Campaign Buzz May 8, 2012: Primary Night Results: Mitt Romney Wins 3 Primaries — GOP Sen. Richard Lugar Loses Indiana Primary to Tea Party Candidate Richard Mourdock — Wisconsin Democrats Choose Tom Barrett to Run Against Scott Walker for Governor in Recall Race — North Carolina Voters Pass Same-Sex Marriage Ban

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Mayor Tom Barrett, a man and woman wedding cake topper and Sen. Dick Lugar are shown.  | AP Photos
Voters said yes to Wisconsin’s Tom Barrett, no to gay marriage and Sen. Dick Lugar. | AP Photo

IN FOCUS: PRIMARY NIGHT RESULTS

Primary results: 5 takeaways: Conservatives claimed two major victories, and Scott Walker’s main event finally arrived Tuesday night after a tandem set of state-based elections that will have a ripple effect in the fall.
Votes in the Indiana Republican Senate primary, Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary for the June recall election and North Carolina’s vote on an amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions are now over, but they’re leaving an indelible mark on the shape of the 2012 contests…. – Politico, 5-8-12

3 Big Elections: Indiana, North Carolina, and Wisconsin: A titan of the Senate faces defeat, a gay-marriage ban looks set to pass, and Democrats nominate a candidate for the recall of Scott Walker. The presidential primaries are finally over, but across the country, the real political … The Atlantic, 5-8-12

  • Five things to watch in Tuesdays contests: The long presidential primary slog continues Tuesday, with three more states going to the polls: Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia.
    Not all the action is presidential — there are competitive congressional and gubernatorial primaries, as well. Indiana features a closely watched Senate GOP primary where longtime Sen. Dick Lugar is in jeopardy of losing his seat.
    Wisconsin voters will also cast ballots: They’ll continue their ongoing recall civil war, with recall primaries for governor, lieutenant governor and four state Senate seats…. – Politico, 5-8-12
  • Primary Day: What to Watch: Congress, not the White House, is the major focus of primary elections today…. – Bloomberg, 5-8-12Lugar Loses Primary Challenge in Indiana: Richard G. Lugar, one of the Senate’s longest-serving members, lost a hard-fought Republican primary to Richard E. Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer…. – NYT, 5-8-12
  • Veteran Republican Senator Lugar soundly defeated: Senator Richard Lugar, a 35-year Senate veteran and leading foreign policy voice, was soundly defeated in the Indiana Republican primary by a Tea Party-backed rival on Tuesday…. – Reuters, 5-8-12
  • Longtime GOP Sen. Richard Lugar loses Indiana primary to challenger Richard Mourdock: Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., lost a primary battle Tuesday to tea party challenger and Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock … Fox News, 5-8-12
  • Mourdock Wins Ind. GOP Race for Senate: Tea party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock won Indiana’s Republican nomination for Senate, defeating longtime Senator Richard Lugar. Mourdock will face Democratic US Rep. Joe Donnelly in November…. – WaPo, 5-8-12
  • Indiana’s Lugar loses primary challenge, Romney wins trio, NC bans gay marriage: Six-term Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar was routed by the right flank of his own Republican Party on Tuesday, and North Carolina voters decided overwhelmingly to strengthen their state’s gay marriage ban. It was a double-barreled show…. – WaPo, 5-8-12
  • Lugar Loses Indiana GOP Primary to Tea Party Foe: US Sen. Richard Lugar was ousted Tuesday by a tea party-backed challenger in Indiana’s Republican primary, abruptly ending his nearly four-decade career as one of Indiana’s best-known and popular politicians…. – WaPO, 5-8-12
  • Lugar loss will mean new approach for Indiana in Congress: In addition to Lugar’s Tea Party-backed opponent Richard Mourdock, three other Indiana races will see new faces…. – CS Monitor, 5-8-12
  • Lugar’s parting words: Part defense, part warning: As soon as 36-year Senate veteran Richard Lugar finished his concession speech Tuesday, he walked off the stage, out the back door and into his car. But he left behind something … CNN, 5-9-12
  • Mourdock ends Lugar era: Republican voters handed Sen. Richard Lugar his retirement Tuesday, rejecting his bid for a seventh term and instead nominating State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. It might have been considered one of the biggest upsets in Indiana…. – Journal and Courier, 5-8-12
  • Mourdock supporters say their candidate can change direction of party, nation: Many of the hundreds who attended the victory party for GOP US Senate candidate Richard Mourdock Tuesday night said they were there because they wanted change in the direction of the party and nation…. – Evansville Courier & Press, 5-8-12
  • US to lose respected foreign policy voice in Lugar: Senator Richard Lugar, defeated in the Indiana Republican primary on Tuesday, was a quiet and respected voice on foreign policy during more than three decades of service that focused on stemming the worldwide spread of nuclear … Reuters, 5-9-12Wisconsin Democrats Choose Challenger to Run Against Governor in Recall Race: Democrats in Wisconsin have a month to persuade voters to unseat the governor, Scott Walker, in a recall election with Tom Barrett as Mr. Walker’s opponent…. – NYT, 5-8-12
  • Milwaukee mayor to face Walker in Wis. Recall: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary Tuesday in Wisconsin’s historic recall election, leaving him with a short four weeks to make the closing argument that Republican Gov. Scott Walker should be booted from office after 16…. – AP, 5-8-12
  • Tom Barrett wins Wisconsin recall primary: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election Tuesday, dealing a blow to organized labor and setting up the June 5 race against Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Barrett defeated former Dane County…. – Politico, 5-8-12
  • Wisconsin Democrats Choose Challenger to Run Against Governor in Recall Race: Wisconsin Democrats will get a do-over election between Gov. Scott Walker and Tom Barrett when the two face off in a rare recall vote next month. Mr. Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, got the nod from his party after a statewide primary on…. – NYT, 5-8-12
  • Milwaukee mayor wins Democratic primary to face Wis. Gov. Scott Walker in recall election: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary Tuesday in Wisconsin’s historic recall election, leaving him with a short four weeks to make the closing argument that Republican Gov. Scott Walker should be booted from office … WaPo, 5-8-12
  • Milwaukee mayor wins Wisconsin recall primary: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary to face Gov. Scott Walker(R) in a recall election next month, setting up a rematch of their 2010 race. Barrett, who has been under fire from unions for using Walker’s reforms to cut benefits and…. – WaPo, 5-8-12
  • Wis. Gov. Scott Walker easily wins Republican primary in recall election: Wis. Gov. Scott Walker easily wins Republican primary in recall election over union rights…. – WaPo, 5-8-12North Carolina Voters Pass Same-Sex Marriage Ban: North Carolina’s voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage, joining 29 other states and the rest of the South…. – NYT, 5-8-12
  • NC approves amendment on gay marriage: North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, becoming the latest state to effectively slam the door shut on same-sex marriages…. – AP, 5-8-12
  • North Carolina voters approve same-sex marriage ban: North Carolina voters on Tuesday approved a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and civil unions, dealing a blow to efforts across the United States to expand gay marriage rights.
    The amendment, which says marriage between a man and a woman is the only legally recognized domestic union in the state, passed by a wide margin. With 95 of 100 counties’ results reported, about 61 percent of votes backed the amendment.
    North Carolina law already blocks gay and lesbian couples from marrying, but the state now joins the rest of the Southeast states in adding the prohibition to its constitution.
    Many voters simply viewed the amendment as a vote on same-sex marriage despite efforts by the measure’s opponents to broaden the discussion, said Tom Jensen of the Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling firm.
    Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and the District of Columbia allow gay and lesbian nuptials.
    Maryland, New Jersey and Washington state have passed laws this year approving same-sex marriage, but Governor Chris Christie vetoed New Jersey’s law and opponents in Maryland and Washington are threatening ballot initiatives to overturn those laws…. – Reuters, 5-8-12
  • NC voters OK ban on gay marriage: North Carolina voters approved a state constitutional amendment Tuesday declaring marriage is solely between a man and a woman, dealing a setback to gay-rights advocates…. – USA Today, 5-8-12
  • NC approves constitutional ban on same-sex marriage: North Carolina voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, dealing a setback to a gay rights movement that has enjoyed significant momentum in recent years. With less than a third of the returns tallied, the measure had enough…. – WaPo, 5-8-12
  • Gay marriage: North Carolina voters approve constitutional ban: North Carolina voters on Tuesday appeared to easily pass Amendment One, an amendment to the state constitution that not only bans gay marriage but also outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships…. – LAT, 5-8-12
  • Obama’s campaign says he is ‘disappointed’ with NC amendment banning gay marriage: President Barack Obama’s campaign says he’s “disappointed” with North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Obama campaign spokesman Cameron French said in a Tuesday statement that the ban on same-sex unions is…. – WaPo, 5-8-12
  • NC passes Marriage Amendment: A majority of North Carolinians voted Tuesday in favor of a Constitutional amendment that recognizes the marriage of a man and woman as the only valid domestic union in North Carolina, with a 61 percent to 38 … – Durham Herald Sun, 5-8-12
  • Marriage amendment passes by large margin: With a more than 20-point lead with more than 90 percent of precincts reported, North Carolina’s marriage amendment has passed…. – WXII The Triad, 5-8-12
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Campaign Buzz May 8, 2012: Rick Santorum Finally Endorses Mitt Romney for the GOP / Republican Presidential Nomination

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Romney Santorum.jpg

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, FileIn this Feb. 22, 2012, file photo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with fellow candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, after a presidential debate in Arizona. On Monday night, May 7, 2012, Santorum endorsed Romney, saying “above all else” they agree that Obama must be defeated.

Rick Santorum’s Endorsement of Governor Mitt Romney

Source: Rick Santorm, 5-7-12
On Friday, Governor Romney came to Pittsburgh for an over-hour long one-on-one meeting. The conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.

While the issue of my endorsement did not come up, I certainly have heard from many of you who have weighed in on whether or not I should issue a formal endorsement. Thank you for your counsel, it has been most helpful. However, I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, tea-party supporters, lower and middle income working families.

Clearly without the overwhelming support from you all, I never would have won 11 states and over 3 million votes, and we would not have won more counties than all the other candidates combined. I can assure you that even though I am no longer a candidate for president, I will still continue to fight every day for our shared values – the values that made America the greatest country in the history of the world.

During our meeting I felt a deep responsibility to assess Governor Romney’s commitment to addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.

The family and its foundational role in America’s economic success, a central point of our campaign, was discussed at length. I was impressed with the Governor’s deep understanding of this connection and his commitment to economic policies that preserve and strengthen families. He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved.

I also shared with Governor Romney my belief that we cannot restore America as the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen until we return America to being a manufacturing superpower. He listened very carefully to my advice on this matter, and while our policy prescriptions differed, he clearly expressed his desire to create more opportunities for those that are feeling left behind in this economy.

As it is often said, “personnel is policy.” I strongly encouraged Governor Romney as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team. And you can be sure that I will work with the Governor to help him in this task to ensure he has a strong team that will support him in his conservative policy initiatives.

Of course we talked about what it would take to win this election. As you know I started almost every speech with the phrase that this was the most important election since the election of 1860 and four more years of President Obama is simply not an option. As I contemplated what further steps I will take, that reality weighed heavy on me. The America we know is being fundamentally changed to look more like a European socialist state than the land of opportunity our founding fathers established.

Freedom and personal responsibility are being replaced with big government dependency. The greatest and most productive workers in the world are being hamstrung by excessive regulations making it impossible to compete. Our healthcare system had been socialized, and the worth of each life dictated by some government bureaucrat. Our allies are insulted while our enemies are appeased. And our religious beliefs and freedom have come under attack.

What is even more troubling is what a second term of an Obama administration could bring. President Obama’s admission to the Russians that he will have more flexibility in a second term can only be translated to “if you thought I was liberal in the first four years you haven’t seen anything yet!”

The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree: the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. And while I had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare, I have no doubt if elected he will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.

Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.

My conversation with Governor Romney was very productive, but I intend to keep lines of communication open with him and his campaign. I hope to ensure that the values that made America that shining city on the hill are illuminated brightly by our party and our candidates thus ensuring not just a victory, but a mandate for conservative governance.

Karen and I know firsthand how difficult the campaign trail can be particularly as governor Romney faces relentless attacks from the democrats. We have been praying for him and his family and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.

I look forward to working together to defeat President Obama this fall and to protect faith, family, freedom and opportunity in America.

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM FINALLY ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY FOR GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Santorum Keeps Romney Endorsement Low Key: The announcement came in a middle-of-the-night e-mail with a simple subject line: Governor Romney…. – NYT, 5-8-12

  • Santorum finally endorses ex-rival Romney: Rick Santorum tonight finally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, pledging to help his ex-rival defeat President Obama in November…. – USA Today, 5-8-12
  • Rick Santorum endorses Mitt Romney in late-night email: Rick Santorum endorsed his onetime rival Mitt Romney in a long email to supporters late Monday night, calling on them to unite behind the cause of defeating President Obama in November. Santorum, who withdrew from the race last month…. – LAT, 5-8-12
  • Santorum endorses Romney, asks supporters to help: Rick Santorum on Monday urged his supporters to join him in working with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to deny President Obama a second term. Rick Santorum endorsed his one-time bitter rival Mitt Romney in a late-night e-mail…. – Boston Globe, 5-8-12-
  • Santorum endorsement of Romney a bit lukewarm: Rick Santorum finally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, but he sure didn’t trumpet the fact. The word came near the end of the 13th paragraph of an e-mail that hit the inboxes of Santorum supporters about 11 pm Monday – more than…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 5-9-12
  • Rick Santorum tells Jay Leno why Romney endorsement was ‘buried’: Rick Santorum told ‘Tonight Show’ host Jay Leno, ‘This was a letter to my supporters – who were for me.’ Not Mitt Romney. The socially liberal Leno also pressed Mr. Santorum on cultural issues…. – CS Monitor, 5-9-12
  • On ‘Tonight Show,’ Santorum holds firm on conservative stances: Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the race after presenting an energetic challenge to Mitt Romney from the party’s right flank, jousted over gay marriage and contemporary culture with Jay Leno…. – LAT, 5-9-12
  • Santorum explains Romney e-mail: During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tuesday night, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained his e-mail endorsing Mitt Romney…. – WaPo, 5-10-12
  • Santorum explains Romney endorsement: Rick Santorum brought back his lucky sweater vest for his first appearance on Jay Leno’s show as he explained that late-night e-mail endorsing ex-GOP rival Mitt Romney. The idea behind releasing the letter to his supporters…. – USA Today, 5-9-12

Full Text Obama Presidency May 8, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Hands Congress Economic ‘To Do’ List — Remarks on the Economy at the State University of New York, Albany, NY

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama is calling on Congress to take action that will create jobs and ensure middle class security.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CONGRESS ‘TO DO’ LIST

  • Obama Hands Congress Economic ‘To Do’ List: With a polarized Congress already on the defensive, President Obama on Tuesday will outline a five-point “to do” list for lawmakers that packages job creation and mortgage relief ideas he has proposed before, administration officials say…. – NYT, 5-8-12
  • In latest jab, Obama offers Congress a ‘to-do’ list: Taking another jab at his favorite punching bag, President Obama on Tuesday offered Congress a “to-do” list for the year, drawing attention and gently mocking lawmakers in the unpopular and gridlocked Congress…. – LAT, 5-8-12
  • Obama to give ‘to do list’ to Congress: President Obama plans to give Congress a “To Do List” today that he says will create jobs and “help restore middle class security,” the White House said. “These initiatives have bipartisan support and at this make-or-break… – USA Today, 5-8-12

President Obama’s To-Do List for Congress: Reward American Jobs, Not Outsourcing

Source: WH, 5-8-12

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the State University of New York, in Albany

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York, in Albany, N.Y., May 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, Republicans in Congress voted to block President Obama’s proposal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling. If Congress doesn’t act by July 1, more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt. The President has visited colleges in Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina to speak with students about this important issue, and he will continue to put pressure on Congress to work together and keep student loan interest rates low.

It’s time for Congress to take action on other common sense initiatives as well. This afternoon, President Obama called on Congress to move forward with a “To-Do List” that will create jobs and help restore middle class security. The President traveled to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s NanoTech Complex in Albany, New York, where he described a list of initiatives that have bipartisan support and will help create an economy built to last.

The first item on the To-Do List will help spur American manufacturing, an industry that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, including many in upstate New York. But Congress can take action now to help create more jobs for American workers, President Obama said:

At the moment, companies get tax breaks for moving factories, jobs and profits overseas.  They can actually end up saving on their tax bill when they make the move.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay here are getting hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make sense.

…before we completely rework the tax code, before we’ve done a full-blown tax reform, at the very least what we can do right away is stop rewarding companies who ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are moving jobs back here to America.  So we’re putting that on Congress’s “To-Do” list.

The proposals that the President highlighted today are important steps that Congress can take right now to create jobs. It’s time for Congress to act. Check out the full to-do list, then join the conversation and make your voice heard with the hashtag #CongressToDoList.

  1. Reward American Jobs, Eliminate Tax Incentives To Ship Jobs Overseas: Congress needs to attract and keep good jobs in the United State sby passing legislation that gives companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving their operations back to the U.S. Congress should pay for this credit by eliminating tax incentives that allow companies to deduct the costs of moving their business abroad.
  2. Cut Red Tape So Responsible Homeowners Can Refinance: Congress needs to pass legislation to cut red tape in the mortgage market so that responsible families who have been paying their mortgages on time can feel secure in their home by refinancing at today’s lower rates.
  3. Invest in a New Hire Tax Credit for Small Businesses: Congress needs to invest in small businesses and jumpstart new hiring by passing legislation that gives a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012 and that extends 100 percent expensing in 2012 for all businesses.
  4. Create Jobs By Investing In Affordable Clean Energy: Congress needs to help put America in control of its energy future by extending the Production Tax Credit to support American jobs and manufacturing and expanding the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing (48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit).
  5. Put Returning Veterans to Work Using Skills Developed in the Military: Congress needs to honor our commitment to returning veterans by creating a Veterans Job Corps to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as cops, firefighters, and serving their communities.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President, Albany, NY

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
State University of New York
Albany, New York

1:24 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, New York!  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Everybody, please have a seat.  It is great to be back in Albany.  It is wonderful to be with all of you here today.

And I want to thank Governor Cuomo not only for the outstanding introduction, but also for the extraordinary leadership that he’s showing here in the great state of New York. Please give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  He is doing outstanding work.

I also want to thank Mayor Jennings, who’s here.  Give the Mayor a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Don’t be shy.  We’ve got Chancellor Zimpher — (applause) — we appreciate very much. Dr. Kaloyeros — I want to make sure I say that right, folks mess up my name all the time — (laughter) — Kaloyeros for hosting us here today.  (Applause.)  We’ve got a couple members of Congress here — Paul Tonko.  (Applause.)  And also, Representative Chris Gibson is here.  (Applause.)

And all of you are, and I’m happy about that.  (Applause.)  Yes.  So it is wonderful to be here at the University of Albany NanoCollege.  This is one of the only colleges in the world dedicated to nanotechnology.  And it’s a incredible complex.  But you’re working on particles as small as an atom, and you’re doing it in rooms that are 10,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room –- which is very impressive, since “clean” is not usually a word I associate with college students.  (Laughter.)  Maybe things have changed since I was in school.

Now, the reason I came here today is because this school — bless you — and this community represents the future of our economy.  Right now, some of the most advanced manufacturing work in America is being done right here in upstate New York.  Cutting-edge businesses from all over the world are deciding to build here and hire here.  And you’ve got schools like this one that are training workers with the exact skills that those businesses are looking for.

Now, we know the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector — it’s not Washington.  But there are steps we can take as a nation to make it easier for companies to grow and to hire, to create platforms of success for them — everything from giving more people the chance to get the right training and education to supporting new research projects into science and technology.  In fact, there was a substantial investment made here — I was talking to Governor Cuomo about the investment his father made here to help get this center started.

There are things we can do to make sure that if you’re willing to work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can find a job, own a home, maybe start a business, and most importantly, give your kids a chance to do even better than you did.  And that’s something we believe has to be available to everybody, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like.  We can make a difference.  And at this make-or-break moment for America’s middle class, there’s no excuse for inaction.  There’s no excuse for dragging our feet.  None.

Now, over the last few years, there are certain steps that I’ve been able to take on my own to help spur the kind of innovation that we’re seeing here, and also to help the overall economy grow.  So we announced a new policy several months back that will help families refinance their mortgages, save up to thousands of dollars a year.  We sped up loans and competitive grants for new projects all across the country so thousands of construction workers can get back on the job.  We simplified the student loan process to help roughly 5.8 million students — like the students here — save money on repayments.  (Applause.)

So these are some steps that the administration has been able to take on its own.  But the truth is, the only way we can accelerate the job creation that takes place on a scale that is needed is bold action from Congress.

Because of the Recovery Act, because of all the work we’ve done, we’ve created over 4 million jobs over the last two years. We’ve created hundreds of thousands of jobs each month over the last several months.  So we’re making progress, but everybody knows we need to do more.  And in order to do that, we’re going to need some more action from Congress.  Democrats and Republicans have to come together.  And they’ve shown that they can do it.  I mean, they did some important work.  They passed tax cuts for workers, approved trade deals to open up new markets for American products.  We reformed our patent system to make it easier for innovative ideas to come to market.  Those are all good things.  But the size of the challenges we face requires us to do more.

So back last September, I sent Congress a jobs bill that included all sorts of policies that we knew would help grow our economy and put more Americans back to work.  That wasn’t just my opinion, that wasn’t just the opinion of Democrats.  It was the opinion of independent, nonpartisan experts — economists who do this for a living, and analysts on Wall Street who evaluate what’s going to really make the economy grow.  The one big piece that we were able to get done was make sure that we didn’t see payroll tax go up and people get 40 bucks taken out of their paychecks each time.

But most of it didn’t get done in Congress.  Just about every time we put these policies up for a vote, the Republicans in Congress got together and they said no.  They said no to putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job repairing our roads and our bridges and our schools and our transit systems.  No to a new tax cut for businesses that hire new workers.  No to putting more teachers back in our classrooms, more cops back on the beat, more firefighters back to work.  And this is at a time when we know one of the biggest drags on our economy has been layoffs by state and local governments — that’s true all across the country.

And it’s worth noting, by the way — this is just a little aside — after there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up.  It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush.  So each time there was a recession with a Republican President, compensated — we compensated by making sure that government didn’t see a drastic reduction in employment.

The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me.  (Applause.)  So I make that point just so you don’t buy into this whole bloated government argument that you hear.  And frankly, if Congress had said yes to helping states put teachers back to work and put the economy before our politics, then tens of thousands more teachers in New York would have a job right now.  That is a fact.  And that would mean not only a lower unemployment rate, but also more customers for business.

Now, I know this is an election year.  But it’s not an excuse for inaction.  Six months is plenty of time for Democrats and Republicans to get together and do the right thing, taking steps that will spur additional job creation right now.  Just saying no to ideas that we know will help our economy isn’t an option.  There’s too much at stake.  We’ve all got to pull in the same direction.

So even if Republicans are still saying no to some of the bigger proposals we made in the jobs act, there are some additional ideas that could help people get to work right now and that they haven’t said no to yet — so I’m hoping they say yes.  And they’re simple ideas.  They’re the kinds of things that, in the past, have been supported by Democrats and Republicans.  These are traditionally ideas that have had bipartisan support.  They won’t have as big of an impact as rebuilding our infrastructure or helping states hire back teachers, but together, all of these ideas will do two things:  They’ll grow the economy faster and they’ll create more jobs.

So today I’m announcing a handy little “To-Do” list that we’ve put together for Congress.  (Laughter.)  You can see it for yourselves at whitehouse.gov.  It’s about the size of a Post-It note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it — (laughter) — and they can glance at it every so often.  And hopefully we’ll just be checking off the list — just like when Michelle gives me a list, I check it off.  (Laughter.)  Each of the ideas on this list will help accelerate our economy and put people back to work — not in November, not in next year, but right now.

All right, so I’m going to go through the list.  First, Congress needs to help the millions of Americans who have worked hard, made their mortgage payments on time, but still have been unable to refinance their mortgages with these historically low rates.  This would make a huge difference for the economy.  (Applause.)

Families could save thousands of dollars, and that means they’ve got more money in their pocket, which means they can either build their equity back up on their homes or they go out and use that money to do things like helping their kids finance a college education.  So Congress should give those responsible homeowners a chance to refinance at a lower rate.  We estimate they’d save at least $3,000 a year.  So that’s on our “To-Do” list.  It’s not complicated.  (Applause.)

Second, if Congress fails to act soon, clean energy companies will see their taxes go up and they could be forced to lay off employees.  In fact, we’re already hearing from folks who produce wind turbines and solar panels and a lot of this green energy that they’re getting worried because there’s uncertainty out there.  Congress hasn’t renewed some of the tax breaks that are so important to this industry.  And since I know that the other side in Congress have promised they’ll never raise taxes as long as they live, this is a good time to keep that promise when it comes to businesses that are putting Americans to work and helping break our dependence on foreign oil.  (Applause.)  So we should extend these tax credits.  That’s on the “To-Do” list. That’s number two.

Number three, Congress should help small business owners by giving them a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages.  (Applause.)  We believe small businesses are the engine of economic growth in this country.  We should not hold them to a situation where they may end up having to pay higher taxes just by hiring more workers.  We should make it easier for them to succeed.  So that’s on our “To-Do” list.  That’s number three.

Number four, Congress should help our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan find a good job once they come home.  (Applause.)  Our men and women in uniform have served this country with such honor and distinction — a lot of them come from upstate New York.  Now it’s our turn to serve them.  So we should create a Veterans Job Corps that helps them find work as cops and firefighters, employees at our national parks.  That’s on our “To-Do” list.

Then the last item, the fifth item, which bears especially on what’s going on here — the last item on our congressional “To-Do” list is something that will help a lot of you in particular.  You know better than anybody that technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few decades.  And that’s a great thing.  Businesses are more productive; consumers are getting better products for less.  But technology has also made a lot of jobs obsolete.  Factories where people once thought they’d retire suddenly left town.  Jobs that provided a decent living got shipped overseas.  And the result has been a lot of pain for a lot of communities and a lot of families.

There is a silver lining to all of this, though.  After years of undercutting the competition, now it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China.  Wages are going up.  Shipping costs are going up.  And meanwhile, American workers are getting more and more efficient.  Companies located here are becoming more and more competitive.  So for a lot of businesses, it’s now starting to make sense to bring jobs back home.  (Applause.)

And here in the tri-city area, you’ve got companies like IBM and Global Foundries that could have decided to pack up and move elsewhere, but they chose to stay in upstate New York because it made more sense to build here and to hire here.  You have more to offer — got some of the best workers in the world, you’ve got an outstanding university.

Now I want what’s happening in Albany to happen all across the country — places like Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. (Applause.)  I want to create more opportunities for hardworking Americans to start making things again, and selling them all over the world stamped with those proud words:  Made in America.  That’s the goal.  (Applause.)

So the good news is we’re already starting to see it happen. American manufacturers are creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.  And that’s good for you, but it’s also good for the businesses that supply the materials you use.  It’s good for the construction workers who build the facilities you work in.  It’s good for communities where people are buying more houses and spending more money at restaurants and stores.  Everybody benefits when manufacturing is going strong.

So you’ve heard about outsourcing.  Today, more and more companies are insourcing.  One recent study found that half of America’s largest companies are thinking of moving their manufacturing operations from China back to the United States of America.  (Applause.)  That’s good news.  Because even when we can’t make things cheaper than other countries because of their wage rates, we can always make them better.  That’s who we are.  That’s what America is all about.  (Applause.)

So this brings me back to our “To-Do” list.  What we need to do now is to make it easier for more companies to do the right thing, and one place to start is our tax code.  At the moment, companies get tax breaks for moving factories, jobs and profits overseas.  They can actually end up saving on their tax bill when they make the move.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay here are getting hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make sense.

And politicians from both parties have been talking about changing it for years, so I’ve put forward my own plan to make it right in the long term.  But in the short term, before we completely rework the tax code, before we’ve done a full-blown tax reform, at the very least what we can do right away is stop rewarding companies who ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are moving jobs back here to America.  (Applause.)  So we’re putting that on Congress’s “To-Do” list.  This is something simple to do.  We shouldn’t wait.  We should get it done right now.

So that’s the fifth item.  That’s all on our “To-Do” list.  I’m not trying to overload Congress here.  (Laughter.)

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be taking about this “To-Do” list when I’m on the road.  I’m going to be talking about all the things that Congress can do right now to boost our economy and accelerate even more job growth.  Of course, it’s not enough just to give them the list — we’ve also got to get them to start crossing things off the list.  And that’s where all of you come in.

I’m going to need you to pick up the phone, write an email, tweet, remind your member of Congress we can’t afford to wait until November to get things done.  Tell them now is the time to help more Americans save money on their mortgages; time for us to invest more in clean energy and small businesses; it’s time for us to help more veterans find work; and it’s time to make it easier for companies to bring jobs back to America.  It’s the right thing to do.

Now, I’m cheating a little bit.  I said that was my “To-Do” list.  There actually is one other thing they’ve got to do.  Before they do anything else, Congress needs to keep student loan rates from doubling for students who are here and all across the country.  (Applause.)  That has to happen by January 1st [sic] or rates on Stafford loans double.  These young people are nodding their heads — they don’t like that.  They’ve heard about this.  (Laughter.)

And we need to pass a transportation bill that guarantees almost a million construction workers can stay on the job.  (Applause.)  The good news is both parties say they want to make this happen.  We’ve done this before.  So Congress just needs to work out the details.  Don’t let politics get in the way.  Get this done before July 1st.  Those bills should be passed right now.

So I’m cheating a little bit.  There are actually seven items on the “To-Do” list.  (Laughter.)  But two of them are old business and folks have already said they want to get them done.

Albany, we’ve got a long way to go if we’re going to make sure everybody who wants a job can find one, and every family can feel that sense of security that was the essence of America’s middle-class experience.  But we can’t just go back to the way things used to be.  We’ve got to move forward — to an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules.

And that’s what you guys are doing here in Albany.  You’re investing in your future.  You’re not going backwards, you’re going forward.  With your help, I know we can get there — because here in America, we don’t give up.  We keep moving.  We look out for one another.  We pull each other up.  That’s who we are.  And if we work together with common purpose, I’ve got no doubt we can keep moving this country forward and remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

Thank you so much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
1:44 P.M. EDT

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