Full Text Campaign Buzz September 13, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia




Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

Source:  WH, 9-13-12

University of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, Virginia

4:48 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Wow!  (Applause.)  Thank you all so much.  Wow!  (Applause.)  Oh, my goodness.  Thank you all so much.

Look, this is a big thrill for me.  But before I get started I do want to take a moment — I did this at my last to stop — to say, truly, how heartbroken Barack and I are about the horrific tragedy that occurred earlier this week in Libya.  I’m not sure if everyone is aware, but our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who gave their lives serving our country.

I mean, the thing to remember, that these brave Americans and so many men and women just like them, they are the face of American diplomacy.  They are public servants who represent our country in other countries around the world, and oftentimes they do it in harm’s way.  And they do it with the same kind of courage and grace that we see every day in this country, and we just wanted to take the time to say that we are so proud of them and their families, and we’re grateful for their service and sacrifice.  (Applause.)

Now, I have to start by thanking Erin, who is awesome.  (Applause.)  I mean, first of all she’s tall, which — she’s got me right there.  I love that.  (Laughter.)  But we’re so proud, not only for her kind introduction, but the sacrifice that she and her family are making and have made for this country.  Let’s give Erin a round of applause.  (Applause.)

A few other thank-yous.  I want to say thank you to Mayor Greenlaw, who is here today, for her leadership and service.  (Applause.)  And I want to recognize Adam Cook, who is running for Congress, who I know is going to make an outstanding member of Congress.  (Applause.)

And most of all, I want to thank all of you.  Wow, what a great crowd.  Thank you all for joining us.  Thanks for being here.  (Applause.)  And I think anyone can see that you all are pretty fired up.  (Applause.)  Pretty ready to go!  (Applause.)  Well, that’s good, because after the convention down in Charlotte last week, I’m feeling pretty fired up and ready to go myself.  (Applause.)

Last week, we had the pleasure of hearing from folks like President Clinton, Vice President Biden.  (Applause.)  And they did a phenomenal job reminding us how much we’ve accomplished, how much is at stake, and why we need to reelect my husband for four more years.  (Applause.)

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

MRS. OBAMA:  With your help.  With your help, we will get it done.  (Applause.)

But my job in Charlotte I consider was pretty simple.  I had the pleasure and the honor of talking about the man I have loved and admired for 23 years, and why I decided to marry him.  (Applause.)  That was good for me.  (Laughter.)

Now, let me just explain, ladies:  When I first met Barack, he had everything going for him.  He really did.  He was handsome.  (Applause.)  Still is.  (Applause.)  He was charming, talented, and oh-so smart.  (Applause.)  But that is not why I married him.  What truly made me fall in love with Barack really was his character.  Understand this — it was his decency, his honesty, his compassion, his conviction.  (Applause.)  See, I loved that Barack was so committed to serving others that he turned down high-paying jobs and instead started his career working to get folks back to work in communities where a steel plant had shut down and jobs had dried up.

I loved that Barack was devoted to his family, especially the women in his life.  (Applause.)  Yes.  That made a difference.  I see a lot of young men out there — this is what we pay attention to.  (Laughter and applause.)  I saw the respect that he had for his own mother, how proud he was that she put herself through school while supporting him and his sister as a single mom.  (Applause.)  I saw the tenderness that he felt for his grandmother.  I saw how grateful he was that long after she should have retired, she was still waking up every morning and catching a bus to her job at a community bank to help support his family.  And he watched as she was passed over for promotions simply because she was a woman.  But he saw how she kept on doing that same job, year after year, without complaint or regret.

And with Barack, I found a real connection, because in his life, I saw so much of my own.  Growing up on the South Side of Chicago — (applause) — South Side — I watched my father make that same uncomplaining journey every day to his job at the city water plant.  I saw how he carried himself with that same dignity, that same pride in being able to provide for his family, that same hope that his kids would one day have opportunities he never dreamed of.

And like so many families in this country, see, our families simply weren’t asking for much.  They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success.  No, they didn’t mind if others had much more than they did.  In fact, they admired it.  They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that even if you don’t start out with much, if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids.  (Applause.)

And they believed that when you’ve worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you don’t slam it shut behind you.  No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.  (Applause.)

That’s how Barack and I and so many of you were raised.  Those are the values we were taught.  We learned that how hard you work matters more than how much you make.  (Applause.)  We learned that the truth matters, so you don’t take shortcuts, you don’t game the system, you don’t play by your own set of rules.  And we learned that no one gets where they are on their own; that each of us has a community of people who are lifting us up — from the teachers who inspire us to the janitors who keep our schools clean.  (Applause.)

And we were taught to treat everyone with value, and everyone with respect.  We learned about citizenship and service, that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves; that with our freedoms come obligations, and with our blessings come a duty to give back to others who have less.  See, these are the values that make Barack such an extraordinary husband and partner to me, but more importantly, such a phenomenal father to our girls.  (Applause.)

But I talked about Barack’s values last week not just as a wife and a mother, but also as a First Lady who has seen up close and personal what being President really looks like and just how critical those values are for leading this country.  (Applause.)  See, over the past three and a half years, I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones — the decisions that aren’t just about the bottom line, but about laying a foundation for the next generation.

I’ve seen how important it is to have a President who doesn’t just tell us what we want to hear, but who tells us the truth even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard.  (Applause.)  I’ve seen that when it comes time to make those tough calls, when everyone’s urging you to do what’s easy or what polls best or what gets good headlines, as President you need to truly be driven by the struggles, hopes and dreams of all of the people you serve.  (Applause.)  As President, you need a strong inner compass and a core commitment to your fellow citizens.  That’s how you make the right decisions for this country.  That’s what it takes to be a leader.  (Applause.)

And since the day he took office — on issue after issue, crisis after crisis — that’s what we’ve seen in my husband.  We’ve seen his values at work.  We’ve seen his vision unfold.  We’ve seen the depths of his character, courage and conviction.  I mean, think back to when Barack first took office and this economy was on the brink of collapse.  Newspapers were using words like “meltdown,” “calamity” — declaring “Wall Street Implodes,” “Economy in Shock.”

For years, folks had been lured into buying homes they couldn’t afford.  Their mortgages were underwater.  Banks weren’t lending, companies weren’t hiring.  The auto industry was in crisis.  The economy was losing 800,000 jobs every month and a lot of folks wondered whether we were headed for another Great Depression.

See now, that’s what Barack faced on day one as President.  (Applause.)  But instead of pointing fingers or placing blame, Barack got to work, because he was thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.  And that’s why he cracked down on lending abuses, so that today when you apply for a mortgage or a credit card, you know exactly what you’re getting into.  (Applause.)

That’s why he cut taxes for small businesses and working families — because he believes teachers and firefighters shouldn’t pay higher tax rates than millionaires and billionaires.  (Applause.)  Not in America.  (Applause.)

He got the auto industry back on its feet.  And, today, new cars are rolling off the line at proud American companies like GM.  (Applause.)  And, yes, while we still have a long way to go to rebuild our economy, we have had 30 straight months of private sector job growth — a total of 4.6 million new jobs, good jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

When it comes to the health of our families, Barack didn’t care whether health reform was the easy thing to do politically — that’s not who he is — he cared that it was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  And, today, because of health reform, our parents and grandparents on Medicare are paying hundreds less for their prescription drugs.  (Applause.)  Our kids can stay on our insurance until they’re 26 years old.  (Applause.)  Insurance companies now have to cover basic preventative care like contraception, cancer screenings with no out of pocket cost.  (Applause.)  They won’t be able to discriminate against you because you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes or asthma.  (Applause.)

And let’s say you have a serious illness like breast cancer.  That’s when you need expensive treatment.  They can no longer tell you, sorry, you’ve hit your lifetime limit and we’re not paying a penny more.  No longer can they do that.  (Applause.)

And understand that Barack fought for these reforms because he believes that here in America, no one should ever go broke just because of an accident or an illness.  That’s what he stands for.  (Applause.)

When it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve, Barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could’ve attended college without financial aid — never.  In fact, as I shared in my convention speech, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage.  So when it comes to student debt, believe me, Barack and I, we have been there.

And that’s why Barack doubled funding for Pell Grants and fought so hard to keep interest rates down — (applause) — because he wants every young person in this country — every one of them — to get an education without a mountain of debt.  He wants all of our young people to have the skills they need for the jobs of the future, jobs you can raise a family on — good jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

And finally, when it comes to understanding the values of women, when it comes to standing up for our rights and our opportunities — (applause) — yes, indeed — we know that my husband will always have our backs, because Barack knows from personal experience what it means for a family when women aren’t treated fairly in the workplace.

He knows what it means when women struggle to meet the demands of their jobs and the needs of their families.  And believe me, today, as a father, he knows what it means to want our daughters to have the same freedoms and opportunities as our sons.  (Applause.)

And that’s why the very first bill he signed as President was to help women get equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)  That’s why he’s worked so hard to support women-owned small businesses.  And that’s why he will always, always fight to ensure that women can make our own decisions about our bodies and our health care.  (Applause.)  That’s what my husband stands for.

So when people out there ask you what this President has done for our country, when they’re deciding who will keep moving America forward for four more years, here’s what I want you to tell them: I want you to tell them about the millions of jobs Barack has created.  Tell them about the health reform he’s passed.  Tell them about all those kids who can finally afford college.

Tell them how Barack ended the war in Iraq — (applause) — how we took out Osama bin Laden.  Tell them how we fought to get veterans and military families the benefits they’ve earned.  (Applause.)  Yes, indeed.

Tell them about all those young immigrants brought to America through no fault of their own, and how they will no longer be deported from the only country they’ve ever known.  (Applause.)

Tell them how our brave men and women in uniform will never again have to lie about who they are to serve the country they love.  (Applause.)  And please, please make sure they understand that their President, that Barack Obama knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he is fighting every day so that everyone in this country can have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.  (Applause.)

And let’s be clear — while my husband is proud of what we have all achieved together, believe me, her is nowhere near satisfied.  Barack knows that too many people are still hurting.  Believe me, he knows that there’s plenty of work left to be done.  And as President Clinton said last week, it’s going to take a lot longer than four years to rebuild an economy from the brink of collapse.  (Applause.)

But what I know for sure, what I can tell you that your President is doing since the day he took office, Barack has been fighting for us.  He has been struggling with us.  And together, slowly but surely, we have been pulling ourselves out of the hole that we started in.  For three and a half years, we’ve been moving forward and making progress, and we’re beginning to see that change we all can believe in.  (Applause.)  That I know for sure.

So we have to ask ourselves this — here’s the question: Are we going to turn around and go back to the same policies that got us into the hole in the first place?


MRS. OBAMA:  Are we going to just sit back and watch everything we’ve worked for just slip away?


MRS. OBAMA:  Or are we going to finish what we started and keep moving this country forward?  (Applause.)  Forward!

But in the end, here’s the thing — the answers to these questions is up to us — because all our work, all the progress that we’ve made, believe me, it is all on the line, it’s all at stake this November.  And as my husband has said, this election will be even closer than the last one — that’s the only guarantee.  And it could all come down to what happens in just a few battleground states like Virginia.  (Applause.)

And let me help put it in perspective.  When you think back to what happened in this state in 2008, back then we won Virginia by 235,000 votes.  (Applause.)  And that may sound like a lot, but when you break it down, that’s just 100 votes per precinct.  Think about that — 100 votes.  That could mean just a couple of votes in your neighborhood, right?  That could be just 1 extra vote in your own apartment building, right?

So for anyone here or anyone that you know who might be thinking that their vote doesn’t matter; if you’re thinking that your involvement doesn’t count, that in the complex political process, ordinary folks can’t possibly make a difference — if anyone is thinking like that, I just want to you to think about those 100 votes.

I want you to think about how, with just a few evenings on a phone bank, with just a few weekends knocking on some doors, just a few of you here today –- shoot, look at this room.  (Applause.)  This room alone could swing an entire precinct for Barack Obama.  (Applause.)  And if we win enough precincts, we will win this state.  And if we win Virginia, we’ll be well on our way to putting Barack back in the White House for four more years.  (Applause.)

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

MRS. OBAMA:  Four more years!  Four more years!

So here’s the charge — direct charge coming from your First Lady — (applause) — from now until November, we need every single one of you to work like you’ve never worked before.  We need you to talk to everyone you know — your friends, your neighbors, that nephew you haven’t seen in a while, that high school classmate you stopped speaking to — find them.  (Applause.)  Tell them what’s at stake.  Bring them to events like these.  More importantly, make sure they’re registered, especially our young people.  (Applause.)   Yes, indeed, make sure you’re registered to vote.  (Applause.)

And think about it — if you’re a student that’s moved away, you might have to figure out — you might have to reregister.  If you just moved, you might have to reregister.  If you’ve never voted before, you may need to register.  (Laughter.)  And then, once folks are registered, make sure they get to the polls and cast their ballots on Election Day.  (Applause.)

And we’ve got tools to help.  You can send them to our websites — GottaRegister.com, GottaVote.com.  There, you can find everything you need right online.  I know young people, you guys are online anyway.  (Laughter.)  Clicking and texting and all that stuff — help the older people out.  (Laughter.)  Find someone; help them get to the site.  But that’s the best place to start to make their voices heard on November the 6th.

And I’m going to be honest with you all — because I always try to be honest — this journey is going to be long.  Count on that.  And it is going to be hard.  But when you start to get tired — and you will — when you start to think about taking a day off — and some of you might need to take a day off — I want you to remember that what we do for the next 54 days will absolutely make the difference between waking up the day after Election Day and asking ourselves, could we have done more, or feeling the promise of four more years.  (Applause.)  That is the difference.

So we need you to keep working and struggling and pushing forward.  (Applause.)  We need you to do everything between now and November 6th.  Because we have to remember, that’s how change always happens in this country.  But if we keep showing up — that’s the trick — if we keep fighting that good fight, then eventually we get there.  We always do.  But maybe not in our lifetimes — maybe in our children’s lifetimes.  Maybe in our grandchildren’s lifetimes.  (Applause.)

Because in the end, that’s what this is all about.   That’s why we’re here.  That’s what elections are always about.  Don’t let anybody tell you differently — elections are always about hope.  The hope that I saw in my dad’s beaming face as I crossed the stage to get my college diploma.  The hope Barack’s grandmother felt as she cast her ballot for the grandson she loved and raised.  The hope of all those men and women in our lives who worked that extra shift, who saved and sacrificed and prayed so that we could have something more.  The hope that so many of us have when we look into the eyes of our kids and our grandkids.

That’s why we’re here — because we want to give all of our kids in this country that foundation for their dreams.  All of our kids deserve opportunities worthy of their promise.  We want to give our children in this country that sense of limitless possibility; that belief that here in America — the greatest country on the planet — there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it — always.  (Applause.)  That’s who we are.

So no, no, we cannot turn back now.  Not — no way.  We have come so far, but we have so much more to do.

So let me ask you this: Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)  All right, then.  Let’s get to work.

I love you all.  God bless.

5:22 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 13, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Golden, Colorado — Mideast Events Cast Shadow




Mideast Events Cast Shadow on Obama Campaign Event

Source: WH, 9-13-12

President Obama spoke at a campaign event on Thursday in Golden, Colo.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Obama spoke at a campaign event on Thursday in Golden, Colo.

President Obama on Thursday spent the second day of what was to be an upbeat swing through the politically vital Mountain West balancing a somber tone and political rhetoric….READ MORE

Remarks by the President in Golden, CO

Source: WH, 9-13-12 

Lions Park
Golden, Colorado

11:03 A.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Golden!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

You know, this is just too pretty.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know how you guys get any work done around here.  (Laughter.)  It is spectacular today.  (Applause.)  Spectacular.  And I notice there’s kind of like a water slide in there — I wanted to try it out, but — (laughter) — Secret Service said no.  (Laughter.)  They would not let me do it.

It is great to be back in Colorado.  Can everybody please give Lisa a big round of applause for that great introduction?  (Applause.)  Not only does she deserve a great introduction — or applause because of the introduction, but also having three kids and one more coming — (laughter) — that deserves some applause. (Applause.)  To all the moms out there.  (Applause.)  That is some work.  And once you get to three, then you’ve got to play zone defense — (laughter) — I don’t even know what to do with four.  (Laughter.)

I am so grateful to be here, and I’m so grateful that Lisa took the time to do this.  I’ve got a couple other friends who are here — first of all, your former senator and outstanding Secretary of the Interior, looking after the natural resources of America — Ken Salazar is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Marjorie Sloan, is here.  (Applause.)

Marjorie, she could not be sweeter.  I mean, she gave me such a nice welcome hug, and informed me that I am the first President to visit this county since Ulysses S. Grant.  Is that correct?  (Applause.)  Now, that’s pretty impressive.  That’s a long time ago, Ulysses S. Grant.  (Laughter.)  Back then you couldn’t even vote.  You guys were still a territory.  (Laughter.)  So I’m glad to put down my marker here.  (Applause.) Absolutely.

Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week — we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya.  Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed.  And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.

And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important.  We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make.  And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare.  (Applause.)

So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice.  (Applause.)  I want people around the world to hear me:  To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world.  No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

And I’ve directed my administration to do whatever is necessary to protect all Americans who are serving abroad.  It’s one of my highest priorities as President.  And we’re also in contact with other governments to underscore that they’ve got an obligation to cooperate with us to protect our citizens.  That’s part of their job.

Now, I know that it’s difficult sometimes seeing these disturbing images on television, because our world is filled with serious challenges.  This is a tumultuous time that we’re in.  But we can, and we will, meet those challenges if we stay true to who we are, and if we would remind ourselves that we’re different from other nations.  We’re different not only because of the incredible landscape that God has given us; we’re different because we’re a nation that’s bound together by a creed.  We’re not made up of a single tribe or a single religion or a single race.  We’re a collection of people from all around the world who came here because of a certain set of principles — the idea that all men and women are created equal; that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  (Applause.)  That’s what binds us together.  That’s what our flag means.

But we also believe that these are not just American rights. We believe these are universal aspirations, and they’re held by people who live in tiny villages in Libya, prosperous cities in Europe.  That’s our light to the world.  And our task, as the most powerful nation on Earth, is to defend and protect and advance our people, but also to defend and protect and advance those values at home and around the world.  That’s what our troops do.  That’s what our diplomats do.  That’s what our intelligence officers do.  That’s what our citizens do.  That’s what we believe.  Those are the values that we hold to.  (Applause.)

And here in America, there is no more fundamental part of our democracy than the fact that all of you get a say in the decisions that are made about our country’s future.  (Applause.) And that’s why we’re here today.

Over the past few weeks, Colorado, you’ve been offered two very different paths for our future.  You’ve seen their convention, you’ve seen ours, and now you face one big choice.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We’re with you!  (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Our vision, our fight is to restore the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known  — (applause) — the promise that says hard work will pay off; if you work hard you can make it; that responsibility will be rewarded; that in this country of ours, everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules — from Wall Street to Main Street to Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

And that basic bargain is why I ran for President in the first place — because I had watched a decade in which too many jobs were being shipped overseas; in which too many families were struggling with costs that kept on going up but paychecks that didn’t; people having to try to cover basic expenses with credit cards and home equity loans just to pay tuition for college or put gas in the car or food on the table.  And then we saw that house of cards that had been built up collapse in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and millions of innocent Americans, including folks here in Colorado, lost their homes and their jobs, their life savings.  And for the last three and a half years, we’ve been fighting to recover from the body blow that we took.

And we’ve made progress.  We’ve made progress.  (Applause.) We were losing 800,000 jobs a month; we’ve created jobs now for the past 30 months.  (Applause.)  We saved an American auto industry on the brink of going under.  (Applause.)  Manufacturing is starting to come back here in the United States.  (Applause.) But we’ve got so much more work to do, because there’s still a lot of folks out there hurting.

And here’s the thing.  I don’t think the best answer for today’s new challenges are the same old sales pitches.  And frankly, that’s what you heard mostly in Tampa.  You heard a long litany of what folks thought was wrong with America, but they didn’t tell you much about what they’d do to make it right.  They wanted your vote, but they didn’t tell you their plan.  (Applause.)  Because basically their plan was one that you had heard before:  If we cut more taxes, everybody is going to be okay — especially if we cut taxes at the top.  Tax cuts in good times.  Tax cuts in bad times.  Tax cuts when we’re at peace.  Tax cuts when we’re at war.  You need to make a restaurant reservation, you don’t need the new iPhone — here’s a tax cut for that.  (Laughter.)  You want to learn a new language?  Try a tax cut.  Tax cut to lose a few extra pounds.  (Laughter.)  Whatever ails you.

Now, I’ve cut taxes for folks who need it — middle-class families, small business owners.  (Applause.)  That’s who needs them.  The typical family has seen their federal income taxes go down — their income tax burden go down by $3,600 since I came into office, because it was important to provide folks who need it relief.  (Applause.)  Small businesses — we cut their taxes 18 times.  (Applause.)

So I want to give tax relief to folks who need it, but I don’t believe another round of tax cuts for millionaires are going to bring good jobs back to our shores.  They’re not going to bring down our deficits.  Just like I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off of financial aid is going to grow our economy, especially when we’ve got to compete with the scientists and engineers that are coming out of China.

And I’ve got to say, Colorado, after all we’ve been through, the idea that we would roll back regulations that we finally put in place on Wall Street to make sure they don’t act recklessly again and bring the economy back to its knees — I don’t think rolling back regulations are going to help the small businesswoman in Jefferson Country, or laid-off construction workers that are trying to get back to work.

Golden, we have been there, we’ve tried that, it didn’t work.  We’re not going back.  We are not going back.  (Applause.) We don’t believe in a top-down, trickle-down economy that says to everybody, “you’re on your own.”  We believe that we’re all in this together.  (Applause.)  We believe that the economy grows from the middle class out, from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  That’s how we move forward.

And I won’t pretend that the path I’m offering is easy.  Bill Clinton reminded us last week, it’s going to take a few more years to deal with all the challenges that we built up over decades.  But when I hear some folks, I guess just for political reasons, saying how America is in decline, they are wrong.  (Applause.)  We still have the world’s best workers in the world. (Applause.)  We’ve got the best researchers and scientists in the world.  We’ve got the best colleges and universities in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve got the best democracy in the world.  There is not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Our problems can be solved, and our challenges can be met.  And the path I offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.  (Applause.)  I’m asking — (sneezes) — I’m getting all choked up.  (Laughter.)  I’m getting all choked up here.

I’m asking you to choose that future.  I am asking you, Colorado, to rally around a set of goals — concrete, achievable goals — to create new manufacturing jobs and new energy sources, to improve education, to bring down our deficit in a balanced, responsible way, to turn a page on a decade of war.  That’s what we can do in the next four years.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, let me talk about this plan, because you need to know what you’re voting for.  Number one, I’ve got a plan to export more products and outsource fewer jobs.  (Applause.)  After a decade of decline, this country has created over half a million new manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.  We reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world.

So now you’ve got a choice.  You can follow the other side’s advice and keep giving more tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs right here in America.  (Applause.)  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports.  We can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.  We can continue to invest in basic science and research so that we maintain our technological edge and commercialize those advances.

That’s how we stay on top.  That’s how we stay number one.  You can make that happen.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)  That’s why I want a second term.  (Applause.)

I’ve got a plan to control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)  That saves you money.  It helps our national security.  And it helps to preserve this incredible, beautiful landscape that we’ve got.  (Applause.)

We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar power.  Thousands of Americans here in Colorado and all across the country have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries, solar panels.  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in nearly two decades.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’ve done.

So now you’ve got a choice.  We can reverse this progress, like the other side has talked about, or we can build on it.  (Applause.)  Now, unlike my opponent, I’m not going to let the oil companies write our energy plan.  (Applause.)  I’m not going to get rid of the wind energy tax credit that is helping to spur this incredibly dynamic sector of our economy.  We’re going to build on this progress.  We need to keep investing in wind and solar — (applause) — and make sure our farmers and scientists are harnessing new biofuels.

Let’s put our construction workers back to work building energy-efficient homes and factories.  (Applause.)  Let’s develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.  We can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs all across this country.  That’s the path forward.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.  (Applause.)

I’ve got a plan to give Americans a greater chance to gain the skills they need to compete.  Education was a gateway of opportunity for me.  Let’s face it, a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single mom is not likely to become President of the United States.  (Applause.)  But in America it can happen because of education, because somebody gave me opportunity.  (Applause.)

You know, a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago, whose mom is a secretary and dad is a blue-collar worker — not likely to become First Lady of the United States.  (Applause.)  But it happens because she got a great education, even though her folks didn’t have a lot of money.

It’s the gateway of opportunity for middle-class families, for those who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class and stay there.  And because of the work we’ve done over the last three and a half years, millions of students are paying less for college today because we took out billions of dollars that was being wasted using banks and lenders as middlemen; we started giving these loans directly to students.  (Applause.)  And now millions more are qualified to get help.  (Applause.)

We set up a tuition tax credit so that middle-class families can get a $10,000 tuition credit over four years to help their kids go to school.

Now we’ve got to build on that progress.  And you’ve got a choice.  The other side, they’re proposing to gut education to pay for more tax breaks for folks like me.


THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo, now — vote.  (Applause.)  Vote. (Applause.)

I think we’ve got a better path.  We can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dream deferred because of an overcrowded classroom or a crumbling school or outdated textbooks.  And no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter just because they don’t have the money. No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find the right skills for folks here in the United States.

So I’m asking you to help me recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers, and improve early childhood education, and get 2 million more workers the chance to go to community colleges to get the skills they need for the jobs that are out there right now.  (Applause.)  And let’s help bring down college and university tuition costs over the next several years.  (Applause.)

We can meet that goal.  You can choose that future for America.  Yes, we can.

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can.

THE PRESIDENT:  You remember that.  (Applause.)

Now, we can do all this and we can reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class.  So I put forward a plan that will reduce our deficit by $4 trillion.  That’s not my opinion; there’s independent analysis that’s been done, this will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion.  I’ve worked with Republicans in Congress already to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I’m willing to work with them to do more.  Everybody talks about how partisan everything is.  Listen, I am happy to work with Republicans.  I want their cooperation.  (Applause.)  If they want me, I’ll wash the car, I’ll walk the dog for them — (laughter) — to get a deal done for the American people.

I want to reform our tax code so that it’s simple and so that it’s fair.  There are areas where we should be able to agree.  But here’s the thing I can’t do.  I can’t ask millionaires to do nothing, and then ask everybody else to do a whole lot.  (Applause.)

So I’ve asked, under my plan, the wealthiest households to 0pay a slightly higher rate on their income taxes after the $250,000 threshold — so they’d still get a tax cut for the first $250,000.  That would apply to 100 percent of Americans.  But for that dollar after $250,000 you pay a little bit more — the same rate that you paid under Bill Clinton, the same rate that was in force when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to the biggest surplus in history, and we created a lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

And by the way, I want you to understand why this is important.  If we take that approach where folks like me and Governor Romney are paying a little bit more, then we can keep taxes low for middle-class families — 98 percent of American families make $250,000 or less.  And so we can keep your tax cuts in place and we can still invest in our future.  And here’s the thing — when you’ve got some tax relief, when the firefighter or the teacher or the construction worker or the receptionist — when you guys — when the small businessperson — because 97 percent of small businesses make less than $250,000 — when you have money in your pockets, what do you do?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Because you have to — right?  Your car is 10 years old, and you’ve got a boiler in the house you got to fix — right?  So there are things you do with the money.  That means, then, businesses have more customers.  That means businesses make more profits and businesses hire more workers, which means, then, the economy gets that much stronger.  That’s how you grow an economy.  Not from the top down; from the bottom up, from the middle out.  That’s how we do it.  (Applause.)  That’s how we’ve always done it.

Now, in fairness, the other side does have a plan also.  But as President Clinton pointed out, it doesn’t have arithmetic in it.  (Laughter.)  Now, keep in mind these are folks who say that their biggest priority is reducing the deficit.  This is a generational obligation, we’ve got to do right by our kids, et cetera.  So what’s their first proposal?  They think that we’re going to lower our deficit by spending trillions of dollars more on new tax breaks for the wealthy.  That doesn’t add up.

When you try to pay for $5 trillion in new tax cuts, there are only so many places you can go.  First of all, you can gut education investments, and investments in research and technology, and we can stop rebuilding our infrastructure.  But even if you do all that, you haven’t come close to $5 trillion.  So eventually, what independent analysis says is that middle-class families are going to have to pay for it.  Or, alternatively, the deficit blows up.

And if you don’t see that math, then you’ve got to go see your teacher after school.  (Laughter.)  You got to go talk to Lisa and get a tutorial.  (Laughter.)

And on top of the $5 trillion tax cut they’re talking about that would give the average person making $3 million a year a $250,000 tax cut, in addition they want to add $2 trillion in new military spending without increasing — they say they’re not going to increase the deficit.  Well, your calculator is going to go out on you if you try to add all that stuff up.  (Laughter.)

So listen, Golden, I refuse to ask middle-class families to pay more so that I pay less.  I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, or elderly, or disabled, just to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy that we cannot afford.  (Applause.)

And I will not turn Medicare into a voucher just to give tax cuts to the wealthy.  (Applause.)  No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with dignity and respect.  And we’re going to reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we do it by reducing the cost of health care, by making the health care system smarter so that instead of five tests you get one test, and then it’s emailed everywhere.  And we reduce all the paperwork because we’re enhancing information technologies in the health care system.  And we’re doing more preventive care.  Those are the things that are going to reduce the cost of care.

But we don’t just shift those costs on to seniors and ask them to pay thousands of dollars more.  That’s not right.


THE PRESIDENT:  And we are certainly going to make sure that we keep the promise of Social Security.  (Applause.)  We’ll take responsible steps to strengthen it — but we’re not going to turn it over to Wall Street.  (Applause.)

So we’re going to rebuild our economy.  But our prosperity at home is linked to what we do abroad.  And this week’s events remind us of that.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan — and we are.  (Applause.)  And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

But we see on our televisions that there are still threats in the world, and we’ve got to remain vigilant.  That’s why we have to be relentless in pursuing those who attacked us this week.  That’s also why, so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  (Applause.)

And that’s why when our troops take off their uniform, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us — because nobody who has fought for us should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  That is a solemn oath that we have to keep.  (Applause.)

And we will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt, and to put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and runways, helping local communities hire firefighters and police officers and first responders.  Because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building right here in Colorado, right here in the United States of America.  Let’s put Americans back to work.  (Applause.)

We can do all this.  And the power to do it is where it has always been — in your hands.  I said this at the convention — the election four years ago wasn’t about me; it was about you.  You were the change.  You’re the ones who made it happen.

You’re the reason that there’s a teacher and her husband in Pueblo who can now buy their first home with the help of new tax credits.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason that a woman outside Durango can get the treatment she needs for her breast cancer, now that there are affordable plans to cover preexisting conditions.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason seniors across Colorado are saving an average of nearly $600 every year on prescription drugs because of Obamacare.  And it’s true, I do care.  That’s why we pushed it.  You care.  That’s why we made it happen.    (Applause.)

You’re the reason that a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why a selfless soldier won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love — we ended “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why thousands of families have finally been able to say to their loved ones who served us so bravely:  “Welcome home.”  You made that happen.  (Applause.)

And the only way America keeps moving forward is if you don’t stop.  You can’t buy into the cynicism that the other side is selling.  You can’t let them convince you somehow that change isn’t possible.  If you give up on the idea that your voice makes a difference, then other people rush in to fill the void — the lobbyists, the special interests, the folks who are writing the $10 million checks to run all those negative ads, the folks who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, the Washington politicians who want to decide for you who you can marry or what kind of health care women should get.


THE PRESIDENT:  We can’t let that happen, Colorado.  And that’s why I need your help — because we’ve come too far to turn back now.  We’ve got more good jobs to create.  We’ve got more clean, homegrown energy to generate.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more good schools to build and more great teachers to hire.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more troops to bring home and more veterans to care for.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got more doors of opportunity to open to everybody who is willing to work hard and walk through them — everybody, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, able — everybody.  That’s what I’m asking — (applause) — that you keep going forward.

That’s why I’m asking for a second term, Colorado.  (Applause.)  And if you’re willing to work with me, and knock on some doors with me, and make some phone calls for me, and vote for me in November, we will win Colorado.  We will win this election.  We will finish what we started.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

11:37 A.M. MDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 13, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Fairfax, Virginia — The World Needs American Leadership




Mitt Romney: The World Needs American Leadership

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-13-12

“We’re going to make sure that we have the jobs that we need. America is going to remain strong. And we’re going to make sure that we remain the hope of the earth. Now, a strong America is essential to the world. It’s essential to us and to our future but also to the world.” – Mitt Romney


Fairfax, Virginia

September 13, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “So these are tough times for American families that have work, and then you have 23 million people who are out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed. These are tough times. But you know what? Your optimism is my optimism. America is coming back. We’re going to make sure that we have the jobs that we need. America is going to remain strong. And we’re going to make sure that we remain the hope of the earth. Now, a strong America is essential to the world. It’s essential to us and to our future but also to the world. I was in Poland a few weeks ago, and I met with Lech Walesa, a world hero, and he saw me come in, and through an interpreter, he said, you must be tired, you’ve come from across the ocean. He said, you sit, I talk, you listen. Abrupt and to the point. And he said this time and time again, he said, the world needs American leadership. Where is American leadership? We need a strong America. Where is American leadership? And I intend to lead and to have an America that’s strong, that helps lead the world.”

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