Political Musings June 18, 2014: Cantor’s last words on primary loss as House leadership campaign in full steam

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Cantor’s last words on primary loss as House leadership campaign in full steam

By Bonnie K. Goodman

With all that was going on politically in the world, Washington could not stop discussing House of Representative Majority Leader and Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss almost a week earlier on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 on…Continue

 

Political Musings September 1, 2013: President Barack Obama and GOP’s weekly addresses honor Labor Day

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama and GOP weekly addresses honor Labor Day (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Video

Both President Barack Obama and Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania in their weekly addresses released early Saturday morning on Aug. 31, 2013 commemorated the last true weekend of summer, Labor Day and its original meaning and tradition….READ MORE

Political Headlines April 7, 2013: GOP Congress ready to pierce President Obama’s budget

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP ready to pierce Obama budget

Source: Politico, 4-7-13

That was before the Friday leak revealing that Obama’s budget will include an olive branch to the GOP, known as chained CPI, which would slow the growth of Social Security benefits….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 27, 2013: President Barack Obama to Have Dinner with Second Group of Senate Republicans

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama to Dine with Second Group of Senate Republicans

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-27-13

Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images

Look who’s coming for dinner again: Senate Republicans.

On Wednesday, April 10, President Obama will dine with a new group of 12 Republican senators.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was tasked with organizing the second guest list for dinner, which is still being assembled, Republican aides on Capitol Hill confirm. The location of the dinner is still to be announced….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines February 14, 2013: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Statement on the Unprecedented Republican Filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s Nomination

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Reid Statement On Unprecedented Republican Filibuster Of Hagel Nomination

Source: Reid.Senate.gov, 2-14-13

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary from receiving an up-or-down vote, continuing the first-ever filibuster of a Defense Secretary nominee. The vote was 58-40 with one Senator voting present:

“In a time of war and threats to Americans at home and abroad, Senate Republicans are waging the first-ever filibuster of a Defense Secretary nominee. Despite unprecedented responsiveness and transparency from the White House, Republicans have constantly invented new pretexts for opposing Senator Hagel’s nomination, and Republicans continued their embarrassing display of disregard for our national security by blocking Senator Hagel’s nomination today.

“Watching Republicans with otherwise distinguished records on national security place their desire to please the Tea Party ahead of doing the right thing for our troops is one of the saddest spectacles I have witnessed in my twenty-seven years in the Senate.

“Senator Hagel is a decorated war veteran, an expert on national security issues and the right man to lead the Pentagon in these troubling times. Democrats will continue to fight for Senator Hagel, and we will reconsider his nomination in the coming days. Some Republican senators have said that they will change their votes, and allow his nomination to proceed at some point in the future. I will take them at their word, and I will hold them to their pledge.”

Political Headlines February 14, 2013: Senate Blocks Hagel Nomination

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senate Blocks Hagel Nomination

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-15-13

US Senate

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will have to stay on the job a little bit longer.

As expected, the Senate on Thursday failed to invoke cloture, essentially cutting off debate and not moving closer toward final passage of Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next defense secretary.

The vote was 58-40. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, voted present. Four Republicans voted with the Democrats to end debate.

This marks the first time a Cabinet nominee has ever been blocked on a cloture vote….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 14, 2013: Senate Republicans block Chuck Hagel nomination for defense secretary

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senate Republicans block Hagel nomination for defense secretary

Source: WaPo, 2-14-13

(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Senate Republicans have blocked former senator Chuck Hagel’s (R-Neb.) nomination for secretary of defense, filibustering his confirmation amid demands for more time to study their former colleague’s speeches and finances after leaving the Senate in 2008. It is the first time a national security Cabinet nominee has ever faced a filibuster…..READ MORE

Political Headlines February 14, 2013: Chuck Hagel blocked: Harry Reid says he doesn’t have the votes

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Chuck Hagel blocked: Harry Reid says he doesn’t have the votes

Source: Politico, 2-14-13

Chuck Hagel’s path to the Pentagon struck another major roadblock on Thursday when Senate Republicans kept up their threat to filibuster, throwing the nomination into limbo as Congress prepared to quit town for a weeklong recess….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 14, 2013: Senate Republicans have the votes to filibuster on Chuck Hagel

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

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Senate Republicans have the votes to filibuster on Hagel

Source: Washington Post, 2-14-13

Senate Republicans have secured enough votes to mount a filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid announced Thursday, increasing the stakes in the showdown over the former GOP senator’s bid….READ MORE

State of the Union 2013 February 13, 2013: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul SOTU Responses Reveal Republican Party Rift

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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PRESIDENT OBAMA — STATE OF THE UNION 2013:

THE HEADLINES….

Marco Rubio, Rand Paul SOTU Responses Reveal Republican Party Rift

Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2-13-13

“The argument I would make is Marco Rubio’s was a general election response and Rand Paul’s was a primary election response,” says John Brabender, a Republican strategist who served as a senior adviser for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 5, 2013: Rep. Eric Cantor Endorses Citizenship for DREAMers in ‘Make Life Work’ Speech

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Eric Cantor Endorses Citizenship for DREAMers

Source: ABC News, 2-5-13

PHOTO: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at the American Enterprise Institute, on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at the American Enterprise Institute, on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor attempted to project a softer Republican tone on immigration during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday, but indicated there is a ways to go until Republicans and Democrats agree on an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, endorsed a path to citizenship for DREAMers, the undocumented young people brought to the United States as children. House Republicans helped sink the DREAM Act, which would have granted a path to citizenship to DREAMers seeking a college education or military service, in 2010….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines February 5, 2013: Rep. Eric Cantor’s ‘Make Life Work’ Speech at the American Enterprise Institute — Transcript

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

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Full text: Eric Cantor’s ‘Make Life Work’ speech

Source: WaPo, 2-5-13

PHOTO: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at the American Enterprise Institute, on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at the American Enterprise Institute, on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered remarks at the American Enterprise Institute “outlining a number of major policy initiatives designed to ‘Make Life Work’ for more people.” Cantor’s speech, as prepared for delivery, appears below. Wonkblog will have more analysis of the policies shortly.

In Washington, over the past few weeks and months, our attention has been on cliffs, debt ceilings and budgets, on deadlines and negotiations. All of this is very important, as there is no substitute for getting our fiscal house in order. There is no greater moral imperative than to reduce the mountain of debt facing us, our children and theirs. The House Republican Majority stands ready for President Obama and his party to finally join us in our efforts to tackle the big problems facing America.

But today, I’d like to focus our attention on what lies beyond these fiscal debates. Over the next two years, the House majority will pursue an agenda based on a shared vision of creating the conditions for health, happiness and prosperity for more Americans and their families. And to restrain Washington from interfering in those pursuits.

We will advance proposals aimed at producing results in areas like education, health care, innovation and job growth. Our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of self-reliance, faith in the individual, trust in the family and accountability in government. Our goal – to ensure every American has a fair shot at earning their success and achieving their dreams.

It is my hope that I can stand before you in two years and report back that our side, as well as the president’s, found within us the ability to set differences aside, to provide relief to so many millions of Americans who simply want their life to work again.

In so many countries throughout history, children were largely consigned to the same station in life as their parents. But not here. In America, the son of a shoe salesman can grow up to be president. In America, the daughter of a poor single mother can grow up to own her own television network. In America, the grandson of poor immigrants who fled religious persecution in Russia can become the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In America, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, two bicycle shop mechanics gave mankind the gift of flight. The Wright brothers flew only 22 feet, 18 feet in the air, but they performed a miracle. As a result, only 66 years later, this great country of ours put a man on the moon and brought him back. We can do an enormous amount. That’s who we are.

The Wright brothers’ father, Milton, first inspired his sons with a toy helicopter. But he never wanted Orville and Wilbur to fly together, for fear he would lose them both. In 1910, seven years after the boys’ first flight, Milton gave them permission to fly together, the only time they ever did, and it lasted six minutes. Later that day, Orville took 82-year-old Milton on the only flight of his life. It lasted seven minutes, rising 350 feet, while his elderly father shouted: “Higher, Orville, higher.”

What a great commentary. In America, we do have higher expectations for our nation. Since our founding, we believed we could be the best hope to mankind. That hope led generations of immigrants to risk everything, to endure a tough journey to our shores, looking for a better future.

The driving motivation for millions of immigrants passing by Lady Liberty in New York Harbor was the generation that came after them. And because of that hope – those high expectations – coupled with a determination to see them come true, every generation since has had it better off than the one before. Until now.

Lately, it has become all too common in our country to hear parents fear whether their children will indeed have it better than they have. And for all of us parents, that is a scary thought. Let’s face it. It has gotten a lot tougher to raise a family here in America. Our goal should be to eliminate this doubt gripping our nation’s families, and to restore their hope and confidence so that parents can once again see a better tomorrow for their children.

Together, my wife Diana and I raised our three children, Evan, Jenna and Mikey, and we couldn’t be more proud of the young adults they have become. Our nest is now empty, but I understand the pressure all parents are under, and the trying times they go through.

Parents working, saving for school, paying for braces, helping with homework and going from one after-school activity to the next. It’s not easy.

That’s why we worry so much. Where can you find an affordable home in a good neighborhood to raise your kids? Which health-care plan can I afford that allows you to see your doctors? Will the children make it through high school and get into a college of their choice, and if so, can you afford it? What about a career? Will that be available to them? These are real-life concerns. This is what keeps parents awake at night fearful that life won’t work out the way they hoped.

During the last several years with the stagnant economy, too many mothers and fathers have had to come home, walk into the kitchen and tell their families they didn’t have a job anymore. How does a family like that save for a rainy day, when it just got tough to even make it through the next month?

These families are desperate to wake up in the morning and have the nightmare over. The best way to restore their hope for the future and to heal our country is by making opportunity a reality for them and everyone. This comes with a growing economy, business expansion and start-ups creating jobs.

Just like parents, Washington must start showing care for the generations ahead while leaving the parenting to the parents.

Government policy should aim to strike a balance between what is needed to advance the next generation, what we can afford, what is a federal responsibility and what is necessary to ensure our children are safe, healthy and able to reach their dreams.

Opportunity and the belief in a better tomorrow start with an education system that works. In an 1822 letter, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I look to the diffusion of light and education as the resource to be relied on for ameliorating the condition, promoting the virtue, and advancing the happiness of man.”

With an eye toward Mr. Jefferson’s vision, since 1965, the federal government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into improving schools in low-income areas – over $15 billion just last year. And frankly, the results have not matched the investment.

Joining us here today is Joseph Kelley and his family. A heroic Dad, Joseph worried that the public school wasn’t helping his son. Rashawn flunked the first grade, and by fifth grade was three years behind on most subjects. The school actually put him in special education classes. Joseph would try and sit in on classes in order to help Rashawn, but was met with hostility, and even had to obtain a court order so Rashawn could have a tutor.

Violence was so prevalent in Rashawn’s schools that eight D.C. police officers patrolled it on a daily basis. Mr. Kelly heard of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and dedicated himself to making sure Rashawn and his three sisters could gain access to a school that would put them on a path to graduation, and college – an opportunity he himself did not have.

Within two years at a private school, Rashawn caught up to his classmates, and is now a student at the University of the District of Columbia. And his sisters, Domonique, Shakeyta and Rhunetta, are attending the Preparatory School of D.C. and are on a similar path to opportunity.

I visited this school yesterday, and it is impressive. The kids are in a safe environment, with great teachers, terrific administrators, small class sizes and a mission that every kid succeeds.

No one should deny Rashawn and his sisters this opportunity. Joseph Kelley, nor any parent, should have to wait for failing school systems to get their acts together. Throughout the country there are promising signs that we can bring schools and parents together to improve our educational system.

San Francisco public schools adopted a funding mechanism according to what’s termed a “weighted student formula.” Under this policy, the more students a school attracts, the more money that school, its administrators and teachers receive. Low-income students are weighted heavier in the funding formula, as are children with disabilities, and those learning English as a second language. So, there’s incentive for schools to seek the more vulnerable population, and reasons for schools to differentiate themselves and excel.

Imagine if we were to try and move in this direction with federal funding. Allow the money we currently spend to actually follow individual children. Students, including those without a lot of money or those with special needs, would be able to access the best available school, not just the failing school they are assigned to.

And their options ought to include not just public schools or private schools, but also charter schools. A competitive environment, where schools compete for students rather than the other way around, gives every child from the inner city of Washington to the streets of Los Angeles, an equal chance at a greater destiny.

One of our priorities this year will be to move heaven and earth to fix our education system for the most vulnerable. And when those children graduate from high school, we must expand their choices and college should be a viable option. In 1980, the average cost of college was roughly $8,000 a year. Today, it is over $20,000, and less than 60 percent  of the students who enroll in a four-year program graduate within six years. Clearly, something is broken.

According to President Obama’s former jobs council, by 2020 there will be 1.5 million jobs without the college graduates to fill them. While there is a persistent unmet demand of 400,000 to 500,000 job openings in the health-care sector alone. Recent reports indicate there are not enough applicants with the skills necessary to fill the jobs in the booming natural gas industry in America.

Suppose colleges provided prospective students with reliable information on the unemployment rate and potential earnings by major. What if parents had access to clear and understandable breakdowns between academic studies and amenities? Armed with this knowledge, families and students could make better decisions about where to go to school, and how to budget their tuition dollars. Students would actually have a better chance of graduating within four years and getting a job.

Helping students realize opportunity and a career, while keeping tuition costs low, makes common sense. Senators Rubio and Wyden have a proposal that they unveiled here at AEI, which addresses this goal. I look forward to working with them and Chairman John Kline in pursuing legislative action in the House.

Over the course of this Congress, we will also work to reform our student aid process to give students a financial incentive to finish their studies sooner. We will encourage entrepreneurship in higher education, including for-profit schools. And we will fix the way we subsidize education by making the costs more transparent to parents, students and the millions of taxpayers who help pay some of the bill. We owe it to them.

A good education leads to more innovation. Throughout our history, American colleges and universities have served as the crucible for the world’s innovation. They are a big part of why the United States remains the destination for the world’s best and brightest. Investment in education leads to innovation, which leads to more opportunity and jobs for all. Our problem? The investment we make is not yielding maximum returns.

Each year our colleges and universities graduate approximately 40,000 foreign nationals with Masters and PhDs, many of whom are then forced to leave the country because there are not enough visa slots in our immigration system to permit them to stay. So rather than being able to invent things here in America, grow businesses or start one on their own, they do all of those things somewhere else.

Fiona Zhou is here today. She is earning her master’s degree at the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science. Originally from China, she’s been in the U.S. for five years, studying operations research in the systems engineering department. She’s pretty smart. She would like to stay here and invest her talents in America, and maybe even start her own company. But she has seen too many of her friends with advanced degrees have to go back home despite sharing her same dreams and aspirations.

Last year, the House passed the bipartisan STEM Jobs Act which helped fix this problem. We will act again in this Congress, and we hope the Senate chooses to join us this time. I look forward to Fiona realizing her dreams and our country reaping the rewards of her hard work and talent.

Whether it’s college or the cost of day care, making life work for more families means reducing the economic insecurity plaguing so many working moms and dads. Over the last 20 years, the world has changed. It used to be that one could make a career out of working for one company. Today, the average worker stays at his or her job for barely four years.

Median income in 2010 was about the same as it was in 1997. Experts correctly point out that this statistic ignores that many working families are getting more benefits like health care from their employer and not just wages.

But, explaining that rising health-care costs are depressing take-home pay is little consolation to a working mom. Her grocery bills are higher, her kids’ school needs are more expensive, rent is up – and now, she’s just trying to get by. And getting by is not the American Dream.

As job markets are changing, more skills training and education are needed. Federal jobs training programs ought to make it easier for Americans who are out of work or who are changing careers to get the skills they need.

Yet today, the federal government has a patchwork of over 47 different overlapping programs that are not dynamic or innovative enough to meet the needs of employers or potential employees. We can fix this, and we should be able to muster bipartisan support to do so.

If you’re a working parent, you know there’s hardly ever enough time at home to be with the kids. Too many parents have to weigh whether they can afford to miss work even for half a day to see their child off on the first day of school or attend a parent-teacher conference.

Federal laws dating back to the 1930s make it harder for parents who hold hourly jobs to balance the demands of work and home. An hourly employee cannot convert previous overtime into future comp-time or flex-time. In 1985, Congress passed a law that gave state and municipal employees this flexibility, but today still denies that same privilege to the entire private sector. That’s not right.

There’s a police officer at home in my district, her name is Vicki. She is working a tough job, with long hours, while raising her children. Her life is made a little easier because as a local government employee, she is permitted to work some extra hours and save it up for a sick day or a school event.

Imagine if we simply chose to give all employees and employers this option. A working mom could work overtime this month and use it as time off next month without having to worry about whether she’ll be able to take home enough money to pay the rent. This is the kind of common sense legislation that should be non-controversial and moves us in the right direction to help make life work for families.

Another step we have to take is on taxes. There is a lot of talk about taxes in Washington right now. For most families, tax preparation is hard and it is time consuming – this time of year especially. Think about what they’re going through.

What tax form are you supposed to fill out, is it more beneficial to file jointly as a married couple or separately? Is a truck or gas mileage deductible or are you forgetting something that the IRS gives you credit for?

In 1935, the Form 1040 was accompanied by a two-page instruction booklet. Today, taxpayers must wade through over 100 total pages of instructions. Just filling out a W-4 at a new job is confusing. You shouldn’t need a worksheet to know how many dependents you have. Chairman Dave Camp and his committee are already underway in the effort to responsibly rewrite our nation’s tax laws.

As in education policy, health care and all else, tax reform, should reflect the priorities of working families and the future they’re trying to shape for their kids. If nothing else, we must stop putting special interests ahead of our working families’ best interests.

Loopholes and gimmicks benefitting those who’ve come to know how to work the system in Washington, are no more defensible than the path of wasteful and irresponsible spending we’ve been on for decades. Working families should come first. Everyone agrees a fairer, simpler tax code would give us all more time.

In our attempt to make the tax code simpler, we must continue to demonstrate support for young parents who invest in having kids and raising a family. They are America’s most valued investors.

In 1997, a Republican Congress created the child tax credit specifically to help ease the financial burden of families raising children. In 2001, it was expanded. Such a policy helps to limit the size of government and results in fewer Americans looking to the government for support.

Leading up to April 15th, families will be besieged by concerns over their taxes. But it’s health care and a concern for a healthy family that always worry parents most. Most Americans have come to expect the best health care in the world. But there’s no doubt our current system is too expensive and too complicated.

President Obama’s health-care law resulted in higher premiums and costs for families, and has made access to quality health care and innovation tougher. If we want to reverse this trend, we should start by choosing to repeal the new taxes that are increasing the costs of health care and health insurance, like the medical device tax.

With us today is Erin Shucosky. Erin has been a clinical nurse for 30 years in Baltimore. She spent the past ten years coordinating the research on a study to approve new replacement discs to treat patients suffering from crippling neck and back pain. Over time, Erin discovered she suffered from the very condition her work aimed to treat. On her days off, Erin would spend time at her daughter’s lacrosse tournaments barely able to move, and would then go home and spend most of her time there with an ice pack on her neck. So she went in for surgery and got those new disc replacements. Erin’s in a cervical collar today, but thankfully she’s on the mend.

The new medical device tax in ObamaCare makes it harder for researchers to develop these innovative devices in the U.S. and thus makes it harder for patients like Erin to get the care they need.

ObamaCare has unnecessarily raised the costs of our health care. Even those who have pre-existing conditions could get the coverage they need without a trillion dollar government program costing us all more. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when we talk about health-care reform.

Many families, like mine, are dealing with the challenges presented by aging and very sick parents. They rely on Medicare for relief. In 1965 the federal government created Medicare modeled after the standard Blue-Cross Blue Shield insurance plan commonly available at that time. In the past 50 years both health care and health insurance have changed dramatically, but the government and Medicare have not kept pace.

Medicaid isn’t doing any better. Under the Medicaid system the rules are set in Washington, but much of the bills are paid in our state capitals. Collectively states are spending more on Medicaid than they do on K-12 education. And states don’t have the flexibility to innovate in order to lower costs and provide better care.

As a result, in many cases, patients have been swallowed up by the system, and have become an afterthought. These programs are broken, and many patients are going without proper care. That’s not fair to the people who depend on these programs. We’ve got to fix them.

We can modernize Medicare so it isn’t so complicated for seniors or health-care providers and make it easier for them to get the care they need in a cost effective manner. We should begin by ending the arbitrary division between Part A, the hospital program, and Part B, the doctor services. We can create reasonable and predictable levels of out-of-pocket expenses without forcing seniors to rely on Medigap plans.

Seniors who choose to receive their health-care treatment through a group of doctors and hospitals working together to control costs, should share in the savings through lower Medicare premiums and out of pocket costs. This is both cost effective and good for seniors.

We can provide states more flexibility with respect to Medicaid that will allow them to provide better care for low-income families in a way that ultimately lowers costs. Options for states should include streamlining the process for determining eligibility, and allowing them to offer health coverage through patient-directed health care or flexible benefit programs. And we must make it faster and simpler for states to gain approval of federal waivers to modify their Medicaid programs.

Long term, controlling health-care costs will require smarter federal investments in medical research. Many of today’s cures and life saving treatments are a result of an initial federal investment. And much of it is spent on cancer research and other grave illnesses.

One of the most courageous people I know is a young girl from Richmond named Katie. I’ve known Katie for many years. Katie was diagnosed with a brain tumor just after her first birthday. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. For years, she went through different treatments and therapies with little success. At age 7, she and her parents headed to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis. She had a positive radiation treatment and is doing well today, but this month she will again travel back to St. Jude as she often does.

Katie became a part of my congressional office’s family and even interned with us. We rooted for her, and prayed for her. Today, she is a bright 12-year-old that is making her own life work despite ongoing challenges. Katie is down here in the front row. Katie, thank you for being here with us.

Prayers for Katie’s recovery help. But we also must pray that scientists and researchers find cures to these diseases so our parents and grandparents don’t leave us too soon, or that children like Katie are not robbed of a healthy life.

There is an appropriate and necessary role for the federal government to ensure funding for basic medical research. Doing all we can to facilitate medical breakthroughs for people like Katie should be a priority. We can and must do better.

This includes cutting unnecessary red tape in order to speed up the availability of life saving drugs and treatments and reprioritizing existing federal research spending. Funds currently spent by the government on social science – including on politics of all things – would be better spent helping find cures to diseases.

Scientific breakthroughs are the result of and have helped contribute to America’s being the world’s capital of innovation and opportunity in nearly every field. For this and many other reasons, people across the globe want to become a part of our country. We must never diminish that desire, or worse, become a place that is no longer desirable.

It’s no secret that there are more than 11 million people here illegally, many of whom have become part of the fabric of our country. They, like us, have families and dreams.

While we are a nation that allows anyone to start anew, we are also a nation of laws, and that’s what makes tackling the issue of immigration reform so difficult. In looking to solve this problem soon, we must balance respect for the rule of law and respect for those waiting to enter this country legally, with care for the people and families, most of whom just want to make a better life, and contribute to America.

A good place to start is with the kids. One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.

I’m pleased that many of my colleagues in both chambers of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun work in good faith to address these issues. And I’m pleased these discussions make border security, employment verification and creating a workable guest worker program an immediate priority. It’s the right thing to do for our families, for our security, and for our economy.

There are some who would rather avoid fixing the problem in order to save this as a political issue. I reject this notion and call on the president to help lead us towards a bipartisan solution rather than encourage the common political divisions of the past.

A sonnet by Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” was placed at the Statue of Liberty in 1903. Parts of it read: “Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch…From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome…I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The message of this sonnet should sound familiar to most of us. The image of the Statue of Liberty blended with the stories of our immigrant past serve as humble reminders of who we are as a country. It’s the reason I’m able to stand here before you.

Like so many of their generation living in Eastern Europe at the turn of the last century, my grandparents fled the vicious anti-Semitic programs of the czars of Russia to come to America. Widowed at a young age, my grandmother raised her two sons in a tiny apartment atop a grocery store she and my grandfather had opened.

With little but her faith, thrift and hope for a better tomorrow, my grandma worked seven days a week to ensure my dad and uncle could realize the promise of this great country. And today, my children and I stand as proof of the possibility to what may have seemed to her like an impossible dream.

To uphold this legacy of those who’ve come before us, Washington will need to make choices. And in a divided government, these choices are often tough. We in the House Majority remain committed to making those tough choices and stand ready to lead with this president.

“Higher” – Milton Wright once shouted from the air. “Higher.” Making life work for more working people, and all who want to work, is the best way to a future of higher growth and more opportunity.

Thank You.

Political Headlines January 22, 2013: Republicans Express Skepticism Following President Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Republicans Express Skepticism Following Obama’s Address

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-22-13

ABC News

Given the statements made about President Obama’s second inaugural address, it appears that he won’t have an easy go of it with GOP lawmakers this term either.

Some prominent Republicans lawmakers criticized Obama’s inaugural address on Monday, saying he failed to reach out to their party….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 21, 2012: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: A Sassy Merry Christmas ‘I’m Stuck Here in Washington’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

A Sassy Merry Christmas from Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m Stuck Here in Washington’

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-21-12

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

It’s a Christmas greeting with a few digs reflecting the frustration over the fiscal cliff stalemate from Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In a video just posted to his You Tube page, the Minority Leader, sitting in front of a fireplace and Christmas tree says, “Hello I’m Senator Mitch McConnell. I’m stuck here in Washington trying to prevent my fellow Kentuckians having to shell out more money to Uncle Sam next year, but I wanted to take just a minute to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.”

McConnell then instructs Americans to drink eggnog, sing carols and enjoy their time together – because Washington has all the arguing covered already.

“So pour some eggnog, turn up the Christmas music and enjoy your family. No need to argue with your family, there is plenty of arguing in Washington to go around. Merry Christmas everyone.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines December 5, 2012: Pew Research Center Poll: Most Would Place Blame on GOP if US Goes over Fiscal Cliff

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Poll: Most Would Place Blame on GOP if US Goes over Fiscal Cliff

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-5-12

In the court of public opinion, most Americans would pin the blame on Republican lawmakers if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center that concluded last Sunday found that 53 percent of respondents will hold Republicans responsible if no deal is reached with the White House to stop the rescinding of tax breaks for all Americans and the enactment of deep automatic spending reductions, which economists say will lead to another recession.

Just 27 percent of respondents said that the onus should fall on President Obama if the two sides can’t reach an agreement by the end of the month….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 4, 2012: Sen. Marco Rubio on Immigration Reform: ‘More Than 50/50′ Chance of Passage

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Rubio on Immigration Reform: ‘More Than 50/50′ Chance of Passage

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-5-12

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio believes there is a good chance that immigration reform laws that include a path to citizenship will be enacted by the end of President Barack Obama’s second term.

Asked by Politico’s Mike Allen at a “Playbook Breakfast” in Washington about the likelihood “that Congress has passed and the president has signed some pathway to citizenship for current illegals,” Rubio responded that it’s “more than 50/50.” But Rubio (R-Florida) cautioned repeatedly that there is still a lack of consensus on the details of a reform package, including what to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz July 19, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on 2 Day Florida Tour at Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville, Florida — Criticizes Mitt Romney, GOP on Medicare

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

In Florida, Obama Presents Romney as Bad Choice for Seniors

Source: NYT, 7-19-12

President Obama spoke at a campaign event on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

Richard Perry/The New York Times

President Obama spoke at a campaign event on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

The president assailed Republican plans to repeal his health care law and transform Medicare into a voucher program….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Jacksonville, FL

Source: WH, 7-19-12

Prime Osborn Convention Center
Jacksonville, Florida

2:12 P.M. EDT

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

A couple people I just want to say thank you to — first of all, please give Don Herrin a big round of applause for the introduction.  (Applause.)  One of our outstanding members of Congress, your own Corrine Brown is here.  (Applause.)  Another great member of the Florida delegation, Ted Deutch is here.  (Applause.) And Congresswoman and Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is in the house.  (Applause.)

And all of you are here.  And I’m happy about that.  (Applause.)

I’m sorry we were a little delayed — had some weather issues.  Even Air Force One has to fly around the thunder.  (Laughter.)  But we are so glad to be back.  And I want to thank all of you for being here —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)  That’s why I came.

Now, Jacksonville, this is my last political campaign.

AUDIENCE:  Awww —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s true.  I’m term limited.  (Laughter.)  And since it’s my last campaign, it got me thinking about my first political campaigns, early on, back when I had no gray hair.  (Laughter.)  And when I was running for the state senate, or I was running for the United States Senate in Illinois — Illinois is a big state like Florida, and we’d have to travel across the state, and I didn’t have Air Force One back then.  (Laughter.)  No Marine One.  So I didn’t even have GPS.  (Laughter.)  So I’d be driving — maybe I’d have one staff person in the car.  And since we didn’t have MapQuest, I had to have a map, and I’d fold it and then I’d try to unfold it and fold it back the way it was, and I’d get it all messed up.  And I’d get lost, and then once I got to an event I’d have to find parking, and sometimes I couldn’t find a parking spot, or I’d get rained on.

But I have such fond memories of those early campaigns because, no matter where I went, no matter what community — inner-city, rural town, meeting with black folks, white folks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans — didn’t matter what background people came from, no matter how much they looked different on the surface, there was a common thread to all the stories that I heard as I traveled around the state.

I’d meet an elderly couple, and they’d remind me of my grandparents.  I’d think about my grandfather who fought in Patton’s Army in World War II, my grandmother working on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.  And when he came back he was rewarded with a chance to go to college on the GI Bill.  They were able to buy their first home with an FHA loan.  And I’d think about the journey that they had traveled and everything that that Greatest Generation had done to build America.

Or I’d meet a middle-class couple and I’d think about Michelle’s parents — especially her dad, who had multiple sclerosis, so by the time I met him he could barely walk, had to use two canes, had to wake up an hour earlier than everybody else to get to work because that’s how long it took to get him dressed, but would not miss a day of work.  I’d think about Michelle’s mom, who ended up working as a secretary for most of her life, and how, despite the fact that they never had a lot, they were able to give Michelle and Michelle’s brother the best education possible, and how remarkable that was — this country that we live in.

And then I’d meet a single mom and I’d think about my own mother, who raised my sister and me, with the help of my grandparents, because my dad left when I was a baby.  And my mom didn’t have a lot of money, but she worked hard and she went to school at the same time, so that she could give her two children the best education possible and they could travel on a path that she couldn’t have even imagined.

So the people I met in that first campaign and every campaign since, they had all kinds of different stories, all kinds of different backgrounds; they were young and old and every race and every faith — gay, straight, Democrat, Republican, independent — but all of them shared the belief in that core American experience, that basic idea, that core bargain that makes us the shining example for the world — the idea that no matter where you come from, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, America is a place where you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

As Americans, we don’t expect handouts, but we expect hard work to pay off.  (Applause.)  We understand there will be setbacks, but we also know that responsibility should be rewarded.  We believe that if you put enough effort into it, enough elbow grease into it, you should be able to find a job that pays the bills — (applause) — you should be able the have a home that you call your own, health care that you can count on if you get sick.  (Applause.)  You should be able to retire with dignity and respect.  You should be able to provide your children with an education that gives them an even better shot than you had.  That’s what we believe.  (Applause.)

Jacksonville, we are here today because we recognize that this basic bargain, this essence of who we are as a people, this simple American Dream is at risk like never before.  For more than a decade, it had been slipping away from too many hardworking people.  Jobs and factories were shipped overseas.  Folks at the top were doing better than ever before, but middle-class families saw their paychecks get smaller even as their bills got bigger.  In Washington, the trillions that were spent on two wars and two tax cuts took us from record surpluses to record deficits.  And on Wall Street, a culture of “anything goes” led to the worst economic crisis and financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Now, ever since I first ran for this office, I’ve said it’s going to take more than one year or one term or maybe even one President to restore the dream that built this country.  (Applause.)  And the financial crisis and economic crisis made our job that much harder.  But I don’t get discouraged — (applause) — because the cynics who say that our best days are behind us, they haven’t witnessed the everyday courage and the essential character of the American people.  (Applause.)

They haven’t met the small business owners in Minnesota who chose to sacrifice some of their own perks, some of their own pay, to avoid laying off a single worker during that recession.  They haven’t been to the auto companies in Michigan and Ohio that were never supposed to build another car again, but now they can’t build them fast enough.  (Applause.)

They haven’t talked to the 55-year-old factory worker from North Carolina who decided that when the furniture industry left town she’d get her degree in biotechnology from the local community college — not just because she hopes it gets her a job, but because she hopes it tells her children, you don’t give up on your dreams.  (Applause.)  That’s the character I’ve seen in the American people.  That’s who we are.

There are no easy fixes, no quick solutions to the challenges we face, but there is no doubt in my mind that we have the capacity to meet them and we will meet them.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best workers in the world and the best entrepreneurs in the world and the best scientists in the world and the best researchers and the best colleges and the best universities.  (Applause.)  We’re a young nation with the greatest diversity and talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe.  And Florida knows something about that.  No matter what the naysayers tell us, there is not a country on Earth that would not happily trade places with the United States of America. (Applause.)

So the problem — what’s standing in our way is not technical solutions to the problems of housing or education or dealing with the debt.  We know how to deal with it.  What’s standing in our way is our politics.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s what’s going on in Washington.  It’s the notion that compromise is a bad word, the notion that the only path forward is going backwards to the same top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  Our opponent’s entire plan — the same plan of his allies in Congress — is to cut more taxes for the wealthy, cut more regulations for banks and insurance companies, cut more investments in things like education and research.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  — all with the hope that somehow that will create jobs and prosperity everywhere.  That’s what Mitt Romney believes.  That’s what folks in his party in Washington believe. But you know what, Florida, that’s not what you and I believe.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s not what most Americans believe, no matter what party you belong to — because this country was not built on top-down economics.  This country was built from the middle class out.  It was built from the bottom up.  That’s how we became the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. (Applause.)  That’s the path you can choose for America in this election.  And that is why I am 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:  I am running because, like you, I believe you cannot reduce the deficit and deal with our debt without asking folks like me, without asking the wealthiest Americans, to give up the tax cuts they’ve been getting for the last decade.  (Applause.)

Now, my opponent doesn’t just want to keep these tax cuts, he wants to cut those taxes by another $5 trillion, including a 25 percent tax cut for every millionaire in the country.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, hold on, it gets better.  (Laughter.)  To pay for this, he plans to gut things like job training and financial aid for college, and potentially raise taxes on the middle class — on you.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  He plans to roll back health care reform, forcing more than 200,000 Floridians to pay more for their prescription drugs.  He plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  So if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the health insurance that’s on the market, you’re out of luck.  You’re on your own.  One independent nonpartisan study found that seniors would have to pay nearly $6,400 more for Medicare than they do today.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, Florida, that’s the wrong way to go.  It’s wrong to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare just so millionaires and billionaires can pay less in taxes.  That’s not the way to reduce the deficit.  (Applause.)  We shouldn’t be squeezing more money out of seniors who are just barely getting by right now.

My plan is to squeeze more money out of the health care system by eliminating waste, and going after abuse and fraud in Medicare.  (Applause.)  We can cut back government spending that we can’t afford, but I will also ask anybody who is making over $250,000 a year to just go back to the rates they were paying under Bill Clinton — because, by the way, that worked.  (Applause.)  Nearly 23 million new jobs were created, the largest budget surplus in our history.  And when we were doing it that way, where the burden was shared, actually, millionaires did really well.

That’s the choice we have in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  There is such a contrast in approach, two fundamentally different visions that you’re going to have to choose from in this election.

When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than 1 million jobs on the line, Governor Romney said let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I refused to turn my back on a great industry and on American workers.  I bet on American workers.  I bet on American manufacturing.  And three years later the American auto industry has come roaring back.  (Applause.)

So I want to make sure that the high-tech manufacturing jobs of tomorrow — not just in the auto industry but in every industry — that those advanced manufacturing jobs are taking root not in China, not in Germany, but in Jacksonville — (applause) — and in Cleveland and in Raleigh and in Richmond.

Governor Romney’s experience has been owning companies that were called “pioneers” in the business of outsourcing, wants to give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.  I want to give tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States — (applause) — rewarding companies that are investing here and hiring American workers, so we can sell products around the world stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m running.

I’m running because in 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and thanks to our outstanding men and women in uniform, we kept that promise.  (Applause.)  It’s time to do some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)  America is safer and more respected because of the selflessness of our troops.  Not only did we end the war in Iraq, we’ve been able to go after al Qaeda and get bin Laden.  (Applause.)  We have set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan.  And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us.  (Applause.)  Nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.)

So my plan would take about half the money that we’re no longer spending on war and use that to pay down the deficit — use the other half to put people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our runways, our ports, wireless networks.  (Applause.)

I want to create a Veterans Job Corps, so we can put our returning heroes back to work as cops and firefighters in communities that need them.  (Applause.)  That’s the America we want to build.  That’s the choice in this election.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m running to make sure that America once again leads the world in educating our kids and training our workers.  (Applause.)  I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  (Applause.)
Let’s give 2 million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges and learn the skills that local businesses are looking for right now.  (Applause.)  Let’s work with colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition once and for all. (Applause.)

In the 21st century, higher education isn’t a luxury.  It’s a necessity that every American should be able to afford.  (Applause.)

On every measure, there’s a difference in this election.  My opponent has a plan to help responsible homeowners by letting the housing market hit bottom.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That isn’t a solution, that’s a problem.  We’ve already helped more than a million responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages.  And now I want to give everybody the change to refinance and save $3,000 a year.  That’s a plan for housing.  That’s the choice in this election.  (Applause.)

I’m running because I believe nobody in America should go broke just because they get sick.  (Applause.)  And because we passed the health care law, we are going to realize that goal.  The Supreme Court has spoken.  We are moving forward.  We are going to help people who are working hard to make sure that just because they have an illness in their family, they don’t lose everything.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, if you’ve already got health insurance, this just gives you the guarantee and security when you’re dealing with your insurance company that they won’t jerk you around because of the fine print.  (Applause.)  And it lets your young — it lets young people stay on their parent’s plan until they’re 26 years old.  (Applause.)  And it helps our seniors reduce their prescription drug costs.  We’re not going to roll that back.  We’re not going to refight that fight for the next four years.  We need to move forwards, not backwards.  (Applause.)

Just like we’re not going to refight the issue of whether you can serve the country you love just — depending on who you love.  We ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” — it was the right thing to do.  We’re not going back and having that fight.  (Applause.) We need to move forward.

We need to make sure that women have control over their own health care decisions.  (Applause.)  We’re not going backwards.  We’re moving forward.

All these issues connect.  Whether it’s bringing manufacturing and construction jobs back, or protecting your health care, or making sure our kids are getting the best education, making sure our veterans are getting the care that they have earned — all these things make up a middle-class life. They’re all central to the idea that made this country great — that promise that if you work hard, you can get ahead.  (Applause.)

It’s the same promise our parents and grandparents passed down to all of us, the promise we have to pass down to our kids and our grandkids — the idea that we work hard, that everybody has got to take responsibility, that government can’t solve every problem and it certainly can’t solve problems if you don’t want to help yourself — but we also know there are some things we do better together — (applause) — that we rise or fall as one nation and as one people.

Over the course of the next four months, the other side will spend more money than we have ever seen in our lifetimes on ads that tell you the same thing you’ve been hearing for months.  They know their plan isn’t going to sell, so all they’ll keep doing is saying, the economy is not where it should be and it’s all Obama’s fault.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s basically their message.  Now, I guess that’s a plan to win an election, but they can’t hide the fact that it’s not a plan to create jobs.  (Applause.)  It’s not a plan to grow the economy.  They don’t have a plan to revive the middle class.  Everything they’re proposing we tried for a decade and it didn’t work.

So they don’t have a plan, and I do.  (Applause.)  And, Florida, I’ve been outspent before, and I’ve been counted out before, but through every campaign, what has always given me hope is the American people.  (Applause.)  You have the ability to cut through all that nonsense.  What gives me hope is that you remember the stories of families just like mine, all the struggles of parents and great grandparents; and some folks coming here as immigrants, some brought here in chains; some working on the farm, some working in the mines or on the mills.  They didn’t know what to expect, but they understood that there was something different about this country.  They knew that this was a country where things might not be perfect, but working together, we could perfect our union; where people were free to pursue their own individual dreams, but still come together as neighbors, as friends, as one American family.  (Applause.)

They knew that being middle class wasn’t about how much you had in your bank account — it was about the security of knowing you could take care of your family, and give your kids the chance to pursue the life that they dream of, and the chance to give something back to this country that gave you so much.  (Applause.)

And when we tap into that spirit, when we push aside all the talk and all the politics, and get down to that core of what it means to be American, all that money doesn’t matter.  All those negative ads don’t matter.  When you come together, you cannot be stopped.  (Applause.)  And so you can still make change happen, Florida.  You can still inspire each other, because you inspire me.  (Applause.)

In 2008, I tried to only make promises that I could keep or work on keeping.  And I told you then that I was not a perfect man and I wouldn’t be a perfect President, but I also told you I’d always tell you what I thought, I’d always tell you where I stood, and, most of all, I would wake up every single day — every single day and spend every waking hour thinking about you, fighting as hard as I knew how for you.

Because I see myself in you.  (Applause.)  Your grandparents remind me of my grandparents.  When I see your kids, I think about my kids.  And so I have kept that promise, Florida.  I’ve been fighting for you, and I keep believing in you.

And now I am asking for your vote — not just for me, but for the country that we believe in, together.  (Applause.)  And if you still believe, and if you’re willing to stand up with me  — (applause) — and knock on doors for me, and make phone calls for me, talk to your neighbors and talk to your friends, talk to your coworkers, talk to your family, we will win Florida and we will win this election.  (Applause.)  We’ll finish what we started in 2008, and we will remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

END
2:43 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines July 5, 2012: Mitt Romney Raised $100 Million for Campaign in June

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney Raised $100 Million in June

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-5-12

Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

Mitt Romney’s campaign said Thursday that he raised more than $100 million in June, a record for the candidate so far in the 2012 race. President Obama raised $150 million in September 2008, the most ever hauled in a month.

Mike Allen of Politico broke the news on Twitter after the Romney campaign leaked the June figures.

Obama hasn’t yet announced how much money he raised in June. Typically, campaigns are more eager to leak their fundraising totals when they surpass expectations.

The Obama campaign did, however, accuse Romney of releasing the figure in an effort to change the conversation of the campaign….READ MORE

Campaign Buzz June 5, 2012: Mitt Romney Sweeps Tuesday 5 GOP Primaries with Wins in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota & California

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 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: ROMNEY SWEEPS TUESDAY’S 5 GOP PRIMARIES IN MONTANA, NEW JERSEY, NEW MEXICO, SOUTH DAKOTA & CALIFORNIA

Romney sweeps 5 primaries; redistricting shakes up Congressional races: Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney picked up more ammo in his quest for the White House, sweeping primaries in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and California on Tuesday night…. – CNN, 6-6-12

 

  • Romney wins Republican primaries in 5 statesCBS News, 6-5-12
  • Republican Romney wins five more US state pollsAFP, 6-6-12
  • Five more states boost Romney delegate totalPhiladelphia Inquirer, 6-6-12
  • Romney sweeps primaries in 5 statesNews24, 6-6-12
  • Mitt Romney sweeps primaries in 5 states: The results aren’t surprising because the presidential candidate, who spent the day stumping for Latino support in Texas, has effectively claimed the nomination. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Fort Worth…. – LAT, 6-5-12
  • Romney wins Republican primaries in 4 states, adding to presumptive nominee’s delegates: Mitt Romney has won the Montana Republican presidential primary on his way to what could be a five-state sweep. Romney also won presidential primaries Tuesday in New Jersey, South Dakota and New Mexico. California is also holding a primary…. – WaPo, 6-5-12

Campaign Headlines May 30, 2012: President Obama Calls Congratulating Mitt Romney on Securing the GOP / Republican Presidential Nomination

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS TO CONGRATULATE MITT ROMNEY ON SECURING GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

  • President Obama has called Mitt Romney to congratulate him on securing the GOP presidential nomination: President Obama has called Mitt Romney to congratulate him on securing the GOP nomination… – WaPo, 5-30-12
  • Obama calls Romney: Game on, Mitt. President Obama called November foe Mitt Romney Wednesday to congratulate him on officially clinching the Republican presidential nomination…. – New York Daily News, 5-30-12
  • Obama calls to congratulate Romney: What would you say to the man trying to force you from your job?
    Hours after Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a win in Texas, President Obama telephoned him. But the call was nothing more than formalities to officially extend congratulatory sentiments.
    At approximately 11:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, the president called Romney “to congratulate him on securing the Republican nomination,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt announced in a readout of the call, which was disseminated to reporters.
    “President Obama said that he looked forward to an important and healthy debate about America’s future, and wished Governor Romney and his family well throughout the upcoming campaign.”
    A Romney aide told news outlets the call was brief and cordial…. – Yahoo/ABC News, 5-30-12

Campaign Buzz May 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Texas Primary & Clinches GOP / Republcan Presidential Nomination — Gains 1144 Needed Delegates

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

With Texas Win, Romney Clinches the GOP Nomination

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-29-12

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney has clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

It has been projected that Romney has won the Texas GOP primary, and ABC News estimates he will win at least 88 of Texas’s 155 delegates, giving him the 1,144 needed to win the nomination.

Romney now moves on to the general election against President Obama in November. Polls have shown a tight race between the two candidates….READ MORE

Tonight, We Begin The Work Of Restoring Our Country To Greatness

Source: Mitt Romney, 5-29-12

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I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us.

I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity. On November 6, I am confident that we will unite as a country and begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness.

IN FOCUS: ROMNEY CLINCHES REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

Romney clinches Republican presidential nomination: Mitt Romney has won the Texas primary, securing the 1,144 delegates required to clinch the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s August convention…. – WaPo, 5-29-12

  • Nomination His, Romney Steps Up Attack on Obama: Mitt Romney, who formally secured the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, is unleashing an offensive to further undermine confidence in President Obama…. – NYT, 5-29-12
  • Romney clinches GOP nomination, focuses ahead: Mitt Romney wins the Texas GOP primary, locking down the party nomination, and he’s already moving on to general-election goals…. – LAT, 5-29-12
  • CBS News: Romney clinches GOP presidential nomination: Updated: 11:45 pm ET (CBS News) Nearly a year after announcing his presidential bid, CBS News estimates that Mitt Romney has earned the necessary delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. With 85 percent of the votes counted…. – CBS News, 5-29-12 Mitt Romney celebrates clinching 1144 delegates: ‘It is a great honor': Mitt Romney celebrated clinching the GOP presidential nomination Tuesday night, telling donors that he was honored to cross the 1144 delegate threshold, but he predicted a long battle through the fall…. – LAT, 5-29-12 Romney clinches 1144 delegates, but buzz is about Trump: Mitt Romney finally clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, but all the chatter around his campaign was about Donald Trump. By Julie Jacobson, AP Donald Trump greets Mitt Romney during a news conference in … USA Today, 5-29-12 Romney gets Trumped by birther talk: Though the GOP candidate clinched the nomination, Donald Trump’s claims about the President’s statements upstaged the news…. – CS Monitor, 5-29-12
  • Romney clinches GOP nomination, but faces fallout from the primaries: Mitt Romney’s victory in the Texas primary on Tuesday gives him enough delegates to capture the Republican presidential nomination, but he remains some distance from recovering from the damage caused by months of tussling with … LAT, 5-29-12
  • Romney seals the deal in delayed if inconsequential GOP Texas primary: There was no suspense, there was no drama but Texas finally played a bit role in the presidential election Tuesday with a final boost to GOP candidate Mitt Romney, giving him enough delegates for him to secure the GOP presidential nomination… Kansas City Star, 5-29-12
  • Romney clinches GOP nomination for president with win in Texas primary: Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a win in the Texas primary, a triumph of endurance for a candidate who came up short four years ago and had to fight hard this…. – AP, 5-29-12

Campaign Headlines May 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Will Reach 1144 Delegates & Clinch GOP / Republican Presidential Nominaton with Texas Primary Win

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY WILL REACH 1144 DELEGATES & CLINCH REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION WITH TEXAS PRIMARY WIN

Texas Primary: Romney Expected to Clinch GOP Nomination: Everything’s bigger in Texas, and Tuesday’s state and presidential primary is no exception.
Mitt Romney is expected to reach (and surpass) 1,144 delegates Tuesday night — the magic delegate number needed to officially win the GOP nomination. With 155 delegates at stake, Texas’s GOP primary is the largest delegate prize in the contest so far — the second largest overall. California will offer the most delegates on June 5…. – ABC News Radio, 5-29-12

  • THE RACE: Math adds up to GOP victory for Romney: 1 minute ago Not fuzzy math or new math but the simple one-plus-one addition kind of math. By day’s end, if all goes as expected, the former Massachusetts governor will finally have a mathematical lock on the Republican presidential…. – AP, 5-29-12
  • THE RACE: Texas to put Romney over top in delegate count with 3 months yet to the convention: This day is mostly about math for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Not fuzzy math or new math but the simple one-plus-one addition kind of math…. – WaPo, 5-29-12

Campaign Headlines May 29, 2012: Ted Cruz Tea Party Candidate Vies for Open Texas Senate Seat in Primary

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 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

IN FOCUS: TED CRUZ TEA PARTY CANDIDATE VIES FOR OPEN TEXAS SENATE SEAT IN PRIMARY

Tea partier Ted Cruz vies for open Texas Senate seat: Following Republican primary victories in Utah, Indiana, and Nebraska, the tea party movement is hoping for more good news on Tuesday in Texas, where Ted Cruz is taking on the Republican establishment in his campaign for the US Senate…. – ABC News, 5-29-12

  • Cruz confident he’ll earn runoff spot in GOP Senate race: Republican Senate hopeful Ted Cruz said the momentum of Tuesday’s primary election was with him this Memorial Day. He started campaigning in Richardson Monday morning, calling voters on the telephone from aboard a Tea Party… KHOU, 5-29-12
  • Much-watched Texas US Senate race may need runoff: The polls have opened in Texas for the primary election that’s a step leading to a new US senator for the state. Republican US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is not seeking another term. Nine candidates are squaring … FOX 4 News, 5-29-12
  • Heated primary races await voters’ choice: Texas voters will at last troop to the polls Tuesday, after weeks of uncertainty and disputation over congressional and legislative redistricting, to cast ballots in the much-delayed primary elections. Voters will choose their nominees … Houston Chronicle, 5-27-12
  • Texas GOP Senate Primary: Big Spending, Big Fight for Conservative Crown: In Texas, the GOP primary to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s US Senate seat has become a costly and bitter fight that may not end today. Texas election code stipulates that candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the vote to win their party’s…. – ABC News, 5-29-12

Campaign Headlines May 22, 2012: Rep. Paul Ryan blames President Obama for Nation’s Economic Woes at Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library Speech “A Rendezvous with Reagan’s Legacy: Lessons for 2012″

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THE HEADLINES….

Rep. Paul Ryan
Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks Tuesday at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press / May 22, 2012)

Paul Ryan Says Romney Will ‘Save This Country’

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-22-12
Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the top contenders floated in GOP circles as a potential running mate to Mitt Romney, addressed a sold-out audience Tuesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library, telling the friendly audience that he believes Romney will “save this country.”
The 42-year-old Wisconsin Republican, who serves as chairman of the House Budget committee, delivered an address titled “A Rendezvous with Reagan’s Legacy: Lessons for 2012.”  In a speech where President Reagan was named at least a dozen times, Ryan contrasted the GOP’s proposals to reform entitlements and taxes with President Obama and the Democrats’ policies….READ MORE

IN FOCUS: REP. PAUL RYAN BLAMES OBAMA FOR ECONOMIC WOES IN REAGAN LIBRARY SPEECH

Possible VP pick pounds Obama on spending: Rep. Paul Ryan, a potential pick to join Mitt Romney’s presidential ticket, blamed President Barack Obama on Tuesday for anemic job growth and unchecked spending and debt that he said are pushing the nation toward decline…. – AP, 5-22-12

  • Paul Ryan coy on whether he’d join the GOP ticket: Rep. Paul Ryan, who is considered a contender to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, is predictably evasive in addressing the question during an appearance at the Reagan library in Simi Valley. Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks Tuesday at the Reagan Library…. – LAT, 5-23-12
  • Paul Ryan goes into Obama attack mode at the Reagan library: Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday was the third Republican with vice-presidential buzz to speak at the Reagan library this election season. But his speech had a different purpose…. – CS Monitor, 5-23-12

Campaign Recap May 19, 2012: Mitt Romney: GOP/ Republican Presidential Candidate — This Week On The Campaign Trail

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

This Week On The Campaign Trail

Source: Mitt Romney Digital, 5-19-12
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After celebrating Mother’s Day with Ann, Mitt hit the campaign trail focusing on his message of more jobs and less government. With President Obama’s policies only leading to bigger government and out-of-control-spending, more Americans want to see him as a one-term president.

Mitt has the private sector experience needed to help turn the American economy back to prosperity. On November 6th Americans will be given a choice between a president with a record of failed leadership or a businessman who is ready to lead.

Catch up on the latest from the campaign trail in this week’s edition of Mitt Weekly….MORE

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