Full Text Obama Presidency September 15, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Honors the Victims of the Libya Attack — Carrying on the Work of Our Fallen Heroes

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

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Obama’s Address: Honoring the Victims of the Libya Attack

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-15-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

In his weekly address, President Obama pays tribute to the four Americans killed in Libya, saying they “represented the very best of our country.”

“Without people like them, America could not sustain the freedoms we enjoy, the security we demand, and the leadership that the entire world counts on,” he says.

The president honors those killed in the assault on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, memorializing the lives of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and US Ambassador Chris Stevens….READ MORE

President Obama speaks about the tragic loss of four of our fellow Americans who were serving in our diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Sonya N. Hebert, 9/14/12

Weekly Address: Carrying on the Work of Our Fallen Heroes

Source: WH, 9-16-12

President Obama speaks about the tragic loss of four of our fellow Americans who were serving in our diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. These Americans represented the best of our country; without people like them, we could not sustain our freedoms or security, or provide the leadership that the entire world depends on. During this time of turmoil in many different countries, the President makes it clear that the United States has a profound respect for people of all faiths, but as Commander in Chief, he will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow Americans and will ensure that those who attack our people find no escape from justice. Now, we must carry on the work of our fallen heroes by making our country stronger, our citizens safer, and the world a better and more hopeful place.

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Weekly Address: Carrying on the Work of Our Fallen Heroes

This week in Libya, we lost four of our fellow Americans. Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Chris Stevens were all killed in an outrageous attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.

These four Americans represented the very best of our country.

Glen and Tyrone had each served America as Navy SEALs for many years, before continuing their service providing security for our diplomats in Libya. They died as they lived their lives – defending their fellow Americans, and advancing the values that all of us hold dear.

Sean also started his service in uniform, in the Air Force. He then spent years at the State Department, on several continents, always answering his country’s call. And Ambassador Chris Stevens died a hero in two countries – here in the United States, where he inspired those of us who knew him; and in Libya, a country that he helped to save, where he ultimately laid down his life.

On Friday, I was able to tell their families how much the American people appreciated their service. Without people like them, America could not sustain the freedoms we enjoy, the security we demand, and the leadership that the entire world counts on.

As we mourn their loss, we must also send a clear and resolute message to the world: those who attack our people will find no escape from justice. We will not waver in their pursuit.  And we will never allow anyone to shake the resolve of the United States of America.

This tragic attack takes place at a time of turmoil and protest in many different countries. I have made it clear that the United States has a profound respect for people of all faiths. We stand for religious freedom. And we reject the denigration of any religion – including Islam.

Yet there is never any justification for violence. There is no religion that condones the targeting of innocent men and women. There is no excuse for attacks on our Embassies and Consulates. And so long as I am Commander-in-Chief, the United States will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow Americans.

Right now, we are doing whatever we can to protect Americans who are serving abroad. We are in contact with governments around the globe, to strengthen our cooperation, and underscore that every nation has a responsibility to help us protect our people. We have moved forward with an effort to see that justice is done for those we lost, and we will not rest until that work is done.

Most of all, we must reaffirm that we will carry on the work of our fallen heroes.

I know the images on our televisions are disturbing. But let us never forget that for every angry mob, there are millions who yearn for the freedom, and dignity, and hope that our flag represents. That is the cause of America – the ideals that took root in our founding; the opportunity that drew so many to our shores; and the awesome progress that we have promoted all across the globe.

We are Americans. We know that our spirit cannot be broken, and the foundation of our leadership cannot be shaken. That is the legacy of the four Americans we lost – men who will live on in the hearts of those they loved, and the strength of the country they served.

So with their memory to guide us, we will carry forward the work of making our country stronger, our citizens safer, and the world a better and more hopeful place. Thank you.

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 14, 2012: Paul Ryan’s Speech to the Values Voter Summit

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Paul Ryan Delivers Remarks To The Values Voter Summit

Paul Ryan today delivered remarks to the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Thank you all very much. I appreciate your kind hospitality, and I count it a special honor to be introduced by my mentor and friend Bill Bennett.

It’s good to be part of the Values Voter Summit once again, and this time around I bring greetings from the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney.

In this election, many millions of Americans count themselves as values voters, and I am one of them.  In 53 days, we have a choice between two very different ideas about our country – how we were meant to live, and what we were meant to be.

It’s the kind of choice that can never be taken for granted. Peace, freedom, and civilized values have enemies in this world, as we have been reminded by events in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

We have all seen images of our flag being burned and our embassies under attack by vicious mobs.  The worst of it is the loss of four good men, including our ambassador to Libya.  They were there for the most peaceful purposes in service to our country.  And today our country honors their lives and grieves with their families.

All of us are watching events closely, but we know who America is dealing with in these attacks.  They are extremists who operate by violence and intimidation.  And the least equivocation or mixed signal only makes them bolder.

Look across that region today, and what do we see?

  • The slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria.
  • Mobs storming American embassies and consulates.
  • Iran four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon.
  • Israel, our best ally in the region, treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration.

Amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership.

In the days ahead, and in the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose.  Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome.

That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace.  And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration.

In the all-important election of 2012, values voters are also economic voters.  This election will hold the incumbent accountable for his economic failures, and affirm the pro-growth agenda of Mitt Romney.

It is true that President Obama had a lot of problems not of his own making.  But he also came in with one-party rule, and the chance to do everything of his own choosing.  The Obama economic agenda failed, not because it was stopped, but because it was passed.

And here is what we got: Prolonged joblessness across the country.  Twenty-three million Americans struggling to find work.  Family income in decline.  Fifteen percent of Americans living in poverty.

The record is so uniformly bad that maybe you’ve noticed something: President Obama himself almost never even uses the word “record,” – that is, except when he’s trying to trade on the record of Bill Clinton. In his convention speech, the President never once said that simple word, “record.”

He didn’t say the word “stimulus,” either, because he wasted $831 billion of borrowed money.  At a time of mass unemployment, he didn’t even say “unemployment,” because we’re in the slowest recovery since the Great Depression.  And by the way, he didn’t use the word “recovery,” either – never mind that recovery was what all America expected from Barack Obama.

He wants us to forget all of these things, and lately he’s been trying out a new tactic.  It’s a classic Barack Obama straw man: If anyone dares to point out the facts of his record, why then, they’re just being negative and pessimistic about the country.  The new straw man is people hoping for the decline of America.

It’s pretty sad, but this is the closest President Obama can come these days to sounding positive himself.  But we have to face up to all that has gone wrong these past four years, so that the next four can be better.  Ladies and gentlemen, this nation cannot afford to make economic failure a two-term proposition.

Lately, the President has also been trying out sports comparisons.  He compares this fourth year of his term to the fourth quarter of a basketball game.

You can expect more of this, because if there’s anything the man can do, it’s talk a good game.  The only problem is, the clock is running out and he still hasn’t put any points on the board.

His whole case these days is basically asking us to forget what he promised four years ago, and focus instead on his new promises.  That’s a fast move to get around accountability.  He made those ringing promises to get elected.

Without them, he wouldn’t be president.  And now he acts as if it is unfair to measure his performance against his own words.  But here’s the question: If Barack Obama’s promises weren’t good then, what good are they now?

If we renew the contract, we will get the same deal – with only one difference: In a second term, he will never answer to you again.

In so many ways, starting with Obamacare, re-electing this president would set in motion things that can never be called back.  It would be a choice to give up so many other choices.

When all the new mandates of government-run healthcare come down, the last thing the regulators will want to hear is your opinion.  When the Obama tax increases start coming, nobody in Washington is going to ask whether you can afford them or not.

When all the new borrowing brings our national debt to 20 trillion dollars, and then 25 trillion, nobody’s going to ask you about the debt crisis, or even help you prepare for it.  But we the people need to think ahead, even if our current president will not, to avoid that crisis while there is still time.

Everyone knows that President Obama inherited a bad economy.  And four months from now, when Mitt Romney is sworn in as president, he will inherit a bad economy.

But here’s the difference.  When a Romney-Ryan administration takes office, we will also take responsibility.  Instead of dividing up the wealth, our new president will get America creating wealth again.

We’re going to revive free enterprise in this country – to get our economy growing faster and our people back to work.

On the path this president has set, by the time my kids are my age, the federal government will be far bigger and more powerful even than it is today.  At that point, this land of free men and women will have become something it was never intended to be.

We are expected to meekly submit to this fate, but I’ve got a different idea, and I’m betting that most Americans share it.  I want my children to make their own choices, to define happiness for themselves, and to use the gifts that God gave them and live their lives in freedom.

Say things like this, and our opponents will quickly accuse you of being, quote, “anti-government.”  President Obama frames the debate this way because, here again, it’s the only kind of debate he can win – against straw-man arguments.

No politician is more skilled at striking heroic poses against imaginary adversaries.   Nobody is better at rebuking nonexistent opinions.  Barack Obama does this all the time, and in this campaign we are calling him on it.

The President is given to lectures on all that we owe to government, as if anyone who opposes his reckless expansion of federal power is guilty of ingratitude and rank individualism.

He treats private enterprise as little more than a revenue source for government.  He views government as the redistributor and allocator of opportunity.

Well, the results are in for that, too.  Here we are, after four years of economic stewardship under these self-proclaimed advocates of the poor, and what do they have to show for it?

More people in poverty, and less upward mobility wherever you look.  After four years of dividing people up with the bogus rhetoric of class warfare, just about every segment of society is worse off.

To see all this played out in any country would be bad enough.  To see it becoming the daily experience of life in the United States is utterly contrary to everything we are entitled to expect.

Mitt Romney knows that this country, and all the millions who are waiting for their working lives to begin again, were made for better things.

To borrow the words of another mentor of mine, Jack Kemp, Mitt and I understand that “No government in history has been able to do for people what they have been able to do for themselves, when they were free to follow their hopes and dreams.”

Under the current President, we are at risk of becoming a poor country, because he looks to government as the great benefactor in every life.

Our opponents even have a new motto.  They say, quote, “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of government as something I belong to.  As a matter of fact, on the seven occasions I’ve been sworn in as a Member of Congress, I have never taken an oath to the government.

The oath that all of us take is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, under which government is limited and the people are sovereign.

In the experience of real life, the most important things we belong to have a very different hold on us.  I am a Catholic, not because anyone has ordered me to accept a creed, but because of the grace and truth revealed in my faith – and that’s how we all feel about the faiths we hold.

In the same way, we Americans give ourselves to every kind of good cause.  We do so for the simple reason that our hearts and conscience have called us to work that needs doing, to fill a place that sometimes no one else can fill.

It’s like that with our families and communities, too.  The whole life of this nation is carried forward every day by the endless unselfish things people do for one another, without even giving it much thought.

In books, they call this civil society.  In my own experience, I know it as Janesville, Wisconsin – a place, like ten thousand others, where a lot of good happens without government commanding it, directing it, or claiming credit for it.

That’s how life is supposed to work in a free country.  And nothing undermines the essential and honorable work of government more than the abuse of government power.

In the President’s telling, government is a big, benevolent presence – gently guiding our steps at every turn.  In reality, when government enters the picture, private institutions are so often brushed aside with suspicion or even contempt.

This is what happened to the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities this past January, when the new mandates of Obamacare started coming.  Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told, from now on you’re going to do things the government’s way.

Ladies and gentlemen, you would be hard pressed to find another group in America that does more to serve the health of women and their babies than the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities.  And now, suddenly, we have Obamacare bureaucrats presuming to dictate how they will do it.

As Governor Romney has said, this mandate is not a threat and insult to one religious group – it is a threat and insult to every religious group. He and I are honored to stand with you – people of faith and concerned citizens – in defense of religious liberty.

And I can assure you, when Mitt Romney is elected, we will get to work – on day one – to repeal that mandate and all of Obamacare.

Finally, when he tries to make big government sound reasonable and inclusive, President Obama likes to say, “We’re all in this together.”  And here, too, he has another handy straw man.

Anyone who questions the wisdom of his policies must be lacking in compassion.  Who else would question him but those mean people who think that everybody has to go it alone and fend for themselves.

“We’re all in this together” – it has a nice ring.  For everyone who loves this country, it is not only true but obvious. Yet how hollow it sounds coming from a politician who has never once lifted a hand to defend the most helpless and innocent of all human beings, the child waiting to be born.

Giving up any further pretense of moderation on this issue, and in complete disregard of millions of pro-life Democrats, President Obama has chosen to pander to the most extreme elements of his party.

In the Clinton years, the stated goal was to make abortion “safe, legal and rare.” But that was a different time, and a different president. Now, apparently, the Obama-Biden ticket stands for an absolute, unqualified right to abortion – at any time, under any circumstances, and even at taxpayer expense.

When you get past all of the President’s straw men, what we believe is plain to state: These vital questions should be decided, not by the caprice of unelected judges, but by the conscience of the people and their elected representatives.  And in this good-hearted country, we believe in showing compassion for mother and child alike.

We don’t write anyone off in America, especially those without a voice.  Every child has a place and purpose in this world.  Everyone counts, and in a just society the law should stand on the side of life.

So much of our history has been a constant striving to live up to the ideals of our founding, about rights and their ultimate source.  At our opponent’s convention, a rowdy dispute broke out over the mere mention of that source.

For most of us, it was settled long ago that our rights come from nature and nature’s God, not from government.

A disregard for rights … a growing government and a static economy … a country where everything is free but us:  This is where it is all tending.

This is where we are being taken by the present administration.  This is the road we are on.  But my friends, that road has an exit, just ahead, and it is marked “Tuesday, November 6, 2012.”

We can be confident in the rightness of our cause, and also in the integrity and readiness of the man who leads it.

He’s solid and trustworthy, faithful and honorable.  Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best.

Not only a fine businessman, he is a fine man, worthy of leading our country, and ready to lead the great turnaround we have spent four years waiting for.

I’m not the only one who has told Mitt that maybe he needs to talk more about himself and his life.

It wouldn’t hurt if voters knew more of those little things that reveal a man’s heart and his character.  This is a guy who, at the height of a successful business, turned the entire company into a search and rescue operation the moment he heard that a colleague’s young daughter was missing.

He’s a man who could easily have contented himself with giving donations to needy causes, but everyone who knows him will tell you that Mitt has always given himself.

He’s one of those guys who doesn’t just exhort and oversee good works, but shows up and does the work.

Mitt Romney is the type we’ve all run into in our own communities, the man who’s there right away when there’s need, but never first in line when praise and credit are being handed out.  He’s a modest man with a charitable heart, a doer and a promise-keeper.

He’s the kind of person every community could use more of, and he’ll be the kind of president who brings out the best in our country.

When he asked me to join the ticket, I told Governor Romney, “Let’s get this done.”  That’s been my message ever since, and now I’m asking all of you the same.

We know what we are up against.  We know how desperate our opponents are to cling to power.  But we are ready, and I hope you are too, because I know that we can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country.  Let’s put these divisive years behind us.  Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s get this done, and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.

Thank you very much.

Full Text Obama Presidency September 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Rosh Hoshanah Greeting

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama’s Rosh Hoshanah Greeting

Source: WH, 9-13-12

As we look forward to the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays Sunday night, I want to extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating the New Year.

This is a joyful time for millions of people around the world. But Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are also opportunities for reflection. They represent a chance to take stock of our lives and look forward to the coming year with clear eyes and renewed purpose.

In that spirit, the Jewish Tradition teaches us that one of the most important duties we have during this period is the act of reconciliation. We’re called to seek each other out and make amends for those moments when we may not have lived up to our values as well as we should.

At a time when our public discourse can too often seem harsh; when society too often focuses on what divides us instead of what unites us; I hope that Americans of all faiths can take this opportunity to reach out to those who are less fortunate; to be tolerant of our neighbors; and to recognize ourselves in one another. And as a nation, let us be mindful of those who are suffering, and renew the unbreakable bond we share with our friends and allies – including the State of Israel.

In that spirit, Michelle and I wish you and your families a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace. L’Shana Tovah.

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 14, 2012: Mitt Romney’s ABC News Interview with George Stephanopoulos — On Debates: Obama Will ‘Say Things That Aren’t True’

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Romney on Debates: Obama Will ‘Say Things That Aren’t True’

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-14-12

Martin H. Simon/ABC

With the first presidential debate less than three weeks away, Mitt Romney is spending lots of time getting ready behind closed doors.  In his first comments on that debate prep, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Thursday that Sen. Rob Portman is a tough stand-in for a president who basically lies in debates.

“I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said.  “I’ve looked at prior debates.  And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate?  Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?’”

The former governor told Stephanopoulos he’s tempted to use Ronald Reagan’s famous line against President Carter in a 1980 debate, “There you go again” — the same line that Bill Clinton turned on Romney and the Republicans at the Democratic convention in Charlotte….READ MORE

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW]

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

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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?

AUDIENCE:  No!

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

AUDIENCE:  No!

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.

END
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

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

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.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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.

AUDIENCE:  No!

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.

AUDIENCE:  No!

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.)

END
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

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

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

Remarks

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.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 12, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Las Vegas, Nevada — Says Libya Attack a Reminder of US as ‘Indispensable Power’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Says Libya Attack a Reminder of US as ‘Indispensable Power’

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-13-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama reflected Wednesday night at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on what he said has been a “tough day” for the country, mourning the loss of four Americans killed in Libya, vowing justice for their killers and pledging that U.S. diplomacy would be unwavering “because the world needs us.”

Obama, who opted to push ahead with his battleground-state swing less than 24 hours after the deadly attack, used a somber tone to address his boisterous supporters, waving off cheers from members of the crowd at the top of his remarks….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Las Vegas, NV

Source: WH, 9-13-12 

The Cashman Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

6:03 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  Can everybody please give Adriana a great round of applause for the wonderful introduction?  (Applause.)

I also want to say it’s good to see your once and next Congresswoman, Dina Titus.  (Applause.)  And it is so good to see all of you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)  I do.  I wanted to begin —

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  So I wanted to begin tonight by just saying a few words about a tough day that we had today.  We lost four Americans last night, who were killed when they were attacked at a diplomatic post in Libya.  And they were serving overseas on our behalf, despite the dangers, despite the risks, to help one of the world’s youngest democracies get on its feet.  They were working to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.  And as Americans, we stand united -– all of us -– in gratitude for their service, and we are mindful of their sacrifice, and we want to send out heartfelt prayers to their loved ones who grieve today.  (Applause.)

It’s a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy -– sometimes even the freedoms we take for granted -– they’re only sustained because there are people like those who were killed, who are willing to stand up for those freedoms; who are willing to fight for those freedoms; in some cases, to lay down their lives for those freedoms.  So tonight, let’s think of them and thank them.

As for the ones we lost last night:  I want to assure you, we will bring their killers to justice.  (Applause.)  And we want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm:  No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

We will not be deterred.  We will keep going.  We will keep going because the world needs us.  We are the one indispensable power in the world.  And if we are going to see peace and security for our children and our grandchildren, then that means that this generation of Americans has to lead.  We’re going to have to keep doing the work — no matter how hard it seems sometimes.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about here today.  We’ve got work to do overseas; we’ve also got to do some work here at home.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got to do some work right here in the great state of Nevada.  (Applause.)

Now, because Nevada is a battleground state, you are aware that we’ve got an election going on.  (Applause.)  Unless you’ve accidentally stumbled in here looking for a convention of podiatrists — (laughter) — then you’ve been paying some attention to the election.  Both parties just came out with their conventions.  Each side made its case.  And now your choice — facing a very big choice.

See, our vision, what we’re fighting for, the reason all of you are here today, is because we believe in the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  It’s a bargain that says hard work will pay off; that if you act responsibly, you’ll be rewarded; that everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules -– from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C.; that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or what you look like, or what your last name is — here in America, you can make it if you try.  That’s what we believe in.  (Applause.)

And that basic bargain is why I ran for President in the first place -– and why so many of you worked hard to get me elected President.  (Applause.)  We had seen for a decade too many jobs disappearing overseas.  We had seen too many families struggling while costs were going up, but paychecks weren’t going up; people racking up more debt just to pay the mortgage or pay tuition, or put gas in the car or food on the table.  And these misguided policies led to the biggest recession we’ve seen since the Great Depression — millions of innocent Americans, especially here in Nevada, lost their homes, their jobs, their savings.  And we are still fighting to recover from that.  Nevada got hit harder than most.

But here’s the thing:  I don’t think the best answers for today’s new challenges are old sales pitches.  (Applause.)  And that’s what my opponent and the other side have been selling.  You guys heard it.  I mean, you may not have watched their convention, but if you didn’t let me summarize.  What they said was, we want to give you more tax cuts, especially tilted towards the wealthy, and everything will be okay.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  And this is their prescription for everything — tax cuts in good times, tax cuts in bad times; tax cuts when we’re at peace, tax cuts when we’re at war; tax cuts to help you lose those few extra pounds — (laughter) — tax cuts to give your love life that extra kick.  (Laughter.)

Now, listen, I’ve cut taxes — but I cut them for folks who needed them.  (Applause.)  We cut taxes for middle-class families.  We cut taxes for small business owners.  (Applause.)  But I sure do not believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs back to our shores.  I don’t believe that it will bring down our deficit.  I don’t think that firing teachers or kicking students off of financial aid will grow our economy.  (Applause.)  I don’t think that will help us compete when China is churning out more engineers and scientists.

After all we’ve been through, does anybody actually believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street is somehow going to help small businesswomen here in Las Vegas or the laid-off construction worker here in Las Vegas get back to work?  Let me tell you something, we tried that.  We tried it for a long time.  We tried it for eight years.  And what happened?  It didn’t work.

We are not going to try something that we know didn’t work, that got us into the mess in the first place.  We are not going back.  We are going forward.  (Applause.)  We are going forward.  We are going forward, Nevada, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  We don’t believe that the answer to our challenges is to tell folks, you’re on your own.  If you’re sick, I hope you don’t get sick.  If you lose your home, tough luck, you’re on your own.  If you can’t afford college, see if you can borrow money from your parents.  We don’t believe in that.  We believe we’re all in this together.  (Applause.)

We don’t believe in an economy that grows from the top down.  We believe in an economy that grows from the middle out, from the bottom up, giving everybody a chance, giving everybody a ladder for opportunity, opening up doors for people so that they can work hard and do right by their families and do right by themselves.  That’s what we believe.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President, because we’re moving forward together, not on our own.  (Applause.)

Now, I won’t pretend — some of you heard me at the convention.  I won’t pretend that what I’m offering is the easiest path.  I’ve never said that.  In 2008, I didn’t say it was going to be easy.  And as President Clinton reminded us last week, it’s going to take more than a few years to solve challenges that have been building up over decades.  (Applause.)

But we’ve made progress.  Every time I meet a child whose parents tell me, you know what — she was sick, but you helped her get insurance — (applause) — every time I meet somebody who said, you know what, we were able to refinance our home and we’ve been able to save some money; every time I meet a spouse who says, you know what, you promised to bring my husband or my wife back from Iraq, and they’re back now — (applause) — every time I see that happen, I’m reminded of the progress that we’ve made.  (Applause.)

And we’ve got a long way to go.  But let me tell you something — when we hear folks say that somehow this nation is in decline, they are dead wrong.  We’ve got the best workers in the world, some of them right here in Las Vegas.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world, some of them right here in Las Vegas.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best scientists and the best researchers, the best colleges, the best universities.  We’ve got this incredible diversity that you see in this audience and you see all across the country — (applause) — people from every background, but all bound together by this creed, this faith that we have in this nation.  There is not another country on Earth that would not gladly trade places with the United States.  (Applause.)

So our problems can be solved and our challenges can be met.  And the path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.  And I am asking you to choose that future.  I’m asking you to rally around the goals I laid out at the convention — to create new manufacturing jobs and new energy sources and improve our education system and bring down our deficit and turn the page on a decade of war.  We can do that in the next four years.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, just in case there are a few of you who aren’t convinced yet, or I need you to go out and do some convincing of some folks that may not be convinced yet, let me break down exactly what I’m talking about when I say a set of goals for this country.

I’ve got a plan, first of all, 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.  (Applause.)

Now you’ve got a choice.  We can keep giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, hiring American workers to create good-paying jobs right here.  That’s what we can do.  (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 the progress we’ve made expanding tourism that has a huge impact here in Vegas.  You can make that happen.  We will make it happen if we move forward.  (Applause.)  But it’s up to you.

Second, 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 will save you money.  It will be good for our economy, good for our environment.

We have doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate, including right here in Nevada — solar panels all across this state.  (Applause.)  So not only are we generating energy that we need to grow, but we can also employ thousands of Americans.  Thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and solar panels and long-lasting batteries.  Today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades.  (Applause.)

So now you’ve got a choice — we can reverse that progress or we can build on it.  We can keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal.  And our farmers and scientists can harness new biofuels.  Our construction workers can build homes and factories that waste less energy and retrofit old buildings — put them back to work in a way that helps free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.  (Applause.)  We can develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.  If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and we could support more than 600,000 jobs in natural gas alone.  (Applause.)  But you can also choose the alternative, which is to let the oil companies write our energy plans.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  But that’s moving backwards.  And what do we want to do?

AUDIENCE:  Forward!

THE PRESIDENT:  We want to move forward.  That’s what this campaign is about.  (Applause.)

Third, I’ve got a plan to give more Americans the chance to get the skills they need to compete.  Education was the gateway of opportunity for me.  It was the gateway of opportunity for Michelle.  It was the gateway of opportunity for many of you.  It is the gateway to a middle-class life.  (Applause.)

Because of the work we already did, millions of students right here in Nevada and all across the country are paying less for college today.  (Applause.)  We took on a system that was wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders.  We cut out the middle man.  Let’s give the money directly to the students, and we helped millions of young people all across this country.  (Applause.)

So now you’ve got a choice.  We could take my opponent’s advice, which results in gutting education.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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

Or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have their dream deferred because of an overcrowded classroom.  Last time I was here in Vegas, we were hearing about classes that had 42 kids in them; kids sitting on the floor; old, worn-out textbooks.  No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.  No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find the right skilled workers here at home.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not how we move forward.  (Applause.)

So, Nevada, I’m asking you to help recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next 10 years, improve early childhood education, help give 2 million workers a chance to study at community colleges to get the skills they need for the jobs that are hiring right now, help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs.  We can meet that goal.  You can choose that future for America, not just for yourself, but for your kids and your grandkids.  That’s what we mean when we say we’ve got to move forward.  (Applause.)

And, Nevada, we’ve got to reduce our deficit.  It’s important, but we’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t stick it to the middle class.  Independent analysis shows my plan for reducing the deficit would cut it by $4 trillion.  I’ve already worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I’m willing to do more.  I want to reform the tax code so that it’s fair and so that it’s simple.  (Applause.)

But I also want to ask the wealthiest households, including my own, to pay a little bit more on incomes over $250,000, the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President, the same rate we had when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus, created a whole lot of millionaires to boot.  That’s the way we have to move forward.  (Applause.)

Now, just to be fair, the other side, they’ve got a plan too.  The problem is, as President Clinton pointed out, they don’t have any arithmetic in it.  (Laughter.)  The math doesn’t add up because if you think we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, when you try to pay for $5 trillion in new tax cuts without raising taxes on middle-class families or add $2 trillion in new military spending that our Joint Chiefs don’t say is going to make us safer without increasing the deficit, well, you’ve got — you get that error message on your calculator.  (Laughter.)  No amount of extra credit is going to make that math work.

I refuse to ask middle-class families like yours to pay more so that millionaires and billionaires can pay less.  (Applause.)  I refuse to ask students to pay more for college so I can pay less.  I refuse to kick children out of Head Start programs or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor or elderly or disabled just for those — just so those with the most can pay less.  I don’t believe in that.  That’s not who we are.  That’s now how we’re going to grow our economy.

I don’t think the answer for hard-working folks here in Nevada whose homes are underwater is to do nothing, let it bottom out.  My administration has already helped more a million responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages, and I’m running to give more like them the chance to refinance and save $3,000 a year and maybe start building up some equity back.  That will strengthen the housing market across the board in this state.

And by the way, I will never turn Medicare into a voucher because no American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  (Applause.)  You should retire after a lifetime of labor with some dignity and some respect.  You have earned it.  We’ll reform Medicare for the long haul the right way by bringing down costs, not by dumping those costs onto seniors.  (Applause.)

And we’ll keep the promise of Social Security by taking responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to Wall Street like a stack of poker chips.  That’s the choice that you face this fall.  That’s what we mean when we talk about moving forward.

Now, rebuilding our economy is essential, but as we were reminded today, our prosperity at home is linked to our policies abroad.  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.)

A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

We still face threats in this world, and we’ve got to remain vigilant.  And that’s why we will be relentless in our pursuit of those who attacked us yesterday.  (Applause.)

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

And as we’re winding down these wars, we can use some of the money that we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and to put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and runways and schools because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building right here in the United States — right here at home.  (Applause.)

So let me say this — let me say this, Nevada.  We can get all this done.  I have no doubt in my mind we can get it done.  (Applause.)

The power to do it, though, is in your hands.  I told you at the convention — the election four years ago was not about me, it was about you and the change that you imagined for this country.  You are the reason seniors across Nevada saved an average of nearly 600,000 — $600 last year on their medicines because of health care reform.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason thousands of students at UNLV have more help paying for college this year.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason two grandparents in Reno could refinance their mortgage and keep their piece of the American Dream.  You’re the reason 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 known.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason why we ended “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why those who fought so bravely for us can come back and hear those two amazing words, welcome home.  You are the reason that happened.  (Applause.)

And that’s why we can’t turn back now.  If you buy into all the cynicism that’s being fed to you through these negative ads, well, you know what, change won’t happen if you stop fighting for it.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then you know who is going to fill the void: the lobbyists, the special interests, the folks who are writing these $10 million checks to run all those negative ads, the people who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, the politicians in Washington who want to decide who you can marry, who want to decide for women what their health care choices should be when women are perfectly capable of making those decisions themselves.  (Applause.)

We cannot let that happen, Nevada.  We’ve got the power to make sure it doesn’t happen, but I need your help.  We’ve come too far to turn back now.  We got more good jobs to create and we’ve got too much homegrown energy to generate.  (Applause.)

We’ve got more young people to send to college and more good schools to build and more good teachers to hire.  We’ve got more troops to bring home and more veterans to take care of.  And we’ve got more doors of opportunity to open to everybody — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, disabled, not disabled, gay, straight — anybody who is willing to work hard and believes in America, we’ve got to open those doors of opportunity for them.  That’s why I’m asking for a second term.

And if you’re willing to work with me and fight for me and knock on some doors with me and make some phone calls with me, if you vote in November, we will win here in Clark County.  (Applause.)   We will win Nevada.  We will win this election.  We will finish what we started, and you and I together will remind the world why we are the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
6:33 P.M. PDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 12, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Remarks on the Attacks on the American Embassy & US Ambassador in Libya ‘American Leadership is Still Sorely Needed’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Embassy Attacks Fuel Escalation in U.S. Presidential Race

Source: NYT, 9-12-12

Mitt Romney after discussing the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, while speaking in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Mitt Romney after discussing the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, while speaking in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday.

Mitt Romney assailed President Obama while Democrats accused the Republican nominee of politicizing a crisis….READ MORE

ROMNEY: AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IS STILL SORELY NEEDED

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-12-12

Mitt Romney delivered the following remarks on yesterday’s attacks on American diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya:

“Americans woke up this morning with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the world. This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, it’s disgusting. It breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served, during their lives, the cause of freedom, and justice and honor. We mourn their loss and join together in prayer that the spirit of the Almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain.

“Four diplomats lost their life, including the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in the attack on our embassy at Benghazi, Libya. And, of course, with these words, I extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones, who have left behind, as a result of these who have lost their lives in the service of our nation, and I know that the people across America are grateful for their service and we mourn their sacrifice.

“America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We will defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

“I also believe the Administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions.  It’s never too early for the United States Government to condemn attacks on Americans, and to defend our values.  The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn’t ‘cleared by Washington.’ That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.

“The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence, America cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don’t spin out of control.  We cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests.  Over the last several years, we have stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also poses the potential for peril, if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events.

“We must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not become an Arab Winter.”

Full Text Obama Presidency September 12, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the Deaths of US Ambassador & Embassy Staff in Libya

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Speaking from the Rose Garden, President Obama condemns the attack that killed American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya and honors the service of those who fell.

President Obama, with Secretary of State Clinton, delivers a statement
President Obama, with Secretary of State Clinton, delivers a statement, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 9/12/12

Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya

Source: WH, 9-12-12

Rose Garden

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.  Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.  Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save.  At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.  When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.  He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.  I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.  These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.  They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you.  May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

END
10:48 A.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 11, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at National Guard Association Conference in Reno, Nevada — Thanks Armed Forces

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

After Criticism, Romney Thanks Armed Forces

Source: NYT, 9-11-12

Mitt Romney spoke at the National Guard Association Convention in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Mitt Romney spoke at the National Guard Association Convention in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday.

Speaking to National Guard members in Reno, Nev., Mitt Romney expressed gratitude for troops serving overseas, saying the defense budget should not be cut….READ MORE

MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS TO THE NATIONAL GUARD ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-11-12

Mitt Romney today delivered remarks to the National Guard Association Conference in Reno, Nevada. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Major General Vavala, thank you for your generous introduction.  And thank you for your years of service as Chairman of the Board – and for your decades of service to our nation.

Ladies and gentlemen of the National Guard Association, it is an honor to be with you on this day of memorial and appreciation. We remember with heavy hearts the tragic loss of life, and we express thankfulness for the men and women who responded to that tragedy. We honor them, and we honor those who secure our safety even to this day.

We honor the men and women of the National Guard. For 375 years, whenever your countrymen have encountered threat and danger, you have willingly gone. Wherever the cause of freedom has called, you have answered. And as the threats to liberty have emanated from distant lands, you’ve served far from home and far from family. The nation has asked much more of you than had been expected, but you have never faltered, never wavered from the mission of your motto:  “Always Ready, Always There.”

Two weeks ago, I saw the Guard in action in Louisiana after it was hit by Hurricane Isaac.  For many of the people of the Gulf – who had just finished repairing their homes and getting life back to normal after Katrina – the damage from Isaac felt like too much to bear.  As I toured the flooded streets, I was not surprised to find the Guard keeping order, distributing water and supplies, and caring for many of those they had evacuated and rescued.

Time and again, it has been the Guardsman’s hand that has lifted a child from rising waters, that has rescued a family from a hurricane’s fury, and that has fed and clothed a fellow American whose home and possessions have been lost to nature’s devastation. It is a Guardsman who took out Saddam Hussein’s tanks from his A-10, and who has fought to secure the villages of Afghanistan.

Our world is a dangerous place. And the attack on our homeland and citizens on September 11, 2001 reminds us that the mission of the Guard is ever more critical, and ever more deserving of our support and honor.

More than a decade has now passed since that day of tragedy. But the visions and events are seared in the memory of every American. We remember those who died. We marvel at the courage of those who stormed the cockpit when they became aware of the malevolent purpose of the hijackers. We hold up in prayer the families and friends who have lived in a shadow cast by grief. We draw strength from the selflessness of the first responders. And we renew our resolve to protect America from the designs of evil men.

Like you, I remember where I was on 9/11.  I was originally planning to be in Battery Park, in New York – not far from the World Trade Center.  But as it turned out, I was in Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress about preparations for the security of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.  A colleague and I were working in our office in the Ronald Reagan building – just a few blocks from the White House.

Someone rushed into our office and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I turned on the small TV on the desk and watched in shock as flames and smoke erupted from the North Tower.

I called my wife Ann. She too watched the tragedy from her TV and wondered how a plane could fly into a building in clear daylight.  And then we saw the second plane crash into the second tower. These, then, were purposeful acts, these were terrorist acts, these were evil and cowardly and heinous acts.

Leaving the city, I drove toward Alexandria, Virginia. The highway I was on came within a few hundred yards of the Pentagon, which had been hit. Cars had stopped where they were, and people had gotten out, watching in horror. I could smell burning fuel and concrete and metal. It was the smell of war, something I never imagined I would smell in America.

In our own ways, we each were overwhelmed by the enormity of the loss of life. We struggled to comprehend the magnitude of what this meant for the families of those who had been killed, and for our own families, for our nation, and for the world. For some, there was also anger. But grief and anger soon turned to action – and among those taking the lead were members of the National Guard.

Members of the National Guard secured our airports and borders, and members of the Guard began to mobilize to deploy half a world away – where you would become all too familiar with the mountains of the Hindu Kush and the streets of Fallujah. Throughout the last eleven years, Guardsmen and women have helped keep us safe from attack.

I wish I could say the world is less dangerous now – that it is less chaotic. I wish I could predict with certainty the threats we will face in the years ahead.   But on September 10, 2001, we had no idea that America would be at war in Afghanistan. In December of 2010, we had no idea that a Tunisian street vendor would inspire a revolution that would topple three dictators. We live in a time of turbulence and disruption. What I can say with certainty is that we need the National Guard’s vigilance and strength now as much as ever before.

With less than two months to go before Election Day, I would normally speak to a gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent’s plans for our military and for our national security.  There is a time and a place for that, but this day is not it.

It is instead a day to express gratitude to the men and women who have fought – and who are still fighting – to protect us and our country, including those who traced the trail of terror to that walled compound in Abbottabad and the SEALs who delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.

This is also a day in which all of us – in this convention hall, in this campaign, and in this country – can hopefully agree on important things.

This century must be an American Century.  It began with terror, war, and economic calamity.  It is now our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.  America must lead the free world, and the free world must lead the entire world.  In our dealings with other nations, we must demonstrate confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.

For this to be an American Century, we must have a military that is second to none. American military power is vital to the preservation of our own security and for the preservation of peace around the world.  Time and again, America’s military might has been the best ally of liberty and peace: American forces rescued Europe, twice.  American forces stood up to brutal dictators and freed millions living under tyranny.  America’s military leads the fight against terrorism around the world – and secures the global commons to keep them safe for the trade and commerce that are vital to lifting people from poverty.

While the war in Iraq is over, nearly 70,000 American troops still remain in Afghanistan.  Our goal should be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.  We should evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders.

We can all agree that our men and women in the field deserve a clear mission, that they deserve the resources and resolute leadership they need to complete that mission, and that they deserve a country that will provide for their needs when they come home.

Of course, the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.  It is true that our armed forces have been stretched to the brink – and that is all the more reason to repair and rebuild.  We can always find places to end waste.  But we cannot cancel program after program, we cannot jeopardize critical missions, and we cannot cut corners in the quality of the equipment and training we provide.

We must recognize that when our troops come home, they should not have to struggle for work.  After all our veterans have done for us, they deserve the opportunity to find good jobs and the dignity of pursuing the American Dream.

We must also keep the faith with our veterans, no matter when or where they have served, through a strong VA system.  When the backlog for disability claims reaches nearly one million … when a federal building in Virginia becomes structurally unstable because so many claims have piled up on its highest floors … then we can all agree that the system is in need of serious and urgent reform.

Our veterans deserve care and benefits that are second to none.  Here, there is considerable work waiting to be done.  The backlog of disability claims needs to be eliminated, the unconscionable waits for mental health treatment need to be dramatically shortened, and the suicide rate among active-duty soldiers and veterans must be treated like the emergency it is.

Veterans’ benefits are not a gift that is given, but a debt that is due.  The problems with the VA are serious and must be fixed.  We are in danger of another generation of veterans losing their faith in the VA system – so we must ensure that the VA keeps faith with all our veterans.  We must keep our promises and regain the trust of all who have worn the uniform and served.

When I was the Governor of Massachusetts, I saw firsthand the Guard’s bravery and valor.

In 2006, I visited Iraq and Afghanistan along with two other governors. We met with the members of the National Guard from our respective states. I said to them that if they wanted me to call their spouse or family when I returned, I would be happy to do so. Just hand me a note with their names and phone numbers.  When I left for home, I found that I had 63 calls to make.  I knew that making that many calls would take quite a few days.

I returned home on Memorial Day weekend.  I decided to start making just a few of those calls first thing in the morning, before my kids and grandkids got up.  After I’d made only two or three, a Guardsman’s wife answered and said, “Oh, Governor Romney, I thought that might be you calling.”  Apparently, the first spouses I had called, had called other spouses, or had emailed their loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan who then emailed their spouses back home to tell them to expect my call.  So I made 63 calls on Memorial Day.

Remember, May 2006 was a difficult time in the Iraq War.  Many of you know that from experience.  We were suffering terrible casualties, and terrorism was straining our efforts to stand up the Iraqi government.  The “surge” had not yet begun and our politics back home had become deeply divided.

As I made those calls, I braced myself for questions about why the Guardsmen I had met couldn’t come home – right away.  Yet in 63 calls, I did not hear a single complaint.  Not one.  On each call, I expressed gratitude on behalf of our nation and my state for the sacrifice of their family and of their loved one who was in harm’s way. And then, from virtually everyone I spoke with, they would correct me to say that it was an honor to be able to sacrifice for America and to serve the greatest nation on earth.  Such is the patriotism of the men and women and the families of our National Guard!

Many of those calls left me with tears in my eyes.  I will never forget meeting the brave men and women who had volunteered for the National Guard in Massachusetts, who found themselves on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I will never forget speaking with their loved ones.  And I will always hold the greatest admiration for every one of them.

On the campaign trail, it has been my privilege to meet with troops and veterans from just about every state.  They come from our farms, our great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods.  Many have known violence so that their neighbors could know peace.  They have done more than protect America; their courage and service defines America.

On this eleventh anniversary of September 11th, we remember the victims who perished in the attacks.  We also remember the men and women serving in dangerous places around the world.  We will not forget why they are fighting or who they are fighting for.  They are faithful to us and to our country; we must not break faith with them.

I want to personally thank you for keeping us safe.  It is inspiring to be in the company of men and women of courage, as I am today. It is an honor to be among those whose sense of duty and love of country lift our hearts and spirits.

We are blessed to live in a country where freedom is so highly cherished, so fiercely protected, and so admirably defended by the noble men and women of the National Guard.

Thank you.  Thank you all for your service.  May God bless America and continue to keep her safe.

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 11, 2012: Mitt Romney’s September 11th 9-11 Statement ‘On this somber day with stand tall for peace & freedom’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

MITT ROMNEY: ON THIS SOMBER DAY, WE STAND TALL FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-11-12

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on September 11th:

“Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished.  America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world.”

Full Text Obama Presidency September 11, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11 — After 9/11, America ‘Even Stronger’

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama: After 9/11, America ‘Even Stronger’

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-11-12

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Eleven years after the 9/11 attacks, President Obama says the country has emerged stronger, safer and more resilient.

“As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson: that no single event can ever destroy who we are, no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for,” the president said Tuesday at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.  “Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

Recalling a day “that began like so many others,” Obama said, “It is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there and back here, back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11

Source: WH, 9-11-12 

Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

9:49 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families –survivors and loved ones — of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.

Today we remember a day that began like so many others.  There were rides to school and commutes to work, early flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments.  It was a day like this one — a clear blue sky, but a sky that would soon be filled with clouds of smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core.

Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there — and back here — back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.

Eleven times we have marked another September 11th come and gone.  Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.

This is never an easy day.  But it is especially difficult for all of you — the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives — your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.

To you and your families, the rest of us cannot begin to imagine the pain you’ve endured these many years.  We will never fully understand how difficult it has been for you to carry on, to summon that strength and to rebuild your lives.

But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this — that you will never be alone.  Your loved ones will never be forgotten.  They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today — an America that has emerged even stronger.

Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm.  Most had never heard the name al Qaeda.  And yet, it’s because of their sacrifice that we’ve come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.  Al Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.  Our country is safer and our people are resilient.

It’s true that the majority of those who died on September 11th had never put on our country’s uniform.  And yet, they inspired more than 5 million Americans — members of the 9/11 Generation — to wear that uniform over the last decade.  These men and women have done everything that we have asked.

Today, the war in Iraq is over.  In Afghanistan, we’re training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people.  And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over.  Meanwhile, countless civilians have opened their hearts to our troops, our military families and our veterans.

Eleven years ago, memorial services were held for Americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs.  And yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together.  I’ve always said that our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion.  This country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.  That’s what’s made us strong, now and forever.

And, finally, when those innocent souls were taken from us they left behind unfulfilled work and tasks that remain undone.  And that’s why, on a day when others sought to bring this country down, we choose to build it up with a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Scripture tells us “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  There’s no better way to honor the best in those who died than by discovering the best in ourselves.

This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.  Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred.  We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline.

And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father’s eyes, and a daughter has her mother’s laugh — living reminders that those who died are with us still.

So as painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are.  No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.  Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

That’s the commitment that we reaffirm today.  And that’s why, when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division.  It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.

God bless the memories of those we lost.  And God bless these United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
9:58 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency September 11, 2012: Vice President Joe Biden’s Speech at the Flight 93 National Memorial Commemorative Service

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the Vice President at the Flight 93 National Memorial Commemorative Service

Source: WH, 9-11-12

Flight 93 National Memorial
Shanksville, Pennsylvania

10:30 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Superintendent — Jeff, you’ve done a remarkable job here. And the thing I notice when I speak to you about is you’re invested in this place. It sort of has a — sort of stolen a piece of your heart. And that’s why I’m confident that all that you plan will happen.

Patrick, you’re keeping the flame alive, and keeping the families together is — from my experience, I imagine you all find solace in seeing one another. There’s nothing like being able to talk with someone who you know understands.

And it’s an honor — it’s a genuine honor to be back here today. But like all of the families, we wish we weren’t here. We wish we didn’t have to be here. We wish we didn’t have to commemorate any of this. And it’s a bittersweet moment for the entire nation, for all of the country, but particularly for those family members gathered here today.

Last year, the nation and all of your family members that are here commemorated the 10th anniversary of the heroic acts that gave definition to what has made America such a truly exceptional place — the individual acts of heroism of ordinary people in moments that could not have been contemplated, but yet were initiated.

I also know from my own experience that today is just as momentous a day for all of you, just as momentous a day in your life, for each of your families, as every September 11th has been, regardless of the anniversary. For no matter how many anniversaries you experience, for at least an instant, the terror of that moment returns; the lingering echo of that phone call; that sense of total disbelief that envelops you, where you feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest.

My hope for you all is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort, as I have, genuine comfort in recalling his smile, her laugh, their touch. And I hope you’re as certain as I am that she can see what a wonderful man her son has turned out to be, grown up to be; that he knows everything that your daughter has achieved, and that he can hear, and she can hear how her mom still talks about her, the day he scored the winning touchdown, how bright and beautiful she was on that graduation day, and know that he knows what a beautiful child the daughter he never got to see has turned out to be, and how much she reminds you of him. For I know you see your wife every time you see her smile on your child’s face. You remember your daughter every time you hear laughter coming from her brother’s lips. And you remember your husband every time your son just touches your hand.

I also hope — I also hope it continues to give you some solace knowing that this nation, all these people gathered here today, who are not family members, all your neighbors, that they’ve not forgotten. They’ve not forgotten the heroism of your husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. And that what they did for this country is still etched in the minds of not only you, but millions of Americans, forever. That’s why it’s so important that this memorial be preserved and go on for our children and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, and our great-great-grandchildren — because it is what makes it so exceptional. And I think they all appreciate, as I do, more than they can tell you, the incredible bravery your family members showed on that day.

I said last year my mom used to have an expression. She’d say, Joey, bravery resides in every heart, and someday it will be summoned. It’s remarkable — remarkable — how it was not only summoned, but acted on.

Today we stand on this hallowed ground, a place made sacred by the heroism and sacrifice of the passengers and the crew of Flight 93. And it’s as if the flowers, as I walked here, as if the flowers were giving testament to how sacred this ground is.

My guess — and obviously it’s only a guess; no two losses are the same. But my guess is you’re living this moment that Yeats only wrote about, when he wrote, pray I will and sing I must, but yet I weep. Pray I will, sing I must, but yet I weep.

My personal prayer for all of you is that in every succeeding year, you’re able to sing more than you weep. And may God truly bless you and bless the souls of those 40 incredible people who rest in this ground. (Applause.)

END
10:37 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency September 1, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Marks the Anniversary of the End of the Iraq War — Honoring Our Nation’s Service Members and Military Families

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Weekly Address: Marking the Anniversary of the End of the Iraq War

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-1-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Two years after he ended the combat mission in Iraq, President Obama is touting his plan to bring troops home from Afghanistan, saying it’s time to “do some nation-building here at home.”

In his weekly address, the president congratulated troops for a “job well done” in Iraq but noted “there is still difficult work ahead of us in Afghanistan.”

“We’ve broken the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and begun the transition to an Afghan lead.  Next month, the last of the troops I ordered as part of the surge against the Taliban will come home, and by 2014, the transition to Afghan lead will be complete,” he said in remarks taped at Fort Bliss in Texas, where Obama addressed troops Friday….READ MORE

Weekly Address: Honoring Our Nation’s Service Members and Military Families

Source: WH, 9-1-12
President Obama marks the second anniversary of the end of our combat mission in Iraq by thanking our nation’s extraordinary men and women in uniform for their service.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

Weekly Address: Honoring Our Nation’s Service Members and Military Families

Hi, everybody.  On Friday, I visited Fort Bliss in Texas, where I met with some of our extraordinary men and women in uniform to mark the second anniversary of the end of major combat in Iraq.

It was a chance to thank our troops for the outstanding work they’ve done over the last decade.  Fort Bliss is home to soldiers who took part in every major phase of the Iraq War – from the initial assault on Baghdad; to the years of fighting block by block; to the partnership with the Iraqi people that helped give them a chance to forge their own destiny.

And while the war itself remains a source of controversy here at home, one thing will never be in doubt – the members of our armed forces are patriots in every sense of the word.  They met every mission and performed every task that was asked of them with precision, commitment and skill.  And now, with no Americans fighting in Iraq, it’s my privilege on behalf of a grateful nation to once again congratulate these men and women on a job well done.

This anniversary is a chance to appreciate how far we’ve come.  But it’s also a reminder that there is still difficult work ahead of us in Afghanistan.  Some of the soldiers I met at Fort Bliss had just come home from the battlefield, and others are getting ready to ship out.

We’ve broken the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and begun the transition to an Afghan lead.  Next month, the last of the troops I ordered as part of the surge against the Taliban will come home, and by 2014, the transition to Afghan lead will be complete.

But as long as we have a single American in harm’s way, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep them safe and help them succeed.  That means giving them a clear mission and the equipment they need on the front lines.  But it also means taking care of our veterans and their families.  Because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

I also told our soldiers at Bliss that part of honoring their service means strengthening the nation they fought so hard to protect.  As we turn the page on a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.

My grandfather’s generation came back from World War II and helped form the backbone of the greatest middle-class in history.  They helped this country come back stronger than before.  Today’s veterans have the skills, the discipline, and the leadership skills to do the exact same thing – and it’s our job to give them that chance.

It’s time to build a nation that lives up to the ideals that so many Americans have fought for – a nation where they can realize the dream they sacrificed to protect.  We need to rebuild our roads and runways and ports.  We need to lay broadband lines across this country and put our veterans back to work as cops and firefighters in communities that need them.  And we need to come together to make America a place where hard work is rewarded and anyone willing to put in the effort can make it if they try.

That’s how we can honor our troops.  That’s the welcome home they’ve earned.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 8-9, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speeches at Campaign Events on Florida Swing State Bus Tour

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Kicks Off Florida Bus Tour

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-8-12

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Mocking his opponents’ economic agenda, President Obama says Republicans are pushing tax cuts as the prescription to cure the ailing economy, “help you lose a few extra pounds,” and even “help your love life.”

The president unveiled the new quip Friday, but on Saturday he got a unique response as he kicked off his two-day campaign tour through Florida….READ MORE

 

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — West Palm Beach, 9-9-12

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Melbourne, Florida, 9-9-12

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Kissimmee, Florida, 9-8-12

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Seminole, FL, 9-8-12

History Buzz September 9, 2012: Bob Woodward’s new book on Obama & deficit-reduction talks “The Price of Politics” 5 telling moments

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Bob Woodward’s new book: 5 telling moments

Source: Politico, 9-9-12

Bob Woodward is shown here. | AP Photo

Bob woodward’s book offers new details of the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis. | AP Photo

Bob Woodward’s new book will be required reading in Washington for the precise reason the New York Times review was critical: its “granular telling … its almost blow-by-blow chronicle” of deficit-reduction talks during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Whether or not his reporting fundamentally changes Washington’s understanding of these years – in particular, the debt-ceiling negotiations of 2011 – the book offers essential color on the characters behind those talks.

The book, “The Price of Politics” (Simon & Schuster) is set for official release Tuesday.

Here are five telling moments….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines September 8, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. John Barrasso Says ‘It’s Time for Rhetoric to Meet Reality’ on Economy

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Sen. John Barrasso Says ‘It’s Time for Rhetoric to Meet Reality’ on Economy

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-8-12

Now that conventions are over for both the Republicans and Democrats, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., says, “It’s time for rhetoric to meet reality,” and the reality, he adds, “is that America is not better off than it was four year ago.”

After a jobs report, released Friday, showed unemployment at 8.1 percent and just 96,000 jobs added last month, Barrasso and other Republicans have been quick to react.

“The undeniable truth is, President Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any President since World War II. When the President was hyping his so-called stimulus program, his economic team claimed unemployment would not go above 8 percent, and that it would be below 6 percent by now.  Instead, it’s been higher than 8 percent for 43 straight months,” he says in the Republican address.

“It’s bad enough the stimulus money was wasted.  Even worse, he borrowed the money, much of it from China. Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000, while the cost of everyday living has gone up. Gasoline prices have gone up another 30 cents a gallon in just over a month. Americans recently paid the highest prices ever on a Labor Day weekend. One out of every seven people in America is now on food stamps,” Barrasso says. “In terms of global competitiveness, the United States has dropped for four straight years.  When President Obama took office, we were number one in the world.  Now we’re number seven.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Marks the 11th Anniversary of 9/11 — Coming Together to Remember September 11th

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Weekly Address: Marking the 11th Anniversary of 9/11

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-8-12

Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

As the nation prepares to mark the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama is reflecting on “just how far we’ve come as a nation” and highlighting his administration’s foreign policy successes.

In his weekly address, the president pays tribute to those who lost their lives and honors the first responders who fought to save them.

“On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions.  Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond?  Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love?  Would they change who we are?” Obama says.

“The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation,” he says….READ MORE

President Obama marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.


President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/5/12

Weekly Address: Coming Together to Remember September 11th

Source: WH, 9-8-12

President Obama marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.

In the difficult years following the attacks, the United States has come back stronger as a nation, decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda, ensured that Osama bin Laden will never attack America again, and strengthened our alliances across the world.

The President has signed a proclamation making Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012 National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

To join that commemoration, you can sign up for a service opportunity near you at Serve.gov.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Coming Together to Remember September 11th

WASHINGTON, DC—In this week’s address, President Obama marked the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.  In the difficult years following the attacks, the United States has come back stronger as a nation, decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda, ensured that Osama bin Laden will never attack America again, and strengthened our alliances across the world.  Looking forward, we will continue to demonstrate that the legacy of 9/11 is that no adversary or act of terrorism can change who we are as Americans, and that we will always come together to preserve and protect the country we love.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 8, 2012

This week, we mark the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  It’s a time to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children we lost, and the families they left behind.  It’s a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives – on that day, and every day since.  And it’s an opportunity to give thanks for our men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed, sometimes far from home, to keep our country safe.

This anniversary is about them.  It’s also a time to reflect on just how far we’ve come as a nation these past eleven years.

On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions.  Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond?  Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love?  Would they change who we are?

The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation.

We took the fight to al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat.  And thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again.

Instead of pulling back from the world, we’ve strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home.  As Americans, we refuse to live in fear.  Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline.  And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.

Instead of turning on each other, we’ve resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion.  I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates – and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion.  We are the United States of America.  Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation.

Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people.  More than 5 million members of the 9/11 Generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families.  Together, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them.  We’ve ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home.  We brought an end to the Taliban regime.  We’ve trained Afghan Security Forces, and forged a partnership with a new Afghan Government.  And by the end 2014, the transition in Afghanistan will be complete and our war there will be over.

And finally, instead of turning inward with grief, we’ve honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people.  That’s why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Because we are one American family.  And we look out for each other – not just on the difficult days, but every day.

Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 – the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are.  We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love.  On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people.

Campaign Headlines September 7, 2012: Best lines of Democratic convention – from Jennifer Granholm to John Kerry

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Best lines of Democratic convention – from Jennifer Granholm to John Kerry

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. John Kerry got in some good zingers. Bill Clinton was, well, Bill Clinton, and Malia and Sasha Obama still had to go to school today.

Source: CS Monitor, 9-7-12

Former governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm addresses delegates during the final session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday.

Jason Reed/REUTERS

Enlarge

Who knew that John Kerry was a stand-up comedian?

In Pictures: The Democratic National Convention 2012

When the Democratic senator from Massachusetts ran for president in 2004, he was panned as stiff and pompous. But in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday night at the Democratic convention, the man who may be the next secretary of State reeled off a string of one-liners that had the delegates roaring and reporters wide-eyed.

Other Democrats, including President Obama, also got off some good lines. Here’s a selection:

Are you more (or less) liberal than President Obama? Take our quiz!

• “Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off now than he was four years ago,” Senator Kerry said. The line was a three-fer: It mocked the now-deceased head of Al Qaeda. It reminded the audience that bin Laden is dead, a national security coup no one can take away from Mr. Obama. And it made light of the Republican charge that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago.

• “Talk about being for it before you were against it,” Kerry also said. This one’s a two-fer: He was making fun of Mitt Romney’s shifting positions on Iraq and Libya, and then mocking himself for his infamous comment from the 2004 race when he was tagged (like Mr. Romney) as a flip-flopper.

• “For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas. It wasn’t a goodwill mission – it was a blooper reel.” More Kerry, referring to Romney’s gaffe-marred foreign trip in July, when, for example, he undiplomatically told the British he was worried about security during the forthcoming Olympics.

• “Yes, you do have to go to school in the morning,” Obama said of his two girls, who were seated before him on the convention floor. Obama mentions Malia (14) and Sasha (11) regularly, an effective way to address his tendency to seem aloof.

• “If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I,” Obama said. He was referring to the line candidates are required to cite in campaign ads they pay for. It was also a dig at the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United that has opened the floodgates on campaign spending and ads.

• “As another president once said, ‘There they go again,’ ” former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday night. Paraphrasing the late Ronald Reagan, he was mocking Republican proposals to cut spending on social programs but increase spending on defense.

• “People have predicted our demise ever since George Washington was criticized for being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden false teeth.” More Clinton.

• “He loves our cars so much, they even have their own elevator,” said Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Romney’s native state of Michigan, in an arm-waving, cheerleading tour de force.

• “In Romney’s world, the cars get the elevator, and the workers get the shaft,” more ex-Governor Granholm, who spoke Thursday night. She was referring to the car elevator once proposed for Romney’s home in California. Now, safe to say, that elevator will never be built.

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 6, 2012: Transcript: Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention — Accepts Nomination, Says His Plan Leads to a ‘Better Place’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Accepts Nomination, Says His Plan Leads to a ‘Better Place’

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-6-12

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama, greeted by tumultuous cheers of Democratic Party stalwarts, promised to lead America to a “better place” Thursday night if voters agree to follow the “harder” and “longer” path he has mapped to restore the country’s economy and the sense of hope and opportunity.

“America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now,” he told his party’s convention. “Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at the Democratic National Convention

Source: WH, 9-6-12

Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina

September 6, 2012

10:24 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  I am so thrilled and so honored and so proud to introduce the love of my life, the father of our two girls, and the President of the United States of America — Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.

Michelle, I love you so much.  A few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man I am.  (Applause.)  Malia and Sasha, we are so proud of you.  And, yes, you do have to go to school in the morning.  (Laughter.)

And, Joe Biden, thank you for being the very best Vice President I could have ever hoped for, and being a strong and loyal friend.  (Applause.)

Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, the first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man, a Senate candidate from Illinois, who spoke about hope — not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great, even when the road is long.

Eight years later, that hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time.

I know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes.  Trivial things become big distractions.  Serious issues become sound bites.  The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising.  If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I.  (Laughter and applause.)

But when all is said and done — when you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.  Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children’s lives for decades to come.

And on every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties.  It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known  — (applause) — the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s Army, the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.

They knew they were part of something larger — a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world’s best products. And everyone shared in that pride and success, from the corner office to the factory floor.

My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their own home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story — the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

And I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away.  I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas.  And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn’the; folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table.  And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings — a tragedy from which we’re still fighting to recover.

Now, our friends down in Tampa at the Republican Convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America.  But they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right.  (Applause.)  They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan.  And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they’ve had for the last 30 years — Have a surplus?  Try a tax cut.  Deficit too high?  Try another.  Feel a cold coming on?  Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning.  (Applause.)

Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it — middle-class families, small businesses.  But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit.  I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China.  (Applause.)

After all we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand or the laid-off construction worker keep his home.

We have been there.  We’ve tried that and we’re not going back.  We are moving forward, America.  (Applause.)

Now, I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have.  You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear.  You elected me to tell you the truth.  (Applause.)

And the truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.  It will require common effort and shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.  (Applause.)  And, by the way, those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.

But know this, America — our problems can be solved.  (Applause.)  Our challenges can be met.  The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.  And I’m asking you to choose that future.  (Applause.)

I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country — goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit — real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation.   That’s what we can do in the next four years — and that is why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs.  After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we’re getting back to basics, and doing what America has always done best:  We are making things again.  (Applause.)

I’ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo — (applause) — who feared they’d never build another American car.  And today, they can’t build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on the top of the world.  (Applause.)

I’ve worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America — not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products.  Because we work harder and smarter than anyone else.  (Applause.)

I’ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers — goods that are stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U.S.A!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT:  And after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.

And now you have a choice:  We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.  You can make that happen.  You can choose that future.

You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)  We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.  In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels a day — more than any administration in recent history.  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades.  (Applause.)

So now you have a choice — between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it.  We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more.  But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.  We’re offering a better path.  (Applause.)
We’re offering a better path, where we — a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.  If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.  (Applause.)

And, yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet — because climate change is not a hoax.  More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke.  They are a threat to our children’s future.  And in this election, you can do something about it.  (Applause.)

You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have.  Education was the gateway to opportunity for me.  It was the gateway for Michelle.  It was the gateway for most of you.  And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life.

For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning.  Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading.  Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders.  (Applause.)

And now you have a choice — we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school.  (Applause.)  No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.  No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home.  That’s not our future.  That is not our future.  (Applause.)

And government has a role in this.  But teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instill a thirst for learning.  And, students, you’ve got to do the work.  (Applause.) And together, I promise you, we can out-educate and out-compete any nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

So help me.  Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers within 10 years and improve early-childhood education.  Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job.  (Applause.) Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years.  We can meet that goal together.  You can choose that future for America.  (Applause.)  That’s our future.

In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq.  We did.  (Applause.)  I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  And we have.  (Applause.)  We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over.  (Applause.)

A new tower rises above the New York skyline; al Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT:  Tonight, we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm’s way.  We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected.  We will never forget you.  And so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us — because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads, or the care that they need when they come home.  (Applause.)

Around the world, we’ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.  We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers.  From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings — men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.  (Applause.)

But for all the progress that we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted.  Europe’s crisis must be contained.  Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace.  (Applause.)  The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions.  The historic change sweeping across the Arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today.  (Applause.)

So now we have a choice.  My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy — (laughter and applause) — but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.
After all, you don’t call Russia our number-one enemy — not al Qaeda — Russia — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.  (Applause.)  You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.  (Applause.)

My opponent said that it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.  And he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. Well, I have — and I will.  (Applause.)

And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways.  Because after two wars that have cost us thousands of live and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.  (Applause.)

You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class.  Independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion.  And last summer I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a billion [trillion] dollars in spending — because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it so that it’s leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the American people.  (Applause.)

I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 — the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President; the same rate when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission.  No party has a monopoly on wisdom.  No democracy works without compromise.  I want to get this done, and we can get it done.  But when Governor Romney and his friends in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, well, what did Bill Clinton call it — you do the arithmetic.  (Applause.)  You do the math.  (Applause.)

I refuse to go along with that and as long as I’m President, I never will.  (Applause.)  I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)
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 and elderly or disabled — all so those with the most can pay less.  I’m not going along with that.  (Applause.)

And I will never — I will never — turn Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  They should retire with the care and the dignity that they have earned.  Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care — not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.  (Applause.)

And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to Wall Street.  (Applause.)

This is the choice we now face.  This is what the election comes down to.  Over and over, we’ve been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way — that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope that you don’t get sick.  If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that’s the price of progress.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent’s advice and borrow money from your parents.  (Laughter and applause.)

You know what, that’s not who we are.  That’s not what this country’s about.  As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain, inalienable rights — rights that no man or government can take away.  We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative.  We’re not entitled to success — we have to earn it.  We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world’s ever known.

But we also believe in something called citizenship.  (Applause.)  Citizenship:  a word at the very heart of our founding; a word at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.

We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better.  (Applause.)  We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes and so is the entire economy.  (Applause.)  We believe the little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the President of the United States, and it is in our power to give her that chance.  (Applause.)

We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone.  We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules.  (Applause.)  We don’t think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think that government is the source of all of our problems — any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.  (Applause.)

Because, America, we understand that this democracy is ours. We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only “what’s in it for me,” a freedom without commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense.  (Applause.)

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

So, you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me.  It was about you.  (Applause.)  My fellow citizens, you were the change.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who will get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage.  You did that.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance.  You made that possible.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason 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) — why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: “Welcome home.”  “Welcome home.”  You did that.  You did that.  You did that.  (Applause.)

If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void — the lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves.  (Applause.)

Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen.  Only you have the power to move us forward.  (Applause.)

I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention.  The times have changed, and so have I.  I’m no longer just a candidate.  I’m the President.  (Applause.)

And that means I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.  I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs.

If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them.  (Laughter.)  And while I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”  (Applause.)

But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America.  Not because I think I have all the answers.  Not because I’m naïve about the magnitude of our challenges.  I’m hopeful because of you.

The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter — she gives me hope.  (Applause.)

The autoworker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town, and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife — he gives me hope.  (Applause.)

The family business in Warroad, Minnesota, that didn’t lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owner gave up some perks and some pay because they understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers who had helped build that business — they give me hope. (Applause.)

I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee.  Six months ago, we would watch him walk into a White House dinner honoring those who served in Iraq, tall and 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face, sturdy on his new leg.  And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled — he gives me hope.  He gives me hope.  (Applause.)

I don’t know what party these men and women belong to.  I don’t know if they’ll vote for me.  But I know that their spirit defines us.  They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a “future filled with hope.”

And if you share that faith with me — if you share that hope with me — I ask you tonight for your vote.  (Applause.)  If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.  If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.  (Applause.)

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape, that new energy can power our future, that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules — then I need you to vote this November.  (Applause.)

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now.  Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place.  Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.  We don’t turn back.  We leave no one behind.  We pull each other up.  We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  And God bless these United States.  (Applause.)

END
11:04 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 6, 2012: Vice President Joe Biden’s Speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Biden Emphasizes Loyalty to Obama, Reaches Out to Middle Class

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-6-12

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden passionately pushed out his now-famous, bumper-sticker catchphrase at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night: “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!”

In a speech that had Democrats on the edge of their seats, wondering if the gaffe-prone vice president would make another embarrassing blunder, Biden stayed relatively close to his prepared remarks.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you what I think you already know, that, I watch it up close, bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama and, time and time again, I witnessed him summon it,” Biden said. “This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel, and because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you’ve heard me say the past six months.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the Vice President at the Democratic National Convention

Source: WH, 9-6-12

Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina

9:29 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hey, Delaware!  (Applause.)  Hello, my fellow Democrats — (applause) — and my favorite Democrat.

Jilly, I want you to know that Beau and Hunt and Ashley and I, we’re so incredibly proud of you.  We admire the way when every single, solitary young person — and they’re not all young — walks into your classroom, you not only teach them, you give them confidence.  You give me confidence.  And the passion she brings to trying to ease the burden on the families of our warriors — Jilly, they know you understand them, and that makes a gigantic difference.  (Applause.)

And, folks, I tell you what, it was worth the trip — (laughter) — to hear my wife say what I’ve never heard her say before — she’s always loved me.  (Laughter and applause.)  If that’s the case, why in the heck did it take five times of asking you?  And that’s true.  Five times.  I don’t know what I would have done, kiddo, had you, on that fifth time, said no.  (Laughter.)  I love you.  You’re the love of my life and the life of my love.  (Applause.)

We’ve got three incredible kids.  And, Beau, I want to thank you for putting my name in nomination to be Vice President of the United States.  I accept.  I accept.  (Applause.)  With great honor and pleasure, I accept.  Thank you.  Thank you, my fellow Democrats.  (Applause.)

And I say to my fellow Americans — my fellow Americans, four years ago, a battered nation turned away from the failed policies of the past, and turned to a leader who they knew would lift our nation out of the crisis.  A journey we haven’t finished yet.  We know we still have more to do, but today, I say to my fellow citizens, in the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetime, this generation of Americans have proven itself as worthy as any generation before us.  (Applause.)  For we possess that same grit, that same determination, that same courage that has always defined what it means to be an American, has always defined all of you.

Together, we’re on a mission.  We’re on a mission to move this nation forward from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity.  A mission I guarantee you we will complete — a mission we will complete.  (Applause.)

Folks, tonight what I really want to do is tell you about my friend, Barack Obama.  (Applause.)  No one could tell it as well or as eloquently as Michelle — as you did last night, Michelle
— on Monday night.  (Applause.)  But I know him, to state the obvious, from a different perspective.  I know him, and I want to show you — I want to show you the character of a leader who had what it took when the American people literally stood on the brink of a new depression.  A leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years to a future as great as our people.

I want to take you inside the White House to see the President as I see him every day — because I don’t see him in sound bites.  I walk 30 paces down the hall into the Oval Office, and I see him, I watch him in action.

Four years ago, the middle class was already losing ground. And then the bottom fell out.  The financial crisis hit like a sledgehammer on all the people I grew up with.  You remember the headlines.  You saw some of them in the previews — highlights:  “Highest Job Losses in 60 Years.”  Headlines — “Economy on the Brink.”  “Markets Plummet Worldwide.”

From the very moment President Obama sat behind the desk Resolute in the Oval Office, he knew — he knew he had not only to restore the confidence of the nation, but he had to restore the confidence of the whole world.  (Applause.)  And he also knew that one false move could bring a run on the banks, or a credit collapse, to put another several million people out of work.  America and the world needed a strong President with a steady hand and with the judgment and vision to see us through.

Day after day, night after night, I sat beside him as he made one gutsy decision after the other — to stop the slide and reverse it.  I watched him.  (Applause.)  I watched him stand up to intense pressure and stare down enormous challenges, the consequences of which were awesome.  But most of all, I got to see firsthand what drove this man — his profound concern for the average American.

He knew that no matter how tough the decisions he had to make were in that Oval Office, he knew that families all over America sitting at their kitchen tables were literally making decisions for their family that were equally as consequential.

Barack and I, we’ve been through a lot together in these four years.  And we learned about one another — a lot about one another.  And one of the things I learned about Barack is the enormity of his heart, and I think he learned about me the depth of my loyalty to him.  (Applause.)  And there’s another thing that has bound us together these past four years.  We had a pretty good idea what all those families, all you Americans in trouble, were going through — in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles.

Barack, as a young man, had to sit at the end of his mother’s hospital bed and watch her fight with her insurance company at the very same time she was fighting for her life.  When I was a young kid, in third grade, I remember my dad coming up the stairs in my Grandpop’s house where we were living, sitting at the end of my bed and saying, Joey, I’m going to have to leave for a while, go down to Wilmington, Delaware, with Uncle Frank.  There are good jobs down there, honey.  In a little while I’ll be able to send for you and mom and Jimmy and Val, and everything is going to be fine.

For the rest of our lives — my sister and my brothers — for the rest of our life, my dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.  It’s about your dignity.  (Applause.)  It’s about respect.  It’s about your place in the community.  (Applause.)  It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, honey, it’s going to be okay, and mean it and know it’s true.  (Applause.)

When Barack and I were growing up, there was an implicit understanding in America that if you took responsibility, you’d get a fair shot at a better life.  And the values, the values behind that bargain were the values that had shaped both of us and many, many of you.  And today, those same values are Barack’s guiding star.  Folks, I’ve watched him.  He has never wavered — he never, never backs down.  (Applause.)

He always steps up and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings the same fundamental question:  How is this going to affect the average American?  How is this going to affect people’s lives?  (Applause.)  That’s what’s inside this man.  That’s what makes him tick.  That’s who he is.  (Applause.)

And, folks, because of the decisions he’s made and the incredible strength of the American people, America has turned the corner.  The worst job loss since the Great Depression — we’ve since created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months.  (Applause.)

Look, folks, President Obama and Governor Romney — they are both loving husbands, they’re both devoted fathers.  But let’s be straight — they bring a vastly different vision and a vastly different value set to the job.  (Applause.)  And tonight, although you’ve heard people talk about it, I want to talk about two things from a slightly different perspective, from my perspective.

I’d like to focus on two crises and show you the character of the leadership that each man would bring to this job, because as I’ve said, I’ve had a ringside seat.  The first of these, a lot has been talked about — and God love Jennifer Granholm, wasn’t she great?  (Applause.)  Wasn’t she great?  I love Jennifer.  (Applause.)  But the first story I want to talk to you about is the rescue of the automobile industry.

And let me tell you — from this man’s ringside seat, let me tell you about how Barack Obama saved more than a million American jobs.  In the first days, literally the first days that we took office, General Motors and Chrysler were literally on the verge of liquidation.  If the President didn’t act — if he didn’t act immediately, there wouldn’t be any industry left to save.

So we sat hour after hour in the Oval Office.  Michelle remembers how — what he must have thought when he came back upstairs.  We sat.  We sat hour after hour.  We listened to senators, congressmen, outside advisors, even some of our own advisors.  We listened to them say some of the following things. They said, well, we shouldn’t step up.  The risks were too high. The outcome was too uncertain.

And the President, he patiently sat there and he listened.  But he didn’t see it the way they did.  He understood something they didn’t get.  And one of the reasons I love him — he understood that this wasn’t just about cars.  It was about the people who built and made those cars and about the America those people built.  (Applause.)

In those meetings, I often thought about my dad.  My dad was an automobile man.  He would have been one of those guys all the way down the line — not on the factory floor, not alongside the supply chain, but one of those guys who were selling American cars to American people.  I thought what this crisis would have meant for the mechanics and the secretaries and the salespeople who my dad managed for over 35 years.  And I know for certain that my dad, were he here today, he’d be fighting like heck for the President, because the President fought to save the jobs of those people my dad cared so much about.  (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, my dad respected Barack Obama — would have respected Barack Obama had he been around for having had the guts to stand up for the automobile industry when so many others just were prepared to walk away.

When I look back now, when I look back on the President’s decision, I think of another son of another automobile man — Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney grew up in Detroit.  My dad managed; his dad owned — well, his dad ran an entire automobile company, American Motors.  Yes, but I don’t understand that in spite of that, he was willing to let Detroit go bankrupt.  Look, no, I don’t think he is a bad guy.  No, no — I don’t think he is a bad guy.  I’m sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did.  What I don’t understand — what I don’t think he understood, I don’t think he understood that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry, what it meant to all of America, not just autoworkers.
I think he saw it the Bain way.  I mean it sincerely — I think he saw it in terms of balance sheets and write-offs.  Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profits, but it’s not the way to lead our country from the highest office.  (Applause.)

When things hung in the balance — I mean, literally hung in the balance — the President understood this was about a lot more than the automobile industry.  This was about restoring America’s pride.  He understood — he understood in his gut what it would mean to leave a million people without hope or work if he didn’t act.  And he also knew — he also knew, he intuitively understood the message it would have sent around the world if the United States gave up on an industry that helped put America on the map in the first place.  (Applause.)

Conviction, resolve, Barack Obama — that’s what saved the automobile industry.  (Applause.)  Conviction, resolve, Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

Look, you heard my friend, John Kerry — this President — this President has shown the same resolve, the same steady hand in his role as Commander-in-Chief.  Look — which brings me to the next illustration I want to tell you about, the next crisis he had to face.

In 2008 — 2008, before he was President, Barack Obama made a promise to the American people.  He said, if I have — if we have bin Laden in our sights, we will — we will take him out.  (Applause.)  He went on to say, that has to be our biggest national security priority.

Look, Barack understood that the search for bin Laden was about a lot more than taking a monstrous leader off the battlefield.  It was about so much more than that.  It was about righting an unspeakable wrong.  It was about — literally, it was about healing an unbearable wound — a nearly unbearable wound in America’s heart.  And he also knew the message we had to send around the world:  If you attack innocent Americans we will follow you to the end of the Earth.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Most of all, President Obama had an unyielding faith in the capacity and the capability of our Special Forces — literally the finest warriors in the history of the world — the finest warriors in the history of the world.  (Applause.)

So we sat — we sat, originally, only five of us — we sat in the Situation Room, beginning in the fall of the year before. We listened.  We talked.  We heard.  And he listened to the risks and reservations about the raid.  He asked, again, the tough questions.  He listened to the doubts that were expressed.  But when Admiral McRaven looked him in the eye and said, sir, we can get this job done, I was sitting next to him — I looked at your husband, and I knew at that moment he had made his decision.  And his response was decisive.  He said, do it — and justice was done.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

Folks, Governor Romney didn’t see things that way.  When he was asked about bin Laden in 2007, here’s what he said — he said, it’s not worth moving heaven and Earth, and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  But he was wrong — he was wrong.  Because if you understood that America’s heart had to be healed, you would have done exactly what the President did, and you would move heaven and Earth to hunt him down and to bring him to justice.  (Applause.)

Look, four years ago — the only thing missing at this convention this year is my mom — four years ago my mom was still with us, sitting up in the stadium in Denver.  I quoted her — (applause) — I quoted her, one of her favorite expressions.  She used to say to all her children, she said, Joey, bravery resides in every heart and the time will come when it must be summoned.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you what I think you already know, but I watch it up close.  Bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama, and time and time again I witnessed him summon it.  This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and a spine of steel.  (Applause.)

And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers and the unparalleled bravery of our Special Forces, we can now proudly say what you’ve heard me say the last six months:  Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.  (Applause.)  That’s right.  One man.  (Applause.)

Folks, we know we have more work to do.  We know we’re not there yet.  But not a day has gone by in the last four years when I haven’t been grateful as an American that Barack Obama is our President, because he always has the courage to make the tough decision.  (Applause.)

Speaking of tough decisions, speaking of tough calls, last week we heard at the Republican Convention, we heard our opponents — we heard them pledge that they, too — they, too had the courage to make the tough calls.  That’s what they said.  (Laughter.)  But, folks, in case you didn’t notice — and I say to my fellow Americans, in case you didn’t notice, they didn’t have the courage to tell you what calls they’d make.  They never mentioned any of that.  (Laughter and applause.)

Mrs. Robinson, you watched from home, I guess, from the White House, you heard them talk so much about how they cared so much about Medicare, how much they wanted to preserve it.  That’s what they told you.  But let’s look at what they didn’t tell you.

What they didn’t tell you is that the plan they have already put down on paper would immediately cut benefits for more than 30 million seniors already on Medicare.  What they didn’t tell you is the plan they’re proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016.  And what they really didn’t tell you is they — if you want to know, if you want to know — they’re not for preserving Medicare at all.

They’re for a new plan.  It’s called Vouchercare.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Look, folks, that’s not courage.  That’s not even truthful.  That’s not even truthful.

In Tampa, they talked with great urgency about the nation’s debt and the need to act, to act now.  But not once, not one single time, did they tell you that they rejected every plan put forward by us, by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission they referenced, or by any other respected group — to reduce the  national debt.  They were not for any of them.  Why?  Because they’re not prepared to do anything about the debt if it contained even one dollar — I’m not exaggerating — even one dollar, or one cent in new taxes for millionaires.

Folks, that’s not courage.  And that’s not fair.  (Applause.)

Look, in a sense, this can be reduced to a single notion.  The two men seeking to lead this country over the next four years, as I said at the outset, have fundamentally different visions and a completely different value set.

Governor Romney believes in this global economy, it doesn’t much matter where American companies invest and put their money, or where they create jobs.  As a matter of fact, in his budget proposal — in his tax proposal, he calls for a new tax — it’s called a territorial tax — which the experts have looked at and they acknowledge it will create 800,000 new jobs — all of them overseas.  All of them.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And what I found fascinating, the most fascinating I found last week was when Governor Romney said that, as President, he would take a jobs tour.  Well, with his support for outsourcing, it’s going to have to be a foreign trip.  (Laughter and applause.)  It will.

Look, President Obama knows that creating jobs in America, keeping jobs in America, bringing jobs back to America is what the President’s job is all about.  That’s what Presidents do — or at least supposed to do.  (Applause.)

Folks, Governor Romney believes it’s okay to raise taxes on the middle class by $2,000 in order to pay for another — literally another trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy.

President Obama knows that there’s nothing decent or fair about asking people with more to do less and with less to do more.

Governor Romney believes — he believes that kids — kids like our DREAMers, those immigrant children who were brought to America’s shores through no fault of their own — he thinks they’re a drag on the American economy.  President Obama believes that even though these DREAMERs, those kids didn’t choose to come here, they have chosen to do right by America, and it’s time for us to do right by them.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney looks at the notion of equal pay in terms of a company’s bottom line.  President Obama, he knows that making sure our daughters get the same pay for the same jobs as our son is every father’s bottom line.  (Applause.)

Look, I kind of expected all that from them, but one thing truly perplexed me at their convention — the thing that perplexed me most was this idea they kept talking about, about the culture of dependency.  They seem to think you create a culture of dependency when you provide a bright, young, qualified kid from a working-class family a loan to get to college, or when you provide a job-training program in a new industry for a dad who lost his job because it was outsourced.

Folks, folks, that’s not how we look at it.  That’s not how America has ever looked at it.  What he doesn’t understand is all these men and women are looking for is a chance, just a chance to acquire the skills to be able to provide for their families so they can once again hold their heads high and lead independent lives with dignity.  That’s all they’re looking for.  (Applause.)

Look — and it literally amazes me they don’t understand that.  I told you at the outset, the choice is stark:  Two different visions, two different value sets.  But at its core, the difference is able to be reduced to a fundamental difference. You see — you, me, most Americans, have incredible faith in the decency and hard work of the American people, and we know what has made this country.  It’s the American people.  (Applause.)

As I mentioned at the outset, four years ago, we were hit hard.  You saw — you saw your retirement accounts drained, the equity in your homes vanish, jobs lost or on the line.  But what did you do as Americans?  What you’ve always done — you didn’t lose faith; you fought back.  You didn’t give up; you got up.  (Applause.)  You’re the ones, the American people.  You’re the ones!  You’re the reason why we are still better positioned than any country in the world to lead the 21st century.  (Applause.)  You never quit on America, and you deserve a President who will never quit on you!  (Applause.)

And, folks, there’s one more thing — one more thing our Republican opponents are just dead wrong about:  America is not in decline.  America is not in decline.  (Applause.)

I’ve got news for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan: Gentlemen, never, ever — it never makes sense, it’s never been a good bet to bet against the American people.  (Applause.)  Never.
My fellow Americans, America is coming back, and we’re not going back.  And we have no intention of downsizing the American Dream.  (Applause.)  It’s never — never a good bet.

Ladies and gentlemen, in a moment — in a moment, we’re going to hear from a man whose whole life is a testament to the power of that dream, and whose presidency is the best hope to secure that dream for our children.

For, you see — you see, we see a future — we really, honest to God do — we see a future where everyone, rich and poor, does their part and has a part; a future where we depend more on clean energy from home and less on oil from abroad; a future where we’re number-one in the world again in college graduation; a future where we promote the private sector, not the privileged sector — (applause) — and a future where women once again control their own choices, their destiny, and their own health care.  (Applause.)

And, ladies and gentlemen, Barack and I see a future — it’s in our DNA — where no one — no one is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance.  (Applause.)

Folks, we see a future where America leads not only by the power — the example of power, but by the power of our example; where we bring our troops home from Afghanistan just as we proudly did from Iraq — (applause) — a future where we fulfill the only truly sacred obligation we have as a nation, the only truly sacred obligation we have is to prepare those who we send to war and care for them when they come home from war.  (Applause.)

And tonight — tonight, I want to acknowledge — I want to acknowledge, as we should every night, the incredible debt we owe to the families of those 6,473 fallen angels, and those 49,746 wounded — thousands critically — thousands who will need our help for the rest of their lives.  Folks, we never — we must never, ever forget their sacrifice and always keep them in our care and in our prayers.  (Applause.)

My fellow Americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history.  And the direction we turn is not figuratively — is literally in your hands.  It has been a truly great honor to serve you and to serve with Barack, who has always stood up with you for the past four years.  I’ve seen him tested.  I know his strength, his command, his faith, and I also know the incredible confidence he has in all of you.  I know this man.

Yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way.  The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way.  And the cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way.  So I say to you tonight with absolute confidence, America’s best days are ahead, and, yes, we are on our way.  (Applause.)

And in light — in light of that horizon, for the values that define us, for the ideals that inspire us, there is only one choice.  That choice is to move forward — boldly forward — and finish the job — and reelect President Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

God bless you all and may God protect our troops.  God bless you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

END
10:10 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 6, 2012: Former President Bill Clinton’s Speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention — Rousing Nomination of Barack Obama

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Embraces Bill Clinton After Rousing Nomination

Source: NYT, 9-5-12

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama emerged from offstage to bear hug Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night moments after Clinton, giving a rousing speech nominating Obama for re-election, called the president a man who is “cool on the outside” but “burns for America on the inside.”
Once a political adversary, Bill Clinton went to bat for the president, playing the dual parts of professor and preacher, firing up the crowd and explaining just how Obama has succeeded in working to fix a flailing economy.

Clinton strode to the podium to the strains of his old presidential campaign theme song “Don’t Stop,” and a roar of applause from Democrats who remember the boom times of his two administrations.

“I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside….I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party,” Clinton told the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C….READ MORE

 Bill Clinton DNC speech transcript (text, video)

Source: Politico, 9-5-12

As delivered Sept. 5 and provided by Federal News Service with permission to re-publish:

(Also on POLITICO: Clinton’s remarks as prepared for delivery)

(Cheers, applause.)

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ve got one in mind. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside — (cheers, applause) — but who burns for America on the inside. (Cheers, applause.)

I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and — yes — by cooperation. (Cheers.)

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

You know — (cheers, applause). I — (cheers, applause).

I want — I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And I proudly nominate him to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party.

Now, folks, in Tampa a few days ago, we heard a lot of talk — (laughter) — all about how the president and the Democrats don’t really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

This Republican narrative — this alternative universe — (laughter, applause) — says that every one of us in this room who amounts to anything, we’re all completely self-made. One of the greatest chairmen the Democratic Party ever had, Bob Strauss — (cheers, applause) — used to say that ever politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. (Laughter, applause.) But, as Strauss then admitted, it ain’t so. (Laughter.)

We Democrats — we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it — (cheers, applause) — with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly share prosperity. You see, we believe that “we’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “you’re on your own.” (Cheers, applause.) It is.

So who’s right? (Cheers.) Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats, 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private sector jobs.

So what’s the job score? Republicans, 24 million; Democrats, 42 (million). (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s — (cheers, applause) — there’s a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. (Cheers, applause.) Why? Because poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth. (Cheers, applause.) When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all. (Cheers, applause.) We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s something I’ve noticed lately. You probably have too. And it’s this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other Democrats. I — (cheers, applause) — that would be impossible for me because President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High School. (Cheers, applause.) President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system.

When I was a governor, I worked with President Reagan and his White House on the first round of welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals.

(Cheers, applause.) I’m actually very grateful to — if you saw from the film what I do today, I have to be grateful, and you should be, too — that President George W. Bush supported PEPFAR. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries. (Cheers, applause.)

And I have been honored to work with both Presidents Bush on natural disasters in the aftermath of the South Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the horrible earthquake in Haiti. Through my foundation, both in America and around the world, I’m working all the time with Democrats, Republicans and independents. Sometimes I couldn’t tell you for the life who I’m working with because we focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time. (Cheers, applause.)

And so here’s what I want to say to you, and here’s what I want the people at home to think about. When times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation. (Cheers, applause.) What works in the real world is cooperation, business and government, foundations and universities.

Ask the mayors who are here. (Cheers, applause.) Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it. (Cheers, applause.) They didn’t check their brains at the door. They didn’t stop disagreeing, but their purpose was to get something done.

Now, why is this true? Why does cooperation work better than constant conflict?

Because nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. (Cheers, applause.)

And every one of us — every one of us and every one of them, we’re compelled to spend our fleeting lives between those two extremes, knowing we’re never going to be right all the time and hoping we’re right more than twice a day. (Laughter.)

Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way. They think government is always the enemy, they’re always right, and compromise is weakness. (Boos.) Just in the last couple of elections, they defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security. (Applause.)

They beat a Republican congressman with almost a hundred percent voting record on every conservative score, because he said he realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him. Boy, that was a nonstarter, and they threw him out. (Laughter, applause.)

One of the main reasons we ought to re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to constructive cooperation. (Cheers, applause.) Look at his record. Look at his record. (Cheers, applause.) Look at his record. He appointed Republican secretaries of defense, the Army and transportation. He appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008. (Laughter, applause.) And he trusted that vice president to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. (Cheers, applause.)

And Joe Biden — Joe Biden did a great job with both. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

He — (sustained cheers, applause) — President Obama — President Obama appointed several members of his Cabinet even though they supported Hillary in the primary. (Applause.) Heck, he even appointed Hillary. (Cheers, applause.)

Wait a minute. I am — (sustained cheers, applause) — I am very proud of her. I am proud of the job she and the national security team have done for America. (Cheers, applause.) I am grateful that they have worked together to make us safer and stronger, to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I’m grateful for the relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed and the signal that sends to the rest of the world, that democracy does not have a blood — have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest. (Cheers, applause.)

Now — (sustained cheers, applause) — besides the national security team, I am very grateful to the men and women who’ve served our country in uniform through these perilous times. (Cheers, applause.) And I am especially grateful to Michelle Obama and to Joe Biden for supporting those military families while their loved ones were overseas — (cheers, applause) — and for supporting our veterans when they came home, when they came home bearing the wounds of war or needing help to find education or jobs or housing.

President Obama’s whole record on national security is a tribute to his strength, to his judgment and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship. We need more if it in Washington, D.C. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, we all know that he also tried to work with congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction and new jobs. And that didn’t work out so well. (Laughter.) But it could have been because, as the Senate Republican leader said in a remarkable moment of candor two full years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work; it was to put the president out of work. (Mixed cheers and boos, applause.) (Chuckles.) Well, wait a minute. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, are you ready for that? (Cheers, applause.) Are you willing to work for it. Oh, wait a minute.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: In Tampa —

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: In Tampa — in Tampa — did y’all watch their convention?

I did. (Laughter.) In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple — pretty snappy. It went something like this: We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in. (Laughter, applause.)

Now — (cheers, applause) — but they did it well. They looked good; the sounded good. They convinced me that — (laughter) — they all love their families and their children and were grateful they’d been born in America and all that — (laughter, applause) — really, I’m not being — they did. (Laughter, applause.)

And this is important, they convinced me they were honorable people who believed what they said and they’re going to keep every commitment they’ve made. We just got to make sure the American people know what those commitments are — (cheers, applause) — because in order to look like an acceptable, reasonable, moderate alternative to President Obama, they just didn’t say very much about the ideas they’ve offered over the last two years.

They couldn’t because they want to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place. They want to cut taxes for high- income Americans, even more than President Bush did. They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts. They want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend it on. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor children.

As another president once said, there they go again.

(Laughter, cheers, applause.)

Now, I like — I like — I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. Here it is. He inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well- balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses and lots of new wealth for innovators. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, are we where we want to be today? No.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: No!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Is the president satisfied? Of course not.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: No!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: But are we better off than we were when he took office? (Cheers, applause.)

And listen to this. Listen to this. Everybody — (inaudible) — when President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in free fall. It had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month.

Are we doing better than that today?

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes! (Applause.)

PRESIDENT CLINTON: The answer is yes.

Now, look. Here’s the challenge he faces and the challenge all of you who support him face. I get it. I know it. I’ve been there. A lot of Americans are still angry and frustrated about this economy. If you look at the numbers, you know employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend again. And in a lot of places, housing prices are even beginning to pick up.

But too many people do not feel it yet.

I had the same thing happen in 1994 and early ’95. We could see that the policies were working, that the economy was growing. But most people didn’t feel it yet. Thankfully, by 1996 the economy was roaring, everybody felt it, and we were halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in the history of the United States. But — (cheers, applause) — wait, wait. The difference this time is purely in the circumstances. President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me, now. No president — no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years. (Cheers, applause.)

Now — but — (cheers, applause) — he has — he has laid the foundation for a new, modern, successful economy of shared prosperity. And if you will renew the president’s contract, you will feel it. You will feel it. (Cheers, applause.)

Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, why do I believe it?

I’m fixing to tell you why. I believe it because President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas and the direction America has to take to build the 21st-century version of the American Dream: a nation of shared opportunities, shared responsibilities, shared prosperity, a shared sense of community.

So let’s get back to the story. In 2010, as the president’s recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around. The recovery act saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes — let me say this again — cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. (Cheers, applause.) And, in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4 1/2 million private sector jobs. (Cheers, applause.)

We could have done better, but last year the Republicans blocked the president’s job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs.

So here’s another job score. President Obama: plus 4 1/2 million. Congressional Republicans: zero. (Cheers, applause.)

During this period — (cheers, applause) — during this period, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama. That’s the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ll tell you something else. The auto industry restructuring worked. (Cheers, applause.) It saved — it saved more than a million jobs, and not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country.

That’s why even the automakers who weren’t part of the deal supported it. They needed to save those parts suppliers too. Like I said, we’re all in this together. (Applause.)

So what’s happened? There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured. (Cheers, applause.)

So — now, we all know that Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. (Boos.) So here’s another job score. (Laughter.) Are you listening in Michigan and Ohio and across the country? (Cheers.) Here — (cheers, applause) — here’s another job score: Obama, 250,000; Romney, zero.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (With speaker.) Zero. (Cheers, applause.)

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Now, the agreement the administration made with the management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage, that was a good deal too. It will cut your gas prices in half, your gas bill. No matter what the price is, if you double the mileage of your car, your bill will be half what it would have been. It will make us more energy independent. It will cut greenhouse gas emissions. And according to several analyses, over the next 20 years, it’ll bring us another half a million good new jobs into the American economy. (Cheers, applause.)

The president’s energy strategy, which he calls “all of the above,” is helping too. The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near-20- year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled.

(Cheers, applause.)

Of course, we need a lot more new jobs. But there are already more than 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America, mostly because the people who apply for them don’t yet have the required skills to do them. So even as we get Americans more jobs, we have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are actually going to be created. The old economy is not coming back. We’ve got to build a new one and educate people to do those jobs. (Cheers, applause.)

The president — the president and his education secretary have supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for jobs that are actually open in their communities — and even more important after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the dropout rate so much that the percentage of our young people with four-year college degrees has gone down so much that we have dropped to 16th in the world in the percentage of young people with college degrees.

So the president’s student loan is more important than ever. Here’s what it does — (cheers, applause) — here’s what it does. You need to tell every voter where you live about this. It lowers the cost of federal student loans. And even more important, it give students the right to repay those loans as a clear, fixed, low percentage of their income for up to 20 years. (Cheers, applause.)

Now what does this mean? What does this mean? Think of it. It means no one will ever have to drop out of college again for fear they can’t repay their debt.

And it means — (cheers, applause) — it means that if someone wants to take a job with a modest income, a teacher, a police officer, if they want to be a small-town doctor in a little rural area, they won’t have to turn those jobs down because they don’t pay enough to repay they debt. Their debt obligation will be determined by their salary. This will change the future for young America. (Cheers, applause.)

I don’t know about you — (cheers, applause) — but on all these issues, I know we’re better off because President Obama made the decisions he did.

Now, that brings me to health care. (Cheers, applause.) And the Republicans call it, derisively, “Obamacare.” They say it’s a government takeover, a disaster, and that if we’ll just elect them, they’ll repeal it. Well, are they right?

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: No!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let’s take a look at what’s actually happened so far.

First, individuals and businesses have already gotten more than a billion dollars in refunds from insurance companies because the new law requires 80 (percent) to 85 percent of your premium to go to your health care, not profits or promotion. (Cheers, applause.) And the gains are even greater than that because a bunch of insurance companies have applied to lower their rates to comply with the requirement.

Second, more than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents’ policies can cover them.

(Cheers, applause.)

Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care, all the way from breast cancer screenings to tests for heart problems and scores of other things. And younger people are getting them, too.

Fourth, soon the insurance companies — not the government, the insurance companies — will have millions of new customers, many of them middle-class people with pre-existing conditions who never could get insurance before. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, finally, listen to this. For the last two years — after going up at three times the rate of inflation for a decade, for the last two years health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years. (Cheers, applause.)

So let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? (Cheers, applause.) You bet we are.

Now, there were two other attacks on the president in Tampa I think deserve an answer. First, both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly robbing Medicare of $716 billion. That’s the same attack they leveled against the Congress in 2010, and they got a lot of votes on it. But it’s not true. (Applause.)

Look, here’s what really happened. You be the judge. Here’s what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits at all. None. What the president did was to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of professionals to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service.

And instead of raiding Medicare, he used the savings to close the doughnut hole in the Medicare drug program — (cheers, applause) — and — you all got to listen carefully to this; this is really important — and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare trust fund so it is solvent till 2024. (Cheers, applause.)

So — (chuckles) — so President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare; they strengthened Medicare. Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry — (laughter) — because that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget. (Cheers, applause.) You got to get one thing — it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did. (Laughter, cheers, applause.)

So — (inaudible) — (sustained cheers, applause) — now, you’re having a good time, but this is getting serious, and I want you to listen.

(Laughter.) It’s important, because a lot of people believe this stuff.

Now, at least on this issue, on this one issue, Governor Romney has been consistent. (Laughter.) He attacked President Obama too, but he actually wants to repeal those savings and give the money back to the insurance company. (Laughter, boos.)

He wants to go back to the old system, which means we’ll reopen the doughnut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and we’ll reduce the life of the Medicare trust fund by eight full years. (Boos.)

So if he’s elected, and if he does what he promised to do, Medicare will now grow (sic/go) broke in 2016. (Boos.) Think about that. That means, after all, we won’t have to wait until their voucher program kicks in 2023 — (laughter) — to see the end of Medicare as we know it. (Applause.) They’re going to do it to us sooner than we thought. (Applause.)

Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. (Laughter.) And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block-grant Medicaid, and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: No!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that’s not all. Lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors — (applause) — who are eligible for Medicaid.

(Cheers, applause.) It’s going to end Medicare as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including — (cheers, applause) — a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions. (Applause.) And honestly, let’s think about it, if that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do.

So I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to do everything I can to see that it doesn’t happen. We can’t let it happen. (Cheers, applause.) We can’t. (Cheers, applause.) Now — wait a minute. (Cheers, applause.) Let’s look —

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

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let’s look at the other big charge the Republicans made. It’s a real doozy. (Laughter.) They actually have charged and run ads saying that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work. (Jeers.) Wait, you need to know, here’s what happened. (Laughter.) Nobody ever tells you what really happened — here’s what happened.

When some Republican governors asked if they could have waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama administration listened because we all know it’s hard for even people with good work histories to get jobs today. So moving folks from welfare to work is a real challenge.

And the administration agreed to give waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent, and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment. Now, did I make myself clear? The requirement was for more work, not less. (Cheers, applause.)

So this is personal to me. We moved millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that in the eight years I was president, we had a hundred times as many people move out of poverty into the middle class than happened under the previous 12 years, a hundred times as many. (Cheers, applause.) It’s a big deal. But I am telling you the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. (Applause.)

But they keep on running the ads claiming it. You want to know why? Their campaign pollster said, we are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers. (Jeers, applause.) Now, finally I can say, that is true. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) I — (chuckles) — I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Laughter.)

And I hope you and every American within the sound of my voice remembers it every time they see one of those ads, and it turns into an ad to re-elect Barack Obama and keep the fundamental principles of personal empowerment and moving everybody who can get a job into work as soon as we can. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, let’s talk about the debt. Today, interest rates are low, lower than the rate of inflation. People are practically paying us to borrow money, to hold their money for them.

But it will become a big problem when the economy grows and interest rates start to rise. We’ve got to deal with this big long- term debt problem or it will deal with us. It will gobble up a bigger and bigger percentage of the federal budget we’d rather spend on education and health care and science and technology. It — we’ve got to deal with it.

Now, what has the president done? He has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade, with 2 1/2 trillion (dollars) coming from — for every $2 1/2 trillion in spending cuts, he raises a dollar in new revenues — 2 1/2-to-1. And he has tight controls on future spending. That’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the Simpson-Bowles Commission, a bipartisan commission.

Now, I think this plan is way better than Governor Romney’s plan. First, the Romney plan failed the first test of fiscal responsibility. The numbers just don’t add up. (Laughter, applause.)

I mean, consider this. What would you do if you had this problem? Somebody says, oh, we’ve got a big debt problem. We’ve got to reduce the debt. So what’s the first thing you say we’re going to do? Well, to reduce the debt, we’re going to have another $5 trillion in tax cuts heavily weighted to upper-income people. So we’ll make the debt hole bigger before we start to get out of it.

Now, when you say, what are you going to do about this $5 trillion you just added on? They say, oh, we’ll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code.

So then you ask, well, which loopholes, and how much?

You know what they say? See me about that after the election. (Laughter.)

I’m not making it up. That’s their position. See me about that after the election.

Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

If — arithmetic! If — (applause) — if they stay with their $5 trillion tax cut plan — in a debt reduction plan? — the arithmetic tells us, no matter what they say, one of three things is about to happen. One, assuming they try to do what they say they’ll do, get rid of — pay — cover it by deductions, cutting those deductions, one, they’ll have to eliminate so many deductions, like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving, that middle-class families will see their tax bills go up an average of $2,000 while anybody who makes $3 million or more will see their tax bill go down $250,000. (Boos.)

Or, two, they’ll have to cut so much spending that they’ll obliterate the budget for the national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel. They’ll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education, child nutrition programs, all the programs that help to empower middle-class families and help poor kids. Oh, they’ll cut back on investments in roads and bridges and science and technology and biomedical research.

That’s what they’ll do. They’ll hurt the middle class and the poor and put the future on hold to give tax cuts to upper-income people who’ve been getting it all along.

Or three, in spite of all the rhetoric, they’ll just do what they’ve been doing for more than 30 years. They’ll go in and cut the taxes way more than they cut spending, especially with that big defense increase, and they’ll just explode the debt and weaken the economy. And they’ll destroy the federal government’s ability to help you by letting interest gobble up all your tax payments.

Don’t you ever forget when you hear them talking about this that Republican economic policies quadrupled the national debt before I took office, in the 12 years before I took office — (applause) — and doubled the debt in the eight years after I left, because it defied arithmetic. (Laughter, applause.) It was a highly inconvenient thing for them in our debates that I was just a country boy from Arkansas, and I came from a place where people still thought two and two was four. (Laughter, applause.) It’s arithmetic.

We simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down. (Cheers, applause.) Really. Think about this: President Obama — President Obama’s plan cuts the debt, honors our values, brightens the future of our children, our families and our nation. It’s a heck of a lot better.

It passes the arithmetic test, and far more important, it passes the values test. (Cheers, applause.)

My fellow Americans, all of us in this grand hall and everybody watching at home, when we vote in this election, we’ll be deciding what kind of country we want to live in. If you want a winner-take- all, you’re-on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a we’re-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.) If you — if you want —

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT CLINTON: If you want America — if you want every American to vote and you think it is wrong to change voting procedures — (jeers) — just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters — (jeers) — you should support Barack Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

And if you think — if you think the president was right to open the doors of American opportunity to all those young immigrants brought here when they were young so they can serve in the military or go to college, you must vote for Barack Obama. (Cheers, applause.) If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American dream is really alive and well again and where the United States maintains its leadership as a force for peace and justice and prosperity in this highly competitive world, you have to vote for Barack Obama.

(Cheers, applause.)

Look, I love our country so much. And I know we’re coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we’ve always come back. (Cheers.) People have predicted our demise ever since George Washington was criticized for being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden false teeth. (Laughter.) And so far, every single person that’s bet against America has lost money because we always come back. (Cheers, applause.) We come through ever fire a little stronger and a little better.

And we do it because in the end we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor — the cause of forming a more perfect union. (Cheers, applause.) My fellow Americans, if that is what you want, if that is what you believe, you must vote and you must re-elect President Barack Obama. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you and God bless America. (Cheers, applause.)

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 4, 2012: Transcript: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention — Says President Obama Has Lived the American Dream

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Michelle Obama Says President Obama Has Lived the American Dream

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-4-12

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First lady Michelle Obama lit up the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, telling the nation in an emotional speech that President Obama knows what it is to struggle, and for him the economic hardships facing the country “aren’t political, they’re personal.”

The self-described mom-in-chief recalled her own father who went to work almost daily despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, but worked through his illness in order to help pay the college tuition for Mrs. Obama and her brother.

She also spoke about President Obama’s family….READ MORE

Remarks by the First Lady at the Democratic National Convention

Source: WH, 9-4-12

Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina

September 4, 2012
10:38 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

MRS. OBAMA:  With your help.  With your help.  (Applause.)

Let me start — I want to start by thanking Elaine.  Elaine, thank you so much.  We are so grateful for your family’s service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back.  (Applause.)

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country.  And everywhere I’ve gone, and the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.  I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.  (Applause.)  I’ve seen it in people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way to save others; flying across the country to put out a fire; driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.

And I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families.  (Applause.)  In wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons.  (Applause.)  In the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, “I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.”

Every day, the people I meet inspire me.  Every day, they make me proud.  Every day, they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege.  But back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun.  While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country, and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President, like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance.  How will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?  How would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they’d ever known?

See, our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys — Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at Grandma’s house, and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn’t stay awake for both.  (Laughter.)

And the truth is, I loved the life we had built for our girls, and I deeply loved the man I had built that life with — and I didn’t want that to change if he became President.  (Applause.)  I loved Barack just the way he was.

You see, even back then, when Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door.  (Laughter.)  He was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small.  (Laughter.)

But, see, when Barack started telling me about his family -– see, now, that’s when I knew I had found a kindred spirit, someone whose values and upbringing were so much like mine.

You see, Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable — their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.  (Applause.)

My father was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when my brother and I were young.  And even as a kid, I knew there were plenty of days when he was in pain, and I knew there were plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply get out of bed.

But every morning, I watched my father wake up with a smile, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform.  And when he returned home after a long day’s work, my brother and I would stand at the top of the stairs of our little apartment, patiently waiting to greet him, watching as he reached down to lift one leg, and then the other, to slowly climb his way into our arms.

But despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work.  He and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of.  (Applause.)

And when my brother and I finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants.  But my dad still had to pay a tiny portion of that tuition himself.  And every semester, he was determined to pay that bill right on time, even taking out loans when he fell short.  He was so proud to be sending his kids to college, and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline because his check was late.

You see, for my dad, that’s what it meant to be a man.  (Applause.)  Like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life — being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family.

And as I got to know Barack, I realized that even though he had grown up all the way across the country, he’d been brought up just like me.  Barack was raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.  Barack’s grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank, and she moved quickly up the ranks, but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling.  And for years, men no more qualified than she was — men she had actually trained — were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack’s family continued to scrape by.

But day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus, arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret.  And she would often tell Barack, “So long as you kids do well, Bar, that’s all that really matters.”

Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much.  They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much more than they did — in fact, they admired it.  (Applause.)  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, you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids.  That’s how they raised us (Applause.)  That’s what we learned from their example.

We learned about dignity and decency — that how hard you work matters more than how much you make; that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.  (Applause.)  We learned about honesty and integrity — that the truth matters — (applause) — that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules; and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.  (Applause.)  We learned about gratitude and humility — that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean.  (Applause.)  And we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.

Those are the values that Barack and I — and so many of you — are trying to pass on to our own children.  That’s who we are.

And standing before you four years ago, I knew that I didn’t want any of that to change if Barack became President.  Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being President doesn’t change who you are — no, it reveals who you are.  (Applause.)

You see, I’ve gotten to see up close and personal what being President really looks like.  And I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones — the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer; the judgment calls where the stakes are so high, and there is no margin for error.  And as President, you’re going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people.  But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as President, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.  (Applause.)

So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.  He’s thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day’s work.  That’s why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)  That’s why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses, and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet.  (Applause.)

That’s how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again — jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another President.  (Applause.)  He didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically — no, that’s not how he was raised.  He cared that it was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine, our kids should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick, and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness.  (Applause.)

And he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care.  (Applause.)  That’s what my husband 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 have attended college without financial aid.  And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage.  (Laughter.)  Yeah, we were so young, so in love — and so in debt.  (Laughter.)

And that’s why Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down — (applause) — because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt.  (Applause.)

So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren’t political — they’re personal.  Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles.  He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids.  Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it.  (Applause.)  And he wants everyone in this country — everyone — to 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 he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.  No, you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.  (Applause.)

So when people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago.  (Applause.)  He’s the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work — because for Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.  (Applause.)

He’s the same man, when our girls were first born, would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure that they were still breathing — (laughter) — proudly showing them off to everyone we knew.

You see, that’s the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, strategizing about middle school friendships.  (Laughter.)

That’s the man I see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him.  The letter from the father struggling to pay his bills, from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won’t cover her care, from the young person with so much promise but so few opportunities.

I see the concern in his eyes and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, “You won’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle — it’s not right.  We’ve got to keep working to fix this.  We’ve got so much more to do.”  (Applause.)

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

MRS. OBAMA:  I see how those stories — our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams — I see how that’s what drives Barack Obama every single day.

And I didn’t think that it was possible, but let me tell you, today I love my husband even more than I did four years ago, even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met.  (Applause.)  Let me tell you why.  See, I love that he has never forgotten how he started.  I love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he’s going to do, even when it’s hard — especially when it’s hard.  (Applause.)

I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” — he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above; he knows that we all love our country.  And he is always ready to listen to good ideas, he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.

And I love that even in the toughest moments, when we’re all sweating it — when we’re worried that the bill won’t pass, and it seems like all is lost — see, Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise.  No, just like his grandmother, he just keeps getting up and moving forward — with patience and wisdom, and courage and grace.  (Applause.)

And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here, and that change is hard and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.  But eventually we get there.  We always do.

We get there because of folks like my dad, folks like Barack’s grandmother — men and women who said to themselves, “I may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will, maybe my grandchildren will.”

See, so many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice, and longing, and steadfast love — they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard.  (Applause.)

So today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming — or even impossible — let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation.  It is who we are as Americans.  It is how this country was built.  (Applause.)

And if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us — if they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with the touch of a button — then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids, right?  (Applause.)

And if so many brave men and women could wear our country’s uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights.  Surely we can get to the polls on Election Day and make our voices heard.  (Applause.)

If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream — (applause) — and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love — (applause) — then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.  (Applause.)

Because in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country — the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.  That is what has made my story, and Barack’s story, and so many other American stories possible.

And let me tell you something.  I say all of this tonight not just as First Lady, no, not just as a wife.  You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still “mom-in-chief.” (Applause.)  My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.

But let me tell you, today, I have none of those worries from four years ago — no, not about whether Barack and I were doing what was best for our girls.  Because today, I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters — and for all of our sons and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise, if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility — that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it — (applause) — then we must work like never before.  (Applause.)

And we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward — my husband, our President, Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  God bless you, and God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
September 4, 2012
11:03 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 6, 2012: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s Keynote Address Speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Julián Castro’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention — FULL TEXT

Source: National Journal, 9-4-12

My fellow Democrats, my fellow Texans, my fellow Americans: I stand before you tonight as a young American, a proud American, of a generation born as the Cold War receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another American century—President Barack Obama.

The unlikely journey that brought me here tonight began many miles from this podium. My brother Joaquin and I grew up with my mother Rosie and my grandmother Victoria. My grandmother was an orphan. As a young girl, she had to leave her home in Mexico and move to San Antonio, where some relatives had agreed to take her in. She never made it past the fourth grade. She had to drop out and start working to help her family. My grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook and a babysitter, barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one.

As my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren. She prayed to God for just one grandbaby before she died. You can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered—twice over. She was so excited that the day before Joaquin and I were born she entered a menudo cook-off, and she won $300! That’s how she paid our hospital bill.

By the time my brother and I came along, this incredible woman had taught herself to read and write in both Spanish and English. I can still see her in the room that Joaquin and I shared with her, reading her Agatha Christie novels late into the night. And I can still remember her, every morning as Joaquin and I walked out the door to school, making the sign of the cross behind us, saying, “Que dios los bendiga.” “May God bless you.”

My grandmother didn’t live to see us begin our lives in public service. But she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in San Antonio, one grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way—the good people of San Antonio willing—to the United States Congress.

My family’s story isn’t special. What’s special is the America that makes our story possible. Ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. No matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward.

America didn’t become the land of opportunity by accident. My grandmother’s generation and generations before always saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. They believed that opportunity created today would lead to prosperity tomorrow. That’s the country they envisioned, and that’s the country they helped build. The roads and bridges they built, the schools and universities they created, the rights they fought for and won—these opened the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did.

And that’s the middle class—the engine of our economic growth. With hard work, everybody ought to be able to get there. And with hard work, everybody ought to be able to stay there—and go beyond. The dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to Americans. It’s a human dream, one that calls across oceans and borders. The dream is universal, but America makes it possible. And our investment in opportunity makes it a reality.

Now, in Texas, we believe in the rugged individual. Texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps, and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. But we also recognize there are some things we can’t do alone. We have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow.

And it starts with education. Twenty years ago, Joaquin and I left home for college and then for law school. In those classrooms, we met some of the brightest folks in the world. But at the end of our days there, I couldn’t help but to think back to my classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. They had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at Stanford and Harvard. I realized the difference wasn’t one of intelligence or drive. The difference was opportunity.

In my city of San Antonio, we get that. So we’re working to ensure that more four-year-olds have access to pre-K. We opened Cafe College, where students get help with everything from test prep to financial aid paperwork. We know that you can’t be pro-business unless you’re pro-education. We know that pre-K and student loans aren’t charity. They’re a smart investment in a workforce that can fill and create the jobs of tomorrow. We’re investing in our young minds today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow.

And it’s paying off. Last year the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio as the nation’s top performing local economy. And we’re only getting started. Opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow.

Now, like many of you, I watched last week’s Republican convention. They told a few stories of individual success. We all celebrate individual success. But the question is, how do we multiply that success? The answer is President Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. “Start a business,” he said. But how? “Borrow money if you have to from your parents,” he told them. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn’t determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don’t think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he’s a good guy. He just has no idea how good he’s had it.

We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don’t accept is the idea that some folks won’t even get a chance. And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are perfectly comfortable with that America. In fact, that’s exactly what they’re promising us.

The Romney-Ryan budget doesn’t just cut public education, cut Medicare, cut transportation and cut job training.

It doesn’t just pummel the middle class—it dismantles it. It dismantles what generations before have built to ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. When it comes to getting the middle class back to work, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to respecting women’s rights, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to expanding access to good health care, Mitt Romney says, “No.”

Actually, Mitt Romney said, “Yes,” and now he says, “No.” Governor Romney has undergone an extreme makeover, and it ain’t pretty. So here’s what we’re going to say to Mitt Romney. We’re going to say, “No.”

Of all the fictions we heard last week in Tampa, the one I find most troubling is this: If we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. Because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. We all understand that freedom isn’t free. What Romney and Ryan don’t understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.

Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks, we’ve heard that before. First they called it “trickle-down.” Then “supply-side.” Now it’s “Romney-Ryan.” Or is it “Ryan-Romney”? Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price.

Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it. But Barack Obama gets it. He understands that when we invest in people we’re investing in our shared prosperity. And when we neglect that responsibility, we risk our promise as a nation. Just a few years ago, families that had never asked for anything found themselves at risk of losing everything. And the dream my grandmother held, that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there, if not for her, then for her children—that dream was being crushed.

But then President Obama took office—and he took action. When Detroit was in trouble, President Obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. Seven presidents before him—Democrats and Republicans—tried to expand health care to all Americans. President Obama got it done. He made a historic investment to lift our nation’s public schools and expanded Pell grants so that more young people can afford college. And because he knows that we don’t have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers.

I believe in you. Barack Obama believes in you. Now it’s time for Congress to enshrine in law their right to pursue their dreams in the only place they’ve ever called home: America.

Four years ago, America stood on the brink of a depression. Despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition, our president took action, and now we’ve seen 4.5 million new jobs. He knows better than anyone that there’s more hard work to do, but we’re making progress. And now we need to make a choice.

It’s a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less—or a country where everybody pays their fair share, so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. It’s a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts Pell grants—or a nation that invests more in education. It’s a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship American jobs overseas—or a leader who brings jobs back home.

This is the choice before us. And to me, to my generation and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear. Our choice is a man who’s always chosen us. A man who already is our president: Barack Obama.

In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. My grandmother never owned a house. She cleaned other people’s houses so she could afford to rent her own. But she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. And my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.

And while she may be proud of me tonight, I’ve got to tell you, Mom, I’m even more proud of you. Thank you, Mom. Today, my beautiful wife Erica and I are the proud parents of a three-year-old little girl, Carina Victoria, named after my grandmother.

A couple of Mondays ago was her first day of pre-K. As we dropped her off, we walked out of the classroom, and I found myself whispering to her, as was once whispered to me, “Que dios te bendiga.” “May God bless you.” She’s still young, and her dreams are far off yet, but I hope she’ll reach them. As a dad, I’m going to do my part, and I know she’ll do hers. But our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part, as one community, one United States of America, to ensure opportunity for all of our children.

The days we live in are not easy ones, but we have seen days like this before, and America prevailed. With the wisdom of our founders and the values of our families, America prevailed. With each generation going further than the last, America prevailed. And with the opportunity we build today for a shared prosperity tomorrow, America will prevail.

It begins with re-electing Barack Obama. It begins with you. It begins now. Que dios los bendiga. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

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