need a bold plan.

MR. ROSE:  Congressman — Speaker Gingrich.

MR. GINGRICH:  Well, look, I grew up in an Army brat family.  We moved all over the country.  In recent years I’ve had relatives out of work.  I’ve had folks who were trying to find jobs for up to a year. We have, I think, a pretty good sense of the pain level.

But I also think it’s important to say of leaders that you find solution — I don’t think people hire one of us just to say:  I sympathize with you.

I think they hire us to say:  This is how we will solve it.

And I would say every person at this table is more likely to solve those problems than Barack Obama.

MR. ROSE:  Congressman Paul.  (Applause.)

REP. PAUL:  My motivation, my goals has always been to promote liberty, believing that’s what made America great.  If we want prosperity, if we want peace, we understand what the cause of liberty is all about.  And we have to understand that a free market system and sound money gives us the prosperity.  And it also is the humanitarian program, because once you get into the welfare state and a socialist state, it all backfires.  So if you care about people, you believe in liberty, that’s what made America great.  That’s what I want to restore.

MR. ROSE:  Senator Santorum.  (Applause.)

MR. SANTORUM:  As was mentioned, I grew up in a steel town, and one of the things that I realized is the when manufacturing left, a lot of the people in the middle income of America left.

And what we — what I — I just read a recent study that actually income mobility from the bottom two quintiles up into the middle of — up into the middle income is actually greater — the mobility in Europe — than it is in America today.  We need to change that, and the way you do it is by — in — by creating jobs in the manufacturing sector of the economy, which is what I will do.  It create that income mobility.  It’ll create the opportunity for semiskilled and lower- skilled and — and skilled workers to rise in society.  It will take    those people off of Occupy — and bring them into the workplace, where they can — they can have family-sustaining jobs.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Huntsman.

MR. HUNTSMAN:  Not only have I seen and participated in the creation of a great family business where jobs mean something, but I presided over a state that delivered the lowest level of unemployment in this country, 2.4 percent.  And when I saw on the faces of people who had the dignity of a job, you knew what it meant to moms and dads and entire families.

And when Sheriff Hardy who was here in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, when he talks about his deputies who for the first time are handing our foreclosure notices to the middle class and they’re seeing a rise in suicides, they’re seeing a rise in spousal abuse, they’re seeing a rise in substance abuse, it gives you a sense of what it means to have the dignity of a job.  We don’t have enough of them in this country.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Perry.

GOV. PERRY:  Charlie, as the son of tenant farmers and a young man who had the opportunity to wear the uniform of my country, and then the great privilege to serve as the governor of the second- largest state in this country, I’ve got not only the CEO experience but also working with the private sector to create the jobs.  And that’s what people are begging for.  Talking to that out-of-work rig worker out in the Gulf of Mexico today, they’re begging for someone to make America America again.

MR. ROSE:  Governor Romney.

MR. ROMNEY:  You know, we talked about a crisis this evening, an economic crisis, people out of work, incomes going down.  But there’s another crisis, and that’s that people wonder whether their future will be brighter for the kids than it’s been for them.  It’s always been what it means to be American, to have a greater degree of confidence in the future than even what we’ve enjoyed ourselves.  And what we have to do is to have the leadership in this country, like the men and women at this table, who believe in America.  My experience will help us get our values strong, get our economy strong, and make sure that our military is second to none in the world.

I am absolutely devoted to making America the strongest nation on Earth.  And if you don’t want that as your objective, don’t vote for me — we already have a president that doesn’t make that his first — first objective.

MR. ROSE:  All right.  I want to thank each and all of the candidates who sat at this table this evening.  As I said at the beginning, I believe in tables and I believe that places where you can come and talk about the country and its future and your beliefs is important.

Secondly, I want to thank Karen and thank Julianna for joining us.

I want to thank all of you who came here this evening to hear these candidates.  Thank you very much.  For those at home, thank you for watching.  A post-debate program will follow this.  We thank you for your time.  Good night.  (Applause.)


Campaign Buzz October 11, 2011: Bloomberg / Washington Post GOP Republican Presidential Debate on the Economy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire — Least Combative GOP 2012 Debate has Mitt Romney as Front Runner, Herman Cain in the Hot Seat & Rick Perry in the Sidelines



Pool photo by Toni Sandys

The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators. More Photos »


Debate Live Blog: Republicans Take On the Economy: The Republican presidential candidates gather in Hanover, N.H., to discuss the economy and other issues…. – NYT, 10-11-11

Republican debate: Winners and losers: Mitt Romney shines as Rick Perry, Herman Cain fall short at GOP face-off in New Hampshire…. – CBS News, 10-12-11

  • Republican debate: Winners and Losers:

    Mitt Romney
    9-9-9/Herman Cain: The “9-9-9” plan is Herman Cain. Herman Cain is the “9-9-9 plan”. Nothing so dominated tonight’s debate as chatter about Cain’s “bold”(his words — repeatedly) plan to restructure the tax system in the country. There’s little question that the 9/9/9 plan will be the single most searched term in the wake of this debate — and that’s a very good thing for Cain.
    Newt Gingrich
    Candidates asking candidates questions


    Rick Perry
    Michele Bachmann
    Chilean Model

    WaPo, 10-11-11

  • When the Talk Turns to Taxes and Medicine: The Republican debate covered a range of topics, including income and sales taxes, prostate cancer tests and tax holidays…. – NYT, 10-11-11

“What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we are going to have this policy or that policy. What we need to be focused on is how we get Americans working again.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“Mitt’s had six years to be working on a plan. I’ve been in this for about eight weeks.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“I have had the experience in my life of taking on some tough problems. And I must admit that simple answers are always very helpful but oftentimes inadequate. And in my view, to get this economy going again, we’re going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan.” — Mitt Romney

“If you want to understand why we have a problem, you have to understand the Fed. When there are booms and they’re artificial. . . . When you have bubbles, whether it’s the Nasdaq or whether it’s the housing bubbles, they burst.” — Rep. Ron Paul

“I think it’s a catchy phrase. In fact, I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it.” — Jon Huntsman

“9-9-9 will pass, and it is not the price of a pizza, because it has been well studied and well developed.” — Herman Cain

“When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

“I don’t need 9-9-9. We don’t need any plan to pass Congress. We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country.” — Gov. Rick Perry

“I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in my state. We had a lot of kids without insurance, a lot of adults without insurance. And we said, we don’t want to change anything for the 92 percent of the people that already have insurance. One of the problems with Obamacare is he doesn’t just deal with the people without insurance. He takes over health care for everyone.” — Mitt Romney

  • Romney Snubs Perry as Debate Focuses on the Economy: The Republicans gathered for debate on Tuesday at Dartmouth College, and the scene resembled a talk show. Charlie Rose was one of the moderators.
    With a fresh air of confidence in his candidacy, Mitt Romney set out to diminish Gov. Rick Perry of Texas while presenting himself as the leader best prepared to take on President Obama…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • Mitt Romney solidifies his front-runner status in Republican debate: A comfortable and confident Mitt Romney solidified his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, navigating 90 minutes of tough questions on the economy from his rivals and debate moderators.
    All eight Republican hopefuls who shared an intimate round table on the debate stage at Dartmouth College clamored to blame Washington for the country’s economic ills. In turn, they pointed fingers at President Obama, the Federal Reserve and the government in general, although they sparred over the details of their plans to grow the economy.
    The participants uniformly criticized Obama and official Washington for, in their view, not reviving the economy and for stunting its growth with too many regulations, overreach by the Federal Reserve and inadequate tax relief…. – WaPo, 10-11-11
  • Live: GOP candidates debate the economy and jobs: We’re live blogging the GOP presidential debate on the economy, being held at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are at the top of the latest Gallup Poll on the race, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry…. – USA Today, 10-11-11
  • GOP Debate Live Blog: All eyes might be on Texas Gov. Rick Perry at tonight’s debate, but Mitt Romney stole the pregame buzz by trotting out an unexpected endorsement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor announced his support for Mr. Romney…. – WSJ, 10-11-11
  • New Hampshire debate: Only minutes to go: Until the Republican candidates go head to head in Hanover, NH, for their fourth debate in a little over a month. Looming over the evening: Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, Herman Cain’s surge in the polls and a vocal Rick Perry supporters…. – Politico, 10-11-11
  • Live coverage: GOP debate at Dartmouth College: Only a month ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the Justin Bieber of American conservatism — an appealing new face who soared to the top of the charts (in this case, polls) with improbable speed. But then Perry went head to head with his Republican rivals…. – LAT, 10-11-11
  • Republican Presidential Debate: Photos: Images of the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and The Washington Post in partnership with WBIN-TV Derry, NH and Dartmouth College…. – BusinessWeek, 10-11-11
  • Romney Looks Past Rivals as Debate Focuses on Economy: Mitt Romney offered a robust defense of the health care plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts and sought to look beyond his Republican presidential rivals at a debate here Tuesday night by presenting himself as the leader who is best prepared to take on President Obama.
    With a fresh air of confidence in his candidacy, Mr. Romney set out to diminish Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and all but ignored him, a different approach from the last three debates, where he repeatedly tangled with Mr. Perry. Given a chance to question a fellow candidate, Mr. Romney selected Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
    In a debate that focused on the nation’s economic burdens, Mr. Romney defended elements of the Wall Street bailout in late 2008 as an imperfect but necessary solution. The view is at odds with the sentiment of many conservative voters, who will help decide the party’s nominee…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • New Hampshire debate: Perry still in the hot seat: After a steep drop-off in his poll numbers, Rick Perry sat down at the Republican debate table Tuesday night with much to prove after three shaky debates, and stumbles on the stump. He needed to be sharp, quick, and show that he could go toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney.
    Well, the reviews are in and they are good and bad.
    The consensus seems to be this: Perry’s no debater, but he’s got money…. – WaPo, 10-12-11
  • Republican Presidential Candidate Debate: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum talk about the US economy, job markets, tax code and their policies. … – Bloomberg, 10-12-11
  • Cain’s ‘9-9-9? plan in focus at Republican debate: The buzz word was definitely “9-9-9? in Tuesday’s Republican debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that focused on economic issues. During the debate, the catchphrase 9-9-9 was mentioned 25 times (including 16 times by the man who conceived it)…. – Reuters Blogs, 10-11-11
  • New debate format familiar answers: Two big stories dominated the news cycle Tuesday: An alleged Iranian assassination plot against a diplomat on American soil and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. Neither got an airing in Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate. … – Politico, 10-12-11
  • Cain Discusses 9-9-9 Plan, Independent Voters: Republican presidential candidate and former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive officer Herman Cain explains the specifics of his 9-9-9 tax plan and his campaign’s appeal to independent voters…. – Bloomberg, 10-11-11
  • Debate fatigue as GOP gathers in Dartmouth: Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate is the seventh since May and the fourth in a little over a month. There’s another one scheduled for next Tuesday, and more on the calendar before the end of the year…. – Politico, 10-11-11
  • GOP presidential debate fallout: Is Mitt Romney becoming inevitable?: At Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney fielded questions deftly, attacked when given an opening, and stayed out of jab-fests. Contenders so far haven’t knocked him off stride…. – CS Monitor, 10-12-11
  • Dartmouth aims to control debate crowd: At the last three GOP presidential debates, the crowd has cheered for executions, screamed out that a man without health insurance should be left to die and booed a gay soldier. Dartmouth is trying to keep Tuesday night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg … – Politico, 10-11-11
  • Buddy Roemer: Let me participate in the Republican debate: It’s too late for Buddy Roemer to get in on tonight’s Republican debate, but he has a simple pitch for whomever is planning the next one. “I hope the sponsors and the GOP say, ‘Roemer has a degree in economics and maybe we ought … – Washington Post, 10-11-11
  • Tonight’s Debate Deserves the Hype: Tuesday’s debate about economic issues takes on extra importance, particularly for Rick Perry…. – NYT, 10-11-11
  • Bloomberg debate: Cain, Perry look to upstage Romney: On a red-letter day already for Mitt Romney, he’ll have a chance to play to his strength — the economy — at a Republican presidential debate Tuesday evening in New Hampshire. The debate, broadcast live from Dartmouth College…. – LAT, 10-11-11
  • Republican debate: Five things to watch: For 90 minutes in New Hampshire tonight, eight Republican presidential hopefuls will sit around a wooden table and take shots at each other and President Obama. The theme of The Washington Post/Bloomberg debate, which starts at 8 p.m, is the economy. As Karen Tumulty, who will be one of the journalists asking questions, wrote, previous debates definitively shifted the momentum of the race. And tonight’s debate will likely set off yet another a new phase…. –

    1. Is Herman Cain a contender or a pretender?
    2. Can Romney take a punch?
    3. Rick Perry rebound?
    4. Will the debate veer off topic?
    5. Who will debate his or her way into a Saturday Night Live skit?

    WaPo, 10-11-11

History Buzz October 11, 2011: Cundill Prize in History at McGill University – Long List Announcement


History Buzz



Source: McGill University Press Release, 10-11-11

World’s largest history book award selects top new must-reads

The jury for the Cundill Prize in History at McGill has announced the six titles that will compete for the world‘s largest non-fiction history book award, which offers the winning author a US$75,000 grand prize.

The Prize, now in its fourth year, accepts published books in English— or translated to English— in the area of history. In addition to the grand prize, two ‗Recognition of Excellence‘ awards of US$10,000 each are granted to the runners-up.

―The award is designed, in part, to welcome outstanding history books that are accessible to the wider public – books that can be read and understood by experts and are appealing to informed readers alike,‖ explained Christopher Manfredi, Dean of Arts at McGill University. ―We seek out potential bestsellers,‖ he added.

The long-list of books was selected from 132 eligible entries submitted by various publishing houses around the world. The five-member jury deliberated a longer list established in September, choosing the following titles as top historical literature:

  • Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf, distributed by Random House of Canada) by Maya Jasanoff;
  • Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age (Metropolitan Books) by Sergio Luzzatto;
  • You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge University Press) by Jeremy Popkin;
  • Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford University Press) by Ulinka Rublack;
  • Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books) by Timothy Snyder;
  • The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies (Alfred A. Knopf) by Alan Taylor.

*See below for more information.

―Six superb books, whose subjects range from the cultural patterns of the Renaissance as reflected in clothes of the era to the upheaval and dispossession of war [were selected],‖ said Jeffrey Simpson, National Affairs Columnist at The Globe and Mail, who also served as one of the jury members. This year, adds Simpson, four of six of the books touch on themes of military conflict. In addition to Simpson, this year‘s esteemed members of the Cundill jury include Anthony Cary, Executive Director of the Queen’s-Blyth Educational Programs; McGill history professor Catherine Desbarats; Ramachandra Guha, Philippe Roman Chair of International Affairs and History at the London School of Economics; and Stuart Schwartz, Yale University history professor and winner of the 2008 Cundill Prize.

Later this month, the Award‘s jury will select the three finalists. The grand prize winner will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held in London, England on November 13.

Last year‘s Cundill Prize was awarded to author Diarmaid MacCulloch for A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. As is customary with previous Cundill Prize winners, the British church historian will be giving a public lecture December 1, 2011 at McGill University.

Every year since 2008 the Cundill Prize in History at McGill University selects three finalists of any nationality and from any country, who have published a book determined to have had or is likely to have a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history.

The award was established by the late McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill to recognize and promote literary and academic achievement in history. The Cundill Foundation supports a wide range of charities as well as research projects and educational gifts.

For more information: http://www.mcgill.ca/cundillprize

Cundill Prize in History at McGill
c/o McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
McGill University

2011 Cundill Prize Long-List – Book Details from Jeffrey Simpson

As the two-hundredth anniversary looms of the War of 1812, Alan Taylor delivered a sweeping re-interpretation of that conflict. His title, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies (Knopf) underscores that the war featured not only cross-border battles but pitted people on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border against themselves. In many ways, the War of 1812 was the last chapter of the American Revolution. Some British officials dreamed that the Americans would come to realize the mistake they had made in violently leaving the Empire; war-minded Americans imagined that north of the border people would eventually come to their sensesand join the Republic. Taylor explores the messy military contours of the conflict, with abiding attention to the tensions within each side to provide a colorful but careful reconstruction of the last war fought along the Canadian-U.S. border.
Some of those who resisted U.S. military ambitions in Canada were Loyalists to the British Crown who had left the United States during or after Britain‘s defeat in the Revolutionary War. Maya Jasanoff traces the travails of the Loyalists in the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, then follows them not just to the British colonies in Canada but to the Caribbean, Britain, Africa and India in a sweeping narrative of loyalty, dispossession, and re-settlement. Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf) judiciously weaves case histories of individuals and families into a broad and compelling story of those for whom the Crown exemplified the right mixture of liberty and order, a conviction that brought about their exile to new lands they did not know, where governments often did not know what to do with them.

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin knew what to do with millions of people who stood in the way of the realization of their evil dreams. They systemically killed millions of people in the Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books), the title of Timothy Snyder‘s compendious account of the horrors wreaked upon the innocent in the vast geographic area from eastern Germany to the western Soviet Union. Starting with the Ukrainian famine and stretching until the end of World War Two, and with archival material drawn from many countries, Snyder paints a grim portrait of the motivations of the horrors‘ perpetrators and the travails and death of the victims. Ambitious in scope, meticulous in research, Bloodlands presents an unforgettable picture of a ghastly time in European history.

Jeremy Popkin‘s You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge University Press) delves into part of the Revolution in Saint Dominique (that later became Haiti), an epochal event in the history of slavery. Schooled in the history of Haiti and revolutionary France, Popkin uncovers how events in the two countries were interwoven in the course of the two revolutions. Replete with fascinating characters, French and Haitian, You Are All Free, offers an example of history that drills down into a series of specific events to offer lessons of wider applicability. Particularly fascinating is the role that contingency and chance played in events that from the rear view of mirror of history might have seemed pre-ordained but were anything but.
Padre Pio, an obscure Catholic priest who became a saint, remains even today a controversial, elusive figure in the history of twentieth-century Italy and Catholicism. How was it that this priest from a small parish, who claimed he had been touched by a stigmata (the scars of Christ), became a figure of adulation and scorn throughout Italy and beyond? In Sergio Luzzatto‘s book, Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age (Metropolitan Books), the story of one priest becomes the story of Italy before and after World War Two, as political parties and movements read into him their visions for Italy, and as factions within the Catholic Church used or abused his priestly reputation to fight doctrinal battles. From obscurity to sainthood, the story of Padre Pio remains an arresting, bizarre, telling tale in the hands of a gifted writer.

Today, the fashion industry is all around us, but fashion before the Renaissance remained at the margin of society. With supreme skill, and with the help of superb illustrations, Ulinka Rublack takes us back to the emerging role that clothes, accessories and fashion played in the societies of Renaissance Europe. Her book, Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford University Press), demonstrates that clothes can indeed make history and history can be about clothes. What people wore, what images they made for themselves, how they created different looks, all shaped the identity of women and men, and of the societies they inhabited. For those with a taste for cultural history, Rublack has provided a gourmet spread.

History Quotes October 11, 2011: Gary Gerstle: Historian Occupy Wall Street movement right on time in new Gilded Age


History Buzz



Historian: Occupy Wall Street movement right on time in new Gilded Age

Source: Vanderbilt News, 10-11-11

The Occupy Wall Street movement could offer a similar opportunity to left-wing politicians as the Tea Party movement did to the right, says a Vanderbilt University historian.

Occupy Wall Street is a continuing series of demonstrations in New York City that has spread to more than 70 other cities. Participants have said they are protesting corporate greed, the influence of lobbyists on lawmakers and general social and economic inequities in the United States.

Gary Gerstle

“We don’t know yet whether Occupy Wall Street along with the worsening economic crisis will gel into a powerful mandate like the labor movement that took root four years after the Great Depression began in 1929,” said Gary Gerstle, the James G. Stahlman Professor of American History at Vanderbilt. “But history teaches us that movements that begin in very fragmented, unexpected and surprising ways can go on to wield a lot of influence.”

Gerstle was first interviewed about the Occupy Wall Street movement by Salon.

The labor movement of the 1930s led to a sharp move to the left by President Franklin Roosevelt and the landslide election of left-leaning congressmen in 1934. That in turn led to legislation allowing workers to unionize, the establishment of Social Security and other social programs and tax increases imposed on the wealthiest Americans.

Gerstle compares the current era to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, when the gap between rich and poor widened and put downward pressure on wages.

“The lack of protest is the major difference between the new Gilded Age and the previous version,” Gerstle said. During the first Gilded Age, “the streets were flooded with protest movements,” leading to political change.

One of the criticisms of Occupy Wall Street has been the lack of centralized leadership and clear delineation of the goals of the movement. Gerstle said that the earlier protests were just as undefined but still wielded influence in the long run.

“This opportunity for the left very much resembles the one created by the Tea Party protests for the right in 2010,” Gerstle said.

Full Text October 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Statement on the Senate Vote Against the American Jobs Act




Statement by the President on the Senate Vote on the American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 10-11-11

Tonight, a majority of United States Senators voted to advance the American Jobs Act.  But even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill.

Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight.  Independent economists have said that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy and lead to nearly two million jobs, which is why the majority of the American people support these bipartisan, common-sense proposals.  And we will now work with Senator Reid to make sure that the individual proposals in this jobs bill get a vote as soon as possible.

In the coming days, Members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job.  They’ll get a vote on whether they believe we should cut taxes for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

With each vote, Members of Congress can either explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs, or they can listen to the overwhelming majority of American people who are crying out for action.  Because with so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take “no” for an answer.  Ultimately, the American people won’t take “no” for an answer.  It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.

Full Text October 11, 2011: President Barack Obama Remarks & Attends Meeting of Council on Jobs and Competitiveness




President Obama Attends Meeting of Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

Source: WH, 10-11-11

President Obama maintains that our problems are imminently solvable and discusses smart steps that can be taken to grow the economy and create jobs.

President Obama meets on jobs
Samantha Appleton, 10/11/1

President Obama today attended a meeting of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he heard recommendations from the group on how to get the economy moving and create more jobs. The advisory council, which includes leaders from business, labor and academia, was created by the President earlier this year to provide diverse perspectives and ideas on how to create jobs and strengthen our competitiveness.

The third quarterly meeting of the Council today in Pittsburgh was focused on a report that team presented to the President  that offered five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness:

  • Measures to accelerate investment into job-rich projects in infrastructure and energy development
  • A comprehensive drive to ignite entrepreneurship and accelerate the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms that produce an outsized share of America’s new jobs
  • A national investment initiative to boost jobs-creating inward investment in the United States, both from global firms headquartered elsewhere and from multinational corporations headquartered here
  • Ideas to simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals to accelerate jobs and growth;
  • Steps to ensure America has the talent in place to fill existing job openings as well as to boost future job creation.

The President called the report “outstanding” and highlighted some of the Council’s recommendations that have already been acted upon, including the announcement today of 14 high-priority infrastructure projects  which the permitting process has been significantly expedited  through administrative action. He also discussed the American Jobs Act, which offers solutions to the infrastructure issues the Council raised and has provisions in place to accelerate job creation as well as tax breaks that will enable small companies grow more quickly:

The good news is — and it’s reflected in your Jobs Council report — there’s just a bunch of stuff that we can do right now that not only helps the economy immediately but puts us on a more stable path over the long term.  And most of it should not be controversial.  The good news is, is that our problems are imminently solvable and does not necessarily fall into the classic ideological divisions between left and right, conservative, liberal, but are just smart things to do to respond to a historic challenge that we face as a country.

The bad news is that there is a big gap between sensible solutions and what either the political process seems to be willing to act on and also, I think, people’s perceptions, which are clouded by news reports that would make it seem as if there is nothing we can do and that we’re automatically on a downward decline.

And so I think what the Job Council has been invaluable in providing is a road map for the American people — not comprehensive, this is just a piece of the puzzle, but pointing to examples of where, if we do some smart things now, we can have a lot better outcomes in the future.  And that can help to build back a sense of confidence — or a sense of confidence about our ability to meet these challenges.

The full report is available for download at www.jobs-council.com

History Interviews October 10, 2011: David McCullough 4 lessons “We are what we read”


History Buzz



“We are what we read”: 4 lessons from David McCullough

Source: CS Monitor, 10-10-11


Temp Headline Image

David McCullough, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author – most recently – of “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” imparted words of wisdom to a sold-out crowd at Boston’s Symphony Hall last week. Here are four pieces of advice from McCullough.

1.”Understand the past.”

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The language of Shakespeare and Cervantes helped to shape the way that we speak today, 400 years later.

“Nothing of consequence is ever accomplished alone. America is a joint effort,” insisted the author of “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” “1776,”John Adams,” and seven other books. “There’s no such thing as a self-made man or self-made woman.”

Parents, teachers, friends, enemies, and even people we never knew affect our everyday lives, successes, and failures. The writers of the books we read particularly influence us. McCullough pointed out how truisms promulgated by Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes some 400 years ago inhabit our everyday language today.

“We are what we read,” McCullough said. “We get our ideas from what we read. So it’s extremely important when we try to understand the past, and the characters of the past, to not only read what they wrote, but to read what they read.”

2.“Keep a diary.”

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McCullough has used the personal hand-written artifacts of abolitionist and former US Senator Charles Sumner, among many others, as part of his research.

“Nobody writes letters anymore, and very few people keep diaries,” lamented McCullough, though then he joked, “And people in the public life wouldn’t dare keep dairies. They’d be subpoenaed.”

The historian used the personal hand-written artifacts of Charles Sumner, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Roosevelt, and countless others to research his books. Perhaps he’s just old-fashioned – McCullough still uses a manual typewriter to pen his books – but a lot of his work really doesn’t involve technology such as the Internet, he said. Many of the original letters and journals by our nation’s early founders and thinkers aren’t available from a home computer, rather, they’ve been scanned on microfilm and housed in libraries.

“If any of you are interested in immortality, start keeping a diary,” McCullough quipped. Then, when you feel your days are numbered, donate it to your favorite library. “It will be quoted for hundreds of years by future historians, because it will be the only diary [of our era].”

3.Remember: “Nothing ever happened in the past. It happened in the present.”

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McCullough says that Abigail Adams’ letters help to remind us that “there were no simpler times.”

The master historian reminds us that there is no limit to what we can learn from studying our past, but, he said, it’s important to remember a few principles when studying the subject:

“Nothing ever happened in the past. It happened in the present. Somebody else’s present.” McCullough used an example to illustrate his point: “I’m always annoyed when I hear people talking about the past and they say, ‘Well, that was a simpler time.’ Nonsense, there were no simpler times.”

In fact, our ancestors most likely had is much worse than us. “Abigail Adams wrote that future generations will scarcely be able to imagine the suffering and hardships of their forbearers,” quoted McCullough.

4.Read these books.

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McCullough mentioned Michael Shaara’s outstanding Civil War novel “The Killer Angels” as a book everyone should read.

When an audience member asked McCullough to list “three books everyone should read,” the author hesitated. “It’s an impossible question.”

After a moment of deliberation, he declared Michael Shaara’s Gettysburg story “The Killer Angels,” “a good biography of George Washington” (perhaps Ron Chernow’s “Washington: A Life” or “His Excellency: George Washington” by Joseph Ellis would fit the bill), and “Tender Is The Night” by F. Scott Fitzgerald as his impromptu top three.

The books reflect “important people and times to know about,” said the author. Of course, he added, everyone should read his books too.

History Q & A: Columbus Day Myths


History Buzz




Columbus Day: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

As today’s Columbus Day celebrations begin, marking Columbus’ 1492 arrival in the New World, here are some little-known facts about the explorer celebrated by Italian-Americans across the United States.

1.   When the  Columbus Day Holiday Began

In the U.S., it’s sometimes reported that the national holiday began in 1971, but that’s actually the date when Congress changed Columbus Day to the second Monday of October. In reality, Columbus Day became a national holiday much earlier, in 1937.  At that time, President Franklin Roosevelt declared the holiday would take place on Oct. 12 (the date Columbus first landed in the Bahamas).  But the first known Columbus Day celebration in the U.S. took place in New York City in 1792, long before it became a national holiday.

2.   Columbus’ Journal Was Intended for an Audience

When historians examine primary sources from Columbus’ voyages, they aren’t reading private diaries. They’re evaluating correspondence intended for the explorer’s sponsors, those he refers to as the “Most Christian, High, Excellent, and Powerful Princes, King and Queen of Spain.”  In that sense, it’s entirely possible that these journals were embellished, with some facts manipulated in Columbus’ favor.

3.   Columbus’ Bones Are Still Shrouded in Mystery

It’s still unclear where Columbus’ bones were finally laid to rest.

When Columbus died in 1506 his remains were taken to a family mausoleum in Seville, Spain. But nearly 40 years later his son requested that the remains be placed in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in the capital of the Dominican Republic, where he intended to be buried. In the late 1700s the bones moved to Cuba, and 100 year later they returned to Seville. But in 1877 bones marked as those of Columbus were found by cathedral workers in the Dominican Republic.  Those bones have since been interred in the Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo.

In  2006, the year of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ death, a forensic team found DNA from bones buried in a cathedral in Seville matched the DNA from Columbus’ brother, Diego. But at the time, the director of the Columbus Lighthouse insisted Columbus’ remains had never left the Dominican Republic.

4.  Pope Rejected Bid for Columbus’ Sainthood

In 1882 the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternity, supported Italian Americans who rallied for Columbus to be recognized as a saint because they said he had brought Christianity to the Indians. Pope Leo XIII, however, rejected that request because Columbus had an illegitimate son with Beatriz Enríquez de Harana, his mistress.

5.   Columbus Brought Citrus to the New World

The history books note Columbus forcibly scored a lot of loot from the islands he visited, making off with gold, parrots, spices, and human captives from Haiti, an island he later named Hispaniola.  The “riches” pleased his Spanish sponsors, King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I, who were funding the voyage.  During the process, Columbus also carried European items to the New World.  In 1493, the year of Columbus’s second voyage, he brought citrus fruit seeds to the West Indies and the trees ended up in the West Indies, Mexico, and Florida.

Think You Know The Real Christopher Columbus?

Columbus Day is a national holiday, celebrated with parades and songs. While most Americans know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue, many of the facts surrounding the voyage remain misunderstood. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with historian William Fowler to set the record straight on some of the popular myths surrounding Christopher Columbus and his voyage.

TONY COX, host: I’m Tony Cox, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away.

Coming up, we go to the West African country of Liberia as the country prepares to head to the polls. Many are watching to see whether the current president and modern Africa’s first female head of state will stay in power. That’s in just a few moments.

But first, today is Columbus Day, a day that schoolchildren across America celebrate the arrival of the man who was credited with discovering our country. But since 1492, we’ve learned a lot about what really happened. And today, we wanted to do a little myth busting about Christopher Columbus…..

COX: Now, Professor Fowler, not everyone gets a day named after them. Martin Luther King comes to mind, George Washington, Abe Lincoln had days named after them at one point, which have since been combined into what we now know as President’s Day.

But there are controversies about some of these holidays, particularly around Martin Luther King and now to a certain extent we’re talking about it today. In fact, Christopher Columbus, we have celebrated Columbus Day forever, you know. One hundred years, for sure, and then there was a break and then another 100 years before that with only some modern opposition to the holiday. Why do we, as Americans, hold the story of Columbus in such high regard still?

FOWLER: Well, in looking at history, Tony, people love certainty and they love heroes. And so, here we have the combination. We have a certain date, October 12, 1492 and we have a heroic figure, Columbus. So, you combine those two and it sort of just energizes people. It’s a very romantic concept. And then, of course, it is true that Columbus changed the world. That what Columbus did was to make a greater change in the world than any man had done since the days of Julius Caesar. That is what opened the door. So, Columbus did in fact play that extraordinary key moment, key time, a great heroic mission.

COX: One of the other things that he is given credit for, which I’m assuming is correct and you being the history professor can set the record straight for us, is that he did open new trade routes from Europe heading toward Asia, although he never actually got there, I think. And that he also was responsible for the trading of or the introduction of certain food stuffs and certain spices from one continent to another.

FOWLER: Yes, that’s absolutely true. This is sort of what historians sometimes refer to as the Columbian Exchange, and that is that products clearly travel from Europe and from Africa to the New World, and New World products traveled back to Africa and to Europe, as well.

So this is the beginning of this great exchange, much of it beneficial, some of not so beneficial, particularly when we talk about diseases. Of course, the European diseases that arrived in the New World just wreaked tremendous damage to the native peoples. So, much went back and forth now across the Atlantic.

COX: Professor Fowler, one of the things that has happened in modern time, as we mentioned in the introduction to this story, is that people are starting to push back on this myth of Christopher Columbus. When did the controversy begin and when did people begin to, you know, question, really, whether or not Columbus did what the history books told us he did?

FOWLER: Well, Tony, for hundreds of years following Columbus’ voyages, the story of Columbus is one of celebration, of discovery and of conquest. And I think in recent times, certainly in the 20th century and certainly today in the 21st century, thankfully, we’ve become much more sensitive about indigenous cultures and the harm, the wreckage that the European arrival here in the New World visited upon those people.

And so, I think, as we reflect on that and the cost to native peoples here in this world, the damage that was done, I think that sort of mellows the way we might be thinking about Columbus, not suggesting we blame him individually. I don’t think that’s correct. He was a man of his times. But there was great evil that was done when the Europeans came. Today, perhaps, we think of discovery. We might also think of the word, invasion, and the result of that. Much good has happened, clearly, but much evil happened, as well.

COX: Well, you know, it’s been a long time, Bill Fowler, since you or I was in elementary school reading about Christopher Columbus in our textbooks. What do they say today? Do you know?

FOWLER: I think that the textbooks, at least the ones that I have used and you see, are ones that are much more sensitive and do indeed talk about the harm done to indigenous peoples, and try to put the Columbian experience into a notion of cultural encounter, what happens when two alien cultures encounter one another. That’s something from which we can learn a great deal. What does, in fact, happen when alien – different cultures encounter one another, that’s a lesson for our own times.

COX: I suppose, to end, we should say that, eventually, maybe the poem – in 1492, Columbus sailed the blue – is going to have to be revised a little bit.

FOWLER: Oh, I have no hope that it will make wide public acceptance….

COX: William Fowler is distinguished professor of history at Northeastern University. He joined us from member station WBUR in Boston. Professor Fowler, thank you very much for the information and the lesson.

FOWLER: Thank you, Tony, and happy Columbus Day.

History Interviews David McCullough: Author & historian has Americans reading U.S. history


History Buzz


JACQUELYN MARTIN / Associated Press

Author David McCullough, in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., said one finds the purest forms of history in art.

Source: Sacremento Bee, 10-10-11

Few authors have done more to popularize American history than David McCullough. Not only has the historian-lecturer made it more accessible than ever, he has made it sing.

Take his bestselling 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning “John Adams,” for instance. The biography of the prickly founding father had a first printing of 350,000, a staggering number for a history book and a tribute to McCullough’s stature. In 2008, the HBO miniseries “John Adams” took home a load of awards, including three Golden Globes.

“The pre-eminent master of narrative history,” as he is known, has cast an unusual eye on the American landscape for his subjects: the youth of Theodore Roosevelt (“Mornings on Horseback”), the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge (“The Great Bridge”), the marvel of the Panama Canal (“The Path Between the Seas”), the dam failure that destroyed a town (“The Johnstown Flood”). More mainstream were “Truman,” “1776” and “John Adams.”

Along the way, McCullough has collected two National Book Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and two Francis Parkman Prizes from the American Society of Historians.

Now comes “The Greater Journey” (Simon & Schuster, $37.50, 576 pages), chronicling how life in Paris helped shape the achievements of hundreds of Americans who lived there between 1830 and 1900.

“His books are wonderful contributions to the public discourse, and they bring a lot of people into thinking about areas of history they might not otherwise have,” said Eric Rauchway. He is both a history professor at the University of California, Davis, and the author of five books, including “The Great Depression and the New Deal” (Oxford University Press, $11.95, 160 pages).

“McCullough benefits tremendously from academic history, and in turn he gives a lot back by putting forth bold theses that academics sometimes must reckon with. Such as whether building the Panama Canal was a good idea,” Rauchway said. “Beyond that, he serves a valuable role in terms of talking to the public sphere about the uses of history.”

I caught up with McCullough, 78, by phone at his Boston home. He and his wife, Rosalee, have five children and 18 grandchildren.

Where did the idea for “The Greater Journey” originate?

When Gene Kelly starred in “An American in Paris,” that really got to me. I imagined myself as a painter in Paris (McCullough is a part-time artist.), with all the beautiful girls interested in me.

Many years later in Paris, I wanted to show that history is much more than just politics and the military. The idea that I could concentrate on painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, medicine and the world of ideas was more of a draw than just the setting.

Why was Paris a magnet to Americans of that era?

It was the cultural capital of the world, with a high standard of education you could not get here. If you wanted to be better than you were, Paris was the place to go.

Who are two of the Americans you write about?

Samuel F.B. Morse went to Paris to perfect himself as a painter but got the idea for the telegraph. Another was Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., a poet and essayist. He decided to become a physician and was so affected by (his teachers in Paris) that he came back and taught at the Harvard Medical School.

Are we Americans losing touch with our own history?

Yes, we are, because we’re doing a grossly inadequate job of teaching history to our children and grandchildren. I’ve lectured at more than 100 universities and have seen (an ignorance of history) everywhere. What (students) don’t know is sometimes almost humorous. It’s not their fault, it’s ours. We need to do a better job of teaching the teachers.

Your best advice to students?

Read everything, and try to read a little above what you think is your level. Read the classics, they’re damn good.

Do you watch the History Channel?

I don’t have time for TV, though once in awhile I’ll watch “The American Experience” on PBS (which he hosted for 12 years). My spirit plummets when I read that the average daily time spent watching TV in American households is seven hours.

Don’t history-related TV shows give the subject some exposure?

Sure, they’re better than the drivel that’s on. But the way to get people involved in history is to get them reading original letters, diaries and autobiographies. There’s a wonderful literature of history, too, (including) “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. And the World War II novels by Herman Wouk are superb (“The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance”).

It’s said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I’m not sure that’s true. Harry Truman said the only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know. I think that’s a better quote.

It’s also said that history is written by the victors.

That’s a vast oversimplification, but, yes, history does change in perspective as time goes on. All history is revisionist history because we know what followed. Otherwise, why write it?

Where do we find the purest forms of history?

Architecture is a very pure one, and so are painting and music. For some civilizations, all we have of their histories is their art.

History is the human experience. It’s about people, not just facts and figures. One of the most effective history teachers I had in college would not hold us (students) accountable for any (historic) dates. He said, “That’s what books are for, you can look them up.” It was as if he had told me I could put on a pair of wings and fly. It released me to really start to enjoy history.

As a writer, which is more satisfying – the research or the writing?

The writing is what I take more to heart because it’s the part that’s all up to me. The research is like being on a detective case.

When I write, it’s as if I go into this other time and place, as if I’m under a spell. In many ways, the (research subjects) become more real to me than the people I know in life, because I know so much more about them. In real life, you don’t get to read other people’s mail.

If you could time-travel back to historical era?

I would love to come back here to Boston in the years just before the Civil War, the late 1850s. I would like to see the abolitionist movement in full gear, and some of the intellectual life that was going on. I would love to meet people like (poet Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow and (poet-essayist Ralph Waldo) Emerson. And hang out in a good bar and soak up some of the stories the Irish were bringing in.

What will history have to say about you?

I hope it will say, “He tried his hardest.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 7, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina




Text of Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel

Source: WSJ, 10-7-11

Here is the text of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on foreign policy as prepared for delivery Friday at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes.  Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel.  That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty.  America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz?  In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads.  Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore.  Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined.  What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other.  To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats.  Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values.  Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy.  I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.  Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves.  If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters.  Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached.  And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense.  I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.  I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban.  I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders.  The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom.  And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment.  We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Full Text October 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges the Public to Convince their Senators to Support & Vote for the American Jobs Act



Weekly Address: Making Your Voice Heard on the American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 10-8-11

President Obama urges Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to put more people to work, put more money in the pockets of working Americans and give the economy the jolt it needs right now.

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 10/7/1

President Obama urges Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to put more people to work, put more money in the pockets of working Americans and give the economy the jolt it needs right now.


Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3


WEEKLY ADDRESS: Growing the Economy with the American Jobs Act

In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act next week, which independent economists have said will put Americans back to work, grow the economy, and give working people and small businesses a tax break.  It is time for those who oppose the jobs act to explain why they are fighting against something that we know will improve the American economy, put teachers in classrooms, cops on the streets, and construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges.  President Obama urged all Americans who support the American Jobs Act to call their Senators and tell them to put a stop to the gridlock in Washington and pass the jobs act next week.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Next week, the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act.  It’s a bill that will put more people to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  And it will provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now

This is not the time for the usual games or political gridlock in Washington.  The challenges facing financial markets around the world could have very real effects on our own economy at a time when it’s already fragile.  But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn here in America.

This isn’t just my belief.  This is what independent economists have said.  Not just politicians.  Not just people in my administration.  Independent experts who do this for a living have said that this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and middle-class families all across America.  But if we don’t act, the opposite will be true – there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth.

So any Senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation.  If the Republicans in Congress think they have a better plan for creating jobs right now, they should prove it.  Because one of the same independent economists who looked at our plan just said that their ideas, quote, wouldn’t “mean much for the economy in the near term.”

If their plan doesn’t measure up, the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan.  You hear a lot of our Republican friends say that one of the most important things we can do is cut taxes.  Well, they should love this plan.  The American Jobs Act would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America.  And if you’re a small business owner that hires new workers, raises wages, or hires a veteran, you get an additional tax cut.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts.  This jobs bill will put a lot of these men and women back to work.  Right now, there are millions of laid-off construction workers who could be repairing our bridges and roads and modernizing our schools.  Why wouldn’t we want to put these men and women to work rebuilding America?

The proposals in this bill are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts; if we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security for the middle-class.  But we also have to rein in our deficit and start living within our means, which is why this jobs bill is paid for by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.

Some see this as class warfare.  I see it as a simple choice.  We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, or we can ask them to pay at least the same rate as a plumber or a bus driver.  And in the process, we can put teachers and construction workers and veterans back on the job.  We can either fight to protect their tax cuts, or we can cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America.  But we can’t afford to do both.  It’s that simple.

There are too many people hurting in this country for us to simply do nothing.  The economy is too fragile for us to let politics get in the way of action.  The people who represent you in Washington have a responsibility to do what’s best for you – not what’s best for their party or what’s going to help them win an election that’s more than a year away.  So I need you to keep making your voices heard in Washington.  I need you to remind these folks who they work for.  And I need you to tell your Senators to do the right thing by passing this jobs bill right away. Thank you.

White House Recap October 1-7, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Gives a News Conference Urging Congressional Passage of the American Jobs Acts



Weekly Wrap Up: Keeping Teachers in the Classroom

Source: WH, 10-7-11

This week, the President continued to call on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, welcomed a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted a Cabinet meeting, traveled to Texas, and convened a televised news conference.

West Wing Week
Equality for All Americans  President Obama spoke at the 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., stressing his continuing commitment to the cause of equality for all Americans. He also talked about the most recent progress made for human rights, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Putting America Back to Work President Obama held a press conference in the East Room to discuss the American Jobs Act, which would put thousands of teachers back to work, rebuild our nation’s old and broken infrastructure and provide tax cuts that will benefit hard-working Americans. He also traveled to Texas to meet with students and teachers at Eastfield College in Mesquite, where he explained how the Jobs Act will prevent up to 280,000 teachers from losing their jobs. The President met with the members of his cabinet to emphasize the importance of  all agencies doing everything possible to help pass the American Jobs Act and put thousands of people back to work.

Fall Harvest Students from two local elementary schools joined First Lady Michelle Obama for the 3rd Annual Fall Harvest of the White House kitchen garden. Mrs. Obama designed the garden as a way to connect children with the food they eat — an essential component to her Let’s Move! initiative. The students joined Mrs. Obama for grilled garden pizzas made from the produce they picked.

Girl Power The president hosted the three winners of the first Google Global Science Fair. The impressive young women—all American high school students — made remarkable scientific discoveries and beat out over 10,000 students from 91 countries.

Fun on the Field It was a week of celebrating athletic achievements as several major sports figures visited the White House, including the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, who participated in a Let’s Move soccer clinic, the Texas A&M  women’s basketball team, who won  the 2011 NCAA championship and the 1985 Chicago Bears, who were recognized 25 years after winning the Super Bowl.

Pretty in Pink In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the White House illuminated the exterior of the White House in a glowing pink. Actress Jennifer Aniston, who recently directed a new Lifetime Original movie exploring a family affected by breast cancer, joined Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and a group of breast cancer survivors to discuss lessons learned from those who have been treated for breast cancer.

Full Text October 6, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Press Conference on the American Jobs Act — Challenges Republicans in Congress to Pass Jobs Bill or Get Run “Out of Town”



President Obama: Our Economy Really Needs a Jolt Right Now

Source: WH, 10-6-11
President Obama's News Conference on the American Jobs Act

President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama held a press conference today to talk about the American Jobs Act and the upcoming Senate vote on his plan to put people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

Before taking questions from the reporters who were gathered in the White House, the President talked about the very real danger that fallout from the economic situation in Europe could further jeopardize our own economic recovery:

This is not a game; this is not the time for the usual political gridlock. The problems Europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it’s already fragile. But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in Europe gets any worse. It will boost economic growth; it will put people back to work.

And by the way, this is not just my belief. This is what independent economists have said — not politicians, not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle-class families all across America. And what these independent experts have also said is that if we don’t act, the opposite will be true. There will be fewer jobs; there will be weaker growth.

The American Jobs Act would put thousands of teachers back to work, rebuild old and broken down bridges and roads and provide tax cuts that will benefit hard working Americans. As President Obama said

The proposals in this bill are not just random investments to create make-work jobs. They are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts, if we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security to middle-class families. And to do that, we’ve got to have the most educated workers. We have to have the best transportation and communications networks. We have to support innovative small businesses. We’ve got to support innovative manufacturers.

You can jump to see President Obama’s answers to specific questions posed by the reporters by clicking on the links below.

Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (698MB) | mp3 (67MB)


President Obama holds a press conference

White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 10/6/11

News Conference by the President

East Room

11:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I will take your questions in a second. But first, I just want to say a few words about the economy.

Next week, the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act. And I think by now I’ve made my views pretty well known. Some of you are even keeping a tally of how many times I’ve talked about the American Jobs Act. And the reason I keep going around the country talking about this jobs bill is because people really need help right now. Our economy really needs a jolt right now.

This is not a game; this is not the time for the usual political gridlock. The problems Europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it’s already fragile. But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in Europe gets any worse. It will boost economic growth; it will put people back to work.

And by the way, this is not just my belief. This is what independent economists have said — not politicians, not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle-class families all across America. And what these independent experts have also said is that if we don’t act, the opposite will be true. There will be fewer jobs; there will be weaker growth.

So as we look towards next week, any senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill, when it comes up for a vote, needs to explain exactly why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time for our families and for our businesses.

Congressional Republicans say one of the most important things we can do is cut taxes. Then they should love this plan. This jobs bill would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America. If you’re a small business owner that hires someone or raises wages, you would get another tax cut. If you hire a veteran, you get a tax cut. Right now, there’s a small business in Ohio that does high-tech manufacturing and they’ve been expanding for the past two years. They’re considering hiring more, and this tax break would encourage them to do it.

Hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts. This jobs bill has funding to put a lot of those men and women back to work. It has funding to prevent a lot more from losing their job. I had a chance to meet a young man named Robert Baroz. He’s an English teacher in Boston who came to the White House a few weeks ago. He’s got two decades of teaching experience, he’s got a Master’s degree, he’s got an outstanding track record of helping his students make huge gains in reading and writing. In the last few years, he’s received three pink slips because of budget cuts. Why wouldn’t we want to pass a bill that puts somebody like Robert back in the classroom teaching our kids?

Some of you were with me when we visited a bridge between Ohio and Kentucky that’s been classified as “functionally obsolete.” That’s a fancy way of saying it’s old and breaking down. We’ve heard about bridges in both states that are falling apart, and that’s true all across the country.

In Maine, there is a bridge that is in such bad shape that pieces of it were literally falling off the other day. And, meanwhile, we’ve got millions of laid-off construction workers who could right now be busy rebuilding roads, rebuilding bridges, rebuilding schools. This jobs bill gives them a chance to get back to work rebuilding America. Why wouldn’t we want that to happen? Why would you vote against that?

The proposals in this bill are not just random investments to create make-work jobs. They are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts, if we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security to middle-class families. And to do that, we’ve got to have the most educated workers. We have to have the best transportation and communications networks. We have to support innovative small businesses. We’ve got to support innovative manufacturers.

Now, what’s true is we’ve also got to rein in our deficits and live within our means, which is why this jobs bill is fully paid for by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Some see this as class warfare. I see it as a simple choice: We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, with loopholes that lead them to have lower tax rates in some cases than plumbers and teachers, or we can put teachers and construction workers and veterans back on the job.

We can fight to protect tax cuts for folks who don’t need them and weren’t asking for them, or we can cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America. But we can’t afford to do both. That’s the choice that’s going to be before the Senate.

There are too many people hurting in this country for us to do nothing and the economy is just too fragile for us to let politics get in the way of action.

We’ve got a responsibility to the people who sent us here. So I hope every senator thinks long and hard about what’s at stake when they cast their vote next week.

With that, I will take your questions, and I will start with Ben Feller of Associated Press.

Q Thank you very much, Mr. President. I’d like to ask you about two economic matters. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke warned Congress this week that the economic recovery is “close to faltering.” Do you agree?

And secondly, on your jobs bill, the American people are sick of games — and you mentioned games in your comments. They want results. Wouldn’t it be more productive to work with Republicans on a plan that you know could pass Congress as opposed to going around the country talking about your bill and singling out — calling out Republicans by name?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, with respect to the state of the economy, there is no doubt that growth has slowed. I think people were much more optimistic at the beginning of this year. But the combination of a Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring, which drove up gas prices, and most prominently Europe I think has gotten businesses and consumers very nervous. And we did not help here in Washington with the debt ceiling debacle that took place, a bit of game-playing that was completely unnecessary, completely unprecedented in terms of how we dealt with our responsibilities here in Washington.

You combine all that — there is no doubt that the economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year. And every independent economist who has looked at this question carefully believes that for us to make sure that we are taking out an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession, it is important for us to make sure that we are boosting consumer confidence, putting money into their pockets, cutting taxes where we can for small businesses, and that it makes sense for us to put people back to work doing the work that needs to be done. That’s exactly what this jobs bill does.

Now, with respect to working with Congress, I think it’s fair to say that I have gone out of my way in every instance, sometimes at my own political peril and to the frustration of Democrats, to work with Republicans to find common ground to move this country forward — in every instance, whether it was during the lame duck session, when we were able to get an agreement on making sure that the payroll tax was cut in the first place, and making sure that unemployment insurance was extended, to my constant efforts during the debt ceiling to try to get what’s been called a grand bargain, in which we had a balanced approach to actually bringing down our deficit and debt in a way that wouldn’t hurt our recovery.

Each time, what we’ve seen is games-playing, a preference to try to score political points rather than actually get something done on the part of the other side. And that has been true not just over the last six months; that’s been true over the last two and a half years.

Now, the bottom line is this: Our doors are open. And what I’ve done over the last several weeks is to take the case to the American people so that they understand what’s at stake. It is now up to all the senators, and hopefully all the members of the House, to explain to their constituencies why they would be opposed to common-sense ideas that historically have been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past. Why would you be opposed to tax cuts for small businesses and tax cuts for American workers?

My understanding is that for the last decade, they’ve been saying we need to lower taxes for folks. Well, why wouldn’t we want to do that through this jobs bill? We know that we’ve got roads and bridges and schools that need to be rebuilt. And historically, Republicans haven’t been opposed to rebuilding roads and bridges. Why would you be opposed now?

We know that the biggest problem that we’ve had in terms of unemployment over the last several months has not been in the private sector; it’s actually been layoffs of teachers and cops and firefighters. We created over 2 million jobs in the private sector — a million jobs this year alone in the private sector, but in the public sector, we keep on seeing these layoffs having an adverse effect on economies in states all across the country. Why wouldn’t we want to make sure that those teachers are in the classroom teaching our kids?

So here’s the bottom line: My expectation and hope is that everybody will vote for this jobs bill because it reflects those ideas that traditionally have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. If it turns out that there are Republicans who are opposed to this bill, they need to explain to me — but more importantly, to their constituencies and the American people — why they’re opposed and what would they do.

We know that this jobs bill, based on independent analysis, could grow the economy almost an additional 2 percent. That could mean an additional 1.9 million jobs. Do they have a plan that would have a similar impact? Because if they do, I’m happy to hear it. But I haven’t heard them offer alternatives that would have that same kind of impact, and that’s what we need right now.

A lot of the problems that this economy is facing are problems that predate the financial crisis — middle-class families seeing their wages and their incomes flat, despite rising costs for everything from health care to a college education. And so folks have been struggling not just for the last three years; they’ve been struggling for over a decade now. And at a time when so many people are having such a hard time, we have to have an approach, we have to take action, that is big enough to meet the moment. And what I’ve heard from Republicans is, well, we’re agreeing to do these trade bills. That’s great. I’m in favor of those trade bills and I’m glad they’re passing, but that’s not going to do enough to deal with the huge problems we have right now with respect to unemployment.

We passed patent legislation. That was bipartisan work. I’m thrilled that we were able to get Republicans and Democrats to work together on that. But that is a long-term issue for our economic competitiveness. It’s not putting Americans to work right now.

So the bottom line is this, Ben: If next week senators have additional ideas that will put people back to work right now and meet the challenges of the current economy, we are happy to consider them. But every idea that we put forward are ones that traditionally have been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. And I think it’s important for us to have a vote on those ideas, because I believe that it’s very hard to argue against them.

And if Mr. McConnell chooses to vote against it, or if members of his caucus choose to vote against it, I promise you we’re going to keep on going, and we will put forward maybe piece by piece each component of the bill. And each time they’re going to have to explain why it is that they’d be opposed to putting teachers back in the classroom, or rebuilding our schools, or giving tax cuts to middle-class folks, and giving tax cuts to small businesses.

Q Do you think the recovery is close to faltering?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that if we don’t take action, then we could end up having more significant problems than we have right now. And some of it is just simple math. The payroll tax cut that we passed is set to expire. The jobs plan includes an extension of the payroll tax cut.

Now, if that is not extended then that is over $1,000 out of the pockets of the average American family at a time when they’re already feeling a severe pinch. That means they’re going to be spending less. That means businesses are going to have less customers. And that’s going to have an adverse effect on an economy that is already weaker than it should be.

Okay. Chuck Todd.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Before I get to my question, do we assume by how you’re talking about the bill in the Senate that you are okay with the change in how to pay for it, the surtax — the 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ve always said that we would be open to a variety of ways to pay for it. We put forward what we thought was a solid approach to paying for the jobs bill itself. Keep in mind, though, that what I’ve always said is that not only do we have to pay for the jobs bill, but we also still have to do more in order to reduce the debt and deficit.

So the approach that the Senate is taking I’m comfortable with in order to deal with the jobs bill. We’re still going to need to reform this tax code to make sure that we’re closing loopholes, closing special interest tax breaks, making sure that the very simple principle, what we call the Buffett rule, which is that millionaires and billionaires aren’t paying lower tax rates than ordinary families, that that’s in place. So there’s going to be more work to do with respect to making our tax system fair and just and promoting growth. But in terms of the immediate action of getting this jobs bill passed, I’m fine with the approach that they’re taking.

Q My question has to do with your powers of persuasion. During the debt ceiling debate, you asked for the American public to call members of Congress and switchboards got jammed. You have done a similar thing while going around the country doing this. Talking to members of Congress, there’s not the same reaction; you’re not seeing — hearing about phones being jammed. Talking to one member of Congress, he told me there’s a disillusionment he’s concerned about with the public that maybe they just don’t believe anything can get done anyway. Are you worried about your own powers of persuasion, and maybe that the American public is not listening to you anymore?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, no. What we’ve seen is the American people respond very enthusiastically to the specific provisions of the jobs bill. They are very skeptical about Congress’s ability to act right now, and that’s understandable. The American people are very frustrated. They’ve been frustrated for a long time. They don’t get a sense that folks in this town are looking out for their interests. They get a sense that folks in this town are thinking about their own jobs, their own careers, their own advancement, their party interests. And so if the question is, Chuck, are people feeling cynical and frustrated about the prospects of positive action in this city — absolutely. And I can go out there and make speeches, but until they actually see action, some of that cynicism is going to be there.

As you said, during the debt ceiling debate, a very solid majority — I think maybe even higher than 70 percent — agreed with the approach that I talked about, which was we should have a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

And what the American people saw is that Congress didn’t care — not just what I thought; they didn’t care about what the American people thought. They had their own agenda. And so if they see that over and over again, that cynicism is not going to be reduced until Congress actually proves their cynicism wrong by doing something that would actually help the American people. This is a great opportunity to do it. This is a great opportunity to do it.

And keep in mind, if the American jobs bill passes, we’re still going to have challenges. We’re still going to have to make sure that we’ve got the best education system in the world, because that is going to be critical for our long-term competitiveness and creating good, solid middle-class jobs. We’re still going to have to keep investing in basic research and science. We’re still going to have to make sure that we do even more on infrastructure. I mean, what’s contained in the American jobs bill doesn’t cover all the roads and bridges and infrastructure that needs to be improved around the country.

So it’s not as if that’s going to solve all our problems, but it is an important start that we know would end up growing the economy and putting hundreds of thousands, millions of people back to work at a time when they need it the most. And it’s paid for.

The one persuasive argument that the Republicans previously had made against a bill like this is the deficit is growing — we can’t afford it. Well, we can afford it, if we’re willing to ask people like me to do a little bit more in taxes. We can afford it without affecting our deficit. Our proposal is paid for. So that can’t be the excuse.

And so, yes, until they see Congress actually putting country ahead of party politics and partisanship, they’re going to be skeptical. And it doesn’t matter how many times I preach to them, this is not a reflection of their lack of faith in the American jobs bill. They haven’t seen Congress able to come together and act.

This is a good opportunity, though.

Q — disillusionment?

THE PRESIDENT: What we’ve seen is, is that they agree with what we’ve put forward. Now, here’s what I’ll also say, is that based on the debt ceiling vote, what they’ve seen is that the Republicans in Congress, even when the American people agree with me, oftentimes will vote against something I’m proposing.

So there may be some skepticism that I personally can persuade Republicans to take actions in the interest of the American people. But that’s exactly why I need the American people to try to put some pressure on them. Because I think, justifiably, what they’ve seen is that oftentimes — even ideas that used to be supported by Republicans, if I’m proposing them, suddenly Republicans forget it and they decide they’re against it.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you travel the country, you also take credit for tightening regulations on Wall Street through the Dodd-Frank law, and about your efforts to combat income inequality. There’s this movement — Occupy Wall Street — which has spread from Wall Street to other cities. They clearly don’t think that you or Republicans have done enough, that you’re in fact part of the problem.

Are you following this movement, and what would you say to its — people that are attracted to it?

THE PRESIDENT: Obviously I’ve heard of it. I’ve seen it on television. I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel — that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.

So, yes, I think people are frustrated, and the protestors are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works. Now, keep in mind I have said before and I will continue to repeat, we have to have a strong, effective financial sector in order for us to grow. And I used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown, and that banks stayed afloat. And that was the right thing to do, because had we seen a financial collapse then the damage to the American economy would have been even worse.

But what I’ve also said is that for us to have a healthy financial system, that requires that banks and other financial institutions compete on the basis of the best service and the best products and the best price, and it can’t be competing on the basis of hidden fees, deceptive practices, or derivative cocktails that nobody understands and that expose the entire economy to enormous risks. That’s what Dodd-Frank was designed to do. It was designed to make sure that we didn’t have the necessity of taxpayer bailouts; that we said, you know what? We’re going to be able to control these situations so that if these guys get into trouble, we can isolate them, quarantine them, and let them fail. It says that we’re going to have a consumer watchdog on the job, all the time, who’s going to make sure that they are dealing with customers in a fair way, and we’re eliminating hidden fees on credit cards, and mortgage brokers are going to have to — actually have to be straight with people about what they’re purchasing.

And what we’ve seen over the last year is not only did the financial sector — with the Republican Party in Congress — fight us every inch of the way, but now you’ve got these same folks suggesting that we should roll back all those reforms and go back to the way it was before the crisis. Today, my understanding is we’re going to have a hearing on Richard Cordray, who is my nominee to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He would be America’s chief consumer watchdog when it comes to financial products. This is a guy who is well regarded in his home state of Ohio, has been the treasurer of Ohio, the attorney general of Ohio. Republicans and Democrats in Ohio all say that he is a serious person who looks out for consumers. He has a good reputation. And Republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he’s done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog.

You’ve got Republican presidential candidates whose main economic policy proposals is, we’ll get rid of the financial reforms that are designed to prevent the abuses that got us into this mess in the first place. That does not make sense to the American people. They are frustrated by it. And they will continue to be frustrated by it until they get a sense that everybody is playing by the same set of rules, and that you’re rewarded for responsibility and doing the right thing as opposed to gaining the system.

So I’m going to be fighting every inch of the way here in Washington to make sure that we have a consumer watchdog that is preventing abusive practices by the financial sector.

I will be hugely supportive of banks and financial institutions that are doing the right thing by their customers. We need them to be lending. We need them to be lending more to small businesses. We need them to help do what traditionally banks and financial services are supposed to be doing, which is providing business and families resources to make productive investments that will actually build the economy. But until the American people see that happening, yes, they are going to continue to express frustrations about what they see as two sets of rules.

Q Do you think Occupy Wall Street has the potential to be a tea party movement in 2012?

THE PRESIDENT: What I think is that the American people understand that not everybody has been following the rules; that Wall Street is an example of that; that folks who are working hard every single day, getting up, going to the job, loyal to their companies, that that used to be the essence of the American Dream. That’s how you got ahead — the old-fashioned way. And these days, a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren’t rewarded, and a lot of folks who aren’t doing the right thing are rewarded.

And that’s going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond until people feel like once again we’re getting back to some old-fashioned American values in which, if you’re a banker, then you are making your money by making prudent loans to businesses and individuals to build plants and equipment and hire workers that are creating goods and products that are building the economy and benefitting everybody.

Jake Tapper.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Just to follow up on Jackie’s question — one of the reasons why so many of the people of the Occupy Wall Street protests are so angry is because, as you say, so many people on Wall Street did not follow the rules, but your administration hasn’t really been very aggressive in prosecuting. In fact, I don’t think any Wall Street executives have gone to jail despite the rampant corruption and malfeasance that did take place. So I was wondering if you’d comment on that.

And then just as a separate question — as you’re watching the Solyndra and Fast and Furious controversies play out, I’m wondering if it gives you any pause about any of the decision-making going on in your administration — some of the emails that Democrats puts out indicating that people at the Office of Management and Budget were concerned about the Department of Energy; some of the emails going on with the Attorney General saying he didn’t know about the details of Fast and Furious. Are you worried at all about how this is — how your administration is running?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. That’s exactly why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank, to prohibit some of these practices.

The financial sector is very creative and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it. So without commenting on particular prosecutions — obviously that’s not my job; that’s the Attorney General’s job — I think part of people’s frustrations, part of my frustration, was a lot of practices that should not have been allowed weren’t necessarily against the law, but they had a huge destructive impact. And that’s why it was important for us to put in place financial rules that protect the American people from reckless decision-making and irresponsible behavior.

Now, with respect to Solyndra and Fast and Furious, I think I’ve been very clear that I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder in how he handles his office. He has been very aggressive in going after gun running and cash transactions that are going to these transnational drug cartels in Mexico. There has been a lot of cooperation between the United States and Mexico on this front. He’s indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious; certainly I was not. And I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America.

He has assigned an Inspector General to look into how exactly this happened, and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who, in fact, was responsible for that decision and how it got made.

Solyndra — this is a loan guarantee program that predates me that historically has had support from Democrats and Republicans as well. And the idea is pretty straightforward: If we are going to be able to compete in the 21st century, then we’ve got to dominate cutting-edge technologies, we’ve got to dominate cutting-edge manufacturing. Clean energy is part of that package of technologies of the future that have to be based here in the United States if we’re going to be able to succeed.

Now, the loan guarantee program is designed to meet a particular need in the marketplace, which is — a lot of these small startups, they can get angel investors, they can get several million dollars to get a company going, but it’s very hard for them to then scale up, particularly if these are new cutting-edge technologies. It’s hard for them to find private investors. And part of what’s happening is China and Europe, other countries, are putting enormous subsidies into these companies and giving them incentives to move offshore. Even if the technology was developed in the United States, they end up going to China because the Chinese government will say, we’re going to help you get started. We’ll help you scale up. We’ll give you low-interest loans or no-interest loans. We will give siting. We will do whatever it takes for you to get started here.

And that’s part of the reason why a lot of technologies that developed here, we’ve now lost the lead in — solar energy, wind energy. And so what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to close that gap and say, let’s see if we can help some of those folks locate here and create jobs here in the United States.

Now, we knew from the start that the loan guarantee program was going to entail some risk, by definition. If it was a risk-free proposition, then we wouldn’t have to worry about it. But the overall portfolio has been successful. It has allowed us to help companies, for example, start advanced battery manufacturing here in the United States. It’s helped create jobs. There were going to be some companies that did not work out; Solyndra was one of them. But the process by which the decision was made was on the merits. It was straightforward. And of course there were going to be debates internally when you’re dealing with something as complicated as this.

But I have confidence that the decisions were made based on what would be good for the American economy and the American people and putting people back to work.

And by the way, let me make one last point about this. I heard there was a Republican member of Congress who’s engaging in oversight on this, and despite the fact that all of them in the past have been supportive of this loan guarantee program, he concluded, you know what? We can’t compete against China when it comes to solar energy. Well, you know what? I don’t buy that. I’m not going to surrender to other countries’ technological leads that could end up determining whether or not we’re building a strong middle class in this country. And so we’re going to have to keep on pushing hard to make sure that manufacturing is located here, new businesses are located here, and new technologies are developed here. And there are going to be times where it doesn’t work out, but I’m not going to cave to the competition when they are heavily subsidizing all these industries.

Q Just a follow-up on Wall Street. Are you satisfied with how aggressive your administration has been when it comes to prosecuting? Because I know a lot of it was legal, but a lot of was not. There was fraud that took place.

THE PRESDIENT: Right. Well, let me say this: The President can’t go around saying, prosecute somebody. But as a general principle, if somebody is engaged in fraudulent actions, they need to be prosecuted. If they violated laws on the books, they need to be prosecuted. And that’s the Attorney General’s job, and I know that Attorney General Holder, U.S. attorneys all across the country, they take that job very seriously. Okay?


Q Thank you, Mr. President. You just spoke of the need for banks to start lending, you talked earlier about how creative they can be in chasing profit, and yet earlier in the week you said that banks “don’t have some inherent right to just, you know, get a certain amount of profit.” You also said in that interview that you can stop them. How do you plan on stopping them from charging this $5 fee, or whatever the fee is? And do you think that your government has a right to dictate how much profits American companies make?

THE PRESIDENT: I absolutely do not think that. I was trying to make a broader point, which is that people have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more. Right? I mean, basically the argument they’ve made is, well, you know what, this hidden fee was prohibited and so we’ll find another fee to make up for it. Now, they have that right, but it’s not a good practice. It’s not necessarily fair to consumers. And my main goal is to make sure that we’ve got a consumer watchdog in place who is letting consumers know what fair practices are, making sure that transactions are transparent and making sure that banks have to compete for customers based on the quality of their service and good prices.

Now, the frustrating thing that we have right now is that you’ve got folks over in Congress, Republicans, who have said that they see their role as eliminating any prohibitions on any practices for financial companies. And I think that’s part of the frustration that the American people feel, because they’ve just gone through a period in which they were seeing a bunch of hidden fees, rate hikes that they didn’t know about, fine print that they could not understand. That’s true for credit cards. That’s true for mortgages. It contributed to overall weakness in the economy.

And, yes, I think it is entirely appropriate for the government to have some oversight role to make sure that consumers are protected. So banks — and any business in America — can price their products any way they want. That’s how the free market works. As long as there’s transparency and accountability, and consumers understand what they’re getting — and there are going to be instances where a policy judgment is made that, you know what, there are certain practices that just aren’t fair. And that’s how the market has always operated.

Q So is it your understanding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can’t actually prevent the debit card fees from going in place, like the ones that are being —

THE PRESIDENT: I think that what the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau could do is to make sure that consumers understood exactly what they were getting, exactly what was happening. And I think that Congress could make determinations with respect to whether or not a certain practice was fair or not.

David Nakamura.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Just following up on Jake’s question about Solyndra — the loan program, guaranteed loan program that you talked about was giving out $38 billion in guaranteed loans, and promised to save or create 65,000 jobs, green jobs, in clean energy. And there’s been reports that actually only 3,500 new jobs have been created in that industry. Why has that industry been so slow to respond to the investment that your administration has provided? And what do you see going forward as to how it will respond?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that what has been true historically is that businesses that rely on new technologies, a lot of times it’s going to take a while before they get takeoff. And there are a lot of upfront investments that have to be made in research and capital and so forth, a lot of barriers for companies that are trying to break in. Keep in mind that clean energy companies are competing against traditional energy companies. And traditional energy is still cheaper in a lot of ways.

The problem is, is it’s running out, it’s polluting, and we know that demand is going to keep on increasing so that if we don’t prepare now, if we don’t invest now, if we don’t get on top of technologies now, we’re going to be facing 20 years from now a China that — and India having a billion new drivers on the road; the trendlines in terms of oil prices, coal, et cetera, going up; the impact on the planet increasing. And we’re not just going to be able to start when all heck is breaking loose and say, boy, we better find some new energy sources.

So in the meantime, we’ve got to make these investments, but that makes it more difficult for a lot of these companies to succeed. What’s also a problem, as I said, is that other countries are subsidizing these industries much more aggressively than we are — hundreds of billions of dollars the Chinese government is pouring into the clean energy sector, partly because they’re projecting what’s going to happen 10 or 20 years from now.

So, look, I have confidence in American businesses and American technology, and American scientists and entrepreneurs being able to win that competition. We are not going to be duplicating the kind of system that they have in China where they are basically state-run banks giving money to state-run companies, and ignoring losses and ignoring bad management. But there is a role to play for us to make sure that these companies can at least have a fighting shot. And it does mean that there are going to be some that aren’t successful, and it’s going to be an uphill climb for some. And obviously it’s very difficult for all companies right now to succeed when the economy is as soft and as weak as it.

Q There have been reports with Solyndra in particular that investors warned your administration that the government — that loan of $500 million in that company might not be a wise use of taxpayers’ money. In retrospect, do you think your administration was so eager for Solyndra to succeed that it missed some of the critical warnings?

THE PRESIDENT: I will tell you that even for those projects under this loan guarantee program that have ended up being successful, there are those in the marketplace who have been doubtful. So, I mean, there’s always going to be a debate about whether this particular approach to this particular technology is going to be successful or not.

And all I can say is that the Department of Energy made these decisions based on their best judgment about what would make sense. And the nature of these programs are going to be ones in which for every success there may be one that does not work out as well. But that’s exactly what the loan guarantee program was designed by Congress to do, was to take bets on these areas where we need to make sure that we’re maintaining our lead.

Bill Plante.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Anybody on Capitol Hill will say that there’s no chance that the American Jobs Act, in its current state, passes either House. And you’ve been out on the campaign trail banging away at them saying, pass this bill. And it begins, sir, to look like you’re campaigning, and like you’re following the Harry Truman model against the do-nothing Congress instead of negotiating.

Are you negotiating? Will you?

THE PRESIDENT: I am always open to negotiations. What is also true is they need to do something. I’m not — look, Bill, I think it is very clear that if members of Congress come in and say, all right, we want to build infrastructure — here’s the way we think we can do it. We want to put construction workers back to work; we’ve got some ideas — I am ready, eager, to work with them. They say, we’ve got this great idea for putting teachers back in the classroom; it’s a little different than what you’ve proposed in the jobs bill. I’m ready, eager, to work with them. But that’s not what we’re hearing right now. What we’re hearing is that their big ideas, the ones that make sense, are ones we’re already doing.

They’ve given me a list of, well, here’s the Republican job creation ideas: Let’s pass free trade agreements. It’s great that we’re passing these free trade agreements. We put them forward; I expect bipartisan support. I think it’s going to be good for the American economy. But it’s not going to meet the challenge of 9 percent unemployment, or an economy that is currently weakening. It’s not enough.

Patent reform: very important for our long-term competitiveness. There’s nobody out there who actually thinks that that’s going to immediately fill the needs of people who are out of work, or strengthen the economy right now.

So what I’ve tried to do is say, here are the best ideas I’ve heard. Not just from partisans, but from independent economists. These are the ideas most likely to create jobs now and strengthen the economy right now. And that’s what the American people are looking for. And the response from Republicans has been: No. Although they haven’t given a good reason why they’re opposed to putting construction workers back on the job, or teachers back in the classroom.

If you ask them, well, okay, if you’re not for that, what are you for? Trade has already been done; patent reform has been done. What else? The answer we’re getting right now is, well, we’re going to roll back all these Obama regulations. So their big economic plan to put people back to work right now is to roll back financial protections and allow banks to charge hidden fees on credit cards again or weaken consumer watchdogs, or alternatively they’ve said we’ll roll back regulations that make sure we’ve got clean air and clean water, eliminate the EPA. Does anybody really think that that is going to create jobs right now and meet the challenges of a global economy that are — that is weakening with all these forces coming into play?

I mean, here is a good question, here’s a little homework assignment for folks: Go ask the Republicans what their jobs plan is if they’re opposed to the American Jobs Act, and have it scored, have it assessed by the same independent economists that have assessed our jobs plan. These independent economists say that we could grow the economy as much as 2 percent, and as many as 1.9 million workers would be back on the job. I think it would be interesting to have them do a similar assessment — same people. Some of these folks, by the way, traditionally have worked for Republicans, not just Democrats. Have those economists evaluate what, over the next two years, the Republican jobs plan would do. I’ll be interested in the answer. I think everybody here — I see some smirks in the audience because you know that it’s not going to be real robust.

And so, Bill, the question, then, is, will Congress do something? If Congress does something, then I can’t run against a do-nothing Congress. If Congress does nothing, then it’s not a matter of me running against them; I think the American people will run them out of town, because they are frustrated, and they know we need to do something big and something bold.

Now, the American people are also concerned about making sure that we have a government that lives within its means, which is why I put forward a plan that would also reduce our deficit and our debt in a more aggressive way than what the special committee has been charged with.

Folks want to talk about corporate tax reform. I’ve already said I’m happy to engage with them on corporate tax reform. I’m happy to engage with them, working to see what we can do to streamline and simplify our tax code, eliminate all the loopholes, eliminate these special interest carveouts and potentially lower rates in the process while raising more revenue.

I am happy to negotiate with them on a whole host of issues, but right now we’ve got an emergency. And the American people are living that emergency out every single day and they have been for a long time. They are working really hard. And if they’re not on the job, then they’re working really hard to find a job. And they’re losing their homes and their kids are having to drop out of school because they can’t afford student loans. And they’re putting off visiting a doctor because when they lost their job they lost their health insurance. They are struggling.

And as a consequence, by the way, all of us are struggling, even those who are well off. The irony is the same folks that the Republicans claim to be protecting, the well off — the millionaires and the billionaires — they’d be doing better, they’d be making more money if ordinary Americans had some money in their pockets and were out there feeling more confident about the economy. That’s been the lesson of our history — when folks in the middle and at the bottom are doing well, the folks at the top do even better.

Q Is this kind of public pressure the only leverage you have, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, we have a democracy. And right now, John Boehner is the Speaker of the House and Mitch McConnell is the Republican Leader. And all I can do is make the best arguments and mobilize the American people so that they’re responsive.

So far they haven’t been responsive to not just me but public opinion. We saw that during the debt ceiling vote. But we’re just going to keep on making the case. But I guess what I’m saying, though, here, Bill, is — and I said this when I made my speech at the joint session — the election is 13, 14 months away. I would love nothing more than to not have to be out there campaigning because we were seeing constructive action here in Congress. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m looking for.

But I’m also dealing with a Republican Majority Leader who said that his number-one goal was to beat me — not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small businesses expand, but to defeat me. And he’s been saying that now for a couple of years. So, yes, I’ve got to go out and enlist the American people to see if maybe he’ll listen to them if he’s not listening to me.

Matt Spetalnick. Where’s Matt?

Q Thank you, Mr. President. One question on the economy and one on foreign policy. First of all, the Senate has taken up today a bill aimed at pressuring China to let its currency rise. What’s your position on that bill? Would you veto or sign it, should it hit your desk?

On the foreign policy front, do you agree with Admiral Mullen’s accusation that Pakistan’s intelligence agency has used the Haqqani network as a virtual arm? And what, if any, consequences up to and including a cut-off of aid would you be willing to consider?

THE PRESIDENT: Obviously we’ve been seeing a remarkable transformation of China over the last two decades, and it’s helped to lift millions of people out of poverty in China. We have stabilized our relationship with China in a healthy way. But what is also true is that China has been very aggressive in gaming the trading system to its advantage and to the disadvantage of other countries, particularly the United States. And I have said that publicly, but I’ve also said it privately to Chinese leaders. And currency manipulation is one example of it, or at least intervening in the currency markets in ways that have led their currency to be valued lower than the market would normally dictate. And that makes their exports cheaper, and that makes our exports to them more expensive. So we’ve seen some improvement, some slight appreciation over the last year, but it’s not enough.

It’s not just currency, though. We’ve also seen, for example, intellectual property, technologies that were created by U.S. companies with a lot of investment, a lot of upfront capital, taken, not protected properly by Chinese firms. And we’ve pushed China on that issue as well.

Ultimately, I think that you can have a win-win trading relationship with China. I’m very pleased that we’re going to be able to potentially get a trade deal with South Korea. But I believe what I think most Americans believe, which is trade is great as long as everybody is playing by the same rules.

Now, the legislation that is being presented in Congress is an effort to get at that. My main concern — and I’ve expressed this to Senator Schumer — is whatever tools we put in place, let’s make sure that these are tools that can actually work, that they’re consistent with our international treaties and obligations. I don’t want a situation where we’re just passing laws that are symbolic knowing that they’re probably not going to be upheld by the World Trade Organization, for example, and then suddenly U.S. companies are subject to a whole bunch of sanctions. We’ve got a — I think we’ve got a strong case to make, but we’ve just got to make sure that we do it in a way that’s going to be effective.

Last point is, my administration has actually been more aggressive than any in recent years in going after some of these practices. We’ve brought very aggressive enforcement actions against China for violations in the tire case, for example, where it’s been upheld by the World Trade Organization that they were engaging in unfair trading practices. And that’s given companies here in the United States a lot of relief.

So my overall goal is, I believe U.S. companies, U.S. workers, we can compete with anybody in the world. I think we can make the best products. And a huge part of us winning the future, a huge part of rebuilding this economy on a firm basis that’s not just reliant on maxed-out credit cards and a housing bubble and financial speculation, but is dependent on us making things and selling things — I am absolutely confident that we can win that competition. But in order to do it, we’ve got to make sure that we’re aggressive in looking out for the interests of American workers and American businesses, and that everybody is playing by the same rules, and that we’re not getting cheated in the process.

Q Is China (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: That is a — that is a term of art, so the Treasury Secretary, I’ve got to be careful here — it’s his job to make those decisions. But it’s indisputable that they intervene heavily in the currency markets, and that the RMB, their currency, is lower than it probably would be if they weren’t making all those purchases in the currency markets to keep the RMB lower.

With respect to Pakistan, I have said that my number-one goal is to make sure that al Qaeda cannot attack the U.S. homeland and cannot affect U.S. interests around the world. And we have done an outstanding job, I think, in going after, directly, al Qaeda in this border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We could not have been as successful as we have been without the cooperation of the Pakistan government. And so, on a whole range of issues they have been an effective partner with us.

What is also true is that our goal of being able to transition out of Afghanistan and leave a stable government behind — one that is independent, one that is respectful of human rights, one that is democratic — that Pakistan, I think, has been more ambivalent about some of our goals there. And I think that they have hedged their bets, in terms of what Afghanistan would look like. And part of hedging their bets is having interactions with some of the unsavory characters who they think might end up regaining power in Afghanistan after coalition forces have left.

What we’ve tried to persuade Pakistan of is that it is in their interest to have a stable Afghanistan; that they should not be feeling threatened by a stable, independent Afghanistan. We’ve tried to get conversations between Afghans and Pakistans going more effectively than they have been in the past, but we’ve still got more work to do. And there is no doubt that there is some connections that the Pakistani military and intelligence services have with certain individuals that we find troubling. And I’ve said that publicly, and I’ve said it privately to Pakistani officials as well.

They see their security interests threatened by an independent Afghanistan in part because they think it will ally itself to India, and Pakistan still considers India their mortal enemy. Part of what we want to do is actually get Pakistan to realize that a peaceful approach towards India would be in everybody’s interests, and would help Pakistan actually develop, because one of the biggest problems we have in Pakistan right now is poverty, illiteracy, a lack of development, civil institutions that aren’t strong enough to deliver for the Pakistani people. And in that environment you’ve seen extremism grow. You’ve seen militancy grow that doesn’t just threaten our efforts in Afghanistan but also threatens the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people as well. So trying to get that reorientation is something that we’re continuing to work on; it’s not easy.

Q I’m sorry, sir — consequences of being (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: We will constantly evaluate our relationship with Pakistan based on, is, overall, this helping to protect Americans and our interests. We have a great desire to help the Pakistani people strengthen their own society and their own government. And so I’d be hesitant to punish aid for flood victims in Pakistan because of poor decisions by their intelligence services. But there is no doubt that we’re not going to feel comfortable with a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan if we don’t think that they’re mindful of our interest as well.

I’ll make this the last question. Aamer Madhani.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Caught you by surprise, huh? (Laughter.)

Q You did. What should European leaders do to resolve the sovereign debt crisis going forward? And second, how risky is this continued situation to the U.S. economy? And finally, do you feel that the European leaders have been negligent in pushing austerity too soon?

THE PRESIDENT: Those are good questions. The biggest headwind the American economy is facing right now is uncertainty about Europe, because it’s affecting global markets. The slowdown that we’re seeing is not just happening here in the United States, it’s happening everywhere. Even in some of the emerging markets like China, you’re seeing greater caution, less investment, deep concern.

In some ways, as frustrating as the financial sector has been here in the United States after the Lehmans collapse, the aggressive actions that were taken right after Lehmans did help us to strengthen the financial sector and the banking sector in ways that Europe did not fully go through. And uncertainty around Greece and their ability to pay their debts runs on — in the capital markets — on the debt that many of these southern European countries have been facing, as well as Ireland and Portugal. All that has put severe strain on the world financial system.

I speak frequently with Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy; they are mindful of these challenges. I think they want to act to prevent a sovereign debt crisis from spinning out of control, or seeing the potential breakup of the euro. I think they’re very committed to the European project.

But their politics is tough because, essentially, they’ve got to get agreement with not only their own parliaments; they’ve got to get agreement with 20 parliaments, or 24 parliaments, or 27 parliaments. And engineering that kind of coordinated action is very difficult.

But what I’ve been seeing over the last month is a recognition by European leaders of the urgency of the situation. And nobody is obviously going to be affected more than they will be if the situation there spins out of control.

So I’m confident that they want to get this done. I think there are some technical issues that they’re working on in terms of how they get a big enough — how do they get enough firepower to let the markets know that they’re going to be standing behind euro members who may be in a weaker position.

But they’ve got to act fast. And we’ve got a G20 meeting coming up in November. My strong hope is that by the time of that G20 meeting, that they have a very clear, concrete plan of action that is sufficient to the task. It will have an effect — it’s already having an effect here in the United States; it will continue to have an effect on our economy because the world is now interconnected in ways that it’s never been before.

And that’s one of the biggest challenges that we have post-2008, after this financial crisis, is that America has always been — well, over the last 20 years — has been the engine for world economic growth. We were the purchasers of last resort, we were the importers of last resort, we would stimulate our economies and our American consumers would buy stuff around the world. And so if they got into trouble, they could always say, well we’re going to sell to the U.S.

Well, we’re now going through a situation where families are cutting back and trying to reduce their debts; businesses are more cautious. And the U.S. government obviously has its own fiscal challenges. I mean, we’ve got to make sure that we’re living within our means, although we’ve got to do it gradually and not in ways that immediately affect a fragile economy.

So what that means is, Europe is not going to be able to export its way out of this problem. They’re going to have to fix that problem. And part of the goal that I’ve been trying to promote for the last two years and I’ll repeat at the G20 is more balanced economic growth worldwide. We’ve got to get into a posture where the U.S. is always going to be a big market, and we’re going to welcome goods from all around the world, but we’ve also got to be selling goods around the world. We can’t just be running up our debt in order to help other folks’ economies. We’ve got to have — as not only families, our businesses and our government — we’ve got to make sure that we’re being prudent and we’re producing here in the United States. And by the way, that’s what’s going to create strong middle-class jobs here in the United States.

I think part of what’s going on for the country generally is this sense of, you know what, a lot of that debt that had been built up prior to 2008, that we were living on borrowed time because the underlying fundamentals of the economy weren’t as strong as they needed to be.

And that’s why not only do we have to put Americans back to work now, but we’ve also got to keep on reforming our education system so it’s producing the highest-skilled graduates in the world. It’s why we’ve got to keep on investing in basic research and science. It’s why we’ve got to make sure that we’re rebuilding our infrastructure. It’s why we’ve got to have a smarter energy policy, because that’s a huge source of us having to import from other countries instead of being able to export to other countries.

All those things are going to be important, and all those things are going to be challenging. They’re going to be hard. But right now, we’ve got the problem of putting people back to work. That’s why Congress needs to pass this jobs bill.

And last point I’ll make: If Bill is right and everybody on Capitol Hill is cynical and saying there’s no way that the overall jobs bill passes in its current form, we’re just going to keep on going at it. I want everybody to be clear. My intention is to insist that each part of this, I want an explanation as to why we shouldn’t be doing it, each component part: putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, putting teachers back in the classroom, tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families, tax breaks for our veterans. We will just keep on going at it and hammering away until something gets done. And I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can’t campaign against them as a do-nothing Congress.

All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

12:14 P.M. EDT

Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin Announces Decision Not to Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election


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.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks to Tea Party members on Sept. 3 in Indianola, Iowa. | AP Photo


Sarah Palin reportedly says she won’t run for president in 2012: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said in a statement on Wednesday that she will not seek the GOP nomination for president in 2012, according to media reports.

“After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.” — Sarah Palin Statement

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Statement on Decision to Not Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election (Transcript) — History Musings

  • Palin Says She’s Not Running: Sarah Palin tells a radio host that she can be more active in trying to oust President Obama if she is not a candidate…. – NYT, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin says she will not run for president: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday she will not run for president, leaving little doubt that the eventual Republican nominee will come from the current field of contenders.
    After months of leaving her fans guessing, Palin said in a statement that she and her husband Todd “devote ourselves to God, family and country.” She said her decision maintains that order.
    Palin sent the statement to supporters. She told conservative radio host Mark Levin that she would not consider a third party candidacy because it would assure President Barack Obama’s reelection.
    In a video posted on Youtube, Palin said, “you don’t need an office or a title to make a difference.”… – AP, 10-5-11
  • Palin won’t run for president: In a letter to supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee took herself out of the running for the Republican nomination. Instead, Palin said she can be more effective helping other Republicans win office as governors…. – USA Today, 10-5-11
  • Palin Decides Against 2012 Run: Sarah Palin said she won’t seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, ending a lengthy and attention-grabbing political flirtation that kept voters and potential rivals guessing…. – Bloomberg, 10-5-11
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she will not run for president, won’t run for President: Palin said in a statement Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, that she is not running for president … – WaPo, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin says she will not run for president: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday she will not run for president, leaving little doubt that the eventual Republican nominee will come from the current field of contenders. … – Forbes, 10-5-11
  • Palin Opts Against 2012 Presidential Run: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday that she won’t enter the 2012 presidential race, making it all but certain that the current crop of GOP candidates has been set.
    In a letter to her supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee and Fox News contributor said her decision was based on a “review of what common sense conservatives and independents have accomplished, especially over the last year.”
    “I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office — from the nation’s governors to congressional seats and the presidency,” she said.
    “I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for president where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables,” she said.
    “We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen and allow the private sector to create jobs.”…. – Fox News, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin 2012 decision: Not running: Sarah Palin will not seek the Republican nomination for president. The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee announced the news to conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin and in a letter to supporters Wednesday evening.
    “I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States,” she wrote. “As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.”
    Asked if she will support the GOP nominee, Palin told Levin: “I have confidence in that. I look forward to supporting our nominee. . The right candidate will be elevated that will be our nominee. We’ll be able to get behind that person and make sure that Barack Obama is replaced.”…. – Politico, 10-5-11
  • Sarah Palin not running for president: Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she is not going to run for president in 2012. The candidate, who inspired months of speculation regarding a possible presidential bid, announced her decision in an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Mark Levin.
    Levin read a statement from Palin announcing the decision before speaking to the former vice presidential nominee on his show.
    In the statement, Palin cited family considerations and said she thought she could be more effective in helping others get elected…. – CBS News, 10-5-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 5, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Statement on Decision to Not Run for President & Republican Presidential Nomination in 2012 Election (Transcript)




Sarah Palin’s Statement on 2012 Decision

October 5, 2011

Wasilla, Alaska

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back – and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it.

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.

Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.

In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

Thank you again for all your support. Let’s unite to restore this country!

God bless America.

– Sarah Palin

Full Text October 4, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the American Jobs Act Impact on Teachers in Mesquite, Texas



President Obama: American Jobs Act Will Prevent Up to 280,000 Teachers from Losing their Jobs

Source: WH, 10-4-11
President Barack Obama at the Lab School in Mesquite, Texas

President Barack Obama tours the Lab School at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas, Oct. 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The White House today released a report that outlines the devastating impact the recession has had on schools and students across the country. Teacher Jobs at Risk highlights the significant cuts in education spending that have resulted from state budget shortfalls since 2008, including the loss of nearly 300,000 teaching jobs across the country (see chart below).

And in the coming school year, without additional support, many school districts will have to make another round of difficult decisions. As a result of state and local funding cuts, as many as 280,000 teacher jobs could be at risk. Unless they receive federal assistance, many school districts will be forced to reduce the number of teachers in their classrooms, or turn to other measures such as shortening the school year or cutting spending on schoolbooks and supplies.

President Obama, speaking today in Texas, compared the situation here with South Korea, where their President said they can’t hire teachers fast enough:

“They call them “nation builders” — that’s what they call teachers in Korea, “nation builders,” because they know that educating their children is the best way to make sure their economy is growing, make sure that good jobs are locating there, making sure they’ve got the scientists and the engineers and the technicians who can build things and ship them all around the world. That’s what he understands. And the whole country supports him. Here in America, we’re laying off teachers in droves. It makes no sense. It has to stop. It has to stop.”

The President was at Eastfield Community College, in Mesquite, Texas where he toured a pre-school before talking about the impact the American Jobs Act will have on schools, and on teachers, across the country. He told the crowd there that the stakes for addressing this situation are high, with “nothing less than our ability to compete in this 21st century economy” at risk.

This is why one of the central components of the American Jobs Act, which the President introduced last month at a Joint Session of Congress, is funding to avoid and reverse teacher layoffs now, and to provide support for the re-hiring and hiring of educators.

Specifically, the American Jobs Act will invest $30 billion to support state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire early childhood, elementary, and secondary educators. If enacted, these teacher stabilization funds would help prevent layoffs and support the hiring or re-hiring of nearly 400,000 educators, includ¬ing teachers, guidance counselors, classroom assistants, afterschool personnel, tutors, and literacy and math coaches. These funds will ensure that schools are able to keep teachers in the classroom, preserve or extend the regular school day and school year, and maintain important afterschool activities.

The impact of this funding is clear:

  • In the states with the largest numbers of students, the American Jobs Act will support tens of thousands of educator jobs—California (37,300), Florida (25,900), Illinois (14,500), New York (18,000) and Texas (39,500).
  • Funding is targeted to the school districts most in need of support across the country, especially those with a high share of students living in poverty. The Department of Education projects that New York City will receive around $950 million, Los Angeles Unified School District will receive around $570 million, Dade County School District will receive around $250 million, and Houston and Dallas Independent School Districts will each receive more than $100 million.
  • Even in states with smaller student enrollments, the American Jobs Act will have a significant impact—supporting over a thousand educator jobs in states like Montana (1,400), Arkansas (4,100), Nevada (3,600), and Iowa (4,100). Medium-size school districts like those in Wake County, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee will receive funding ranging from $50 million to $75 million.

As the President said today in Texas, Americans cannot afford to wait for things to get better, it is time to act:

We are not people who sit back in tough times. We step up in tough times. We make things happen in tough times. We’ve been through tougher times before, and we got through them. We’re going to get through these to a brighter day, but we’re going to have to act. God helps those who help themselves. We need to help ourselves right now.

Let’s get together. Let’s get to work. Let’s get busy. Let’s pass this bill. Let’s make sure that we are shaping a destiny for our children that we are proud of, and let’s remind the entire world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on the planet.

Year-Over-Year Change, Local Government Employment in Educational Services


President Obama on the American Jobs Act
White House Photo, Pete Souza, 10/4/11

Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act

Eastfield College
Mesquite, Texas

2:47 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Dallas!  Thank you so much.  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat, have a seat.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

It’s good to be back in Texas.  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Texas.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be with all of you.

I want to thank a couple of people.  First of all, the mayor of Mesquite, John Monaco is here.  (Applause.)  And the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings is in the house.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank the former mayor of Dallas, who I stole from you to be one of the best trade representatives this country has ever had — my dear friend Ron Kirk is in the house.  (Applause.)

I also want to thank — I want to thank the folks over at the Children’s Lab School, who gave me a tour, and I want to especially thank Kim Russell for sharing her story.  Thank you, Kim.  (Applause.)

Now, teachers like Kim are why I came here today.  Teachers like Kim and her former students.  That’s why I’ve been traveling all across this country for the last few weeks.  These are the toughest times we’ve been through since the Great Depression.  And because the problems that led to the recession weren’t caused overnight, they won’t be solved overnight.  That’s the hard truth.  It took us a decade to see the culmination of some of the bad ideas that had been put into place — the lack of regulation on Wall Street, middle-class folks struggling.

So we’re not going to solve all those problems overnight.  But that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and do nothing about this economy.  There are steps we can take right now to put people back to work.  There are steps we can take right now to put money in the pockets of working Americans.  There are things we can do right now to restore some of the security and fairness that has always defined this great country of ours.  And that’s what will happen if this Congress will finally get its act together and pass the American Jobs Act.  (Applause.)

It has now been three weeks since I sent this bill to Congress.  It’s a detailed plan to get this economy moving.  It’s the kind of proposals that, in the past, Democrats and Republicans have supported.  There’s nothing radical in this proposal.  These are the kinds of things that in the past we’ve had bipartisan support for.  It’s fully paid for.  And that’s why I need you to help me convince the people you sent to Washington that it’s time to pass this jobs bill and get America working again.  (Applause.)

Now, you just heard Kim’s story.  There are teachers and educators like Kim all over the country.  I met a first-grade teacher from Minnesota at the White House who was laid off after having been named the Teacher of the Year in her school district.  Her peers, students, determined she was the best teacher in her school district — she got laid off.  There’s a teacher over in Grand Prairie, Texas, who actually chose to resign in order to protect the job of a single mom who also taught at the school.  Think about that.  Here in Dallas, all across the state of Texas, you’ve seen too many teachers lose their jobs because of budget cuts.  And thousands more could be at risk in the coming year.

Now, understand, this doesn’t just hurt these teachers.  It doesn’t just hurt them and their families.  It hurts our children.  It undermines our future as a nation.  If you’ve got Kim, an AP teacher, not in the classroom, those kids aren’t going to have the same opportunities.  And I want everybody to understand that what is at stake is nothing less than our ability to compete in this 21st century economy.

I told the story — a while back I was visiting South Korea and had lunch with the President there.  And I asked the President, I said, what’s your biggest challenge right now?  He said, well, my biggest challenge is our parents are way too demanding.  He said, they want their kid to learn English when they’re in first grade.  So in addition to all the science and all the math classes, I’m now having to ship in teachers from outside the country just to teach our kids English, starting in elementary school.  This is what the President of South Korea said.

They can’t hire teachers fast enough.  They call them “nation builders” — that’s what they call teachers in Korea, “nation builders,” because they know that educating their children is the best way to make sure their economy is growing, make sure that good jobs are locating there, making sure they’ve got the scientists and the engineers and the technicians who can build things and ship them all around the world.  That’s what he understands.  And the whole country supports him.  Here in America, we’re laying off teachers in droves.  It makes no sense.  It has to stop.  It has to stop.  (Applause.)

Now, this bill will prevent up to 280,000 teachers from losing their jobs.  (Applause.)  This bill will support almost 40,000 jobs right here in the great state of Texas.  (Applause.)  So here’s what I need you to do:  Tell Congress to pass this bill and put teachers back in the classroom where they belong.  (Applause.)

It’s not just teachers.  Tell Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, and there also will be funding to save the jobs of firefighters and police officers and first responders who risk their lives to keep us safe.  That’s what happens if they pass this bill.  (Applause.)

Pass this jobs bill, and hundreds of thousands of unemployed construction workers will get back on the job rebuilding our schools, rebuilding our roads, rebuilding our bridges, rebuilding our ports, rebuilding our airports.  The other day I visited a busy bridge in Ohio — actually it’s between Ohio and Kentucky.  Speaker Boehner, he’s from Ohio; Republican Leader McConnell is from Kentucky.  I thought it would be a good place to have an event.  (Laughter.)  This bridge is classified as functionally obsolete.  That’s a fancy way of saying it’s old and needs to be fixed.  (Laughter.)

There’s a public transit project in Houston that would help clear up one of the worst areas of traffic in the country.  There are schools all over this country that are literally falling apart — roof crumbling, rain dripping in, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, science labs all worn out, got a couple of beakers and that’s it, built back in the ‘50s before the Internet was invented.  (Laughter.)

That’s an outrage.  Understand, America became an economic superpower in part because we had the best infrastructure.  We built the transcontinental railroad, the Interstate Highway System, the Hoover Dam, Grand Central Station.  How can we sit back and now we’re seeing China build better airports than us, Europe build better railroads than us, Korea more broadband access than us — at a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could be building all that stuff right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

My question to Congress is, what are you waiting for?  The work is there to be done.  There are workers ready to do it.  Contractors, they’re begging for work.  They’ll come in on time, under budget.  Interest rates have never been lower.  It is time for us to put those folks back to work.  It’s time for them to pass the American Jobs Act.  Pass this bill.  (Applause.)

If Congress passes this jobs bill, new companies will get new tax credits for hiring America’s veterans.  Think about it.  We ask these men and women to leave their families, disrupt their careers, risk their lives for our nation.  The last thing they should have to do is to fight for a job when they come home.  (Applause.)

Tell Congress pass this bill so we can help the people who create most of the new jobs in this country:  America’s small businesses.  Folks in the other party, they like to talk a good game about helping America’s job creators.  “Let’s help America’s job creators.”  Okay, let’s do that.  This jobs bill provides tax cuts for nearly every small business in America.  If you hire new employees, or raise your workers’ wages, you get an extra tax cut.  (Applause.)  So my message to Congress is, don’t just talk about helping job creators; actually help some job creators by passing this bill.  (Applause.)

Here’s another reason why they need to pass this bill.  On January 1st, if nothing is done, everybody here is going to get a tax hike.

AUDIENCE:  Booo!  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.  See, back in December, I got an agreement with the Republicans to lower the payroll tax so that there would be more money in folks’ pockets and we could protect ourselves against recession.  Now, since that time, we’ve had a tsunami in Japan; we’ve had the Arab Spring, which shot up gas prices.  We’ve had problems in Europe.  And so the economy has gotten weaker.

That tax cut is scheduled to expire by the end of this year.  But if the American Jobs Act passes, the typical working family in Texas will have an extra $1,400 in their pockets.  (Applause.)  Now, if the bill doesn’t pass, virtually every worker in America will see their taxes go up — at the worst possible time.

So I’m not about to let that happen, Texas.  (Applause.)  Look, Republicans say they’re the party of tax cuts.  Tell them to prove it.  Tell them to fight just as hard for tax cuts for working Americans as they do for the wealthiest Americans.  (Applause.)  Pass this bill.

Now, what you’ll hear from some of these folks is, well, we’re not going to support any new spending that’s not paid for.  All right, I agree with that.  I think that’s important.  So I laid out a plan to pay for the American Jobs Act, and then some — a plan that not only pays for the bill to put folks back to work to raise our growth rate, but to also pay down more of our debt over time.  It builds on the $1 trillion in spending cuts that I already signed this summer, making it one of the biggest spending cuts in history.

So, look, I believe we’ve got to make cuts in programs that don’t work and things that aren’t helping the economy grow so we can pay for the things that are.  Right?  (Applause.)  We all believe that a government needs to live within its means.  We all agree with that.  But we also believe that how you bring down the deficit is important.  If we want to actually close the deficit — not just talk about closing the deficit, not just using it for a campaign slogan, not just playing politics — if we want to actually close the deficit, then you’ve got to combine the tough cuts with a strategy to ask the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations to do their part, to pay their fair share.  (Applause.)

Look, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.  Do you really think the tax code is written for you?


THE PRESIDENT:  You think the tax code — maybe you’ve got a bunch of lobbyists in Washington.  Maybe you’ve got a bunch of special interests in there in the back rooms trying to carve something out — I don’t know.  But most folks don’t.  So the tax code, the way it’s structured, is not fair.  And so what we’ve said is, let’s reform our tax code based on a very simple principle, and it will raise more money without hurting working families.  Here’s the principle:  Middle-class families, working families, should not pay higher tax rates than millionaires or billionaires.  (Applause.)  I don’t know how you argue against that; seems pretty straightforward to me.  Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.  (Applause.)

Now, when I point this out — it seems very logical to me, but when I point this out, some of the Republicans in Congress, they say, oh, you’re engaging in class warfare.  Class warfare?  Let me tell you something.  Years ago, a great American had a different view.  All right?  I’m going to get the quote just so you know I’m not making this up.  (Laughter.)  Great American, said that he thought it was “crazy” that certain tax loopholes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary.  All right?

You know who this guy was?  Wasn’t a Democrat.  Wasn’t some crazy socialist.  It was Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)  It was Ronald Reagan.  Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense.  (Laughter.)  So the next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them, I’m with Ronald Reagan.  (Laughter.)  I agree with Ronald Reagan that it’s crazy that a bus driver pays a higher tax rate than a millionaire because of some loophole in the tax code.  (Applause.)

And by the way, I don’t mind being called a warrior for the working class.  You guys need somebody fighting for you.  (Applause.)  The only warfare I’ve been seeing is the war against middle-class families and their ability to get ahead in this economy.

And let me make one last point, because you’ll hear this argument made:  This is not about trying to punish success.  This is the land of opportunity.  And what’s great about our country is our belief that anybody can succeed.  You’ve got a good idea?  Go out there and start a new business.  You’ve got a great product?  You invented something?  I hope you make millions of dollars.  We want to see more Steve Jobs and more Bill Gates — creating value, creating jobs.  That’s great.

Your current mayor did great work in the private sector creating jobs, creating value.  That’s important.  But remember, nobody got there on their own.  I’m standing here today, Michelle is standing here today — or Michelle’s not standing here today — (laughter) — but I know you wish she was.  I’m standing here today, Michelle — we always remind ourselves, the reason we’ve had this extraordinary opportunity is because somewhere along the line, some teacher helped us.  Somewhere along the line, we got a student loan.  We lived in a country that could move products and services everywhere.  We lived in a country where if there’s a fire, somebody comes and puts out the fire.  If you’re burglarized, somebody is coming to try to solve the crime.  I’m sure the mayor of Dallas feels the same way.  We’re here because somebody laid the foundation for success.  So the question is, are we going to maintain that foundation and strengthen that foundation for the next generation?

And this is all about priorities.  This is about choices.  If we want to actually lower the deficit and put people back to work — if we want to invest in our future, if we want to have the best science, the best technology, the best research, we want to continue to be inventing new drugs to solve cancer and making sure that the new cars of the future that are running on electricity are made here in America — if we want to do all those things, then the money has got to come from somewhere.  I wish I could do it all for free.  I wish I could say to all of you, you don’t have to pay any taxes and companies can keep all their stuff and rich people don’t have to do anything, and somehow it all works out.

But you know what, we tried it and it didn’t work.  So now you’ve got a choice.  Would you rather keep tax loopholes for big corporations that don’t need it?  Or would you rather put construction workers back to work rebuilding our schools and our roads and our bridges?  (Applause.)  Would you rather I keep a tax break that I don’t need and wasn’t looking for, didn’t ask for and if I don’t have it, I won’t miss it?  Or do you want to put teachers like Kim back to work and help small businesses and cut taxes for middle-class families?  (Applause.)  This is a choice that we’ve got to make.

And I believe, and I think you believe, it’s time we build an economy that creates good, solid, middle-class jobs in this country.  It’s time to build an economy that values the — that honors the values of hard work and responsibility.  It’s time for us to build an economy that lasts, that’s not just based on speculation and financial shenanigans, but rather is based on us making stuff and selling things to other people around the world instead of just importing from all around the world.  (Applause.)  That’s the America I believe in.  That’s the America you believe in.

And, Dallas, that starts now.  That starts with your help.  Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now he won’t even let this jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives.


THE PRESIDENT:  This is what he said.  Won’t even let it be debated.  Won’t even give it a chance to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.  Think about that.  I mean, what’s the problem?  Do they not have the time?  (Laughter.)  They just had a week off.  (Laughter.)  Is it inconvenient?

Look, I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what exactly in this jobs bill does he not believe in.  What exactly is he opposed to?

Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges?  Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help our veterans?

Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas and look Kim Russell in the eye and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to be back in the classroom doing what she loves, helping our kids.  Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.

Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting idle instead of out there on the job.

Tell small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for folks who don’t need them — for millionaires — rather than tax cuts for middle-class families.

And if you won’t do that, at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where members of Congress stand.  (Applause.)
Put your cards on the table.  I realize that some Republicans in Washington are resistant, partly because I proposed it.  (Laughter and applause.)  I mean, they — if I took their party platform and proposed it, they’d suddenly be against it.  (Laughter.)

We’ve had folks in Congress who have said they shouldn’t pass this bill because it would give me a win.  So they’re thinking about the next election.  They’re not thinking about folks who are hurting right now.  They’re thinking, well, how is that going to play in the next election?

Give me a win?  Give me a break!  (Laughter.)  That’s why folks are fed up with Washington.  (Applause.)  This isn’t about giving me a win.  This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win.  This is about giving people who are hurting a win.  (Applause.)  This is about giving small business owners a win, and entrepreneurs a win, and students a win, and working families a win.  This is about giving America a win.  (Applause.)

Dallas, the next election is 13 months away.  The American people don’t have the luxury of waiting 13 months.  A lot of folks are living week to week; some are living paycheck to paycheck; some folks are living day to day.  (Applause.)  They need action on jobs, and they need it now.  They want Congress to do what they were elected to do.  They want Congress to do their job.  Do your job, Congress!  (Applause.)

I need you all to lift your voice — (applause)  –-  not just here in Dallas, but anyone watching, anyone listening, everybody following online.  I need you to call and tweet and fax and visit and email your congressperson and tell them the time for gridlock and games is over.  The time for action is now.  (Applause.)

Tell them that if you want to create jobs — pass this bill.  (Applause.)

If you want to put teachers back in the classroom — pass this bill.  (Applause.)

If you want construction workers back on the job — pass this bill.  (Applause.)

If you want tax cuts for the middle class and small business owners — pass this bill.

You want to help some veterans?  Pass this bill.  (Applause.)

Now is the time to act.  We are not people who sit back in tough times.  We step up in tough times.  We make things happen in tough times.  (Applause.)  We’ve been through tougher times before, and we got through them.  We’re going to get through these to a brighter day, but we’re going to have to act.  God helps those who help themselves.  We need to help ourselves right now.

Let’s get together.  Let’s get to work.  Let’s get busy.  Let’s pass this bill.  Let’s make sure that we are shaping a destiny for our children that we are proud of, and let’s remind the entire world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on the planet.  (Applause.)

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

END                 3:18 P.M. CDT

Campaign Buzz October 4, 2011: NJ Gov. Chris Christie Announces He Will Not Run for President as a Republican President Candidate — Speech Excerpts


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.


Andrew Mills/The Star-LedgerGov. Chris Christie announced today he will not run for president.


Chris Christie: “Now is not my time”: “In the end, what I’ve always felt was the right decision remains the right decision today. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I will not abandon. New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.
The deciding factor was it did not feel right to me, in my gut, to leave now when the job is not finished…
“Can you imagine? The guy would probably want to get a food taster….
not going to preclude any employment in the future….
The country will be better if President Obama is a one-termer….
I’m not particularly self-conscious about this. It’s not a news flash to me that I’m overweight…
The people who wrote [that] are ignorant people. To say that because you are overweight you are therefore undisciplined—I don’t think undisciplined people get to achieve great positions in our society.” — Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie will not seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to a source familiar with the governor’s thinking.
Christie will announce his plans at a press conference at 1:00 p.m. ET today.

  • Chris Christie Will Not Seek Presidency, Advisers Confirm: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has decided not to seek the presidency, according to two sources who were told of his decision.
    Mr. Christie is scheduled to announce his decision at a news conference in the state capital at 1 p.m. But two sources said Tuesday morning that the governor will not pursue the Republican nomination.
    The decision ends a late flurry of indecision on the part of Mr. Christie, who had been encouraged by a growing number of Republican donors and activists who had hoped he would add his name to the field of candidates vying to challenge President Obama…. – NYT, 10-4-11
  • Factbox: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will not jump into the 2012 presidential race, a high-level Republican source said. Republicans and deep-pocketed businessmen have for weeks been urging Christie to run for the Republican nomination…. – Reuters, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie: “Now is not my time”: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination, saying that while he thought seriously about entering the presidential race, “now is not my time.”
    Christie said he made his final decision last night and told his allies this morning. He said he went to the bed last night “knowing exactly what I wanted to do” for the first time in weeks…. – CBS News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie Not Running for President: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for president, according to a source with direct knowledge of the governor’s thinking.
    By deciding not to run, Christie is refusing the pleas of many establishment Republicans who have been urging him – even pleading with him – to jump into the race. Dozens of high-level GOP donors have been paying visits to Christie since the spring in the hopes of changing his mind.
    But the governor spent months saying the same thing in myriad ways: “no.”… – ABC News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie won’t run for president: Now what?: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decision not to run for president almost certainly means that the 2012 Republican presidential field is set, news that some donors and party activists may greet grimly. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won’t run for president…. – WaPo, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie wont seek presidency in 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race. Christie has scheduled a 1 pm press conference in his state’s capital…. – Politico, 10-4-11
  • Does Christie’s Exit Mean the Boomlet Boom Is Finally Over?: The Chris Christie boomlet is over. Now, let’s get down to business and have a campaign. There are just three months to go before the first primaries of 2012. It’s time, Republicans say, to end the Groundhog Day-like cycle of potential candidates…. – The Atlantic, 10-4-11
  • Gov. Chris Christie to announce he is not running for president – live coverage: Gov. Chris Christie is holding a press conference today to announce he is not running for president…. – The Star-Ledger, 10-4-11
  • Christie Won’t Run: The media-generated bubble that Chris Christie might jump into the presidential race has suddenly popped, with the New Jersey governor staying where he’s been all along: on the sidelines…. – msnbc.com, 10-4-11
  • EJ Dionne, Jr: Chris Christie makes the right call: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made the right decision just in time. He was getting past the point when people (especially his opponents) would start asking: If he is this indecisive about whether he wants to run for president…. – WaPo, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie and the cult of governors as presidential candidates: So the breathless speculation about a Chris Christie presidential bid is finally over (unless things look bad for the Republicans a few months from now). What has received little notice, perhaps because the phenomenon is taken for granted…. – LAT, 10-4-11
  • Christie: Man Up And Don’t Call Him A Candidate: Presidential flirt Chris Christie won’t be the belle of the 2012 presidential ball – the New Jersey governor will announce today that he won’t seek the White House. Christie is set to break the news – and disappoint some party mandarins … – New York Daily News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie 2012 Decision: New Jersey Governor Reportedly Not Running: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) is holding a press conference in his home state on Tuesday at 1:00 pm ET. It is widely expected that Christie will announce he will not seek his party’s presidential nomination in 2012. … – Huffington Post – Star Ledger, 10-4-11

History News September 30, 2011: Our Virginia: Past and Present: Faulty Virginia History Textbook Restored by State to Classrooms


History Buzz


After criticism in regard to factual errors removed it from classrooms last school year, a fourth-grade Virginia history textbook gained reapproval by the State Board of Education on Sept. 22.

Factual errors were discovered in “Our Virginia: Past and Present” by a College of William & Mary history professor whose child brought the book home from school. In March, the Board of Education voted to remove its approval of the book and another book published by Five Pond Press — “Our America to 1865.”

At that time, the board agreed to reconsider approval of the books if the publisher corrected the errors. In June, Five Pond Press submitted a second edition of both books with reviews. Initial review began in July, followed by a 30-day public comment period, during which time eight comments were submitted. Most of the feedback focused on credibility of the textbooks because of the initial errors, as well as remaining errors found in the book, according to state education staff.

The Board of Education voted 8-1 on Sept. 22 to reapprove the textbooks for classroom use.

“Getting these books right is something that requires enormous time and Five Ponds Press has had the benefit over this year of having that extra public scrutiny looking at their publications, looking at their documents, helping them make them better,” said Board of Education member K. Rob Krupicka of Alexandria. “They need to — and every other publisher needs to — learn from these last 12 months and recognize how critical it is that they have third-party review, aggressive third-party review and multiple third-party reviews of their textbook… you can have experts look at things and you can still find problems.”

Complaints about the Five Pond Press textbooks caused the Board of Education to review and make changes to its textbook approval process.

Final copies of the two textbooks were not available to the board during its regular meeting Sept. 22, but state education staff members said they would review the final text to make sure errors were corrected.

“West Virginia will not show up on the map until after the Civil War, I trust?” asked the Board’s Vice President David M. Foster of Arlington.

Board member Winsome E. Spears of Stephenson was the lone vote against reapproving the books. During last week’s meeting, she questioned why the board was not being asked to review and approve supplementary material for these textbooks produced by Five Ponds Press.

Staff said the board does not review this material, which is not a required additional purchase by school systems. Several board members suggested a future discussion on whether it should approve supplementary material as classroom materials become more technology based.

Early complaints about “Our Virginia: Past and Present” focused on the textbook’s claim that thousands of blacks fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, “including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson.”

Historian Ronald Heinemann, a professor teaching at Hampden-Sydney College, was asked by the Fairfax County school system to survey the book for errors.

“There were almost too many errors to list,” he said at the time, adding many key dates in the textbook were wrong.

“They have America going into World War I in 1916, instead of 1917,” he said. The book also lists President Ulysses S. Grant taking office in 1870, when the 18th president took office in 1869.

“I came up with 50 [errors],” said Heinemann, adding a colleague of his found more than twice that amount, but included errors that could be interpreted wrong.

Fairfax County Public Schools purchased copies of the Virginia history book, but not the American history textbook.

“Since we were made aware of the errors last year, schools were instructed to use a corrected online version of the book,” said Paul Regnier, Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman.

Full Text October 1, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urging Republicans & Democrats in Congress to Pass the American Jobs Act



President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 9/30/11

Weekly Address: Fighting for the American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 10-1-11

President Obama discusses the letters he receives every day asking for action on jobs and calls on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act right away to cut taxes, create jobs and provide a win for the American people.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3


WEEKLY ADDRESS: Democrats and Republicans Should Get Together and Pass the American Jobs Act

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that it has been nearly three weeks since he sent Congress his jobs bill, and now it is time for Congress to send it back so that it can be signed into law.  Economists agree that the American Jobs Act will spur hiring and boost the economy, and it will give workers and small businesses tax cuts, get construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, and put more teachers in classrooms and cops on the streets.  Too many Americans are struggling and need help now, and so Republicans and Democrats should come together without delay to pass the American Jobs Act.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 1, 2011

Hello, everyone.  It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets.  This jobs bill is fully paid for.  This jobs bill contains the kinds of proposals that Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past.  And now I want it back.  It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law.

Some Republicans in Congress have said that they agree with certain parts of this jobs bill.  If so, it’s time for them to tell me what those proposals are.  And if they’re opposed to this jobs bill, I’d like to know what exactly they’re against.  Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job?  Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools?  Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?

Economists from across the political spectrum have said that this jobs bill would boost the economy and spur hiring.  Why would you be against that?  Especially at a time when so many Americans are struggling and out of work.

This isn’t just about what I think is right.  It’s not just about what a group of economists think is right.  This is about what the American people want.  Everywhere I go, they tell me they want action on jobs.  Every day, I get letters from Americans who expect Washington to do something about the problems we face.

Destiny Wheeler is a sixteen year old from Georgia who wants to go to college.  She wrote to me saying, “Now-a-days it is hard to see myself pushing forward and putting my family in a better position, especially since the economy is rough and my starting situation is so poor.  Yet, the American Jobs act gives me hope that I might start to receive a better education, that one day job opportunities will be open for me to grasp, and that one day my personal American Dream will be reached.”  Destiny needs us to pass this jobs bill.

Alice Johnson is an Oregon native who, along with her husband, has been looking for a job for about two years.  She writes, “I have faithfully applied for work every week…Of the hundreds of applications I have put in, I received interview requests for about 10…I too, am sick of all the fighting in Washington DC.  Please tell the Republicans that people are hurting and are hungry and need help, pass the jobs bill.”  Alice Johnson needs our help.

Cathleen Dixon sent me pictures of the aging bridge she drives under when she takes her kids to school in Chicago every day.  She worries about their safety, and writes, “I am angry that in this country of vast resources we claim that we cannot maintain basic infrastructure.  How can we ever hope to preserve or regain our stature in this world, if we cannot find the will to protect our people and take care of our basic needs?”

I also heard from Kim Faber, who told me about the small carpet business her husband owns in New Jersey.  “We hang on by a shoe String,” she writes, “my husband worries every day about if checks might bounce, he uses our home loan to put money in the business so they will be covered.  Please pass this jobs bill! This is the job creating we need right now! It breaks my husband’s heart when he has to let people go! Pass the bill!”

Kim said it best: Pass the bill.  I know one Republican was quoted as saying that their party shouldn’t pass this jobs bill because it would give me a win.  Well this isn’t about giving me a win, and it’s not about them.  This is about Destiny Wheeler and Alice Johnson. It’s about Cathleen Dixon’s children, and the Fabers’ family business.  These are the people who need a win, and I will be fighting for this jobs bill every day on their behalf.  If anyone watching feels the same way, don’t be shy about letting your Congressman know.  It is time for the politics to end.  Let’s pass this jobs bill.

White House Recap September 25-30, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama’s Linkedin Townhall — Back-to-School Speech & Education Reforms — Hispanic Community Roundtable



This week, the President announced reforms to No Child Left Behind, held a town hall on job growth at LinkedIn, spoke on what the American Jobs Act could mean for schools and gave his third annual Back To School address.

West Wing Week

Weekly Wrap Up: Spreading the Word

Source: WH, 9-30-11

LinkedIn Town Hall: On Monday, President Obama participated in a live Town Hall meeting with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, out in Silicon Valley, California. Taking questions from the audience and online submissions, the President talked about the American Jobs Act and how it will create jobs and boost the overall economy.

Ending Violence Against Women: Vice President Biden travelled to New York City Tuesday to sit down with the women of The View. The main topic of discussion was his campaign to end violence against women and his current initiative to reduce domestic abuse among younger Americans. The Vice President told the ladies that the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is his proudest legislative achievement, and that it has decreased domestic violence by over 50% since being signed into law.

‘Set your Sights High’: The President welcomed students back to school in his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Admitting that he was not a perfect student himself, he explained that doing well in school carries weight beyond college admissions. “Because you’re not just kids. You’re this country’s future. You’re young leaders. And whether we fall behind or race ahead as a nation is going to depend in large part on you.”

President Barack Obama with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School Speech

President Barack Obama shakes hands with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Rebuilding America’s Schools:  President Obama  visited Denver’s Abraham Lincoln High School to discuss how the American Jobs Act is going to not only put workers back on the job, but also rebuild and modernize schools across the country.  The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure to repair and upgrade at least 35,000 public schools because, “Every child deserves a great school – and we can give it to them. We can rebuild our schools for the 21st century, with faster internet, smarter labs and cutting-edge technology.”

Talking to the Hispanic Community: During a roundtable conversation with three of the largest Hispanic online outlets, the President discussed a range of issues from immigration and education to Social Security and the American Jobs Act. Jose Siade from Yahoo Español, Karine Medina from MSN Latino and Gabriel Lerner from AOL Latino and Huff-Post Latino Voices joined the President in the White House Map Room for an hour-long chat centered on the issues that matter most to Hispanic Americans.

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