Full Text Political Buzz October 31, 2012: President Barack Obama and Governor Chris Christie’s Speeches After Surveying Damage from Hurricane Sandy at the Brigantine Marina in Brigantine, New Jersey

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Tours Storm Damage in New Jersey

Source: WH, 11-1-12
President Obama and Gov. Christie Survey Storm DamagePresident Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talk with citizens who are recovering from Hurricane Sandy, while surveying storm damage in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Yesterday, the President was in New Jersey to witness first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and comfort the Americans affected by the storm. With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he surveyed the damage from Marine One, walked the streets of Brigantine, and visited a community center now serving as shelter for displaced residents.

After speaking with residents and hearing their stories, the President spoke, alongside Governor Chris Christie, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and other officials, to reassure those affected by the storm of recovery, and pledge the full support of the federal government every step of the way. He reminded the American people of our remarkable ability to come together as a country when we go through tough times, and the importance of never leaving anybody behind:

And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you’re reminded about what America is all about.  We go through tough times, but we bounce back.  And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind. And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.

Remarks by the President and Governor Christie After Surveying Damage from Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-31-12 

Brigantine Marina
Brigantine, New Jersey

4:38 P.M. EDT

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE:  Good afternoon, everybody.  And thank you all for coming today.  I want to thank the members who are here as well.  And obviously, I want to thank the President.

We spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the New Jersey coastline; we were on Marine One together to be able to show the President that personally.  I had an opportunity to see it, and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length.  And then, going over to the shelter here, being able to meet with folks to have them see the President and his concern, and the concern that all of us have for making sure that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

We have lots of challenges.  One of our challenges now is to get back to normalcy.  And so the things we need to do is to make sure that we get power restored as quickly as possible; make sure that people have clean drinking water, and waste water treatment plants are working; hospitals are taken care of the way they need to; and that we get kids back to school.

And so, I discussed all those issues today with the President, and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together.  So I want to thank him for that.  He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit.  I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it’s been a great working relationship to make sure that we’re doing the jobs that people elected us to do.  And I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.  And I heard it on the phone conversations with him, and I was able to witness it today personally.

And so we’re going to continue to work.  The state government is here.  We’re doing what we need to do.  We’re coordinating with FEMA, and I want to thank Administrator Fugate for being here and for the input he’s already had in helping to make our operation even better.  And we will move on from here.

What I said yesterday I really mean.  I know there has got to be sorrow, and you see that and the President has seen that today in the eyes — the faces of a lot of the folks he’s met.  And that sorrow is appropriate; we’ve suffered some loss.  Luckily, we haven’t suffered that much loss of life and we thank God for that.  But we have suffered losses, and this is the worst storm that I’ve seen in my lifetime in this state.  But we cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have.  And so we will get up and we’ll get this thing rebuilt, and we’ll put things back together, because that’s what this state is all about and always has been all about.

And so for all of you who are here — and I met a bunch of you today at Brigantine who disregarded my admonition — (laughter) — to get the hell out of here — you’re forgiven this time.  You are forgiven this time, but not for much longer.  We’ve got to make sure when all of you look around and you see all this destruction, that’s fine — but you know what, all that stuff can be replaced.  You look to your right and to your left, to your husband or wife, your son or your daughter — those are the things that can’t be replaced.  So I’m glad that we don’t have that kind of loss of life to have to deal with.

So I want to thank him for being here today, for bringing his personal attention to it.  And it’s my honor to introduce to all of you the President of the United States.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Let me just make sure that I acknowledge the folks who are here, because they’ve played an important role in this.

First of all, your congressional delegation — Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, and Brigantine Mayor Philip Guenther.

Obviously, this is a federal, state, and local effort.  And the first thing I want to do is just to thank everybody who has been involved in the entire rescue and recovery process.  At the top of my list, I have to say that Governor Christie throughout this process has been responsive; he has been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm.  And I think the people of New Jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of New Jersey bounce back even stronger than before.  So I just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership.

I want to thank the congressional delegation because part of the reason we’re going to be able to respond quickly to all this is because they helped to make sure that FEMA financing was in place, and we’re very appreciative of those efforts.  And I want to thank Craig Fugate; sometimes people just think FEMA and they don’t think the people behind them, but Craig lives and breathes this stuff, making sure that we’re providing the help that people so desperately need in these situations.

I want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process — the linesmen, the firefighters, the folks who were in here shuttling out people who were supposed to “get the hell out” and didn’t.  You’ve helped to save a lot of lives and a lot of property.  And one of the things that you learn in these tragedies is, the first responders — keep in mind their homes usually are underwater too, or their families have been affected in some way, and yet they make those personal sacrifices to help other people.  So we really appreciate them.

I’m just going to make a couple of comments.  Number one, and most important, our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones.  It’s true that because of some good preparation, the loss of life was kept lower than it might have been, but for those individual families, obviously their world has been torn apart.  And we need to make sure that everybody who has lost a loved one knows they’re in our thoughts and prayers — and I speak for the whole country there.

For those like the people I just had the chance to meet on this block and throughout New Jersey and throughout the region whose lives have been upended, my second message is we are here for you, and we will not forget; we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you’ve rebuilt.

At this point, our main focus is on the states of New Jersey, which got hit harder than anybody; the state of New York, particularly lower Manhattan and Long Island.  We are very concerned about some situations in Connecticut as well, and we’re still monitoring West Virginia where there are heavy snows in some inaccessible areas.  But for the most part, those four states are really bearing the brunt of this incredible storm.

What we’ve been able to do is to pre-position and stage commodities — water, power generators, ambulances in some cases, food, medical supplies, emergency supplies — and we have over 2,000 FEMA personnel that are on the ground right now.  Their job, now that we’re moving out of the search-and-rescue phase, is to make sure that they are going out and talking to individual communities so that people know exactly how they can get the help that they need.

We expedited our emergency declarations for the state of New Jersey and local counties that have been affected.  What that means is, is that people can immediately start registering for emergency assistance.  And one of the things I want to emphasize to the people of New Jersey and throughout the region:  Now that you’re safe, your family is safe, but you’re trying to figure out where you’re going to stay for the next couple of days, et cetera, it’s very important that you know that there is help available to you right now, for example, to find rental housing or to be able to pay for some groceries.  Over at the community center we saw a young woman who had a newborn, or I guess probably an eight-month old, still needs diapers and formula, and has run out.  Those are the kinds of basic supplies and help that we can provide.

If you call 800-621-FEMA — 800-621-FEMA — or DisasterAssistance.gov — if you’ve got access to the Internet, you can go to DisasterAssistance.gov.  What that allows you to do is to register right now so that you can immediately start receiving help.  We want to make sure that you get everything that you need.

Just a couple of final points.  Obviously, our biggest priority right now is getting power turned back on.  We were very pleased that Newark got power yesterday; Jersey City is getting power we believe today.  But there are still big chunks of the community, including this community right here, that don’t have power.  And so it’s hard enough cleaning up debris and dealing with boats that have been upended and roads that are blocked; when people don’t have power, though, obviously they’re disabled in all sorts of ways and it’s hard to get back to normal.

So yesterday, I had a chance to speak to the CEOs of the utilities from all across the country.  And a lot of the states that were spared, that were not hard hit, or some states as far away as California, they have pledged to start getting equipment crews, et cetera, here into New Jersey and New York and Connecticut as quickly as possible.

And one of the things that we’ve been able to do — just to give you a sense of how this is an all-hands-deck approach — we’re able to get C-17s and C-130s, military transport planes, potentially, to move assets, personnel to speed up the process of getting power up and running as soon as possible.

Our first priority is water filtration plants and some other critical infrastructure in the state; for that, we’ve got emergency generators.  We’ve got a Navy ship that has some helicopters that can help to move assets around the state as well.  And so we’re going to be working with Governor Christie’s office and local officials to identify what are those critical infrastructure, how can we get what’s needed as quickly as possible.

Just a couple of other things that we’re concerned about — one is, as power starts coming back on, we want to make sure that people can also get to work.  Obviously, there are a lot of folks in Jersey who work in New York, in the city, and in other places where transportation may be hobbled.  One of the things I mentioned to the Governor is the possibility of us using federal assets, military assets, as well as taking inventory of assets from around the country that can be brought in so that we can help people get to their work.

And Governor Christie also mentioned the importance of schools.  The sooner we can get our kids back into school, the sooner they’re back into a routine; that obviously helps the families and helps the kids as well.

So we’re going to have a lot of work to do.  I don’t want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up overnight.  We want to make sure that people have realistic expectations.

But what I can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done.  And the directive that I have given — and I said this yesterday, but I will repeat; and I think Craig and others who are working with me right now know I mean it — we are not going to tolerate red tape.  We’re not going to tolerate bureaucracy.  And I’ve instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team:  You return everybody’s phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it’s the mayors’, the governors’, county officials’.  If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes.

As I was just gathering around, I had a chance to talk to some of the young people here who have been volunteering, going up and down the block cleaning up debris.  And when we were over at the community center, there was a restaurant owner who, for the last 18 hours, had been cooking meals, just as his contribution to the recovery process.  And some of the folks were saying the food was better than they got at home.  (Laughter.)  You had a 15-year-old young man whose mother was disabled, and he was making sure that she was okay, and taking on extraordinary responsibilities for himself but also for his mom.

And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you’re reminded about what America is all about.  We go through tough times, but we bounce back.  And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind.

And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.  All right?

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

END
4:51 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 31, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Coral Gables, Florida — Romney Trades Barbs for Optimism in First Speech Since Sandy

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Trades Barbs for Optimism in First Speech Since Sandy

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As President Obama headed to storm-ravaged New Jersey for a tour with Gov. Chris Christie, Mitt Romney was back on the stump in Florida Wednesday for his first full day of campaigning since Hurricane Sandy devastated areas of the East Coast.

Romney maintained a more subdued tone in Tampa, Fla., trading harsh attacks on Obama’s tenure for a more positive set of remarks then one might be expect just days before election day.

“We come together in times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and in many cases, personal loss,” said Romney, opening his remarks in Tampa by encouraging Red Cross donations for storm relief efforts.  Romney was joined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, who also made mention of Sandy and encouraged donations…..READ MORE

Mitt Romney: “It’s Time To Take A New Path Of Bold, Aggressive Change”

Location

Boston, MA

United States

Remarks
Coral Gables, Florida

October 31, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “We also have other challenges. We have some 23 million Americans that are struggling to get a good job. We also have 1 out of 6 Americans living in poverty. We have 47 million Americans on food stamps. That’s what’s happening here at home. Then around the world, we face challenges as well, as Iran speeds along its course to become nuclear, as we also face competition for jobs from China and other nations. We face some real challenges. And as a result of that, it is my view that we should not continue along the same path but it’s time to take a new path of bold, aggressive change because the road we’re on is not doing so well. Now, you probably know, as I think about what we need to do, I actually have a plan with five key steps to get this economy going and to make sure that when you graduate there’ll be a job there and to get those 23 million people working and to make sure that we help people get off of food stamps because they got good jobs and good incomes. And for that to happen these five steps will create 12 million jobs. And because of those jobs, you’ll see more take-home pay.”

Campaign Headlines October 31, 2012: Mitt Romney Chooses New Hampshire for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Chooses NH for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Mitt Romney will hold his final campaign rally in New Hampshire, the very state in which he launched his bid for the White House 16 months ago.

The “Victory Rally” will be held in Manchester, N.H., at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, Election Day eve.  Campaign-theme song artist Kid Rock will be the special guest….READ MORE

Political Headlines October 31, 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Lauded for Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Lauded for Storm Efforts

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has earned high marks for his handling of the unprecedented disaster his state has witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, assuring his constituents with his trademark bluntness and aplomb.

The governor has been praised for appearing in control of the situation, rattling off numbers about customers without power and the status of search and rescue operations, and lauded for his willingness to put aside politics just a week before Election Day….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 30, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the American Red Cross — Update on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Update on Hurricane Sandy

 

President Obama delivers remarks during his visit to the Disaster Operation Center at the Red CrossPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks during his visit to the Disaster Operation Center at the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Remarks by the President at the American Red Cross

Source: WH, 10-30-12 

Washington, D.C.

2:18 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, I want to thank Gail and Charlie who are on the scene doing work every time we have a disaster here in the United States of America.  But obviously, the Red Cross is doing outstanding work internationally, so we want to thank them for their outstanding work.

A few things that I want to emphasize to the public at the top.  This storm is not yet over.  We’ve gotten briefings from the National Hurricane Center.  It is still moving north.  There are still communities that could be affected.  And so I want to emphasize there are still risks of flooding, there are still risks of down power lines, risks of high winds.  And so it is very important for the public to continue to monitor the situation in your local community, listen to your state and local officials, follow instructions.  The more you follow instructions, the easier it is for our first responders to make sure that they are dealing with true emergency situations.  So the better prepared individual families are for the situation, the easier it is going to be for us to deal with it.

Next, obviously, I want to talk about the extraordinary hardship that we’ve seen over the last 48 hours.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost loved ones.  Unfortunately, there have been fatalities as a consequence of Hurricane Sandy, and it’s not clear that we’ve counted up all the fatalities at this point.  And obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation.  And we certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended and are going to be going through some very tough times over the next several days and perhaps several weeks and months.

The most important message I have for them is that America is with you.  We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.

Earlier today I had a conversation with the governors and many of the mayors in the affected areas, including Governor Christie, Governor Cuomo, and Mayor Bloomberg.  I want to praise them for the extraordinary work that they have done.  Sadly, we are getting more experience with these kinds of big impact storms along the East Coast, and the preparation shows.  Were it not for the outstanding work that they and their teams have already done and will continue to do in the affected regions, we could have seen more deaths and more property damage.  So they have done extraordinary work working around the clock.  The coordination between the state, local, and federal governments has been outstanding.

Obviously, we’re now moving into the recovery phase in a lot of the most severely affected areas.  New Jersey, New York in particular have been pounded by this storm.  Connecticut has taken a big hit.  Because of some of the work that had been done ahead of time, we’ve been able to get over a thousand FEMA officials in place, pre-positioned.  We’ve been able to get supplies, food, medicine, water, emergency generators to ensure that hospitals and law enforcement offices are able to stay up and running as they are out there responding.

We are going to continue to push as hard as we can to make sure that power is up throughout the region.  And obviously, this is mostly a local responsibility, and the private utilities are going to have to lean forward, but we are doing everything we can to provide them additional resources so that we can expedite getting power up and running in many of these communities.

There are places like Newark, New Jersey, for example, where you’ve got 80, 90 percent of the people without power.  We can’t have a situation where that lasts for days on end.  And so my instructions to the federal agency has been, do not figure out why we can’t do something; I want you to figure out how we do something.  I want you to cut through red tape.  I want you to cut through bureaucracy.  There’s no excuse for inaction at this point.  I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need — where they’re needed as quickly as possible.

So I want to repeat — my message to the federal government:  No bureaucracy, no red tape.  Get resources where they’re needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and for the duration, because the recovery process obviously in a place like New Jersey is going to take a significant amount of time.  The recovery process in a lower Manhattan is going to take a lot of time.

And part of what we’re trying to do here is also to see where are some resources that can be brought to bear that maybe traditionally are not used in these kind of disaster situations.  For example, there may be military assets that allow us to help move equipment to ensure that pumping and getting the flooding out of New York subway systems can proceed more quickly.  There may be resources that we can bring to bear to help some of the private utilities get their personnel and their equipment in place more swiftly so that we can get power up and running as soon as possible.

So my message to the governors and the mayors and, through them, to the communities that have been hit so hard is that we are going to do everything we can to get resources to you and make sure that any unmet need that is identified, we are responding to it as quickly as possible.  And I told the mayors and the governors if they’re getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House.

Now, obviously, the state, local, federal response is important, but what we do as a community, what we do as neighbors and as fellow citizens is equally important.  So a couple of things that I want the public to know they can do.

First of all, because our local law enforcement, our first responders are being swamped, to the extent that everybody can be out there looking out for their neighbors, especially older folks, I think that’s really important.  If you’ve got a neighbor nearby, you’re not sure how they’re handling a power outage, flooding, et cetera, go over, visit them, knock on their door, make sure that they’re doing okay.  That can make a big difference.  The public can be the eyes and ears in terms of identifying unmet needs.

Second thing, the reason we’re here is because the Red Cross knows what it’s doing when it comes to emergency response.  And so for people all across the country who have not been affected, now is the time to show the kind of generosity that makes America the greatest nation on Earth.  And a good place to express that generosity is by contributing to the Red Cross.

Obviously, you can go on their website.  The Red Cross knows what they’re doing.  They’re in close contact with federal, state, and local officials.  They will make sure that we get the resources to those families as swiftly as possible.  And again, I want to thank everybody here who is doing such a great job when it comes to the disaster response.

The final message I’d just say is during the darkness of the storm, I think we also saw what’s brightest in America.  I think all of us obviously have been shocked by the force of Mother Nature as we watch it on television.  At the same time, we’ve also seen nurses at NYU Hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety.  We’ve seen incredibly brave firefighters in Queens, waist-deep in water, battling infernos and rescuing people in boats.

One of my favorite stories is down in North Carolina, the Coast Guard going out to save a sinking ship.  They sent a rescue swimmer out, and the rescue swimmer said, “Hi, I’m Dan.  I understand you guys need a ride.”  That kind of spirit of resilience and strength, but most importantly looking out for one another, that’s why we always bounce back from these kinds of disasters.

This is a tough time for a lot of people — millions of folks all across the Eastern Seaboard.  But America is tougher, and we’re tougher because we pull together.  We leave nobody behind.  We make sure that we respond as a nation and remind ourselves that whenever an American is in need, all of us stand together to make sure that we’re providing the help that’s necessary.

So I just want to thank the incredible response that we’ve already seen, but I do want to remind people this is going to take some time.  It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recovery swiftly, and so it’s going to be important that we sustain that spirit of resilience, that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody is back on their feet.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you, Red Cross.  (Applause.)

END
2:28 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines October 30, 2012: President Barack Obama Pauses Campaign in Hurricane Sandy’s Wake

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Pauses Campaign in Sandy’s Wake

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-30-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Exactly one week to Election Day, President Obama has benched Candidate Obama, hunkering down at the White House for a second straight day to monitor superstorm Sandy and the federal government response to the storm.

The Obama campaign canceled two campaign rallies that had been planned on Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Green Bay, Wisc. The president will remain in Washington on Tuesday with no planned political events, an unprecedented step off the campaign trail days before voters head to the polls in a race that many polls say is tied….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 30, 2012: Readout of the President Barack Obama’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Readout of the President’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-30-12

This morning, the President convened a video-teleconference in the White House Situation Room with his team to receive the latest update on Hurricane Sandy, and federal efforts underway to support response activities in several states. Overnight, at the requests of the Governors, the President approved major disaster declarations for the states of New Jersey and New York, making additional federal support for state and local efforts available, as well as direct federal assistance to affected individuals in declared counties. On the video-teleconference the President was joined by Vice President Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Fugate, Secretary of Energy Chu, Transportation Secretary Lahood, Defense Secretary Panetta, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Winnefeld, USNORTHCOM Commander General Jacoby, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Knabb. Treasury Secretary Geithner joined the briefing by phone. The President was joined in the Situation Room by Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Richard Reed, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Tony Blinken, and other senior members of the President’s team.

During the briefing the President expressed his concern for those impacted by the storm, as well as the heroic first responders who are selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way to protect members of their communities. He also noted his sadness over the loss of life associated with the storm so far.  The President was updated on Sandy’s track and impacts, and heard from Administrator Fugate on the federal coordination and resources being brought to bear to support state and local responders, including the extensive deployment of resources, such as generators that were pre-staged ahead of the storm, as well as National Guard units which have been activated in a number of states. Through FEMA, the federal government is leveraging assets from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Human Services. The President also received an update from Secretary Geithner on conditions in financial markets and the operations of the financial system.

The President told his team that their top priority is to make sure all available resources are being provided to state and local responders as quickly as possible and directed them to identify and resolve any potential bottlenecks or shortfalls should they arise. The President made clear that beyond the immediate lifesaving and life sustaining activities, which remain the primary focus, he wanted his team to continue to focus on what they can do to support state, local, and private sector efforts to restore power and asked the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to continue to work in support of FEMA towards this goal.  The President made clear that he expects his team to remain focused as the immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy continue and lean forward in their response. The President urges Americans to continue to follow the direction and advice of local officials, Governors, and Mayors, many of whom the President will speak with later today.

Campaign Headlines October 30, 2012: Gallup Poll Still Has Mitt Romney Running Strong

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Gallup Still Has Romney Running Strong

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-30-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Not even a powerful East Coast storm can stave off the momentum of Mitt Romney in Gallup’s daily tracking poll of likely voters.

On Monday, as the large portion of the country was battered by Hurricane Sandy, Romney picked up a point nationally on President Obama, leading 51 percent to 46 percent.

Since Gallup’s tracking poll averages seven days of statistics, it includes the entirety of the October 29 debate on foreign affairs, suggesting that the incumbent got no bounce from his last meeting with Romney, which many pundits said Obama won….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 29, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Hurricane Sandy — Urges Caution for Those in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Urges Caution for Those in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

President Obama talks to employees at FEMA

President Barack Obama delivers a statement after receiving an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Oct. 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Remarks by the President on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-29-12 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:46 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  I just received a full briefing from our emergency response teams, including FEMA, and agencies that are going to be helpful in the response and recovery efforts — the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm.  And all across the Eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations.

I’ve spoken to all the governors in all these states.  They have issues emergency declarations.  Those have been turned around quickly here in the White House.  We have prepositioned assets so that FEMA personnel are working closely with state and local governments.  We’re making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available for those communities that are going to be hardest hit.

We anticipate that the center of the storm is going to land fall sometime this evening.  But because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected.

So the most important message that I have for the public right now is, please listen to what your state and local officials are saying.  When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate.  Do not delay.  Don’t pause; don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly.

The good news is, is that the governors and local officials I think have had a few days of preparation.  There’s been extraordinarily close coordination between state, federal, and local governments.  And so we’re confident that the assets are prepositioned for an effective response in the aftermath of the storm.

But keep in mind that for folks who are not following instructions, if you are not evacuating when you’ve been asked to evacuate, you’re putting first responders at danger.  We’re going to have to have search-and-rescue teams in and around multiple states all at the same time.  And although we’ve got Coast Guard and the Department of Defense all positioned, if the public is not following instructions, that makes it more dangerous for people and it means that we could have fatalities that could have been avoided.

Transportation is going to be tied up for a long time.  And probably the most significant impact for a lot of people, in addition to flooding, is going to be getting power back on.  We anticipate that there are going to be a lot of trees down, a lot of water.  And despite the fact that the power companies are working very closely with their various state officials and local officials to make sure that they are bringing in as many assets as possible and getting those ready in preparation for the storm, the fact is that a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds have died down.  And because of the nature of this storm, that may take several days.

So the public should anticipate that there’s going to be a lot of power outages, and it may take time for that power to get back on.  The same is true with transportation; there are going to be a lot of backlogs, and even after the storm has cleared, it’s going to take a considerable amount of time for airlines, subways, trains, and so forth, potentially to get back on schedule, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred.

Let me summarize just by saying that I’m extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials.  The conversations that I’ve had with all the governors indicate that at this point there are no unmet needs.  I think everybody is taking this very seriously.  We’ve gotten prepositioned all the resources that we need.

But right now, the key is to make sure that the public is following instructions.  For those of you who still need additional information about how to respond, you can go to Ready.gov — that’s Ready.gov.  And that website should provide you with all the information that your family needs in terms of how you can prepare for this storm.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people who are potentially affected.  We are extraordinarily grateful for our first responders, because they’re going to be working 24/7 around the clock, non-stop.  And I want to make sure that our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may end up be dealing with a very difficult situation over the next several days.

Last point I’ll make, though — this is going to be a big storm.  It’s going to be a difficult storm.  The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together.  We look out for our friends.  We look out for our neighbors.  And we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness.  And that’s exactly what I anticipate is going to happen here.

So I want to thank all the federal teams, state and local teams that are in place.  I’m confident that we’re ready.  But I think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up.  The good news is we will clean up and we will get through this.

Q    What about the impact on the election, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election.  I’m worried about the impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first responders.  I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation.

The election will take care of itself next week.  Right now, our number-one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter that they need in case of emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.

Thank you, everybody.

END
12:52 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: ABC/Washington Post Poll: Mitt Romney Maintains Slight Lead over Barack Obama 49% to 48%

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Poll: Romney Maintains Slight Lead over Obama

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

As it enters its frenetic final week, the presidential race is drawing more close attention than any such contest in 28 years, a testament to a campaign that has been the closest by some measures in pre-election polls dating back even further — to 1960, or even to the early days of polling in 1936.

Support for President Obama and Mitt Romney has averaged 48-48 percent since September, the closest in ABC/Washington Post polls — or Gallup polls before them — in comparable periods dating back 76 years.  It’s also the first contest since 1960 in which neither candidate, in this period, has exceeded 50 percent support (adjusting for third-party vote where applicable).

Holding steady the past three days, the gap is now a single point, with 49 percent support for Romney among likely voters, and 48 percent for Obama in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.  At this stage in 2008, Obama had held majority support since Oct. 11….READ MORE

[CLICK HERE TO SEE A PDF WITH FULL RESULTS, CHARTS AND TABLES]

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Hurricane Sandy Changes Barack Obama Obama, Mitt Romney Campaign Plans

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Hurricane Sandy Wallops Obama, Romney Campaign Plans

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

William Thomas Cain/Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

With eight days to the election and the race locked in a dead heat, Hurricane Sandy has forced President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney to abruptly change the course of their campaigns and prepare their response to a potentially devastating storm.

Obama, who flew out of Washington, D.C., Sunday night ahead of Sandy, cancelled his appearance at a planned Monday morning rally in Orlando, Fla., with former President Bill Clinton to return home to monitor the federal government’s response to the storm.

Romney, meanwhile, plans to keep his campaign at full throttle in three swing states on Monday, with stops in Avon Lake, Ohio; Davenport, Iowa; and West Allis, Wis….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats at Ohio Campaign Rally

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

In Ohio, Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wrapped up a three-stop bus tour of the Northwestern part of Ohio on Sunday, striking a bipartisan tone with the top of the ticket urging the crowd to talk to their friends who may have cast a ballot for a Democrat in the past.

“Your friends may have voted last time, perhaps in the Democratic primary, they may have voted for who knows?  They may have voted for Hillary Clinton or they may have voted for Barack Obama, they may have voted for then-candidate Obama in the final election,” Romney, standing next to his running mate, told the crowd of about 5,000.

“But I need you to convince them to vote for Paul Ryan and me and that’s not always easy but you can ask them this question: you can say, ‘Do you think everything’s going just fine?,’” he asked, before telling the audience how to pitch his ticket to their friends….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Camp Eyes Hurricane Sandy as Storm Garners Voters’ Attention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Camp Eyes Sandy as Storm Garners Voters’ Attention

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

One of Mitt Romney’s senior advisers said on Sunday that despite impending wall-to-wall news coverage dedicated to Hurricane Sandy, he feels confident that voters in the key swing states in the region have received enough information ahead of the election and reiterated the campaign’s focus on the safety and well being of those in the storm’s path.

“For people that are living in these states that are going to be impacted you know they’re trying to get as much information about what they can do to keep their families and their properties safe,” said senior adviser Kevin Madden when asked about the possibility that storm coverage could make it harder for the campaign to get their message out to voters in the crucial final days before the election.  “And I think that’s an important priority for them.  It’s been a long campaign I think a lot of folks have gotten a lot of information about the two candidates and so we have a certain degree of confidence that we’ve delivered a message to voters.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines October 29, 2012: President Barack Obama Vows to Respond ‘Big’ and ‘Fast’ to Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Vows to Respond ‘Big’ and ‘Fast’ to Hurricane Sandy

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

As East Coast residents brace for Hurricane Sandy, President Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters Sunday afternoon to receive a briefing on the latest preparations for the storm, expected to make landfall late Monday evening.

“This is a serious and big storm,” the president said in a brief statement to reporters.  “You need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 28, 2012: Readout of the President Barack Obama’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Readout of the President’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-28-12

This morning, President Obama convened a call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan to receive an update on ongoing federal actions to prepare for Hurricane Sandy as it moves toward the United States mainland. The President reiterated his direction to Administrator Fugate to ensure that federal partners continue to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local responders in potentially affected areas along the Eastern seaboard as they prepare for severe weather.

FEMA continues to work closely with federal partners, including the Departments of Defense and Energy, and remains in close contact with state and local partners in potentially impacted areas. At the requests of states, FEMA is proactively deploying Incident Management Assistance Teams to multiple states up and down the Eastern seaboard to ensure they have the support they need as they prepare for the storm. FEMA is holding daily operation briefings with emergency response teams in potentially affected states, and FEMA liaisons are joining state and local emergency operations centers in potentially impacted areas. FEMA is also prepositioning commodities including water, meals, blankets and other resources, should they be needed, at Incident Support Bases along the East Coast.

Because Hurricane Sandy could produce significant precipitation over widespread areas and has the potential to cause significant power outages, FEMA continues to encourage state and local authorities responsible for coordinating with local utility companies to do so ahead of any impacts. The President reiterated his direction to his team to ensure there were no unmet needs as states continue to prepare, and to keep him updated as preparations for the storm continue.

Full Text Obama Presidency October 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech / Remarks on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters Washington D.C.

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Hurricane Sandy

President Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy President Barack Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, right, and Richard Serino, FEMA Deputy Administrator, are seated next to the President. October 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Federal emergency teams are coordinating with state and local officials to prepare communities for the storm and respond to its impact.

Remarks By The President on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-28-12

FEMA Headquarters

Washington, D.C.

1:55 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon, everybody.  Obviously, all of us across the country are concerned about the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy.  This is a serious and big storm.  And my first message is to all the people across the Eastern seaboard, Mid-Atlantic, going north, that you need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days.

We just had an excellent meeting with the FEMA team here, the various agencies that are in charge, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and others that are going to need to respond very quickly.

Under Craig Fugate’s leadership here at FEMA we’ve had a chance to talk to the regional officials as well.  And I just had a phone call with the governors of the potentially impacted states, as well as some of the major cities in the region.

At this stage, everybody is confident that the staging process, the prepositioning of resources, commodities, equipment that are going to be needed to respond to this storm are in place.  But as Craig has emphasized, this hasn’t hit landfall yet, so we don’t yet know where it’s going to hit, where we’re going to see the biggest impacts.  And that’s exactly why it’s so important for us to respond big and respond fast as local information starts coming in.

I want to thank all the members of the team for the outstanding work that they’re doing.  But the other thing that makes this storm unique is we anticipate that it is going to be slow moving.  That means that it may take a long time not only to clear, but also to get, for example, the power companies back in to clear trees and to put things back in place so that folks can start moving back home.

So my main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously.  The federal government is working effectively with the state and local governments.  It’s going to be very important that populations in all the impacted states take this seriously, listen to your state and local elected officials.

My message to the governors, as well as to the mayors, is anything they need, we will be there.  And we’re going to cut through red tape.  We’re not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.  We want to make sure that we are anticipating and leaning forward into making sure that we’ve got the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system.

So again, thank you, everybody.  Craig, would you like add to something?

MR. FUGATE:  Again, as the President says, it’s going to really come down to the public heeding those evacuation orders, taking protective measures.  If they haven’t gotten ready, they can go to Ready.gov.  Get information on how to protect them and their families, but also check on your neighbors.  This is going to be a big storm.  We need to be there for each other.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Let me emphasize that again — Ready.gov — for the general public.  If you need to know how to respond, that’s where you can get centralized information.

But I think Craig’s point is exactly right.  In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another.  And so, there may be elderly populations in your area.  Check on your neighbor, check on your friend.  Make sure that they are prepared.  If we do, then we’re going to get through this storm just fine.  But we’re going to have to make sure that we are vigilant, and vigilant for a couple of days.  Don’t anticipate that just because the immediate storm has passed that we’re not going to have some potential problems in a lot of these communities going forward through the week.

All right.  Thank you very much, everybody.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Nashua, New Hampshire — Hits Mitt Romney for ‘Cradle to Grave Tax Hikes, Fees’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Hits Mitt Romney for ‘Cradle to Grave Tax Hikes, Fees’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-28-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama delivered his final pitch to voters Saturday in the Live Free or Die state, accusing rival Mitt Romney of being untrustworthy, and slamming his record of “cradle to grave tax hikes and fees” as governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

“During Gov. Romney’s campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now, said he’d fight for jobs and middle class families,” Obama said. “But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state and then he raised taxes and fees on middle class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Nashua, NH

Source: WH, 10-28-12

Elm Street Middle School

Nashua, New Hampshire

1:59 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  How’s it going, Nashua?  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  This is an unbelievable crowd!  (Applause.) And this is what the weather is always like in late October in New Hampshire — 70 degrees and sunny.  (Applause.)

Can everybody please give it up for your outstanding United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen?  (Applause.)  Your next governor, Maggie Hassan.  (Applause.)  Your next congresswoman, Annie Kuster.  (Applause.)

And I’ve just got to say something special about one of the most talented singers and songwriters that America has ever had. He has just been a great friend.  This guy has been working his tail off on behalf of this campaign.  I couldn’t be prouder that he’s working with us — James Taylor.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

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

Ten days, New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  Ten days.  Ten days and you’ll be stepping into a voting booth and making a defining choice about the future of our country.  Not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties, it is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America.

We believe in the values that built the largest middle class, the strongest economy the world has ever known; the promise that hard work will pay off; the promise that responsibility will be rewarded; the idea at the core of this nation that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, this is a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules.  (Applause.)  That’s what we believe here in America.  (Applause.)

We believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  We insist on personal responsibility.  We don’t believe anybody is entitled to success — we know we all have to earn it.  We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers, everybody who has been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known.

But we also believe that the true measure of prosperity is more than just a running tally of corporate balance sheets, quarterly profit reports.  We measure prosperity not just by how many millionaires and billionaires we produce; we measure prosperity by how well a typical family is doing — (applause) — by whether our kids are getting a great education and can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take us.  (Applause.)

We understand that in this country people succeed when they’ve got a chance at a decent education, when they can learn new skills.  And by the way, so do the businesses that hire them or the companies that they start.  We believe our economy grows when we support research into medical breakthroughs — (applause) — or new technologies like clean energy and fuel-efficient cars. (Applause.)

We know that our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security — (applause) — when we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution; when there are rules in place to make sure that we aren’t taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders or unscrupulous financial institutions.  (Applause.)

We know we’re better off when politicians in Washington aren’t allowed to make decisions about health care that women are perfectly capable of making for themselves.  (Applause.)

That’s what we believe.  That’s the vision that we embrace.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We believe in you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate that.  (Laughter.)

Governor Romney, now, he’s got an entirely different view about what this country is about.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo —

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  — vote.  Vote.  (Applause.)

He’s been running around saying he’s got a five-point plan for the economy — turns out it’s a one-point plan.  (Laughter.) Folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do.  They get to pay lower tax rates, outsource jobs.  They want to let Wall Street run wild and make reckless bets with other folks’ money.  That was his philosophy when he was a CEO.  That was his philosophy as governor.  And as President Clinton said, he does have a lot of brass because he’s not talking about big change, but all he’s offering is a big rerun of the same policies that created so much hardship for so many Americans.

And Governor Romney has been out here making a lot of last-minute promises lately — said he’s all about fighting for the middle class; says he’d cut taxes for everybody, and ask something from nobody.  But the problem is we’ve heard those promises before.

Now keep in mind, Governor Romney lives just a few miles south of here in the state of Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  Love Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  But during Governor Romney’s campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now — said he’d fight for jobs and middle-class families.  But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million.  Does that sound familiar to you?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, when he’s asked about this, he says, no these weren’t taxes, these were fees.  (Laughter.)  But keep in mind there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse.  There were higher fees for gas.  There were higher fees for milk.  There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind.  He raised fees to get a birth certificate — which would have been expensive for me.  (Laughter and applause.)

He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes — so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees.  (Laughter.)  And when he left office, there were only three states in the country that had created fewer jobs than Massachusetts.  And by the way, one of them was Louisiana that had been hit by Hurricane Katrina.  (Laughter.)

He talked a lot about small businesses — still talks about it.  Says, I’m a business guy, I know about small businesses.  Massachusetts, when he was governor, ranked 48th in small business creation.  And one of the two states that ranked lower was Louisiana that had gotten hit by Hurricane Katrina.  So this is a guy who has a track record of saying one thing and doing something else.

On the other hand, when I ran four years ago, I made promises, too.  I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families — and I did, by $3,600.  (Applause.)  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — and I did, 18 times.  (Applause.)  I promised to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts — and we have.  And by the way, we got every dime worth of money that we used for the bank rescue, and we got interest with it, too.  (Applause.)  I promised to take on those financial institutions that were charging too much for student loans — and we, as a consequence, were able to make college more affordable for millions of Americans.  (Applause.)

I promised I’d never walk away from the millions of jobs that were in jeopardy when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse.  We decided to ignore Governor Romney’s business advice when he said Detroit should go bankrupt — and now, America, we are building the best cars on Earth.  (Applause.)

Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did.  (Applause.)  I promised that we would begin the transition in Afghanistan — and we are.  (Applause.)  I said we’d go after the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 — and thanks to the brave men and women in uniform, the courage of our Navy SEALs, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

After losing 9 million jobs under the theories that Governor Romney is now promoting, our businesses under the ideas we’ve been working with have added more than 5 million new jobs over the last two-and-a-half years.  (Applause.)  Manufacturing — highest job growth in manufacturing since the 1990s.  The unemployment rate is falling.  Manufacturing is coming back to our shores.  Our assembly lines are humming again.  Housing prices are starting to pick up.  Housing starts are all on the move.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.  But, New Hampshire, the country has come too far for us to turn back now.  (Applause.)  We can’t afford to go back to the policies that got us into this mess.  We’ve got to continue with the policies that are getting out of the mess.  We’ve got to move forward.  And that’s why I am running for second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You can do it, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’m going to do it with you.  We can do it together.  (Applause.)

Unlike Governor Romney’s plan — he doesn’t like to talk about it too much — I have a plan that will actually create jobs; that will actually lower our deficit; and will actually provide the middle class with a greater sense of security.  And the good news is my plan — the math actually adds up.  (Applause.)

If you want to check it out, you can go to BarackObama.com/plans.  And I want you to share it with your friends and your neighbors and your coworkers.  There are still people out there who are trying to make up their minds.  Some of you who are here may be trying to make up your mind.  Maybe your girlfriend dragged you out here.  (Laughter.)  No, no, maybe Grandma said, you’ve got to go to the Obama rally — (laughter)  — and you’re still trying to figure it out.  So I’m asking you to compare my plan with Governor Romney’s.  I want you to know what we’re proposing, each of us, and see which plan is better for you and what is better for the future of America.

So, number one, I want to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  (Applause.)  I want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are putting down roots here, hiring American workers, creating American products stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  We can bring those jobs back to our shores.  (Applause.)

Number two, I want to cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy.  Because of the work we’ve already done — increasing oil production, increasing natural gas production, but also emphasizing renewables like solar and wind and biofuels — today we are less dependent on foreign oil than in any time in the last two decades.  (Applause.)  That’s good for your pocketbook.  That’s good for our national security.  It’s good for the environment.

And one reason we’ve been able — we have confidence we can keep on making progress is we’ve doubled the fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks.  So in the middle of the next decade, you’ll go twice as far on a gallon of gas. (Applause.)   I want us now to build on that progress.  We’ve got to keep making those investments.  I don’t want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels produced in China.  I want them produced right here in New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  I want them made right here in America. And we can do that.

Number three, we have to make it a nation mission to educate our kids and train our workers better than anybody else in the world.  (Applause.)  I want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers because we know that’s an area where we can’t afford to fall behind.  I want to train 2 million workers at our community colleges for the skills that businesses are hiring for right now.  And I want to work with colleges and universities to make sure that tuition does not keep on going up — because our young people can’t afford the debt that they are taking on, and that’s something we can do.  (Applause.)

Number four, my plan will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years in a balanced way.  We’re going to cut out spending we don’t need — we’ve already cut out a trillion dollars’ worth of spending.  We can do more, but I’m also going to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we can invest in the research and technology and education that will keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.

And under the guise of reducing the deficit, I will never turn Medicare into a voucher system — (applause) — because no American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of an insurance company.

And by the way — I think we saw just this past week — we don’t need a whole bunch of politicians in Washington, most of whom are male, making health care decisions for women.  (Applause.)  I don’t think your boss or your insurance company should be making those decisions either.  I believe women should be making their own health care decisions for themselves.  (Applause.)

That’s why the health care law we passed put those choices in your hands, where they belong, and that’s where they’ll stay as long as I’m President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, finally, number five, we’re going to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to put our people back to work.  Let’s do some nation-building here at home.  Let’s rebuild our roads, our bridges, our schools.  Let’s lay broadband lines into rural communities all across the country.  And as we’re doing that, we’re going to be putting our veterans back to work.  We’ve got to serve them as well as they’ve served us — because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads, or the care that they’ve earned when they come home.  (Applause.)

So that’s the plan we need, New Hampshire.  That’s how you build a strong, sustainable economy.  That’s how you make sure that middle-class jobs that pay a good wage are out there.  That’s how you encourage new businesses to start here and stay here in America.  That’s how you increase take-home pay — not just by talking about it.  That’s how you build an economy where everybody who works hard can get ahead.  And that’s what we can do together.

But here’s the thing, New Hampshire, it’s now up to you.  It’s your choice.  It’s up to the young people who are here to choose — (applause) — a future that is worthy of all your dreams.  It’s up to the not-so-young people here, including me — I’m included in that category — (laughter) — to make sure we’re leaving the kind of America we want for future generations.

You can choose the top-down policy that got us into this mess, but I think we need to build on the policies that are helping us to make real progress all across this country.  You can choose a foreign policy that’s reckless and wrong, or you can choose the kinds of leadership that I’ve provided that’s steady and strong.  (Applause.)

You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and immigrants and gays — or in this election, you can stand up for that basic principle enshrined in our founding documents that all of us are created equal — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, abled, disabled. No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, you’ve got a place in America.  You can make it here if you try.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

New Hampshire, we’ve been through tough times, but we’ve been through tough times before and we are tougher.  We always come out on top.  We always bounce back because we pull together. Because we look after one another.  Because we don’t leave anybody behind.  Because when we succeed, we prop that door open and bring those who are following behind us — we pull them through.  That’s who we are.  (Applause.)

Our destiny is not written for us; it’s written by us.  We don’t go backward.  We look forward to that distant horizon, to that new frontier.  We imagine a better America and then we work hard to make it happen.  That’s who we are.

That’s why I’m asking for your vote.  And if you give me your vote, I promise you, you will always have a President who hears your voices, who will fight for your families, who will spend every waking moment thinking about how to make your lives a little bit better.  (Applause.)

New Hampshire, I still believe in you.  I need you to keep believing in me.  (Applause.)  And if you’re willing to work with me, and roll up your sleeves with me, knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, we’ll win Hillsborough County again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win New Hampshire again.  (Applause.) We’ll finish what we started.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 26, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech on the American Economy Delivered in Ames, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks On The American Economy

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 10-26-12

Mitt Romney today delivered remarks on the American economy in Ames, Iowa. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Thank you all.  It’s great to be back in Iowa. And don’t think that this is the last time you are going to see Paul Ryan and me, because you Iowans may well be the ones who decide what kind of America we will have, what kind of life our families will have.

The choice you make this November will shape great things, historic things, and those things will determine the most intimate and important aspects of every American life and every American family. This is an election about America, and it is an election about the American family.

All elections matter. This one matters a great deal. Over the years of our nation’s history, choices our fellow citizens have made have changed the country’s course–they were turning points of defining consequence.

We are at a turning point today. Our national debt and liabilities threaten to crush our future, our economy struggles under the weight of government and fails to create essential growth and employment.

At the same time, emerging powers seek to shape the world in their image–China with its model of authoritarianism and, in a very different way, Jihadists with Sharia, repression, and terror for the world.

This is an election of consequence.  Our campaign is about big things, because we happen to believe that America faces big challenges.  We recognize this is a year with a big choice, and the American people want to see big changes.  And together we can bring real change to this country.

Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest–from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false.

The President’s campaign falls far short of the magnitude of the times. And the presidency of the last four years has fallen far short of the promises of his last campaign. Four years ago, America voted for a post-partisan president, but they have seen the most political of presidents, and a Washington in gridlock because of it.

President Obama promised to bring us together, but at every turn, he has sought to divide and demonize. He promised to cut the deficit in half, but he doubled it. And his budget?  It failed to win a single vote, Republican or Democrat, in either the House or the Senate. He said he would reform Medicare and Social Security and save them from pending insolvency, but he shrunk from proposing any solution at all.

And then, where are the jobs?  Where are the 9 million more jobs that President Obama promised his stimulus would have created by now?  They are in China, Mexico, and Canada and in countries that have made themselves more attractive for entrepreneurs and business and investment, even as President Obama’s policies have made it less attractive for them here.

And so today, his campaign tries to deflect and detract, to minimize the failures, and to make this election about small shiny objects.

But this election matters more than that. It matters to your family.

It matters to the senior who needs to get an appointment with a medical specialist but is told by one receptionist after another that the doctor isn’t taking any new Medicare patients, because Medicare has been slashed to pay for Obamacare.

It matters to the man from Waukesha, Wisconsin I spoke with several days ago.  In what were supposed to be his best work years, he used to have a job at $25 an hour with benefits and now has one at $8 an hour, without benefits.

It matters to the college student, graduating this spring, with 10 to 20 thousand dollars in student debt, who now learns that she also will be paying for 50 thousand dollars in government debt, a burden that will put the American Dream beyond her reach.

It matters for the child in a failing school, unable to go to the school of his parent’s choosing, because the teacher’s union that funds the President’s campaign opposes school choice.

The President’s campaign has a slogan: it is “forward.” But to the 23 million Americans struggling to find a good job, these last four years feel a lot more like “backward.” We cannot afford four more years like the last four years.

This election is about big things–like the education of our children, the value of our homes, the take home pay from our jobs, the price of the gasoline we buy, and the choices we have in our healthcare. It is also about the big things that determine these things–like the growth of the economy, the strength of our military, our dependence on foreign oil, and America’s leadership in the world.

President Obama frequently reminds us that he inherited a troubled economy. But a troubled economy is not all that President Obama inherited. He inherited the greatest nation in the history of the earth. He inherited the most productive and innovative nation in history. He inherited the largest economy in the world. And he inherited a people who have always risen to the occasion, regardless of the challenges they faced, so long as we have been led by men and women who have brought us together, called on our patriotism, and guided the nation with vision and conviction.

Despite all that he inherited, President Obama did not repair our economy, he did not save Medicare and Social Security, he did not tame the spending and borrowing, he did not reach across the aisle to bring us together. Nor did he stand up to China’s trade practices, or deliver on his promise to re-make our relations with the Muslim world, where anti-American extremism is on the rise.

What he inherited wasn’t the only problem; what he did with what he inherited made the problem worse.

In just four short years, he borrowed nearly $6 trillion, adding almost as much debt held by the public as all prior American presidents in history.

He forced through Obamacare, frightening small business from hiring new employees and adding thousands of dollars to every family’s healthcare bill.

He launched an onslaught of new regulations, often to the delight of the biggest banks and corporations, but to the detriment of the small, growing businesses that create two-thirds of our jobs.

New business starts are at a 30-year low because entrepreneurs and investors are sitting on the sidelines, weary from the President’s staggering new regulations and proposed massive tax increases.

Many families can’t get mortgages and many entrepreneurs can’t get loans because of Dodd-Frank regulations that make it harder for banks to lend.

The president invested taxpayer money–your money–in green companies, now failed, that met his fancy, and sometimes were owned by his largest campaign contributors. He spent billions of taxpayer dollars on investments like Solyndra, Tesla, Fisker, and Ener1, which only added to our mounting federal debt.

Energy prices are up in part because energy production on federal lands is down.  He rejected the Keystone Pipeline from Canada, and cut in half drilling permits and leases, even as gasoline prices soared to new highs.

No, the problem with the Obama economy is not what he inherited; it is with the misguided policies that slowed the recovery, and caused millions of Americans to endure lengthy unemployment and poverty. That is why 15 million more of our fellow citizens are on food stamps than when President Obama was sworn into office. That is why 3 million more women are now living in poverty. That is why nearly 1 in 6 Americans today is poor.  That is why the economy is stagnant.

Today, we received the latest round of discouraging economic news:  Last quarter, our economy grew at just 2%.  After the stimulus was passed, the White House promised the economy would now be growing at 4.3%, over twice as fast.  Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take home pay. This is what four years of President Obama’s policies have produced. Americans are ready for change–for growth, for jobs, for more take home pay.

We have had four presidential and vice-presidential debates. And there is nothing in what the President proposed or defended that has any prospect of meeting the challenges of the times. Raising taxes will not grow jobs or ignite the economy–in fact, his tax plan has been calculated to destroy 700,000 jobs. A new stimulus, three years after the recession officially ended, may spare government, but it will not stimulate the private sector any better than did the stimulus of four years ago. And cutting one trillion dollars from the military will kill jobs and devastate our national defense.

This is not the time to double down on the trickle-down government policies that have failed us; it is time for new bold changes that measure up to the moment, that can bring America’s families the certainty that the future will be better than the past.

If Paul Ryan and I are elected as your president and vice president, we will endeavor with all our hearts and energy to restore America. Instead of more spending, more borrowing from China and higher taxes from Washington, we’ll renew our faith in the power of free people pursuing their dreams.  We’ll start with our plan for a stronger middle class, which has five elements:

One, we will act to put America on track to a balanced budget by eliminating unnecessary programs, by sending programs back to states where they can be managed with less abuse and less cost, and by shrinking the bureaucracy of Washington.

Two, we’ll produce more of the energy we need to heat our homes, fill our cars, and make our economy grow.  We will stop the Obama war on coal, the disdain for oil, and the effort to crimp natural gas by federal regulation of the very technology that produces it. We will support nuclear and renewables, but phase out subsidies once an industry is on its feet. And rather than investing in new electric auto and solar companies, we will invest in energy science and research to make discoveries that can actually change our energy world. And by 2020, we will achieve North American energy independence.

Three, we will make trade work for America.  We’ll open more markets to American agriculture, products, and services. And we will finally hold accountable any nation that doesn’t play by the rules.  I will stand up for the rights and interests of American workers and employers.

Four, we will grow jobs by making America the best possible place for job creators, for entrepreneurs, for small business, for innovators, for manufacturers. This we will do by updating and reshaping regulations to encourage growth, by lowering tax rates while lowering deductions and closing loopholes, and by making it clear from day one that unlike the current administration, we actually like business and the jobs business creates.

Finally, as we create more opportunity, we also will make sure that our citizens have the skills to succeed. Training programs will be shaped by the states where people live, and schools will put the interests of our kids, their parents, and their teachers above the interests of the teachers’ unions.

If we do those five things, our economy will come roaring back. We will create 12 million new jobs in just four years, raise take-home pay, and get the American economy growing at four percent a year—more than double this year’s rate. After all the false promises of recovery and all the waiting, we will finally see help for America’s middle class.

Paul and I won’t stop there. When we take office, we will take responsibility to solve the big problems that everyone agrees can’t wait any longer.

We will save and secure Medicare and Social Security, both for current and near retirees, and for the generation to come. We will restore the $716 billion President Obama has taken from Medicare to pay for his vaunted Obamacare.

We will reform healthcare to tame the growth in its cost, to provide for those with pre-existing conditions, and to assure that every American has access to healthcare. We will replace government choice with consumer choice, bringing the dynamics of the marketplace to a sector of our lives that has long been dominated by government.

These things among others we can only do if we work tirelessly to bridge the divide between the political parties. We will meet with Democrat and Republican leadership regularly, we will look for common ground and shared principles, and we will put the interests of the American people above the interests of the politicians.

I know something about leading because I’ve led before.  In business, at the Olympics, and in Massachusetts, I’ve brought people together to achieve real change.

I was elected as a Republican governor in a state with a legislature that was 85% Democrat. We were looking at a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But instead of fighting with one another, we came together to solve our problems. We actually cut spending–reduced it. We lowered taxes 19 times. We defended school choice. And we worked to make our state business friendly.

Our state moved up 20 places in job growth. Our schools were ranked number one in the nation.  And we turned a $3 billion budget deficit into a $2 billion rainy day fund.

I know it because I have seen it: Good Democrats can come together with good Republicans to solve big problems. What we need is leadership.

America is ready for that kind of leadership. Paul Ryan and I will provide it. Our plan for a stronger middle class will create jobs, stop the decline in take home pay, and put America back on the path of prosperity and opportunity. And this will enable us to fulfill our responsibility as the leader of the free world, to promote the principles of peace. We will help the Muslim world combat the spread of extremism; we will dissuade Iran from building a nuclear bomb; we will build enduring relationships throughout Latin America; and we will partner with China and other great nations to build a more stable and peaceful world.

We face big challenges. But we also have big opportunities. New doors are open for us to sell our ideas and our products to the entire world. New technologies offer the promise of unbounded information and limitless innovation. New ideas are changing lives and hearts in diverse nations and among diverse peoples. If we seize the moment and rise to the occasion, the century ahead will be an American Century.

Our children will graduate into jobs that are waiting for them. Our seniors will be confident that their retirement is secure. Our men and women will have good jobs and good pay and good benefits. And we will have every confidence that our lives are safe, and that our livelihoods are secure.

What this requires is change, change from the course of the last four years. It requires that we put aside the small and the petty, and demand the scale of change we deserve: we need real change, big change.

Our campaign is about that kind of change–confronting the problems that politicians have avoided for over a decade, revitalizing our competitive economy, modernizing our education, restoring our founding principles.

This is the kind of change that promises a better future, one shaped by men and women pursuing their dreams in their own unique ways.

This election is a choice between the status quo — going forward with the same policies of the last four years — or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past.

If you are ready for that kind of change, if you want this to be a turning point in America’s course, join Paul Ryan and me, get your family and friends to join us, and vote now for the kind of leadership that these times demand.

God bless you. And God bless America.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 23, 24, 25, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speeches During 9 State Campaign Tour

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Wraps Blitz With Air Force One Rally in Ohio

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images

After 37 hours, 6,500 flight miles and six grassroots rallies that drew tens of thousands of supporters, President Obama’s frenetic battleground-state blitz came to a close Thursday night with a rally on a small airport tarmac overlooking Lake Erie.

“This is the final stop on our 48-hour fly-around all across America. We’ve been going for two days straight,” a visibly tired but spirited Obama told a crowd of 12,000 after taking the stage under starry skies….READ MORE

SPEECHES TRANSCRIPTS









Full Text Campaign Buzz October 25, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Worthington, Ohio — It’s Time For A Big Change

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Offers a ‘Big Change’ in November

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-26-12

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

Kicking off a full day of campaigning across the crucial Buckeye State, Mitt Romney promised “big change” if voters push him to victory in November.

“This is a critical time for our country, and the choice of paths we choose will have an enormous impact,” Romney began. “We have huge challenges: the debts I mentioned, the fact that our schools are underperforming, the fact that college kids getting out of school this year can’t find jobs in half the cases, or jobs that are at college level. The fact that they have thousands and thousands of dollars in debt that’s on their back they’re going to have to be paying for.”

“These challenges are big challenges,” he said. “This election is therefore a big choice, and America wants to see big changes, and we’re going to bring big changes to get America strong again!”…READ MORE

Mitt Romney: “It’s Time For A Big Change”

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 10-25-12

“The President’s campaign is slipping because he can’t find an agenda. He’s been looking for it. There are only 12 days left. He hasn’t had a chance to defend or to describe it to the American people in our debates. And so the American people now have to recognize that given the big challenges we have and the big election we have, it’s time for a big change. And Paul Ryan and I represent a big change for America.” – Mitt Romney

Remarks
Worthington, Ohio
October 25, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “The President’s campaign is slipping because he can’t find an agenda. He’s been looking for it. There are only 12 days left. He hasn’t had a chance to defend or to describe it to the American people in our debates. And so the American people now have to recognize that given the big challenges we have and the big election we have, it’s time for a big change. And Paul Ryan and I represent a big change for America. We’re going to finally tackle the problems politicians have spoken about for years but haven’t been willing to deal with. We’re going to finally get America strong again with an economy to compete with anyone in the world. We’re going to help America get good jobs and rising take-home pay.”

Campaign Headlines October 25, 2012: Obama ‘Humbled’ by Colin Powell’s Endorsement

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama ‘Humbled’ by Colin Powell’s Endorsement

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-25-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama on Thursday said he was “proud” and “humbled” to learn he has the support of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who announced earlier that he is endorsing Obama for a second term.

“I’m grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country both as a soldier and as a diplomat,” the president told 15,000 Virginians Thursday afternoon. “And every brave American who wears this uniform of this country should know that as long as I’m your commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. We will be relentless in pursuit of our enemies. Those are promises I’ve kept.”…READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 25, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Cincinnati, Ohio — President Obama Can’t Define What He Will Do To Make America Strong

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney: President Obama Can’t Define What He Will Do To Make America Strong

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 10-25-12

“For the last year, and four debates, three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, the President’s been looking for a plan. He’s been looking for some way to help the gentleman I spoke about, some way to help the 23 million people that are out of work. He hasn’t been able to find a plan. He hasn’t been able to define what he’s going to do to make America strong going forward. I have.” – Mitt Romney

Remarks
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 25, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “Now, for those of you in your 40s and 50s, who have always anticipated that these would be the high earning years, the most productive years, the years that you’d be able to put a little away for retirement or perhaps help your kids with college, and yet you’re finding that’s harder and harder to do because incomes have been going down at the same time prices have been going up for things like gasoline and health care and food. I was speaking with a gentleman just the other day, and he said that he used to have a job at $25 an hour plus benefits, and now he’s only able to get a job at $9 an hour, and he wonders what’s going to become of him, what’s going to happen to his future. The President’s campaign slogan is ‘Forward.’ To this gentleman, things don’t feel like they’re going forward; it feels more like backward. To 23 million Americans, it feels like backward, those that can’t find good work. And so for the last — for the last year, and four debates, three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, the President’s been looking for a plan. He’s been looking for some way to help the gentleman I spoke about, some way to help the 23 million people that are out of work. He hasn’t been able to find a plan. He hasn’t been able to define what he’s going to do to make America strong going forward. I have. I have a plan that will create 12 million jobs and rising take-home pay, and I’m going to help that man who needs that good job.”

Campaign Headlines October 25, 2012: Colin Powell Endorses President Barack Obama for a Second Term on CBS News

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Colin Powell Endorses President Obama

ABC/Donna Svennevik

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has backed President Obama for a second term in the White House.

“I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012,” Powell said Thursday morning on CBS….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 24, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Davenport, Iowa — Kicks Off 48-Hour ‘Marathon Extravaganza’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Kicks Off 48-Hour ‘Marathon Extravaganza’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-24-12

Larry Marano/WireImage

President Obama kicked off a two-day campaign sprint through the 2012 battlegrounds in the state where his historic first bid for the presidency all began.

“This is the first stop on our 48-hour fly-around campaign marathon extravaganza. We’re going to pull an all-nighter — no sleep,” Obama told a crowd of 3500 gathered under cloudy skies at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

“We’re starting here in Iowa; we’re going to Colorado, then we’re going to go Nevada, then we’re going to Florida, Virginia, Ohio. I am going to stop in Chicago to vote. We’ve got early vote in Illinois just like we’ve got early vote here in Iowa,” he said….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Davenport, Iowa

Source: WH, 10-24-12 

Davenport, Iowa

10:01 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  Hello Quads!  It’s good to be back.  This is about as close as I get to home these days, so it is good to be back.  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)

At the outset, let’s give Cassandra a huge round of applause for her service to our country and a great introduction.  (Applause.)  We’ve got your congressman here, Dave Loebsack; your mayor, Bill Gluba.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got all of you, and I’m really excited to see you.  (Applause.)

Now, this is the first stop on our 48-hour fly-around-campaign marathon extravaganza.  (Applause.)  We’re going to pull an all-nighter.  No sleep.  We’re starting here in Iowa, we’re going to Colorado, then we’re going to go to Nevada, then we’re going to Florida, Virginia, Ohio.  (Applause.)  I am going to stop in Chicago to vote.  (Applause.)  We’ve got early vote in Illinois just like we’ve got early vote here in Iowa.

But I had to start in Iowa to ask you for your vote, to ask you for your support so we can finish what we started.  (Applause.)  Because this is where it all began 4 years ago — on your front porches, in your backyards.  This is where the movement for change began.  And Iowa, you will once again choose the path that we take from here.

I know at this point — because you guys have seen a lot of TV commercials — you’ve heard Governor Romney’s sales pitch.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, don’t boo — vote.  (Applause.)  He has been running around saying he’s got a five-point plan for the economy.  Let me tell you, it turns out it’s only a one-point plan.  (Laughter.)  Folks at the very top get to play by a very different set of rules than you do.  They can keep paying lower tax rates than you do, keep their money in off-shore accounts.  They can buy up a company, load it up with debt, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, send the jobs overseas — and they still make a big profit while the middle class gets stuck with the bill.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo — vote.  That was his philosophy in the private sector, that was his philosophy as governor, that’s his philosophy now.  It’s not a very inspiring vision for our country.

So two weeks from the election — because he knows that if he actually told everybody what he wants to do he probably wouldn’t get any votes, so he’s doing everything he can to make sure that you don’t notice what he’s been saying.  And we’ve come up with a name for this condition — it’s called Romnesia.  (Laughter.)  Romnesia.  I want to go over the symptoms with you, then, for it, because I don’t want you to catch it.  I don’t want it to spread.

If you say you won’t give a big tax cut to the wealthy, but you’re caught on video promising your tax cut would include the top 1 percent, then you might have Romnesia.  (Laughter.)

If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, but just a few weeks ago you said we shouldn’t hire any more teachers because they won’t grow the economy, you probably have Romnesia.  (Laughter.)

If you sit on stage in a nationally televised debate saying how much you love cars — you’re a car guy — except you wrote an article titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” then you almost certainly have Romnesia.

If you can’t seem to remember the policies on your own website, or the promises you made over the last six years that you’ve been running for President, or the promises you made six days ago, you probably have Romnesia — but don’t worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions.  We can pick you up.  There’s a cure.  We can make you well.  (Applause.)  As long as you vote, Iowa, we can cure folks of this malady, of this disease.  (Applause.)

Listen, smart people who don’t have a dog in this fight — independent analysts, economists — they took out their pencils, they had their green eyeshades, they crunched the numbers.  Turns out Governor Romney’s economic plan is a sketchy deal.  The results are not what you’d want to write home about.  The Washington Post calls his jobs plan a “bait and switch.”  The bait is the promise that his plan creates 12 million jobs; the switch is the fact that his plan doesn’t create 12 million jobs.  (Laughter.)  That’s the bait and the switch.  In fact, it won’t even create jobs right now.

And then Governor Romney wants to spend $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the wealthy, $2 trillion on defense spending that our military isn’t asking for, and he wants you to believe that he can do that without adding to the deficit or raising middle-class taxes.  The problem is you’d need to invent a new kind of math to actually make this true.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Arithmetic!

THE PRESIDENT:  The arithmetic does not work.

So we know Governor Romney’s jobs plan doesn’t create jobs.  His deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit.  And we joke about Romnesia, but all of this speaks to something that’s really important, and that is the issue of trust.  There’s no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust.  Trust matters.  (Applause.)

And here’s the thing:  Iowa, you know me.  You know that I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.  There are some folks in this crowd who have probably been following me since I was running for the United States Senate.  (Applause.)  And you know what?  You can — like this guy right here, who I served with in the United States Senate [sic], George Shadid.  And you could take a videotape of things I said 10 years ago, 12 years ago, and you’d say, man, this is the same guy — has the same values, cares about the same people, doesn’t forget where he came from, knows who he’s fighting for.  (Applause.)

And you know what?  I haven’t finished all the work that we set out to do in 2008, but I have fought for you every single day that I’ve held this office.  (Applause.)  And with your help, I’ve kept the commitments that I’ve made.

I told you we’d end the war in Iraq — we did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d begin the process of ending the war in Afghanistan — we are.  (Applause.)  I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 — and we have.  And a new tower rises over the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.  I kept that promise.  (Applause.)  I kept that promise.

I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses — and we’ve done that.  I promised to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good — and we have.  (Applause.)  I promised to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” — and today you can’t be kicked out of the military because of who you are or who you love.  (Applause.)

I said I’d bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and while the other guy was saying “let Detroit go bankrupt,” I went in there and worked with the workers and the management, and we’ve saved a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world.  (Applause.)

On issue after issue, we are moving forward.  After losing 9 million jobs in the Great Recession, our businesses have now added more than 5 million new jobs over the past two and a half years.  Manufacturing is at its highest level since the ‘90s.  Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since I took office.  Home values and home sales are rising.  Our assembly lines are humming again.  We’ve got a long way to go, Iowa, but we’ve come too far to turn back now.  We can’t afford to go back to what got us into this mess.  We’ve got to stick with policies that are getting out of this mess.  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!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, the good news is I’ve got a plan that will actually create jobs, that will actually reduce the deficit, that will actually create middle-class security.  And unlike Mitt Romney, I’m proud to talk about what’s actually in my plan — (applause) — because my math actually adds up.

If you want to take a look at it, check it out at barackobama.com/plans.  I want you to share it with your friends, share it with your neighbors, share it with your co-workers.  There are still people out there who may be trying to make up their minds.  Maybe somebody here thought they were visiting the haunted house over there and just kind of wandered over, trying to figure out what’s going on — (laughter) — and they haven’t made up their mind yet.  I want them to know.

I want everybody out there to compare my plans to Governor Romney’s, have the information you need, see which plan is better for you and for America’s future.

First of all, I want to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  (Applause.)  I want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.  That’s what I want to do.  (Applause.)

Second, I want to cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy.  Some of you may know we are today less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades because of the steps we’ve taken — because we increased fuel standards on cars and trucks, so they’re going to go twice as far on a gallon of gas; because we’ve been producing clean energy, including right here in Iowa.

Today, there are factories in Iowa where once laid-off workers are back on the job building wind towers, building wind blades.  I want to build on that progress.  I don’t want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines manufactured in China — I want them manufactured here in Iowa.  I want them made in the United States of America, and we can do that.  (Applause.)

Number three, we are going to make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers better than anybody else in the world.  (Applause.)  I want to recruit a hundred thousand new math and science teachers, train 2 million workers at community colleges with the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  I want to work with colleges and universities to cut the growth of tuition so our young people can afford a higher education without getting loaded up with debt.  (Applause.)  We can do that.

Number four, my plan will cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, but we’re going to do it in a balanced way.  We’re going to cut out spending we don’t need, but we’re also going to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more.  And we’re going to do that so we can invest in research and technology that keeps new jobs and businesses coming to America.  And I’ll never turn Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  No American should spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.

And finally, I’m going to use the savings from ending the war in Iraq and ending the war in Afghanistan to put our people back to work right here at home, do some nation-building here repairing roads, bridges, schools all across America.  (Applause.)  And when our veterans like Cassandra come home, we’re going to serve them as well as they’ve served us.  We’re going to make sure that they’ve got the support that they need — (applause) — because nobody who has fought for America should have to fight for a job when they come home.  (Applause.)

So, Iowa, that’s the plan that we need.  That’s how you build a strong, sustainable economy that creates good middle-class jobs; that makes sure that folks have the sense that not only are they doing well now but their future prospects are going to be bright.  That’s how you’re going to encourage new businesses to start here and stay here.  That’s how you actually increase take-home pay — not by talking about it and then wanting to cut taxes for folks at the very top.  This is how you build an economy where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead.  That’s what America is about.  That’s the basic bargain that we believe in.

And now it’s up to you, Iowa — right here, right now, today.  You’ve got a chance to choose the path that we’re going to take from here.  It’s up to the young people who are here today to choose the future that you want to see.  (Applause.)  You can choose the top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose the policies that are helping us to get out of this mess.  You can choose a foreign policy that is reckless and wrong, or you can choose the kind of leadership that I’ve shown that’s steady and strong and clear — sends clear messages to our allies and to our enemies.  You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years on women and immigrants and gays.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Or in this election, you can stand up for the kind of America that says, we embrace everybody.  We believe in giving everybody a fair shot, and everybody doing their fair share, everybody playing by the same rules.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American; whether you’re young or old, able, disabled, gay straight — it doesn’t matter.  (Applause.)  No matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter who you are — you can make it here if you try.  That’s the America we believe in.  (Applause.)

So listen, Iowa, we’ve been through tough times over these last four years, but we’ve been through tougher times before.  The good news is we always bounce back.  We always come out on top.  Because the American people are tougher than any tough times because we pull together, because we look after one another, because we leave nobody behind, because we don’t turn back, because we’re always look at the horizon in front of us, because we’re always moving forward — and that’s why I’m asking for your vote today.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m asking for your vote in this election.

And if you give me that vote, I promise you I will always listen to your voices, I will always fight for your families, I’ll spend every waking day continuing to make sure that your lives are a little bit better.  (Applause.)  This is where it got started, Iowa.  I believe in you, and I’m asking you to keep believing in me.

And if you’ll roll up your sleeves, and if you’ll work with me and knock on some doors with me and make some calls with me, we’ll win Scott County again.  We’ll win Iowa again.  We’ll win this election again.  And we’ll finish what we started and 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
10:20 A.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 23, 2012: President Barack Obama & Joe Biden’s Speeches at a Campaign Event in Triangle Park, Dayton, Ohio — Unite as Auto Champions in Ohio

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Biden Unite as Auto Champions in Ohio

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-23-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

With debate season in the rearview mirror, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden united Tuesday in western Ohio, casting themselves as the only true champions of the state’s resurgent auto industry in an effort to bolster their working-class vote.

The Democratic ticket triumphantly asserted that voters there understand better than any what the Obama-backed 2009 auto bailout meant for Ohio jobs. And they argued that no matter what Republican nominee Mitt Romney now says, his past opposition to the bailout is widely known.

“I hope I made clear that there’s a big difference between me and Mitt Romney. And it’s not just that he’s got better hair,” Obama joked about Monday night’s final presidential debate….READ MORE

Remarks by the President and Vice President in Dayton, OH

Source: WH, 10-23-12 

Triangle Park
Dayton, Ohio

3:58 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Ohio!  (Applause.)  Hello, everybody back in the next county over there!  What a great crowd!  (Applause.)

Before I begin, I want you all to look at those two words:  Vote Early.  Do it now.  (Applause.)

Wasn’t the President great last night?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Last night, we saw a Commander-in-Chief who is in command of the issues.  You guys got to see what I see every day for the last four years, a President who clearly understands America’s interest around the world and has the courage to pursue and protect those interests.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a man who’s not only earned my respect and all those who work with him and all of you, but he’s earned the respect of all the world leaders.  (Applause.)  Ladies and gentlemen, the Commander-in-Chief not only knows how to lead America, but this Commander-in-Chief is leading the world.  (Applause.)

As my dad would say, this is a man with a steady hand and a clear vision; a man who leads not only by the example of our power, but by the power of America’s example.  This is a President who says what he means, means what he says, and does what he says.  (Applause.)

This is a man the world relies on, and we rely on.  And, boy, was the contrast clear last night.  (Applause.)  Whoa!  Whoa!  It wasn’t even close, was it?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  No.  (Laughter.)  As the President pointed out last night, these debates have exposed that Governor Romney and Paul Ryan have a foreign policy right out of the ‘80s, a social policy out of the ‘50s, and an economic policy right out of the ‘20s.  (Applause.)  The differences in our policies and, I would submit to you, in our values, are profound, and the American people, after four debates, know it.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s why last night you saw Governor Romney rushing to agree with the President on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria.  He disavowed the foreign policy he’s been running on for the past two years just like that.  Even this one — this one amazed me.  (Laughter.)  This one amazed me.  He even tried to rewrite the history of his position on rescuing the automobile industry.  Whoa!  (Laughter.)   If I only knew he was ready to help back then.  (Laughter.)  If I only knew.

Look, half the time, I didn’t know whether Governor Romney was there to debate Barack Obama or endorse Barack Obama.  (Applause.)  I mean, it’s hard to tell.

But I have a message for the good governor.  Governor, you can’t run from the truth.  You can’t run from your record.  You can’t run from your policies.

Look at his policies — opposition to nuclear arms control agreements; wanting to keep 30,000 troops in Iraq; shredding regulations, which he commits to do, letting Wall Street gamble with our money again and letting banks write their own rules again; proposing over $2 trillion in new tax cuts for the wealthy while raising taxes on the middle class.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Folks, folks, we have seen this movie before and we know how it ends.  It ends in a catastrophe for the middle class.  It ends in the Great Recession of 2008.  And the American people are not prepared to go back — and we’re not either.  (Applause.)

Folks, this President is leveling the playing field, getting the middle class back in the game.  He knows how to build America, from the middle out.  That’s how you build America. (Applause.)  And thanks to his leadership and the grit of the American people, America is coming back.

There is no quit in America.  There never has been any quit in America.  (Applause.)  The American people know only one way forward — only one way — and that is forward.  And together — together, ladies and gentlemen, all of us — even the 47 percent of us that Romney doesn’t think matter — (applause) — we’re moving forward.  (Applause.)  Regardless.

I’ve never met two guys who are more down on America.  Every time they turn around, America is in decline; American people won’t take responsibility.  I don’t know where they live.  But it’s not where we live.  It’s not who we are.  (Applause.)

And, ladies and gentlemen, regardless of what our opponents say, what they try to paint, America is not in decline.  Americans are not dependent people.  We are strong.  We’re independent.  We take responsibility.  And I’ve got news for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan — it’s never, never, ever been a good bet to bet against the American people.  Never.  (Applause.)

So, ladies and gentlemen, join me in welcoming my friend, our President, Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Ohio!  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)  I just want to make sure.  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Before we get started, I want everybody to give a big round of applause to Joe Biden!  (Applause.)

Now, first of all, you need to know Joe Biden is a man who is literally in love with a teacher.  He doesn’t just say, I love teachers — he’s married to a teacher.  (Applause.)  But more importantly — I want everybody to understand this — I could not ask for a better partner than my Vice President, Joe Biden.  (Applause.)  There’s nobody who knows more about foreign policy than my Vice President.  There’s nobody who gives me better advice than my Vice President.  (Applause.)  There’s nobody who you’d rather have in a foxhole with you when it matters most than my Vice President.  (Applause.)  There’s nobody who cares more about the middle class and fights harder for America than my Vice President.  (Applause.)

I could not do what I do without him having my back every single day.  So I want you to give him another big round of applause.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!

THE PRESIDENT:  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!

AUDIENCE:  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!  Joe!

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ve also got a great candidate for Congress — Sharon Neuhardt is here.  Give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

Now, two weeks, Ohio.  Two weeks.  Two weeks from today, Americans all across the country will step into the voting booth. But here in Ohio, you can vote early.  (Applause.)  Here in Ohio, you can vote right after this event.  (Applause.)  If you want to know where to vote, you go to Vote.BarackObama.com.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Is Biden going to be there?

THE PRESIDENT:  He already voted — and he’s proud of it.  (Applause.)  Anybody who is here who has not yet voted, I want you to go vote.  Because you’ve got a very big choice to make.  Not just a choice between two candidates or two parties — but two different visions for this country that we love.

Now, last night, we had our third debate.  (Applause.)  And I hope I made clear that there’s a big difference between me and Mitt Romney.  (Applause.)  And it’s not just that he’s got better hair.  (Laughter.)  Because the greatest responsibility I have as President is to keep the American people safe.  That’s why I ended the war in Iraq, so we could go after the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  (Applause.)  That’s why, working with Joe Biden and our national security team, we’ve been able to decimate al Qaeda.  That’s why we were able to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.  (Applause.)  That’s why we’re now ending the war in Iraq — because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building right here in Ohio, do some nation-building here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

In a world of new threats and challenges, America needs leadership that is strong and steady.  Unfortunately, Governor Romney’s foreign policy has been wrong and reckless.  You heard him last night — he was all over the map.

During the debate, he said he didn’t want more troops in Iraq.  But he was caught on a video just a few months ago saying it was “unthinkable” not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq.  Those troops would still be there today instead of back home.

Last night, he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan, but he opposed a timeline that would actually bring the rest of our troops home.  Last night, he said taking out bin Laden was the right thing to do.  Back in 2007, he said it wasn’t worth “moving heaven and Earth” to catch one man.

Now, I recognize that — we must have some doctors in the house, because I’ve already heard people identify this condition. It’s called Romnesia.  (Laughter and applause.)  And we had a severe case breaking out last night.  (Laughter.)  So I want to go over the symptoms with you because, Dayton, I sure don’t want anybody to catch it here in Ohio.  (Laughter.)

If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, but just a few weeks ago you said we shouldn’t hire any more because it won’t grow our economy — you might have Romnesia.  (Applause.)

If you say you won’t give a big tax cut to the wealthy, but you’re on a video promising your tax cut would include the top 1 percent -– that sounds like a classic case of Romnesia.  (Applause.)

If you say that you love American cars during a debate, you’re a car guy, but you wrote an article titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” — you definitely have a case of Romnesia.  (Applause.)

Last night, Governor Romney looked you right in the eye — looked me in the eye — and tried to pretend that he never said “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  Tried to pretend he meant the same thing I did when we intervened and worked to make sure that management and workers got together to save the U.S. auto industry — pretended like somehow I had taken his advice.  (Laughter.)

The people don’t forget.  The people of Dayton don’t forget.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  The people of Ohio don’t forget.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  If Mitt Romney had been President when the auto industry was on the verge of collapse, we might not have an American auto industry today.  We’d be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And you know how important that is to Ohio. The auto industry supports one in eight Ohio jobs.  It’s a source of pride to this state.  It is a source of pride to our country. It’s a source of pride to generations of workers.  I refused to walk away from those workers.  I bet on those workers.  I refused to walk away from those jobs.  I understood that Americans can compete.  I wasn’t about to let Detroit go bankrupt — or Toledo go bankrupt, or Lordstown go bankrupt.  I bet on American workers.  I bet on American manufacturing.  I would do it again because that bet has paid off for Ohio and for America in a big way.  (Applause.)

So here’s the good news, Ohio.  If you’ve come down with a case of Romnesia — (laughter) — if you can’t seem to remember the positions that you’ve taken not just four years ago but four days ago, if you don’t remember the positions that are on your website, if you don’t remember the promises you’ve been making during the six years you’ve been running for President, you don’t have to worry, because Obamacare covers preexisting conditions.  (Applause.)  We can fix you up!  There’s a cure!  There’s a cure! (Applause.)  There’s a cure, but you’ve got to vote to make sure that the medicine is there for Romnesia.

Now, we joke about Governor Romney being all over the map, but it speaks to something important — it speaks of trust.  There’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust.  Trust matters.  You want to know that the person who’s applying to be your President and Commander-in-Chief is trustworthy, that he means what he says, that he’s not just making stuff up depending on whether it’s convenient or not.

So smart people who — they don’t have a dog in this fight, they’ve crunched the numbers, and we know that Governor Romney’s jobs plan doesn’t really create jobs.  We know his deficit plan doesn’t really reduce the deficit.  His foreign policy is from the 1980s, before the Cold War was over.  His social policy is from the 1950s, and his economic policies are from the 1920s.

He knows he can’t sell that even though those are his positions, so in the closing weeks of the campaign, he’s doing everything he can to hide his true positions and tell us what he thinks you want to hear, and then spend most of his time telling you what he thinks is wrong with America.  Joe Biden just talked about that, talking about America is in decline.  He is terrific at making presentations about stuff he thinks is wrong with America.  But he sure can’t give you an answer about what will make it right.  And that’s not leadership that you can trust.

You know, Ohio, you know me.  (Applause.)  You know I mean what I say.  (Applause.)  You know that I do what I say I’m going to do.  (Applause.)  You know that I’ll make the tough decisions even when they’re not popular.  Folks don’t remember what we did with the auto industry — it wasn’t popular when we did it.  It wasn’t even popular in Michigan and Ohio.  But it was necessary. And because I had folks like Joe Biden with me who can support me when I make tough decisions, we went in and did what we thought was right.  And I know people may not agree with every decision we make, but you know that I’m doing it because I am fighting for the American people.  I’m doing what I believe.  (Applause.)

That’s what you need from a President.  Yes, we’ve been through tough times, but there’s no quit in America.  Our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs over the past two and a half years.  Manufacturing is growing faster than any time since the 1990s.  Our unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since I took office.  Home values are rising.  The stock market has rebounded.  Our assembly lines are humming again.  Our heroes are coming home.  (Applause.)  We are moving forward.

Four years ago I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families, and I kept that promise.  I promised to cut taxes for small businesses.  We have, 18 times.  We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks, with interest.  (Applause.)  And then we passed a law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good.  We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” because anybody who wants to serve in our military — (applause) — if they’re a great soldier or Marine or airman or Coast Guardsman, then they should be able to serve regardless of who they love.  (Applause.)

We saved an American auto industry.  It’s engines are roaring at full throttle with nearly 250,000 new jobs.  That’s not just something that the Midwest can be proud of, that’s something America can be proud of.

Now, we know we’re not where we need to be — not here, not anywhere — but we’ve made real progress.  We’ve got to build on that progress.  We can’t go back to what got us into this mess.  We need to move forward with what’s getting us out of this mess, 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!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, last night and throughout this campaign I’ve laid out a plan for jobs and middle class security.  Unlike, Mitt Romney, I’m proud to talk about what’s in my plan — because, first of all, the math actually adds up.  My plan will actually move America forward.  It’s not just a sales job.  It’s not a sketchy deal.  It’s not the okeydoke.  (Laughter.)  If you want to take a look, check it out at BarackObama.com/plans.  Share it with your friends.  Share it with your neighbors.  Share it with your coworkers.

There are still some people out there trying to make up their minds.  Some of you here may still be trying to make up your mind.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m just saying somebody might have just been taking a nice walk on a beautiful day — (laughter) — and suddenly found themselves in the middle of an Obama rally.  And if that’s what happened to you, I want you to look at our plan.  Compare it to Governor Romney’s plan.  See which plan you think is better for you and for America’s future.

Well, he says he’s got a plan.  He’s got a one-point plan.

But I want to talk about what’s in my plan just so everybody knows exactly what I intend to do over the next four years — because I do what I say I’m going to do.  First, my plan builds on our manufacturing base by extending — by making sure that we’re ending tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  I want to give those tax breaks to small business and manufacturers that create jobs right here in Dayton, right here in the United States of America.  That’s what I want to do.  (Applause.)

Number two, my plan cuts our oil imports in half by 2020, so we control more of our own energy.  You may have heard me say this — today we’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades.  And one of the reasons is because we’ve increased fuel standards on cars and trucks, so you go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  And I want to build on that progress.  I don’t want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines all made in China.  I want them manufactured right here in the United States of America.  And we can do that.  (Applause.)

Number three, my plan is going to make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers so that we can compete with anybody in the world.  I want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade; train 2 million workers at community colleges with the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  There are jobs to be had right now, but the workers have to be able to get the training for them.  I want to make sure colleges and universities keep tuition low so our young people can get a college education without being loaded up with debt.  We can do that.  (Applause.)

Number four, my plan will cut our deficit by $4 trillion — it actually adds up.  We can do the math on the website.  And the plan, we’ll do it in a balanced way over the next 10 years.  I’ll cut spending we don’t need, but we’re also going to have to ask the wealthiest among us to do a little bit more.  Because that will allow us to invest in research and technology to keep new jobs coming, to keep new businesses coming here to America.  (Applause.)

And I’ll never balance the deficit by turning Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of an insurance company.

And finally, my plan says let’s take the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and let’s put some people back to work right here at home, doing some nation-building — repairing roads, fixing bridges, remodeling schools, laying down broadband lines, making our economy more competitive.

And when our veterans come home, let’s put them back to work in some of these jobs.  Let’s make sure we’re serving them as well as they’ve served us.  Governor Romney did not even mention our veterans last night.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Not a word.  Not a word.  He may have already written off half the country behind closed doors, but the men and women and their families who have served our country so bravely, that Joe and I talk to almost every day and we see the sacrifices they’re making, they deserve better from somebody who’s applying to be Commander-in-Chief.  We’re fighting for them every single day.  (Applause.)

So Ohio, that’s the plan we need.  That’s what will create jobs.  That’s how you build a strong, sustainable economy that good, middle-class jobs have to offer.  That’s how you encourage businesses to start here in America.  That’s how you increase take-home pay, not just by talking about it.  That’s how you build an economy where everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead.  We don’t build the economy from the top down.  We build it from the middle up.

And now it’s up to you — right here, right now.  You’ve got to decide which path we’re going to take.  You can choose the top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose the policies that we are promoting that will get us out of this mess.  (Applause.)  You can choose a foreign policy that’s reckless and wrong — or you can choose the foreign policy that Joe and I have been applying that’s steady and strong.

You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women, and immigrants, and gays, or you can say, in this election, we believe that everybody has got a place in America.  We want to make sure everybody has got opportunity.  No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, no matter who you love, here in America, you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

So I’m asking for your vote.  I’m asking you to help me finish the job.  I believe in you, and I need you to keep believing in me.  And if you stand with me, and knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, we’ll win Montgomery County again.  We’ll win Ohio again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win this election again.  We’ll finish what we started.   We’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

END
4:27 P.M. EDT

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