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.

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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.)

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