Full Text Obama Presidency May 19, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Address at Morehouse College Commencement Ceremony

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Morehouse College

Source: WH, 5-19-13

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse CollegePresident Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., May 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Watch President Obama’s full address

President Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2013 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

“It is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today,” President Obama told the graduates. He spoke about Morehouse’s history, and “ the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused — the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.”

“Your generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it,” President Obama said….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Morehouse College Commencement Ceremony

Source: WH, 5-19-13 

Century Campus
Morehouse College
Atlanta, Georgia

12:06 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Morehouse!  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Please be seated.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Laughter.)  That is why I am here.

I have to say that it is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today.  I want to thank Dr. Wilson for his outstanding leadership, and the Board of Trustees.  We have Congressman Cedric Richmond and Sanford Bishop — both proud alumni of this school, as well as Congressman Hank Johnson.  And one of my dear friends and a great inspiration to us all — the great John Lewis is here.  (Applause.)  We have your outstanding Mayor, Mr. Kasim Reed, in the house.  (Applause.)

To all the members of the Morehouse family.  And most of all, congratulations to this distinguished group of Morehouse Men — the Class of 2013.  (Applause.)

I have to say that it’s a little hard to follow — not Dr. Wilson, but a skinny guy with a funny name.  (Laughter.)  Betsegaw Tadele — he’s going to be doing something.

I also have to say that you all are going to get wet.  (Laughter.)  And I’d be out there with you if I could.  (Laughter.)  But Secret Service gets nervous.  (Laughter.)  So I’m going to have to stay here, dry.  (Laughter.)  But know that I’m there with you in spirit.  (Laughter.)

Some of you are graduating summa cum laude.  (Applause.)  Some of you are graduating magna cum laude.  (Applause.)  I know some of you are just graduating, “thank you, Lordy.”  (Laughter and applause.)  That’s appropriate because it’s a Sunday.  (Laughter.)

I see some moms and grandmas here, aunts, in their Sunday best — although they are upset about their hair getting messed up.  (Laughter.)  Michelle would not be sitting in the rain.  (Laughter.)  She has taught me about hair.  (Laughter.)

I want to congratulate all of you — the parents, the   grandparents, the brothers and sisters, the family and friends who supported these young men in so many ways.  This is your day, as well.  Just think about it — your sons, your brothers, your nephews — they spent the last four years far from home and close to Spelman, and yet they are still here today.  (Applause.)  So you’ve done something right.  Graduates, give a big round of applause to your family for everything that they’ve done for you. (Applause.)

I know that some of you had to wait in long lines to get into today’s ceremony.  And I would apologize, but it did not have anything to do with security.  Those graduates just wanted you to know what it’s like to register for classes here.  (Laughter and applause.)  And this time of year brings a different kind of stress — every senior stopping by Gloster Hall over the past week making sure your name was actually on the list of students who met all the graduation requirements.  (Applause.) If it wasn’t on the list, you had to figure out why.  Was it that library book you lent to that trifling roommate who didn’t return it?  (Laughter.)  Was it Dr. Johnson’s policy class?  (Applause.) Did you get enough Crown Forum credits?  (Applause.)

On that last point, I’m going to exercise my power as President to declare this speech sufficient Crown Forum credits for any otherwise eligible student to graduate.  That is my graduation gift to you.  (Applause.)  You have a special dispensation.

Now, graduates, I am humbled to stand here with all of you as an honorary Morehouse Man.  (Applause.)  I finally made it. (Laughter.)  And as I do, I’m mindful of an old saying: “You can always tell a Morehouse Man — (applause) — but you can’t tell him much.”  (Applause.)  And that makes my task a little more difficult, I suppose.  But I think it also reflects the sense of pride that’s always been part of this school’s tradition.

Benjamin Mays, who served as the president of Morehouse for almost 30 years, understood that tradition better than anybody.  He said — and I quote — “It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates… but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life — men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.”

It was that mission — not just to educate men, but to cultivate good men, strong men, upright men — that brought community leaders together just two years after the end of the Civil War.  They assembled a list of 37 men, free blacks and freed slaves, who would make up the first prospective class of what later became Morehouse College.  Most of those first students had a desire to become teachers and preachers — to better themselves so they could help others do the same.

A century and a half later, times have changed.  But the “Morehouse Mystique” still endures.  Some of you probably came here from communities where everybody looked like you.  Others may have come here in search of a community.  And I suspect that some of you probably felt a little bit of culture shock the first time you came together as a class in King’s Chapel.  All of a sudden, you weren’t the only high school sports captain, you weren’t the only student council president.  You were suddenly in a group of high achievers, and that meant you were expected to do something more.

That’s the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused — the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.

Dr. King was just 15 years old when he enrolled here at Morehouse.  He was an unknown, undersized, unassuming young freshman who lived at home with his parents.  And I think it’s fair to say he wasn’t the coolest kid on campus — for the suits he wore, his classmates called him “Tweed.”  But his education at Morehouse helped to forge the intellect, the discipline, the compassion, the soul force that would transform America.  It was here that he was introduced to the writings of Gandhi and Thoreau, and the theory of civil disobedience.  It was here that professors encouraged him to look past the world as it was and fight for the world as it should be.  And it was here, at Morehouse, as Dr. King later wrote, where “I realized that nobody…was afraid.”

Not even of some bad weather.  I added on that part.  (Laughter.)  I know it’s wet out there.  But Dr. Wilson told me you all had a choice and decided to do it out here anyway.  (Applause.)  That’s a Morehouse Man talking.

Now, think about it.  For black men in the ‘40s and the ‘50s, the threat of violence, the constant humiliations, large and small, the uncertainty that you could support a family, the gnawing doubts born of the Jim Crow culture that told you every day that somehow you were inferior, the temptation to shrink from the world, to accept your place, to avoid risks, to be afraid — that temptation was necessarily strong.

And yet, here, under the tutelage of men like Dr. Mays, young Martin learned to be unafraid.  And he, in turn, taught others to be unafraid.  And over time, he taught a nation to be unafraid.  And over the last 50 years, thanks to the moral force of Dr. King and a Moses generation that overcame their fear and their cynicism and their despair, barriers have come tumbling down, and new doors of opportunity have swung open, and laws and hearts and minds have been changed to the point where someone who looks just like you can somehow come to serve as President of these United States of America.  (Applause.)

So the history we share should give you hope.  The future we share should give you hope.  You’re graduating into an improving job market.  You’re living in a time when advances in technology and communication put the world at your fingertips.  Your generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have work — because if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that too few of our brothers have the opportunities that you’ve had here at Morehouse.  In troubled neighborhoods all across this country — many of them heavily African American — too few of our citizens have role models to guide them.  Communities just a couple miles from my house in Chicago, communities just a couple miles from here — they’re places where jobs are still too scarce and wages are still too low; where schools are underfunded and violence is pervasive; where too many of our men spend their youth not behind a desk in a classroom, but hanging out on the streets or brooding behind a jail cell.

My job, as President, is to advocate for policies that generate more opportunity for everybody — policies that strengthen the middle class and give more people the chance to climb their way into the middle class.  Policies that create more good jobs and reduce poverty, and educate more children, and give more families the security of health care, and protect more of our children from the horrors of gun violence.  That’s my job.  Those are matters of public policy, and it is important for all of us — black, white and brown — to advocate for an America where everybody has got a fair shot in life.  Not just some.  Not just a few.  (Applause.)

But along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities.  There are some things, as black men, we can only do for ourselves.  There are some things, as Morehouse Men, that you are obliged to do for those still left behind.  As Morehouse Men, you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you’re about to collect — and that’s the power of your example.

So what I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address:  Use that power for something larger than yourself.  Live up to President Mays’s challenge.  Be “sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society.”  And be “willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.”

I know that some of you came to Morehouse from communities where life was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself.  Maybe you feel like you escaped, and now you can take your degree and get that fancy job and the nice house and the nice car — and never look back.  And don’t get me wrong — with all those student loans you’ve had to take out, I know you’ve got to earn some money.   With doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could not even imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty.  But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do.  (Applause.)

So, yes, go get that law degree.  But if you do, ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and the powerful, or if you can also find some time to defend the powerless.  Sure, go get your MBA, or start that business.  We need black businesses out there.  But ask yourselves what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood.  The most successful CEOs I know didn’t start out intent just on making money — rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed.  (Applause.)

Some of you may be headed to medical school to become doctors.  But make sure you heal folks in underserved communities who really need it, too.  For generations, certain groups in this country — especially African Americans — have been desperate in need of access to quality, affordable health care.  And as a society, we’re finally beginning to change that.  Those of you who are under the age of 26 already have the option to stay on your parent’s health care plan.  But all of you are heading into an economy where many young people expect not only to have multiple jobs, but multiple careers.

So starting October 1st, because of the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — (applause) — you’ll be able to shop for a quality, affordable plan that’s yours and travels with you — a plan that will insure not only your health, but your dreams if you are sick or get in an accident.  But we’re going to need some doctors to make sure it works, too.  We’ve got to make sure everybody has good health in this country.  It’s not just good for you, it’s good for this country.  So you’re going to have to spread the word to your fellow young people.

Which brings me to a second point:  Just as Morehouse has taught you to expect more of yourselves, inspire those who look up to you to expect more of themselves.  We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices.  And I have to say, growing up, I made quite a few myself.  Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down.  I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing.  But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is there’s no longer any room for excuses.  (Applause.)

I understand there’s a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: “Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.”  Well, we’ve got no time for excuses.  Not because the bitter legacy of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not.  Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there.  It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil — many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did — all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned.  (Applause.)

Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was.  Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.  And moreover, you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and they overcame them.  And if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.  (Applause.)

You now hail from a lineage and legacy of immeasurably strong men — men who bore tremendous burdens and still laid the stones for the path on which we now walk.  You wear the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes, and George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy and Thurgood Marshall, and, yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  These men were many things to many people.  And they knew full well the role that racism played in their lives.  But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses.

Every one of you have a grandma or an uncle or a parent who’s told you that at some point in life, as an African American, you have to work twice as hard as anyone else if you want to get by.  I think President Mays put it even better:  He said, “Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it any better.”  (Applause.)

And I promise you, what was needed in Dr. Mays’s time, that spirit of excellence, and hard work, and dedication, and no excuses is needed now more than ever.  If you think you can just get over in this economy just because you have a Morehouse degree, you’re in for a rude awakening.  But if you stay hungry, if you keep hustling, if you keep on your grind and get other folks to do the same — nobody can stop you.  (Applause.)

And when I talk about pursuing excellence and setting an example, I’m not just talking about in your professional life.  One of today’s graduates, Frederick Anderson — where’s Frederick?  Frederick, right here.  (Applause.)  I know it’s raining, but I’m going to tell about Frederick.  Frederick  started his college career in Ohio, only to find out that his high school sweetheart back in Georgia was pregnant.  So he came back and enrolled in Morehouse to be closer to her.  Pretty soon, helping raise a newborn and working night shifts became too much, so he started taking business classes at a technical college instead — doing everything from delivering newspapers to buffing hospital floors to support his family.

And then he enrolled at Morehouse a second time.  But even with a job, he couldn’t keep up with the cost of tuition.  So after getting his degree from that technical school, this father of three decided to come back to Morehouse for a third time.  (Applause.)  As Frederick says, “God has a plan for my life, and He’s not done with me yet.”

And today, Frederick is a family man, and a working man, and a Morehouse Man.  (Applause.)  And that’s what I’m asking all of you to do:  Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man.  (Applause.)  Be the best husband to your wife, or you’re your boyfriend, or your partner.  Be the best father you can be to your children.  Because nothing is more important.

I was raised by a heroic single mom, wonderful grandparents — made incredible sacrifices for me.  And I know there are moms and grandparents here today who did the same thing for all of you.  But I sure wish I had had a father who was not only present, but involved.  Didn’t know my dad.  And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me.  I want to break that cycle where a father is not at home — (applause) — where a father is not helping to raise that son or daughter.  I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.

It’s hard work that demands your constant attention and frequent sacrifice.  And I promise you, Michelle will tell you I’m not perfect.  She’s got a long list of my imperfections.  (Laughter.)  Even now, I’m still practicing, I’m still learning, still getting corrected in terms of how to be a fine husband and a good father.  But I will tell you this:  Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility.  (Applause.)

I know that when I am on my deathbed someday, I will not be thinking about any particular legislation I passed; I will not be thinking about a policy I promoted; I will not be thinking about the speech I gave, I will not be thinking the Nobel Prize I received.  I will be thinking about that walk I took with my daughters.  I’ll be thinking about a lazy afternoon with my wife. I’ll be thinking about sitting around the dinner table and seeing them happy and healthy and knowing that they were loved.  And I’ll be thinking about whether I did right by all of them.

So be a good role model, set a good example for that young brother coming up.  If you know somebody who’s not on point, go back and bring that brother along — those who’ve been left behind, who haven’t had the same opportunities we have — they need to hear from you.  You’ve got to be engaged on the barbershops, on the basketball court, at church, spend time and energy and presence to give people opportunities and a chance.  Pull them up, expose them, support their dreams.  Don’t put them down.

We’ve got to teach them just like what we have to learn, what it means to be a man — to serve your city like Maynard Jackson; to shape the culture like Spike Lee; to be like Chester Davenport, one of the first people to integrate the University of Georgia Law School.  When he got there, nobody would sit next to him in class.  But Chester didn’t mind.  Later on, he said, “It was the thing for me to do.  Someone needed to be the first.”  And today, Chester is here celebrating his 50th reunion.  Where is Chester Davenport?  He’s here.  (Applause.)

So if you’ve had role models, fathers, brothers like that — thank them today.  And if you haven’t, commit yourself to being that man to somebody else.

And finally, as you do these things, do them not just for yourself, but don’t even do them just for the African American community.  I want you to set your sights higher.  At the turn of the last century, W.E.B. DuBois spoke about the “talented tenth” — a class of highly educated, socially conscious leaders in the black community.  But it’s not just the African American community that needs you.  The country needs you.  The world needs you.

As Morehouse Men, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider; know what it’s like to be marginalized; know what it’s like to feel the sting of discrimination.  And that’s an experience that a lot of Americans share.  Hispanic Americans know that feeling when somebody asks them where they come from or tell them to go back.  Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love that they share.  Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith.  Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work — she knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in.

So your experiences give you special insight that today’s leaders need.  If you tap into that experience, it should endow you with empathy — the understanding of what it’s like to walk in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, to know what it’s like when you’re not born on 3rd base, thinking you hit a triple.  It should give you the ability to connect.  It should give you a sense of compassion and what it means to overcome barriers.

And I will tell you, Class of 2013, whatever success I have achieved, whatever positions of leadership I have held have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of connection and empathy — the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who need it most, people who didn’t have the opportunities that I had — because there but for the grace of God, go I — I might have been in their shoes.  I might have been in prison.  I might have been unemployed.  I might not have been able to support a family.  And that motivates me.  (Applause.)

So it’s up to you to widen your circle of concern — to care about justice for everybody, white, black and brown. Everybody.  Not just in your own community, but also across this country and around the world.  To make sure everyone has a voice, and everybody gets a seat at the table; that everybody, no matter what you look like or where you come from, what your last name is — it doesn’t matter, everybody gets a chance to walk through those doors of opportunity if they are willing to work hard enough.

When Leland Shelton was four years old — where’s Leland?  (Applause.)  Stand up, Leland.  When Leland Shelton was four years old, social services took him away from his mama, put him in the care of his grandparents.  By age 14, he was in the foster care system.  Three years after that, Leland enrolled in Morehouse.  And today he is graduating Phi Beta Kappa on his way to Harvard Law School.  (Applause.)  But he’s not stopping there. As a member of the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council, he plans to use his law degree to make sure kids like him don’t fall through the cracks.  And it won’t matter whether they’re black kids or brown kids or white kids or Native American kids, because he’ll understand what they’re going through.  And he’ll be fighting for them.  He’ll be in their corner.  That’s leadership.  That’s a Morehouse Man right there.  (Applause.)

That’s what we’ve come to expect from you, Morehouse — a legacy of leaders — not just in our black community, but for the entire American community.  To recognize the burdens you carry with you, but to resist the temptation to use them as excuses.  To transform the way we think about manhood, and set higher standards for ourselves and for others.  To be successful, but also to understand that each of us has responsibilities not just to ourselves, but to one another and to future generations.  Men who refuse to be afraid.  Men who refuse to be afraid.

Members of the Class of 2013, you are heirs to a great legacy.  You have within you that same courage and that same strength, the same resolve as the men who came before you.  That’s what being a Morehouse Man is all about.  That’s what being an American is all about.

Success may not come quickly or easily.  But if you strive to do what’s right, if you work harder and dream bigger, if you set an example in your own lives and do your part to help meet the challenges of our time, then I’m confident that, together, we will continue the never-ending task of perfecting our union.

Congratulations, Class of 2013.  God bless you.  God bless Morehouse.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END         12:39 P.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency February 14, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Early Childhood Education & Universal Preschools at Decatur Community Recreation Center in Decatur, Georgia

POLITICAL BUZZ


OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President on Early Childhood Education — Decatur, GA

Source: WH, 2-14-13

Decatur Community Recreation Center
Decatur, Georgia

1:28 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Well, it is great to be in Georgia!  (Applause.)  Great to be in Decatur!  (Applause.)

I can’t imagine a more romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day — (laughter) — than with all of you, with all the press here.  Actually, Michelle says hello.  (Applause.)  She made me promise to get back in time for our date tonight.  (Laughter.)  That’s important.  That’s important.  I’ve already got a gift, got the flowers.  (Applause.)  I was telling folks the flowers are a little easier, though, because I’ve got this Rose Garden.  (Laughter.)  Lot of people keeping flowers around.

I want to acknowledge a few people who are here — first of all, Congressman Hank Johnson is here.  Where’s Hank?  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Jim Baskett, is here.  (Applause.)  Another Mayor you may know — Kasim Reed snuck in here.  (Applause.)  I want to acknowledge the Decatur School Board, who I had a chance to meet and has helped to do so much great work around here.  (Applause.)  Folks right here.

And of course, I want to thank Mary for the wonderful introduction and for teaching me how to count earlier today.  (Laughter.)  I’ve got to tell you it was wonderful to be there.  I want to thank all the teachers and the parents and the administrators of Decatur City Schools, because behind every child who is doing great there is a great teacher, and I’m proud of every single one of you for the work that you do here today.  (Applause.)

Now, on Tuesday, I delivered my State of the Union address.  And I laid out a plan for reigniting what I believe is the true engine of America’s economic growth, and that is a thriving, growing, rising middle class.  And that also means ladders for people to get into the middle class.  And the plan I put forward says we need to make smart choices as a country — both to grow our economy, shrink our deficits in a balanced way by cutting what we don’t need but then investing in the things that we do need to make sure that everybody has a chance to get ahead in life.

What we need is to make America a magnet for new jobs by investing in manufacturing, and energy, and better roads and bridges and schools.  We’ve got to make sure hard work is rewarded with a wage that you can live on and raise a family on.
We need to make sure that we’ve got shared responsibility for giving every American the chance to earn the skills and education that they need for a really competitive, global job market.

As I said on Tuesday night, that education has to start at the earliest possible age.  And that’s what you have realized here in Decatur.  (Applause.)  Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road.  But here’s the thing:  We are not doing enough to give all of our kids that chance.  The kids we saw today that I had a chance to spend time with in Mary’s classroom, they’re some of the lucky ones — because fewer than 3 in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.

Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool.  And for the poor children who need it the most, the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives.  And we all pay a price for that.  And as I said, this is not speculation.  Study after study shows the achievement gap starts off very young.  Kids who, when they go into kindergarten, their first day, if they already have a lot fewer vocabulary words, they don’t know their numbers and their shapes and have the capacity for focus, they’re going to be behind that first day.  And it’s very hard for them to catch up over time.

And then, at a certain point — I bet a lot of teachers have seen this — kids aren’t stupid.  They know they’re behind at a certain point, and then they start pulling back, and they act like they’re disinterested in school because they’re frustrated that they’re not doing as well as they should, and then you may lose them.

And that’s why, on Tuesday night, I proposed working with states like Georgia to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.  Every child.  (Applause.)

Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on — boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime.  In states like Georgia that have made it a priority to educate our youngest children, states like Oklahoma, students don’t just show up in kindergarten and first grade more prepared to learn, they’re also more likely to grow up reading and doing math at grade level, graduating from high school, holding a job, even forming more stable families.

Hope is found in what works.  This works.  We know it works.  If you are looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it right here.  (Applause.)

That’s why, even in times of tight budgets, states like Georgia and Oklahoma have worked to make a preschool slot available for nearly every parent who is looking for one for their child.  And they’re being staffed with folks like Mary — qualified, highly educated teachers.  This is not babysitting.  This is teaching.  (Applause.)

So at the age that our children are just sponges soaking stuff in, their minds are growing fastest, what we saw in the classroom here today was kids are taught numbers, they’re taught shapes, but also how to answer questions, discover patterns, play well with others.  And the teachers who were in the classroom, they’ve got a coach who’s coming in and working with them on best practices and paying attention to how they can constantly improve what they’re doing.

And that whole playing well with others, by the way, is a trait we could use more in Washington.  (Applause.)  So maybe we need to bring the teachers up — (applause) — every once in a while have some quiet time.  (Laughter.)  Time out.  (Laughter.)

So at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center that I visited earlier today, nearly 200 little kids are spending full days learning in classrooms with highly qualified teachers.  (Applause.)  And so I was working with them to build towers and replicate sculptures and sing songs.  And, look, I’ve got to admit, I was not always the fastest guy on some of this stuff.  (Laughter.)  The kids were beating me to the punch.  But through this interactive learning, they’re learning math, writing, how to tell stories.

And one of the things that you’ve done here in Decatur that’s wonderful also is, is that you’ve combined kids from different income levels; you’ve got disabled kids all in the same classroom, so we’re all learning together.  (Applause.)  And what that means is, is that all the kids are being leveled up, and you’re not seeing some of that same stratification that you see that eventually leads to these massive achievement gaps.

So before you know it, these kids are going to be moving on to bigger and better things in kindergarten, and they’re going to be better prepared to succeed.  And what’s more, I don’t think you’ll find a working parent in America who wouldn’t appreciate the peace of mind that their child is in a safe, high-quality learning environment every single day.  (Applause.)

Michelle and I remember how tough it can be to find good childcare.  I remember how expensive it can be, too.  The size of your paycheck, though, shouldn’t determine your child’s future.  (Applause.)  So let’s fix this.  Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life already a step behind.  Let’s make it a national priority to give every child access to a high-quality early education.  Let’s give our kids that chance.

Now, I do have to warn the parents who are here who still have young kids — they grow up to be, like, 5’10” — (laughter) — and even if they’re still nice to you, they basically don’t have a lot of time for you during the weekends.  (Laughter.)  They have sleepovers and — dates.  (Laughter.)  So all that early investment — (laughter) — just leads them to go away.  (Laughter.)

Now, what I also said on Tuesday night is that our commitment to our kids’ education has to continue throughout their academic lives.  So from the time our kids start grade school, we need to equip them with the skills they need to compete in a high-tech economy.  That’s why we’re working to recruit and train 100,000 new teachers in the fields of the future — in science and technology, and engineering and math where we are most likely to fall behind.

We’ve got to redesign our high schools so that a diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job.  (Applause.)  We want to reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science and technology, and engineering and math — all the things that can help our kids fill those jobs that are there right now but also in the future.

And obviously, once our kids graduate from high school, we’ve got to make sure that skyrocketing costs don’t price middle-class families out of a higher education — (applause) — or saddle them with unsustainable debt.  I mean, some of the younger teachers who are here, they’ve chosen a career path that is terrific, but let’s face it, you don’t go into teaching to get rich.  (Laughter.)  And it is very important that we make sure that they can afford to get a great education and can choose to be a teacher, can choose to be in a teaching profession.  (Applause.)

So we’ve worked to make college more affordable for millions of students and families already through tax credits and grants and loans that go farther than before.  But taxpayers can’t keep subsidizing ever-escalating price tags for higher education.  At some point you run out of money.  So colleges have to do their part.  And colleges that don’t do enough to keep costs in check should get less federal support so that we’re incentivizing colleges to think about how to keep their costs down.

And just yesterday, we released what we’re calling a new “College Scorecard” that gives parents and students all the information they need to compare schools by value and affordability so that they can make the best choice.  And any interested parent, by the way, who’s out there can check it out at Whitehouse.gov.  (Applause.)

Now, in the end, that’s what this is all about — giving our kids the best possible shot at life; equipping them with the skills, education that a 21st century economy demands; giving them every chance to go as far as their hard work and God-given potential will take them.

That’s not just going to make sure that they do well; that will strengthen our economy and our country for all of us.  Because if their generation prospers, if they’ve got the skills they need to get a good job, that means businesses want to locate here.  And it also means, by the way, they’re well-equipped as citizens with the critical thinking skills that they need in order to help guide our democracy.  We’ll all prosper that way.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  They’re the ones who are going to write that next great chapter in the American story, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re providing that investment.

I am so proud of every single teacher who is here who has dedicated their lives to making sure those kids get a good start in life.  I want to make sure that I’m helping, and I want to make sure that the country is behind you every step of the way.

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

END
1:45 P.M. EST

Campaign Buzz March 6-7, 2012: Super Tuesday GOP / Republican Presidential Primaries Results Recap — 10 States at Stake — Mitt Romney Wins 6, Rick Santorum wins 3, Newt Gingrich wins Georgia

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


Mitt Romney greeted supporters in Massachusetts, one of the states he won on Tuesday night.

IN FOCUS: SUPER TUESDAY GOP / REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RESULTS

Super Tuesday represents the biggest day in the race for the Republican nomination so far, with 419 total delegates at stake in 10 states — more delegates than have been awarded in all of the previous nominating contests combined. – CBS News

 

  • Updates on Super Tuesday Races: Mitt Romney picked up early victories in the Republicans’ Super Tuesday primary contests, but Rick Santorum won in Tennessee and Oklahoma and Newt Gingrich took his home state of Georgia…. – NYT, 3-6-12Live blog: Romney wins six Super Tuesday states — Santorum wins three states: We’re live-blogging results from Super Tuesday, where voters in 10 states cast ballots in the GOP presidential race… – USA Today, 3-6-12

    Breaking News: Romney wins Alaska caucuses, AP reports: Mitt Romney won the Alaska Republican presidential caucuses on Tuesday, his sixth victory on Super Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Ron Paul came in second.
    Earlier, Romney won a narrow victory in Ohio, beating Rick Santorum. Romney also added Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Idaho to his column on the 10-contest night…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

  • Romney takes 6 Super Tuesday states, Santorum nets 3: CBS News projects that Mitt Romney will win Ohio’s key primary contest Tuesday, after a neck-and-neck race with rival Rick Santorum to eke out a victory in the pivotal battleground state.
    With 96 percent reporting in Ohio, Romney has 38 percent support to Santorum’s 37 percent. Newt Gingrich is in third place with 15 percent and Ron Paul follows with 9 percent.
    Mitt Romney has also won primaries in Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont, as well as the Idaho caucuses. Rick Santorum won primaries in Tennessee and Oklahoma, and in the North Dakota caucuses. In Georgia, Gingrich clinched his first primary victory since South Carolina’s January 21 primary contest.
    Ron Paul did not win any contests on Tuesday, but he did finish second in four states: Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota and Virginia.
    The Associated Press reports that Romney also won Alaska’s Super Tuesday caucuses. According to the AP’s tally, Santorum came in a close second, followed by Ron Paul and then Newt Gingrich. The state’s 24 delegates are allocated proportionally…. – CBS News, 3-7-12Mitt Romney wins Ohio primary: Mitt Romney won Super Tuesday’s grand prize, the Ohio presidential primary, beating out Rick Santorum in a hard-fought battle for the Rust Belt state’s 66 delegates.
    The victory was Romney’s fifth of the night, and promised to give him the lion’s share of delegates overall after 10 states went to the polls Tuesday. The win should cement his status as the man to beat in the Republican presidential contest.
    Santorum’s victories of the night were Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee; Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. Results in the final state that voted on Super Tuesday, Alaska, are due later this morning…. – WaPo, 3-6-12
  • AP, Networks Call Ohio for Romney: Mitt Romney appears to have won the Ohio primary by a razor-thin margin, according to the Associated Press and television networks, barely staving off an embarrassing loss at the hands of his chief rival, Rick Santorum.
    After trailing for much of the night, Mr. Romney moved into the lead in Ohio with a surge of support from the big cities of Cincinnati and Cleveland and their suburbs.
    As night turned to early morning, Mr. Romney extended his lead to more than 12,000 votes, leading the AP to finally call the race at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning…. – NYT, 3-7-12
  • Super Tuesday: Romney starts fast, Santorum hangs tough: Mitt Romney chalked up Super Tuesday wins in Virginia, Vermont and Massachusetts, seeking to fasten his grip on the GOP nomination by dominating the single biggest day of balloting in the hard-fought … – LAT, 3-6-12Super Tuesday: Washington Post covers Republican primary results: … tweeters, columnists and bloggers to help readers make sense of Super Tuesday – the biggest single day in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. More than a half dozen reporters have spread out across the key primary and caucus … – WaPo, 3-6-12
  • Ohio primary results: Too close to call: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are headed toward an extremely close finish in the race for the ultimate Super Tuesday battleground, Ohio, after the two candidates divided up Republican primary votes and traded victories in states across the nation…. – WaPo, 3-6-12Mitt Romney takes Idaho, his fourth win of night: Mitt Romney has won the Idaho caucuses, his fourth victory of the night, AP reports.
    Romney was considered the clear favorite, thanks to the state’s heavy Mormon population as well as to the goodwill he earned across the Rocky Mountain region from his work running the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
    The 32 delegates in the state are likely to be awarded winner-takes-all.
    As of 11:45, the only two states that hadn’t picked a winner were Alaska, which didn’t expect results until early morning, and Ohio, which remained locked in a fierce battle between Romney and Rick Santorum. WaPo, 3-6-12

    Santorum claims third win in North Dakota: Rick Santorum has earned his third victory of the night in the North Dakota caucuses, according to the AP.
    Ron Paul had hoped to post his first win in the Republican presidential race with a strong grass-roots effort in the state, but was trailing Santorum in early returns, with Mitt Romney in third place.
    No winner has been declared in Idaho, Alaska or the battleground state of Ohio, where Santorum and Romney were locked in a battle that was still too close to call…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Oklahoma: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Oklahoma, according to exit polls, his second victory of the night after Tennessee.
    Oklahoma is a key win over well-funded rival Mitt Romney, signaling that the GOP race is likely to extend long beyond this Super Tuesday. WaPo, 3-6-12

    Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Tennessee: Rick Santorum has won the Tennessee Republican primary, according to the AP, his first victory of the night.
    The race in this Super Tuesday’s most important battleground state — Ohio — remains too close to call…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins Massachusetts GOP primary: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Massachusetts, his third victory of this Super Tuesday in the state where he served as governor.
    Romney’s win in Massachusetts, where he has lived for 40 years, followed earlier victories in Virginia and Vermont.
    The only other candidate to win a state so far is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won his own home state of Georgia. WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins GOP primary in Vermont: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Vermont, according to the AP.
    Vermont is the second win of the night for the former Massachusetts governor after he claimed victory in Virginia…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins GOP primary in Virginia: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Virginia, according to the AP.
    Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were the only candidates on the ballot…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Exit polls: Gingrich wins home state of Georgia: Newt Gingrich has won the Georgia primary, taking his home state and winning his second state in the 2012 presidential campaign, according to exit polls.
    Gingrich’s win ends a losing streak that lasted a month and a half. His last and only win came in South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

  • Romney Appears the Ohio Winner; Santorum Strong: Mitt Romney appeared to pull off a narrow victory in Ohio on Super Tuesday but lost several other states to Rick Santorum, a split verdict that overshadowed Mr. Romney’s claim of collecting the most delegates and all but ensured another round of … – NYT, 3-7-12
  • Romney takes 5 of 10 Super Tuesday contests: Mitt Romney won five of 10 Super Tuesday contests including crucial Ohio, advancing his claim on the Republican presidential nomination without ending questions about the breadth of his appeal within the party…. – USA Today, 3-7-12
  • Super Tuesday: Romney edges Santorum in key Ohio battle: Mitt Romney has won a narrow victory over Rick Santorum in the marquee Super Tuesday battle of Ohio, according to a projection by the Associated Press. Ohio’s primary proved to be the tightest battle of the 2012 Republican … – LAT, 3-7-12
  • Santorum and Romney Split Victories: Mitt Romney extended his lead in delegates on Super Tuesday but voters failed to deliver a decisive victory that could have brought a swift end to the Republican presidential contest…. – WSJ, 3-6-12
  • Super Tuesday impossibly close for Romney, Santorum: Both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have three states as they wait for results from Ohio to come in. With 91 percent of the Ohio votes tallied, Romney only has a 5000 vote lead out of the 1.1 million votes that have been counted…. – CS Monitor, 3-6-12
  • Romney adds to delegate lead with Super Tuesday wins; Gingrich, Santorum slip: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney padded his lead in the race for delegates Tuesday by winning Republican presidential primaries in Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum added delegates by winning … – WaPo, 3-6-12
  • GOP race takes toll on front-runner Romney: Super Tuesday confirmed anew that Mitt Romney remains the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, but his slow, unsteady march is coming at a steep price. As he advances toward victory in the primaries, he is losing ground in the … – WaPo, 3-6-12
  • Romney gains in GOP race, but Ohio still too close: Mitt Romney won five of 10 Super Tuesday contests including crucial Ohio, advancing his claim on the Republican presidential nomination without ending questions about the breadth of his appeal within the party…. – USA Today, 3-6-12
  • Romney vows to clinch the nomination: Though there was no winner yet in the crucial state of Ohio, Mitt Romney took the stage in Boston on Tuesday night to claim his victories, including his home state of Massachusetts. “There are three states now tonight under our belt and … – LAT, 3-6-12
  • Romney and Santorum Locked in Ohio Battle With Much at Stake: Once again Ohio lived up to its reputation as a state of deeply divided political passions. Just a week ago, Rick Santorum had a comfortable lead in the polls here, but a victory by Mitt Romney in Michigan last week seemed to give … – NYT, 3-6-12
  • Santorum: We’re winning across the nation: With at least two Super Tuesday victories under his belt, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum boasted of his campaign’s wide geographical appeal while taking sharp aim at his main GOP rival Mitt Romney.
    “We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we’re ready to win across this country,” Santorum said from Steubenville, Ohio.
    In Tennessee, with 1,733 of 2,141 precincts reporting, Santorum carried 37 percent of the vote, while Romney had 28 percent and Newt Gingrich took 24 percent.
    And with 1,778 of 1,961 precincts reporting in Oklahoma, Santorum is leading with 34 percent while Romney takes 28 percent and Gingrich 27 percent. Later in the evening, Santorum was declared the winner in the North Dakota caucuses…. – CBS News, 3-6-12
  • Newt Gingrich wins Georgia, but will it help?: A resurgent Newt Gingrich, fresh off a resounding win in his home state, touted “the power of large solutions and big ideas” during a victory speech at his primary night headquarters…. – USA Today, 3-6-12
  • Super Tuesday: Newt Gingrich says he’s a survivor: Newt Gingrich, racking up a Super Tuesday win in the state where he launched his extraordinary political rise, predicted he would win the GOP nomination despite opposition from the nation’s elites because “people power” will trump … – LAT, 3-6-12

Campaign Buzz March 6, 2012: Super Tuesday GOP / Republican Presidential Primaries Results — 10 States at Stake — Mitt Romney Wins 4, Rick Santorum wins 3, Newt Gingrich wins Georgia — Ohio too close to call between Romney & Santorum

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

IN FOCUS: SUPER TUESDAY GOP / REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RESULTS

Super Tuesday represents the biggest day in the race for the Republican nomination so far, with 419 total delegates at stake in 10 states — more delegates than have been awarded in all of the previous nominating contests combined. – CBS News

Super Tuesday results by state: Alaska | Georgia | Idaho | Massachusetts | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Tennessee | Vermont | Virginia

  • Updates on Super Tuesday Races: Mitt Romney picked up early victories in the Republicans’ Super Tuesday primary contests, but Rick Santorum won in Tennessee and Oklahoma and Newt Gingrich took his home state of Georgia…. – NYT, 3-6-12Live blog: Romney wins four Super Tuesday states — Santorum wins three states: We’re live-blogging results from Super Tuesday, where voters in 10 states cast ballots in the GOP presidential race… – USA Today, 3-6-12
  • Super Tuesday: Romney starts fast, Santorum hangs tough: Mitt Romney chalked up Super Tuesday wins in Virginia, Vermont and Massachusetts, seeking to fasten his grip on the GOP nomination by dominating the single biggest day of balloting in the hard-fought … – LAT, 3-6-12Super Tuesday: Washington Post covers Republican primary results: … tweeters, columnists and bloggers to help readers make sense of Super Tuesday – the biggest single day in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. More than a half dozen reporters have spread out across the key primary and caucus … – WaPo, 3-6-12
  • Ohio primary results: Too close to call: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are headed toward an extremely close finish in the race for the ultimate Super Tuesday battleground, Ohio, after the two candidates divided up Republican primary votes and traded victories in states across the nation…. – WaPo, 3-6-12Mitt Romney takes Idaho, his fourth win of night: Mitt Romney has won the Idaho caucuses, his fourth victory of the night, AP reports.
    Romney was considered the clear favorite, thanks to the state’s heavy Mormon population as well as to the goodwill he earned across the Rocky Mountain region from his work running the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
    The 32 delegates in the state are likely to be awarded winner-takes-all.
    As of 11:45, the only two states that hadn’t picked a winner were Alaska, which didn’t expect results until early morning, and Ohio, which remained locked in a fierce battle between Romney and Rick Santorum. WaPo, 3-6-12
    Santorum claims third win in North Dakota: Rick Santorum has earned his third victory of the night in the North Dakota caucuses, according to the AP.
    Ron Paul had hoped to post his first win in the Republican presidential race with a strong grass-roots effort in the state, but was trailing Santorum in early returns, with Mitt Romney in third place.
    No winner has been declared in Idaho, Alaska or the battleground state of Ohio, where Santorum and Romney were locked in a battle that was still too close to call…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Oklahoma: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Oklahoma, according to exit polls, his second victory of the night after Tennessee.
    Oklahoma is a key win over well-funded rival Mitt Romney, signaling that the GOP race is likely to extend long beyond this Super Tuesday. WaPo, 3-6-12

    Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Tennessee: Rick Santorum has won the Tennessee Republican primary, according to the AP, his first victory of the night.
    The race in this Super Tuesday’s most important battleground state — Ohio — remains too close to call…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins Massachusetts GOP primary: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Massachusetts, his third victory of this Super Tuesday in the state where he served as governor.
    Romney’s win in Massachusetts, where he has lived for 40 years, followed earlier victories in Virginia and Vermont.
    The only other candidate to win a state so far is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won his own home state of Georgia. WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins GOP primary in Vermont: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Vermont, according to the AP.
    Vermont is the second win of the night for the former Massachusetts governor after he claimed victory in Virginia…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Mitt Romney wins GOP primary in Virginia: Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Virginia, according to the AP.
    Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were the only candidates on the ballot…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

    Exit polls: Gingrich wins home state of Georgia: Newt Gingrich has won the Georgia primary, taking his home state and winning his second state in the 2012 presidential campaign, according to exit polls.
    Gingrich’s win ends a losing streak that lasted a month and a half. His last and only win came in South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21…. – WaPo, 3-6-12

  • Santorum and Romney Split Victories: Mitt Romney extended his lead in delegates on Super Tuesday but voters failed to deliver a decisive victory that could have brought a swift end to the Republican presidential contest…. – WSJ, 3-6-12
  • Santorum: We’re winning across the nation: With at least two Super Tuesday victories under his belt, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum boasted of his campaign’s wide geographical appeal while taking sharp aim at his main GOP rival Mitt Romney.
    “We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we’re ready to win across this country,” Santorum said from Steubenville, Ohio.
    In Tennessee, with 1,733 of 2,141 precincts reporting, Santorum carried 37 percent of the vote, while Romney had 28 percent and Newt Gingrich took 24 percent.
    And with 1,778 of 1,961 precincts reporting in Oklahoma, Santorum is leading with 34 percent while Romney takes 28 percent and Gingrich 27 percent. Later in the evening, Santorum was declared the winner in the North Dakota caucuses…. – CBS News, 3-6-12
  • Newt Gingrich wins Georgia, but will it help?: A resurgent Newt Gingrich, fresh off a resounding win in his home state, touted “the power of large solutions and big ideas” during a victory speech at his primary night headquarters…. – USA Today, 3-6-12
  • Super Tuesday: Newt Gingrich says he’s a survivor: Newt Gingrich, racking up a Super Tuesday win in the state where he launched his extraordinary political rise, predicted he would win the GOP nomination despite opposition from the nation’s elites because “people power” will trump … – LAT, 3-6-12

Full Text Campaign Buzz March 6, 2012: Newt Gingrich’s Super Tuesday Speech / Remarks after Winning in GOP / Republican Presidential Primary in Georgia

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Newt Gingrich’s Super Tuesday speech (full transcript, video)

Source: WaPo, 3-6-12

Newt Gingrich greeted cheering supporters in Atlanta, Ga., after picking up a primary win in his home state. Read the full text of Gingrich’s speech below (text courtesy FDCH transcripts):

GINGRICH: You know, this is amazing.

(LAUGHTER) I hope the analysts in Washington and New York, who spent June and July explaining our campaign was dead…

(LAUGHTER)

… will watch this tonight and learn a little bit from this crowd and from this place.

(APPLAUSE)

We survived the national elite’s effort to kill us in the summer because of you, because people who said, we are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are allowed to nominate. And so, with your help, thousands and thousands of people came to newt.org. And with your help, we survived the two most difficult months of a career which goes back to August of 1958.

And June and July were really hard, and it was precisely because the national elite — especially in the Republican Party — had decided that a Gingrich presidency was so frightening that they had to kill it early. But, you, you wouldn’t let them do it.

(APPLAUSE)

So with your help and the power of large solutions and big ideas and clear communications in the debates, by December, according to Gallup, I was the frontrunner by 15 points, and according to Rasmussen, I was the frontrunner by 21 points, because you believed in the power of ideas, you believed that people can make a difference, that, in fact, Wall Street money can be beaten by Main Street work.

(APPLAUSE)

And, of course, at that point, Wall Street money decided that only a relentlessly negative $5 million campaign in Iowa would work, and they did reduce my support from 36 percent to 14 percent in three weeks of unrelenting negativity.

GINGRICH: And, once again, the media said, oh, I guess this is over, finally. But you all said no.

AUDIENCE: No!

GINGRICH: And at the very depths of the establishment rejecting it, thousands of more people came to newt.org and signed up. And the result was, by South Carolina, we won a historic victory, carried 43 out of 46 counties. And it was extraordinary.

(APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: And I’m pretty sure that tonight we have a number of the South Carolinians who helped us win who are here who came over to help celebrate this great victory.

(APPLAUSE)

And at that point, the forces of Wall Street figured out they were in real trouble. And as the New York Times reported later, they held a meeting on Sunday morning after a Saturday night primary, and they said, “We have to destroy Gingrich.” One of them was even quoted in the New York Times as saying, “We have to eviscerate him,” which I thought was a fairly strong word in a Republican primary.

(LAUGHTER)

I would expect Obama’s people to do that. But I thought it was a tad much, having spent my entire career building the Republican Party.

And so they piled on $20 million in three weeks of negativity in Florida, and we were still standing. We carried all of north Florida. And, interestingly, everywhere we were, when we won, the vote went up. When Wall Street won, the vote went down, which I think’s a pretty bad sign for this fall, if we end up with a Wall Street candidate.

At that point, once again, they began to say, well, maybe he’s gone. And then, frankly, Senator Santorum did something very clever. He went to three states nobody else was in, and he won them.

(LAUGHTER)

And the news media, once again desperate to prove Gingrich was gone, suddenly said, ah, now we have the person who’s going to be the non-Romney. Now, Callista and I looked at each other, Jackie and Jimmy and Kathy and Paul, my two debate coaches, Maggie and Robert… (LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

By the way, I would say, for the performance they get out of me, the most underpaid debate coaches in America.

(LAUGHTER)

Although they’ll probably talk to me about that later on. I shouldn’t have said that.

(LAUGHTER)

But in any event, we looked at each other and we thought, you know, remember when it was Tim Pawlenty who was going to crowd me out? And remember then when it was Michele Bachmann? And then it was our good friend, Herman Cain the first time? And then, for a brief moment, it was Donald Trump almost.

(LAUGHTER)

And then it was our good friend, Rick Perry, then it was Herman Cain the second time, and now it’s Santorum. And you just can’t quite get across to them: It’s all right. There are lots of bunny rabbits that run through. I am the tortoise. I just take one step at a time.

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!

GINGRICH: And I have always tried to be very candid. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but on balance I think it’s how I want to live and how I want to do things. And so I said — I said, at the very peak of, you know, the Santorum surge and all this stuff, if I can’t carry my home state, where people know me, I would have no credibility. And I knew the basic Wall Street technique, which was to come in and spend lots of — how many of you have noticed negative ads?

How many of you have noticed the — the Reagan negative ad that is a total lie, OK? I mean, that’s — that’s what we’re up against. It’s one thing to have lots of money; it’s another thing to lie with the money.

And so I looked around, I thought, you know, let’s go home, and let’s test it out. I’ll go home. Callista and I crisscrossed the state. Kathy and Jackie were a great help. And I have to say, Governor Deal did a tremendous job and worked very hard.

(APPLAUSE)

Herman Cain stepped up to the plate and worked very, very hard.

(APPLAUSE) Todd Palin made phone calls and really helped communicate that there was a candidate who ought to be helped. The fact is, in Tennessee, Fred Thompson was just tremendously helpful. And in Oklahoma, J.C. Watts was extraordinary.

(APPLAUSE)

And so we basically put people power up against money power. And as you saw, the very first race they called tonight about 15 seconds after the polls closed.

(APPLAUSE)

And so I’m here, first of all, to say thank you to each and every one of you, because you are the reason we survived every effort of the establishment to stop us.

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!

GINGRICH: Now, being here at the Waverly brings back many memories. In 1994, this is where we learned that, for the first time in 40 years, there would be a Republican speaker of the House.

(APPLAUSE)

And, you know, for that entire campaign, all of the elites thought we were crazy. First of all, we ran a positive campaign. We had a Contract with America. They just thought that was weird. Why — why would you go to all that trouble? You have all these ideas.

(LAUGHTER)

We didn’t spend our time on lots and lots of negative ads. We spent our time communicating hope to the American people. The result was the largest one-party increase in an off-year in American history, because the American people want a chance to have hope again.

(APPLAUSE)

So, as Callista said, tomorrow will bring another chapter in the race for the nomination, but it’s more than a chapter in the race for the nomination. It’s a chapter in a fight for the soul of the Republican Party. It’s a chapter in the fight for the very nature of America. It’s a chapter defining who we are as a people.

And let me be very clear. I believe that I am the one candidate who has the ability to debate Barack Obama decisively…

(CROSSTALK)

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!

GINGRICH: And — and let me be straight. I — I don’t believe the Romney technique of outspending your opponent four- or five-to-one with negative ads will work against Barack Obama, because there is no possibility that any Republican is going to out-raise the incumbent president of the United States. Therefore, you can’t follow that strategy.

What you have to have is somebody who knows what they believe, understands how to articulate it so it cuts through all the media, offsets the bias of the elite media who are desperate to re-elect the president and has the guts to take the president head-on every single time he’s wrong.

(APPLAUSE)

(UNKNOWN): No TelePrompTer!

(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH: Well, we run a very frugal campaign, and we couldn’t afford one.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

But I’ve — I’ve already promised that if the president will agree to seven three-hour debates in the Lincoln-Douglas tradition, he can use a TelePrompTer if he wants to.

(APPLAUSE)

And I’ll get to that in just a second. But I want you to know that, in the morning, we are going on to Alabama.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re going on to Mississippi.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re going on to Kansas.

(APPLAUSE)

And that’s just this week. I was actually in Huntsville this afternoon, starting off our Alabama effort. And I want to say to all of you, any of you who have friends anywhere in the country, if you can e-mail them, if you can post on Facebook something as simple as, “Newt equals $2.50-a-gallon gasoline,” if you can go to Twitter and put in #250gas, I mean, we run a very inexpensive, very straightforward, reach-every-single-person campaign.

Now, I just want to give you one example of how profoundly different we are both from the other candidates and from the president, one that I would love to debate this president about. And that’s the one that a number of you are holding signs for. I want us to have an American energy policy so no president will ever again bow to a Saudi king.

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!

GINGRICH: Now, I want you to imagine the debate this fall. The president was right the other day. He’s so nervous about gasoline prices and energy that he’s done two major speeches. And I thought today, in one of the most shallow and self-serving comments by a president that I’ve heard in a long time, he was candid in his press conference. He said, “You know, I’m really worried about higher gas prices because it will make it harder for me to get re-elected.”

(BOOING)

I did not make this up. It was just nice to know that the president once again has managed to take the pain of the American people and turn it into his own personal problem.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, the fact is, I’d love to debate this president, because when you read these speeches, they are so deliciously incoherent.

(LAUGHTER)

They — they are the perfect case study of liberalism run amok. The president says, the Republicans have three strategies. Strategy number one is drilling; strategy number two is drilling; strategy number three is drilling.

(APPLAUSE)

And I want to say to him, Mr. President, this is one of the rare occasions when I can say: You are right.

(APPLAUSE)

But the president had an alternative to drilling. And this is why debating him would be just one of those moments where you could almost sell tickets for charity.

(LAUGHTER)

The president said, we have to be practical; drilling won’t solve it. And then he offered his practical solution. Anybody here remember what it was?

AUDIENCE: Algae!

GINGRICH: Algae.

(LAUGHTER) Algae. I mean, I think this summer, as gas prices keep going up, one of our campaign techniques should be have people go to gas stations with a jar of algae…

(LAUGHTER)

… and say to people, would you rather have the Gingrich solution of drilling and having more oil? Or would you like to try to put this in your gas tank?

(LAUGHTER)

I mean, you can’t — I’m amazed that “Saturday Night Live” hasn’t taken that speech and turned it into a skit. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

(LAUGHTER)

What made it really intellectually totally incoherent was the president — literally two pages after he explains that drilling doesn’t work — the president explains that we’ve had this great breakthrough in natural gas, that we now have, thanks to new technology, over 100 years’ supply of natural gas, that, in fact, we’re going to create 600,000 new jobs in the next decade out of natural gas.

GINGRICH: And I am still waiting for one of the reporters at the White House to come out of their comatose “Re-elect Obama” stance and ask the following question: How does the president think we discovered the natural gas? Because, of course, the answer is…

AUDIENCE: Drilling!

GINGRICH: Right? Now, I — I came up with a specific proposal to — to make vivid that there could be a better future in practical terms. So I proposed $2.50 a gallon as our goal.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I have to say, my daughter, Jackie, was off campaigning with Herman Cain, and after two days of campaigning with Herman, she came back to me, and she said, you know, maybe we should change that. Maybe it should be $2.4999.

(LAUGHTER)

And to his credit, Herman said, no, that will not work as a marketing device. Stick with 2-5-0, which — which he’s very good at. So I picked $2.50. And I actually picked it by asking the oil experts, what’s a price at which you would have continuous exploration? Because my goal is to have energy independence so we are free of the Middle East.

(APPLAUSE)

When the Iranians practice closing the Straits of Hormuz through which one out of every five barrels of oil in the world flow, the short-term answer is the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. And the ultimatum: that closing the straits would be an act of war and their government would cease to exist.

(APPLAUSE)

But the long-term solution is to create American energy independence so we could say to China, India, and Europe: You have a problem in the Straits of Hormuz. We hope you can solve it, but we’re not in charge of it.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, the fact is that $2.50 is attainable. Governor Romney came to town the other day and said I was pandering by picking it up. And I just want to explain to the governor, no, this is called leading.

(APPLAUSE)

Leaders create large goals. Leaders create a vision of a better future. Leaders arouse the American people to go out and do great things. Leaders believe the American people could easily achieve energy independence if the government got out of the way.

(APPLAUSE)

So if your friends ask you why we are emphasizing $2.50 and is it practical, first of all, you can tell them to go to newt.org. We have there an entire 30-minute speech which outlines why it is doable and it’s practical. I wrote a book called “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” back in 2008. Callista and I did a movie called “We Have the Power.” I mean, this is clearly doable.

But in addition, point out three numbers to them. The price of gasoline when I was speaker was $1.13. The price of gasoline when Barack Obama became president was $1.89. All of this gigantic increase came from his policies.

Finally, if you remember the natural gas story the president’s so proud of, we have now developed so much natural gas that — that supply is outrunning demand and the price has fallen from $7.97 to around $2.86. Now, translate that as a percentage decline — and this is, by the way, with an 11 percent increase in production. They haven’t — they haven’t doubled it. They haven’t gotten even to 25 percent yet. But an 11 percent increase in production suddenly changed the whole equation of supply and demand.

Now, if you had the same experience with oil, you would end up at $1.13, what it was when I was a speaker. So $2.50 is a long way from a radical number; $2.50 is a practical, cautious, doable number. And my goal over the next few weeks is to drive home to every American, we don’t have to be trapped in a Department of Anti-Energy. We don’t have to be trapped with an EPA which destroys jobs. We don’t have to be trapped with a president who refuses to build the Keystone pipeline, refuses to reopen the gulf, refuses to develop Alaska.

(APPLAUSE)

With — with your help — with your help, we’re going to get enough people to come to newt.org and sign up. We have 173,000 donors already; 95 percent of them give less than $250. We have a place where you can actually come in and give one Newt gallon. That’s $2.50.

(LAUGHTER)

If you get excited, you can give 10 Newt gallons. That’s $25.

With your help, we’re going to go on to Tampa and win the nomination.

(APPLAUSE) Thank you. Good luck, and God bless you.

(APPLAUSE)

END

White House Recap January 28 February 3, 2012: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Unveiled Programs for Lowering Tuition & Refinancing Mortgages as Part of the Blueprint for an America Built to Last — Interviewed by Google+ & Spoke at 2012 National Prayer Breakfast

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: JANUARY 28 – February 3, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Hanging Out with America

Source: WH, 2-3-12

Talking Tuition with the Wolverines: Shortly after delivering his State of the Union address, the President took his Blueprint for making college more affordable straight to the people at the frontlines of the issue—students. Speaking from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the President noted that a college degree “will be the best tool you have to achieve that basic American promise.”

A Georgian Visitor: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met with the President in the Oval Office on Monday, discussing relations between our two countries—including Georgia’s contributions to the military operation in Afghanistan and the potential for a free trade agreement between the United States and Geogia—and marked the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries.

Hanging Out on Google+: The President participated in the first-ever virtual interview from the White House on Monday from the Roosevelt Room. After more than 227,000 people submitted questions or voted for their favorites, the President sat down for a discussion with a group of Americans from across the country in a Google+ Hangout. In case you missed it, you can watch the full video here.

The Cabinet Convenes: On Tuesday, the President held a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss the ideas he laid out in the State of the Union. A top priority mentioned by the President during the State of the Union was the need to promote small business throughout the country, which was echoed in the meeting, where a new Cabinet member and the head of the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills, joined the discussion and ensured that entrepreneurs were represented.

In the Showroom: With Detroit’s newest vehicles on display at the Washington Auto Show, the President took a trip across town to get a glimpse of the outstanding work produced within the U.S. auto industry. He was impressed by what he saw, saying, “Because of folks coming together, we are now back in a place where we can compete with any car company in the world.”

Fairness, Responsibility and Housing: One way the President plans to achieve his Blueprint for an America Built to Last is by taking action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. On Wednesday, he expanded on the ideas he presented in the State of the Union—including a proposal for a Homeowners Bill of Rights—at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Virginia, where home values have fallen by about a quarter from their peak.

The National Prayer Breakfast: At the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., the President spoke about how his faith and values guide the difficult decisions he makes as he leads the country.

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