Full Text Obama Presidency April 3, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Reducing Gun Violence Pushing Congress to Pass a Gun-Control Bill in Denver, Colorado

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President on Reducing Gun Violence

Source: WH, 4-3-13

Denver Police Academy
Denver, Colorado

3:19 P.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Thank you.  Well, it is wonderful to be back in Colorado.  It is wonderful to be back in Denver.  I want to thank Chief White for that introduction.  You’ve got some outstanding elected officials who are here today, and I want to acknowledge them.  First of all, a wonderful governor — John Hickenlooper is here.  (Applause.)  He’s here somewhere.  I know, because I just talked to him.  There he is.  Next to him an outstanding lieutenant governor, Joe Garcia.  (Applause.)  One of the finest young senators in the country — Michael Bennet is here.  (Applause.)  Terrific members of the House of Representatives — Ed Perlmutter — (applause) — and Dianna Degette.  (Applause.)  And your own mayor, Michael Hancock, is here.  (Applause.)

I want to say thank you to the Denver Police for having me here, and more importantly, for the outstanding work that all of you do each and every day to serve your communities and protect your citizens.

Before I came out here, I had a chance to sit down with some local law enforcement, Attorney General Holder, and some of the leaders I just mentioned, the wonderful mayor of Aurora who’s here, sportsmen, parents, loved ones of the victims of the shootings in Columbine and Aurora.  And we talked about what we can do to protect more of our citizens from gun violence.

And from the beginning of this effort, we’ve wanted law enforcement front and center in shaping this discussion and the reforms that emerge from it — because law enforcement lives this every day.  Law enforcement are the first to see the terrible consequences of any kind of violence, certainly gun violence — lives lost, families broken, communities that are changed forever.  They’re very often in the line of fire.  The law enforcement knows what works and what doesn’t, and so we wanted that experience and that advice.

And it was also important for us to hear from mayors like Steve Hogan, because he’s been on the front lines having to deal with these issues under incredibly sad circumstances.  And I’ve come to Denver today in particular because Colorado is proving a model of what’s possible.

It’s now been just over 100 days since the murder of 20 innocent children and six brave educators in Newtown, Connecticut — an event that shocked this country and I think galvanized parents all across the country to say, we’ve got to do something more to protect our kids.  But consider this:  Over those 100 days or so, more than 100 times as many Americans have fallen victim to gun violence.  More than 2,000 of our fellow citizens, struck down, often because they were just going about their daily round.  They weren’t doing anything special.  Just doing what folks do every day — shopping, going to school.  Every day that we wait to do something about it, even more of our fellow citizens are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

Now, the good news is Colorado has already chosen to do something about it.  (Applause.)  Look, this is a state that has suffered the tragedy of two of the worst mass shootings in our history — 14 years ago this month in Columbine, and just last year in Aurora.  But this is also a state that treasures its Second Amendment rights — the state of proud hunters and sportsmen.  And, by the way, the Governor wanted me to remind everybody that there is outstanding elk hunting here in Colorado.  (Laughter.)  There’s a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed down from generation to generation, and it’s part of the fabric of people’s lives.  And they treat gun ownership with reverence and respect.

And so I’m here because I believe there doesn’t have to be a conflict in reconciling these realities.  There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights.  I’ve got stacks of letters in my office from proud gun owners, whether they’re for sport, or protection, or collection, who tell me how deeply they cherish their rights, don’t want them infringed upon, but they still want us to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence.  And I appreciate every one of those letters.  And I’ve learned from them.

And I think that Colorado has shown that practical progress is possible thanks to the leadership of Governor Hickenlooper and some of the state legislators who are here today.  When I was talking to Steve, he mentioned that Aurora is very much a purple city.  It’s got a majority Republican city council; a majority of the state legislators are Democrat.  But they came together understanding that out of this tragedy there had to be something that made sense.  And so we’ve seen enacted tougher background checks that won’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.  (Applause.)

Now, in January, just a few weeks after Newtown, I put forward a series of common-sense proposals along the same lines as what’s passed here in Colorado, to reduce gun violence and keep our kids safe.  In my State of the Union address, I urged Congress to give these proposals a vote.  And, by the way, before we even asked for a vote, I had already signed numerous executive orders doing what we could administratively to make sure that guns don’t fall into the hands of the wrong people.

But what I said then is still true:  If we’re really going to tackle this problem seriously, then we’ve got to get Congress to take the next step.  And as soon as next week, they will be voting.  As soon as next week, every senator will get to vote on whether or not we should require background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a gun.

Now, some say, well, we already have background checks.  And they’re right.  Over the past 20 years, those background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from buying a gun.  But the loopholes that currently exist in the law have allowed way too many criminals and folks who shouldn’t be getting guns — it has allowed them to avoid background checks entirely.  That makes it harder for law enforcement to do its job.  It’s not safe.  It’s not smart.  And, by the way, it’s not fair to responsible gun owners who are playing by the rules.

Now, understand, nobody is talking about creating an entirely new system.  We are simply talking about plugging holes, sealing a porous system that isn’t working as well as it should.  If you want to buy a gun, whether it’s from a licensed dealer or a private seller, you should at least have to pass a background check to show you’re not a criminal or someone legally prohibited from buying on.  And that’s just common sense.  (Applause.)

During our roundtable discussion with Governor Hickenlooper, who I know was in the midst of this passionate debate about the legislation here in Colorado, and some people said, well, background checks aren’t going to stop everybody.  And the Governor was the first one to acknowledge, yes, they won’t stop everybody, but as he pointed out, statistically, there are a whole bunch of folks who have been stopped.

As a consequence of background checks, law enforcement has been able to stop people who have been convicted of murder from getting a gun, people who are under restraining orders for having committed violent domestic abuse from getting a gun.  In a couple of cases the governor mentioned to me, law enforcement has actually been able to arrest people who came to pick up their gun — (laughter) — because they were criminals, wanted.

So this does work.  And, by the way, if you’re selling a gun, wouldn’t you want to know who you’re selling it to?  Wouldn’t you want to know?  Wouldn’t you want in your conscience to know that the person you’re selling to isn’t going to commit a crime?  (Applause.)

So these enhanced background checks won’t stop all gun crimes, but they will certainly help prevent some.  This is common sense.  And, by the way, most gun owners — more than 80 percent — agree this makes sense.  More than 70 percent of NRA members agree.  Ninety percent of the American people agree.  So there’s no reason we can’t do this unless politics is getting in the way.  There’s no reason we can’t do this.

As soon as next week, every senator will get a chance to vote on a proposal to help strengthen school safety and help people struggling with mental health problems get the treatment that they need.

As soon as next week, every senator will get to vote on whether or not we should crack down on folks who buy guns as part of a scheme to arm criminals.  That would keep more guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who are intent on doing harm.  And it would make life a whole lot easier and safer for the people behind me — police officers.

Every senator will get a say on whether or not we should keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate mass killings off our streets.  The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with a high-capacity magazine, has one purpose:  to pump out as many bullets as possible, as fast as possible.  It’s what allowed that gunman to shoot 70 people and kill 12 in a matter of a few minutes.  I don’t believe that weapons designed for theaters of war have a place in movie theaters.  Most Americans agree with that.  (Applause.)

Most of these ideas are not controversial.  Right now, 90 percent of Americans — 90 percent — support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun.  More than 80 percent of Republicans agree.  Most gun owners agree.  Think about it:  How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?  (Laughter.)

And yet, there are already some senators back in Washington floating the idea that they might use obscure procedural stunts to prevent or delay any of these votes on reform.  Think about that.  They’re not just saying they’ll vote “no” on the proposal that most Americans support.  They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to avoid even allowing a vote on a proposal that the overwhelming majority of the American people support.  They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter.

We knew from the beginning that change wouldn’t be easy.  And we knew that there would be powerful voices that would do everything they could to run out the clock, change the subject, ignore the majority of the American people.  We knew they’d try to make any progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration, or maybe people would just stop paying attention.

The only way this time will be different is if the American people demand that this time it must be different — that this time, we must do something to protect our communities and our kids.  (Applause.)  We need parents, we need teachers, we need police officers, we need pastors, we need hunters and sportsmen, Americans of every background to say, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue.  We’re not going to just wait for the next Newtown or the next Aurora before we act.  And I genuinely believe that’s what the overwhelming majority of Americans — I don’t care what party they belong to — that’s what they want.  They just want to see some progress.

It was interesting, during the conversation, a number of people talked about the trust issue.  Part of the reason it’s so hard to get this done is because both sides of the debate sometimes don’t listen to each other.  The people who take absolute positions on these issues, on both sides, sometimes aren’t willing to concede even an inch of ground.

And so one of the questions we talked about was, how do you build trust?  How do you rebuild some trust?  And I told the story about two conversations I had.  The first conversation was when Michelle came back from doing some campaigning out in rural Iowa.  And we were sitting at dinner, and she had been to like a big county, a lot of driving out there, a lot of farmland.  And she said, if I was living out in a farm in Iowa, I’d probably want a gun, too.  If somebody just drives up into your driveway and you’re not home — you don’t know who these people are and you don’t know how long it’s going to take for the sheriffs to respond.  I can see why you’d want some guns for protection.  That’s one conversation.

I had another conversation just a couple of months ago with a mom from Chicago — actually, Evanston, Illinois — whose son had been killed in a random shooting.  And she said, you know, I hate it when people tell me that my son was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was in the right place.  He was on his way to school.  He wasn’t in the wrong place.  He was exactly where he was supposed to be.

Now, both those things are true.  And sometimes we’re so divided between rural and urban, and folks whose hunting is part of their lives and folks whose only experience with guns is street crime.  And the two sides just talk past one another.  And more than anything, what I want to just emphasize is there are good people on both sides of this thing, but we have to be able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.  If you’re a hunter, if you’re a sportsman — if you have a gun in your house for protection — you’ve got to understand what it feels like for that mom whose son was randomly shot.

And if you live in an urban area and you’re worried about street crime, you’ve got to understand what it might be like if you grew out on a ranch and your dad had been taking you hunting all your life.  And we had a couple of sportsmen in our conversation today, and I thought one of them said something very important.  He said, all my experiences with guns have been positive, but I realize that for others, all their experiences about guns have been negative.  Well, that’s a start, right?  If we start listening to each other, then we should be able to get something done that’s constructive.  We should be able to get that done.  (Applause.)

One last thing I’m going to mention is that during this conversation — I hope you don’t mind me quoting you, Joe.  Joe Garcia, I thought, also made an important point, and that is that the opponents of some of these common-sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what’s being proposed and nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government.

You hear some of these quotes:  “I need a gun to protect myself from the government.”  “We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.”

Well, the government is us.  These officials are elected by you.  (Applause.)  They are elected by you.  I am elected by you.  I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place.  It’s a government of and by and for the people.

And so, surely, we can have a debate that’s not based on the notion somehow that your elected representatives are trying to do something to you other than potentially prevent another group of families from grieving the way the families of Aurora or Newtown or Columbine have grieved.  We’ve got to get past some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion.  And it’s important for all of us when we hear that kind of talk to say, hold on a second.  If there are any folks who are out there right now who are gun owners, and you’ve been hearing that somehow somebody is taking away your guns, get the facts.  We’re not proposing a gun registration system, we’re proposing background checks for criminals.  (Applause.)

Don’t just listen to what some advocates or folks who have an interest in this thing are saying.  Look at the actual legislation.  That’s what happened here in Colorado.  And hopefully, if we know the facts and we’re listening to each other, then we can actually move forward.

And that’s what members of Congress need to hear from you.  Right now, members of Congress are at home in their districts.  Many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents.  So I’m asking anyone out there who is listening today, find out where your member of Congress stands on these issues.  If they’re not part of the 90 percent of Americans who agree on background checks, then ask them why not.  Why wouldn’t you want to make it more difficult for a dangerous criminal to get his or her hands on a gun?  Why wouldn’t you want to close the loophole that allows too many criminals to buy a gun without even the simplest of background checks?  Why on Earth wouldn’t you want to make it easier rather than harder for law enforcement to do their job?

I know that some of the officers here today know what it’s like to look into the eyes of a parent or a grandparent, a brother or a sister, or a spouse who has just lost a loved one to an act of violence.  Some of those families, by the way, are here today.  And as police officers, you know as well as anybody, there is no magic solution to prevent every bad thing from happening in the world.  You still suit up, you put on your badge, put yourself at risk every single day.  Every single day, you go to work and you try to do the best you can to protect the people you’re sworn to protect and serve.  Well, how can the rest of us as citizens do anything less?

If there is just one step we can take to prevent more Americans from knowing the pain that some of the families who are here have known, don’t we have an obligation to try?  Don’t we have an obligation to try?  (Applause.)  If these reforms keep one person from murdering dozens of innocent children or worshippers or moviegoers in a span of minutes, isn’t it worth fighting for?  (Applause.)  I believe it is.  That’s why I’m going to keep on working.  I’m going to keep on giving it my best efforts.  But I’m going to need your help.

This is not easy.  And I’ll be blunt — a lot of members of Congress, this is tough for them.  Because those who are opposed to any form of legislation affecting guns, they’re very well-organized and they’re very well-financed.  But it can be done if enough voices are heard.

So I want to thank all the police officers who are here for giving their best efforts every single day.  (Applause.)  I want to thank Governor Hickenlooper for his outstanding leadership.  (Applause.)  I want to thank all the families who are here for your courage in being willing to take out of this tragedy something positive.  I want to thank the people of Colorado for coming together in sensible ways.  (Applause.)  Let’s see if we can get the whole country to do so.

Thank you, Denver.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END                3:45 P.M. MDT

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Full Text Campaign Buzz November 1, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Boulder, Colorado

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event, Boulder, CO

Source: WH, 11-1-12

Coors Events Center
Boulder, Colorado

7:42 P.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  You seem pretty fired up!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Colorado!  (Applause.)

Everybody, please give Savannah a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)  Let’s give a shout out to the folks who are fighting for you every day in Washington — Senator Michael Bennet — (applause) — Senator Mark Udall — (applause) — Congressman Jered Polis.  (Applause.)

It is good to be here.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

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

Those of you who have seats, feel free to sit down.  I don’t want you guys getting tired out.  (Laughter.)

For the past few days, all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms of our lifetime.  And we’re awed and humbled by nature’s destructive power.  We mourn those who were lost.  Obviously our hearts and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have been affected.  We pledge to help those whose lives have been turned upside down.

I was just on a phone call with some of the local officials in New York, as well as Governor Cuomo, and they’ve got still a long way to go to deal with this incredible storm.  But we’ve also been inspired these past few days — because when disaster strikes, we see America at its best.  The petty differences that consume us in normal times, they all seem to melt away.  We saw it here in Colorado with the fires this summer, and then the terrible tragedy in Aurora.

In moments like these, we’re reminded there are no Democrats or Republicans during a crisis, just fellow Americans.  (Applause.)  We see leaders of different parties working to fix what’s broken; and neighbors helping neighbors to cope with tragedy; communities rallying to rebuild; a spirit that says in the end, we’re all in this together — we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.  (Applause.)

And, Boulder, that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries.  And it’s carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years.

In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Today, because of the resilience of the American people, our businesses have created over 5 million new jobs.  (Applause.)  The American auto industry is back on top.  (Applause.)  American manufacturing is growing at the fastest pace in 15 years.  (Applause.)  We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years.  (Applause.)  Home values, home construction is on the rise.  (Applause.)  And thanks to the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.  (Applause.)  The war in Afghanistan is coming to an end.  (Applause.)  Al Qaeda has been decimated.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

So we’ve made real progress these past four years.  But, Colorado, we all know our work is not yet done.  As long as there’s a single American who wants a job and can’t find one, our work is not done.  As long as there are families who are working harder and harder but falling further behind, our work is not yet done.  As long as there’s a child somewhere in America languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity, anywhere in this country, our work is not yet done.  (Applause.)

Our fight, our mission goes on because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class — (applause) — and strong, sturdy ladders into the middle class for everybody who’s willing to work hard and take responsibility. (Applause.)

Our fight, our mission goes on because America has always done best when everybody has a fair shot, when everybody is doing their fair share, when everybody is playing by the same rules.  That’s what we believe.  That’s why you elected me in 2008.  And 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, we knew from the beginning that our work would take more than one year, or even one term.  We knew that.  Because, let’s face it, the middle class was getting hammered long before the financial crisis hit.  The economy has changed over the last 20, 30 years.  Technology has made us more productive, but it’s also made a lot of good jobs obsolete.  Global trade brought us cheaper products, but it also meant that companies could locate overseas in low-wage countries.  American workers saw their paychecks getting squeezed, even when corporate profits rose; even as CEO salaries exploded, and the guaranteed security of pensions and health care started to erode — in some cases disappear altogether.

Now, these fundamental changes in the economy — the rise of technology and global competition — those are real.  We can’t wish them away.  But here’s what I know, Colorado:  We can meet those challenges.  We’re Americans.  (Applause.)  We still have the world’s best workers.  We’ve got the world’s best entrepreneurs.  We’ve got the best scientists and researchers. We’ve definitely got the best colleges and universities.  We’ve got the most innovative spirit.  (Applause.)  We have everything we need to thrive in this new economy.  There’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States.
But to realize our full potential, to secure a future that we want for our kids and our grandkids, we’ve got to make a choice right now.  In five days, we will choose our next president.  (Applause.)  And, Boulder, it is more than just a choice between two candidates or two parties.  You’re going to be making a choice between two fundamentally different visions of America — one where we return to the top-down policies that crashed our economy —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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

Or a future that’s built on a strong and growing middle class.  And we know what the choice needs to be.  We’re here today because we believe that if this country invests in the skills and ideas of its people, then good jobs and businesses will follow.

We believe that America’s free market has been the engine of America’s progress, and we honor the risk-takers and innovators and dreamers that drive our economy forward.  But we also understand that in this country, people succeed when they have a chance at a great education, when they’ve got a chance to learn new skills.  (Applause.)  That’s good for business because they need skilled workers.  That’s good for our country because some of those folks who get those great skills and education start new businesses.  We believe that when we support research into medical breakthroughs or nanotechnology or entire new fields of study, new industries start here and they stay here and they hire here.  (Applause.)

We don’t believe that government should poke its nose into everything we do, but do we believe this country is stronger — and actually our markets work better — when there are rules in place to protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution — (applause) — when there are rules to protect consumers from unscrupulous credit card companies and mortgage lenders — (applause) — when we grow — we’re convinced that we grow faster.

And the evidence is on our side.  We grow faster when our tax code rewards hard work and companies that create jobs here in America.  And we believe that quality health care for everybody and a dignified retirement for everybody aren’t just achievable goals — they are a measure of our values as a nation.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

For eight years, we had a President who actually shared those beliefs, and his name was Bill Clinton.  (Applause.)  And the interesting thing is when he was first elected, he asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce the deficit and still make investments in things like education and training, and science and research.  And guess what — there were a bunch of folks who were running for Congress at the time who said this is going to hurt the economy; this is going to kill job creation.

And if that argument sounds familiar, one of those candidates happens to be running for President right now.  (Laughter.)  And it turns out his math and their math was just as bad back then as it is now.  (Applause.)  Because by the end of Bill Clinton’s second term, America had created 23 million new jobs, and incomes were up, and poverty was down, and our deficits had become the biggest surplus in history.  (Applause.)

So, Colorado, we know the ideas that work.  We know our ideas work.  We also know the ideas that don’t work.  Because in the eight years after Bill Clinton left office, his policies were reversed.  The wealthiest Americans got tax cuts they didn’t need.  Companies enjoyed tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.  Insurance companies and oil companies and Wall Street were given free rein to do whatever they pleased.  Folks at the top got to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us.  And the result of this top-down economics was falling incomes, and record deficits, and the slowest job growth in half a century, and an economic crisis that we have been cleaning up for the last four years.  (Applause.)

So here’s the thing.  We’ve tested both theories.  We’ve tested both visions.  One worked really well.  One worked really badly.  (Laughter.)

Now, in the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has been using all his formidable talents as a salesman — (laughter) — to dress up the very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after these last four years, and he’s offering them up as change. He’s saying he’s the candidate of change.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, don’t boo — vote.  Vote.  (Applause.)

But let me tell you, Colorado, we know what change looks like.  We know what’s going to help the middle class.  (Applause.)  We know what’s going to grow jobs.  We know what’s going to reduce the deficit.  And let me tell you, what Governor Romney is offering sure ain’t it.  It is not it.  Giving more power back to the biggest banks — that’s not change.  Leaving millions without health insurance — that’s not change.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  No, it ain’t!  (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy — that’s not change.

AUDIENCE:  No, it ain’t!  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies — not change.

AUDIENCE:  No, it ain’t!

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughter.)  Ruling out compromise by pledging to rubber-stamp the tea party’s agenda as President — that’s not change.

AUDIENCE:  No, it ain’t!

THE PRESIDENT:  In fact, that’s exactly the attitude in Washington that we’ve got to change.

Look, I know that with all the TV commercials that are coming at people, sometimes it’s hard to follow stuff and it’s hard to know who to trust, but here’s the thing.  Look, after four years as President, you know me by now.  (Applause.)  You know me.  You may not agree with every decision that I’ve made.  You may be frustrated at the pace of change.  I always remind people that when we did the auto bailout, only 10 percent of the country approved of it, including, by the way, folks in Michigan and Ohio.  But you know what I believe.  You know where I stand. You know I’m willing to make tough decisions, even when they’re not politically convenient.  (Applause.)  And most importantly, you know that I’ll fight for you and your families every single day, as hard as I know how.  (Applause.)

And that’s why I know what real change looks like, because I fought for it.  I’ve got the scars to prove it.  (Laughter.)  I’ve got gray hair to show for it.  (Laughter.)  You fought for it, too.  And after all that we’ve been through together, we sure as heck can’t give up now.  (Applause.)

Let’s picture what real change looks like.  Real change is a country where Americans of every age have the skills and education that good jobs require.  And, you know what, we understand government can’t do this alone — parents have to parent; teachers have to teach.  But don’t tell me that hiring more teachers won’t help this economy, or help young people compete.  (Applause.)  Don’t tell me that students who can’t afford college should just borrow money from their parents.  That wasn’t an option for me, and I’ll bet it was not an option for a whole lot of you.  We shouldn’t be ending college tax credits to pay for millionaires’ tax cuts –- we should be making college more affordable for everybody who’s willing to work for it.  (Applause.)

We should recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs aren’t created in China, but are created right here in Colorado.  (Applause.)  We should work with our community colleges to train another 2 million Americans with the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  And that’s all part of my plan for the future.  That’s what change is.  That’s the America that we’re fighting for.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.  (Applause.)

Change comes when we live up to America’s legacy of innovation, where we make America home to the next generation of advanced manufacturing, and scientific discovery, and technological breakthroughs.  I’m proud that I bet on America’s workers and American ingenuity and the American auto industry.  And today, we’re not just building cars again; we’re building better cars — cars that by the middle of the next decade will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)

Today, there are thousands of workers building long-lasting batteries and solar technology and wind turbines all across the country –- jobs that weren’t there four years ago.  (Applause.)  And not every technology we bet on will pan out.  Not every business will thrive.  But I promise you this — there is a brilliant future for manufacturing in America.  There is a future for clean energy in America.  (Applause.)  And I’m not going to cede that future to other countries.

I don’t want a tax code that rewards companies for creating those jobs overseas; I want to reward companies that create those jobs here in America.  (Applause.)  I don’t want a tax code that subsidizes oil company profits when they’re making money hand over fist.  I want to support the energy jobs of tomorrow, and the new technology that will cut our oil imports in half; that will reduce the carbon in our atmosphere; that will make us less dependent on foreign oil.  (Applause.)  That’s my plan for growth and jobs.  That’s the future I see in America.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Change — real change — is finally turning the page on a decade of war.  Let’s do some nation-building right here at home.  (Applause.)  So long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world has ever known.  That will not change.  But it’s time to use some of the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to start paying down our debt, to start rebuilding America.  (Applause.)  That’s part of being strong.  That’s part of our national security.

Right now, we can put people back to work all across Colorado, all across the country, fixing roads and bridges; expanding broadband to rural neighborhoods; making sure our schools are state-of-the-art.  Let’s put Americans back to work doing the work that needs to be done.  And let’s especially focus on our veterans -– because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.)  That’s my commitment to you.  That’s part of keeping America strong.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.

Change is a future where we reduce our deficit in a way that’s balanced and responsible.  And I’ve signed a trillion dollars’ worth of spending cuts; I intend to do more.  We can streamline agencies.  We can get rid of programs that aren’t working.  But if we’re serious about the deficit, we also have to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in office.  (Applause.)

Because a budget is all about priorities.  It’s about what values do we care about.  And as long as I’m President, I’m not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)  I’m not going to allow this nation to be plunged into another battle over health care reform, and kick millions of people off of health care, and weaken all the reforms that we put in place, including making sure that young people can stay on their parent’s plan till they’re 26 years old, just so insurance companies can jump back into the driver’s seat.  (Applause.)

And by the way, I’m not going to allow politicians in Washington to control health care choices that women should make for themselves.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to do that.  We’re not going to go backwards.  We’re going forward.  (Applause.)

So, Colorado, we know what change is.  We know what the future requires.  We don’t need a big government agenda or a small government agenda — we need a middle class agenda that rewards the values of hard work and responsibility.  We don’t need a partisan agenda — we need a common-sense agenda that says when we educate a poor child, we’re all better off; that says when we fund the research of a young scientist, her new discovery will benefit every American.   (Applause.)

We need an agenda that recognizes we don’t just look out for ourselves — we look out for one another other; we look out for future generations.  We meet those obligations by working together.  That’s the change we believe in.  That’s what 2008 was about.  That’s what this election is about.  That’s why I need you to vote.  (Applause.)

Now, let me be clear — achieving this agenda will not be easy.  It wasn’t easy over these last four years; it’s not going to be easy over the next four years.  Back in 2008, when we talked about change, I told you I wasn’t just talking about changing presidents, I wasn’t just talking about changing parties.  I was talking about changing our politics.  I ran because the voices of the American people — your voices — had been shut out of our democracy for way too long — by lobbyists and special interests, and politicians who thing that compromise is a dirty word and would say anything to win office and do anything to stay in office.

And as we expected, the protectors of the status quo are a powerful force in Washington.  And over the last four years, every time we’ve fought to make change, they’ve fought back with everything they’ve got.  They spent millions to stop us from reforming health care and Wall Street and student loans.  Their strategy from the start was to engineer pure gridlock in Congress, refusing to compromise on ideas that traditionally both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past.

And what they’re now counting is that the American people will be so worn down by all the squabbling, so tired of all the dysfunction, that you’ll actually reward obstruction, either by voting for folks claiming to bring about change, or not voting at all, but either way, putting people back in charge who advocate the very same policies that got us into this mess.

In other words, their bet is on cynicism.  They’re counting on you not voting.  That’s their entire strategy.  But, Colorado, my bet is on you.  My bet is on you. (Applause.)  My bet is on the decency and good sense of the American people.  (Applause.)

Because despite all the resistance, despite all the setbacks, we’ve gotten done so much and we’ve never lost sight of the vision that we share — that you would have a voice; that there would be somebody at the table fighting every single day for middle class Americans, for folks who are working hard and struggling.

Sometimes Republicans in Congress worked with me to meet our goals — to cut taxes for small businesses and families like yours, to open up new markets for American goods, to finally repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  We had a couple of really brave Republicans who worked with us on that.  (Applause.)

And sometimes we’ve had big fights -– like when we forced the banks to stop overcharging for student loans — (applause) –which is how we made college more affordable for millions of young people; like when we forced Wall Street to abide by the toughest rules since the 1930s; like when we stopped insurance companies from discriminating against Americans with preexisting conditions like cancer or diabetes, so no one in America goes bankrupt just because they get sick.  (Applause.)

I didn’t fight those fights for any partisan advantage.  I have shown my willingness to work with anybody, of any party, to move this country forward.  And if you want to break the gridlock in Congress, you’ll vote for leaders — whether they’re Democrats, Republicans, or independents — who feel the same way. You’ll vote for candidates like Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and Jared Polis, all who have shown themselves to be willing to work across party lines to get things done, but who also know that there’s some core principles you don’t compromise.  (Applause.)

Because if the price of peace in Washington is cutting deals that will kick students off financial aid, or get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood, or eliminate health care for millions on Medicaid just to give a millionaire a tax cut, then that’s not a deal worth having.  That’s not bipartisanship.  That’s not change.  That’s surrender to the same status quo that has hurt middle class families for way too long.

And, Colorado, I’m not ready to give up on the fight.  (Applause.)  I’m not ready to give up on that fight.  (Applause.) And I hope you aren’t either, Colorado.  I hope you aren’t either.  I hope you’ve still got some fight left in you.  (Applause.)

The folks at the very top in this country they don’t need another champion in Washington.  They’ll always have a seat at the table.  They’ll always have access and influence.  They can hire lobbyists.  They’re going to be able to get their phone calls returned.  The people who need a champion are those Americans whose letters I read late at night; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every single day.

The laid-off furniture worker who’s retraining at age 55 for a career in biotechnology — she needs a champion.  The small restaurant owner who needs a loan to expand after the bank turned him down — he needs a champion.  The cooks and waiters and cleaning staff working overtime in a hotel somewhere, trying to save enough to buy a first home or send their kid to college — they need a champion.  (Applause.)

The autoworker who’d never thought he’d work in a plant again, and now is back on the job building a great car and full of pride and dignity — he needs a champion.  The young teacher doing her best in an overcrowded classroom with outdated textbooks — she needs a champion.  (Applause.)  All those kids in inner cities and small farm towns, in valleys of Ohio, rolling Virginia hills, right here in Boulder; kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors or engineers or entrepreneurs or diplomats or even a president — they need a champion in Washington.  (Applause.)  They need a champion.

Because the future — the future doesn’t have lobbyists.  We’ll never have as many lobbyists as the vested interests — never have as many lobbyists as the past does, but it’s the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.

And that’s why I need you, Colorado.  That’s why I need you, Boulder — to make sure their voices are heard.  To make sure your voices are heard.  (Applause.)  We’ve come too far to turn back now.  We have come too far to grow faint-hearted.  Now is the time to keep pushing forward — to educate all our kids, to train all our workers, to create new jobs, to discover new energy, to broaden opportunity, to grow our middle class, to restore our democracy — to make sure that no matter who you are, or where you come from, how you started out, you can can make it here in America if you try.  (Applause.)

In the middle of the Great Depression, FDR reminded the country that “failure is not an American habit; and in the strength of great hope we must shoulder our common load.”  That’s the strength we need today.  That’s the hope I’m asking you to share.  That’s the future in our sights.

That’s why I’m asking for your vote.  That’s why I need you early voting tomorrow.  (Applause.)  That’s why I need young people to turn out.  That’s why I need you to knock on some more doors.  (Applause.)  That’s why I need you to make some phone calls.  And if you turn out for me, if you vote for me, we’ll win Colorado again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win this election.  We’ll finish what we started.  We’ll keep moving forward.  (Applause.) We’ll renew those bonds, and reaffirm that spirit that makes the United States of America the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Remember to vote!  (Applause.)

END
8:18 P.M. MDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 4, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver, Colorado — Fights Back Day After Debate Defeat

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Fights Back Day After Debate Defeat

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-4-12 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

Under fire from critics on the left and right for his performance at the first presidential debate, President Obama arrived in Denver for a chilly morning-after rally armed with rejoinders to arguments made by Republican rival Mitt Romney, which were not delivered in the heat of debate last night.

Obama told the crowd of 12,000 huddled along the shoreline at Sloan’s Lake Park that the man he faced was a “very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” but who espoused positions in conflict with what “the real Mitt Romney” has been touting on the campaign trail….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Denver, CO

Source: WH, 10-4-12

Sloan’s Lake Park
Denver, Colorado

10:30 A.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Colorado!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Denver!  (Applause.)  Can everybody please give Lily a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)  We’ve got so many dignitaries I can’t name them all.  But we’ve got your outstanding senators in the house.  (Applause.)  Your terrific members of Congress are here.  (Applause.)  Got our campaign co-chairs.  Got Will.I.Am.  (Applause.)  Most importantly, we’ve got all of you.  (Applause.)  Even though you had to get the winter coats out a little quicker than you expected.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Obama!

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

Now, the reason I was in Denver, obviously, is to see all of you, and it’s always pretty.  (Laughter.)  But we also had our first debate last night.  (Applause.)  And when I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney.  (Laughter.)  But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney — because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy.  The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.  (Laughter.)

The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers in our classrooms.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo — vote.  (Laughter and applause.)

But the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers — can’t get enough of them.  (Laughter.)  The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called “pioneers” of outsourcing jobs to other countries.  But the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing — he’s never heard of them.  Never heard of them.  Never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.  He said that if it’s true, he must need a new accountant.  (Laughter.)

Now, we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney, because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant.  (Laughter.)  So you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year.  And that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year.  (Applause.)  So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be President, you owe the American people the truth.  (Applause.)

So here’s the truth:  Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class.  That’s the math.  We can’t afford to go down that road again.  We can’t afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy.  We can’t afford to gut our investments in education or clean energy or research and technology.  We can’t afford to roll back regulations on Wall Street, or on big oil companies or insurance companies.  We cannot afford to double down on the same top-down economic policies that got us into this mess.  That is not a plan to create jobs.  That is not a plan to grow the economy.  That is not change — that is a relapse.  (Applause.)  We don’t want to go back there.  We’ve tried it, it didn’t work.  And we are not going back, we are going forward.  (Applause.)

Now, I’ve got a different view about how we create jobs and prosperity.  This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer.  We succeed when the middle class gets bigger.  We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out.

We don’t believe that anybody is entitled to success in this country, but we do believe in something called opportunity.  We believe in a country where hard work pays off and where responsibility is rewarded, and everybody is getting a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules.  (Applause.)  That’s the country we believe in.  That’s what I’m fighting for.  That’s why I’m running for a second term for President of the United States, and that’s why I want your vote.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  What I talked about last night was a new economic patriotism — a patriotism that’s rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class.

That means we export more jobs and we outsource — export more products and we outsource fewer jobs.  Over the last three years, we came together to reinvent a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve created more than half a million new manufacturing jobs.

And so now you’ve got a choice.  We can keeping giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that are opening new plants and training new workers, and creating new jobs right here in the United States of America.  That’s what we’re looking for.  (Applause.)

We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and create a million new manufacturing jobs over the next four years.  You can make that happen.

I want to control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will be going twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)

We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar.  And thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.  (Applause.)  The United States of America today is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in nearly two decades.  (Applause.)

So now you’ve got a choice between a plan that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it.  Last night, my opponent says he refuses to close the loophole that gives big oil companies $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every year.  Now, we’ve got a better plan — where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal, and the good jobs that come with them; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and our trucks; where construction workers are retrofitting homes and factories so they waste less energy; and we can develop a 100-year supply of natural gas that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs — and, by the way, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020.  That will be good for our economy.  That will be good for our environment.  That will be good for Colorado.  That will be good for America.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s why I am running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

I want to give more Americans the chance to learn the skills they need to compete.  I talked last night about how education was the gateway of opportunity for me and Michelle, for so many of you.  It’s the gateway for a middle-class life.  And today, millions of students are paying less for college because we took on a system that was wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on bankers and lenders.  (Applause.)

And so now you’ve got a choice:  We can gut education to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthy, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dream deferred because of an overcrowded classroom.  (Applause.)  No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.  No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here in the United States.

So we’re going to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers, and we’re going to improve early childhood education, and we’re going to create 2 million more slots in community colleges so that workers can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.  (Applause.)  And we are going to continue to do everything we need to do to cut the growth of tuition costs, because every young person in America should have the opportunity to go to college without being loaded up with hundreds — with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt.  That’s part of what it means for us to be able to build an economy that lasts.

And finally, I’ve got a balanced plan that independent experts say will cut the deficit by $4 trillion through a mix of spending cuts and higher taxes on wealthiest Americans.  Now, I’ve already worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a trillion dollars in spending, and I’m willing to do more.  I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple and it’s fair, but also so incomes over $250,000 — we go back to the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President, we created 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, a lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

Now, last night, Governor Romney ruled out raising a dime of taxes on anybody ever, no matter how much money they make.  He ruled out closing the loophole that gives oil companies $4 billion in corporate welfare.  He refused to even acknowledge the loophole that gives tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas.  And when he was asked what he’d actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That was his answer.  I mean, thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.  (Laughter and applause.)  It’s about time.  We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.  (Laughter.)  But that’s what we heard last night.  How about that?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And Elmo!

THE PRESIDENT:  Elmo, too?  (Laughter.)

Look, the fact is Governor Romney’s math just doesn’t add up.  And I had to spend a lot of time last night trying to pin it down.  The only one way to pay for $5 trillion in new tax cuts and $2 trillion in new defense spending that the military says it doesn’t need is by asking the middle class to pay more. And I refuse to do that.  (Applause.)

I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, or elderly, or disabled — just to pay for more tax cuts that we cannot afford.

And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher.  (Applause.)  Governor Romney doubled down on that proposal last night and he is wrong.  No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  They should retire with the care and the dignity that they have earned.  (Applause.)

So, yes, we’ll reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care — not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.  And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it — not by turning it over to Wall Street.

Now, going forward we’re going to have a chance to talk a little bit about what’s going on overseas, because our prosperity at home is linked to what happens abroad.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq, and I did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan in a responsible way, and we are.  (Applause.)  While a new tower is rising above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

But we still face serious threats around the world.  We saw that just a few weeks ago.  And that’s why, so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  And when our troops take off their uniforms, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us — (applause) — because nobody should have to fight for a job when they come home, or a roof over their heads when they have fought for their country.  They have earned our respect and our honor.  (Applause.)  That’s a commitment I make.

Now, it will be interesting to see what the guy who was playing Mitt Romney yesterday — (laughter) — will say about foreign policy when we meet next, because he said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.  He won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan.  And I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and to put more people back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges, and our schools and our runways and broadband lines — because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home and put some folks to work here at home.  (Applause.)

So this is the choice we now face.  This is what the election comes down to.  Over and over, we’ve been told by our opponents that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope you don’t get sick.  If a company is releasing toxic pollution into the air that your children breathe, well, that’s the price of progress — can’t afford to regulate.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, just borrow money from your parents.  (Laughter.)

As I described last night, that’s not who we are.  That’s not what this country is about.  Here in America, we believe we’re all in this together.  (Applause.)  We understand America is not about what can be done for us — it’s about what can be done by us, together, as one nation, and as one people.  (Applause.)

You understand that.  You understand that, Denver.  You are the reason that there’s a teacher in Pueblo who, with her husband, can buy her first phone with — first home with the help of new tax credits that we helped pass.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  You made that happen.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason that a woman outside Durango can get the treatment she needs to beat cancer, now that there are affordable plans to cover preexisting conditions.  You did that.  You made that happen.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason that thousands of students at CU Boulder, and Colorado State, and University of Denver have more help paying for college this year.  That happened because of you.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here, and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason why an outstanding soldier won’t be kicked out of the military because of who he loves.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why thousands of families have been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely:  “Welcome home.”  Welcome home.  Welcome home.  (Applause.)

If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that somehow the change we fought for isn’t possible, then of course, change won’t happen.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other folks fill the void — lobbyists and special interests, and the people who are writing the $10 million checks.  And all the spin will end up dominating the airwaves, and that’s how things go, and ordinary folks get left out.  All the folks who are trying to make it harder for you to vote; the folks in Washington who think somehow that they should control the health care choices that women should be making for themselves.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Only you can make change happen.  Only you have the power to move us forward.  (Applause.)

From the day we began this campaign, I always said real change takes time.  It takes more than one term.  It takes more even than one President or one party.  You certainly can’t do it if you’ve got a President who writes off half the nation before he even takes office.  (Applause.)

In 2008, 47 percent of the country didn’t vote for me.  But on the night of the election, I said to all those Americans, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President, too.  (Applause.)

And so I want to say to Denver, I want to say to the entire great state of Colorado:  I don’t know how many of you will be with me this time around — (applause) — but I’ll be with you no matter what.  Because I’m not fighting to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs — I’m fighting to create American jobs.  (Applause.)  I’m not fighting to improve schools in the red states or blue states — I’m fighting to improve schools in the United States.  (Applause.)

The values we care about don’t just belong to workers or businesses, or the rich or the poor, or the 1 percent or the 99 percent — they are American values; they belong to all of us.  And if we reclaim them now, if we rally around a new sense of economic patriotism, a sense of how we build an economy from the middle out and give ladders of opportunity for everybody who is willing to work hard — we will strengthen the middle class, we’ll keep moving forward.

I still believe that our politics is not as divided as it seems sometimes.  I still believe in you.  I’m asking you to keep on believing in me.  (Applause.)  I’m asking for your vote.  And if you’re willing to stand with me and work with me, we’re going to win Denver again.  (Applause.)  We’ll win Colorado again.  We’ll finish what we started.  We will remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
10:52 A.M. MDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 24, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Pueblo, Colorado — We Must Stand For Freedom

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney: We Must Stand For Freedom

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-24-12

“The world looks at the events going on. They don’t see these events as bumps in the road. These are lives. This is humanity. This is freedom. Freedom must be on the march. We must stand for freedom.” – Mitt Romney

Remarks
Pueblo, Colorado

September 24, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “Look, the world looks at the events going on. They don’t see these events as bumps in the road. These are lives. This is humanity. This is freedom. Freedom must be on the march. We must stand for freedom. I see these extraordinary aircraft here and know that behind them are men and women who’ve flown them in peace, in times of danger. They fly them to protect us. They fly to make sure the world is a safer place. American leadership is derived from a strong military, which, by the way, is derived from a strong economy, which is derived from strong values and principles. I will strengthen America by restoring the principles that made us the hope of the earth!”

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

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mideast Events Cast Shadow on Obama Campaign Event

Source: WH, 9-13-12

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

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

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

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

Remarks by the President in Golden, CO

Source: WH, 9-13-12 

Lions Park
Golden, Colorado

11:03 A.M. MDT

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

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can.

THE PRESIDENT:  You remember that.  (Applause.)

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  Spend it.  (Laughter.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  No!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  No!

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

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

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

END
11:37 A.M. MDT

Campaign Headlines August 14, 2012: Paul Ryan Comes Out Swinging at Colorado Rally “We’ve Gone from…’Hope and Change’ to Attack and Blame”

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

“We’ve Gone from…’Hope and Change’ to Attack and Blame” — Paul Ryan Comes Out Swinging at Colorado Rally

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-14-12

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Paul Ryan, on the stump as Mitt Romney‘s running mate Tuesday, aimed his fire directly at President Obama.  He said the Democratic campaign has to “distort, demagogue, to divide,” all to distract from the “real issues” of the campaign.

“He comes to change the tone and culture in Washington,” Ryan said to a boisterous crowd at a high school. “And so here’s where we’ve arrived. He can’t run on his record. He hasn’t changed his tune. So all that he has left is to distort, demagogue, to divide, to try and confuse, to distract you from the real issues of this election.”

Tuesday was Ryan’s second solo day of on the campaign trail.  The enthusiastic crowd at his speech here was in stark contrast to the small but vocal contingent of protesters Ryan saw Monday at the Iowa State Fair.

“We’ve gone from…hope and change to attack and blame,” said Ryan, stumbling a bit on a line sure to be heard in his regular stump speech. “But here’s what’s a little more concerting in my opinion about this. He’s speaking to people as if we’re divided from one another, not unified. He’s speaking to people as if we’re stuck in our station in life. Victims of circumstances beyond our control and that only the government is here to help us cope with it.”…READ MORE

Paul Ryan: We Must Become Energy Independent

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-14-12

“What Mitt Romney and I are offering, the Romney-Ryan plan for a stronger middle class, is designed to get people back to work. It is designed to create jobs. If we get this economy growing like we know we can, we can create 12 million jobs in four years. We’re offering solutions. And among those solutions we’re offering, our number one, make sure that we use our own energy because we have our own energy in this country. All of it.” – Paul Ryan

Remarks
Lakewood, CO
August 14, 2012

Click Here To Watch Paul Ryan

PAUL RYAN: “What Mitt Romney and I are offering, the Romney-Ryan plan for a stronger middle class, is designed to get people back to work. It is designed to create jobs. If we get this economy growing like we know we can, we can create 12 million jobs in four years. We’re offering solutions. And among those solutions we’re offering, our number one, make sure that we use our own energy because we have our own energy in this country. All of it. You have it all here in Colorado. You know, last week when I was filling my truck up, which something tells me I’m not going to be putting gas in my truck for any time soon, but last week when I was filling my truck up, it cost $100, and the only reason it cost $100 is because the pump cut me off at $100 because of the gas tank. Enough. We have our own oil and gas. We have nuclear. We have all of the above, winds, solar, coal, let’s use it. Let’s make our energy independence. Let’s create jobs. Let’s stop sending jobs overseas by buying oil overseas.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 8, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Denver Launches 2 Day Colorado Tour & Pitches Health Law

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Joins Sandra Fluke, Pitches Health Law in Colorado

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-8-12
JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages

Trailing rival Mitt Romney in a new Colorado poll, President Obama Wednesday kicked off a two-day swing through the state by aggressively courting women voters with his signature health care law.
The vigorous pitch, emphasizing the law’s popular benefits for women — from preventive care services without co-pays to mandated insurance coverage for contraceptive care — underscores just how important Democrats believe women voters will be in the battle for November.

“I don’t think a working mom in Denver should have to wait to get a mammogram just because money is tight. I don’t think a college student in Colorado Springs should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs,” Obama said. “That’s why we’ve passed this law. It was the right thing to do.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Denver, CO

Source: WH, 8-8-12

Auraria Events Center
University of Denver
Denver, Colorado

1:06 P.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Denver!  (Applause.)  Oh, it is good to be back in Denver.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Well, I tell you what, we win Colorado, I’ll get four more years.  (Applause.)

A couple of people I just want to acknowledge.  First of all, I just want to say thank you to Sandra for that wonderful introduction.  (Applause.)  She is one tough and poised young lady.  (Applause.)  She was generous to stand up for her friend. She was brave to stand up for herself, and an eloquent advocate for women’s health.  And I suspect she’s going to be doing some even greater things as time goes on.  So give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

A couple other people I want to acknowledge — your own Mayor Michael Hancock is in the house.  (Applause.)  One of the best Senators in the country, Michael Bennet is in the house.  (Applause.)  A passionate advocate for working families, Ed Perlmutter is here.  (Applause.)  My dear friend, campaign co-chair, former mayor, former secretary of transportation and energy — I’m getting tired just listing his resumé — Federico Peña is in the house.  (Applause.)  He’s here somewhere.  Where did Federico go?  (Applause.)

And finally, I also want to acknowledge another campaign co-chair, John Register — a veteran and Paralympian.  We are very proud of him — John Register.  (Applause.)

It’s been two and a half weeks since I was last here in Colorado.  And, well, many of you know, I was in Aurora to meet those who lost loved ones during that terrible shooting.  And I just had a chance to see some of the first responders who helped to save lives and comfort families during that terrible, terrible day.  (Applause.)  Unfortunately, since that time, we’ve had another tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where six members of our community were killed as they entered into a house of worship.

And so I think we can all acknowledge, we’ve got to put an end to this kind of senseless violence — (applause) — whether it’s in Aurora, whether it’s in Oak Creek, whether it’s in Tucson, whether it’s in cities all across America where too many lives are cut short because of senseless violence.  This is going to have to stop.  And as an American family — as one American family — we’re going to have to come together and look at all the approaches that we can take to try to bring an end to it.

And I want you to all know that the thoughts and prayers of the entire nation remain with those in Aurora.  And even though the perpetrators of these acts have received a lot of attention, attention on them will fade and what will be replaced are the stories of heroism and hope that we’ve seen here in Colorado, and in Wisconsin, and across the nation.  That’s what we’ll remember. That’s what’s going to matter.  (Applause.)  That’s what we will value — the strength and the resilience and the care and the love of the American people.  (Applause.)

Now, unless you’ve managed to completely avoid your television set — (laughter) — or your cable is broken, you are aware that there is a pretty intense campaign going on right now. (Applause.)  And the reason it’s intense is because the choice that we face in November could not be bigger.  It’s not just a choice between two candidates.  It’s not even just a choice between two parties.  More than any election in recent memory, this is a choice between two fundamentally different paths for our country’s future.

And the direction that you choose — the direction you choose when you walk into that voting booth three months from now will have a direct impact not just on your lives, but on the lives of your children and the lives of your grandchildren.  (Applause.)

And that’s true for everybody.  But it’s especially true for the women in this country — (applause) — from working moms to college students to seniors.  Because when it comes to the economy, it’s bad enough that our opponents want to take us back to the same policies of the last decade, the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place, the same policies that saw jobs going overseas and ended up seeing people’s wages and incomes going down even as the costs of everything from health care to college were going up — policies that culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and that we’ve spent, now, three and a half years trying to recover from.  That’s bad enough.  (Applause.)  But when it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.  (Applause.)

And, Colorado, you’ve got to make sure it does not happen. (Applause.)  The decisions that affect a woman’s health, they’re not up to politicians, they’re not up to insurance companies —

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  They’re up to you.  (Applause.)  And you deserve a President who will fight to keep it that way.  (Applause.)  That’s the President I’ve been.  That’s the President I will be if I get a second term as President of the United States, to keep moving this country forward.  (Applause.)

On the issues that matter, you don’t have to take my word for it — you can take me at my record.  Four years ago, I delivered on my promise to pass health reform before the end of my first term.  That’s what we did.  (Applause.)  The Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — (applause) — I actually like the name — (laughter) — because I do care.  (Applause.) That’s why we fought so hard to make it happen.

The Affordable Care Act helps make sure you don’t have to worry about going broke just because one of your loved ones gets sick.  Insurance companies can no longer place lifetime limits on your care.  They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason.  They can no longer drop your coverage when you need it most.  They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.  (Applause.)  And pretty soon, they’ll no longer be able to deny you coverage based on a preexisting condition, like breast cancer, or cervical cancer, or charge you more for care just because you’re a woman.  They can’t do that anymore.  Those days are over.  (Applause.)

This is a law that allows young adults under the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s health care plans — (applause) — and that’s already helped 6.6 million young Americans.  (Applause.)

If you’re a little bit over 26, it gives seniors a discount on their prescription drugs — a discount that’s already saved millions of seniors on Medicare hundreds of dollars each.  (Applause.)

Right now, nearly 13 million Americans are getting a rebate from insurance companies — that’s right, they’re sending you a check — (applause) — because under the law, we’ve capped the amount of money that they can spend on administrative costs and CEO bonuses instead of your health care.  And when they violate that rule, they’ve got to send you a check.  (Applause.)

Last year, Obamacare secured new access to preventive care like mammograms and cancer screenings — with no co-pay, no deductible, no out-of-pocket cost for more than 20 million women. (Applause.)  Last week, insurance companies began covering even more services.  And now most health plans are going to begin covering the cost of contraceptive care.  (Applause.)

Now, understand this is crucial for women’s health.  Doctors prescribe contraception not just for family planning but as a way to reduce the risk of ovarian and other cancers.  And it’s good for our health care system in general, because we know the overall cost of care is lower when women have access to contraceptive services.

And listen, we recognize that many people have strongly held religious views on contraception, which is why we made sure churches and other houses of worship, they don’t have to provide it, they don’t have to pay for it.  We worked with the Catholic hospitals and universities to find a solution that protects both religious liberty and a woman’s health.  (Applause.)

The fact is nearly 99 percent of women have relied on contraception at some point — and more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you!

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’re changing that.  (Applause.)  Before health care reform, many health care plans charged high deductibles or co-pays for all these preventive services, or they just didn’t cover them at all.  And according to one study, more than half of all women put off the care they needed because of that.  How many of you have gone without care that you needed or a checkup because you knew that you might not be able to afford the insurance co-pays — and you had to choose between gas, or groceries, or your kid’s new soccer uniform?

I don’t think a working mom in Denver should have to wait to get a mammogram just because money is tight.  (Applause.)  I don’t think a college student in Colorado Springs should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs.  That’s why we passed this law.  (Applause.)  It was the right thing to do.

Now, my opponent has a different view.  As Sandra said, he said he would take the Affordable Care Act and “kill it dead” on the first day of his presidency — “kill it dead.”

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Which — I mean, just understand what this means.  This means 26-year-olds — 6.5 million young people don’t have health insurance.  The preventative care gone.  Seniors paying more for prescription drugs.  Preexisting conditions — you’re out of luck.  Then he said he’d “get rid of” Planned Parenthood.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Then he said he would have supported an extreme measure in Mississippi that could have outlawed some forms of contraception.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Then he joined the far right of his party to support a bill that would allow any employer to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees.  So it would be up to the employer to decide —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENt:  — your boss telling you what’s best for your health and your safety.

Now, let me tell you something, Denver — I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get.  (Applause.)  I don’t think insurance companies should control the care that you get.  I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get.  I think there’s one person to make these decisions on health care, and that is you.  You should make that decision.  (Applause.)

Mr. Romney is running as the candidate of conservative values.  There’s nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions.  He says he’s the candidate of freedom.  But freedom is the chance, the opportunity to determine for yourself the care that you need, when you need it.  (Applause.)  It’s the ability to change jobs or start your own business without fear of losing your health insurance.  (Applause.)

We’re not going back to the days when it was acceptable to charge women more than men for health care.  And we’re not going back to the days when women with preexisting conditions, like being a cancer survivor, were denied affordable care.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to kick more than a million young women off their parent’s plan.  We are not going backwards, Denver.  We’re moving forward.  That’s why I’m running for President again.  (Applause.)

And understand this:  At a time when women make up nearly half the workforce, an increasing share of family breadwinners, these aren’t just health issues and they’re not just women’s issues.  These are economic issues.  They affect every family in America.  (Applause.)  Think about it.  Think about what it means when a woman is the main breadwinner for her family, but she’s taking less pay home, doing the same work as a man, just because she’s a woman.  That’s not right.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  When my opponent’s campaign was asked if he’d fight to guarantee an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work, you know what the campaign said?  They said, “We’ll get back to you on that.”

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s not a good answer.  “We’ll get back to you on that”?  He won’t say what he’d do about it.  You’ve got my answer — upholding the principle of equal pay for equal work was the first bill I signed into law.  (Applause.)  The Lilly Ledbetter Act — first bill I signed.  (Applause.)

And one other thing.  Today is the three-year anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor taking her seat on the Supreme Court.  (Applause.)  Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Elena Kagan taking her seat on the Supreme Court.  (Applause.)  So let’s be very clear — the next President could tip the balance of the Court in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come.  The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.  (Applause.)

And let me say this.  When I talk about women’s issues, I’m talking about the experiences that I’ve seen in my own life.  Everybody knows Michelle.  (Applause.)  The fact that we are partners in this process, this journey of life, has been my source of strength.  And I want to make sure that she has control over her health care choices.  I want to make sure that when she’s working, she is getting paid the same as men.  I’ve got to say, First Ladies right now don’t — (laughter) — even though that’s a tough job.

You know, my own mom would have been 70 years old this year. And my sister and I lost her to cancer when she was just 52 years old.  And she got to meet Michelle, but she never got a chance to meet her granddaughters or watch them grow up.  And I often think about what might have happened if a doctor had caught her cancer sooner, or if she had been able to spend less time focusing on how she was going to pay her bills and more time on getting well.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  She is still with us!

THE PRESIDENT:  She is still with us.  She is in a better place.  (Applause.)

I think about Malia and Sasha, and I think to myself, well, we’re not going to have an America where they have fewer opportunities than somebody’s sons.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t want them having fewer choices than anybody’s boys do.

And then, four years ago, as I had the privilege to travel all across this country and meet Americans from all walks of life, I heard so many stories like mine.  And I decided nobody else should have to endure the heartbreak of a broken health care system.  No one in the wealthiest nation on Earth should go broke because they get sick.  Nobody should be able to tell their daughters or sons that the decisions they can and cannot make for themselves are constrained because of some politicians in Washington.

And thanks to you, we’ve made a difference in people’s lives.  (Applause.)  Thanks to you, there are folks that I meet today who have gotten care and their cancer has been caught, and they’ve got treatment, and they are living full lives.  And it happened because of you, because of your efforts four years ago. (Applause.)

And, Denver, we’ve come too far to turn back now.  (Applause.)  We’ve got too much work to do to implement health care.  We’ve got too much work to do to create good jobs.  (Applause.)  We’ve got too many teachers that we’ve got to hire. We’ve got too many schools we’ve got to rebuild.  We’ve got too many students who still need affordable higher education.  (Applause.)  There’s more homegrown energy to generate.  (Applause.)  There are more troops that we’ve got to bring home. (Applause.)  There are more doors of opportunity that we’ve got to open to anybody who’s willing to work hard and walk through those doors.

We’ve got to keep building an economy where no matter what you look like or where you come from, you can make it here if you try.  (Applause.)  And you can leave something behind for the next generation.  That’s what’s at stake right now, Colorado.  That’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m asking for your vote.  (Applause.)

I still believe in you.  And if you still believe in me, and if you’re willing to stand with me, and knock on some doors with me, and make some phone calls with me, and talk to your neighbors and friends about what’s at stake, we will win Colorado.  And if we win Colorado, we will win this election.  (Applause.)  We will finish what we started, and we’ll remind the world why America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

END
1:29 P.M. MDT

Campaign Headlines August 2, 2012: Mitt Romney Promises to ‘Bury The Hatchet,’ Work with Democrats

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Promises to ‘Bury The Hatchet,’ Work with Democrats

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-2-12

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mitt Romney appeared in Colorado today and promoted his bipartisan work as governor of Massachusetts. He told supporters at a rally that Americans need a president who “buries the hatchet.”

Hopping onto a park bench outside, Romney spoke to an overflow crowd prior to his grassroots events, telling the crowd he wanted them to know he wasn’t a “dismembered spirit” on a microphone but a “real person.”

“I worked in a state. I found a way to work across the aisle, by the way. And when I look — we’ve got to have someone that goes to Washington that buries the hatchet and says you know what, there are good Democrats, there are good Republicans that care about America, let’s work together to get the American people working, get some growth again. This is important. Getting America working, this isn’t a statistic we’re talking about.  Twenty-three million Americans out work or underemployed. Twenty-three million. It’s a tragedy. It’s a moral failing for a country as successful as successful and wealthy as ours to have had policies that kept people from going to work. I want to get people back to work that want to work. Put them in good jobs with more take home pay.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency July 22, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Honoring Victims of Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting after Visiting Victims at University of Colorado Hospital

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama Consoles Aurora as City Begins Healing

Source: NYT, 7-22-12

President Obama came to Aurora, Colo., to meet with survivors of a rampage at a movie theater. The police said they had finished collecting evidence out of the suspect’s apartment….READ MORE

Source: WH. 7-23-12

President Barack Obama hugs Stephanie Davies (July 22, 2012)President Barack Obama hugs Stephanie Davies, who helped keep her friend, Allie Young, left, alive after she was shot during the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. The President visited patients and family members affected by the shootings at the University of Colorado Hospital July 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Sunday, President Obama traveled to Aurora, Colorado to meet with the survivors of the movie theater shooting and offer solace to families of the victims.

“I had a chance to visit with each family, and most of the conversation was filled with memory,” the President said. “I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day.”

During his visit to University of Colorado Hospital, the President had a chance to meet Allie Young and Stephanie Davies, and speaking to reporters, he described their story.

During the film, Allie and Stephanie were seated near an aisle and when the gunman began his attack by tossing a canister of gas into the crowd, Allie, just 19 years old, stood up to warn those around her. She was hit in the neck by a bullet, which punctured a vein.

Stephanie, the President said, dropped to the ground beside her friend, applied pressure to Allie’s wound to slow the bleeding, then dialed 911 with her cell phone. Even after Allie told Stephanie to run, the 21 year old stayed by her friend — and when first responders arrived, Stephanie helped to carry Allie to a waiting ambulance.

Doctors expect Allie to make a full recovery.

President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora (July 22, 2012) President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo., July, 22, 2012, following his meetings with families of victims killed in last Thursday’s shootings. Standing with the President, from left, are: Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., Police Chief Dan Oates, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

“I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did, or the courage that Allie showed,” President Obama said.  “And so, as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it’s worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie, because they represent what’s best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come.”

Read his full remarks here.

Remarks by the President After Hospital Visit

Source: WH, 7-22-12 

University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, Colorado

6:40 P.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I want to begin by just thanking all the state, local, and federal officials who have responded magnificently to this tragedy.

Governor Hickenlooper, who has already been dealing with a range of natural disasters here in the state, has been an extraordinary example of strength.  The Mayor, who has only been on the job seven months, and obviously has responded with great strength and leadership.  The Police Chief, who — we had an opportunity to speak over the phone — Chief Oates has been dealing with as difficult a set of circumstances as any law enforcement officer deals with, and he and his officers have done everything right, by the book, with great courage and great determination.  And so we are very proud of them.  And I think I speak for the entire congressional delegation who is here as well.

Scripture says that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.  Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And when you have an opportunity to visit with families who have lost their loved ones — as I described to them, I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband.  And I think that the reason stories like this have such an impact on us is because we can all understand what it would be to have somebody that we love taken from us in this fashion — what it would be like and how it would impact us.

I had a chance to visit with each family, and most of the conversation was filled with memory.  It was an opportunity for families to describe how wonderful their brother, or their son, or daughter was, and the lives that they have touched, and the dreams that they held for the future.  I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day, and that the awareness that not only all of America but much of the world is thinking about them might serve as some comfort.

I also tried to assure them that although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away.  And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.

And I also had a chance to give folks some hugs and to shed some tears, but also to share some laughs as they remembered the wonderful lives that these men and women represented.

I also had a chance, fortunately, to visit some folks who are going to be okay, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the staff at this hospital.  And I just want to thank everybody who’s worked tirelessly here to deal with this tragedy.

Some of the stories are remarkable.  You see young people who’ve come in and just two days ago, or 36 hours ago, or even 24 hours ago, it wasn’t certain whether they’d make it.  And now suddenly, their eyes are open, they’re alert and they’re talking. And it reminds you that even in the darkest of days, life continues, and people are strong and people bounce back and people are resilient.  And particularly, given the fact that so many of the victims were young, it is a great blessing to see how rapidly they’re able to recover from some pretty devastating injuries.

There’s one particular story I want to tell because this was the last visit that I had and I think it’s representative of everything that I saw and heard today.  I had a chance, just now, about five minutes ago, to visit with Allie Young — Allie is 19 years old — and I also had a chance to visit with Allie’s best friend, Stephanie Davies, who’s 21.  Stephanie was actually downstairs with Allie as well as Allie’s parents when I walked into the room.

And I don’t think this story has been heard — at least I hadn’t read it yet — but I wanted to share it with you.  When the gunman initially came in and threw the canisters, he threw them only a few feet away from Allie and Stephanie, who were sitting there watching the film.  Allie stood up, seeing that she might need to do something or at least warn the other people who were there.  And she was immediately shot.  And she was shot in the neck, and it punctured a vein, and immediately she started spurting blood.

And apparently, as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie — 21 years old — had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where she — where Allie had been wounded, and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting.  Allie told Stephanie she needed to run.  Stephanie refused to go — instead, actually, with her other hand, called 911 on her cell phone.

Once the SWAT team came in, they were still trying to clear the theater.  Stephanie then, with the help of several others, carries Allie across two parking lots to where the ambulance is waiting.  And because of Stephanie’s timely actions, I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs, and she is going to be fine.

I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did, or the courage that Allie showed.  And so, as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it’s worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie, because they represent what’s best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come.

To the entire community of Aurora, the country is thinking of you.  I know that there’s going to be a vigil and an opportunity for everybody to come together.  And I hope that all those who are in attendance understand that the entire country will be there in prayer and reflection today.

So thank you.  God bless you.  God bless all who helped to respond to this tragedy.  And I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country, but also reflect on all the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on Earth.

Thank you very much, everybody.

END             6:50 P.M. CDT

Full Text Political Headlines July 21, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Speaker John Boehner Offers Thoughts on Shooting Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Boehner Offers Thoughts on Shooting Tragedy in Colorado

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-21-12

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images

Putting aside his initial plan to discuss the U.S. economy in this week’s Republican address, House Speaker John Boehner offers prayers for the those affected by the Friday mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., and appreciation for the efforts of first responders at the scene.
“We join President Obama in sending condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those who were killed and wounded. And we all say ‘thank God’ for the police, the first responders, the doctors, and the nurses whose swift and heroic efforts saved lives,” Boehner says in the address….READ MORE

Weekly Republican Address: Speaker Boehner on the Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado

Source: Speaker.gov, 7-21-12

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) offers prayers to those affected and appreciation for the heroes who responded swiftly to the horrific tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

Download Audio   |   YouTube   |   Download Video

“Hello, I’m John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“My plan today was to share some thoughts with you about the economy.  But life, they say, is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

“There is still so much, too much, to sort out about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  Words cannot capture the horror, or make sense of something so senseless.  So I won’t try.

“This much I know.

“I know that when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly.

“We join President Obama in sending condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those who were killed and wounded.  And we all say ‘thank God’ for the police, the first responders, the doctors, and the nurses whose swift and heroic efforts saved lives.

“At a time like this, we count our blessings.  And as we do, we come to be reminded that the depth of our grief also reveals the depth of our love and our resolve.

“Scripture tells us that the faith that sustains us is ‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.’  We may not yet see or fathom comfort for the mourning, but we’ll stand by them and we’ll stand together, as one nation, in the difficult hours that lie ahead.

“May God bless the grieving families – and yours.  And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

“Thank you.”

Full Text Obama Presidency July 21, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Remembers the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’ Weekly Address: ‘Time for Prayer and Reflection’ After Colorado Shooting

White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy

Following the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, President Obama urges Americans to take “some time for prayer and reflection” this weekend while offering condolences to families of the victims.

In his weekly address, Obama remembers the at least 12 victims of the Aurora, Colo., tragedy early Friday morning, calling them lives lost from “senseless” violence that can be difficult to understand….READ MORE

President Obama honors the victims of the tragedy in Colorado, the people who knew them and loved them, and those who are still struggling to recover.

President Obama tapes the weekly address

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 7/20/12

Weekly Address: Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

Source: WH, 7-21-12

President Obama honors the victims of the tragedy in Colorado, the people who knew them and loved them, and those who are still struggling to recover.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

 

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
July 21, 2012

As many of you know, early on Friday, at least twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  Dozens more are being treated for injuries at local hospitals.  Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.

We are still gathering all the facts about what happened, but we do know that the police have one suspect in custody.  And the federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice.  We will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all our people.  And we will stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.

Even as we come to learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings.  Such evil is senseless – beyond reason.  But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes that life worth living.

The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved.  They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors.  They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled.  And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile.  Our time here is limited and it is precious.  And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives.  It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another.  It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose.  That’s what matters.  That’s why we’re here.

I’m sure many of you who are parents had the same reaction I did when you first heard this news: what if it had been my daughters at the theater, doing what young children enjoy doing every day?  Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter this weekend, as I’m sure you will do with your children.  But for those parents who may not be so fortunate, we need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis.  Let us keep all these Americans in our prayers.  And to the people of Aurora, may the Lord bring you comfort and healing in the hard days to come.

Full Text Political Buzz July 20, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Statement on the Aurora, Colorado Shootings: Ann And I Are Saddened By Today’s Tragedy In Colorado

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Romney Reacts to Colorado Shooting

Source: NYT, 7-20-12

Mitt Romney dispensed with a scheduled campaign speech to offer condolences to the lives shattered in “a few moments of evil in Colorado.”…READ MORE

Mitt Romney: Ann And I Are Saddened By Today’s Tragedy In Colorado

Source: Mitt Romney, 7-20-12

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on this morning’s tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado:

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief.  We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

Full Text Obama Presidency July 20, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks on the Shooting at a Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

The Tragedy in Colorado

Source: WH, 7-20-12

President Barack Obama pauses for a moment of silence for the victims of the Colorado shootings (July 20, 2012)President Barack Obama pauses for a moment of silence for the victims of the Colorado shootings, following his remarks in Fort Myers, Fla., July 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Just after midnight, a gunman walked into a busy movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire into the crowd. Police report that 12 people have been killed and dozens more are currently being treated for injuries.

Just moments ago, President Obama discussed the shooting, calling on the country to stand with those who have been touched by the tragedy:

[Even] as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.  The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

Earlier, the President spoke with both the mayor of Aurora, Steve Hogan, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — and pledged the full support of federal law enforcement to aid the investigation.

To read President Obama’s full remarks, click here. To read a statement from the President, click here.

Vice President Joe Biden has also issued a statement.

Update: President Obama has issued a proclamation that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and at all public buildings and grounds until sunset on July 25.

Remarks by the President on the Shootings in Aurora, Colorado

Harborside Event Center
Fort Myers, Florida

10:44 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me, first of all, say how grateful I am for all of you being here, and how much we appreciate everything that you’ve done.  I know that there are a lot of people here who have been so engaged in the campaign, have sacrificed so much, people who’ve been involved back since 2007. (Applause.)  And so I want all of you to know how appreciative I am.

And I know many of you came here today for a campaign event. I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters that we face as a country and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election.  But this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family.

By now, many of you know, many of you have heard that a few miles outside of Denver in a town call Aurora, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater, and dozens more are being treated for injuries at a local hospital.  Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.

We’re still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora, but what we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody.  And the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.  (Applause.)  And we will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all of our people.

We’re going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.  And I had a chance to speak with the Mayor of Aurora as well as the Governor of Colorado to express, not just on behalf of Michelle and myself, but the entire American family, how heartbroken we are.

Now, even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.  Such violence, such evil is senseless.  It’s beyond reason.  But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.  The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved.  They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.  They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile.  Our time here is limited and it is precious.  And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives.  Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another.  (Applause.)

It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose.  That’s what matters.  At the end of the day, what we’ll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others.  That’s why we’re here.

I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news.  My daughters go to the movies.  What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day?  Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children.  But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

So, again, I am so grateful that all of you are here.  I am so moved by your support.  But there are going to be other days for politics.  This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.

So what I’d ask everybody to do, I’d like us to pause in a moment of silence for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day.  So if everybody can just take a moment.

(Moment of silence.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  I hope all of you will keep the people of Aurora in your hearts and minds today.  May the Lord bring them comfort and healing in hard days to come.

I am grateful to all of you, and I hope that as a consequence of today’s events, as you leave here, you spend a little time thinking about the incredible blessings that God has given us.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Obama!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
10:51 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency May 23, 2012: President Barack Obama Says Military will Remain Strong Despite Cuts in Air Force Academy Commencement Address

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:


Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Obama greeted graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday.

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS MILITARY WILL REMAIN STRONG DESPITE CUTS IN AIR FORCE ACADEMY COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Military Will Withstand Cuts, Obama Tells Cadets

Source: NYT, 5-23-12

President Obama, speaking at the Air Force Academy graduation, described keeping the armed forces strong in the wake of tight budgets and the end of two wars….READ MORE

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at the Air Force Academy Commencement

Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, Colorado

10:29 A.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Please be seated.  Good morning, everybody!  It is wonderful to be at the United States Air Force Academy on such a spectacular day.  And it is a privilege to join you in honoring the Class of 2012.  (Applause.)

I want to thank Secretary Donley for his introduction, but more importantly, for his leadership.  Generals Gould, Clark and Born; academy faculty and staff; Governor Hickenlooper; members of Congress; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

I especially want to acknowledge a graduate of this academy who has kept our Air Force strong through a time of great challenge, a leader I’ve relied on and for whom today is his final commencement as chief of staff — General Norton Schwartz. Norty, Suzie, we could not be prouder of you and we are grateful for 39 years of extraordinary service to our nation.  (Applause.)
And although he is not with us today, I’m proud to have nominated another Academy graduate, General Mark Welsh, as the next chief of staff.  (Applause.)

This is my second visit to the Academy.  I was here in the summer of 2008, and you were getting ready to head out to Jacks Valley.  So I was proud to be here when you began this journey, and I thought I’d come back and help you celebrate at the end.  (Laughter.)

It’s great to be back at a school that has produced so many of the airmen I’ve known as President.  Every day, I rely on outstanding Academy graduates who serve at the White House.  Some of you know that photo from the Situation Room on the day we delivered justice to bin Laden — you can see right next to me a great leader of our Special Operations forces, General Brad Webb.
Last month, I was able to present the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to Coach Calhoun and the Fighting Falcons — (applause) — for the second straight year, a record 18th time.  And of course, every time I step on Air Force One, I count on Academy graduates like my pilot today — Colonel Scott Turner.  Now, I was going to tell you a joke about Scott, but he’s my ride home.  (Laughter.) So I’m going to have to keep it to myself.

Cadets, you distinguished yourselves as leaders before you ever stepped foot on the Terrazzo.  And when you arrived, I know your upper classmen gave you quite a welcome.  They let you experience the joy of the Beast.  The pleasure of Recognition.  They made you experts on filling out forms.  I only ask that you resist the temptation to rate my speech — “fast-neat-average-friendly-good-good.”  (Laughter and applause.)

But you survived.  In you we see the values of integrity and service and excellence that will define your lives.  And I know you couldn’t have made it without the love and support of your moms and dads and brothers and sisters and grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins.  So give them all a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

This Academy is one of the most demanding academic institutions in America.  And you have excelled.  I’m told you have set at least three Academy records:  The largest number of graduates ever to go directly on to graduate school; the largest number of female graduates in Academy history — (applause.)  You will follow in the footsteps of General Janet Wolfenbarger, who I was proud to nominate as the first female four-star general in Air Force history.  (Applause.)

And of course, your final and perhaps most impressive distinction — breaking the world’s record for the largest game of dodgeball — (applause) — 3,000 participants, 30 hours.  I didn’t know that was possible.  (Laughter.)  Of course, you are also the class that snuck into the Superintendent’s office and moved all the furniture into your dorm rooms — (laughter) — which does bring me to some important business.  In keeping with longstanding tradition, I hereby grant amnesty to all cadets serving restrictions and confinements for minor offenses.  (Applause.)  Of course, I leave it up to General Gould to define “minor.”  (Laughter.)

Cadets, this is the day you finally become officers in the finest Air Force in the world.  (Applause.)  Like generations before you, you’ll be charged with the responsibility of leading those under your command.  Like classes over the past 10 years, you graduate in a time of war and you may find yourselves in harm’s way.  But you will also face a new test, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Four years ago, you arrived here at a time of extraordinary challenge for our nation.  Our forces were engaged in two wars.  Al Qaeda, which had attacked us on 9/11, was entrenched in their safe havens.  Many of our alliances were strained and our standing in the world had suffered.  Our economy was in the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Around the world and here at home, there were those that questioned whether the United States still had the capacity for global leadership.

Today, you step forward into a different world.  You are the first class in nine years that will graduate into a world where there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.  (Applause.)  For the first time in your lives — and thanks to Air Force personnel who did their part — Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to our country.  (Applause.)  We’ve put al Qaeda on the path to defeat. And you are the first graduates since 9/11 who can clearly see how we’ll end the war in Afghanistan.

So what does all this mean?  When you came here four years ago, there were some 180,000 American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’ve now cut that number by more than half.  And as more Afghans step up, more of our troops will come home -— while achieving the objective that led us to war in the first place and that is defeating al Qaeda and denying them safe haven. So we aren’t just ending these wars, we are doing so in a way that makes us safer and stronger.

Today we pay tribute to all our extraordinary men and women in uniform for their bravery, for their dedication.  Those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to make this progress possible -— including 16 graduates of this Academy — we honor them.  We will always honor them.

For a decade, we have labored under the dark cloud of war.  And now, we can see a light — the light of a new day on the horizon.  So the end of these wars will shape your service and it will make our military stronger.  Ten years of continuous military operations have stretched our forces and strained their families.  Going forward, you’ll face fewer deployments.  You’ll have more time to train and stay ready.  That means you’ll be better prepared for the full range of missions you face.

And ending these wars will also ensure that the burden of our security no longer falls so heavily on the shoulders of our men and women in uniform.  As good as you are, you can’t be expected to do it alone.  There are many sources of American power -— diplomatic, economic and the power of our ideals.  And we’ve got to use them all.  And the good news is, today we are.

Around the world, the United States is leading once more.  From Europe to Asia, our alliances are stronger than ever.  Our ties with the Americas are deeper.  We’re setting the agenda in the region that will shape our long-term security and prosperity like no other — the Asia Pacific.

We’re leading on global security — reducing our nuclear arsenal with Russia, even as we maintain a strong nuclear deterrent; mobilizing dozens of nations to secure nuclear materials so they never fall into the hands of terrorists; rallying the world to put the strongest sanctions ever on Iran and North Korea, which cannot be allowed to threaten the world with nuclear weapons.

We are leading economically — forging trade pacts to create new markets for our goods; boosting our exports, stamped with three proud words — Made in America.  (Applause.)  We’re expanding exchanges and collaborations in areas that people often admire most about America — our innovation, our science, our technology.

We’re leading on behalf of human dignity and on behalf of freedom — standing with the people of the Middle East and North Africa as they seek their rights; preventing a massacre in Libya with an international mission in which the United States — and our Air Force — led from the front.  (Applause.)  We’re leading global efforts against hunger and disease.  And we’ve shown our compassion, as so many airmen did in delivering relief to our neighbors in Haiti when they were in need and to our Japanese allies after the earthquake and tsunami.

Because of this progress, around the world there is a new feeling about America.  I see it everywhere I go, from London and Prague, to Tokyo and Seoul, to Rio and Jakarta.  There’s a new confidence in our leadership.  And when people around the world are asked, which country do you most admire, one nation comes out on top — the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Of course, the world stage is not a popularity contest.  As a nation, we have vital interests, and we will do what is necessary always to defend this country we love — even if it’s unpopular.  But make no mistake, how we’re viewed in the world has consequences — for our national security and for your lives.

See, when other countries and people see us as partners, they’re more willing to work with us.  It’s why more countries joined us in Afghanistan and Libya.  It’s why nations like Australia are welcoming our forces who stand side by side with allies and partners in the South Pacific.  It’s why Uganda and its African neighbors have welcomed our trainers to help defeat a brutal army that slaughters its citizens.

I think of the Japanese man in the disaster zone who, upon seeing our airmen delivering relief, said, “I never imagined they could help us so much.”  I think of the Libyans who protected our airman when he ejected over their town, because they knew America was there to protect them.  And in a region where we’ve seen burning of American flags, I think of all the Libyans who were waving American flags.

Today, we can say with confidence and pride the United States is stronger and safer and more respected in the world, because even as we’ve done the work of ending these wars, we’ve laid the foundation for a new era of American leadership.  And now, cadets, we have to build it.  We have to build on it.  You have to build on it.

Let’s start by putting aside the tired notion that says our influence has waned or that America is in decline.  We’ve heard that talk before.  During the Great Depression, when millions were unemployed and some believed that other economic models offered a better way, there were those who predicted the end of American capitalism.  Guess what, they were wrong.  We fought our way back.  We created the largest middle class in history and the most prosperous economy the world has ever known.

After Pearl Harbor some said, the United States has been reduced to a third-rate power.  Well, we rallied.  We flew over The Hump and took island after island.  We stormed the beaches and liberated nations.  And we emerged from that war as the strongest power on the face of the Earth.

After Vietnam and the energy crisis of the 1970s, some said America had passed its high point.  But the very next decade, because of our fidelity to the values we stand for, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and liberty prevailed over the tyranny of the Cold War.  (Applause.)

As recently as the 1980s with the rise of Japan and the Asian tigers, there were those who said we had lost our economic edge.  But we retooled.  We invested in new technologies.  We launched an Information Revolution that changed the world.

After all this, you would think folks understand a basic truth — never bet against the United States of America.  (Applause.)  And one of the reasons is that the United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.  It’s one of the many examples of why America is exceptional.  It’s why I firmly believe that if we rise to this moment in history, if we meet our responsibilities, then — just like the 20th century — the 21st century will be another great American Century.  That’s the future I see.  That’s the future you can build.  (Applause.)

I see an American Century because we have the resilience to make it through these tough economic times.  We’re going to put America back to work by investing in the things that keep us competitive — education and high-tech manufacturing, science and innovation.  We’ll pay down our deficits, reform our tax code and keep reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  We need to get on with nation-building here at home.  And I know we can, because we’re still the largest, most dynamic, most innovative economy in the world.  And no matter what challenges we may face, we wouldn’t trade places with any other nation on Earth.

I see an American Century because you are part of the finest, most capable military the world has ever known.  No other nation even comes close.  Yes, as today’s wars end, our military — and our Air Force — will be leaner.  But as Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow us to make the mistakes of the past.  We still face very serious threats.  As we’ve seen in recent weeks, with al Qaeda in Yemen, there are still terrorists who seek to kill our citizens.  So we need you to be ready for the full range of threats.  From the conventional to the unconventional, from nations seeking weapons of mass destruction to the cell of terrorists planning the next attack, from the old danger of piracy to the new threat of cyber, we must be vigilant.

And so, guided by our new defense strategy, we’ll keep our military — and our Air Force — fast and flexible and versatile. We will maintain our military superiority in all areas — air, land, sea, space and cyber.  And we will keep faith with our forces and our military families.

And as our newest veterans rejoin civilian life, we will never stop working to give them the benefits and opportunities that they have earned — because our veterans have the skills to help us rebuild America, and we have to serve them as well as they have served us.  (Applause.)

I see an American Century because we have the strongest alliances of any nation.  From Europe to Asia, our alliances are the foundation of global security.  In Libya, all 28 NATO allies played a role and we were joined by partners in the air from Sweden to the Gulf states.  In Afghanistan, we’re in a coalition of 50 allies and partners.  Today, Air Force personnel are serving in 135 nations — partnering, training, building their capacity.  This is how peace and security will be upheld in the 21st century — more nations bearing the costs and responsibilities of leadership.  And that’s good for America.  It’s good for the world.  And we’re at the hub of it, making it happen.

I see an American Century because no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs, and no other nation can play the role that we play in global affairs.  That includes shaping the global institutions of the 20th century to meet the challenges of the 21st.  As President, I’ve made it clear the United States does not fear the rise of peaceful, responsible emerging powers — we welcome them.  Because when more nations step up and contribute to peace and security, that doesn’t undermine American power, it enhances it.

And when other people in other countries see that we’re rooting for their success, it builds trust and partnerships that can advance our interests for generations.  It makes it easier to meet common challenges, from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to combating climate change.  And so we seek an international order where the rights and responsibilities of all nations and peoples are upheld, and where counties thrive by meeting their obligations and they face consequences when they don’t.

I see an American Century because more and more people are reaching toward the freedoms and values that we share.  No other nation has sacrificed more — in treasure, in the lives of our sons and daughters — so that these freedoms could take root and flourish around the world.  And no other nation has made the advancement of human rights and dignity so central to its foreign policy.  And that’s because it’s central to who we are, as Americans.  It’s also in our self-interest, because democracies become our closest allies and partners.

Sure, there will always be some governments that try to resist the tide of democracy, who claim theirs is a better way.  But around the world, people know the difference between us.  We welcome freedom —- to speak, to assemble, to worship, to choose your leaders.  They don’t.  We welcome the chance to compete for jobs and markets freely and fairly.  They don’t.  When fundamental human rights are threatened around the world, we stand up and speak out.  And they don’t.

We know that the sovereignty of nations cannot strangle the liberty of individuals.  And so we stand with the student in the street who demands a life of dignity and opportunity.  We stand with women everywhere who deserve the same rights as men.  We stand with the activists unbowed in their prison cells, and the leaders in parliament who’s moving her country towards democracy. We stand with the dissident who seeks the freedom to say what he pleases, and the entrepreneur who wants to start a business without paying a bribe, and all those who strive for justice and dignity.  For they know, as we do, that history is on the side of freedom.

And finally, I see an American Century because of the character of our country — the spirit that has always made us exceptional.  That simple yet revolutionary idea — there at our founding and in our hearts ever since — that we have it in our power to make the world anew, to make the future what we will.  It is that fundamental faith — that American optimism — which says no challenge is too great, no mission is too hard.  It’s the spirit that guides your class:  “Never falter, never fail.”  (Applause.)

That is the essence of America, and there’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world.  It’s what’s inspired the oppressed in every corner of the world to demand the same freedoms for themselves.  It’s what’s inspired generations to come to our shores, renewing us with their energy and their hopes.  And that includes a fellow cadet, a cadet graduating today, who grew up in Venezuela, got on a plane with a one-way ticket to America, and today is closer to his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot — Edward Camacho.  (Applause.)  Edward said what we all know to be true:  “I’m convinced that America is the land of opportunity.”

You’re right, Edward.  That is who we are.  That’s the America we love.  Always young, always looking ahead to that light of a new day on the horizon.  And, cadets, as I look into your eyes — as you join that Long Blue Line — I know you will carry us even farther, and even higher.  And with your proud service, I’m absolutely confident that the United States of America will meet the tests of our time.  We will remain the land of opportunity.  And we will stay strong as the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known.

May God bless you.  May God bless the Class of 2012.  And may God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
10:56 A.M. MDT

Campaign Buzz February 7, 2012: Rick Santorum Sweeps GOP Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado Primaries & Caucuses Claims Victory for Conservatism — Puts Conservative Support for Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential Nomination in Question

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012


Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times
Rick Santorum addressed his supporters with his wife, Karen, at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo., on Tuesday night. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: RICK SANTORUM SWEEPS MISSOURI, MINNESOTA & COLORADO PRIMARIES & CAUCUSES QUESTIONING CONSERVATIVE SUPPORT OF MITT ROMNEY FOR THE GOP’S PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Caucus Results
10:05 AM ET 2:00

Minnesota »
Candidate Votes Pct.
Santorum 21,436 44.8%
Paul 13,030 27.2
Romney 8,096 16.9
Gingrich 5,134 10.7
95% reporting
Colorado »
Santorum 26,372 40.2%
Romney 22,875 34.9
Gingrich 8,394 12.8
Paul 7,713 11.8
100% reporting

The Missouri primary is nonbinding and has no effect on delegates.

Santorum Upsets G.O.P. Race With Three Victories: Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support…. – NYT, 2-8-12 Full Results and Recap

Jubilant Santorum wins Minn., challenges in Colo.: A resurgent Rick Santorum won Minnesota’s Republican presidential caucuses with ease Tuesday night and challenged Mitt Romney in Colorado, raising fresh questions about the front-runner’s appeal among the ardent conservatives at the core of the party’s political base.
Santorum triumphed, as well, in a nonbinding Missouri primary that was worth bragging rights but no delegates…. – AP, 2-7-12

Rick Santorum wins Colorado caucuses to claim clean sweep: Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night Tuesday, winning GOP presidential contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Santorum solidly defeated Romney in Minnesota and Missouri, and he narrowly edged the former Massachusetts governor in Colorado, according to state GOP officials…. – Read more at:

AP: Rick Santorum wins Minnesota GOP caucuses: Victory is former Pennsylvania senator’s second of the night, coming after a win in Missouri’s non-binding primary…. – WaPo, 2-7-12

AP declares Rick Santorum winner in Missouri: Missouri’s primary awards no delegates, but the victory gives a boost to the former Pennsylvania senator’s efforts to slow Mitt Romney’s march to the Republican presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich did not compete in Missouri…. – WaPo, 2-7-12

Rick Santorum Wins Minnesota Republican Caucus: Rick Santorum has won Minnesota’s Republican caucus, giving him a second big win on Tuesday night and adding to the headache for Mitt Romney and his hopes of quickly wrapping up the Republican presidential nomination.
Mr. Santorum’s victory in Minnesota — a state that Mr. Romney won easily in 2008 — came shortly after he was declared the easy victor in Missouri, where he trounced his rivals in the Republican primary.
He is also leading in early returns in Colorado’s Republican caucus…. – NYT, 2-7-12

“Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota.” — Rick Santorum

“This was a good night for Rick Santorum. I want to congratulate Sen. Santorum, but I expect to become the nominee with your help.” — Mitt Romney

  • Live blog: Santorum wins Missouri primary: We’re live-blogging the results from GOP presidential contests in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Rick Santorum has scored the first victory of the night with a win in Missouri. He’s battling with Mitt Romney in Minnesota … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Live: Santorum proclaims victory for ‘conservatism’: Rick Santorum scored two victories Tuesday night in the GOP presidential race, easily defeating Mitt Romney in Missouri and Ron Paul in Minnesota. In Colorado, a state that will be among those hotly contested in the general … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • After 3-state sweep, Santorum ready for Romney: Fresh from his three-state sweep, a confident Rick Santorum said he is prepared for an onslaught from Mitt Romney as he tries to make his case that he’s the best conservative to take on President Obama…. – USA Today, 2-8-12
  • In Santorum’s Sweep, Sign of GOP Unease With Romney: Rick Santorum’s sweep of Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s three Republican presidential contests sets the stage for a new and bitter round of intraparty acrimony as Mr. Romney once again faces a surging conservative challenge to his claim on the party’s nomination… – NYT, 2-8-12
  • Voters in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri choose Santorum: The Republican presidential candidates made last-minute campaign stops before the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary. Tuesday was a breakthrough night for Rick Santorum, who swept all three states…. – WaPo, 2-8-12
  • Santorum sweep slows Romney’s drive: Rick Santorum shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination by sweeping three contests yesterday, casting doubt on front-runner Mitt Romney’s hold over the party’s core voters…. – Bloomberg, 2-8-12
  • What went wrong for Mitt Romney in Colorado?: Mitt Romney downplayed expectations going into Tuesday night, and it was predicted he could lose to Rick Santorum in Minnesota and Missouri. But his loss in Colorado was a shocker…. – CS Monitor, 2-8-12
  • Another Twist for GOP as Santorum Fares Well: His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support. Mr. Santorum was also running … – NYT, 2-7-12
  • Voter turnout slides in GOP contests: Rick Santorum may have scored a political hat trick Tuesday night, but voter turnout was down in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. That continues a trend that began in Florida and occurred again in Nevada…. – USA Today, 2-8-12
  • Santorum victories in Missouri, Minnesota bolster his case: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who says he’s on a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination, hit a speed bump Tuesday night as rival Rick Santorum scored easy victories in the Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary… – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Santorum rips Obama, Romney in victory speech: After being declared the winner in both the Missouri presidential primary and Minnesota’s caucuses, Santorum addressed a cheering crowd in St. Charles, Mo., branding himself as the best candidate to take on President Obama in the fall … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Rick Santorum triumphant as election takes another unpredictable swing: Rick Santorum has been declared the winner in Minnesota and Missouri – by wide margins – and could yet upset Mitt Romney in Colorado. But bigger contests lie ahead…. – CS Monitor, 2-7-12
  • Facing a sweep, humbled Romney congratulates Santorum: It was a grim election night party for Mitt Romney. First came word that he lost Missouri. Next came news of his defeat in Minnesota. With early returns showing the potential for a third loss in Colorado, Romney declined to wait for … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Colorado looks like a solid purple state for fall election: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s ability to attract thousands to his stump speeches here may make it look as if Colorado is destined to return to a red state in 2012, but Republicans and Democrats here … – USA Today, 2-7-12
  • Santorum declared winner in Missouri: Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night on Tuesday by winning the Missouri primary and making strong showings in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, breathing life into his struggling campaign and slowing Mitt Romney’s march to the Republican … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Missouri’s meaningless primary? Not anymore: The Missouri primary is the only so-called “beauty contest” in the Republican presidential race this year. But it might be remembered as where things got a little ugly for Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum’s win in the meaningless Show Me State primary on … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Santorum deals Romney a setback by winning Missouri: Rick Santorum dealt Mitt Romney a setback Tuesday night, winning the presidential primary in Missouri as Republicans in three states voted on a day that could produce a shift in the momentum of the 2012 race…. – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Rick Santorum wins Missouri ‘beauty contest’: Rick Santorum won Missouri’s presidential primary Tuesday, according to an Associated Press projection, but the only thing he can claim as a result is some newfound momentum. Because of a scheduling dispute within the state … – LAT, 2-7-12
  • Santorum wins Missouri primary, getting bragging rights but no delegates for GOP Nomination: Rick Santorum has won the Missouri Republican primary, a nonbinding election that carries bragging rights but does not award any delegates in the race for the presidential nomination. Missouri will pick its delegates at caucuses … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • In Minnesota, Santorum ahead in early returns in statewide GOP caucuses for President: With 9 percent of Minnesota’s precincts reporting, former Sen. Rick Santorum is jumping to a lead, with 44 percent support, hoping to extinguish front-runner Mitt Romney’s modest winning streak and launch a comeback of his own…. – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Voters in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri head to the polls: The Republican presidential candidates made last-minute campaign stops before the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary. Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) poses for a photo as he visits a caucus site in Coon … – WaPo, 2-7-12
  • Campaign 2012: Santorum at center stage as three states vote: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who says he’s on a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination, braced for a speed bump Tuesday night amid signs of strength by rival Rick Santorum in two of the three states … – USA Today, 2-7-12
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