Full Text Political Transcripts December 8, 2016: President-elect Donald Trump Thank You Rally in Des Moines, Iowa

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Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 November 14, 2015: Second Democratic Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Transcript

ELECTION 2016

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Transcript: Read the Full Text of the Second Democratic Debate

Source: Time, 11-14-15

Three Democratic presidential candidates met in Des Moines, Iowa, for a late-night debate Saturday.

At the debate at Drake University were former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The moderators were “Face the Nation” anchor John Dickerson, CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, KCCI anchor Kevin Cooney and Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich.

Here is a running transcript of the debate, courtesy of CBS.

DICKERSON: Good evening, I’m John Dickerson of CBS News in Des Moines, Iowa.

The debate you’ve tuned in to see tonight is a symbol of the freedom we all cherish.

DICKERSON: Last night the world watched in horror as freedom was savagely attacked in the heart of Paris. At least 129 people were killed and many more wounded in a coordinated series of terror attacks. Tonight, as France mourns, so does America.

So before we begin tonight’s second debate with these candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, we ask you to join us in observing a moment of silence.

Now, please welcome to Drake University, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

(APPLAUSE)

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

(APPLAUSE)

And Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland.

(APPLAUSE)

Joining me in the questioning tonight are CBS news congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, anchor Kevin Cooney of our CBS Des Moines affiliate KCCI, and political columnist Kathie Obradovich of the Des Moines Register.

(APPLAUSE)

Twitter is another of our partners for this debate. Tweets will help us follow the reaction to what the candidates say.

DICKERSON: So please send us your comments using the hashtag #demdebate.

And we’ll begin in just a moment.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Before we — before we start the debate, here are the rules.

The candidates have one minute to respond to our questions and 30 seconds to respond to our follow-ups. Any candidate who is attacked by another candidate gets 30 seconds for rebuttal.

Here’s how we’ll keep time. After a question is asking, the green light goes on. When there are 15 seconds left, the candidate gets a yellow warning light. And when time is up, the light turns red — that means stop talking.

(LAUGHTER)

Those are the rules. So let’s get started. You will each have one minute for an opening statement to share your thoughts about the attacks in Paris, and lay out your vision for America.

First, Senator Sanders.

SANDERS: Well, John, let me concur with you and with all Americans who are shocked and disgusted by what we saw in Paris yesterday.

Together, leading the world, this country will rid our planet of this barbarous organization called ISIS.

I’m running for president, because as I go around this nation, I talk to a lot of people. And what I hear is people’s concern that the economy we have is a rigged economy. People are working longer hours for lower wages, and almost all of the new income and wealth goes to the top one percent.

And then on top of that, we’ve got a corrupt campaign finance system in which millionaires and billionaires are pouring huge sums of money into super PACS heavily influencing the political process. What my campaign is about is a political revolution — millions of people standing up and saying, enough is enough. Our government belongs to all of us, and not just the hand full of billionaires.

DICKERSON: All right, Senator Sanders.

Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, our prayers are with the people of France tonight, but that is not enough. We need to have a resolve that will bring the world together to root out the kind of radical jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like ISIS, a barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist terrorist group.

This election is not only about electing a president. It’s also about choosing our next commander-in-chief. And I will be laying out in detail, what I think we need to do with our friends and allies in Europe and elsewhere to do a better job of coordinating efforts against the scourge of terrorism. Our country deserves no less, because all of the other issues we want to deal with depend upon us being secure and strong.

DICKERSON: Governor O’Malley.

O’MALLEY: My heart, like all of us in this room, John, and all the people across our country, my hearts go out to the people of France in this moment of loss. Parents, and sons, and daughters and family members, and as our hearts go out to them and as our prayers go out to them, we must remember this, that this isn’t the new face of conflict and warfare, not in the 20th century but the new face of conflict and warfare in the 21st century.

And there is no nation on the planet better able to adapt to this change than our nation. We must able to work collaboratively with others. We must anticipate these threats before they happen. This is the new sort of challenge, the new sort of threat that does, in fact, require new thinking, fresh approaches and new leadership.

As a former mayor and a former governor, there was never a single day, John, when I went to bed or woke up without realizing that this could happen in our own country. We have a lot of work to do, to better prepare our nation and to better lead this world into this new century.

DICKERSON: All right, thank you, Governor. Thank all of you.

The terror attacks last night underscore biggest challenge facing the next president of the United States. At a time of crisis, the country and the world look to the president for leadership and for answers.

So, Secretary Clinton, I’d like to start with you. Hours before the attacks, President Obama said, “I don’t think ISIS is gaining strength.” Seventy-two percent of Americans think the fight against ISIS is going badly. Won’t the legacy of this administration, which is– which you were a part of, won’t that legacy be that it underestimated the threat from ISIS?

CLINTON: Well, John, I think that we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated.

There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way — that we can bring people together.

But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said– which I agree with– is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military, why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs, so that we can be supportive.

But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.

DICKERSON: But as — Secretary Clinton, the question was about, was ISIS underestimated? And I’ll just add, the president referred to ISIS as the JVU (sic), in a speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in June of 2014 said, “I could not have predicted the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq.”

So you’ve got prescriptions for the future, but how do we even those prescript prescriptions are any good if you missed it in the past?

CLINTON: Well, John, look, I think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that George W. Bush made with the Iraqis to leave by 2011, is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it. And then, with the revolution against Assad — and I did early on say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so that we would have a better idea of how to deal with Assad because I thought there would be extremist groups filling the vacuum.

So, yes, this has developed. I think that there are many other reasons why it has in addition to what happened in the region, but I don’t think that the United States has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself.

DICKERSON: Okay, Governor O’Malley, would you critique the administration’s response to ISIS. If the United States doesn’t lead, who leads?

O’MALLEY: John, I would disagree with Secretary Clinton respectfully on this score.

This actually is America’s fight. It cannot solely be America’s fight.

America is best when we work in collaboration with our allies. America is best when we are actually standing up to evil in this world. And ISIS, make no mistake about it, is an evil in this world.

ISIS has brought down a Russian airliner. ISIS has now attacked a western democracy in — in France. And we do have a role in this. Not solely ours, but we must work collaboratively with other nations.

The great failing of these last 10 or 15 years, John, has been our failing of human intelligence on the ground. Our role in the world is not to roam the globe looking for new dictators to topple. Our role in the world is to make ourselves a beacon of hope. Make ourselves stronger at home, but also our role in the world, yes, is also to confront evil when it rises. We took out the safe haven in Afghanistan, but now there is, undoubtedly, a larger safe haven and we must rise to this occasion in collaboration and with alliances to confront it, and invest in the future much better human intelligence so we know what the next steps are.

DICKERSON: Senator Sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of ISIS. In the previous debate you said the greatest threat to national security was climate change. Do you still believe that?

SANDERS: Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world — this is what the CIA says — they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops ask you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.

But, of course, international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today. And I agree with much of what the Secretary and the Governor have said. But let me have one area of disagreement with the Secretary.

I think she said something like the bulk of the responsibility is not ours. Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS.

Now, in fact, what we have got to do — and I think there is widespread agreement here — is the United States cannot do it alone. What we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes very significantly the Muslim nations in that region who are going to have to fight and defend their way of life.

DICKERSON: Quickly, just let me ask you a follow-up on that, Senator Sanders.

When you say the disastrous vote on Iraq, let’s just be clear about what you’re saying. You’re saying Secretary Clinton, who was then Senator Clinton, voted for the Iraq war. And are you making a direct link between her vote for that or and what’s happening now for ISIS. Just so everybody…

SANDERS: I don’t think any — I don’t think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now. I think that was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the more than history of the United States.

DICKERSON: Alright. Let’s let Secretary Clinton respond to that.

CLINTON: Thank you, John.

Well, thank you, John.

I think it’s important we put this in historic context. The United States has, unfortunately, been victimized by terrorism going back decades.

In the 1980s, it was in Beirut, Lebanon, under President Reagan’s administration, and 258 Americans, marines, embassy personnel, and others were murdered. We also had attacks on two of our embassies in Tanzania, Kenya, when my husband was president. Again, Americans murdered. And then, of course, 9/11 happened, which happened before there was an invasion of Iraq.

I have said the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. But I think if we’re ever going to really tackle the problems posed by jihadi extreme terrorism, we need to understand it and realize that it has antecedents to what happened in Iraq and we have to continue to be vigilant about it.

DICKERSON: Senator Sanders let me just follow this line of thinking. You criticized then, Senator Clinton’s vote.

Do you have anything to criticize in the way she performed as Secretary of State?

SANDERS: I think we have a disagreement, and the disagreement is that not only did I vote against the war in Iraq. If you look at history, John, you will find that regime change — whether it was in the early ’50s in Iran, whether it was toppling Salvador Allende in Chile, whether it is overthrowing the government of Guatemala way back when — these invasions, these toppling of governments, regime changes have unintended consequences. I would say that on this issue, I’m a little bit more conservative than the Secretary…

DICKERSON: Alright.

SANDERS: … And that I am not a great fan of regime change.

DICKERSON: Senator let me…

O’MALLEY: John, may I — may I interject here? Secretary Clinton also said we — it was not just the invasion of Iraq which Secretary Clinton voted for and has since said was a big mistake — and, indeed, it was.

But it was also the cascading effects that followed that. It was also the disbanding of many elements of the Iraqi army that are now showing up as part of ISIS. It was country after country without making the investment in human intelligence to understand who the new leaders were and the new forces were that are coming up.

We need to be much more far thinking in this new 21st century era of — of nation state failures and conflict. It’s not just about getting rid of a single dictator. It is about understanding the secondary and third consequences that fall next.

DICKERSON: All right, Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, of course, each of these cases needs to be looked at individually and analyzed. Part of the problem that we have currently in the Middle East is that Assad has hung on to power with the very strong support of Russia and Iran and with the proxy of Hezbollah being there basically fighting his battles.

So I don’t think you can paint with a broad brush. This is an incredibly complicated region of the world. It’s become more complicated. And many of the fights that are going on are not ones that the United States has either started or have a role in. The Shi’a-Sunni split. The dictatorships have suppressed people’s aspirations. The increasing globalization without any real safety valve for people to have a better life. We saw that in Egypt. We saw a dictator overthrown. We saw a Muslim brotherhood president installed, and then we saw him ousted and the army back.

So, I think we’ve got to understand the complexity of the world that we are facing and no place is more so than in the Middle East.

DICKERSON: I understand. Quickly, Senator.

SANDERS: The Secretary’s obviously right. It is enormously complicated. But here’s something that I believe we have to do as we put together an international coalition, and that is we have to understand that the Muslim nations in the region — Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan — all of these nations, they’re going to have to get their hands dirty, their boots on the ground. They are going to have to take on ISIS.

This is a war for the soul of Islam. And those countries who are opposed to Islam, they are going to have to get deeply involved in a way that is not the case today. We should be supportive of that effort. So should the UK, so should France. But those Muslim countries are going to have to lead the effort. They are not doing it now.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, I think — I think that is very unfair to a few you mentioned, most particularly Jordan, which has put a lot on the line for the United States, has also taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, and has been, therefore, subjected to threats and attacks by extremists themselves.

I do agree that in particular, Turkey and the Gulf nations have got to make up their minds. Are they going to stand with us against this kind of jihadi radicalism or not? And there are many ways of doing it. They can provide forces. They can provide resources. But they need to be absolutely clear about where they stand.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you, Secretary Clinton, a question about leadership.

We’re talking about what role does America take?

Let me ask you about Libya. So Libya is a country in which ISIS has taken hold in part because of the chaos after Muammar Gaddafi. That was an operation you championed. President Obama says this is the lesson he took from that operation. In an interview he said, the lesson was, do we have an answer for the day after? Wasn’t that suppose to be one of the lessons that we learned after the Iraq war? And how did you get it wrong with Libya if the key lesson of the Iraq war is have a plan for after?

CLINTON: Well, we did have a plan, and I think it’s fair to say that of all of the Arab leaders, Gaddafi probably had more blood on his hands of Americans than anybody else. And when he moved on his own people, threatening a massacre, genocide, the Europeans and the Arabs, our allies and partners, did ask for American help and we provided it.

And we didn’t put a single boot on the ground, and Gaddafi was deposed. The Libyans turned out for one of the most successful, fairest elections that any Arab country has had. They elected moderate leaders. Now, there has been a lot of turmoil and trouble as they have tried to deal with these radical elements which you find in this arc of instability, from north Africa to Afghanistan.

And it is imperative that we do more not only to help our friends and partners protect themselves and protect our own homeland, but also to work to try to deal with this arc of instability, which does have a lot of impact on what happens in a country like Libya.

DICKERSON: Governor O’ Malley I want to ask you a question and you can add whatever you’d like to. But let me ask you, is the world too dangerous a place for a governor who has no foreign policy experience?

O’ MALLEY: John, the world is a very dangerous place, but the world is not too dangerous of a place for the United States of America, provided we act according to our principles, provided we act intelligently. I mean, let’s talk about this arc of instability that Secretary Clinton talked about.

Libya is now a mess. Syria is a mess. Iraq is a mess. Afghanistan is a mess. As Americans, we have shown ourselves to have the greatest military on the face of the planet, but we are not so very good at anticipating threats and appreciating just how difficult it is to build up stable democracies, to make the investments and sustainable development that we must as a nation if we are to attack the root causes of these sorts of instability.

And I wanted to add one other thing, John, and I think it’s important for all of us on this stage. I was in Burlington, Iowa. And a mom of a service member of ours who served two duties in Iraq said, Governor O’ Malley, please, when you’re with your other candidates and colleagues on stage, please don’t use the term ‘boots on the ground’. Let’s don’t use the term ‘boots on the ground’.

My son is not a pair of boots on the ground. These are American soldiers and we fail them when we fail to take into account what happens the day after a dictator falls and when we fail to act with a whole of government approach with sustainable development, diplomacy, and our economic power in alignment with our principles.

CLINTON: Well, I think it’s perfectly fair to say that we invested quite a bit in development aid. Some of the bravest people that I had the privilege of working with as secretary of state were our development professionals who went sometimes alone, sometimes with our military, into very dangerous places in Iraq, in Afghanistan, elsewhere.

So, there does need to be a whole of government approach, but just because we’re involved and we have a strategy doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to dictate the outcome. These are often very long- term kinds of investments that have to be made.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: When you talk about the long-term consequences of war, let’s talk about the men and women who came home from war. The 500,000 who came home with PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. And I would hope in the midst of all of this discussion, this country makes certain that we do not turn our backs on the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us, and that we stand with them as they have stood with us.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. Marco Rubio, also running for president, said that this attack showed and the attack in Paris showed that we are at war with radical Islam. Do you agree with that characterization, radical Islam?

CLINTON: I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists who have —

DICKERSON: Just to interrupt. He didn’t say all Muslims. He just said radical Islam. Is that a phrase you don’t…

CLINTON: I think THAT you can talk about Islamists who clearly are also jihadists, but I think it’s not particularly helpful to make the case that Senator Sanders was just making that I agree with, that we’ve got to reach out to Muslim countries.

We’ve got to have them be part of our coalition. If they hear people running for president who basically shortcut it to say we are somehow against Islam, that was one of the real contributions, despite all the other problems, that George W. Bush made after 9/11 when he basically said after going to a Mosque in Washington, we are not at war with Islam or Muslims.

We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And, yes, we are at war with those people. But I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.

DICKERSON: The reason I ask is you gave a speech at Georgetown University in which you said, that it was important to show, quote, “respect, even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.” Can you explain what that means in the context of this kind of barbarism?

CLINTON: I think with this kind of barbarism and nihilism, it’s very hard to understand, other than the lust for power, the rejection of modernity, the total disregard for human rights, freedom, or any other value that we know and respect.

Historically, it is important to try to understand your adversary in order to figure out how they are thinking, what they will be doing, how they will react. I plead that it’s very difficult when you deal with ISIS and organizations like that whose behavior is so barbaric and so vicious that it doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than lust for killing and power and that’s very difficult to put ourselves in the other shoe.

(CROSSTALK)

DICKERSON: Just quickly, do either of you, radical Islam, do either of you use that phrase?

SANDERS: I don’t think the term is what’s important. What is important to understand is we have organizations, whether it is ISIS or Al Qaida, who do believe we should go back several thousand years. We should make women third-class citizens, that we should allow children to be sexually assaulted, that they are a danger to modern society.

And that this world, with American leadership, can and must come together to destroy them. We can do that. And it requires an entire world to come together, including in a very active way, the Muslim nations.

DICKERSON: Governor O’ Malley, you have been making the case when you talk about lack of forward vision, you’re essentially saying that Secretary Clinton lacks that vision and this critique matches up with this discussion of language. The critique is that the softness of language betrays a softness of approach. So if this language — if you don’t call it by what it is, how can your approach be effective to the cause? that’s the critique.

O’ MALLEY: I believe calling it what it is, is to say radical jihadis. That’s calling it what it is. But John, let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that all of our Muslim American neighbors in this country are somehow our enemies here. They are our first line of defense.

And we are going to be able to defeat ISIS on the ground there, as well as in this world, because of the Muslim Americans in our country and throughout the world who understand that this brutal and barbaric group is perverting the name of a great world religion. And now, like never before, we need our Muslim American neighbors to stand up and to — and to be a part of this.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, the French president has called this attack an act of war.

CLINTON: Yes.

DICKERSON: A couple of days ago you were asked if you would declare war on ISIS and you said no. What would you say now?

CLINTON: Well, we have an authorization to use military force against terrorists. We passed it after 9/11.

DICKERSON: And you think that covers all of this?

CLINTON: It certainly does cover it. I would like to see it updated.

DICKERSON: If you were in the Senate, would you be okay with the commander in chief doing that without it coming back to you?

CLINTON: No, it would have to go through the Congress, and I know the White House has actually been working with members of Congress. Maybe now we can get it moving again so that we can upgrade it so that it does include all the tools and everything in our arsenal that we can use to try to work with our allies and our friends, come up with better intelligence.

You know, it is difficult finding intelligence that is actionable in a lot of these places, but we have to keep trying. And we have to do more to prevent the flood of foreign fighters that have gone to Syria, especially the ones with western passports, that come back. So there’s a lot of work we need to do and I want to be sure what’s called the AUMF, has the authority that is needed going forward.

DICKERSON: Senator, let me just — let’s add to whatever you’ve got to say. Refugees. You’ve been a little vague on what you would do about the Syrian refugees. What’s your view on them now?

SANDERS: Let me do that but let me pick up on an issue, a very important issue that we have not yet discussed. This nation is the most powerful military in the world. We’re spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10 percent of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism.

We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars maintaining 5,000 nuclear weapons. I think we need major reform in the military, making it more cost effective, but also focusing on the real crisis that faces us.

SANDERS: The Cold War is over. And our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting internationally targets. So, in terms of refugees, I believe that the United States has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that, of course, we reach out.

Now, what the magic number is, I don’t know, because we don’t know the extent of the problem. But I certainly think that the United States should take its full responsibility in helping those people.

DICKERSON: Governor O’Malley, you have a magic number. I think it’s 65,000. Does that number go up or down based on what happened yesterday?

OMALLEY: John, I was the first person on this stage to say that we should accept the 65,000 Syrian refugees that were fleeing the sort of murder of ISIL, and I believe that that needs to be done with proper screening. But accommodating 65,000 refugees in our country today, people of 320 million, is akin to making room for 6.5 more people in a baseball stadium with 32,000.

There are other ways to lead and to be a moral leader in this world, rather than at the opposite end of a drone strike. But I would want to agree with something that Senator Sanders says. The nature of warfare has changed. This is not a conflict where we send in the third divisions of Marines. This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies are not as — serve our purposes as well as special ops, better intelligence and being more proactive.

DICKERSON: Just very quickly, 65,000, the number stays?

OMALLEY: That’s what I understand is the request from the international…

DICKERSON: But for you, what would you want?

OMALLEY: I would want us to take our place among the nations of the world to alleviate this sort of death and the specter we saw of little kids’ bodies washing up on a beach.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, let me ask you a question from twitter which has come in and this is a question on this issue of refugees. The question is, with the U.S. preparing to absorb Syrian refugees, how do you propose we screen those coming in to keep citizens safe?

CLINTON: I think that is the number one requirement. I also said that we should take increased numbers of refugees. The administration originally said 10. I said we should go to 65, but only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine, whatever resources it takes because I do not want us to, in any way, inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country.

But I want to say a quick word about what Senator Sanders and then Governor O’Malley said. We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges.

We’ve got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up these military installations. We have problems with Russia. Just the other day, Russia allowed a television camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. So we’ve got to look at the full range and then come to some smart decisions about having more streamlined and focused approach.

DICKERSON: Alright. Senator Sanders, I’m sorry. We’re going to have to take a break now. We will have more of the Democratic debate here from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Want to turn now from terrorism to another important issue for many Americans, the financial squeeze on the the middle class. For that, we go to my CBS News Colleague, Nancy Cordes.

Nancy?

CORDES: John, thanks so much.

We’ve learned a lot during the course of this campaign about the things that you’d like to do that you say would help the middle class, but we haven’t heard quite as much about who would pick up the tab.

So Secretary Clinton, first to you. You want to cap individuals’ prescription drug costs at $250 a month. You want to make public college debt-free. You want community college to be free altogether. And you want mandatory paid family leave. So who pays for all that? Is it employers? Is it the taxpayers, and which taxpayers?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, it isn’t the middle class. I have made very clear that hardworking, middle-class families need a raise, not a tax increase. In fact, wages adjusted for inflation haven’t risen since the turn of the last century, after my husband’s administration. So we have a lot of work to do to get jobs going again, get incomes rising again. And I have laid out specific plans — you can go to my web site, hillaryclinton.com, and read the details. And I will pay for it by, yes, taxing the wealthy more, closing corporate loopholes, deductions, and other kinds of favorable treatment. And I can do it without raising the debt, without raising taxes on the middle class and making it reasonably manageable within our budget so that we can be fiscally responsible at the same time.

CORDES: But a quick follow-up on that $250-a-month cap. Wouldn’t the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies just pass that cost on to the consumers in the form of higher premiums?

CLINTON: Well, we’re going to have to redo the way the prescription drug industry does business. For example, it is outrageous that we don’t have an opportunity for Medicare to negotiate for lower prices. In fact, American consumers pay the highest prices in the world for drugs that we help to be developed through the National Institute of Health and that we then tested through the FDA.

So there’s more to my plan than just the cap. We have to go after price gouging and monopolistic practices and get Medicare the authority to negotiate.

CORDES: Governor O’Malley, you also want to make public college debt-free. You want…

OMALLEY: That’s right.

CORDES: … states to freeze tuition. You’ve got your own family leave plan. How would you pay for it? In Maryland, you raised the sales tax, you raised the gas tax and you raised taxes on families making over $150,000 a year. Is that the blueprint?

OMALLEY: Nancy, the blueprint in Maryland that we followed was yes, we did in fact raise the sales tax by a penny and we made our public schools the best public schools in America for five years in a row with that investment. And yes, we did ask everyone — the top 14 percent of earners in our state to pay more in their income tax and we were the only state to go four years in a row without a penny’s increase to college tuitions.

So while other candidates will talk about the things they would like to do, I actually got these things done in a state that defended not only a AAA bond rating, but the highest median income in America. I believe that we pay for many of the things that we need to do again as a nation, investing in the skills of our people, our infrastructure, and research and development and also climate change by the elimination of one big entitlement that we can no longer afford as a people, and that is the entitlement that many of our super wealthiest citizens feel they are entitled to pay — namely, a much lower income tax rate and a lower tax rate on capital gains.

I believe capital gains, for the most part, should be taxed the same way we tax income from hard work, sweat, and toil. And if we do those things, we can be a country that actually can afford debt-free college again.

CORDES: Senator Sanders, you want to make public college free altogether. You want to increase Social Security benefits and you want to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. So you said that to do some of these things, you’ll impose a tax on top earners. How high would their rate go in a Sanders administration?

SANDERS: Let me put those proposals– and you’re absolutely right. That is what I want to do. That is what is going to have to happen, if we want to revitalize and rebuild the crumbling middle class.

In the last 30 years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth. And I know that term gets my Republican friends nervous. The problem is, this redistribution has gone in the wrong direction. Trillions of dollars have gone from the middle class and working families to the top one-tenth of one percent who have doubled the percentage of wealth they now own.

Yes, I do believe that we must end corporate loopholes, such that major corporations year after year pay virtually zero in federal income tax, because they’re stashing the money in the Cayman Islands.

Yes, I do believe there must be a tax on Wall Street speculation. We bailed out Wall Street. It’s their time to bail out the middle class, help our kids be able to go to college tuition-free.

So we pay for this by do demanding that the wealthiest people and the largest corporations, who have gotten away with murder for years, start paying their fair share.

CORDES: But let’s get specific. How high would you go? You have said before you would go above 50 percent.

How high?

SANDERS: We haven’t come up with an exact number yet, but it will not be as high as the number under Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was 90 percent. But it will be…

(LAUGHTER)

I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower.

(APPLAUSE)

But — but we are going to end the absurdity, as Warren Buffet often remind us.

O’MALLEY (?): That’s right.

SANDERS: That billionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers. That makes no sense at all. There has to be real tax reform, and the wealthiest and large corporations will pay when I’m president.

O’MALLEY: And may I point out that under Ronald Reagan’s first term, the highest marginal rate was 70 percent. And in talking to a lot of our neighbors who are in that super wealthy, millionaire and billionaire category, a great numbers of them love their country enough to do more again in order to create more opportunity for America’s middle class.

CORDES: Secretary Clinton, Americans say that health care costs and wages are their top financial concerns. And health care deductibles, alone, have risen 67 percent over the past five years.

Is this something that Obamacare was designed to address? And if not, why not?

CLINTON: Well, look, I believe that we’ve made great progress as a country with the Affordable Care Act. We’ve been struggling to get this done since Harry Truman. And it was not only a great accomplishment of the Democratic Party, but of President Obama.

I do think that it’s important to defend it. The Republicans have voted to repeal it nearly 60 times. They would like to rip it up and start all over again, throw our nation back into this really contentious debate that we’ve had about health care for quite some time now.

I want to build on and improve the Affordable Care Act. I would certainly tackle the cost issues, because I think that once the foundation was laid with a system to try to get as many people as possible into it, to end insurance discrimination against people with preexisting conditions or women, for example, that, yes, we were going to have to figure out how to get more competition in the insurance market, how to get the costs of — particularly, prescription drugs, but other out-of-pocket expenses down.

But I think it’s important to understand there’s a significant difference that I have with Senator Sanders about how best to provide quality, affordable health care for everyone. And it’s– it’s a worthy debate. It’s an important one that we should be engaged in.

CORDES: It is — it is a worthy debate. Senator Sanders, a quick response, and then we’ll get into health care again later.

SANDERS: I am on the committee that helped write the Affordable Care Act. We have made some good progress.

Now what we have to take on is the pharmaceutical industry that is ripping off the American people every single day. I am proud that I was the first member of Congress to take Americans over the Canadian border to buy breast cancer drugs for one-tenth the price they were paying in the United States.

But at the end of the day, no doubt, the Affordable Care Act is a step forward. I think we all support it. I believe we’ve got to go further.

I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege.

(APPLAUSE)

And also — also, what we should be clear about is we end up spending — and I think the secretary knows this — far more per capita on health care than any other major country, and our outcomes, health care outcomes are not necessarily that good.

O’MALLEY: All right, Nancy, I really wish you’d come back to me on this on this one, John…

DICKERSON: All right, I am sorry, Governor, we’re going to have to go, I apologize.

O’MALLEY: Because we have found a way to reduce hospital costs, so whenever we come…

DICKERSON: Governor — Governor, you’re breaking the rules.

(LAUGHTER)

I’m sorry, we’re going to have to cut for a commercial. We’ll be right back here from Drake University here in Des Moines, Iowa.

O’MALLEY: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: There is a lot of presidential history here in Iowa. It hosted the first in the nation caucuses. Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, and tonight, we are in Polk County, named for our 11th president, with three people who hope to be number 45.

Joining my now to question them are Iowans Kevin Cooney of KCCI and Kathie Obradovich, of the Des Moines Register.

Kevin?

COONEY: Thanks, John.

Candidates, we’ve already heard your answers on what you would do with Syrian refugees, but a crucial part of the immigration debate here at home is control of our own borders.

Republicans say the borders — securing borders is a top priority. Democrats say they want to plan for comprehensive immigration reform. So, Governor O’Malley, are you willing to compromise on this particular issue to focus on border security first in favor of keeping the country safe?

O’MALLEY: Well, Mr. Cooney, we’ve actually been focusing on border security to the exclusion of talking about comprehensive immigration reform.

In fact, if more border security and these — and more and more deportations were going to bring our Republican brothers and sisters to the table, it would have happened long ago. The fact of the matter is — and let’s say it in our debate, because you’ll never hear this from that immigration-bashing carnival barker, Donald Trump, the truth of the matter is…

(APPLAUSE)

The truth of the matter is, net immigration from Mexico last year was zero. Fact check me. Go ahead. Check it out. But the truth of the matter is, if we want wages to go up, we’ve got to get 11 million of our neighbors out of off the book shadow economy, and into the full light of an American economy.

That’s what our parents and grandparents always did. That’s what we need to do as a nation.

O’MALLEY: Yes, we must protect our borders. But there is no substitute for having comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people, many of whom have known no other country but the United States of America. Our symbol is the Statue of Liberty. It is not a barbed wire fence.

COONEY: Thank you. Now, Secretary Clinton said you would go further than the President when it comes to taking executive action to implement immigration reforms. But the President’s already facing legal trouble on this. We’ve seen it more just in the past week. Realistically, how could you go further with executive action?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, I know that the President has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. And my reading of the law and the Constitution convinces me that the President has the authority that he is attempting to exercise with respect to dreamers and their parents, because I think all of us on this stage agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Border security has always been a part of that debate. And it is a fact that the net immigration from Mexico and South has basically zeroed out.

So, what we want to do is to say, look, we have 11 million people who have been here, many of them for decades. They have children who are doing so well, I’ve met and worked with dreamers. I think any parent would be so proud of them. So let’s move toward what we should be doing as a nation and follow the values of our immigration history and begin to make it possible for them to come out of the shadows and to have a future that gives them a full chance of citizenship.

(APPLAUSE)

COONEY: Kathie.

OBRADOVICH: Senator Sanders, you’ve actually talked about immigration as being a wage issue in the United States. And I want to actually go directly to the wage issue now.

You called for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour everywhere in the country. But the President’s former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, has said a national increase of $15 could lead to undesirable and unintended consequences of job loss.

What level of job loss would you consider unacceptable?

SANDERS: Kathie, let me say this. You know, no public policy doesn’t have, in some cases, negative consequences. But at the end of the day, what you have right now are millions of Americans working two or three jobs because their wages that they are earning are just too low.

Real inflation accounted for wages has declined precipitously over the years. So I believe that, in fact, this country needs to move towards a living wage. It is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. It is not a radical idea to say that a single mom should be earning enough money to take care of her kids. So I believe that over the next few years, not tomorrow, but over the next few years, we have got to move the minimum wage to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. And I apologize to nobody for that.

OBRADOVICH: You said there are consequences…

(APPLAUSE)

OBRADOVICH: You said there are consequences for — for any policy. Do you think job losses are a consequence that are…

SANDERS: This is what I think — this is what many economists believe that one of the reasons that real unemployment in this country is 10 percent, one of the reasons that African American youth unemployment and underemployment is 51 percent is the average worker in America doesn’t have any disposable income.

You have no disposable income when you are make 10, 12 bucks an hour. When we put money into the hands of working people, they’re going to go out and buy goods, they’re going to buy services and they’re going to create jobs in doing that. Kathie, that is the kind of economy I believe, put money in the hands of working people, raise the minimum wage to 15 buck an hour.

O’MALLEY: Kathie, this was not merely theory in Maryland. We actually did it. Not only were we the first state in the nation to pass a living wage. We were the first to pass a minimum wage. And the U.S. chamber of commerce, which hardly ever says nice things about Democratic governors anywhere, named our state number one for innovation and entrepreneurship.

We defended the highest median income in the country. And so, look, the way that — a stronger middle class is actually the source of economic growth. And if our middle class makes more money, they spend more money, and our whole economy grows. We did it, and it worked, and nobody headed for the hills or left the state because of it.

OBRADOVICH: You’re calling for a $15 an hour wage now but why did you stop at $10.10 in your state?

O’MALLEY: $10.10 was all I could get the state to do by the time I left in my last year. But two of our counties actually went to $12.80 and their county executives, if they were here tonight, would also tell you that it works.

The fact of the matter is, the more our people earn, the more money they spend, and the more our whole economy grows. That’s American capitalism.

SANDERS: Let me just…

CLINTON: Kathie, I think — Kathie the…

SANDERS: Let me just add to that. Just because this is not an esoteric argument. You’re seeing cities like Seattle. You’re seeing cities like San Francisco, cities like Los Angeles doing it, and they are doing it well and workers are able to have more disposable income.

CLINTON: But I do take what Alan Krueger said seriously. He is the foremost expert in our country on the minimum wage, and what its effects are. And the overall message is that it doesn’t result in job loss. However, what Alan Krueger said in the piece you’re referring to is that if we went to $15, there are no international comparisons.

That is why I support a $12 national federal minimum wage. That is what the Democrats in the Senate have put forward as a proposal. But I do believe that is a minimum. And places like Seattle, like Los Angeles, like New York City, they can go higher. It’s what happened in Governor O’Malley’s state. There was a minimum wage at the state level, and some places went higher. I think that is…

O’MALLEY: Didn’t just happen.

CLINTON: I think that is the smartest way to be able to move forward because if you go to $12 it would be the highest historical average we’ve ever had.

O’MALLEY: Come on now. Yeah, but look. It should always be going up. Again, with all do respect to Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: But you would index it — you would index it to the median wage. Of course, you would. Do the $12 and you would index it. But I…

O’MALLEY: I think we need to stop taking our advice from economists on Wall Street…

CLINTON: He’s not wall street.

O’MALLEY: … And start taking advice…

CLINTON: That’s not fair. He’s a progressive economist.

(CROSSTALK)

DICKERSON: You have — you have given me the perfect segue. We are going to talk about Wall Street, but now we’ve got to go do a commercial.

DICKERSON: We’re coming to the end of the first hour. But there’s another hour behind it and we’re going to talk about Wall Street so hang with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: Live from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, CBS News brings you the Democratic presidential debates. Here again, John Dickerson.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Good evening again, as we begin the second half of the debate. Joining me in the questioning are the candidates — of the candidates are CBS news congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, Kevin Cooney of CBS Des Moines affiliate KCCI, and Kathie Obradovich of the Des Moines register.

As those who watched the first hour know, our topic is Wall Street. For those just joining us, welcome. Senator — excuse me, Secretary Clinton, I went to the past there for a moment. Senator Sanders recently said, quote, “People should be suspect of candidates who receive large sums of money from Wall Street and then go out and say ‘Trust me. I’m going to really regulate wall street’.

So you’ve received millions of dollars in contributions and speaking fees from from Wall Street companies. How do you convince voters that you are going to level the playing field when you’re indebted to some of its biggest players?

CLINTON: Well, I think it’s pretty clear that they know that I will. You have two billionaire hedge fund managers who started a super PAC and they’re advertising against me in Iowa as we speak. So they clearly think I’m going to do what I say I will do and you can look at what I did in the Senate.

I did introduce legislation to reign in compensation. I looked at ways that the shareholders would have more control over what was going on in that arena. And specifically said to Wall Street, that what they were doing in the mortgage market was bringing our country down. I’ve laid out a very aggressive plan to reign in Wall Street — not just the big banks.

That’s a part of the problem and I am going right at them. I have a comprehensive, tough plan. But I went further than that. We have to go after what is called the shadow banking industry. Those hedge funds. Look at what happened in ’08, AIG, a big insurance company, Lehman Brothers, an investment bank helped to bring our economy down. So, I want to look at the whole problem and that’s why my proposal is much more comprehensive than anything else that’s been put forth.

DICKERSON: Senator Sanders you said that the donations to Secretary Clinton are compromising. So what did you think of her answer?

Sanders: Not good enough.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: Here’s the story. I mean, you know, let’s not be naive about it. Why do — why, over her political career has Wall Street been a major — the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? You know, maybe they’re dumb and they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so.

Here is the major issue when we talk about Wall Street. It ain’t complicated. You have six financial institutions today that have assets of 56 percent, equivalent to 56 percent of the GDP In America. They issue two-thirds of the credit cards and one-third of the mortgages.

If Teddy Roosevelt, a good Republican, were alive today, you know what he’d say? “Break them up.” Reestablish Glass-Steagall. And Teddy Roosevelt is right. That is the issue. Now I am the only candidate up here that doesn’t have a super PAC. I am not asking Wall Street or the billionaires for money. I will break up these banks. Support community banks and credit unions. That’s the future of banking in America.

DICKERSON: Great follow up because you — and Secretary Clinton, you will get a chance to respond.

You said they know what they’re going to get. What are they going to get?

SANDERS: I have never heard a candidate never, who has received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from Wall Street, from the military industrial complex, not one candidate say, oh, these campaign contributions will not influence me. I’m going to be independent. Well, why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? they expect to get something. Everybody knows that.

Once again, I am running a campaign differently than any other candidate. We are relying on small campaign donors, 750,000 of them, 30 bucks a piece. That’s who I’m indebted to.

CLINTON: Well John, wait a minute. Wait a minute, he has basically used his answer to impune my integrity. Let’s be frank here.

SANDERS: No, I have not. CLINTON: Oh, wait a minute, senator. You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small. And I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: So, I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.

So, you know, it’s fine for you to say what you’re going to say, but I looked very carefully at your proposal. Reinstating Glass- Steagall is a part of what very well could help, but it is nowhere near enough. My proposal is tougher, more effective, and more comprehensive because I go after all of Wall Street not just the big banks.

O’ Malley: John, please, it’s– personal privilege, John.

DICKERSON: Hold on. He was attacked. ‘

(APPLAUSE)

O’ Malley: John, John,

DICKERSON: Hold on, he was attacked. Glass-Steagall…

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: So was I, John. Let me get a chance to respond. This issue touches on two broad issues. It’s not just Wall Street. It’s campaign — a corrupt campaign finance system. And it is easy to talk the talk about ending Citizens United, but what I think we need to do is show by example that we are prepared to not rely on large corporations and Wall Street for campaign contributions, and that’s what I’m doing.

In terms of Wall Street, I respectfully disagree with you, madam secretary, in the sense that the issue here is when you have such incredible power and such incredible wealth. When you have Wall Street spending $5 billion over a 10-year period to get — to get deregulated, the only answer they know is break them up, reestablish Glass-Stegall.

DICKERSON: All right. Senator, we have to get Governor O’ Malley in.

Governor, along with your answer, how many Wall Street veterans would you have in your administration?

O’ Malley: Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ve said this before. I don’t — I believe that we actually need some new economic thinking in the White House. And I would not have Robert Rubin or Larry Summers, with all due respect, Secretary Clinton, to you and to them, back on my council of economic advisers.

DICKERSON: Anyone from Wall Street?

O’ Malley: They are the architects. Sure, we’ll have an inclusive group but I won’t be taking my orders from Wall Street. And look, let me say this. I put out a proposal. I was on the front lines when people lost their homes, when people lost their jobs. I was on the front lines as a governor fighting against — fighting that battle.

Our economy was wrecked by the big banks of Wall Street. And Secretary Clinton, when you put out your proposal on Wall Street, it was greeted by many as, quote, unquote, “Weak tea”. It is weak tea. It is not what the people expect of our country.

We expect that our president will protect the main street economy from excesses on Wall Street. And that’s why Bernie’s right. We need to reinstate a modern version of Glass-Steagall and we should have done it already.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Well, you know, governor, I know that when you had a chance to appoint a commissioner for financial regulation, you chose an investment banker in 2010. So for me, it is looking at what works and what we need to do to try to move past what happened in ’08.

DICKERSON (?): Hear, hear.

CLINTON: And I will go back and say again, AIG was not a big bank. It had to be bailed out and it nearly destroyed us. Lehman Brothers was not a big bank. It was an investment bank. And its bankruptcy and its failure nearly destroyed us. So I’ve said, if the big banks don’t play by the rules, I will break them up.

SANDERS: The big banks–

CLINTON: And I will also go after executives who are responsible for the decisions that have such bad consequences for our country.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: Look–

DICKERSON: Hold on.

SANDERS: I don’t know and with all due respect to the secretary, Wall Street played by the rules? Who are we kidding? The business model of Wall Street is fraud. That’s what it is.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: And we have — and let me make this promise. One of the problems we have had — I think all Americans understand this, is whether it’s Republican administrations or Democratic administrations, we have seen Wall Street and Goldman Sachs dominate administrations. Here’s my promise– Wall Street representatives will not be in my cabinet.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: All right, I want to switch to the — switch to the issue of guns here.

Secretary Clinton, you said that Senator Sanders is not tough enough on guns, but basically he now supports roughly the same things you do. So can tell us what the exact difference is going forward between the two of you on the issue of gun control?

CLINTON: Well, I think that there are different records. I — you know, know that Senator Sanders had a different vote than I did when it came to giving immunity to gun makers and sellers. That was a terrible mistake. It basically gave the gun lobby even more power to intimidate legislators, not just in Washington but across the country.

But just think about this– since we last debated in Las Vegas, nearly 3,000 people have been killed by guns. Twenty-one mass shootings, including one last weekend in Des Moins where three were murdered. Two hundred children have been killed. This is an emergency. There are a lot of things we’ve got to do in our country, reigning in Wall Street is certainly one of them. I agree with that.

That’s why I’ve got such a good plan. But we have to also go after the gun lobby and 92 percent of Americans agree we should have universal background checks. Close the gun show loophole, close the online loophole and…

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, I want to…

CLINTON: I will do everything I can as president to get that accomplished.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, just a quick follow-up. You say that Senator Sanders took a vote that — on immunity that you don’t like. So if he can be tattooed by a single vote and that ruins all future opinions by him on this issue, why then isn’t he right when he says your wrong vote on Iraq tattoos you forever in your judgment?

CLINTON: I — I said I made a mistake on Iraq, and I would love to see Senator Sanders join with some of my colleague in addition the Senate that I see in the audience. Let’s reverse the immunity. Let’s put the gun makers and sellers on notice that they’re not going to get away with it.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: Let’s do more — let’s do more than reverse the immunity. Let’s…

DICKERSON: But was that a mistake, Senator?

SANDERS: Let me hear if there’s any difference between the Secretary and myself. I have voted time and again to — for — for the background check, and I want to see it improved and expanded. I want to see us do away with the gun show loophole.

In 1988, I lost an election because I said we should not have assault weapons on the streets of America. We have to do away with the strawman proposal. We need radical changes in mental health in America so somebody who is suicidal or homicidal can get the emergency care they need. We have — I don’t know that there’s any disagreement here…

O’MALLEY: Oh, yes there is.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: We have got to come forward with a consensus that in fact will work.

DICKERSON: Senator, a mistake or not, your immunity vote? Quickly, before I go to…

SANDERS: There were parts of that bill which agree with parts — I disagree. I am certainly, absolutely, willing to look at that bill again and make sure there’s a stronger bill.

DICKERSON: So not a mistake?

O’MALLEY: John, this is another one of those examples. Like we have a — we have a lot of work to do and we’re the only nation on the planet that buries as many of our people from gun violence as we do.

In my own state, after the children in that Connecticut classroom were gunned down, we passed comprehensive gun safety legislation with background checks, ban on assault weapons, and Senator, I think we do need to repeal that immunity that you granted to the gun industry.

But Secretary Clinton, you’ve been on three sides of this. When you ran in 2000, you said that we needed federal robust regulations. Then, in 2008, you were portraying yourself as Annie Oakley and saying that we don’t need those regulations on the federal level and now you’re coming back around here.

So John, there’s a big difference between leading by polls and leading with principle. We got it done in my state by leading with principal and that’s what we need to do as a party for comprehensive gun safety.

SANDERS: With all — with all due respect…

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: I think it’s fair to say that Baltimore is not now one of the safest cities in America, but the issue is…

O’MALLEY: But it’s a lot safer. It’s saved a lot of lives along the way, Senator.

SANDERS: The issue is — I believe, and I believe this honestly, and I don’t know that there’s much difference on guns between us. But I believe coming from a state that has virtually no gun control, I believe that I am in position to reach out to the 60 or 70 percent of the American people who agree with us on those issues. The problem is…

DICKERSON: Hold on.

SANDERS: … people all over this country — not you, Secretary Clinton — are shouting at each other. And what we need to do is bring people together to work on the agreement where there is broad consensus and that’s what I intend to do.

(CROSSTALK)

O’MALLEY: I’d like to take a matter of personal privilege here…

CLINTON: But wait, I just want to say this Senator. There is broad consensus, 92 percent in the most recently poll of Americans want gun safety measures…

SANDERS: Absolutely.

CLINTON: … and 85 percent of gun owners agree.

SANDERS: Yes.

CLINTON: We’ve got the consensus, what we’re lacking is political leadership…

SANDERS: Yes.

CLINTON: … and that’s what you and others can start providing in the Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: Yes, I agree.

DICKERSON: Sorry. I’m going to bring in Nancy Cordes with a question from twitter about this exchange.

CORDES: There was a lot of conversation on twitter about guns, but also about your conversation on campaign finance.

And Secretary Clinton, one of the tweets we saw said this, “I’ve never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify millions of Wall Street donations until now.” The idea being, yes, you were a champion of the community after 9/11, but what does that have to do with taking big donations?

CLINTON: Well, I’m sorry that whoever tweeted that had that impression because I worked closely with New Yorkers after 9/11 for my entire first term to rebuild. So, yes, I did know people. I’ve had a lot of folks give me donations from all kinds of backgrounds say, I don’t agree with you on everything, but I like what you do. I like how you stand up. I’m going to support you, and I think that is absolutely appropriate.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: Well, I — if I might. I think the issue here is — and I applaud Secretary Clinton. She did. She’s the senator from New York. She worked — and many of us supported you — in trying to rebuild that devastation. But at the end of the day, Wall Street today has enormous economic and political power. Their business model is greed and fraud. And for the sake of our economy, they must — the major banks must be broken up.

CORDES: Hold on.

O’MALLEY: John, I think somewhere between…

CORDES: Senator Sanders — I’m sorry. Senator Sanders, but what is it in Secretary Clinton’s record that shows you that she’s been influenced by those donations?

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Well, (inaudible) the major issue right now is whether or not we reestablish Glass-Steagall. I led the effort, unfortunately unsuccessfully, against deregulation because I knew when you merge large insurance companies and investment banks and commercial banks it was not going to be good. The issue now is do we break them ?up do we reestablish Glass-Steagall. And Secretary Clinton, unfortunately, is on the wrong side.

CLINTON: Well, I’ll tell you who is on my side. Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, who said my plan for what we should do to reign in Wall Street was more comprehensive and better. Paul Volcker, one of the leading lights of trying to reign in the excesses, has also said he does not support reinstating Glass-Steagall.

So, I mean this may seem like a bit of an arcane discussion. I have nothing against the passion that my two friends here have about reinstating Glass-Steagall. I just don’t think it would get the job done. I’m all about making sure we actually get results for whatever we do.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Final word. Final word, Governor O’Malley, before we go to commercial.

O’MALLEY: John, there is not a serious economist who would disagree that the six big banks of Wall Street have taken on so much power and that all of us are still on the hook to bail them out on their bad bets. That’s not capitalism, Secretary Clinton. That’s crony capitalism. That’s a wonderful business model. If you place bad bets, the taxpayers bail you out. But if you place good ones, you pocket it.

O’MALLEY: Look, I don’t believe there’s the model — there’s lots of good people that work in finance, Secretary Sanders, but Secretary Clinton, we need to step up and we need to protect Main Street from Wall Street and you can’t do that by — by campaigning as the candidate of Wall Street. I am not the candidate of Wall Street…

SANDERS: Let me…

O’MALLEY: … and I encourage everybody watching this tonight to please, acknowledge that by going online at martinomalley.com and help me wage this campaign for real American capitalism.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: We have to — we have to go for a commercial, Senator. I’m sorry. We have to go for a commercial here. We’ll be right back with the Democratic debate here in Des Moines, Iowa on CBS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Back now in Des Moines with the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Senator Sanders, I want to start with you. Let’s say you’re elected president. Congratulations.

SANDERS: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Looking forward to it.

DICKERSON: You’ve said you’ll have a revolution.

SANDERS: Yes.

DICKERSON: But there’s a conservative revolution going on in America right now. As John Boehner knows and as Democrats know, who have lost in state houses across the country.

SANDERS: Right.

DICKERSON: Those conservatives are watching tonight and probably shaking their heads. So how do you deal with that part of the country? The revolution’s already happening, but on the other side? SANDERS: And we are going to do a political revolution, which brings working people, young people, senior citizens, minorities together.

Because every issue that I am talking about– paid family and medical leave, breaking up the banks on Wall Street, asking the wealth to pay their fair share of taxes, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour — every one of those issues is supported by a significant majority of the American people.

The problem is, that as a result of a corrupt campaign finance system, Congress is not listening to the American people. Its listening to the big money interest.

What the political revolution is about is bringing people together to finally say, enough is enough. This government belongs to us. Not just the billionaires.

DICKERSON: Senator, as a 30-second follow-up, we’ve heard already tonight this figure, 92 percent of support for background checks.

Let’s look at that as an example. There was something 92 percent of the public was for. There had been these mass shootings. There was emotional support behind it.

SANDERS: Yes.

DICKERSON: Bipartisan support.

SANDERS: Yes.

DICKERSON: The president, the full force of his office.

SANDERS: Yeah.

DICKERSON: It went nowhere. That’s the model you’re talking about. Nothing happened.

SANDERS: What we need is leadership in this country which revitalizes American democracy, and makes people understand that if they stand up and fight back and take on the billionaire class, we can bring about the change that we need.

If we are not successful, if we continue the same old, same old of Washington being run by corporate lobbyists and big-money interests, nothing changes.

What I am very happy in this campaign that we have had rallies with tens of thousands of people, mostly young people. What the polls are showing is that we are actually defeating the secretary among younger people. We’re giving young people and working people hope that real change can take place in America.

That’s what the political revolution is about.

DICKERSON: A question from Kathie Obradovich.

OBRADOVICH: Yes, Senator Sanders, you famously said in the last debate that you were sick and tired of hearing about your damn e- mails. But then you told the Wall Street Journal that the question about whether or not Secretary Clinton’s e-mails compromised classified information were valid questions.

So which is it? Is it an issue or is it not?

SANDERS: No. That’s just media stuff.

I was sick and tired of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail. I am still sick and tired of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

(LAUGHTER)

And the issue is, the problem is, the front pages every day were dealing with it. I didn’t know I had so much power. But after I said that, we’re not hearing so much about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

CLINTON (?): What part is valid?

SANDERS: What I would like for the media now is for us to be talking about why the middle class is disappearing, why we have more people in jail than any other country, why we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, and we’re the only major country on Earth without paid family and medical leave.

We’ve gotten off the Hillary’s e-mails, good. Let’s go to the major issues facing America.

(APPLAUSE)

O’MALLEY (?): Let me just…

OBRADOVICH: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.

Secretary Clinton, your response.

CLINTON: I agree completely.

(APPLAUSE)

I couldn’t have said it better myself. But I did want to — I wanted to follow up.

Look, we need more Americans to be involved in the political process. And I give Senator Sanders a lot of credit for really lighting a fire under many people — young, old, everybody — who sees a chance to be involved and have their voice heard.

Look at what’s happening with the Republicans. They are doing everything they can to prevent the voices of Americans to be heard.

(APPLAUSE) They’re trying to prevent people from registering to vote. So, we do need to take on the Republicans very clearly and directly. But the other thing I just wanted quickly to say is, I think President Obama deserves more credit than he gets for what he got done in Washington, despite the Republican obstructionists.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, just one more question on the e- mail question.

For Democrats, there’s an FBI investigation going on. Can you satisfy Democrats, who might worry about an another shoe dropping, that you and your staff have been totally truthful to them, and that another shoe is not going to drop?

CLINTON: I think after 11 hours, that’s pretty clear, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

And, you know, I do think it’s important to do exactly what Senator Sanders said, and that is to start talking about the issues that the American people really care about, and that they talk to each of us about.

And to contrast, even — there are differences among us. You’ve heard some of those tonight. I still want to get back to health care, because I think that’s a worthy topic to explore.

But the differences among us pale compared to what’s happening on the Republican side. And if you listen to what they say — and I had a chance over those 11 hours to watch and listen, as well as what I see in their debates — they are putting forth alarming plans.

I mean, all of us support funding Planned Parenthood. All of us believe climate change is real. All of us want equal pay for equal work.

They don’t believe in any of that. So let’s focus on what this election is really going to be about.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Race relations is another issue everyone cares about, and we’re going to switch to that now.

Governor O’Malley, let me ask you a question. The head of the FBI recently said it might be possible that some police forces are not enforcing the law, because they’re worried about being caught on camera. The acting head of the drug enforcement administration said a similar thing.

Where are you on this question? And what would do you if you were president, and two top members of your administration were floating that idea? O’MALLEY: John, I think the — I think the call of your question is how can we improve both public safety in America and race relations in America, understanding how very intertwined both of those issues are in a very, very difficult and painful way for us as a people.

Look, the truth of the matter is that we should all feel a sense of responsibility as Americans to look for the things that actually work to save and redeem lives, and to do more of them, and to stop doing the things that don’t.

For my part, that’s what I have done in 15 years of experience as a mayor and as a governor. We restored voting rights to 52,000 people. We decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.

I repealed the death penalty. And we also put in place a civilian review board. We reported openly discourtesy, and lethal force and brutality complaints.

This is something that — and I put forward a new agenda for criminal justice reform that is informed by that experience. So as president, I would lead these efforts, and I would do so with more experience and probably the attendance at more grave sites than any of the three of us on this stage when it comes to urban crime, loss of lives.

And the truth is I have learned on a very daily basis that, yes, indeed, black lives matter.

DICKERSON: All right, Governor…

(APPLAUSE)

Senator Sanders, one of your former colleagues, an African- American member of Congress, said to me recently that a young African- American man had asked him where to find hope in life. And he said, “I just don’t know what to tell him about being young and black in America today.”

What would you tell that young African-American man?

SANDERS: Well, this is what I would say, and the Congressman was right. According to the statistics that I’m familiar with, a black male baby born today stands a one in four chance of ending up in the criminal justice system.

Fifty-one percent of high school African-American graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

We have more people in jail today than any other country on earth. We’re spending $80 billion locking people up, disproportionately Latino and African American.

We need, very clearly, major, major reform in a broken criminal justice system. From top to bottom. And that means when police officers out in a community do illegal activity — kill people who are unarmed who should not be killed, they must be held accountable. It means that we end minimum sentencing for those people arrested. It means that we take marijuana out of the federal law as a crime and give states the freedom to go forward with legalizing marijuana.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, you told some Black Lives Matter activists recently that there’s a difference between rhetoric in activism and what you were trying to do, was — get laws passed that would help what they were pushing for.

But recently, at the University of Missouri, that activism was very, very effective. So would you suggest that kind of activism take place at other universities across the country?

CLINTON: Well, John, I come from the ’60s, a long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus — Civil Rights activism, antiwar activism, women’s rights activism — and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out.

Obviously, I believe that on a college campus, there should be enough respect so people hear each other. But what happened at the university there, what’s happening at other universities, I think reflects the deep sense of, you know, concern, even despair that so many young people, particularly of color, have…

You know, I recently met with a group of mothers who lost their children to either killings by police or random killings in their neighborhoods, and hearing their stories was so incredibly, profoundly heartbreaking. Each one of them, you know, described their child, had a picture. You know, the mother of the young man with his friends in the car who was playing loud music and, you know, some older white man pulled out a gun and shot him because they wouldn’t turn the radio down.

Or a young woman who had been performing at President Obama’s second inauguration coming home, absolutely stellar young woman, hanging out with her friends in a park getting shot by a gang member.

And, of course, I met the mothers of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and so many of them who have lost their children.

So, your original question is the right question. And it’s not just a question for parents and grandparents to answer. It’s really a question for all of us to answer, every single one of our children deserves the chance to live up to his or her god-given potential. And that’s what we need to be doing to the best of our ability in our country.

DICKERSON: All right, over to Kevin Cooney.

COONEY: Senator — Senator Sanders, we’ve heard a lot about this, your offer — you want to offer free tuition to public universities and colleges.

A couple of questions about this. 63 percent of those who enroll graduate.

First question, isn’t this throwing a lot of money away if we’re looking at a third of these people are not going to complete college?

SANDERS: No, it is not throwing — it is an extraordinary investment for this country.

Germany, many other countries do it already. In fact, if you remember, 50, 60 years ago, the University of California, City University of New York were virtually tuition-free.

Here is the story — it’s not just the college graduates should be $50,000 or $100,000 in debt. More importantly, I want kids in Burlington, Vermont, or Baltimore, Maryland, who are in the sixth grade or the eighth grade, who don’t have a lot of money, whose parents — like my parents — may never have gone to college.

Do you know where I’m going, Kevin? I want those kids to know that if they study hard, they do their homework, regardless of the income of their families, they will in fact be able to get a college education because we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. This is revolutionary for education in America. It will give hope to millions of young people.

COONEY: Well, one of the things you want to do is to have the states pay for about a third of this $70 billion plan, correct?

SANDERS: Yes.

COONEY: There are 16 states that are running budget deficits right now. Where are are they expected to come up with this?

SANDERS: Well, I think that they’re be pretty smart, because I think a lot of the states will do the right thing, and I think those states that don’t will pay a heavy penalty.

Bottom line here is, in the year 2015, we should look at a college degree the same way we looked at a high school degree 50 or 60 years ago.

If you want to make it into the middle class — I’m not saying in all cases — we need plumbers, and we need carpenters, and electricians, that’s for sure, and they should get help as well. But bottom line now, is in America, in the year 2015, any person who has the ability and the desire should be able to get an education, college education, regardless of the income of his or her family. And we must substantially lower, as my legislation does, interest rates on student debt.

COONEY: Governor O’Malley, jump in now.

O’MALLEY: Okay, thank you. I have — look, I would agree with much of what Senator Sanders says, Kevin.

I believe that actually affordable college, debt-free college is the goal that we need to attain as a nation. And, unlike my two distinguished colleagues on this stage, I actually made college more affordable and was the only state that went four years in a row without a penny’s increase to college tuition.

I respectfully disagree with Senator Sander’s approach. I believe that the goal should be debt-free college. I believe that our Federal Government needs to do more on pell grants. States need to stop cutting higher education, and we should create a new block grant program that keeps the states’ skin in the game, and we should lower these outrageous interest rates that parents and kids are being charged by their own government. 7 percent and 8 percent to go to college?

I mean, my dad went to college on a G.I. Bill after coming home from Japan, flying 33 missions. My daughters went to college on a mountain of bills.

We were proud of them on graduation day, but we’re going to be proud every month for the rest of our natural lives. It — it doesn’t need to be that way. We can have debt-free college in the United States.

CLINTON: Kevin, if I could just jump in. I — I believe that we should make community college free. We should have debt-free college if you go to a public college or university. You should not have to borrow a dime to pay tuition. I want to use pell grants to help defray the living expenses that often make a difference, whether a young person can stay in school or not.

I disagree with free college for everybody. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college. I think it ought to be a compact — families contribute, kids contribute. And together we make it possible for a new generation of young people to refinance their debt and not come out with debt in the future.

COONEY: All right, Nancy Cordes has a question.

CORDES: Back to health care, by popular demand. First to you, Senator Sanders.

You’d prefer to scrap Obamacare and move to a single-payer system, essentially Medicare for all.

You say you want to put the private insurance companies out of business. Is it realistic to think that you can pull the plug on a $1 trillion industry?

SANDERS: It’s not going to happen tomorrow. And it’s probably not going to happen until we have real campaign finance reform and get rid of all these superpacs, and the power of the insurance companies and the drug companies.

But at the end of the day, Nancy, here is the question — in this great country of ours, with so much intelligence and so much capability, why do we remain the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right? Why do we continue to get ripped off by the drug companies who can charge us any prices they want? Why is it that we are spending per capita far, far more than Canada, which is 100 miles away from my door, that guarantees health care to all people?

It will not happen tomorrow. But when millions of people stand up and are prepared to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies, it will happen, and I will lead that effort.

Medicare for all, single-payer system is the way we should go.

CORDES: Secretary Clinton, back in — Secretary Clinton, back in 1994, you said that momentum for a single-payer system would sweep the country. That sounds Sanders-esque. But you don’t feel that way anymore, why not?

CLINTON: No. Revolution never came. I waited and I got the scars to show for it.

We now have this great accomplishment known as the Affordable Care Act, and I don’t think we should have to be defending it among Democrats. We ought to be working to improve it and prevent Republicans from both underming it and even repealing it.

I have looked at — I have looked at the legislation that Senator Sanders has proposed, and basically, he does eliminate the Affordable Care Act, eliminates private insurance, eliminates Medicare, eliminates Medicaid, Tricare, children’s health insurance program — puts it all together in a big program which he then hands over to the states to administer.

And I have to tell you, I would not want — if I lived in Iowa, Terry Branstad administering my health care. I — I think — I think as Democrats we ought to proudly support the Affordable Care Act, improve it, and make it the model that we know it can be.

SANDERS: Well, let me just say something.

DICKERSON: Thirty seconds.

SANDERS: We don’t eliminate Medicare. We expand Medicare to all people. And we will not, under this proposal, have a situation that we have right now with the Affordable Care Act where you have states like South Carolina, and many other Republican states, that because of their right wing political ideology, are denying millions of people the expansion of Medicaid that we passed in the Affordable Care Act. Ultimately, we have got to say as a nation, Secretary Clinton, is health care a right of all people or is it not? I believe it is a right.

O’ MALLEY: May I jump in here for 30 seconds on health care?

DICKERSON: I’m sorry, governor. We’ve got to take a break or the machine breaks down. You’re watching the Democratic debate here on CBS.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: We begin the final segment of this debate with something none of you saw coming. Something quite unexpected. Soon after your inauguration, you will face a crisis. All presidents do. What crisis you have experienced in your life that suggests you’ve been testd and can face that inevitable challenge? Secretary Clinton, you first.

CLINTON: Well, there are so many, I don’t know where to start.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: I guess the one I — I would pick is the fact that I was part of a very small group that had to advise the president about whether or not to go after Bin Laden. I spent a lot of time in the situation room as secretary of state and there were many very difficult choices presented to us.

But probably that was the most challenging because there was no certainty attached to it. The intelligence was by no means absolute. We had all kinds of questions that we discussed and, you know, at the end, I recommended to the president that we take the chance to do what we could to find out whether that was bin Laden and to finally bring him to justice.

It was an excruciating experience. I couldn’t talk to anybody about it. In fact, after it happened, the president called my husband — he called all the former presidents and he said to Bill, “Well I assume Hillary has told you about this.” And Bill said, “No, no, she hasn’t.” There was nobody to talk to and it really did give me an insight into the very difficult problems presidents face.

DICKERSON: Governor O’ Malley, what crisis proves that you’re tested?

O’ MALLEY: John, I don’t think that there is a crisis at the state or local level that really you can point to and say, therefore, I am prepared for the sort of crises that any man or woman who is commander in chief of our country has to deal with.

But I can tell you this. I can tell you that as a mayor and as a governor, I learned certain disciplines which I believe are directly applicable to that very, very powerful and most important of all jobs in the United States, the president, whose first and primary duty is to protect the people of our country.

You learn that threats always change. You learn to create a security cabinet. You learn to create feedback mechanisms. You learn to constantly evaluate and understand the nature of the threats that you are being faced with.

I have been tried under many different emergencies and I can tell you that in each of those emergencies, whether they were inflicted by drug gangs, whether they were natural emergencies, I knew how to lead and I knew how to govern because I know how to manage people in a crisis and be very clear about the goal of protecting human life.

DICKERSON: Senator Sanders what, experience would you draw on in a crisis?

SANDERS: John, I had the honor of being chairman of the U.S. Senate committee on Veterans’ Affairs for two years. And in that capacity, I met with just an extraordinary group of people from World War II, from korea, vietnam, all of the wars. People came back from Iraq and Afghanistan without legs, without arms.

And I was determined to do everything that I could to make VA health care the best in the world, to expand benefits to the men and women who put their lives on the line to defending.

We brought together legislation supported by the American Legion, the VFW, the DOD, Vietnam Vets, all of the veterans organizations, which was comprehensive. Clearly the best piece of veterans’ legislation brought forth in decades.

I could only get two Republican votes on that. We ended up with 56 votes. We needed 60. So what I had to do then is go back and start working on a bill that wasn’t the bill that I wanted. Sit down with people like John Mccain. Sit down with people like Jeff Miller, the Republican chairman of the house, and work on a bill.

It wasn’t the bill that I wanted, but yet it turned out to be one of the more significant pieces of veterans’ legislation passed in recent history. So the crisis was I lost what I wanted. But I had to stand up and come back and get the best that we could.

DICKERSON: All right, Senator Sanders…

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: We’ve ended the evening on crisis, which underscores and reminds us again of what happened last night. Now, let’s move to closing statements.

Governor O’Malley, you’re first.

O’MALLEY: John, thank you, and to all of the people in Iowa, for the role you have performed in this presidential selection process.

If you believe that our country’s problems and the threats that we face in this world can only be met with new thinking, new and fresh approaches, then I ask you to join my campaign.

Go on to martinomalley.com. No hour is too short, no dollar too small. If you — we will not solve our nation’s problems by resorting to the divisive ideologies of our past, or by returning to polarizing figures from our past.

We are at the threshold of a new era of American progress, but it’s going to require that we act as Americans, based on our principles, here at home, making an economy that works for all of us. And, also, acting according to our principles and constructing a new foreign policy of engagement and collaboration, and doing a much better job of identifying threats before they back up into military corners.

O’MALLEY: There is no challenge too great for the United States to confront, provided we have the ability and the courage to put forward new leadership that can move us to those better and safer and more prosperous days. I need your help. Thank you very, very much.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, thank you very much to CBS and everyone here this evening for giving us another chance to appear before you. I’ve heard a lot about me in this debate, and I’m going to keep talking and thinking about all of you because ultimately, I think the president’s job is to do everything possible, everything that she can do to lift up the people of this country.

(APPLAUSE)

Starting with our children and moving forward. I’ve spent my entire life, since I started as a young lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund, trying to figure out how we can even the odds for so many people in America, this great country of ours, who are behind, who don’t have a chance.

And that’s what I will do as your president. I will work my heart out. I need your help. All of you in Iowa, I need you to caucus for me. Please go to hillaryclinton.com and be part of making this country what we know it can and should be.

(APPLAUSE)

DICKERSON: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: John — John, this country today has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on Earth. We have a corrupt campaign finance system dominated by Super PACs. We are the only major country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty, and we’re the only country in the world — virtually the only country that doesn’t guarantee paid family and medical leave.

That’s not the America that I think we should be. But in order to bring about the changes that we need, we need a political revolution. Millions of people are going to have to stand up, turn off the TV, get involved in the political process and tell the big- money interest that we are taking back our country. Please go to berniesanders.com. Please become part of the political revolution. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: And the candidates are thanking each other for a good debate. Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley now two debates in the books, with four more to come.

So, Major Garrett, how did they do tonight and what’s getting the most talked about on Twitter?

Major Garrett is with us in “The Spin Alley.?

MAJOR GARRETT: So, John, our partnership with Twitter reveals the most talked about moments for each of the three candidates.

Now, when you’re having this kind of conversation, it doesn’t mean it’s all good. It could be good and bad. But it’s what drove the conversation most — in order, Hillary Clinton, when she defended her integrity on campaign contributions and mentioned 60 percent of her donors are women. That was her biggest spike moment.

For Bernie Sanders, it’s when we called Dwight D. Eisenhower a noted socialist for referring to his income tax brackets being very high, and much higher than they are now.

Martin O’Malley’s big spike moment was when he called Donald Trump an “immigrant-bashing carnival barker.” Remember that, as a two-phased (inaudible) from Martin O’Malley — “immigrant bashing carnival barker” for Donald Trump. Those were the three spike moments for the three candidates as recorded by twitter.

Our partnership with them has revealed the most interesting moments of conversation as defined by the three candidates — John.

DICKERSON: Thanks so much, Major Garrett. Thanks to all of you for joining for this Democratic presidential debate hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. CBS News will bring you a debate among the Republican candidates on February 13 from Greenville, South Carolina. I will have much more about the presidential race and the Paris attacks tomorrow on Face the Nation. Our guests include Senator Sanders.

And you can see more post-debate coverage on our 24-hour digital news network CBSN. It’s available on all devices at cbsnews.com.

For my CBS news colleagues, Major Garrett and Nancy Cordes, Kevin Cooney from KCCI, and Kathie Obradovich of the Des Moines Register, and with thanks to all the folks here at Drake for their hospitality, I’m John Dickerson. Good night.
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Political Musings January 14, 2015: Romney top Iowa choice in new poll as he prepares 2016 presidential campaign

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Romney top Iowa choice in new poll as he prepares 2016 presidential campaign

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush may have announced his pre-Presidential campaign, but 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney tops the most recent Iowa poll. In a new poll conducted by Townhall and Gravis Marketing and released on Tuesday, Jan…READ MORE

News Headlines December 3, 2014: “McCrime”: Iowa man assaults pregnant wife with McChicken sandwich

NEWS HEADLINES

NewsHeadlines_Banner

THE HEADLINES….

“McCrime”: Iowa man assaults pregnant wife with McChicken sandwich

By Bonnie K. Goodman

How can something so innocent like McDonald’s McChicken sandwich be a weapon of choice in a crime, one Iowa man was able figure out how to make it possible. A man was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2014…READ MORE

Political Headlines May 11, 2013: Rand Paul & Bobby Jindal Visit Early Primary States Iowa & New Hampshire

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal Visit Early Primary States

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-11-13

It may seem like the 2012 presidential race just ended, but two Republicans stoked speculation that they could be in the running in 2016 when they addressed groups Friday evening in the two earliest of early states: Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., addressed the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal headlined a fundraiser for the Republican Senate Majority Committee in Manchester, the campaign committee for the 13-member GOP caucus in the New Hampshire state Senate….READ MORE

Political Headlines January 26, 2013: Senator Tom Harkin Set to Retire from Congress in 2014

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senator Harkin Set to Retire from Congress

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-26-13

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

On Saturday, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a statement saying he would not seek reelection for his U.S. Senate term expiring in 2014.

Harkin said, “I’m 73 years old right now.  At the end of this term I’ll be 75.  When the current Congress is over, I will have served in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for a total of 40 years.  After 40 years, I just feel it’s somebody else’s turn.”…READ MORE

Campaign Headlines November 6, 2012: Tearful Barack Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Tearful Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-6-12

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

At one point even feeling the need to wipe a tear from his eye, President Obama ended his presidential campaign Monday night with an emotional appeal to voters in the state that started it all, asking Iowans to help him finish what he started four years ago.

“We have made real progress over these last four years,” the president told an estimated crowd of 20,000 standing outside in the bitter cold.  “But Iowa we are here tonight because we have more work to do.  We are not done yet on this journey.  We have more road to travel.”

Just steps away from the campaign office set up for his victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, a nostalgic Obama told Iowans they taught him “to bet on hope.”

“To all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of change, I want to thank you.  You took this campaign and you made it your own,” he said as he wiped away a tear streaming from his left eye….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz November 5, 2012: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at Final Presidential Campaign Rally in Des Moines, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the First Lady and the President at Final Campaign Rally — Des Moines, IA

Source: WH, 11-6-12

Intersection of East 4th and East Locust Streets
Des Moines, Iowa

9:58 P.M. CST

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, guys.  Thanks so much.

AUDIENCE:  We love Michelle!  We love Michelle!

MRS. OBAMA:  (Laughter.)  And I love you.  I love you from the bottom of my heart.  And I am beyond thrilled to be here with all of you.

But we have to give some love up for Bruce Springsteen.  I mean, gosh.  (Applause.)  For months, I have heard his songs played at our rallies.  But I have to say, there’s nothing like seeing The Boss in person.  (Applause.)  Nothing like it.  He has just been tremendous.  He and his family and his team, they’ve just been amazing.  So we want to thank Bruce for everything that he’s done for us.

And more than anything else, I want to thank you all for being here tonight.  I mean, as you know this is a pretty emotional time for us, because this is the final event of my husband’s final campaign.  (Applause.)  So this is the last time that he and I will be onstage together at a campaign rally.  And that’s why we wanted to come here to Iowa tonight — (applause)  — because truly this is where it all began, right here.

And I have so many fond memories of this state — the house parties in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids; celebrating Malia’s birthday in Pella; and seeing my husband’s face carved in butter. (Applause.)  Believe me, we still talk about that at Christmas.  (Laughter.)

But I will never forget the kindness and warmth and love that you all showed me and my family, especially our girls.  That is truly what made the difference back in those early days when I wasn’t so sure about this whole process; back when I was still wondering what it would mean for our girls and our family if Barack got the chance to serve as President.

But the truth is while I had my worries and my fears, I also realized that this decision affected not only me as a wife and a mother, but as a voter, as an American.  And I started envisioning the kind of person that I wanted to lead our country. And I knew that I wanted a President with a steady character, with deep compassion and strong convictions.  I wanted a President who was smart.  (Applause.)  I wanted someone we could trust — (applause) — someone who would always, always tell us the truth even when it’s hard.  (Applause.)  And I wanted a President driven not by politics or which way the wind is blowing, but by the struggles, hopes and dreams of all Americans. (Applause.)

And the more I thought about it, the more I knew in my heart that I was describing Barack.  I knew he could be that President. And for four years, that’s exactly what he’s done.  He has stayed true to himself, and with your help, he’s worked day after day to make this country better, to move it forward.  He’s rescued our economy from the brink of collapse and saved the auto industry.  (Applause.)  He’s passed historic health reform — (applause) — ended the war in Iraq.  (Applause.)  He’s fought so women get equal pay and students can afford college.  (Applause.)  He’s fought for our seniors, so that they can retire with dignit;, and our veterans, so that they can give the benefits they earned and the respect they deserve.  (Applause.)

For four years, Barack has been fighting to give every single one of us a fair shot at that great American Dream, no matter what we look like or where we come from or who we love.  (Applause.)  And for four years, we have all seen what I’ve seen for the past 23 years.  We’ve seen a man of honor and integrity who knows what he believes and stays true to his values.  (Applause.)  I’m so proud of my husband.  We have seen an honest man who knows the facts and always gives it to us straight.  We’ve seen a man whose strength and resolve to build a better tomorrow has never wavered, never.

And that’s why I am so thrilled to be here in Iowa tonight  — (applause) — because long before most people even knew his name, you all saw what I saw.  So you did all this crazy stuff.  You showed up at campaign offices here in Des Moines and offices all over the state.  More importantly, you opened your homes.  You held caucus trainings.  You marched with us at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.  (Applause.)  And then, on a cold January night, you stood up for Barack, because you knew that he would stand up for you.  (Applause.)

And over these past four years, our family has been truly blessed — truly blessed — by all of the love and support and prayers that we have received from every corner of this country. And Barack has been truly blessed to have all of you by his side as we have worked together to bring that change we can believe in.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve this nation — just know that.  And tomorrow, we get the chance to finish what we started here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  Tomorrow, all across this state, all across this country, we will line up and vote in libraries and community centers, in school gyms.  We’re going to knock on doors until our fingers are numb.  We’re going to make calls until our voices are hoarse.  (Applause.)  And we won’t stop until every voice and every last vote is counted.  (Applause.)

And we will do it.  We will do it, because while we have come so far, we know that there is so much more to do.  And what we really, truly know is that we cannot turn back now.  We need to keep moving this country forward.  (Applause.)

So that means that we need to reelect the man who has been fighting for us every single day — my husband, the love of my life — the President of the United States Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow, Iowa.  Tomorrow, from the granite of New Hampshire to the Rockies of Colorado, from the coastlines of Florida to Virginia’s rolling hills, from the valleys of Ohio to these Iowa fields — we will keep America moving forward.  (Applause.)

I’ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote.  (Applause.)  I came back to ask you to help us finish what we’ve started.  (Applause.) Because this is where our movement for change began.  (Applause.)  Right here.  Right here.

Right behind these bleachers is the building that was home to our Iowa headquarters in 2008.  (Applause.)  I was just inside, and it brought back a whole lot of memories.  This was where some of the first young people who joined our campaign set up shop, willing to work for little pay and less sleep because they believed that people who love their country can change it.

This was where so many of you who shared that belief came to help.  When the heat didn’t work for the first week or so — (laughter) — some of you brought hats and gloves for the staff. These poor kids, they weren’t prepared.  (Laughter.)  When the walls inside were bare, one of you painted a mural to lift everybody’s spirits.  When we had a Steak Fry to march to, when we had a J-J Dinner to fire up — (applause) — you brought your neighbors and you made homemade signs.  When we had calls to make, teachers and nurses showed up after work, already bone-tired, but staying anyway, late into the night.

And you welcomed me and Michelle into your homes.  And you picked us up when we needed a lift.  And your faces gave me new hope for this country’s future, and your stories filled me with resolve to fight for you every single day I set foot in the Oval Office.  (Applause.)

You inspired us.  And I want to take this opportunity to say one thing to all the young people and not-so-young people who’ve given so much to this campaign over the years — those of you who haven’t done this just for me, but for each other — for a laid-off family member, for a sick child, for a fallen friend — to all of you who’ve lived and breathed the hard work of change:  I want to thank you.

You took this campaign and you made it your own.  And you organized yourselves, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, starting a movement that spread across the country — (applause) — a movement made up of young and old, and rich and poor, and black and white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, Democrats, Republicans, who believe we’ve all got something to contribute; that we all deserve a shot at our own American Dream.  (Applause.)

And when the cynics said we couldn’t, you said “Yes, we can.”

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You said, “Yes, we can” — and we did.  Against all odds, we did.  We didn’t know what challenges would come when we began this journey.  We didn’t know how deep the crisis would turn out.  But we knew we would get through those challenges the same way this nation always has — with that determined, unconquerable American spirit that says no matter how bad the storm gets, no matter how tough times are, we’re all in this together.  We rise or fall as one nation and as one people. (Applause.)

That’s the spirit that’s carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years.  In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs.  (Applause.)  The American auto industry is back.  Home values are on the rise.  We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years.  We’ve doubled the production of clean energy.  Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.  The war in Afghanistan is ending.  Al Qaeda is on the run.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

We’ve made real progress these past four years.  But, Iowa, we’re here tonight because we’ve got more work to do.  We’re not done yet on this journey.  We’ve got more road to travel.  As long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one; as long as there are families working harder but still falling behind; as long as there’s a child anywhere in Des Moines, anywhere in Iowa, anywhere in this country languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity — our work isn’t done.  (Applause.)  Our fight for change goes on.

Because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class and sturdy ladders for everybody who is willing to work to get into that middle class.  (Applause.)  Our fight goes on because America has always done best when everybody has got a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules.  The people of Iowa understand that.  That’s what we believe.  That’s why you elected me in 2008.  And, Iowa, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, the choice you make tomorrow — and you understand this; Iowans, you guys pay attention — (laughter and applause) — the choice you make is not just between two candidates or parties.  It’s a choice between two different visions of America — who we are; what we believe; what we care about.  It’s a choice between going back to the top-down policies that caused the mess we’ve been fighting our way out of for four years — or moving forward to a future that’s built on a strong and growing middle class.

And, Iowa, you know me as well as anybody.  You’ve seen a lot of me these last six years.  (Laughter.)  And you know what, you may not agree with every decision I’ve made — Michelle doesn’t.  (Laughter.)  There may be times where you’ve been frustrated at the pace of change.  I promise you, so have I.  But I tell you what, you know what I believe.  You know where I stand.  You know I tell the truth.  (Applause.)  You know I’ll fight for you and your families every single day, as hard as I know how.  (Applause.)

And that’s why, when we talk about change, we know what real change looks like because we’ve fought for it.  We’ve got the scars to prove it.  I’ve got the gray hair to show it.  (Laughter.)  I wasn’t this gray when I first showed up in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And sometimes it’s been hard.  Sometimes it’s been frustrating.  We understand that.  But what we also know is that when we decide to make a difference, when Americans come together, determined to bring about change, nobody can stop us.  We cannot be stopped.

And after all we’ve been through together, after all that we fought through together, we cannot give up on change now.  (Applause.)

We know what real change looks like.  Change is a country where every American has a shot at a great education — where we recruit new teachers, train new workers, bring down tuition, so that no one in this country is forced to give up the dream of a college education.  (Applause.)

Change comes when we live up to this country’s legacy of innovation by investing in the next generation of technology and manufacturing.  Instead of subsidizing oil company profits, I want to support energy jobs of tomorrow.  And Iowa knows about clean energy and biodiesel and wind turbines that will free this country from the grip of foreign oil.  (Applause.)

I don’t want a tax code that rewards companies for creating jobs overseas; I want to reward companies that create jobs right here in America.  That’s what change is, Iowa.  (Applause.)

Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-building here at home — repairing our roads and our bridges, making our schools state of the art; putting our veterans back to work — because nobody who fights for this country’s freedom should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s why we’re not done.  (Applause.)

Change is a future where we reduce our deficit by asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in office.  (Applause.)  We’ll cut out spending we don’t need.  But as long as I’m President, we’re not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to kick a kid off of Head Start just to pay for a millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)

Because our budget reflects our priorities and our values.  And we know what our future requires.  We know what real change is.  You helped teach me that, here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And what we also know is that change isn’t easy.  Remember, a lot of you showed up to town hall meetings back in 2007, 2008, and I used to talk about change.  But I also said I’m not just talking about changing presidents.  I’m not just talking about changing parties.  I’m talking about changing our politics.  (Applause.)
I told you I ran because your voices had been shut out of our democracy for way too long by special interests and politicians who will do whatever it takes to keep things just the way they are.  And we’ve seen over the last four years, the status quo in Washington, they are powerful and they have fought us every step of the way.

When we tried — and succeeded in reforming our health care system, they spent millions trying to stop us.  When we tried — and succeeded — in reforming Wall Street, they spent millions to push us back.  And we kept on going.  But those were tough fights.

And what the protectors of the status quo in Washington are counting on now is that you’ll get worn down by all the squabbling.  You’ll get fed up with the dysfunction.  You’ll give up on the change we’ve fought for.  You’ll walk away and leave them to make decisions that affect every American.  In other words, their bet is on cynicism.  But, Iowa, you taught me to bet on you.  (Applause.)  You taught me to bet on hope.  (Applause.)
I’ll work with anybody, of any party, to move this country forward.  And if you want to break the gridlock in Congress, you’ll vote for leaders who feel the same way — whether they’re Democrats, or Republicans, or independents — the kind of Iowa leaders you’ve always had — Tom and Christie Vilsack, and Tom Harkin, and Leonard Boswell and Bruce Braley, and my great friends, Tom Miller and Mike Fitzgerald.  (Applause.)

But there’s some principles you got to fight for.  There are times where you’ve got to take a stand.  If the price of peace in Washington is cutting deals to kick students off of financial aid, or get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood, or let insurance companies discriminate against kids with preexisting conditions, or eliminate health care for millions on Medicaid who are poor, or elderly, or disabled — I won’t pay that price.  That’s not a deal I will make.  (Applause.)  That’s not bipartisanship.  That’s not change.  That’s surrender to the same forces of the status quo that has squeezed middle-class families for way too long.

And, Iowa, I’m not ready to give up on the fight.  (Applause.)  I’ve got a lot more fight left in me.  (Applause.)  But to wage that fight on behalf of American families, I need you to still have some fight in you, too.  (Applause.)

The folks at the top in this country, it turns out they don’t need another champion in Washington.  They’ll always have a seat at the table.  They’ll always have access and influence.  The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late at night after a long day in the office; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every day.

The laid-off furniture worker who’s retraining at the age of 55 for a new career at a community college — she needs a champion.  The restaurant owner who needs a loan to expand — he’s got great food but the bank turned him down — he needs help.  He needs a champion.  The cooks and the waiters and cleaning staff, working overtime in a hotel in Des Moines or Vegas, trying to save enough to buy a first home or send their kid to college — they need a champion.  (Applause.)

The autoworker who was laid off, thought the plant would never reopen, and is now back on the job, filled with pride and dignity, building a great car, building America — he needs a champion.  (Applause.)   The teacher in an overcrowded classroom with outdated schoolbooks, digging into her own pocket to buy school supplies, not always feeling like she’s got the support she needs, but showing up every day because she knows that this might be the day that she’s got a breakthrough and she makes a difference in one child’s life — she needs a champion.  (Applause.)

All those kids in inner cities, small farm towns — kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats or even a President — they need a champion in Washington, because the future will never have as many lobbyists as the status quo — children don’t have lobbyists the way oil companies or banks do.  But it’s the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.

That’s what we fight for.  That’s why I need you, Iowa.  To make sure their voices are heard.  To make sure your voices are heard.  (Applause.)  And that’s why we’ve come too far to turn back now.  We’ve come too far to let our hearts grow faint.  Now is the time to keep pushing forward — (applause) — to educate all our kids, and train all our workers, and to create new jobs, and rebuild our roads, and bring back our troops, and care for our veterans, and broaden opportunity, and grow our middle class, and restore our democracy — and make sure that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or how you started out, what you look like, who you love, what your last name is, here in America, you can make it if you try.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

And, Iowa, after all the months of campaigning, after all the rallies, after the millions of dollars of ads, it all comes down to you.  It’s out of my hands now.  It’s in yours.  All of it depends on what you do when you step into that voting booth tomorrow.  It’s just a remarkable thing, the way our democracy works.  And at a certain point, all this effort and all these campaign rallies — and then it just comes down to each of us, as citizens.  All of it depends on you bringing your friend, or your neighbor, your coworker, your mom, your dad, your wife, your husband to the polls.

That’s how our democracy is supposed to be.  The single most powerful force in our democracy is you.  Moving this country forward begins with you.  (Applause.)  Don’t ever let anybody tell you your voice doesn’t matter.  Don’t let anybody tell you your voice can’t make a difference.  It makes a difference.

I got a powerful reminder of this myself on our last campaign.  Folks in Iowa, I know you may have heard this story but it was early in the primaries, and we were still way down in the polls.  I think this office had just finally gotten the heat turned on.  (Laughter.)  And at the time, I was still competing in South Carolina — it was one of the early primary states.  And I really wanted the endorsement of a state representative down there.  I met her at some function where nobody knew me, nobody could pronounce my name.  They’re wondering, what’s he thinking? (Laughter.)

So I asked her for her endorsement.  And she said, “I tell you what, Obama — I will give you my endorsement if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.”  And I think I had a little bit of wine during dinner, because right away I said “okay.”  (Laughter.)

So it’s about a month later, and I’m traveling back to South Carolina.  And we flew in late — I think we were coming from Iowa.  We had been campaigning non-stop, traveling all through towns and having town hall meetings and shaking hands.  And in between, I’m making phone calls, asking people for support.  And so we land in Greenwood, South Carolina, at around midnight.  We get to the hotel about 1 o’clock in the morning.  I am wiped out. I’m exhausted.  And I’m dragging my bags to my room.  Back then we didn’t fly on Air Force One.  (Laughter.)  And the accommodations were a little different.  (Laughter.)

And just as I’m about to walk into the room, one of my staf taps me on the shoulder to say, “Excuse me, Senator” –I was a senator back then.  “We’re going to have to wake up and be on the road at 6:30 a.m. in the morning.”  And I said, “What?” (Laughter.)  “Why?”  “Well, you made this promise to go to Greenwood, and it’s several hours away.”  (Laughter.)

And you know, Iowa, I try to keep my promises.  So a few hours later, I wake up — and I’m feeling terrible.  I think a cold is coming on.  And I open up the curtains to try to get some light to wake me up, but it’s pouring down rain.  Terrible storm. And I take a shower and get some coffee, and I open up the newspaper and there’s a bad story about me in The New York Times. (Laughter.)  I was much more sensitive at that time to bad stories.  (Laughter.)  I’ve become more accustomed to these now.

And finally I get dressed, I go downstairs and I’m walking out to the car, and my umbrella blows open — and I’m soaked.  So by the time I’m in the car I’m wet and I’m mad and I’m still kind of sleepy.  And it turns out that Greenwood is several hours away from everyplace else.  (Laughter.)

And so we drive, and we drive, and we drive, and we drive.  And finally we get to Greenwood — although you don’t know you’re in Greenwood right away because there are not a lot of tall buildings around.  And we pull up to a small field house, and I walked in, and I’m looking around.  I don’t hear a lot going on. And the state representative said she was going to organize a little meeting for us, and we walked in and there are about 20 people there.  And they’re all kind of wet, too, and they don’t look very excited to see me.  (Laughter.)

But I’m running for President, so I do what I’m supposed to do — and I’m shaking hands, I say, “How do you do?  Nice to meet you.”  And I’m making my way around the room, and suddenly I hear this voice cry out behind me:  “Fired up.”

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  And I’m startled, and I don’t know what’s going on.  But everybody in the room — this is a small room — they act like this is normal.  (Laughter.)  And when the voice says, “Fired up,” they all say, “Ready to go.”

And so once again, I hear the voice:  “Fired up.”  They say, “Fired up.”  They say, “Ready to go!”  “Ready to go!”

I look around, I turned behind me — there’s this small woman.  She’s about 60 years old; looks like she just came from church — she got a big church hat.  (Laughter.)  And she’s looking at me, kind of peering at me, and she’s grinning, smiling, looking happy.  Turns out she’s a city councilwoman from Greenwood — who also moonlights as a private detective.  I’m not making this up.  (Laughter.)  This is true.  And it turns out she’s famous throughout the area.  When she goes to football games and when she goes to rallies and she goes to community events, she does this chant of hers.  She does it wherever she goes.  So for the next few minutes, she just keeps on saying “Fired up.”

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  And everybody says “Fired up,” and she says she’s “Ready to go,” and everybody else says “Ready to go.”

And I’m thinking, this woman is showing me up.  (Laughter.) This is my meeting.  I’m running for President.  (Laughter.)  And she’s dominating the room.  And I look at my staff, and they just shrug their shoulders.  They don’t know what to do.

So this goes on for a few minutes.  Now, here’s the thing, Iowa.  After a few minutes, I’m feeling kind of fired up.  (Laughter.)  I’m feeling like I’m ready to go.  (Laughter.)  So I start joining in the chant, and my staff starts joining in the chant.  And somehow I feel pretty good.

And we go on to talk about the lives of the people in the room, and their families and their struggles and their hopes for their kids and their grandkids.  And we drive out and it’s still raining, but it doesn’t seem so bad.  And we go to our next stop, and for the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood, even though we still weren’t getting any big crowds anyplace, even though people still couldn’t pronounce my name, I felt good.  (Laughter.)

And I’d see my staff, and I’d say, “Are you fired up?”  They’d say, “We’re fired up.”  I’d say, “Are you ready to go?”  And they’d say, “We’re ready to go.”  (Applause.)

And we brought that to Iowa.  And during our rallies, this became a chant, and we’d have signs saying “Fired up, Ready to go.”  And the woman, her name was Edith Childs — she became a celebrity, and she was written up in The Wall Street Journal — (laughter) — and folks did news stories on her.  And this became one of the anthems of our campaign back in 2008.

Now, here’s the end of the story, though.  We knew we were coming back to Des Moines for the last campaign rally I’ll ever do for me.  And so we were getting kind of sentimental.  And we called up Edith Childs.  And we said, why don’t you come on up?  (Applause.)  No, no, listen to this.  We said, why don’t you come on up; we’ll fly you up from South Carolina and you can do this chant one more time, just for old good-time sake.  It’s like getting the band back together again.  (Laughter.)

And you know what Edith said?  She said, I’d love to see you, but I think we can still win North Carolina, so I’m taking a crew into North Carolina to knock on doors on Election Day — I don’t have time just to be talking about it.  (Applause.)  I’ve got to knock on some doors.  (Applause.)  I’ve got to turn out the vote.  (Applause.)  I’m still fired up, but I’ve got work to do.  (Applause.)

And that shows you what one voice can do.  One voice can change a room.  And if it can change a room, it can change a city.  And if it can change a city, it can change a state.  And if it can change a state, it can change a nation.  (Applause.)  And if it can change a nation, it can change the world.  (Applause.)

And, Iowa, in 2008, your voice changed the world.  And Edith Childs asked me to ask you that if you’re willing to still stand with me tomorrow, if you’re willing to get your friends and your neighbors and your coworkers to the polls tomorrow, if you’re willing to make sure we finish what we started, she’s pretty sure we’ll win Iowa.  (Applause.)  She’s pretty sure we’ll win this election.  (Applause.)  And she just had one question for you, and that is:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Iowa, tomorrow let’s remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

I love you.  (Applause.)  Let’s go vote.  Let’s keep moving forward.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
10:35 P.M. CST

Campaign Headlines November 4, 2012: Romney Kicks Off Whirlwind Tour of Battleground States in Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Kicks Off Whirlwind Tour of Battleground States in Iowa

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mitt Romney made his final stop in the battleground state of Iowa on Sunday, on a day that took him to Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania before midnight.

He had visited Iowa even before announcing his candidacy last June, and this was his 21st campaign event in Iowa this year alone.  Romney made his final argument for voters to come to the polls for him, stressing the importance of the state on Election Day.

“This is much more than our moment.  It’s America’s moment of renewal and purpose and optimism,” he said.  “We’ve journeyed far and wide in this great campaign for America’s future, and now we’re almost home.  One final push will get us there.  We’ve known many long days and short nights, and now we’re close.”…READ MORE

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

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks On The American Economy

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 10-26-12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you. And God bless America.

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

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Kicks Off 48-Hour ‘Marathon Extravaganza’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-24-12

Larry Marano/WireImage

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

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

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

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

Source: WH, 10-24-12 

Davenport, Iowa

10:01 A.M. CDT

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Arithmetic!

THE PRESIDENT:  The arithmetic does not work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE:  No!

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

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

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

And if you’ll roll up your sleeves, and if you’ll work with me and knock on some doors with me and make some calls with me, we’ll win Scott County again.  We’ll win Iowa again.  We’ll win this election again.  And we’ll finish what we started and remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
10:20 A.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 17, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Mt. Vernon, Iowa — Uses Debate Zingers in Iowa

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Uses Debate Zingers in Iowa

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama Wednesday took his presidential debate “zingers” on the road to battleground Iowa, using the catchy sound bites in an effort to appeal to independent voters and women voters.
“Governor Romney has been running around talking about his five-point plan for the economy for quite some time, and as I pointed out last night and you guys heard yourselves, it’s really a one-point plan,” Obama told a packed gymnasium at Cornell College less than 24 hours after their face-to-face showdown….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Mt. Vernon, IA

Source: WH, 10-17-12 

Richard and Norma Small Multi-Sport Center
Mt. Vernon, Iowa

12:12 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)

Well, first of all, can everybody please give a big round of applause to Rachel for that great introduction?  (Applause.)  I want to thank the Rams for hosting us here today.  I appreciate you guys.  (Applause.)  Go, Rams!  (Applause.)

We’ve got your outstanding Senator, Tom Harkin.  (Applause.) Congressman Bruce Braley.  (Applause.)  Another Congressman who has — I guess it’s professor emeritus right here — Dave Loebsack.  (Applause.)  Two of my oldest friends in Iowa, my co-chairs back in 2008 — your Attorney General, Tom Miller — (applause) — and your Treasurer, Mike Fitzgerald.  (Applause.)

And I’m thrilled to see all of you.  And I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you!

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

I just want to know — look, I’m from Chicago.  (Applause.) And I campaigned in Iowa in January.  (Laughter.)  So this is basically the warmest you will be for the next six months.  (Laughter.)

Now, I’ve come back to Cornell College today — (applause)  — come back to ask each of you for one big thing.  I’m asking for your vote.  (Applause.)  I’m asking for your vote.  In Iowa, you can vote today.  Today.  As long as you’re registered before October 27th, you can vote right up to Election Day.  In fact, you can go vote right after this event at the Cole Library.  (Applause.)  And anyone can find out how to register and where to vote at Vote.BarackObama.com.

So, Iowa, are you going to vote for me today if you haven’t already voted?  (Applause.)  I need you.  I need you.

Now, as many of you know, we had our second debate last night.  (Applause.)  I’m still trying to figure out how to get the hang of this thing — debating.  (Laughter.)  But we’re working on it.  We’ll keep on improving as time goes on.  I’ve got one left.  (Applause.)

But the interesting thing is that Governor Romney has been running around talking about his five-point plan for the economy for quite some time.  And as I pointed out last night, and you guys heard yourselves, it’s really a one-point plan.  It’s really a one-point plan.  It says folks at the very top can play by their own set of rules.

That’s why they can pay lower taxes than you do, or they can use offshore accounts.  Or they can invest in a company, bankrupt it, fire the workers, take away their pensions, ship the jobs overseas, and still make money doing it.

It’s the one-point plan that says it’s okay for Wall Street to keep engaging in the reckless behavior that got us into the mess we’ve been fighting back from for the last four years.  It’s the same philosophy that’s been squeezing middle-class families for more than a decade.  It’s the same philosophy that we saw in the previous administration.  And I have seen too much pain and too much struggle to let this country go down that same road again.  (Applause.)

So, Iowa, we can’t — I want you to know, folks here in Iowa understand this — you cannot grow this economy from the top down.  You grow this economy from the middle class out.  We’re not going to go back to what we were doing before.  We’re moving forward.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, Governor Romney also took another stab at trying to sell us his $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy.  Once again, he refused to tell us how he’s going to pay for it.  He said he’d let you know after the election.  (Laughter.)  Now, here’s a tip:  Usually when a politician tells you he’s going to wait until after the election to explain a plan to you, they don’t have a pleasant surprise in store for you.  (Laughter.)  And in this case, it’s because just about everybody who’s looked at Governor Romney’s $5 trillion in tax cuts says he can’t pay for it without blowing a hole in the deficit or raising taxes on middle-class families.  It can’t be done.

Governor Romney says he has a plan to create 12 million new jobs in the next four years.  But when folks started crunching the numbers, it fell apart even faster than his tax plan. (Laughter.)  Turns out his jobs math isn’t any better than his tax math.  (Applause.)  The Washington Post called it a “bait and switch.”

So let’s recap what we learned last night.  His tax plan doesn’t add up; his jobs plan doesn’t create jobs; his deficit reduction plan adds to the deficit.  So, Iowa, everybody here has heard of the New Deal; you’ve heard of the fair deal; you’ve heard of the square deal.  Mitt Romney is trying to sell you a Sketchy Deal.  (Applause.)

We are not buying it.  We know better.  We’ve been there.  We’ve tried that.  We’re not going back.  We’re moving forward.  That’s why I need your vote.  We’ve got to finish what we started in 2008.  (Applause.)  You don’t want to invest in that sketchy deal.  Let me tell you —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Etch-a-Sketch.

THE PRESIDENT:  That, too.  (Laughter.)

Four years ago, I told you we’d end the war in Iraq — and I did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d end the war in Afghanistan — and we are.  (Applause.)  I said we’d focus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 — and we have, and bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

Four years ago, I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families — and we have, by $3,600.  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — and we have, 18 times.  We got back every dime used to rescue the banks, and we passed a law to make sure that taxpayer-funded bailouts are over for good.

We passed health care reform so your insurance company can’t jerk you around anymore.  (Applause.)  We made sure insurance companies have to let parents keep their children on their parents’ plan until they’re 26 years old if they don’t have health insurance.  (Applause.)  We said to insurance companies, you’ve got to charge women the same as men because being a woman is not a preexisting condition.  (Applause.)

We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” so no one is ever kicked out of the military because of who they love.  (Applause.)

When Governor Romney said we should just let Detroit go bankrupt, we said thanks but no thanks, and we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s come roaring back to the top of the world.  (Applause.)

Last time I was here, I said to students, we’ve going to help you make sure you can afford a college education — and we took $60 billion that was going to banks and middlemen in the student loan program, we said let’s cut out the middleman, let’s give that money directly to students.  And as a consequence, millions of students have benefited from lower interest rates and Pell grants.  (Applause.)

Today, four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, we’re moving forward again.  After losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added more than 5 million new jobs over the past two and a half years.  (Applause.)

Unemployment has fallen from a peak of 10 percent to 7.8 percent.  The stock market has nearly doubled, which means your 401(k)s have started to recover.  Foreclosures are at their lowest point in five years.  Home values are back on the rise.  Manufacturing is coming home to America.  Our assembly lines are starting to hum again.  (Applause.)

Look, we’ve got a lot more work to do, but we’ve got to build on that progress.  And I’ve got a plan to grow the economy and create jobs and build more security for middle-class families.  I talked about it last night.  I want to export more products, outsource fewer jobs.  We can keep giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, or we can give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Iowa, right here in the United States of America rebuilding our manufacturing base.  (Applause.)

I want to control more of our own energy.  You heard last night oil production is up.  Natural gas production is up.  But what we’ve also said is we’ve got to develop new sources of energy, and we’ve got to be more efficient with our economy.  And so we raised fuel-efficiency standards on cars so by the middle of the next decade, your car will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)

We have doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from wind and solar and biofuels.  Today the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades.  (Applause.)

And so the question — so the choice you have, you heard last night, it’s not a choice between oil versus solar, or natural gas versus wind.  Look, we all agree we got to increase oil production.  We all agree we got to increase natural gas production.  But the question is whether we build on the progress for the new energy sources of the future.  I’m not going to keep on giving corporate taxpayer-funded welfare to oil companies, $4 billion a year, when we could be using that money to continue to promote wind and solar and long-lasting batteries, and put Americans back to work right now — (applause) — seeing that technology develop here in the United States instead of China or Germany, or some other country.  (Applause.)

And I’ve got to tell you, Iowa, this is not a pipedream; there are nearly 7,000 jobs in Iowa right now depending on wind  energy.  Last night, Governor Romney claimed he didn’t have a plan to end wind jobs in Iowa, but he called these jobs “imaginary.”  His plan would end tax credits for wind energy producers.  That is a fact.  My plan will keep these investments, and we’ll keep reducing the carbon pollution that’s also heating the planet — (applause) — because climate change isn’t a hoax. The droughts we’ve seen, the floods, the wildfires — those aren’t a joke.  They’re a threat to our children’s future.  And we can do something about it.  That’s part of what’s at stake in this election.

I want to give more Americans the chance to get a great education and get the skills they need to compete in the 21st century.  (Applause.)  I tried to talk about education last night.  We kept on getting waylaid.  But if you’re talking about jobs and economic growth, what’s more important than making sure everybody has got the skills they need?

I’m only here because of a great education.  All the young people who are making an investment in their college education right now, you guys understand you’ve got to be equipped.  Michelle, her gateway into opportunity was her education system. Her dad was a blue-collar worker, her mom was a secretary.  And right now, as I said, because of the actions we already took, millions of young people are paying less for college because we finally took on that system that was wasting taxpayer dollars, gave it directly to students.

Rachel, by the way — I took a photo with her parents backstage, and she talked about how — the fact that we put in place a tax credit for middle-income families to send their kids to college is helping her attend school right now.  (Applause.)

But what you saw last night, even though we weren’t able to talk about it as much as I would have liked, is a fundamental difference.  Governor Romney says hiring more teachers won’t grow our economy over the next four years.  Well, you know what, yes, it will.  But more importantly, what about our kids over the next 40 years?  What about our economy for the next 40 years?

We could gut education, pay for Governor Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut — or we can recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade — (applause) — helping our young people refocus on science and technology, engineering, math.  We should make sure all our young people — our daughters as well as our sons — are thriving in these fields.  (Applause.) This should be a national mission.

I’ve got to tell you, we don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented — (applause) — driven young women ready to learn and teach in these fields right now.  (Applause.)

And when young women graduate, they should get equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)  That should be a simple question to answer.  When Governor Romney was asked about it, his campaign said, “We’ll get back to you.”  That shouldn’t be a complicated question: equal pay for equal work.  I want my daughters paid just like somebody else’s sons are paid for the same job.  That’s straightforward.  (Applause.)

Now, I’ve got to say, last night, Governor Romney’s top advisor finally admitted, no, the Governor didn’t really support that bill.  You don’t have to wait for an answer from me.  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill I signed into law as President — the first bill.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney didn’t want to talk much last night about how he wants to end funding for Planned Parenthood, how he supports legislation that would turn certain decisions about a woman’s health care over to their employers.  He didn’t want to talk about it because he knows he can’t sell it.  I don’t think your boss should control the health care you get.  (Applause.)  I don’t think insurers should control the health care you get.  (Applause.)  I certainly don’t think politicians should control the health care that you get.  (Applause.)

We passed Obamacare — yes, I like the term — we passed it — (laughter) — because I do care, and I want to put these choices in your hands where they belong.  (Applause.)

Fourth plan — fourth part of the plan to create jobs right here is use some of the money we’re saving from ending those wars in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, to pay down our deficit, put our people back to work, including our veterans, rebuilding roads and bridges and schools all across America.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney and I just have a different theory on this. He said it was “tragic” the way we ended the war in Iraq; doubled down on the belief in a speech just last week, said we should have kept troops on the ground in Iraq.  I disagree.  I know these troops.  I know their families.  I know how dedicated they are and the sacrifices they and their families make.  And it was time to bring those troops home to their families.  It was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

And every brave American who wears the uniform of this country, they need to know as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we’re going to maintain the strongest military in the world.  And when those troops take off the uniform, we’re going to serve them as well as they served us — because nobody should have to fight for a job after they fought for our country.  Nobody should have to fight for a roof over their heads or the health care they need after they fought for America.  (Applause.)

And finally, I want to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and I’ve worked with Republicans and Democrats already to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending.  I’m ready to cut more spending that is not contributing to our growth.  But we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.

We’ve got to make investments in science and research and infrastructure.  And we can’t do all that and reduce our deficit unless we ask the wealthiest households to pay a little bit more — pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000.  So keep in mind, somebody making $500,000, they’re still keeping the tax break for the first $250,000, but after that, let’s go back to the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President — (applause) — our economy created 23 million new jobs, we went from deficit to surplus.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney was asked, is it fair that he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher who makes $50,000.  He said, yes, I think it’s fair; I think that’s how you grow an economy.  He’s wrong.  You look at our economic history — that’s not how we grew an economy, by just having a few folks at the top paying even less than folks in the middle.  I’m not going to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home, or raising their kids, or sending their kids to college just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)

I’m not going to ask the students here to pay more for college so I have a little more money in my pocket.  I don’t need it.  (Applause.)  I’m not going to kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, or elderly, or disabled.

And Governor Romney again last night, over and over again, he says, I can cut taxes for everybody; I can increase military spending by $2 trillion; I will lower taxes for middle-class families and I’m going to close the deficit.  He keeps on saying it.  And when people ask, well, what are you going to cut — because I don’t know about you guys, but if I’m looking at my budget and I’m trying to shrink my debt, I’ve got to cut something out.  So, so far, what he’s offered is eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and getting rid of Big Bird —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  — and ending wind tax credits.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  It adds up to less than 1/100th of 1 percent of the federal budget.  So he claims his — now, that was an estimate, by the way.  I was doing that off the top of my head.  (Laughter.)

He claims his $5 trillion tax cut will create millions of new jobs and pay for themselves.  We have heard this pitch before.  You know where we heard it?  In the previous administration.  We know it doesn’t work.  We know what we’re talking about does create jobs.

And now the choice is up to you.  The election now is up to you.  It comes down to this.  Over and over again, our opponents tell us that because government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope you don’t get sick.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, borrow money from your parents.  If a company releases harmful pollution into the air, you know what, that’s the price of progress.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not what America is about.

We are in this thing together.  (Applause.)  That’s what this country is about.  Here in America, we believe that we’re all in this together — everybody.  We understand America is not just about what can be done for us, but what can be done by us, as one people, as one nation.

Iowa, you’re the reason that we’ve got shuttered factories in places like Newton that are now humming again with workers manufacturing components for amazing wind turbines.  You made that happen because you believed we could do this together.  You’re the reason a mother in Cedar Rapids — actually, a mother right here in this audience — doesn’t have to worry about surgery for her daughter because the insurance company can’t limit her coverage.

You’re the reason a student in Ames, or Iowa City, or Cornell College can get help paying for a college education, and we’ve got a New GI Bill for our returning veterans to get the education they need.  (Applause.)  That all happened because of you.  And we’ve got to do it again.

You’re the reason a young immigrant is not going to be sent away from the only country she’s ever called home.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason that we were able to bring our troops home, and those families are reunited with their loved ones.  You made that happen.

So if we don’t fight as hard as we can over the next three weeks, all that could be set aside.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what we’re fighting for.  You cannot turn away.  And if your voices aren’t heard, then the lobbyists and the special interests, they’ll fill the void — the folks who are writing the $10 million checks to try to buy this election; the folks who are trying to make it harder for people to vote in this election.  And you can’t let that happen.  I’m not going to let that happen.  (Applause.)  We’ve worked too hard together over the last four years to let that happen.  (Applause.)

Back in 2008, it started here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  You’re the ones who first showed America that change was possible.  And everything we fought for is now at stake.  And we can choose to go back to the same top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose to move us forward with the policies that have been getting us out of this mess.

You can choose to go back to a foreign policy that gets us into wars with no plan for getting out, or you can help move us forward and end the Afghan war responsibly and bring our troops home, and focus on the terrorists who were going to attack us.  (Applause.)

You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and for immigrants and for gays and for lesbians — or you can stand up and say, we want to move forward.  We believe in the country where no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, or who you love, you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

That’s what’s at stake in this election.  That’s what I still believe in.  And if that’s what you still believe in, then we’ve got to fight as hard as we can for the next three weeks.  And I promise you, if you are willing to stand with me, and knock on doors with me, and work as hard as you can, and talk to your friends and your neighbors and your classmates, and if you will vote for me, we will win Linn County again.  We will win Iowa again.  (Applause.)  We will win this election again.  We’ll finish what we started, and we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you and God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
12:40 P.M. CDT

Campaign Headlines October 17, 2012: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Campaign in Swing States After Second Presidential Debate

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama and Romney Hit Swing States After Debate

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-17-12

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama, Mitt Romney, and their surrogates are back on the road Wednesday, fanning out across battleground states, following Tuesday night’s debate in New York.

Obama is in Iowa for an afternoon rally before flying into the Buckeye state to speak with supporters at Ohio University in Athens.

Romney will spend the day in Virginia, making stops in Chesapeake and Leesburg….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 15, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Dubuque, Iowa — Michelle Obama Joins the President’s Iowa Bus Tour

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Michelle Obama Joins the President’s Iowa Bus Tour

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-15-12

First lady Michelle Obama joins President Obama on the campaign trail in Iowa today, making her first joint appearance with her husband in the Hawkeye State this election cycle.

“This is where the journey began for him, and where it began for the first lady, and Iowa will always have a special place in their hearts,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.

Mrs. Obama’s appearance at the president’s campaign events today in Dubuque and Davenport, comes after a bruising day of escalated mudslinging between the Obama and Romney camps….READ MORE

Remarks by the President and First Lady at a Campaign Event — Dubuque, IA

Source: WH, 8-15-12

Alliant Energy Amphitheater
Dubuque, Iowa

12:34 P.M. CDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, my goodness!  (Applause.)  This is so sweet.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

MRS. OBAMA:  We love you guys, too.  (Applause.)  Let me start by —

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

MRS. OBAMA:  Four more!  (Applause.)  But I want to start by thanking Jennifer for — (applause.)  We are so proud of her.  And we are so grateful for her sacrifice and her service, and for Andrew’s service and sacrifice as well.  So I just want to thank her for that wonderful introduction and for all she’s doing for our country.  (Applause.)

And, yes, it sounds like you all are pretty fired up.  (Applause.)  And very ready to go.  (Applause.)  And I’m really glad to hear that.  First of all, it’s good to see my husband.  (Laughter.)  Because I haven’t seen him in a good week.

THE PRESIDENT:  Five days.

MRS. OBAMA:  Five days?

THE PRESIDENT:  Five days.

MRS. OBAMA:  It seemed like a week, it was so long.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I missed you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

MRS. OBAMA:  Just take care of him.  (Laughter.)

But I am just as happy to be back in the great state of Iowa, where it all began.  (Applause.)  So you guys are getting me all fired up just being here.  It is so beautiful here.  (Applause.)  It is so beautiful.  Good to be back.  Our family has so many wonderful memories of our time here in Iowa.  In Pella, I remember that an entire neighborhood sang “Happy Birthday” to Malia on the Fourth of July.  (Laughter.)  That was so sweet.  She was a little, bitty something, too.

And on the day of the big Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, I remember how we danced down the street with the Isiserettes. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s what they were called.

MRS. OBAMA:  It was the Isiserettes — and a few thousand folks across the state, as well, were there, too.  So that was fun.

THE PRESIDENT:  That was fun.

MRS. OBAMA:  And our girls, Malia and Sasha, they still talk about our visit to the State Fair.  (Applause.)  We had a ball.  We rode the bumper cars; we slid down that big slide — where Barack almost lost Sasha.  (Laughter.)  She flew up —

THE PRESIDENT:  I held on.

MRS. OBAMA:  It wasn’t pretty.  Wasn’t happy about that.  (Laughter.)  And, yes, we experienced the magic of our first fried Twinkie.  (Applause.)  Yes, we did.  Even though you say I don’t let you eat them, you eat what you want.  (Laughter.)

But we were surrounded by the press, so Barack left and the girls looked at me and they said, “Oh, I’m so glad Dad is gone.”  (Laughter.)  Now we can have fun.  (Laughter.)  So after he left, we stayed.  We cut loose.  We stayed until the fair shut down.  It was a ball.  And I have to say that we’re all very jealous that Barack got to go back to the fair without us last week.  Did you have a fried Twinkie?

THE PRESIDENT:  Pork chop and beer.  (Laughter and applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  He’s so pleased with himself.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  It was good.  It was tasty.

MRS. OBAMA:  But in all seriousness, though, because of those wonderful memories and so many more, I want to start by saying thank you.  Truly.  Thank you for the kindness, generosity and love that you have shown our family — I mean, throughout the state, consistently.  (Applause.)  Iowa was our very first experience with a national campaign, truly.  And it is because of all of you that Malia and Sasha still think campaigning is fun.  (Laughter.)  They do.  Now, they never really want to go, but they’re like, that was fun.  (Laughter.)

But more importantly, because of you, Barack and I will always remember what this process can be at its very best.  Every election, you all remind us what democracy is all about.  It’s about people getting to know the issues and discussing them with their neighbors.  It’s about meeting your candidates and getting to know them and their families up close and personal.

I will never forget the very first visit that I made here back in 2007, and I think it was the very first campaign event I did, so of course I was nervous.  And it was in the backyard of someone’s home, and I have to admit I really didn’t know what it would be like.  I hadn’t done much campaigning, and back then people barely even knew who Barack was, let alone who I was.

But the folks in that backyard welcomed me like an old friend, and within minutes, I was so comfortable that I remember kicking off my heels and I was standing barefoot in the grass, just talking and laughing and listening to people’s stories.  And I heard about what was going on in folks’ lives — the jobs they were juggling, the businesses they were trying to keep afloat, the kids they hoped to send to college if they could just find a way to afford it.

And the more we talked, the more at home I felt — because what I learned was that in all of those stories I saw my story; I saw Barack’s story.  I mean, you all know that story by now.  My father worked at the city water plant his entire life.  And neither of my parents had a college degree, but they saved and sacrificed so that my brother and I could have the kind of education they only dreamed of.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Whitney Young!

MRS. OBAMA:  And while — Whitney Young?  Oh, my goodness, that’s my high school.  (Laughter.)  Go, Dolphins!  (Laughter.)

And while pretty much all of our college tuition came from student loans and grants, my dad still had to pay a small portion of that tuition himself.  And every semester, my dad was determined to pay his little portion of our tuition bill and to pay it on time — because he was so proud to be able to play even just a little part in sending his kids to college.  So he couldn’t bear the thought that me or my brother would miss a registration deadline because his check was late.

And really, more than anything else, what I remind people is that’s what’s at stake in this election.  That’s why we’re all here.  That’s what we’re working for.  It’s that fundamental promise that no matter who you are or where you started out, in America, if you work hard you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids.  (Applause.)  That’s why we’re here.

And whether it’s equal pay for women or health care for our families, whether it’s supporting our veterans or saving our auto industry, that’s what this man, my husband, has been fighting for every single day as President.  (Applause.)

And the one thing I share with people is that over the last three and a half years, as First Lady, I have had the chance to see up close and personal what being President really looks like.  And I’ve seen some things.  (Laughter.)  But seriously, I have seen how the issues that come across the President’s desk are always the hard ones — the problems with no clear solutions, the judgment calls where the stakes are so high and there’s absolutely no margin for error.

And as President, I’ve seen how you’re going to get all kinds of advice and opinions from all kinds of people.  But the truth is that at the end of the day, as President, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and your life experiences.  In the end, it all boils down to who you are and what you stand for.  (Applause.)

And we all know who my husband is, don’t we?  (Applause.)  And we all know what he stands for.  (Applause.)  He is the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills.  He’s the grandson of a woman who woke up before dawn every day to catch a bus to her job at the bank.

And even though Barack’s grandmother worked hard to help support his family and she was good at her job, like so many women, she hit that glass ceiling and watched men no more qualified than she was — men she’d actually trained — climb up that ladder ahead of her.

So what I remind people is that your President knows what it means when a family struggles.  This is not a hypothetical situation for him.  He knows what it means to want something better for your kids and your grandkids.  (Applause.)  And that’s why I love him, that’s why I married.  And that’s what I think about every night when I put Malia and Sasha to bed.  Sometimes they put me to bed.  (Laughter.)  I can’t stay up later than them anymore.

But I think about the world that I want to leave for them, for all of our sons and daughters.  I think about how I want to give our kids that foundation for their dreams, opportunities worthy of their promise — because all of our children in this country are worthy.  (Applause.)  We all want to work to give them that sense of limitless possibility, that belief that here in America, the greatest country on Earth, there’s always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it.  (Applause.)

So we know that we can’t turn back now.  We have come so far, but we have so much more work to do.  And if we keep moving forward, then we need to work our hearts out for the man that I have the pleasure of introducing — (applause) — my husband and our President, President Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Dubuque!  (Applause.)  Thank you, Dubuque.  How is everybody doing today?  (Applause.)

Now, first of all, I, too, just want to thank Jennifer for not just her introduction, but for serving as a military spouse and championing the causes that are so important for so many military families like hers.  And so please give her a big — another round of applause.  Thank you for everything that you do.  Very proud of you.  (Applause.)

I also want to acknowledge, sitting next to Jennifer is Congressman Bruce Braley — (applause) — who helped to get the bill that Jennifer had worked on, based on her experience with Andrew, passed, and I had the honor of signing into law — Congressman Bruce Braley, who is doing a great job on behalf of our veterans and on behalf of working people here in Iowa.  (Applause.)

A couple of other friends who are here — your own Attorney General — this guy supported me when nobody could pronounce my name.  (Laughter.)  Folks would say, Tom, why are you doing that?  But he is a man of great integrity, a champion on behalf of consumers nationwide as well as here in Iowa — Tom Miller is here.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Also, your own Mayor — Mayor Roy Buol is here.  Give Roy a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

And finally, my wife.  (Applause.)  Now, it is true, I have not seen her in five days and — except I caught the end of Leno.  (Laughter.)  And the only reason that she, I think, is happy to see me is because she knows that after today, she gets to go tomorrow and get our girls from sleep-away camp, and she has been missing them terribly.  So we stand in the way of her getting to her babies.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We still love you.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  But I have to tell you, when I stand here and listen to her, I am just reminded how lucky I am, because she is a woman of strength and integrity and honor.  (Applause.)   She keeps me straight every single day.  She is the best mom in the world.  (Applause.)  And she’s cute.  (Laughter.)

And the problem is, sometimes when I listen to her talk I start choking up a little bit, and I forget what I’m going to say.  (Laughter.)  But I could not be prouder of her.  And I say often — back in 2008, I said, look, I’m not a perfect man; I won’t be a perfect President.  I do think she is a perfect First Lady.  I just want you to know that.  (Applause.)

Now, this is our third day in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And she’s right, we have been traveling all across the state.  We did stop at the State Fair.  We stopped to get something to eat before she showed up, just so there wasn’t any issues —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Smart man.

THE PRESIDENT:  Smart man.  (Laughter.)

We began the journey in Council Bluffs, and just like four years ago, we’ve traveled all across this state, west to east, meeting with you and talking about your lives.  We’ve driven through Boone and Des Moines and Oskaloosa and Marshalltown and Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

We met farmers who’ve been badly hurt by drought and who now need us to pass a farm bill.  (Applause.)  We met folks who’ve helped Iowa become a leader in wind energy.  (Applause.) And now they need us to keep investing in clean, renewable energy.  (Applause.)  This morning I had breakfast with some of our outstanding veterans who fought under our proud flag. (Applause.)  And so now we need to serve them just as well as they’ve served us, and make sure that they’ve got new jobs and new opportunities and a roof over their heads when they come home. (Applause.)

And every stop, I’ve got fond memories of the last campaign — the campaign we had four years ago.  Every stop, I’ve gotten reminders of what makes Iowa so special and how this is where our movement for change happened. (Applause.)

It was because of you.  It was because of your stories and your strength and your spirit that I had the strength and the spirit to go through that campaign.  And it’s because of you that I’ve had the strength to do the job over the last three and a half years.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  And I’ve got to tell you, Iowa, we’re not done yet.  This journey is not done yet.  We’ve got some unfinished business to do.  (Applause.)  And I’ve come here to ask you to stand with me, just like you stood with me in 2008, to finish what we started. (Applause.)

Because less than three months from now, you will face a choice, and that choice could not be bigger.  This is a choice not just between two candidates.  It’s not just between two political parties.  More than any election in recent memory, this is a choice about two fundamentally different visions for our country, how we move this country forward.  And the direction that you choose when you walk into that voting booth will have an impact not just on your lives, but on the lives of your children and the lives of your grandchildren.  It will impact us for decades to come.

When we came together in 2008 — and it wasn’t just Democrats, we had independents and some Republicans, too — it was to restore the basic bargain that built this country, the basic bargain that made us the most prosperous economy in the world.  It’s a bargain that says if we work hard, we should be rewarded.  It’s a deal that says if you put in enough effort, you can find a job that pays the bills.  You can afford a home that you call your own.  You won’t go broke when you get sick. You can retire with dignity and respect.  (Applause.)  And, most of all, it’s a bargain that says your kids will get a great education and they’ll grow up safe and healthy.  And they will have opportunities that you couldn’t even dream of; that they will be able to achieve things that you could have only hoped for.

That’s the basic promise of America.  That’s the American Dream.  And we knew that restoring it wouldn’t be easy, that it would take more than one year, or one term, or even one President — because we had just gone through a decade in which the middle class had been taking a lot of hits.  (Applause.)  Jobs had been getting shipped overseas.  Incomes and wages were flat or even going down, while the cost of everything from health care to college were going up.  A few folks at the top were doing really well, but the average family was struggling.

And this was before we saw the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  And so many more of our friends and neighbors and family members lost their jobs and lost their homes, lost their savings and pushed that American Dream even further out of reach.

So when I ran for this office four years ago, I told you there were no quick fixes, there were no easy solutions.  That’s still true today.  But what I also told you and what is also still true today is that we have the capacity to meet every challenge.  We’ve got everything we need to meet our challenges.  (Applause.)  We’ve still got the best workers in the world.  (Applause.) We’ve still got the best entrepreneurs, and small businessmen and women in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best scientists and researchers in the world.  We’ve got the best farmers in the world.  We’ve got the best colleges and universities in the world.  (Applause.)

We are still a young nation and we’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity — people want to come here from every corner of the globe.  So no matter what the naysayers say, no matter how dark the other side tries to paint things, there is not another country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly change places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Because people understand that even though we go through some tough times, there is a resilience and grit about this country.  And this country is the place where if you’re willing to work hard — no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is — you can make it.  (Applause.)

That’s the idea that we were trying to rebuild in 2008.  That’s the idea that we continue to pursue in 2012.  That is what this campaign is all about.  And that is why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, Dubuque, here’s the thing — I told you all the things we’ve got going for us.  We do have one problem — politics in Washington.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  You’ve got the other side, which has decided that “compromise” is a dirty word, and thinks the only way to move forward is to go backwards to the same top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, Governor Romney chose his running mate this week — Congressman Ryan.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no, Congressman Ryan — I know him. He’s a good man, beautiful family.  He is the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.  He is a articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision.  I just happen to fundamentally disagree with his vision.  (Applause.)  Their vision is wrong for working families and it is wrong for the country.

Look, my opponent and his friends in Congress, they believe that if you just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and big banks, and then you give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, that that will automatically lead to jobs and prosperity for ordinary families.  And I’m not exaggerating here, that’s their basic economic plan.

The centerpiece of Governor Romney’s economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut — a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, keep in mind, $5 trillion is a lot of money, even in Washington.  Our entire defense budget is a little over half a trillion dollars a year, so this tax cut would be like giving the equivalent of the entire defense budget in tax cuts — a lot of it going to very rich people — every year for 10 years.

Now, these folks say they want to reduce the deficit and the debt.  So the question is, well, how do you give away $5 trillion and then reduce the deficit?  Well, recently we found out.  Governor Romney expects you to pay for it —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  — expects middle-class families to pick up the tab.  Governor Romney’s tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $2,000 for families with children.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don’t have $2,000 —

THE PRESIDENT:  You don’t have $2,000 to spare.  I didn’t think so.

And, by the way, don’t take my word for it.  This is based on independent studies that have been done by folks who analyze this stuff for a living.  They say, look, this will cost middle-class families with children an average of $2,000.  And they’re asking you to pay an extra 2,000 bucks not to reduce the deficit, not to help our kids get educated, not to help kids go to college, not to rebuild our roads or our bridges or our ports — they’re doing this to give another $250,000 tax cut to folks who are making $3 million a year or more.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, have you heard this before?

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  They have been trying to sell this trickle-down snake oil before.  (Laughter.)  And guess what, it didn’t work then.  It won’t work now.  It’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to reduce the deficit.  It’s not a plan to move the economy forward.

And, secretly, I think they know this.  I think they know their plan is not very popular.  You can tell that because they’re being pretty dishonest about my plan — especially, by the way, when it comes to Medicare.  Now, this is something I’ve got to point out here, because they are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks.  (Laughter.)

Here’s what you need to know:  I have strengthened Medicare.  I have made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs.  (Applause.)  I have proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system — reforms that will not touch your Medicare benefits — not by a dime.

Now, Mr. Romney and his running mate have a very different plan.  They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare — they’d get a voucher to buy private insurance.  And because the voucher wouldn’t keep up with costs, the plan authored by Governor Romney’s running mate, Congressman Ryan, would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year.  And I assume they don’t have it.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  My plan has already extended Medicare by nearly a decade.  (Applause.)  Their plan ends Medicare as we know it.  My plan reduces the cost of Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and subsidies to insurance companies.  Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.

That’s the difference between our plans on Medicare.  That’s an example of the choice in this election.  And that is why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Just like we’ve got a different plan on Medicare, we’ve got a different economic plan.  You just heard, they want to give $5 trillion tax cuts — tax breaks to wealthy Americans who don’t need them.  Four years ago, I promised to cut middle-class taxes — and, Dubuque, that’s exactly what I’ve done.  (Applause.)  So if you talk to a friend of yours who says, oh, those Democrats, they’re all tax-and-spend liberals, you tell them the average middle-class family, their taxes are about $3,600 lower since I’ve become President.  (Applause.)

And right now, what I want to do is to keep taxes right where they are for the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  If your family makes under $250,000 — like 98 percent of American families do and 97 percent of small businesses do — you won’t see your income taxes increase by a single dime next year.  (Applause.)  Now, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I wish!  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  If you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent, you still get a tax cut on your first $250,000.  But all we’re asking is for the next little bit that you make you can afford to contribute a little bit more, above $250,000, so that we can pay down our deficit in a responsible, balanced way, and invest in things like education that help America grow.  (Applause.)

Now, that alone won’t cut our deficit.  We’re going to have to still make sure government does its part.  We’ve already cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that we don’t need, and we can do more to make government more efficient.  We have to do more.  But we’re not going to reduce the deficit just on the backs of the middle class.

So I think it makes sense to ask folks like me who’ve been incredibly blessed to go back to the rates that we paid under Bill Clinton — a time, by the way, when nearly 23 million new jobs were created, we went from deficit to surplus — (applause) — and here’s the kicker — we created a lot of millionaires, too.  (Laughter.)  And the reason is, is because the economy, when you look back on American history, always works best when the middle class is doing well.  (Applause.)

Let me ask you something.  When a teacher or a construction worker or a receptionist or a firefighter — when you get a little extra money in your pocket, what do you do?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it!

THE PRESIDENT:  You spend it.  Because times are tight and maybe you’ve been driving around in that old beater, you had that car for 10 years and you decide it’s about time to trade it in.  Or maybe you think now is the time I can finally buy a new computer for my kid who is about to go to college.  Or maybe I’ll go to a restaurant, or, heaven forbid, I take a vacation once in a while.  (Laughter.)  And what happens is that suddenly businesses have more customers and they make more profits.  And so folks at the top are doing very well, but the businesses — because they’re more profitable — now they’re hiring more workers, who then have more money, who then buy more products, who then give businesses more customers.  (Applause.)

That’s how you grow an economy — not from the top down, from the middle out, from the bottom up, giving everybody a fair shot.  (Applause.)  That’s the choice in this election, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President, because that’s what I believe.  That’s my vision for the future.  (Applause.)

On just about every issue, Governor Romney and I just have a different opinion.  When the auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than a million jobs at stake, Governor Romney said let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I said let’s bet on American workers.  And we got workers and management together, and they changed how they were doing business.  And three years later, the American auto industry is back on top.  (Applause.)  That’s what I believe.  That’s the kind of America we need.  (Applause.)

So now I want American manufacturing back in America.  (Applause.)  I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Dubuque, right here in the Quads, right here in Iowa — in Cleveland and Raleigh.  (Applause.)  Let’s put people back to work.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney likes to say, well, you know what, I know how to fix the economy, because I’ve been in the private sector.  Well, it turns out that a lot of that experience was investing in companies that were called “pioneers” in outsourcing.  We don’t need folks who know how to outsource.  We need folks who are working to insource, to create jobs here, and hire American workers so we sell American products around the world stamped with three proud words:  Made In America.  That’s what I believe.  (Applause.)

On energy, Governor Romney has said that he wants to get rid of the tax credit for wind energy — doesn’t believe in — he says these sources of energy are “imaginary.”  Congressman Ryan calls them a “fad”.  He needs to come to Iowa.  He’ll find out that there are 7,000 jobs in this state that depend on the wind industry.  These jobs aren’t a “fad.”  They’re the future.  (Applause.)

We should stop giving $4 billion of taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that are making money every time you go to the pump.  Let’s start investing in clean energy that will create jobs and secure our future.  That’s a difference in this election.  (Applause.)

I want to make sure that our kids are getting the best education in the world.  (Applause.)  I was just visiting some teachers before — Cascade Middle School, right before I came here.  Aren’t you supposed to be at the in-service over there?  (Laughter.)  I won’t tell.  Just don’t get photographed.  (Laughter.)

And we had this great meeting — and folks don’t go into teaching for the money.  They go into it because they believe in our kids, they believe in our future.  (Applause.)  But school districts all across Iowa and all across the country are having a tough time — budget cuts, teacher layoffs.  So I’ve said let’s help local school districts to make sure they can hire great teachers, especially in math and science, where we’ve got to really do better in terms of our performance.  (Applause.)  Let’s make sure that 2 million more people can go to community colleges to train for the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  And let’s bring down college tuitions once and for all for young people — because higher education is not a luxury.  It’s an economic necessity for young people.  (Applause.)

Back in 2008, I said I would end the war in Iraq — we ended it.  (Applause.)  I said we would go after al Qaeda and bin Laden — we did.  (Applause.)  We are transitioning and bringing our troops out of Afghanistan.  And so after a decade of war — I say to folks none of this could have been accomplished if it hadn’t been for our amazing men and women in uniform.  (Applause.)  So we’ve got to make investments to make sure that they’re getting the services that they have earned, because they should never have to fight for a job when they have fought for this country.  (Applause.)

And let’s take half the money that we can save after a decade of war, and let’s do some nation-building here at home.  Let’s hire some hardhats to get on the job rebuilding roads and bridges, schools.  That’s good for the economy.  That’s where we need to take America.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney says his big economic plan — in addition to these tax cuts for the wealthy — he wants to kill Obamacare.  Get rid of it.

AUDIENCE:  Nooo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, first of all, I want you to know I kind of like the term “Obamacare.”  (Laughter.)  Because I do care.  That’s why I passed the bill.  I care about folks with preexisting conditions — which is why, because of this law, they’ll be able to get health insurance.  (Applause.)  I care about the 6.5 million young people who can now stay on their parent’s plan because of Obamacare.  (Applause.)  I care about the seniors who have seen discounts on their prescription drugs.  We’re closing the doughnut hole because of the law that we passed.  (Applause.)

So if Mr. Romney and Congressman Ryan want to spend the next two and a half years having the same argument we had about health care all over again, they can feel free to try to do it.  But the Supreme Court has spoken.  It is the law of the land.  We are moving forward to give every American the health security that they deserve.  That is the difference in this election.  (Applause.)

On all these issues — health care, manufacturing, education — all these things that go into creating a solid, secure middle-class life, all these issues tie together.  It goes back to what Michelle was talking about and what I started off with, and that is who we are, our values.  You know, we’ve gone through tough times, but what hasn’t changed is our character.  Americans are tough and we are resilient and we may get knocked down, but we bounce back up.

And the other thing that we understand is what our parents and our grandparents and our great-grandparents taught us, which is, if you work hard, this is the country to be.  (Applause.)  That you may meet some barriers some times, there may be some hurdles, but you can’t be stopped when you decide on something.
And that’s what’s at stake in this election.  Do we affirm those values and pass them on to our kids and our grandkids just like we got them from our parents and our grandparents?

Now, over the next three months you are going to see more negative ads than you’ve ever seen in your life.  You’ve already seen them.  And these folks on the other side, I mean, they’re just writing $10 million checks.  Governor Romney obviously has got more friends than I do that can write $10 million checks.  (Laughter.)  And they are just — they are running these ads, and they’re not selling a plan to create jobs or to grow the economy or revive the middle class.  Basically, they’ve got one message, and that is, the economy is not where it should be and it’s Obama’s fault.

And they’re just going to say it over and over again.  Over and over again.  You’re going to get sick of it — you already are.  And you know, I’ve got to admit, I would be worried, given the amount of money that is being spent, if it weren’t for Iowa; if it weren’t for what I remember about 2008.  See, we’ve been outspent before.  We’ve been counted out before.  But what I know is, when the American people cut through the nonsense and they focus on what’s important, and when they remember what it means for us to have a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules — when you guys decide what’s important, you can’t be stopped.  When you pull together, you’ve got more power than any guy who is writing a $10 million check.  (Applause.)

And so, Iowa, I’m going to need your help one more time, here, to finish the job.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more schools to build.  We’ve got more folks to put back to work.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more roads to build.  We’ve got more young people to send to college.  We’ve got more troops to come home.  (Applause.)  And if you are willing to stand with me, and work with me, and make some phone calls with me and knock on some doors with me, if you’re still fired up, if you are still ready to go like I am, I promise you we will win Iowa.  We will win this election.  We will finish what we started.  And you and I together will remind the world why America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
1:17 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Waterloo, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Waterloo, Iowa

Source: WH, 8-14-12

RiverLoop Amphitheatre
Waterloo Center for the Arts
Waterloo, Iowa

8:05 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Waterloo!  (Applause.)  What a beautiful evening here in Iowa!  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)  This is spectacular!  It feels good to be back.  (Applause.)

A couple of acknowledgments I want to make — first of all, Mike is a pretty humble guy, but this is the Iowa Firefighter of the Year.  Give him a big round of applause for that great introduction.  (Applause.)   We are proud of him, and every single firefighter that puts their life at risk for us.  We are grateful to them.

A couple other outstanding folks here — you’ve got your own Attorney General, Tom Miller, in the house.  (Applause.)  Congressman Bruce Braley is here.  (Applause.) And Mayor Buck Clark is here.  (Applause.)  And all of you are here.  (Applause.)

Now, listen, if you’ve got a seat, feel free to sit down, because I’ve got some things to say.  I’ve got some things to say.  First of all, it is good to be back.  Some of you may remember that one of my first stops after I announced for the presidency was right here in Waterloo.  (Applause.)  Back — way back when in 2007.  I had no gray hair.  (Laughter.)  Maybe I had a little bit, but you couldn’t see it.  (Laughter.)  Now you can see it.

But the reason that’s important, it’s worth reminding people, is because it was on your front, it was in your backyards, where our movement for change began.  We spent a lot of time on bus tours like the one I’m taking right now — although the bus wasn’t as nice as it is now.  (Laughter.)  And we went to school gyms and family farms and small businesses across the state.  And so it was pretty good being back here — yesterday I went to the State Fair and I had a pork chop and a beer.  (Applause.)  And it was good.  (Laughter.)  Today I just had a beer.  (Laughter.)  I didn’t get the pork chop.  But the beer was good, too.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I’ll fry you a pork chop!

THE PRESIDENT:  You say you’ll fry me a pork chop, huh?  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more beers?

THE PRESIDENT:  Somebody just said — it’s true, at the State Fair, instead of saying “four more years,” they were saying, “four more beers.”  (Laughter.)  So I bought him four more beers.  (Laughter.)  Told him he had to register to vote, though, to get one of the beers.  (Laughter.)

Now, here’s the thing.  The reason I’m back — other than I just love being in Iowa — (applause) — the reason I’m back is because that journey we started in 2008, we’re not finished yet. (Applause.)  So just like we did in 2007, we started over in Council Bluffs, and we are driving all the way to the Quads.  And we want to make sure that everybody understands the choice that you face in November.

And this choice could not be bigger, because it’s not just a choice between two candidates; it’s not just a choice between two parties.  More than any recent election, more than 2008, this is a choice between two fundamentally different visions of where we need to go as a country.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  And the direction that you choose when you walk into that voting booth in November, that’s going to have an impact not just on your lives, it will have an impact on your children and your grandchildren for decades to come.

Now, remember why we came together in 2008.  And it was Democrats and independents, but it was also some Republicans.  It was because we saw that the basic bargain that built this country, that created the most prosperous economy the world has ever known, that basic bargain wasn’t being met.  And let me tell you what that bargain is.  It says that if you work hard, your work should be rewarded.  (Applause.)  It says that if you act responsibly and you put in enough effort, you can find a job that pays the bills.  (Applause.)  You can have a home that you call your own.  You won’t go broke just because somebody in your family gets sick.  You can retire with dignity and respect.  (Applause.)  And most importantly, you can give your kids a great education so they can dream even bigger and do even better than you did.  (Applause.)

That is the American promise.  That is what made this country great.  But the problem was, for a decade we had seen that bargain wasn’t being met.  The promise wasn’t being kept.  So we had seen a decade in which jobs were being shipped overseas, and wages and incomes for working people were going down — even though folks at the very top were doing very well — and the costs of everything from health care to college were going up.  We ran two wars on a credit card.  We went from surplus to deficit.  So when I walked into office we already had a $1 trillion deficit.  And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

That’s the track record of the other party the last time they were in charge.  And we knew that restoring the bargain that made this country great would not be easy.  It was going to take more than one year, or one term, or even more than one President, but we knew we had to get started.  And obviously it became that much harder when the middle class was hammered by this crisis, because a lot of folks lost jobs, lost homes, lost savings, and that American Dream seemed even further out of reach.

But I told you there wouldn’t be any quick fixes, there wouldn’t be any easy solutions, but what I also promised you — and I absolutely believe this — is we’ve got everything we need to meet our challenges.  (Applause.)  Waterloo, we’ve still got the best workers in the world.  (Applause.)  And the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve got the best scientists, and the best researchers in the world.  We’ve got the best farmers in the world.  We’ve got the best colleges and universities in the world.  (Applause.)  We are still a young nation, full of promise, and we’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe.

So no matter what the naysayers say, no matter how dark they try to paint things when they’re running against me in an election, there is not another country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)  Because people around the world still believe that America is the place where, if you work hard, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, you can still make it.  (Applause.)

That’s the idea that we are running to rebuild.  That is the campaign.  That is what my presidency is about.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, Waterloo, there is one thing standing in our way, though.  It is strange politics in Washington.  You’ve got a party that says “compromise” is a dirty word.  Folks who want to go back to the same top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

You may have heard my opponent chose as his running mate Congressman Ryan this weekend and —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no, listen, I know Congressman Ryan. He is a decent man.  He is a family man.  He is the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.  And he’s an articulate spokesperson for Governor Romney’s vision.  The problem his vision is wrong.  (Applause.)  See, my opponent, Governor Romney, and his friends in Congress, they believe — this is their whole platform, this is their basic plan, as much detail as you get, this is what you get.  Their plan to grow the economy is to eliminate regulations, including on big banks and insurance companies — some of the regulations we put in place to make sure, for example, that we don’t have another taxpayer-funded bailout, so he wants to get rid of regulations, and then what he wants to do is give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. And the idea, then, is that jobs and prosperity will trickle down on everybody.  That’s the centerpiece of his plan.  You can go on his website.

His economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans.  Now, keep in mind, these are the same folks who say the deficit is our biggest problem, but they want to pass a new $5 trillion tax cut — $5 trillion, that’s with a “t” — (laughter.)  So just to give you some perspective, our annual defense budget, everything we spend on national security, is just a little over $500 billion.  So this would be, every year for 10 years, a tax cut as big as our defense spending.

And here’s the kicker, though — he says he’s going to pay for it.  So people asked, well, how are you going to pay for it? It turns out that he expects you to pay for it.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  He expects middle-class families to pick up the tab.  Governor Romney’s plan, according to independent analysts, would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, keep in mind this is not $2,000 to reduce the deficit, or create jobs, or build new schools, or help kids go to college, or send a man to the moon.  This is $2,000 each that you’d have to pay to give another $250,000 tax cut to folks who are making $3 million a year or more.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  That’s crazy!  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, I’m not making this stuff up.  You can look on their website.

Now, here’s the thing — we’ve tried this before.  We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before.  And guess what — it didn’t work then, it won’t work now.  It’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to lower the deficit.  It’s not a plan to move our economy forward.  It’s not a plan to revive the middle class.
We do not need more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  We need to give tax relief to working families who are trying to raise their kids, keep them healthy, send them to college, keep a roof over their heads.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s one of the reasons I’m running for a second term as President.  (Applause.)

So, Waterloo, I’ve got a different idea.  Four years ago, I came into office — I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families.  That’s exactly what I’ve done — by a total of about $3,600 for the typical family.  So if you talk to somebody who is feeling not convinced and undecided in the election, you tell them your taxes are lower — your federal taxes are lower now than when I came into office.  (Applause.)

Now, what I want to do is I want to keep everybody’s taxes right there where they are for the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  (Applause.)  So if your family makes under $250,000 — like 98 percent of families do, and 97 percent of small businesses do — then you won’t see your income taxes go up by a single dime next year.  Not one dime.  (Applause.)

But if you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent — like I am — you’ll still get a tax break on your first $250,000.  But for the amount that you make over that, we’re asking you to contribute a little bit more so we can pay down our deficit without gutting education, without getting rid of transportation projects, without gutting all the things that help make America grow.

Now, government — I’ll make sure government still does its part to reduce our debt and our deficits.  We’ve cut out already a trillion dollars’ worth of spending we don’t need.  And we can do more.  I want to make government efficient.  We’ve got to make sure that your tax dollars are being well spent.  But we can’t bring down our deficit and our debt just by asking us to get rid of the things that help open up opportunity to Americans.  (Applause.)

So instead, we’re asking folks like me to go back to the rates we paid under Bill Clinton — which, by the way, was a time when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus, and we created a whole lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

See, Waterloo, this comes down to your basic philosophy, but also, when you look at the evidence of our economic history — when teachers and nurses and firefighters and receptionists and construction workers, when you’ve got a little more money in your pocket, what do you do?  You spend it.  Because times are tight, right?  So if you’ve got a little extra money, now maybe you finally trade in that 10-year-old car you’ve been driving.  Maybe you buy a computer for your kid who is about to go to college.  So suddenly businesses have more customers, which means they’re making more profits, which means they’re hiring more workers, who then spend more money, and suddenly the economy gets better for everybody — including folks at the top.

I don’t believe in top-down economics.  I believe in middle-class-out economics.  I believe in bottom-up economics.  I believe in making sure everybody has got a fair shot.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  But you know what?  That’s not the only difference between me and Mr. Romney.  When the auto industry was on the brink of collapse — you remember that — more than a million jobs at stake, Governor Romney said, let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I said, let’s bet on American workers.  (Applause.)  And management and workers got together in a great, iconic American industry, and you know what?  Three years later, the American auto industry is roaring back.  (Applause.)

I want to see high-tech, advanced manufacturing come back all across America in other industries.  I don’t want those jobs in China or Germany.  I want them here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  Governor Romney says, well, no, look, I understand the economy because I’ve been in the private sector.  Well, a lot of that experience was investing in companies, including those that were called “pioneers” in the business of outsourcing.  He wants to keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.  I want to end those tax breaks once and for all and start rewarding companies that are investing right here in the United States of America, hiring American workers, making American products.  That’s the choice in this election.  (Applause.)

That’s not the only difference.  Right now, we’re seeing homegrown energy, new sources of energy creating jobs right here in Iowa.  So what does Governor Romney want to do?  He wants to end the tax credit for wind energy producers.  He said these new sources of energy are “imaginary.”  Congressman Ryan, his running mate, calls them a “fad.”  During a speech a few months ago, Governor Romney even explained his energy policy.  This is what he said — he said, “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”  (Laughter.)  That’s what he said about wind power — you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.  (Laughter.)  I mean, maybe he’s tried it; he’s put other things on the roof.  (Laughter and applause.)

But if he really wants to learn something about wind energy, he should come to Iowa.  (Applause.)  Then he’d know that 7,000 Iowa jobs depend on the wind industry — more than any other state in America.  (Applause.)  These jobs aren’t a “fad.”  They’re our future.  He’d know that the parts for making these high-tech wind turbines, they’re now made in Iowa.  They’re made in America.  That’s not “imaginary.”  (Applause.)  I’ve been to the places in Newton, Iowa where some of this stuff is being made.  (Applause.)

I understand he may not have figured out how to drive a car with a windmill on it, but if he came to Iowa, he’d know that 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity now comes from wind energy.  America has doubled the amount of electricity we get from wind over the last four years, enough power for nearly 13 million homes — clean, renewable energy.  That’s something you leave behind for the next generation.  That is worth fighting for.  There are 37,000 American jobs at stake in this wind energy tax credit.  We should support it.  I support it.  (Applause.)

And instead of giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that are making plenty of money every time you go to the pump, we should be investing in homegrown energy that’s never been more promising.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.  (Applause.)

I’m not done yet.  In 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq — I ended it.  (Applause.)  Governor Romney said the way I ended it was “tragic”.  I said I’d go after al Qaeda and bin Laden — I went after them.  (Applause.)  We’re now beginning a transition out of Afghanistan.  And so all of this is possible only because of the extraordinary service of our men and women in uniform.  And that’s why I’ve made sure to make historic investments in the VA — because somebody who has fought for us shouldn’t have to fight for a job when they come home.  (Applause.)

But if we’re serious about them coming home to a strong economy, then we’ve got to do some building here at home, some nation-building — take half of the money that we’ve been spending over a decade of war and let’s start doing some rebuilding here in America.  (Applause.)  Let’s put Americans back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and ports and airports, laying broadband lines in rural communities.  (Applause.)  Let’s create a Veterans Jobs Corp so returning heroes can get jobs as firefighters and cops in communities that need them.

There’s a lot of work to be done right here in America, and I’m running to rebuild America.  That’s a choice in this election.  (Applause.)

And I’m running make sure America once again has the best education system in the world and the best training system for workers in the world.  (Applause.)  I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  I want to give 2 million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges to train for the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  (Applause.)  I want to get colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition, so that every young person can get the kind of education that they need to succeed in the 21st century.  (Applause.)

I want to help homeowners refinance their homes, save $3,000 at these historically low rates.  Governor Romney thinks we should just let the housing market bottom out.  That’s a difference in this election.

I believe that you should have some health care security.  That’s why I passed Obamacare.  And I like Obamacare.  (Applause.)  I like the phrase “Obamacare”, because you know what, I do care.  (Applause.)  I care about all those folks with preexisting conditions who now are going to be able to get coverage.  (Applause.)  I care about folks who already have insurance, making sure insurance companies don’t jerk them around right when they need that insurance the most.  (Applause.)

I care about the 6.5 million young people who are now able to stay on their parent’s plan and don’t have to go without insurance.  (Applause.)  I care about the seniors who now have more discounts on their prescriptions drugs — and we’re closing the doughnut hole.  (Applause.)

So, Waterloo, we don’t need another two years of arguing about health care.  The Supreme Court has spoken.  We are implementing this law.  We are moving forward.  We’re not moving backwards.  (Applause.)

All these things — health care security, American manufacturing, rebuilding America and putting construction workers back to work, making sure our kids are getting a great education and can afford college — all these things that make up a middle-class life, they all tie together.  It goes back to that central idea of America, that here in this country everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules.  It’s the same promise our parents and grandparents passed on to us.  And now, our job is to pass it on to our kids.  (Applause.)

Now, over the next three months, the other side will spend more money than we have ever seen.  Now, you noticed their ads generally don’t tell you what it is that they’re going to do, because they know their plans won’t sell.  You haven’t forgotten. You didn’t get amnesia.  (Laughter.)  You didn’t forget the last time they tried what they’re selling.

So basically, the argument that they’re going to make over and over again is just the same one, which is the economy is still not where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  And you know what?  Listen, the economy is not where it needs to be.  We’ve still got too many folks out of work and too many homes underwater.  And we haven’t brought back all the jobs that need to be brought back.  But you know what, what they’re offering — it’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to reduce the deficit.  They don’t have a plan to grow the economy.  They don’t have a plan to revive the middle class.

The plan I’ve put forward can do that.  But I need your help.  I need your help.  (Applause.)  Your friends have to be registered.  Your family has to be registered.  You can get a voter registration form online.  Just go to GottaRegister.com.  This is not GotToRegister.com — this is g-o-t-t-a register, GottaRegister.com — (applause) — because we’ve come too far to turn back now.

We’ve been outspent before.  I’ve been counted out before.  But here’s what I know.  When all of you decide to mobilize and organize, and when you focus on those values that are best in America, when you remember the stories of your family and your parents, your grandparents — the hard work, the sacrifice — recognizing sometimes times are tough and sometimes we get knocked down but we get back up, we are determined, we are tougher than any tough times — and most importantly, that reminder that when we do things together, when we’re focused on how we build this country together, we can’t be stopped — that’s more powerful than any money.  (Applause.)  That’s more powerful than any TV commercials.

So we’ve got to keep on going, because we’ve got too many schools we still need to build; too many teachers we still need to hire; too many kids we still need to send to college.  We’ve got too many roads we still need to build; too much energy we’ve still got to generate right here at home; too many troops we’ve got to bring home; too many doors of opportunity that we’ve got to open up for every young person who’s willing to make the effort.  That’s what’s at stake right now.  (Applause.)

And if you’re willing to stand with me, and work with me, and vote for me, we will win Iowa.  (Applause.)  We will win in November.  (Applause.)  And we will finish what we started and remind the world why America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
8:35 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Marshalltown, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Marshalltown, IA

Source: WH, 8-14-12 

B.R. Miller Middle School
Marshalltown, Iowa

4:00 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Marshalltown!  (Applause.)  Hello, Bobcats!  (Applause.)  Now, I was just told that school, at least for the teachers, starts tomorrow.  (Laughter.)  Teachers in the house?  (Applause.)

So I want to start off by saying thank you to our teachers for the outstanding job that they do each and every day.  (Applause.)  Your principal, your superintendent, your assistant principal, they’re all doing a great job — which means, students, you’re going to have to hit the books, all right?  (Laughter.)  Going to have to hit the books.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they’ll have to hit the books maybe for longer than four more years.  (Laughter.)  We’ll be talking about that.

A couple of other people I want to acknowledge.  First of all, thank Kirk for the wonderful introduction.  Please give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  I want to acknowledge Mayor Pro-Tem Bethany Wirin is here.  Where’s Bethany?  There she is, right here.  (Applause.)

And I want to offer my condolences to the family of the Mayor who just passed — Mayor Gene Beach.  (Applause.)

I’ve got to tell you, it’s good to be back in Iowa, and it’s good to be back in Marshalltown.  (Applause.)  I started in Council Bluffs, and we are driving to the Quads, and we are stopping off a whole bunch of different places.  Yesterday I got to the State Fair and had a pork chop and a beer.  (Applause.)  It was good.  I might have another beer today.  (Laughter.)  Just one.  Just one.

But the reason it’s so good to be back is because this is really where our movement began — here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  In people’s backyards, on family farms and school gyms, on people’s porches all across this state, we had a conversation about how we move our country in a direction where everybody has opportunity, where everybody has got a shot.  And we know that journey is not done yet.  We’ve still got a lot of work to do.  So we are now spending another three days driving through the state.

And the reason it’s so important is because in some ways this election may be more consequential than the last election.  You’ve got a choice not just between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different visions for where we should take our country.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You’re preaching to the choir.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s true, I am.  (Laughter.)  But you’re going to have to go then preach to the folks who aren’t converted yet.  More than any other election, when you go into the voting booth in November, you’re going to be making a decision about the kind of America that we have not just for yourselves but for your children and your grandchildren for decades to come.

Four years ago, we came together — and it wasn’t just Democrats, we had independents, we had some Republicans — because we understood that the basic bargain that built this country was at stake.  We had gone through a decade where jobs were being shipped overseas, where incomes were going down even while the costs of health care and a college education and groceries were going up, and it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  And what we understood then was we had to work hard to get back to that basic bargain, that basic deal that built this country.

And it’s a very simple promise.  It’s a promise that says if you work hard in this country, you’ll get ahead.  If you are responsible, then you can meet your obligations — to yourself, to your family, to your community.  You can find a job that pays the bills.  You can have a home that you can call your own.  You can be assured that you won’t go bankrupt if you get sick.  You can retire with some dignity and some respect.  And most importantly, you can make sure that your kids get the kind of education and opportunities so they can dream even bigger and do even better than you did.  That is what the American promise is all about.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’ve been fighting for.  That’s what we’ve been fighting for.

And we knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight.  We knew it was going to take more than one term, maybe even one President, to get this country back to the place where everybody has got a fair shot.  But we started.  And three and a half years ago, we saved ourselves from going into a Great Depression.  And 4.5 million jobs have been created, and half a million manufacturing jobs.  And the auto industry got saved.  (Applause.)  We’re now at a point where a lot of folks are still struggling.  And so we’ve got to move forward and not backwards.  We’ve got to move forward.

Now, the good news is we’ve got everything we need to succeed.  We’ve still got the best workers in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve still got the best universities and colleges in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best researchers and scientists in the world.  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs, small businessmen and women, and large businesses that are the best in the world, making some of the best products.  We’ve got everything that we need.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Best President.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’re a young nation.  We’re a young nation, in part because we’ve got this incredible diversity — people are willing to come here from all corners of the globe because they understand there’s something special about this place.

And so, for all the naysayers out there and the folks who try to paint things as dark as they can, especially during election time, the fact of the matter is there’s no nation on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.  (Applause.)  So we’ve got the tools to make sure that we are living up to this country’s promise — a country where you can make it if you try, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what faith you are, no matter what race you are, no matter what your last name is, here in America you can make it.  That’s what we have the opportunity to make sure continues for the next generation.  (Applause.)

That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Now, there is one thing holding back, though, and that is the politics in Washington.  We’ve got — the other side has decided that “compromise” is a dirty word.  And they spend a lot of time trying to beat me instead of moving the country forward. (Applause.)  But part of it is just an honest disagreement about how we move the country forward.

Governor Romney chose a running mate this weekend, and I know Congressman Ryan.  He’s a good man — he’s a good family man.  But he’s got a fundamentally different view about how we move this country forward.  He’s an articulate spokesperson for Governor Romney’s views.  He’s the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.  But that vision is wrong.

Look, let me tell you, you can sum up Governor Romney’s plans pretty simply.  He wants to eliminate —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Everything.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  He wants to eliminate regulations on big banks and corporations, some of which we put in place in the wake of the disaster on Wall Street.  And he wants to institute even more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  The centerpiece of his plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it which would go to folks like me who don’t need it.  And here’s the kicker.  He expects all of you to pick up the tab.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, don’t take my word for it.  Independent analysis shows that if his plan was instituted, the only way you could pay for it would be to have the average middle-class family with children pay an extra $2,000 in taxes.  How many people think that’s a good idea?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  How many people think that would actually grow the economy?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  But that’s his theory.  The theory is, is that if folks up here are doing really well, then all the benefits are going to trickle down.  The extra $2,000 you’d be paying wouldn’t be used to pay down the deficit or the debt that we’ve already got.  It wouldn’t be to invest in more teachers or a better school system, or making college more affordable, or rebuilding our roads and bridges, and finding new ways to create cheap energy.  No, this $2,000 would be to help finance an average $250,000 tax break for folks making $3 million a year or more.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  I got to tell you, we have heard this sales pitch from these folks before.  We’ve heard this trickle-down fairy dust before.  It didn’t work then; it will not work now.  (Applause.)  We don’t think it’s a plan to reduce the deficit.  It’s certainly not a plan to create jobs and to help families right now.

See, I believe in a different theory.  When it comes to taxes, I said in 2008 I was going to lower middle-class taxes.  And guess what — I did.  (Applause.)  So the average family — the typical family is paying $3,600 less in taxes than they were when I came into office.  (Applause.)  So what I believe now is I want to keep your income taxes right where they are for everybody making $250,000 or less — which is 98 percent of Americans, 97 percent of small businesses.  And folks who are in the other 2 percent, who are fortunate enough to be in the top 2 percent, they still get a tax cut for the first $250,000.  But after that, we’re asking them to pay a little bit more so we can finance things like education and reduce our deficit in a balanced, responsible way.  (Applause.)

Now, I still want to make sure that government does its part by being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  So we’ve cut a trillion dollars out of federal spending — a trillion dollars that I’ve already signed into law.  We’ve got an additional trillion that’s slated.  So we’re prepared to make some tough choices on things we can’t afford.  But we’re not going to reduce the deficit by gutting education investments, gutting investments that we make in our infrastructure, gutting our investments in basic science and research that can lead to discoveries in clean energy or lead to discoveries in curing cancer.  That’s not how we’re going to grow this economy and make sure that the middle class is strong.

And, by the way, when I say asking folks like me to do a little bit more — we’ve tried that before, too, under Bill Clinton.  And we created 23 million new jobs, went from a deficit to a surplus.  (Applause.)  And guess what, Marshalltown, here’s the thing — it actually was good for rich people, too.  Because what happens is, look, when a teacher or a construction worker or a receptionist or a nurse, when they’ve got a little more money in their pocket, what do they do?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it.

THE PRESIDENT:  They spend it on necessities.  And so, maybe you’ve got a 10-year-old car and you go out and buy a new one.  Or maybe you need a new appliance and you go out and you get a new appliance.  Or maybe you buy a computer for your kid as they’re going off to college.  And suddenly, business has more customers, and those businesses get more profits and they hire more workers.

We don’t believe in top-down economics.  The history of this country has been a middle class-out economics, a bottom-up economics.  When everybody is doing well, when everybody has opportunity, then we all succeed and the country moves forward.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)
You see the difference in philosophies on almost every issue.  When the automakers were on the brink of collapse, a million jobs at stake, Governor Romney said let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I said let’s bet on American workers.  And three and a half years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.  (Applause.)

So we know American manufacturing can succeed in this country — high-tech manufacturing, advanced manufacturing — but we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a tax code that encourages it.  I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States of America, hiring American workers, making American products.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney has got a different view.  He talks about how he has been in the private sector, so he knows how to put folks back to work.  But it turns out most of his business was investing on behalf of folks like him and investing in some cases in what has been called “pioneers” of outsourcing.  We don’t need pioneers of outsourcing.  We need folks who are interested in insourcing and bringing some jobs back to Marshalltown, back to Iowa, and back to the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Let me give you another example.  Kirk was just talking about wind power.  I was just visiting a wind farm close by.  It’s a working farm.  It has about five windmills on one property, 52 in this area — 52 wind farms generating incredible amounts of energy and, by the way, helping family farmers with a little bit of extra income.

Now, Governor Romney has decided that we should end the tax credit that we provide for wind power once and for all.  That’s his idea.  He wants to get rid of it.  At a moment when homegrown energy is creating new jobs here in states like Iowa, he wants to bring an end to it.  He said — and I’m quoting here — he said new sources of energy like these are “imaginary.”

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  His running mate, Congressman Ryan, calls them a “fad.”  Then during a speech a few months ago, Governor Romney explained his energy policy this way — “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”  That’s what he said about wind power.  Now, I know he’s tried some other things on top of a car. (Laughter and applause.)  I didn’t know he had tried windmills on top of a car.  (Applause.)  But maybe he tried it.  I would have liked to have seen that.  (Laughter.)

But maybe he needs to come to Iowa to learn something about wind power.  He’d know if he came here that 7,000 jobs have been created here in Iowa by the wind industry — more than any other state in America.  These jobs aren’t a “fad,” they’re the future, and we’ve got to be investing in them.  (Applause.)

If he came to Iowa, he might know that not only are we putting out these windmills, but, increasingly, they’re made right here in Iowa, made here in America.  That’s not “imaginary” — that’s real.  (Applause.)

If he came here to Iowa, he might know that 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity now comes from wind energy.  (Applause.)  Over the past 4 years, America has doubled its — the amount of electricity that is produced from wind, and this is enough to power 13 million homes with clean and renewable energy.  Think about that.  It’s the equivalent of 12 Hoover Dams’ worth of electricity is being generated by wind power in this country.  (Applause.)  That’s something that’s worth investing in.  That’s something we’re doing for the next generation.  And so are the 37,000 American jobs that are on the line if we let this wind tax credit expire.

So this is a difference between me and Governor Romney.  I want to stop giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every single year to the oil companies that are doing just great, and let’s take some of that money and continue to invest in homegrown, renewable energy right here in Iowa and all across America that can put people back to work.  (Applause.)

I’ll give you another example of a difference.  I said in 2008 I’d end the war in Iraq — and I did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d refocus and go after al Qaeda and bin Laden — we did.  (Applause.)  We’re bringing our troops home from Afghanistan.  All this is possible because of the extraordinary service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.  (Applause.)  So we’ve made some historic investments in the VA.  My attitude is anybody who has fought for America, they shouldn’t have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.) We’ve got to serve them as well as they serve us.

But we also need to make sure that folks coming home, they’re coming back to a vibrant economy.  So what I’ve said is let’s take half of the money that we’re saving after a decade of war and let’s put people back to work.  Let’s create a Veterans Jobs Corps that can hire police officers and firefighters in communities that need them.  (Applause.)  Let’s get a whole bunch of construction workers to rebuild our roads and our bridges, our ports and our airports.  (Applause.)  Let’s rebuild our schools. Let’s lay broadband lines into rural communities.  Those investments are good now because they put people back to work, and that means folks have got more money in their pockets.  And what do they do when they’ve got more money in their pockets?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it!

THE PRESIDENT:  They spend it.  And suddenly, businesses have more customers.  But it’s also good for the long run, because if we’ve got the best roads, the best bridges, the best airports, the fastest broadband lines, the best wireless networks, the best transmission lines — all that makes us more productive, and it means our economy is going to grow in the future.  So why wouldn’t we start now?  That’s what we need to be investing in.

So, look — one more difference.  When it comes to education, I believe that nothing is more important than making our kids competitive in the 21st century economy.  Our young people, they’re not just competing against folks in North Carolina or New Hampshire; they’re now competing against folks in India and China.

So I want to make sure that we’re helping school districts hire and retain the best teachers — especially in math and science.  I want to make sure that we’re creating 2 million more slots in community colleges so folks can get trained in the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  And I want to make college more affordable for young people.  We have already made progress on this front.  (Applause.)  And I’m not just talking about four-year colleges, I’m talking about two-year community colleges, getting advanced training.

But the point is that some form of higher education, it is no longer a luxury, it is an economic necessity in the 21st century.  And I want to make sure every young person in America and every young person in Marshalltown can take advantage of those opportunities.  That’s part of what this election is all about.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney wants to repeal Obamacare.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, I don’t mind the term Obamacare.  I like it, because I do care.  That’s why we passed the bill.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  And because of it, 6.5 million young people can stay on their parent’s plan.  (Applause.)  Because of it, we’ve got millions of seniors out there who are seeing more discounts on their prescription drugs, and we’re closing the doughnut hole.  Because of what we’re doing, more people are getting preventive care.  Because of what we’re doing, insurance companies can’t drop you right when you need insurance most just because of some fine print.  (Applause.)

So maybe Governor Romney wants to spend the next three years rearguing what we’ve been arguing about for the last three years, but the Supreme Court has spoken — we are implementing this law. We are moving forward.  We are not going backwards.  That is a choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President.  (Applause.)

We’re not going to undo the reforms we’ve put into place to make sure Wall Street doesn’t ask for another taxpayer-funded bailout.  We’re not going to go back to the days when folks, to serve this country, it depended on who they loved.  If they love this country, they should be able to serve this country — period.  (Applause.)

We’re going to make sure that young people who are brought to this country when they were very young and have grown up as Americans, that they have an opportunity to contribute here in America, the country that they love.  (Applause.)  We’re not going backwards.  We’re going forward.  (Applause.)

Now, I have to tell you that over the course of the next three months, though, you will see more money spent by the other side than we’ve ever seen in history.  And I don’t want to lie.  I mean, we’re raising money — but these folks are writing $10 million checks.  I mean, they’ve got some friends in — with a lot of money.  And we are seeing all these ads — and you notice they don’t really have a plan?  I mean, you don’t see these ads saying what they’re going to do, because they know that their plan would not sell.

So instead, what they’re going to do is just repeat over and over again the same things that they’ve been saying for the last three and a half years, and that is, the economy is not doing as well as it should and it’s Obama’s fault.  I mean, that’s their  — basically, they’ll do different ads, but it’s the same theme.

And you know, I might be a little worried about it except — what you taught me, Iowa, in 2008.  We have been outspent before; we have been counted out before.  But what I’ve learned is that when the American people cut through the nonsense, when they’re paying attention and they’re focused, and they think back to their own families and their parents and their grandparents and everything that’s made this country great, when they decide we’re going to make sure that we’ve got a government that is not just representing the powerful and the wealthy but just looking after ordinary folks, and recognizing government can’t solve every problem, and nobody expects a handout or a bailout, but we do expect to make sure that together we are doing things that help the next generation — when the American people start focusing on those core values that have made this country great, I tell you what, you can’t be stopped.  You can’t be stopped.  (Applause.)  You’re the most powerful force in this democracy.

So, Marshalltown, I’m going to need your help.  I’m going to need you fired up again.  I’m going to need you ready to go.  We’re going to have to make sure everybody is registered.  If you’re not registered, by the way, you can get forms online, going to gottaregister.com.  (Laughter.)  That’s g-o-t-t-a.  I’m sorry, teachers, but it’s “gotta.”  (Laughter.)  It’s not “got to,” it’s “gotta.”  Gottaregister.com.

But if you guys are ready to work, we’ll get this done.  Because we’ve got more work to do.  We’ve got more schools to build.  We’ve got more teachers to hire.  We’ve got more troops to bring home.  We’ve got more roads to build.  We’ve got more opportunity to create for our young people to make college more affordable.  We’ve got a lot of unfinished business.

And I tell you what, back in 2008, I used to say to folks, look, I’m not a perfect man — you can ask Michelle.  (Laughter.) And I tell folks, I’m not — I won’t be a perfect President.  Nobody is.  But what I did say is I’ll wake up every single day fighting as hard as I know how for you; that I will think about you, and I will represent you, and I will fight for you.  (Applause.)  And I have kept that promise, Iowa.  I have kept that promise.  (Applause.)

So if you’re willing to stand with me and work with me and organize with me, and knock on some doors and make some phone calls with me, we will finish what we started.  We will get folks back to work.  We will revive the middle-class dream of America. And we will remind the world why this is the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  Thank you.

END
4:27 P.M. CDT

Full Text Obama Presidency August 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Shows Support for Alternative Energy at Iowa Wind Farm

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama Shows Support for Alternative Energy at Iowa Wind Farm

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-14-12
President Obama made a surprise detour to a wind farm Tuesday, part of his ongoing effort to tout his support for one of this swing state’s top industries.

“At a moment when we want to pursue every avenue for job creation, it’s homegrown energy like wind that’s creating good, new jobs in states like Iowa,” the president told reporters after touring the wind turbines on the Heil Family Farm, which harvests enough wind to power an estimated 30,000 Iowa homes….READ MORE

Remarks by the President on Wind Energy

Source: WH, 8-14-12 

Heil Family Farm
Haverhill, Iowa

2:55 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I want to thank Jeff Heil and his father, Richard, for showing me around the farm.  And I think it’s remarkable to think that the Heil family has been farming this land since 1902, but they’ve got a relatively new addition in the wind turbines that you see in the background.  They’re part of the Laurel wind farm — 52 turbines that harvest enough wind power to power an estimated 30,000 Iowa homes in a way that’s clean and renewable.

And at a moment when we want to pursue every avenue for job creation, it’s homegrown energy like wind that’s creating good, new jobs in states like Iowa.  Let me give you an example.  Back when I was first running for this office and spending a lot of time in this state, I visited the town of Newton, about a half an hour down the road.  The local Maytag plant was closing its doors and nearly 2,000 jobs were on the line.  So you had a once-thriving factory that was going dark and going quiet and, understandably, folks were worried about what would happen to the community.

Then wind energy offered a new opportunity.  When I returned to Newton to visit that plant as President several months ago, some of the same folks who had lost their jobs at Maytag were back on the line building wind towers to support some of the most advanced wind turbines in the world.

Earlier this year, at a different plant about five minutes from there, I met workers building enormous blades for these wind turbines.  And I’m proud of the fact that, while we used to have to import parts like those, today they’re made in Newton, made in Iowa, made in America by American workers.

Unfortunately, what we thought was a bipartisan consensus in supporting wind power has been fraying a little bit during election season.  My opponent in this election says he wants to end tax credits for wind energy, wind energy producers that make all this possible.  He’s called these sources of energy “imaginary”; his new running mate has called them a “fad”.

I think a lot of folks in Iowa would disagree, because wind farms like this and the good jobs that are down in Newton, they’re not a “fad” and they’re not “imaginary.”  Seventy-five thousand jobs across this country depend on wind energy; 7,000 jobs in Iowa alone.  That’s more than in any other state.  These are good, American jobs.  And thanks to the hard work of the folks who have these jobs, Iowa generates about 20 percent of its electricity from wind — energy that powers homes and businesses and factories all across the state.

Over the past four years, we’ve doubled the amount of electricity America can generate from wind — from 25 gigawatts to 50 gigawatts.  And to put that in perspective, that’s like building 12 new Hoover Dams that are powering homes all across the country.  We doubled the amount of electricity we generate from solar energy, too.  And combined, these energy sources are enough power to make sure that 13 million homes have reliable power and support the paychecks that help more than 100,000 Americans provide for their families.

That’s not imaginary.  That is real.  And that’s what’s at stake in November.  Thirty-seven thousand American jobs are on the line if the wind energy tax credit is allowed to expire like my opponent thinks they should.  And unlike Governor Romney, I want to stop giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies that have rarely been more profitable so that we can keep investing in homegrown energy sources like wind that have never been more promising.  That’s part of the choice in this election.

We can listen to folks who want to take us backwards by doubling down on the same economic policies that got us into a fix several years ago and that we’re still fighting out of.  Or we can keep moving forward to a future with more good, American jobs, more sources of homegrown, American energy, greater energy independence, and cleaner, safer environments for our kids.

And I think it was interesting talking to Jeff.  He described how these wind farms got started, and what you had was all the neighboring farms coming together and essentially forming a cooperative.  And folks who had these windmills on their land, on their property, recognized that, look, that was going to have an impact on folks who might not.  And so everybody in this area, whether they’ve got a wind farm or not, helps benefit — or is benefiting from the economics of this wind energy.

And that’s an example of what America is about.  We believe in free enterprise, we believe in hard work.  The Heil family is an example of that.  But we also believe in neighborliness and working together for the common good.  And as a consequence of their foresight and their creativity, and with the help of these wind energy tax credits, every farmer, every landowner in this area, is benefiting.  And all of us are benefiting from clean, American energy.

So I hope we continue to promote this kind of energy.  I know the Heil family does, too.  And my expectation is, is that over the next several years, in the same way that we’ve doubled wind energy in the past, we’re going to keep on doubling it in the future.

Thanks very much, everybody.

END
3:01 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 14, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at Nelson Pioneer Farm & Museum in Oskaloosa, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Oskaloosa, Iowa

Source: WH, 8-14-12 

Nelson Pioneer Farm & Museum
Oskaloosa, Iowa

11:33 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Oskaloosa.  (Applause.)  It is good to see all of you.  If you’ve got a chair, please feel free to take a seat.  I want everybody to feel relaxed out here.  It’s a beautiful summer day.

I’ve been talking to some kids; I guess school starts up in a couple of days, so they were looking a little depressed.  (Laughter.)  But it’s okay.  School is going to be great.  I know you guys have had a great summer.

Before I start, I just want to acknowledge an outstanding member of Congress who is fighting every day on behalf of the people of his district — Dave Loebsack is here.  Give Dave a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  There he is.  Thank you, Dave.

It has been great to be back in Iowa.  Back in 2007-2008, I was on your farms and in your backyards and on your porches.  And that’s where our movement for change really began, right here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  And we spent a lot of time on bus tours like this one all across the state.

And it was good also to be back at the Iowa State Fair, although when I was just a candidate, they let me go on the bumper cars.  (Laughter.)  And I went up on the Big Bend — you guys ever been on that, where they just shoot you up about 500 feet in the air?  I was with Malia and I started screaming, and she looked at me, saying, come on, Dad, get it under control.  (Laughter.)  But it was terrifying.  Anyway, Secret Service does not let me do that anymore.  But I was still able to get a beer and a pork chop — (applause) — so I was pretty happy about that.  I was pretty happy about that.

Here’s the thing — I’m back because our journey is not done.  We’re spending three days driving all the way across the state, just like we did in 2007 and 2008; we’re going from Council Bluffs all the way to the Quads, Quad Cities, because once again you face a critical choice in November.  In some ways, this is even more important an election than 2008, because this choice could not be bigger.

It’s not just a choice between two candidates.  It’s not just a choice between two political parties.  It is a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how America became great and how it’s going to stay great, two fundamentally different visions of the path we need to take for the future of our kids and our grandkids.  (Applause.)

And the direction that you choose when you walk into the voting booth in November, it’s going to determine not our lives next year or five years from now.  It’s going to determine the future for decades to come for our kids and our grandchildren.

Four years ago when we came together — and it wasn’t just Democrats, by the way; we had independents and we had some Republicans.  We came together because a lot of us realized that the core idea, the basic bargain that made this country, was under threat.  And it’s a basic bargain that says if you work hard in this country, you can get ahead; that if you take responsibility, than you can make it, and you can get into the middle class.  You can feel a sense of security.  That you can find a job that pays the bills and have a home you call your own.  That you won’t go bankrupt when you get sick.  That you can retire with dignity and respect.  And most importantly, that you can give your kids a great education and they can do even better and dream even bigger than you ever imagined.  That’s the American Promise.  That’s the American Dream.  That’s what we’ve been fighting for.  (Applause.)

Now, we knew restoring that basic idea wouldn’t be easy because we had just gone through a decade in which that bargain, that promise wasn’t being kept.  Jobs had gotten shipped overseas.  People were working harder, but making less, while the cost of everything from health care to college was going up.  We fought two wars on a credit card, adding enormously to our debt.  And all this culminated then in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

And so, we knew this wasn’t going to be easy.  And when the crisis hit in 2008 and 2009, millions of people all across this country — some of our friends and neighbors and family members — lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their savings.  And that made the American Dream even a little bit further out of reach.

Now, I told you when I ran the first time that this was not going to be easy, restoring that bargain; that there weren’t any quick fixes to our solutions.  But what I also insisted, and what I still believe, is we’ve got everything we need to solve these challenges.  (Applause.)  We have everything we need right here in America to make the middle class strong again.

We’ve got the best workers in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  (Applause.)  Everybody knows we’ve got the best farms in the world.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best scientists, the best researchers.  We’ve got the best universities.  We’ve got the best colleges.  We are a young nation still, partly because we’re still a magnet for talent from all around the world.  We’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity of any other country.

And so even though there are some people who like to talk about America in decline, or they try to paint things as dark as possible — especially during election season — there is no doubt in my mind that there’s not another country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with us.  We’ve got everything we need to succeed.  (Applause.)

And most of all, what we’ve got is the American character.  I’ve seen it over the last three and a half years.  I see it in folks who lose their jobs at the age of 50 or 55 and they go back to a community college, studying hard, sitting next to 20-year-olds, and retrain, and suddenly they go back and they get a job in a new industry.  Or the small business owner who could barely keep their doors open but decided, you know what, I’m not going to take a salary, I’m not going to take any pay, because I want to make sure my workers are taken care of because they’ve got families to support.

All across America, it turns out Americans are tougher than any tough times.  We are resilient, and we work hard, and we may get knocked down but we always get back up.  That has been the character of America, and that character has not changed.  (Applause.)

And it’s because of that character that over the last three and a half years we’ve made some progress.  We’re not all the way back to where we need to be, but we’ve created four and a half million new jobs — half a million new jobs in manufacturing.  (Applause.)  We have seen small businesses start to open back up.  We’ve seen workers getting retrained and getting rehired.  And so we’ve made progress.

But our goal in 2007-2008 wasn’t just getting back to where we were before the crisis.  Our goal was to make sure that we built an economy that lasts; where we built an economy where middle-class folks and folks aspiring to the middle class can succeed.  That has been our goal.  That’s what we’re still fighting for.  We are not yet done, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America — because we’ve got more work to do.  (Applause.)

Now, I said we’ve got everything we need to solve our problems.  The main impediment we’ve got, the main roadblock we’ve got is politics in Washington.  (Applause.)  You’ve got another party that thinks compromise is a dirty word, and that believes the only way we can move forward is to go back to the same top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes.  You’re right!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, you may have heard that Governor Romney just chose his running mate, Congressman Ryan.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  He’s a good man, he’s a family man.  He’s the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress, and he’s an articulate spokesperson for Governor Romney’s views.  The problem is those views are wrong.  I fundamentally disagree with their vision for America.  (Applause.)  Their basic prescription for America is to get rid of more regulations on big banks and big corporations, give more tax breaks to the very wealthiest Americans, and their belief is somehow that prosperity then will trickle down on everybody else.  That’s their view.

Look, the centerpiece of Governor Romney’s entire economic plan — the centerpiece of it, his main idea — his one big idea is to give another $5 trillion tax cut on top of the Bush tax cuts that he’s keeping — he wants to keep in place — $5 trillion.  To give you some sense of perspective, our entire defense budget is about half a trillion dollars a year.  So this tax cut would be the equivalent of what we spend on the national defense every single year for the next 10 years — $5 trillion.  Last week we found out that he expects you to pay the tab.  Governor Romney’s tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 to pay for this big tax break that’s going mostly to the wealthiest folks.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Understand, this is not asking you to pay more taxes to reduce our deficit or to help kids get an education or to rebuild some roads and bridges and ports around the country.  This is asking you to pay more to give an average $250,000 tax break to folks making $3 million a year or more.  That is his big idea.

Now, they have tried to sell this kind of trickle-down fairy dust before.  (Laughter.)  And frankly, they tried it as recently as 2001, 2002, 2003.  And what did we get?  The most sluggish job growth in generations, incomes and wages going down, jobs going overseas, and a huge economic crisis — and, by the way, the deficits kept on going up so by the time I walked into office we had a trillion-dollar deficit.

Why would we want to try that again?  I don’t know about you, but my general rule is if I do something and it doesn’t work, and then I do it again and it doesn’t work again, I stop doing it.  (Laughter.)  I stop doing it.  I try something else.  (Applause.)

So they don’t have a plan to cut the deficit.  They don’t have a plan to create jobs.  They sure don’t have a plan to revive the middle class.  We don’t need more tax cuts for folks like me — folks who are doing fine.  We need tax relief for working Americans.  (Applause.)

So when I came into office, I had promised you that I would cut taxes for middle-class Americans.  And guess what?  I kept that promise.  (Applause.)  The Republicans like to call Democrats the big tax-and-spend folks, but it turns out that your tax rates are lower by about $3,600 for the typical family than they were when I came into office because I kept my promise.  (Applause.)

So now what I want to do is to keep your income tax rates exactly where they are.  I don’t want your taxes going up for the first $250,000 of income that you make — which, by the way, covers about 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of all small businesses.  Your taxes — your income taxes would not go up one single dime next year if Congress does what I’ve asked them to do.  (Applause.)

What I have said is, for those who are fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent, you’d still get a tax cut for the first $250,000 you make, but after that we’re asking you to pay a little bit more to help pay down the deficit, and help to invest in making college affordable for young people, and making sure that we’ve got teachers on the job, and making sure that we’re investing in science to help cure cancer and Alzheimer’s.  (Applause.)  That’s how our economy can grow.  That’s how our economy will grow.

We’re going to make sure government does its part.  A lot of people don’t realize we’ve already cut a trillion dollars of government spending to lower our deficit — a trillion dollars.  And we can do more.  I think government has to make sure that it’s good stewards for your taxpayer dollars, that it’s not being wasted — and there’s still more waste that we can get out of there.  But we can’t close the deficit and invest in our future just by cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans, cutting education, cutting the things that help us grow.  And by the way, the proposal that I’m putting forward that says folks like me and Governor Romney have to pay a little bit more — we actually have tried that, too.  We tried it under Bill Clinton, when we created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history.  (Applause.)

And guess what — folks at the top, they did good, too.  And the reason is, when you give a family farmer, or you give a construction worker, or you give a receptionist, or you give a nurse or a teacher a little bit more money in their pockets, what do they do?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Spend it.

THE PRESIDENT:  They spend it.  Maybe they can finally trade in that 10-year-old car and get a new car.  Maybe they get a new appliance because the dishwasher or the washing machine is broken.  Maybe they buy a new computer for their kids who are about to go to college.  Maybe they go to a restaurant or, heaven forbid, take a vacation once in a while.

And what that means is then businesses have more customers, and businesses hire more workers, and everybody does better.  You get what’s called a virtuous cycle of everybody feeling more confident about the economy because everybody has got a stake in the economy.

See, I don’t believe in an economy from the top down; I believe that the economy grows from the middle class out and from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  And when everybody is doing well and everybody has got a fair shot, everybody ends up doing better.  That’s how we grow this economy.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So there are differences in this election on almost every issue.  When the automakers were on the brink of collapse, Governor Romney said “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I said, let’s bet on American workers.  (Applause.)  And three and a half years later, the auto industry has come roaring back.

So now, I want to make sure that American manufacturing, advanced hi-tech manufacturing, is taking root right here in America — not in China, not in Germany — right here in Iowa, right here in Oskaloosa, right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Oscaloosa!

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, Governor Romney, he likes to brag about his private sector experience.  His main private sector experience — he did make a lot of money — was investing in companies, some of which were called “pioneers” of outsourcing.  I don’t want a pioneer of outsourcing.  I want somebody who is fighting for insourcing.  I want to bring business back to America.  (Applause.)

I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give them to companies that are investing right here in Iowa and right here in the United States of America, hiring American workers, making American products that we’re selling around the world stamped with three proud words:  Made in America.  That’s what I believe in.  That’s why I’m running.  (Applause.)

Let me give you another example.  We’re at a moment right now when homegrown energy, like wind energy, is creating new jobs all across Iowa and all across the country.  And guess what, Governor Romney said let’s end the tax credits for wind energy production.  Let’s get rid of them.

He said that new sources of energy like wind are “imaginary”.  His running mate calls them a “fad.”  During a speech a few months ago, Governor Romney even explained his energy policy this way — I’m quoting here — “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”  (Laughter.)  That’s what he said about wind power.  “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”  Now, I don’t know if he has actually tried that.  I know he has had other things on his car.  (Laughter and applause.)

But if he wants to learn something about wind, all he has got to do is pay attention to what you’ve been doing here in Iowa.  (Applause.)  If he saw what you’ve been doing, he’d see that there are places like Newton, where a few years ago the Maytag plant closed down, jobs dried up.  Folks are now back to work manufacturing these enormous new towers and blades for some of the most sophisticated, high-tech wind turbines on the planet.  The wind industry now supports 7,000 jobs here in Iowa — 75,000 jobs across the country.  (Applause.)  These jobs aren’t a “fad”.  These are good jobs, and they’re a source of pride that we need to fight for.

And if Governor Romney understood what you’ve been doing, he’d know that we used to have to import most of the parts were used for wind turbines — they’re now being made here in America, by American workers in American factories.  That’s not “imaginary” — that’s real.  (Applause.)  That’s part of what we’re fighting for in this election.

If he knew what you’ve been doing, he’d know that 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity now comes from wind, powering our homes and our factories and our businesses in a way that is clean and renewable.  In fact, over the past 4 years, we’ve doubled the amount of electricity America generates for wind.  Across America, we’ve built the equivalent of 12 new Hoover Dams’ worth of wind energy.  Think about that.  Think about that.  (Applause.)

So Governor Romney may have figured out that you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it, but he doesn’t seem to know that America now has enough wind turbines installed to generate enough electricity from wind to power nearly 13 million homes with clean energy.  That’s how we leave something better for the next generation.  That’s worth fighting for.  That’s what’s at stake right now.  (Applause.)

So I want to stop giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies that are going to oil companies that are making huge profits and have been subsidized for a hundred years, and let’s keep on investing in the new homegrown energy that’s creating jobs right here in Iowa.  That’s a difference in this election.  That’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

We’ve got a whole lot of differences between me and Governor Romney.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You’re better!  You are better!  You are better!

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, I’ve got to say I agree with that.  (Laughter.)  My ideas are, at least.

Look, in 2008, I said we’d end the war in Iraq — we did.  (Applause.)  We said that we’d go after al Qaeda and bin Laden — we did.  (Applause.)  We are now bringing troops home from Afghanistan.  (Applause.)  America is safer and more secure than when I came into office, because of the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.  (Applause.)

That’s why we’ve invested so much in making sure that the VA is doing its job, making sure that our veterans get the benefits that they have earned.  Because they shouldn’t have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads after they’ve fought for us.  We’ve got to serve them as well as they’ve served us.  (Applause.)

But as they’re now coming home, I want to take about half the money that we’re saving after a decade of war and let’s help put veterans and Americans back to work rebuilding America, doing some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)  Let’s rebuild our ports and our roads and our bridges and our airports.  We can put folks back to work right now.  It’s good for the economy now.  It will be good for the economy 10 years from now and 20 years from now.

I want to set up a Veterans Jobs Corps that helps local communities hire veterans for firefighters and cops in communities that need them most.  (Applause.)  Those are smart investments in the future.  Governor Romney may have a different idea.  I want to put folks back to work rebuilding America.  And now is the time to do it.

His other idea is, let’s get rid of Obamacare; he says, I’m going to “kill it.”  Well, let me tell you something, it’s true I do care.  So I don’t mind folks calling it Obamacare.  (Applause.)  And what I’ve said is that in a country as rich as ours, we should not see anybody going bankrupt when they get sick.  (Applause.)

The Supreme Court has now spoken.  We are moving forward with this law.  Six and a half million young people can now stay on their parent’s plan.  (Applause.)  Insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition.  (Applause.)  Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage when you need it the most.  (Applause.)  For a lot of rural communities, a lot of farmers, it’s hard buying health insurance on your own — you’re now going to be able to pool with other folks so you can get discounted rates just like people who work for big companies.  That will help a lot of communities all across Iowa.  (Applause.)

So we’re not going to go backwards and refight the same fights we had over the last three years.  We’re going forward.  We’re not going backwards.  We don’t need to have those same arguments in Washington.  What we need to do is go ahead and implement this law, and make sure it works.  And if anybody has got good ideas to help further lower health care costs, I’m happy to work with them.  But we’re not going backwards.  We’re going forwards.  That’s what America needs right now.  (Applause.)

I’m running to make sure that we’ve got the best education system in the world.  I want to help local communities hire the best teachers — especially in math and science — give 2 million more slots available in community colleges so people can get trained for the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  And I want to make college more affordable for every single young person in America.  (Applause.)  We’ve already done a lot of work making sure that they’re getting help, but I’m also going to work with the colleges and universities to lower tuition once and for all.  Because a higher education is not a luxury in this economy, it is an economic necessity and I want to make sure opportunities are open for everybody, not just for the few.  (Applause.)

All these issues — bringing manufacturing back, helping young people go to school, giving you more health care security — all these issues tie together.  It goes back to what made this country great.  And when I think about my own life, when I think about Michelle’s life — we didn’t come from wealth.  We didn’t come from fame.  But we were lucky enough to be born in a country where here, everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules — no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, you can make it here if you try.  That’s the story of America.  That’s your story.

Your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents — they went through struggles.  They went through hardship.  Nothing was given to them.  But they did live in a country where you had a shot.  And we now have an obligation to pass that on to the next generation.  That’s what we have to fight for.

And over the next three months, you’re going to see more TV advertising than you’ve ever seen in your life.  And these folks are spending more money — they’ve got people writing $10 million checks.  And almost all the ads are the same; they basically say, the economy is not where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault.  They just kind of repeat that over and over and over again.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And it’s not!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know what, let me tell you something.  That may be a plan to win an election, but it’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to make our future better.  It’s not a plan to revive the middle class.  They don’t have that plan.  I do have that plan.  (Applause.)

But I’m going to need your help.  I’m going to need everybody here registering to vote.  I’m going to need you to get your friends and neighbors to register to vote.  You can get forms online.  You can go to gottaregister.com — that’s gotta, g-o-t-t-a.  (Laughter.)

But what I learned from you here in Iowa in 2008 is other folks may outspend me, folks may write me off, but when you’ve got ordinary folks pulling together, cutting through the nonsense and focuses on what’s important — when you guys get involved — you can’t be stopped.  Nothing can stop you.  (Applause.)

You will decide the future of this country.  And I’m asking for your help.  Because we’ve got more schools to build, we’ve got more teachers to hire.  We’ve got more troops who have got to come home.  We’ve got more manufacturing plants that we’ve got to build.  We’ve got more Americans we need to put back to work, and we’ve got more doors of opportunity that we have to open for all Americans.

And if you’re willing to stand with me and work with me and make phone calls with me and knock on some doors with me, then we can finish what we started in 2008.  (Applause.)  We can make this middle class strong again.  We can make sure that the future is bright for our kids again.  And we can remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth

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

END
12:04 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 13, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at Herman Park in Boone, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Boone, IA

Source: WH, 8-13-12 

Herman Park
Boone, Iowa

6:10 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  It’s good to be back!  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Iowa, and it’s good to be back in Boone County!  (Applause.)

A couple of folks I want to acknowledge — first of all, your outstanding former governor and now I think the best Secretary of Agriculture we’ve ever had — Tom Vilsack.  (Applause.)  A great friend of mine, my co-chair for my campaign when I was just getting started in 2007-2008 — he took a risk on me when nobody could pronounce my name — Tom Miller is in the house, Attorney General of the great state of Iowa.  (Applause.) And please give Dave a big round of applause for the great introduction.  (Applause.)

Dave may have mentioned he is a music teacher.  And I told him that Malia and Sasha have been practicing their piano.  (Laughter.)  And Malia plays a little flute.  But he mentioned that he thought — he had heard me sing, and he thought that I had really good pitch.  (Applause.)  So Dave says he’s got a band and maybe after I’m finished with the presidency, he said maybe I could be front man for the band.  (Applause.)  He said maybe I could be lead singer.  That would be all right.  (Applause.)

But, listen, it is wonderful to be back in Iowa.  It is wonderful to see some familiar faces and some good friends on a beautiful summer day.  It was on your front porches and in some of your backyards where our movement for change started.  (Applause.)  We spent a lot of time in Iowa, and I felt like an adopted son of Iowa.  (Applause.)  We took bus tours all throughout the state — although I’ve got to admit the bus wasn’t as nice as the one I’ve got now.  (Laughter.)  And we went to school gyms and family farms and small businesses all across the state.

But here’s the thing — our journey is not done.  It’s not done.  So I’m going to spend the next three days driving all the way across the state, just like we did in 2007 — from Council Bluffs all the way to the Quad Cities — (applause) — and I’m going to work just as hard, maybe harder, in this campaign as I did in the last one because the choice that you in November couldn’t be bigger.

It is not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties.  But more than any election in recent memory, this is a choice between two fundamentally different visions about how we move this country forward.  (Applause.)  And the direction that we choose — the direction that you choose when you walk into that voting booth in November is going to have an impact not just on your lives, but on the lives of these young people here, the lives of your children, the lives of your grandchildren for decades to come.

Think about it.  When we came together four years ago — and it wasn’t just Democrats, we had independents and some Republicans get involved — the idea was to restore the basic bargain that made this country great, the basic idea that says if work hard in this country then you can get ahead; that if you put in the effort and you are responsible, then you can find a job that pays the bills.  You can have a home that you call your own. You won’t go bankrupt when you get sick.  You can retire with some dignity and some respect.  And maybe most importantly, you know that your kids can get a great education and they can dream bigger and do even better than you did.  (Applause.)

That is the core of the American Dream.  That’s the American promise.  (Applause.)  Now, the problem is, is that we had gone through a decade where that promise wasn’t being met, it wasn’t being kept.  So we had gone through a decade where jobs were being shipped overseas, where you were working harder but you were bringing in less.  Costs of college, costs of health care were all going up — cost of food, cost of gas all were going up. We ran two wars on a credit card.  Tax cuts we didn’t need and that didn’t create jobs.  And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

So we knew that meeting these challenges that had been building up for over a decade, that it wasn’t going to be easy.  We knew it was going to take more than one year, or one term, or even one President.  But what we also knew was that Americans are tougher than tough times.  And so, even though this crisis that hit us in 2008 and 2009 was bad — even though a lot of folks lost their jobs and a lot of folks lost homes and a lot of folks lost savings, so that the middle class felt even more under the gun than they were before — what we knew was that the American people are resilient and we are tough.  (Applause.)

And so, for the last three and a half years we’ve rolled up our sleeves and we’ve worked hard.  And small businesses have kept their doors open.  And folks, even if they got laid off, they’ve retrained to find new jobs.  And we created 4.5 million new jobs, half a million more in manufacturing.  The auto industry is back on top.  (Applause.)

And so, we’ve made progress but we’ve got a lot more work to do.  We’ve got a lot more work to do.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We can do it!

THE PRESIDENT:  We can do it.  I agree.  (Applause.)  We can.

Now, here’s the thing.  Some people, they’re naysayers and they say, oh, America is declining.  And they try to paint things as dark as possible, especially during election time.  But here’s what I want everybody to know.  We’ve got so many things going for us compared to the rest of the world.  We’ve still got the best workers in the world.  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve got the best scientists and the best researchers in the world.  We’ve got the best colleges and the best universities in the world.  (Applause.)  We know how to work hard.  And we’re a young country and we’re a country that draws on the diversity of folks who want to come here from all around the world to be part of this American Dream.  And most importantly, the crisis has not changed our character.  It hasn’t changed who we are.  It hasn’t changed our sense of determination and our sense of neighborliness and our understanding that we’re in this thing together.

And so we’ve come together, just like we did in 2008, because our mission is not yet finished.  We are here to build an economy where hard work pays off.  And so, no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, you can make it if you try here in America.  (Applause.)

That’s what this campaign is about and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Just as I said that we’ve got a lot of things going for us, there aren’t any quick fixes or easy solutions to some of our challenges.  We’re going to have to keep working.  We’re going to meet these challenges.  But the main problem we’ve got is not a lack of good ideas.  It’s not that we don’t have good solutions to our problems.  The big problem we’ve got right now is politics in Washington.  (Applause.)  The big problem we’ve got is one party just thinks that compromise is a dirty word.  And they’ve got an economic theory that basically wants to go back to the old top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

Now, look, over the weekend my opponent chose as his running mate the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.  And I’ve gotten to know Congressman Ryan.  He’s a good man.  He’s a family man.  He’s a very articulate spokesperson for Governor Romney’s vision.  The problem is it’s the wrong vision for America.  It’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.  (Applause.)

Their main recipe for solving America’s problems is getting rid of regulations on big corporations and big banks, and then giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.  And their theory is that somehow that’s going to lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody.  In fact, the centerpiece of Governor Romney’s entire economic plan is a new — you heard this from Dave — is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans.

Now, keep in mind, these are the folks who say the deficit and the debt are the biggest problem we’ve got.  And yet, they now want to give a $5 trillion tax cut.  I know the numbers get so big, but I just want you to get a sense — our entire defense budget annually is $500 billion.  So what this means is, a $5 trillion tax break over 10 years, that’s the equivalent of the entire defense budget going out as a tax cut every single year.

Now, keep in mind that this is going disproportionately to the wealthiest Americans.  Last week, we found out that Governor Romney expects you, middle-class families, to pick up the tab for this big tax cut.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And please don’t take my word for it.  You can go to their website and look at their plan.  And then independent economists have looked at this thing and they said that Governor Romney’s tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, keep in mind, this is not $2,000 to reduce the deficit, or to grow jobs, or to invest in education, or make college more affordable, or to rebuild our roads.  This is $2,000 to give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, let me just see a show of hands.  How many folks are making more than $3 million a year?  (Laughter.)  Okay, this guy back here.  (Laughter.)  I’m looking for a campaign contribution.  (Laughter and applause.)  Let me tell you something — they have tried to sell us this trickle-down fairy dust before.  And it did not work then; it won’t work now.  It’s not a plan to create jobs.  It’s not a plan to cut the deficit.  And it’s not a plan to move our economy forward.

We don’t need more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  We don’t need a tax cut for Mr. Romney.  We don’t need a tax cut for me.  We need tax relief for middle-class families who are out there working, to make sure that their kids are healthy and their kids can go to college.  (Applause.)

That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for President — because I’ve got a different idea.  I’ve got a different idea than Mr. Romney.

When I came into office, I promised that I would cut middle-class taxes.  And you know what, I’ve kept that promise.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  You did!

THE PRESIDENT:  When you hear these Republicans saying that, oh, Obama is all about spending and raising taxes — let me tell you, the typical family is paying $3,600 less in taxes than when I came into office.  (Applause.)  That’s the truth.  That’s a fact.

So now I want to keep taxes right where they are on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  So if your family makes $250,000 a year or less — like 98 percent of Americans — you won’t see your income taxes increase by a single dime next year under my plan.  Not one dime.  (Applause.)

Now, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2 percent, you’ll still get a tax cut for your first $250,000 worth of income.  But after that, we’re asking you to contribute a little bit more so we can pay down our deficit and invest in things like education that help our economy grow.  (Applause.)

I’ll make sure the government does its part by cutting away spending we don’t need.  We’ve already cut a trillion dollars of spending we didn’t need and we can do more.  I want to do another trillion, trillion and a half of cuts.

But we’ve also got to match that with folks like me and Governor Romney doing our fair share.  And all we’re asking is that we go back to the same rates that we paid under Bill Clinton.  (Applause.)  And you know what, that was a time when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and millionaires did pretty good too.
See, what happens is that when a teacher or a construction worker or a family farm or a receptionist or a nurse, when they’ve got a little extra money, what do you do?  You end up spending it on things you need.  So maybe you haven’t got a new car in 10, 15 years — you go out and buy a car.  Or maybe the washing machine is broke and you decide to buy a new washing machine.  Maybe you go out to a restaurant on a special occasion. Maybe you take a vacation once in a while.  That money goes into the economy; businesses have more customers; they hire more workers and everybody is better off from top to bottom.

I don’t believe in top-down economics.  I believe in middle class-out economics.  I believe in bottom-up economics.  That’s how you grow an economy.  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.)

There’s a difference between me and Mr. Romney on almost every issue.  When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than 1 million jobs were on the line, Governor Romney said let’s “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I said let’s bet on the American worker.  And three years later, the American auto industry is back on top.  GM is number one again.  (Applause.)
Now, so I want to make sure that hi-tech manufacturing jobs are taking root right here in Boone — not in China, not in Germany.

Governor Romney, he likes to tout his private sector experience.  But a lot of that experience is investing in companies that were called “pioneers” of outsourcing.  We don’t need more outsourcing.  We need some insourcing.  (Applause.)
I want to take away tax breaks.  Let’s stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Iowa, right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  That’s the choice in this election.

My opponent and I disagree when it comes to homegrown energy like wind.  Wind power is creating new jobs all across Iowa.  But Governor Romney says he wants to end the tax credit for wind energy producers.  Now, America generates more than twice as much electricity from wind than when I took office.  (Applause.)  That’s right.  The wind industry supports about 7,000 jobs right here in Iowa.  Without these wind energy tax credits, those jobs are at risk — 37,000 jobs across the country would be at risk.

So my attitude is let’s stop giving taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that don’t need them, and let’s invest in clean energy that will put people back to work right here in Iowa.  That’s a choice in this election.  (Applause.)

I’m running because in 2008, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and I did.  (Applause.)  I promised to go after al Qaeda and bin Laden — and we did.  (Applause.)  We’re putting a timeline to get our troops out of Afghanistan and put Afghans in charge of their own security.  So all of this is possible only because of the extraordinary sacrifice and service of our men and women in uniform.  And we are so proud of them.  (Applause.)

Now, we’ve got to do right by them.  We’ve got to make sure we’re serving our veterans as well as they’ve served us.  (Applause.)  That’s why we’ve put more money into the VA, making sure that folks are getting the benefits that they have earned, whether it’s the wounds that are seen or the wounds that are unseen.

But it also means that after a decade of war, we need to do some nation-building here at home, so that all our men and women in uniform are coming home to good-paying jobs.  (Applause.)
That’s why I’ve said let’s take half the money that we were spending on war and let’s put folks back to work right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  Let’s put them back to work rebuilding schools and rebuilding roads and rebuilding bridges.  (Applause.)  And let’s create a Veterans Jobs Corp to help hire veterans to become cops and firefighters in communities that need them the most.  (Applause.)

That’s the America we want to build.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

I’m running because I want to make sure that once again, America has the best education system in the world.  (Applause.) So I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  I want to give 2 million more Americans a chance to go to community colleges to get trained for the jobs that businesses are hiring for right now.  (Applause.)

And we have a plan to push colleges and universities to bring down their cost of tuition, because young people, they can’t be burdened with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt when they go to school.  A higher education isn’t a luxury anymore.  It is an economic necessity in the 21st century.  And we are going to help them get the education that they need.  (Applause.)

Across the board, Governor Romney and I just see the world differently.  When it comes to housing, I want to make sure that everybody who hasn’t yet taken advantage of these historically low interest rates has a chance to refinance their homes.  It can save folks up to $3,000.  Governor Romney’s plan, he said just let the housing market bottom out.  That’s not a solution.  That’s part of the problem.

He has got a different view than I do in terms of how we move this country forward.  When it comes to health care, I guess he used to agree with me because he had the same health care plan that I do in Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  And, by the way, that plan is working pretty good.  (Applause.)

Now, he says he wants to kill Obamacare.  Well, first of all, I don’t mind it being called Obamacare because, it’s true, I do care.  That’s why I passed the bill.  I do care.  (Applause.) I care about folks who have preexisting conditions and couldn’t get insurance.  That’s why we passed the bill.  (Applause.)  I care about the 6.5 million young people who can now stay on their parent’s plan because of this bill.  (Applause.)  I care about the seniors who were paying too much for their prescription drugs.  We’re closing the doughnut hole because of this bill and lowering their prescription drug costs.  (Applause.)

So I don’t believe that you should go broke when you get sick in this country.  And I’ll work with anybody who wants to continue to improve our health care system.  But the Supreme Court has spoken — the law is here to stay.  We’re not spending the next four years refighting that battle.  (Applause.)  We’re moving forward.  We’re not going backwards.  That’s a choice in this election.  (Applause.)

So, Boone, all these things — whether it’s bringing manufacturing jobs back, putting folks back to work in construction, protecting your health care, making sure our kids are getting the best education possible and they can afford to go to college — all these things that make up that American Dream, that make up a middle-class life, they all tie together.  They’re central to that idea that made this country great, the promise that if you work hard you get ahead; that everybody has a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.

It’s the promise that our parents and our grandparents passed down to us.  That’s the promise that allowed me as the child of a single mom to become President of the United States.  (Applause.)  It’s the promise that allowed Michelle, whose dad was a blue-collar worker and her mom was a secretary, to become the First Lady.  (Applause.)  It’s the promise that all of you have seen in your own lives.  And now, it’s time for us to pass that down to our kids and our grandkids.

So over the next three months, the other side will spend more money than you have ever seen running the same ad over and over again, basically, which says, the economy is not where it should be and it’s Obama’s fault.  They just repeat it over and over again.  They’ve got different variations, but it’s all the same theme.  And —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  They’re not right!

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they’re not constrained by the facts, in terms of these ads that they run.  (Applause.)  They’ll just make stuff up.  And that may be a plan to win the election, but the reason they’ve got to do that is because they know they don’t have a plan to create jobs.  They don’t have a plan to grow the economy.  They don’t have a plan to revive the middle class.  What they’re selling, you’re not buying.  That’s why they don’t talk about it.

I’ve got that plan.  And we can make it work, but I’m going to need your help.  I‘ve got to make sure everybody here is registered to vote.  I’ve got to make sure everybody is getting their friends and their neighbors, their family members to register to vote.  (Applause.)  You can get a voter registration form online.  You go to GottaRegister.com.  That’s gotta — g-o-t-t-a –GottaRegister.com.

But if you guys get involved, we can’t lose.  I’ve been outspent before and I’ve been counted out before.  But the reason I love this state is because all of you gave me a chance.  (Applause.)  I had a chance to talk to you and meet you, and share stories with you.

And I used to say back in 2088 that I’m not a perfect man and I won’t be a perfect President.  But I told you I’d always tell you what I thought, always tell you where I stood, and I’d fight every single day as hard as I knew how for you.  And the reason is because I see myself in you.  (Applause.)  When I see your grandparents, I see my grandparents.  And when I see your kids, I see Malia and Sasha.

And we know what it’s like to work and to fight hard to get ahead.  And I want everybody in America to have that same chance that I had.  Because we have come too far to turn back now, Iowa. (Applause.)  We’ve got too many good jobs to create.  We’ve got too many great teachers to hire.  We’ve got too many schools to rebuild.  We’ve got too many students who need to get a college education.  (Applause.)  We’ve got too many wind farms to build.  We’ve got more troops we’ve got to bring back home.  We’ve got to open up more doors to opportunity.  (Applause.)

And if you’ll stand with me and work with me, and organize with me and knock on doors with me, Boone, I promise you, we will win Iowa and we will win this election.  (Applause.)  And we’ll remind the world why this is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
5:40 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 13, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at McIntosh Family Farm, Missouri Valley, Iowa

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at McIntosh Family Farms, Missouri Valley, Iowa

Source: WH, 8-13-12

McIntosh Family Farm
Missouri Valley, Iowa

1:10 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Today we are here at the McIntosh Family Farms, here in Missouri Valley, Iowa, and we just got a tour from Dean, Don, Richard and Roger.  And like a lot of families in this area and across America, the McIntoshes are suffering under one of the worst droughts in 50 years.

We’ve just been through the warmest 12-month period ever recorded, and right now more than 60 percent of the country is under drought conditions.  It’s hot, it’s dry, and the summer is not over yet.

Things are especially tough for farmers and ranchers, like the McIntoshes, who depend on a good growing season to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads.  The McIntosh family has been farming in the Missouri Valley for 96 years, so they’ve seen just about everything, but this is the worst drought they can remember in decades.  As a result, their corn yield is off by about a third, and some of their neighbors in surrounding areas are struggling even worse.

Here in Iowa, almost half of the corn crop and more than a third of the soybean crop is in poor or very poor condition.  Livestock producers are having trouble feeding their herds.  Crops and livestock are a $30 billion business in Iowa, and that’s a huge chunk of the economy that’s being put at risk.  And states all across the heartland have it just as bad.

Now, the best way to help these states is for Congress to act.  They need to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some long-term certainty.  But the folks suffering from this drought can’t wait for Congress to do its job.  So in the meantime, I’ve made sure that my administration, under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack, is doing everything we can to provide relief to those who need it.

I’ve directed the Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration to help give farmers and small businesses across 32 states access to low-interest emergency loans.  We’ve opened up federal land for grazing.  We’re working with insurance companies to give farmers a short grace period on their premiums, since money will be tight for a lot of families at the end of the crop year.  And last week, we announced another $30 million to help get more water to livestock and restore land affected by the drought.

Today we’re going to go even further, and we’re focusing on helping people who make their living by bringing cattle, pigs, sheep, and other animals to market.  The way things work right now, farmers who raise crops are eligible for subsidized insurance to help cushion the blow if disaster strikes.  But livestock producers don’t have that option.  So when grasslands dry up and they’ve got to sell their animals early, it’s a huge financial blow and can affect markets all across the country.  We can make a difference, though, and here’s what we’re going to do.

It turns out that the federal government buys a lot of meat for military bases, hospitals, colleges, food banks and cafeterias.  And because of the drought, there are a lot of folks out there that are trying to sell meat right now.  So just like you might buy more chicken when it’s on sale and freeze it, we are going to stock up.  Prizes are low; farmers and ranchers need help; so it makes sense.  It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we’re getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price.

And we’re not just talking about a few strips of bacon here. Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish.  And the Department of Defense, which bought about 94 million pounds of beef and 64 million pounds of pork last year, will encourage their vendors to buy more now and freeze if for later.

Understand this won’t solve the problem.  We can’t make it rain.  But this will help families like the McIntoshes in states across the country, including here in Iowa.  And we’re going to keep doing what we can to help because that’s what we do.  We are Americans.  We take care of each other.  And when our neighbors hit a rough patch, we step up and help out.

So my message to the McIntoshes and everybody who is suffering through the drought, we understand that we depend on you, America depends on you to put food on the table and feed our families, and as a consequence, we’re going to make sure that we’re there for you — not just today, but every day until this drought passes.  That is a promise.  And as President, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that you get the relief that you deserve.

So, thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you, and God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
1:16 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 13, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event Council Bluffs, Iowa — Blasts Paul Ryan in Iowa for Blocking Farm Bill

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Blasts Ryan in Iowa for Blocking Farm Bill

Source: ABC News Radio, 8-13-12

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages

Kicking off his campaign tour through Iowa, President Obama today wasted no time attacking Mitt Romney’s new running mate, accusing Rep. Paul Ryan of blocking aid to ranchers and farmers who have been hurt by the severe drought….READ MORE

 

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Council Bluffs, IA

Source: WH, 8-13-12

Bayliss Park
Council Bluffs, IA

11:32 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  It’s good to be back!  (Applause.)  Well, it is good to be back in Iowa!  (Applause.)  I miss you guys.

AUDIENCE:  Obama!  Obama!  Obama!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!

First of all, can everybody please give Patricia a big round of applause for the great introduction?  (Applause.)  A couple other people I want to acknowledge — your outstanding former governor, now I think the best Secretary of Agriculture we’ve ever had — Tom Vilsack.  (Applause.)  Congressman Leonard Boswell.  (Applause.)  And Mayor Tom Hanafan.  (Applause.)

See, the sun is coming out — (applause.)  I love being back in Iowa.  Now, we’re starting here in Council Bluffs, but we’re going to be heading east and I think I’m going to end at the State Fair.  (Applause.)  Michelle has told me I cannot have a fried Twinkie.  (Laughter.)  But I will be checking out the butter cow and I understand this year there’s a chocolate moose.  (Laughter.)  So I’m going to have to take a look at that if I can.

The last time I went to the State Fair, Secret Service let me do the bumper cars, but they said this year — I wasn’t President yet, so I could do that.  (Laughter.)  But not this time.

Now, before I get started, I just want to say a few words about the drought, because it’s had such an impact on this state and all across the country.  Right now folks here in Iowa and across the heartland, we’re suffering from one of the worst droughts in 50 years.  Farmers, ranchers depend on a good crop season to pay the bills and put a roof over their heads.  And I know things are tough right now.

The best way to help these states is for the folks in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes some necessary reforms and gives farmers and ranchers some long-term certainty.

Unfortunately, right now, too many members of Congress are blocking the farm bill from becoming law.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  I am told that Governor Romney’s new running mate, Paul Ryan, might be around Iowa the next few days — he is one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities.  We’ve got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing for rural America and for Iowa.  (Applause.)

Now, it’s always a problem waiting for Congress.  So in the meantime, I’ve made sure my administration, led by Tom Vilsack, is doing everything we can to provide relief to those who need it.  So last week, we announced $30 million to help ranchers and farmers get more water to livestock and rehabilitate land affected by drought.
And today, we’re announcing that the federal government will help livestock producers by purchasing over $150 million worth of meat and fish right now, while prices are low — we’ll freeze it for later, but — we’ve got a lot of freezers.  (Laughter.)  And that way, that will help ranchers who are going through tough times right now, and also, over the long term, obviously that food is going to be spent by folks at the Pentagon and other places.
America depends on farmers and ranchers to put food on the table; depends on farmers and ranchers to feed our families.  So we’ve got to be there for them — not just today, but tomorrow, and every day until this drought passes — because we are Americans, that’s what we do.  We take care of each other.  And when tough times strike our neighbors, we give them a hand.  (Applause.)
Now, that speaks to the larger idea of why I’m here, the notion that I’m my brother’s keeper, I’m my sister’s keeper, the idea that we’re in this together, that was at the heart of the journey that began here in Iowa five years ago.  (Applause.)  We spent a lot of time on bus tours like this one — at school gyms and family farms and small businesses across this state – although, I have to say the bus we had wasn’t as nice as this one.  (Laughter.)  We used to get some buses.  (Laughter.)
And that campaign back in 2007-2008, it had plenty of ups and downs, but no matter what, you, the people of Iowa, had my back.  (Applause.)  You had my back.  When the pundits had written us off, when we were down in the polls, you believed in me, and I believed in you.  And it was on your front porches and in your backyards where the movement for change in this country began.

But our journey is not finished.  Not yet.  I’m going to spend the next three days driving all across this state just like I did in 2007 — from Council Bluffs to the Quad Cities — because once more, you face a choice in November.  And that choice could not be bigger.  It is not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties.  More than any other election in recent memory, this is a choice between two fundamentally different visions of this country and the path that we have to take.

And the direction that you choose when you walk into that voting booth in November is going to have an impact not just on your lives but on your children’s lives, your grandchildren’s lives for decades to come.  This one counts.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Think about this, Council Bluffs.  Four years ago, we came together — and it wasn’t just Democrats, it was independents and some Republicans — because we understood that we needed to restore the basic bargain that made this country great, the basic deal that created the greatest middle class and the most prosperous economy the world has ever known.

And it’s a simple bargain.  It says if you work hard, your work should be rewarded.  If you act responsibly, and you put in enough effort, you should be able to find a job that pays the bills, have a home you can call your own, count on health care when you get sick — (applause) — put away enough to retire with dignity and respect — (applause) — and most of all, give your kids an education that allows them to dream even bigger than you did, and do even better than you did.  That’s the American promise.  (Applause.)  That’s the American Dream.

And the reason we came together was because we had seen a decade in which that dream was being betrayed.  We had gone through a decade where jobs were being shipped overseas, where you were working harder but making less while the cost of everything from health care to a college education kept on going up.  And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

And so we knew that restoring the basic bargain that made this country was not going to be easy.  We knew it would take more than one year, or one term, or even one President.  And that was before the crisis hit and we saw friends and neighbors lose their job, or lose their home, lose their savings, pushing the American Dream even further out of reach for too many working people.

But over the last three and a half years, we’ve seen America’s grit.  You folks are tougher than any tough time.  (Applause.)  When we get knocked down we stand back up.  (Applause.)  Some workers lost their jobs — they went back to community college, got retrained and now have got a new job.  Small businesses kept their doors open by hook or by crook.  And so, slowly, we’ve seen 4.5 million new jobs created, half a million new manufacturing jobs — the most since the great — most since the 1990s.

And what we realized was that no matter how bad the crisis was, one thing did not change, and that is the character of the American people and the resilience of the American people.  (Applause.)  And what hasn’t changed is our determination to do what we came together in 2008 to do — and that is to make sure that in America hard work pays off — so that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, you can make it here in America if you try.  (Applause.)

That’s what this campaign is about, Iowa.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

I told you — four years ago I said there aren’t going to be quick fixes, there won’t be easy solutions.  The challenges we face had been building up for decades.  And that’s still true today.  But I want everybody to know that we have the capacity to meet every challenge.  We’ve got the best workers in the world.  We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve got the best colleges, the best universities, the best researchers in the world, the best scientists in the world.  We’re still a young nation.  We’ve got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity — people come here from every corner of the globe.  They want to be here.  So whatever the naysayers may say, or folks who try to make things look dark, listen, there is not another country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)

What’s holding us back right now is Washington politics.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  You’ve got folks on the other side who think “compromise” is a dirty word, and whose main idea is to go back to the same old top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.

This weekend, my opponent, Mr. Romney, chose as his running mate the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.  And I’ve got to tell you, I know Congressman Ryan.  He’s a good man, he’s a family man.  He is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision.  But the problem is that vision is one that I fundamentally disagree with. (Applause.)

Governor Romney and his allies in Congress, they think that if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, if we end Medicare as we know it, make it a voucher system, then somehow this is all going to lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  The centerpiece of Mr. Romney’s entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the very wealthiest Americans.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Last week, an independent study — not by me, but by independent economists — said that Governor Romney’s plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 apiece.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, this wouldn’t be done — not to reduce the deficit.  It’s not going to be done to create jobs or put folks back to work rebuilding our roads or bridges or schools.  This is you guys paying an extra $2,000 to give another $250,000 tax cut to folks who are making more than $3 million a year.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Does this sound familiar to you?  They have tried to sell us this trickle-down theory before.  And guess what — every time it’s been tried it has not worked.  It did not work then; it won’t work now.  It won’t create jobs.  It won’t lower our deficit.  It is not a plan to move our economy forward.  We do not need more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — we need tax relief for working families.  (Applause.)

You need tax relief — folks who are trying to raise kids and keep them healthy and put a roof over their heads and send them to college.  And that’s the choice in this election.  That’s the reason I’m running again.

Four years ago, I promised to cut middle-class taxes — and by the way, that’s exactly what I’ve done.  (Applause.)  The average working family here in Iowa and across the country has seen their tax rates go down about $3,600.  So when you see — when you hear the other side talking about Democrats raising your taxes — your taxes are lower since I’ve been President.  (Applause.)  That’s the truth.

Now, I want to keep your taxes right where they are for the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  So if your family makes under $250,000 — which, by the way, is 98 percent of Americans — you won’t see your income taxes go up by a single dime next year.  (Applause.)  Ninety-seven percent of small businesses will not see their taxes go up.  (Applause.)

But here’s the thing, Council Bluffs.  This is important. If —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And Omaha!

THE PRESIDENT:  And Omaha.  We love you.  (Applause.)  Didn’t want to leave our Nebraska folks left out here. (Applause.)

But here’s the thing.  If you’re lucky enough and fortunate enough and been blessed enough to be in the other 2 percent, the top 2 percent, you still get a tax cut for your first $250,000 of income.  All we’re saying is, after that, maybe you can do a little bit more to help pay down this deficit and invest in things like education that help our economy grow.  (Applause.)

And listen, government is going to do its part.  We’ve already cut a trillion dollars of savings — of spending.  We’re going to cut more.  We’ve got to streamline government and make it work efficiently and effectively.  But what we also can do is just ask folks like me to do a little bit more.  And all we’re asking is for folks like me to go back to the rates that we paid under Bill Clinton — and by the way, that was a time when we created nearly 23 million new jobs, and we created the biggest budget surplus in history.  (Applause.)  And here’s the kicker  — folks at the top actually did well because, guess what, when a factory worker or a construction worker or a receptionist or a teacher or a firefighter or a cop — when they’ve got a little more money in their pockets, what do they do?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it!

THE PRESIDENT:  Maybe they go out and buy a new car, after having been driving that old beater around for the last 15 years.  Maybe they finally get the new dishwasher because the old one has been broke for a long time.  Maybe they go buy a computer for their kid for the new school year, or they go to a restaurant, or heaven forbid, they take a vacation.  And that means businesses suddenly have more customers.  And then businesses start hiring more workers because they’re making more profit.  And everybody does better.  That’s how we grow the economy — not from the top down, but from the middle out, and from the bottom out.  (Applause.)

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.)

You know, across the board, there is a sharp contrast between me and Mr. Romney.  When the auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than a million jobs at stake, Governor Romney said, “let Detroit go bankrupt.”  I bet on American workers.  I bet on American manufacturing.  And three years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.  (Applause.)  So now I want to make sure that high-tech manufacturing jobs are taking root here, not in China.  I want them to take root here in Council Bluffs.

Governor Romney, he likes to brag about his private sector experience.  A bunch of that private sector experience was investing in companies that have been called “pioneers” of outsourcing.  Let me tell you something — I want insourcing, not outsourcing.  (Applause.)  I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  Let’s give tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States of America — (applause) — hiring American workers to make American products to sell around the world, stamped with those words:  Made in America.  That’s what I believe in.  (Applause.)

Here’s another difference.  Right now, homegrown energy, things like wind energy — creating new jobs all across the states like Iowa — and Governor Romney wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers.  America now produces twice as much electricity from wind as we did before I took office.  (Applause.)  We’ve doubled the amount of electricity we’re producing with wind.  The wind industry supports about 7,000 jobs in Iowa.  Without these wind energy tax credits, a whole lot of these jobs would be at risk — 37,000 jobs across this country would be at risk.

So I think we should stop spending billions on taxpayer subsidies for an oil industry that is making all kinds of profit, and let’s keep investing in the clean energy that’s never been more promising.  (Applause.)  That’s a disagreement I’ve got with Governor Romney.  That’s a choice in this election.

Back in 2008, I said it was time to end the war in Iraq — we ended it.  (Applause.)  I said it was time for us to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda — and we did.  (Applause.)  We’ve set a timeline to start bringing our troops out of Afghanistan, and so after a decade of war, I think it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)

Now, we could not have accomplished any of this without the extraordinary service of our men and women in uniform.  (Applause.)  And I promise you this — as long as I am Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us.  (Applause.)  Nobody who has fought for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  That’s why we’ve invested so heavily in making sure that the VA is working the way it’s supposed to.  That’s why we’ve put more money into treatment of PTSD and traumatic brain injury; ending homelessness* among veterans.  But those are investments that we’ve got to make.

And my plan says let’s take half the money that we’re no longer spending on war and let’s also use it to put people back to work building our roads and our runways and our ports and our wireless networks — (applause) — and creating a Veterans Job Corps so local communities can hire our veterans to be firefighters and police officers in communities that need it. That’s the America that we want to build.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.  (Applause.)

I want to make sure that America once again leads the world in educating our kids and training our workers.  I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  I want to give two million more Americans the chance to go to community college and learn the skills that businesses are hiring for right now.  (Applause.)  And I want to get colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition once and for all — (applause) — because higher education is not a luxury; it’s an economic necessity in the 21st century.  Everybody should be able to afford it.  (Applause.)

I’ve got a plan to help homeowners refinance their homes at historically low rates — save an average of $3,000.  My opponent’s solution is to let the market bottom out.  That’s what he said.  That’s not a solution — that’s part of the problem.  That’s the difference in this election.

My opponent says one of the first things he’d do is repeal Obamacare.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  I think that part of being middle class in America is making sure you don’t go bankrupt when you get sick.  (Applause.)  That’s why, because of this law, if you’ve got a preexisting condition, you’ll be able to get health insurance.  (Applause.)  That’s why 6.5 million young people can now stay on their parent’s plan.  That’s why seniors are now getting discounts on their prescription drugs.  That’s why insurance companies can’t drop your coverage or impose lifetime limits when you need it most.  (Applause.)

It’s true — Obama does care.  That’s why we passed this bill.  (Applause.)  The Supreme Court has spoken.  We’re not going backward, we are going forward.  (Applause.)

All these things, whether it’s bringing back manufacturing, creating more construction jobs, protecting people’s health care, making sure your kids get the best education, making sure our veterans have the same kind of opportunity my grandfather had when he came back from World War II and was able to go to college on the GI Bill.  All these things are part of what makes up a middle-class life.  And they’re all bound together in that idea that made this country great — that basic promise that if you work hard, you can get ahead.

It’s not always going to be smooth.  There are going to be times where times are tough.  But the basic idea that if you work hard and look after your family, that work is going to be rewarded.  That’s the promise that our parents and grandparents passed down to us.  And now it’s the promise we’ve got to pass on to our kids and our grandkids.  That’s what’s at stake in this election.

And so, over the next three months, you are going to see the other side spend more money on negative ads than we’ve ever seen in history; and these folks, they’ve got some really rich people writing $10 million checks.  And basically, they’re going to say the same thing over and over again.  They know their economic theories aren’t going to sell, because folks remember when we tried them.  So all they’re going to say is the economy is not as good as it should and it’s Obama’s fault.  And they expect you to have amnesia and not remember who it is that got us into this mess.  (Applause.)  But they figure, if we run these ads often enough, maybe folks will start kind of thinking about it.  That is true.  (Laughter.)

So they may have a plan to win the election, but they can’t hide the fact that they don’t have a plan to create jobs or revive the middle class or grow the economy.  And I do have that plan.  (Applause.)  I’ve got a plan that puts you first.  (Applause.)  I’ve got a plan that puts middle-class families and folks striving to get into the middle class first.  (Applause.)

But I’m going to need your help.  I’m going to need your help.  I’ve got to make sure you’re registered.  I’ve got to make sure your friends are registered to vote.  In Iowa, you can get registered online.  All you have to do is go GottaRegister.com.  That’s g-o-t-t-a — gotta.  (Laughter.)  GottaRegister.com.

The thing is, we’ve been outspent before and we’ve been counted out before.  But what you taught me in 2007, 2008 was that when the American people cut through all the nonsense, when you focus your attention and you remember the story of your own families and all the struggles your parents and grandparents went through, and how maybe because you got a student loan somewhere, or maybe because your dad was able to get that job at the factory, you guys were able to build a good life together — just like Michelle and I were able to get opportunities that our parents could have never imagined.  When you focus on that thing that is best in America, the way we pull together and give everybody a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules, and everybody is taking responsibility — when you come together and reaffirm those core values that make this the greatest country on Earth, you can’t be stopped.  All the money those folks are spending doesn’t matter.  You are our democracy.  You make decisions about the direction of this country.

And, Iowa, I’ve got to tell you, we’ve come too far to go back now.  (Applause.)  We’ve got too many good jobs we still have to create.  We’ve got too many teachers we’ve still got to hire.  We’ve got too many schools we still have to rebuild.  We’ve got too many students who still need help getting an affordable education.  We’ve got more homegrown energy we’ve got to generate.  We’ve got more troops we’ve got to bring home.  Most of all, we’ve got more doors of opportunity that we’ve got to open for everybody who’s willing to work hard enough to walk through those doors.

That is what is at stake in this election.  That is why I am running for President of the United States.  (Applause.)  That is why I’m asking for your vote — not just for me, but for this country that we believe in.  (Applause.)  And if you’re willing to work with me and stand with me, and knock on doors with me, and make phone calls with me — if you vote for me in November, we will win Iowa, we will win this election.  We’ll finish what we started in 2008.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

END
12:04 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz July 10, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Iowa Campaign Trip Speech on Middle-Class Tax Cuts in Cedar Rapids

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

In an Iowa Dining Room, Obama Puts a Middle-Class Face on a Tax Fight

Source: NYT, 7-10-12

President Obama said his proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 would strengthen Americans’ finances….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Cedar Rapids, IA

 

Kirkwood Community College
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

12:58 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Cedar Rapids!  (Applause.)  Oh, it is good to be back.  (Applause.)  Love Cedar Rapids!

All right, a couple of people I want to acknowledge.  First of all, please give Jason and his wife Ali a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  They are just wonderful people.  I’m so glad I had a chance to meet them.  Now, they’re debating what to name their son, so if you guys have some suggestions.  (Laughter.)  I asked them, what about Barack?  (Laughter.)  That was not yet on the list.  (Laughter.)  But they are wonderful people and they’ve got an incredibly cute guy named Cooper.  And so I really thank them for their hospitality and we appreciate them so much.  And Jason is starting as a high school principal, so wish him good luck.  (Applause.)  He’s going to do a great job.

I want to acknowledge Mick Starverich —

AUDIENCE:  Starcevich.

THE PRESIDENT:  Starverich.

AUDIENCE:  Starcevich.

THE PRESIDENT:  Starcevich.  (Applause.)  I call him Mick.  (Laughter.)  And he is the President of Kirkwood and our host today.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)

I want to acknowledge our outstanding MC, Peggy Whitworth.  (Applause.)  Great friend.  Great friend of mine.  And one of my dearest friends here in Iowa, your outstanding Attorney General, Tom Miller, is in the house.  (Applause.)

Now, if you guys have a seat, feel free to take a seat.  That way, if it gets a little warm, I don’t want anybody getting overheated.  You guys are kind of out of luck.  (Laughter.)  So make sure you’re hydrated.

And Abraham Lincoln is in the house! (Applause.)  My homeboy from Illinois — (laughter) — and an outstanding Republican endorsee.  (Laughter and applause.)  There you go.

Now, unless you’ve managed to hide your television somewhere for the last year, you may be aware that it is now campaign season.  (Laughter.)  And here in Iowa it seems like it’s always campaign season.  You guys can’t get away from it.  And I know that it is not always pretty to watch.  There is more money flooding the system than ever before.  There’s more negative ads. There’s more cynicism.  Most of what you hear in terms of the news is who’s up or who’s down in the polls, instead of how any of this relates to your lives and the country that you love.

So I know that sometimes it can be tempting to lose interest and to lose heart and to get a little cynical.  And frankly, that’s what a lot of people are betting that you do.  But I’m betting that you won’t.  I’m betting that you are going to be as fired up as you were in 2008 — (applause) — because you understand the stakes for America.  (Applause.)

Most of you are here because you know that even though sometimes our politics seems real small and petty, the stakes in this election could not be bigger.  What’s at stake is bigger than two candidates, it’s bigger than two political parties.  What’s at stake is two very different visions for our country.
And, Cedar Rapids, the choice that we make that will help determine our direction for years to come — that choice is going to be up to you.

AUDIENCE:  Obama!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s a good choice.  (Applause.)

This will be my last political campaign, no matter what.  I’ve got nothing else to run for.  (Laughter.)  But it’s got — and because of that, you start feeling a little nostalgic and you start thinking about some of your first campaigns.  I think about all the places I used to travel in Illinois and the first race I ran as a state senator.  And Michelle and I had to Xerox or go to Kinko’s and copy our little flyers, and we didn’t have a TV budget back then.  (Laughter.)  And we rode around in my car and I filled it up with my gas — (laughter) — and I’m the one who got lost if I took a wrong turn.  (Laughter.)

And what’s amazing, though, when I think about it was how many people you’d meet from every walk of life all across Illinois in big cities, small towns, upstate, downstate, quads, you name it.  And you’d always hear similar stories from people about their parents or their grandparents and the struggles they had gone through, and how they had been able to find a job that paid a living wage and look after their families and their kids had done a little better than they did.  And those stories would resonate with me and Michelle because that was our story, that was our lives.

And then when I came to Iowa for the presidential campaign  — first stop, Cedar Rapids — (applause) — first stop.

AUDIENCE:  We love you!

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

And the first stop was Cedar Rapids.  And then we went on to Waterloo.  That was the first time I had campaigned as President, and I was kind of nervous.  We had this huge town hall, and I don’t remember what I said.  (Laughter.)  Most of the time I was just worrying about screwing up.  (Laughter.)  But the same thing that I saw in Illinois I was seeing in Iowa.  This was a state that gave me a chance when nobody else would.  (Applause.)

And no matter what the national media was saying, no matter how far down we were in the polls, we’d come here and Michelle and I we’d feel hopeful, because we had that same conversation that we had had in my first race as a state senator or my first race as U.S. senator — going to state fairs and stopping in towns and visiting VFW halls and diners — and meeting people whose lives on the surface might have looked different than mine, but when you heard their stories, they were a common story.

I thought about my grandparents whose service in World War II was rewarded — when my grandfather came back from the war and my grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line — and they were able to go to college on the GI Bill, buy their first house with an FHA loan.  (Applause.)

I had a single mom who, with the help of my grandparents, was able to send my sister and me to great schools, even though she didn’t make a lot of money.  She was struggling to put herself through school and working at the same time.  And Michelle would think about her father, who had worked as a stationary engineer at the water filtration plant — blue-collar job all his life.  And her mom, who was a stay-at-home mom, and then worked as a secretary for most of her life.

And we thought about how far we had come, and the fact that our lives were a testament to that fundamental American ideal that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, America is a place where you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)  America is a place where you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

And that same story — my family story, Michelle’s family story — I heard it from you guys.  It was your story.  And we understood.  And we’d sit and talk and we’d agree that America has never been a country of people looking for handouts.  We’re a nation of workers and dreamers and doers.  (Applause.)  And we understand that we’ve got to work for everything that we’ve got. And all we ask is for is that hard work pays off, that responsibility is rewarded; so that if you put in enough effort, if you’re willing to put in some sweat and tears and overcome some difficulties in your life, then you can find a job that pays the bills, and afford a home that you can call your own, and count on health care when you get sick — (applause) — and put away enough to retire on, maybe take a vacation once in a while.

I was telling folks in Ohio the other day, I remember my favorite vacation when I was 11 years old, traveling the country with my grandmother and my mom and my sister.  And once in a while we’d rent a car, but a bunch of times we’d just take Greyhound buses.  And sometimes we’d take the train and stay at Howard Johnsons.  And as long as there was a little puddle of a pool, I’d be happy.  (Laughter.)  And you’d go to the ice machine and the vending machine and buy a soda and get the ice, and you were really excited about it.  (Laughter.)

And what was important was just the time that you had to spend with your family.  It wasn’t anything fancy, but you understood that you could spend time with your family.  They were cared for.  You had a sense of security.  You could provide for your children an education that would allow them to do even better than you did.  (Applause.)  That was the basic bargain that built America’s middle class, the largest middle class on Earth.  That’s what built our prosperity, the greatest economy the world has ever known.  (Applause.)

And so those shared memories, those shared stories — that was the basis of our campaign when I ran for President.  That’s why I talked about the first time I came to Cedar Rapids, because we came together as Democrats and independents and Republicans because for too long that basic bargain, that vision of what it means to make it in America, had been slipping away for too many folks.  People were working harder for less.  It was getting more difficult to save, more difficult to retire.  The cost of health care and college was going through the roof.

And we understood that turning that around was not going to be easy.  We knew it would take more than one year or one term or maybe even one President.  Now, what we didn’t know was that we were about to get hit with the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes.  And that crisis has put us through some really tough times — here in Iowa and all across the country.  It robbed millions of our fellow Americans their jobs and their homes and their savings.  And it made the American Dream seem even further out of reach for too many hardworking people.

But the basic idea of why I ran in 2008, the reason you’re here today, is because that crisis did not change who we are.  It did not change our character.  It did not change our values.  We still know what makes us great.  (Applause.)  We still know that what makes us great is the fact that if you work hard in this country, you can still make it — that vision we still believe in.  (Applause.)  The vision of a strong middle class is what we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

Our mission right now is not just to recover from a recession.  It’s to reclaim the basic security that so many Americans have lost.  Our goal is to put people back to work, but it’s also to build an economy where that work pays off, an economy in which everybody, whether they start a business or they’re punching a clock, can have confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead.  (Applause.)

That’s what this campaign is about, Iowa.  That’s what I’ve been fighting for, for the last three and a half years.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, you know what’s holding us back from meeting this challenge is not a lack of ideas or a lack of solutions.  What’s holding us back from making even more progress than we’ve made is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally views about which path we should take as a country.  And this election is about breaking that stalemate.  (Applause.)

This election will determine our economic future for the next generation.  And, frankly, the choice could not be clearer. My opponent, his allies in Congress, they sincerely believe that prosperity comes from the top down.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  They believe that if we spend trillions of dollars more on tax cuts — mostly for the wealthy — that it will somehow create more jobs, even if we have to pay for it by gutting education, chopping assistance to community colleges and Pell grants, cutting back on training —

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  — raising middle-class taxes.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  They believe that if we roll back regulations that we put in place on banks and insurance companies and oil companies, all meant to protect our people and our economy, that somehow everybody is going to be better off.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think they’re wrong.  I think they’re wrong.  (Applause.)

And listen, listen, it’s not just my opinion.  We tried it their way through most of the last decade, and it didn’t work.  (Applause.)

We fought two wars on a credit card; still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that didn’t lead to more jobs or better wages for the middle class.  And the lack of rules on Wall Street is what allowed people to take shortcuts and game the system in a way that caused this whole mess in the first place. So we tried what they’re selling, and it didn’t work.  And somehow they think you don’t remember.  (Laughter.)  But you remember, and we don’t need more top-down economics.

What we need is somebody who’s going to fight every single day to grow the middle class — (applause) — because that’s how our economy grows, from the middle out, from the bottom up, where everybody has got a shot.  That’s how the economy grows.  (Applause.)

So I was over at Jason and Ali’s — and wonderful, wonderful story, really nice family.  Jason is the new principal over at Central City High.  Ali is an account manager at a document scanning company.  They’ve got a very cute four-year-old, Cooper, and then the yet-to-be-named other cute one.  (Laughter.)  They met at a convenience store where they worked while they were in school.  Apparently, Ali was Jason’s boss.  (Laughter.)  And she is still his boss.  (Laughter and applause.)  That does not change.  That’s how it works.  (Laughter.)

So we were talking about something that nobody looks forward to, and that’s paying taxes.  Everybody understands it’s something you have to do; you don’t love doing it.  But we were talking about how over the last four years, because of policies my administration put in place, we’ve been able to offer the McLaughlins about $4,900 in tax relief.  (Applause.)

And they’ve said that’s made a real difference in their lives.  It’s helped them pay their bills; helped them get day care for Cooper.  We were sitting and I was telling them the house they’re in now is roughly the same size as the house that Michelle and I lived in for the first 13 years that we were married.  We had a little co-op.  And when they were talking about the bills, I remembered going through them.  You got the mortgage.  You got the student loans.  You got the electricity bill, car note, gas bill, day care.  Everything they were talking about was familiar because Michelle and I went through it.  And that $4,900 helped.  It made a difference.

Now we’ve got a choice to make, because on January 1st, taxes are scheduled to go up on everybody in America.  That’s what the law says right now — if we don’t do anything, if Congress doesn’t do anything, taxes will go up on everybody at the end of this year.

Yesterday I called on Congress to stop any tax hikes for the 98 percent of Americans who are just like the McLaughlins — just like you.  (Applause.)  Because if Congress doesn’t act, then that tax hike could cost up to $2,200 for a family of four.  That wouldn’t just be a big financial hit for Jason and Ali, because as they pointed out — and this is what I love about America and what I love about them — they said, as tight as things may be for us, we’re a lot better off than a lot of folks we know.  So imagine if it’s tough for them what it’s going to be for somebody else.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Like my mom.

THE PRESIDENT:  Like your mom.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT:  It would be not only a huge blow to those families, it would be a big blow to our entire economy at a time when we need all the help we can get.

Now, I believe that we should make sure that taxes on the 98 percent of Americans don’t go up, and then we should let the tax cuts expire for folks like me, for the top 2 percent of Americans.  (Applause.)

So anybody making over $250,000 a year, including me, we’d go back to the tax rates that we were paying under Bill Clinton, which, by the way, was a time when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and created plenty of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

And by the way, the reason I say that is not because I just love to pay taxes.  (Laughter.)  It’s because I know I can afford it, and to give me another tax break or to give Warren Buffett another tax break, or to give Mitt Romney another tax break —

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  — that would cost about a trillion dollars, and we can’t afford it — not at a time where we’re trying to bring down our deficit.  Not at a time when we’re trying to reduce our debt.

So this has nothing to do with me wanting to punish success. We love folks getting rich.  I hope Malia and Sascha go out there and if that’s what they want to do, that’s great.  But I do want to make sure that everybody else gets that chance as well.  And for us to give a trillion dollars’ worth of tax breaks to folks who don’t need it — (applause) — to folks who don’t need it and aren’t even asking for it, that doesn’t make sense.

Now, the Republicans in Congress and Mr. Romney disagree with me.  And that’s what democracy is all about.  They want more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — on top of the existing Bush tax cuts, they want to give $5 trillion more in tax cuts.  And that fight is a big part of what this election is about.  We’re going to have that debate — here in Iowa and all across the country.

But in the meantime, doesn’t it make sense for us to agree to keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans who are working hard and can’t afford a tax hike right now?  (Applause.)

I mean, think about it.  I want to hold taxes steady for 98 percent of Americans; Republicans say they want to do the same thing.  We disagree on the other 2 percent.  Well, what do you usually do if you agree on 98 percent and you disagree on 2 percent?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Compromise!

THE PRESIDENT:  Why don’t you compromise to help the middle class?  Go ahead and do the 98 percent, and we can keep arguing about the 2 percent.  Let’s agree when we can agree.  (Applause.)

Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the other 2 percent. In other words, let’s stand up for families like yours that are working hard every day, give you some certainty so you can start planning, so you have an idea of what’s coming next year.

And that’s what this election is about.  Ultimately, Cedar Rapids, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President — because I believe we can make progress right now that helps you and your families.  That’s what I’m going to be fighting for.  (Applause.)

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

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, this tax issue is part of a broader debate we’re going to have about how we rebuild an economy that grows the middle class and gives opportunity to everybody who is trying to get into the middle class.

When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse and more than one million jobs were on the line, Governor Romney said we should “let Detroit go bankrupt.”

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  I refused to turn my back on a great American industry and great American workers.  (Applause.)  I bet on American workers.  I bet on American manufacturing.  And three years later, the American auto industry has come roaring back.  (Applause.)  That’s what this election is about.  (Applause.)

Because what’s happening in the auto industry can happen in other industries, and I’m running to make sure it does.  I want hi-tech manufacturing to take root in places like Cedar Rapids and Newton and Des Moines.  (Applause.)  I want goods stamped with “Made In America” selling all around the world.  (Applause.) I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Governor Romney has experience owning companies that were called “pioneers” in the business of outsourcing.  My experience has been working with outstanding members of labor and great managers to save the American auto industry.  (Applause.)  And as long as I’m President, I will keep fighting to make sure jobs are located here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

But we can’t stop there.  I’m running to make sure that America once again leads the world in educating our kids and training our workers.  (Applause.)  Our tuition tax credit has saved millions of families thousands of dollars.  I want to extend it.  We just won the fight that we were having with Congress to stop the federal student loan rate from doubling for more than 7 million students.  (Applause.)  We got that done.  Now, I want to work with presidents and officials at universities and community colleges to bring the cost of tuition down once and for all.

I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  (Applause.)  I want to give 2 million more Americans the chance to attend great community colleges like Kirkwood, help them learn the skills that local businesses are hiring for right now.  Because higher education is not a luxury in the 21st century, it is a necessity, and I want everybody to be able to afford it.  (Applause.)  That’s what this election is about.  (Applause.)

My administration has already helped more than a million responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages.  Well, I’m running to give more folks like them a chance to refinance and save $3,000 a year.  My opponent’s plan is to let the housing market “hit bottom.”  That’s not a solution; that’s part of the problem.  That’s a choice in this election.

I’m running because I believe that nobody in America should go broke just because they get sick.  (Applause.)  Our health care law was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  It was the right thing to do.  And you know what, I will work with anybody to improve the health care law where we can.  But this law is here to stay.  (Applause.)

And it will help the vast majority of Americans feel greater security.  (Applause.)  If you’ve got health insurance, it’s going to be more secure because insurance companies can’t jerk you around because of fine print.  If you don’t have health insurance, we’ll help you get it.  They’re not going to be able to discriminate against you in buying health insurance because you’re sick.  And we’re not going to tell the six million young people who have already been helped because they’re now on their parent’s insurance plan that suddenly they’re on their own.  And we’re not going to turn Medicare into a voucher system.  (Applause.)

We’re not going to refight political battles from two years ago or three years ago.  We’re going to move forward, and help every American make sure they feel some security when it comes to health care.  (Applause.)

I’m running because after a decade of war, we stopped and ended the war in Iraq, we’re transitioning out of Afghanistan, and now it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)  So I want to take about half the money we’re no longer spending on a war and let’s use it to put people back to work — (applause) — rebuilding our roads, rebuilding our runways, our ports, our wireless networks.  \

I know we’ve got some trades here in the house.  These guys, they’re ready to work.  They’re ready to put a hardhat on.  They’re read to rebuild America.  That’s what we need to be doing all across Iowa, all across this country.  We can’t go back.  We’ve got to move forward.  (Applause.)

And I am running to make sure that we can afford to pay down our debt and our deficits in a way that is responsible.  After a decade of irresponsible decisions, we need to reduce it, but in a balanced, responsible way.  I will cut spending that we can’t afford —

AUDIENCE  Be sure you help our vets!

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’re going to help our vets — we’re doing it.  We’ve actually increased veterans funding since I’ve been President higher than any time in 30 years.  (Applause.)

But in order to bring down our debt and our deficits in a responsible way, it means cutting out things we can’t afford.  Not every government program works — we can streamline government.  I’ve asked for authority from Congress to make sure that government is suited for the 21st century, not the 19th century.  (Applause.)

But what we’ve also got to do is ask the wealthiest Americans who enjoyed the biggest unlike tax cuts over the past decade to just pay a little bit more.  And here’s the thing.   There are plenty of patriotic, successful Americans who want to make this contribution.  They’re willing to do it because they remember how they got successful.

All of these things — whether it’s bringing manufacturing, or getting construction workers back on the job, or protecting your health care, or saving the auto industry, or making sure our kids get the best education, making sure our veterans get the care they deserve after fighting on behalf of our freedom — all these things that make up a middle-class life, they’re all tied together.  They’re all central to the idea that made this big, diverse, hopeful, optimistic, hardworking country great — the idea that if you work hard, you can have the security to make of your life what you will.  The idea that we are all in this together.

We are individuals, and we have to take responsibility and nobody is going to offer you anything, but ultimately there are some things we do together.  That’s the promise of our parents and our grandparents.  They passed it down to us.  It’s the promise we have to pass down to our kids and our grandkids — that we don’t just look out for ourselves.  We look after other people, too, in our communities, in our states, in our nation, and next generation of Americans.  (Applause.)

So over the next four months, you’ll see the other side spending more money than we’ve ever seen before.  And even though there will probably be a bunch of different ads, they’ll all have the same message.  They’ll all say:  The economy is not where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault.  That’s basically their idea. They know their economic theory isn’t going to sell, so all they can say is, unemployment is still too high; folks are still struggling and it’s Obama’s fault.  That’s their message.  That’s it.  They don’t have another one.  (Laughter.)  I guarantee you, you watch every ad, that’s going to be the message.

Now, that may be a plan to win an election, but it’s not a plan to create jobs.  It sure as heck is not a plan to grow our economy.  (Applause.)  It’s not a plan to revive our middle class.  They don’t have that plan.  I’ve got that plan, Iowa.  (Applause.)

So let me tell you, we have been outspent before, we’ve been counted out before.  But through every one of my campaigns, what’s always given me hope is you — your ability to cut through the nonsense; your ability to identify what’s true, to tap into those values that we all believe in.

I know that you guys remember the story of your family just like I remember mine — and all the struggles of our parents and our grandparents and great-grandparents — everything they went through –- some of them coming here as immigrants, maybe working in a mine, working on a mill, farming the land.  They didn’t know what to expect, but they understood there was something special about this country.  They knew that this was a country where people are free to pursue their own dreams, but that we still come together as one American family.

And they knew that being middle class wasn’t just about having a certain amount of money in your bank account.  It was about the values you cared about, and the responsibilities that you took, and the communities that you believed in, and how you were able to have some security to take care of your family and give your children a better chance than you did.

And when we come together and we tap into those values, when we remember what we’re made of and who we are and how we got here, and that we didn’t get here alone because somebody out there was helping us along the way, then all that money spent on TV advertising doesn’t matter.  All those negative ads don’t happen.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We’re not buying it!

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s what I remember.  That’s what I know about — how you guys not only inspired me but you inspired each other.  And you can still do that.  You still inspire me.

When I told you in 2008 that I was running for President, I told you, look, I’m not a perfect man — Michelle tells me that. (Laughter.)  And I wouldn’t be a perfect President.  But I promised that I would tell you what I thought, I’d tell you where I stood, and I promised I would work every single day — I would fight as hard as I knew how for you.  (Applause.)  Because I saw myself in you.  I saw my kids in your kids, and my grandparents in your grandparents.  (Applause.)

And I’ve kept that promise, Iowa.  (Applause.)  I have kept that promise.  And I still believe in you.  And if you still believe in me, and you’re willing to stand with me, and work with me, and knock on doors with me, and make phone calls with me, I promise you we will not just win this election, we will finish what we started, and we will remind the world why America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

END
1:38 P.M. CDT

Full Text Obama Presidency May 24, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Discusses Clean Energy Agenda in Iowa

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama Touts Clean Energy Agenda in Iowa

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-24-12

Visiting the critical battleground state of Iowa Thursday, President Obama touted his election-year energy agenda and urged Republican lawmakers to put politics aside and back his proposals to boost the economy.

“Too many of my Republican friends in Congress are standing in the way.  They either want to do nothing at all or they want to double down on the same failed policies that got us into this mess,” the president told workers in the blue-collar town of Newton, Iowa.

Obama has been publicly pushing lawmakers to act on his “honey-do” list for Congress, five items that he has been promoting for months, but that have gained little traction on Capitol Hill….READ MORE

President Obama Talks Clean Energy in Iowa

Source: WH, 5-24-12

President Barack Obama at TPI Composites Iowa’s wind turbine blade facility (May 24, 2012)
cPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks urging Congress to act on the “To Do List” and highlighting the need to invest in clean energy by passing legislation, at TPI Composites Iowa’s wind turbine blade facility in Newton, Iowa, May 24, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

In Iowa this afternoon, President Obama continued to press lawmakers to take action on his To-Do List for Congress.

He traveled to Newton to push for the renewal of a tax credit for companies that produce clean energy. The credit currently supports as many as 37,000 jobs.

His host for the visit was TPI Composites — a company that makes blades for wind turbines and employs more 700 people.

“If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit,” he said. “Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess, that’s a fact. We can’t let that happen.”

Currently, 20 percent of all the electricity used in the Iowa is generated by wind power, and there are currently more wind power jobs in the state than in any other in America.

Overall, the United States generates enough electricity from wind to power 10 million homes. And there are 500 production facilities in 43 states putting people to work in that industry.

Later, he answered questions about the To-Do List on Twitter.

 

Remarks by the President on Energy in Newton, Iowa

TPI Composites
Newton, Iowa

4:30 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Iowa!  (Applause.)  Well, it is good to be back in Newton!  (Applause.)  It’s been a while.  It’s good to be back in Iowa.  It’s brought back memories — of a lot of driving.  (Laughter.)  And I just had a great tour of this facility.  By the way, if people have chairs, feel free to sit down.  (Laughter.)  Some of you may not have seats, but I want to make everybody comfortable.  But don’t worry, I’m not going to talk that long.  I didn’t want to give that impression.

I just had a wonderful tour of this facility.  And I was telling some of the folks we couldn’t take the helicopters in because the winds were too strong, so you are definitely in the right business.  (Laughter.)  Obviously there’s some wind power here in Iowa that we want to tap.

I want to thank Quinten for the terrific introduction and for sharing his story.  Give Quinten a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Quinten was telling my team this is the first time he’s ever spoken in public.  But he looked like a pro to me.  (Applause.)

I want to thank your mayor, Mayor Allen, for welcoming us here today.  (Applause.)  I also want to thank Representative Dave Loebsack for being here.  Give Dave a big round of applause. (Applause.)  And I know he had to leave early, but I just want to acknowledge somebody you know well — our outstanding Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.  (Applause.)  Tom was instrumental in helping transform Newton and he’s still got your back.  He is still fighting every single day for every single person in this town, but all across rural America.  And so we’re very proud of him.

Now, we all know how difficult these past few years have been for the country.  Iowa has actually done a little better than some other states, but it’s still been tough.  And after the worst recession of our lifetimes, it’s going to take some time for the economy to fully recover — more time than a lot of us would like.  And we’re still facing some headwinds, like the situation in Europe right now, which is having an impact on our economy.

But while there’s certain economic developments we can’t control, there are a bunch of things that we can control.  There are plenty of steps that we can take right now — steps that we must take right now — to speed up this recovery and to create jobs, and to restore some of the financial security that a lot of families have lost.  It’s within our control to do all of that right now.  But here’s the thing — (applause.)  It’s true, we can make that difference.

The challenge we’ve got is that too many folks aren’t on the same page.  We’ve got too many of my dear Republican friends in Congress that have been standing in the way of some steps that we could take that would make a difference at the moment.  Either they say they don’t want to do anything at all, or they don’t want to do it before the election, or they want to double down on some of the policies that didn’t work and helped to get us into this mess in the first place.

And Newton knows something about that — because Newton lost manufacturing.  Newton lost Maytag.  A lot of the trends that we had seen even before the financial crisis hit, hit Newton first. And so when you hear somebody say we should cut more taxes, especially for the wealthiest Americans, well, Newton, you’ve been there and you’ve done that.  We did that — 2000, 2001, 2003.  When you hear people say that we should cut back more on the rules we put in place for banks and financial institutions to avoid another taxpayer bailout — well, we tried that.  When people say that we should just wait until the housing market hits bottom and hope that it comes back, hope for the best — well, that’s not an answer for people.  That doesn’t make sense.

We’ve tried at lot of these ideas for nearly a decade.  It did not work.  We saw manufacturing moving offshore.  We saw a few people do very well, but too many families struggling just to get by — all before the financial crisis hit.  And the financial crisis made it worse.  So we can’t go backwards.  We’ve got to move forward.  We’ve got to build an economy where hard work and responsibility pay off, where you can find a good job and own your own home, maybe start your own businesses and give your kids a chance for a better future.  (Applause.)  That’s the American way.  That’s who we are.  (Applause.)

So I’ve been pushing Congress to help us get there by passing a few common-sense policies that would strengthen the economy and put more folks to work right now.  We even made a handy “To-Do” list that they can check off.  It’s just like the to-do list Michelle gives me, a “honey-do” list.  (Laughter.)  There are only five things on it, on this “To-Do” list, but these are all things we could get done before the election.  We don’t have to wait until then.  There are some things that we should put ahead of politics, and one of them is making sure that the economy is moving forward and the recovery is moving forward.  (Applause.)

And like I said, I kept it simple.  There are just five things.  I didn’t want to overload Congress with too much at once.  (Laughter.)  But these are all ideas that will make a difference right now and we shouldn’t wait for an election to get them done.

So first up on the list, it makes no sense that we’re actually still giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas.  That doesn’t make sense at all.  That doesn’t make any sense.  (Applause.)  So what I’ve asked Congress to do is end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas, use that money to cover the moving expenses for companies that are bringing jobs back to the United States of America.  That’s a common-sense approach.  (Applause.)

Second, we’ve asked Congress to give every responsible homeowner — folks who have been making their mortgage payments  — the opportunity to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage and taking advantage of these historically low rates.  The problem is a lot of folks are having trouble refinancing if their home is underwater, if it’s worth less than their mortgage, and sometimes banks have been pulling back a little bit.  We want to make it easier for people to refinance.  So that’s the second thing because that will create  — that will put more money in the economy for everybody.  And if you’ve got an extra $3,000 in your pocket, then you’ll go shopping, you’ll go out to a restaurant — suddenly there’s a lot more money circulating and the economy gets stronger.  So that’s the second thing.

Two weeks ago I was in Reno, Nevada, with a family — they got a chance to refinance because of some steps that we had already taken administratively, and it’s making a huge difference in their lives.  And we want all families to have that same opportunity.

Third thing, instead of just talking about job creators — you always hear — every member of Congress has said, we’ve got to help the job creators.  Okay, let’s help them.  Congress should help small business owners who create most of the new jobs in America — small business owners — (Applause.)  So what we want to do is give them a tax break for hiring more workers and for paying them higher wages.  Give them an incentive to say, you know what, if on the margins maybe I’m thinking about hiring that extra person, if I get a tax break it makes that person a little bit cheaper to hire, and that can put more of our neighbors and friends back to work.  So that’s a common-sense idea.  (Applause.)

Fourth thing, we have done a whole lot to make sure that those men and women who have served us in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we are serving them as well as they’ve served us — (applause) — treating them with the honor and respect that they have earned when they come home.  (Applause.)  So we put together the Post-9/11 GI Bill so they’re able to go back and get some training and skills.  We mobilized the private sector to hire more veterans and give them the private sector incentives to hire more veterans.

But there’s another thing we can do.  Congress should create what we’re calling a Veterans Jobs Corps, so that we can help communities across America put our returning heroes back to work as police officers and firefighters and park rangers.  Nobody who fought for our country overseas should have to fight for a job when they come back home.  We’ve still got too much unemployment among our veterans.  (Applause.)

So those are four simple things.  And the fifth thing is the reason why I’m here today.  The fifth item on my “To-Do” list — I’m calling on Congress to extend tax credits that are set to expire at the end of the year for clean-energy companies like TPI.  (Applause.)  Let’s not wait.  Let’s do it now.  (Applause.)

Many of you know the story of what’s happening here better than I do, but I just want to remind you how far we’ve come.  Shortly after I took office, I came to Newton — some of you remember — and we unveiled an all-of-the-above energy strategy for America.  We said let’s produce more oil and gas, but let’s also produce more biofuels; let’s produce more fuel-efficient cars; let’s produce more solar and wind powerand other sources of clean, renewable energy.  And I came to Newton because Newton is helping to lead the way when it comes to building wind turbines.

And since then, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year that I’ve been in office — every single year. (Applause.)  America is now producing more domestic oil than any time in the last eight years.  But we’re also producing more natural gas, and we’re producing more biofuels than any time in our history.  And that’s good for the Iowa economy.  (Applause.) We’re laying the foundation for some of our nation’s first offshore wind farms.  And since I became President, America has nearly doubled the use of renewable energy, like solar power and wind power — we’ve nearly doubled it.  (Applause.)

So this country is on the path towards more energy independence.  And that’s good for everybody.  It’s good for people’s pocketbooks; it’s good for the environment; it’s good for our national security.  We don’t want our economy dependent on something that happens on the other side of the world.  We don’t want every time there’s a scare about war or some regime change in the Middle East that suddenly everybody here is getting socked and the whole economy is going down.

And the best thing is, in the process, we’re also putting thousands of Americans back to work — because the more we rely on American-made energy, the less oil we buy from other countries, the more jobs we create here at home, the more jobs we create here in Iowa.

So let’s look at the wind industry.  It’s so important to Iowa.  This industry, thanks in large part to some very important tax credits, has now taken off.  The state of Iowa now gets nearly 20 percent of all your electricity from wind — 20 percent.  Overall, America now has enough wind capacity to power 10 million homes.  So this is an industry on the rise.  And as you know, it’s an industry that’s putting people to work.  You know this firsthand.  There are more wind power jobs in Iowa than any other state.  That’s a big deal.  (Applause.)

And one of these modern windmills has more than 8,000 different parts — everything from the towers and the blades to the gears, to the electrical switches.  And it used to be that almost all these parts were imported.  Today, more and more of these parts are being made here in America — right here.  (Applause.)  We used to have just a few dozen manufacturing facilities attached to the wind industry.  Today we have nearly 500 facilities in 43 states employing tens of thousands of American workers — tens of thousands.

So we’re making progress.  And you know it better than anybody.  I mean, when I was talking to Quinten and Mark and a whole bunch of the other folks who are working here, they reminded me of the experience at working at Maytag and putting your heart and soul into a company and making a great product, and then, suddenly having that company leave, and how hard that was for families and how hard it was for the community.  But folks made the transition.

And now, when you look at what’s happening here — 700 to 800 jobs, over $30 million being put back into the community — this gives folks hope.  It gives people opportunity.  I met some folks who have been in manufacturing for 30 years, but I also met a couple of young folks who were just getting started.  And that’s what we’re looking for.  Nobody wants a handout.  Nobody wants to get something for nothing.  But if we’ve got a chance to create energy and create value and put people back to work, why wouldn’t we do that?

So I’m here today because, as much progress as we’ve made, that progress is in jeopardy.  If Congress doesn’t act, those tax credits that I mentioned — the ones that helped build up the wind industry, the ones that helped to bring all these jobs to Newton, those tax credits will expire at the end of the year if Congress doesn’t do anything.

If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit.  Jobs will be lost.  That’s not a guess, that’s a fact.  We can’t let that happen.  And keep in mind that — and this is something Congress needs to understand — Dave Loebsack understands it, but I want every member of Congress to understand it.  These companies that are putting in orders for these amazing blades, they’re making plans now.  They’re making decisions now. So if they’re cutting back on their orders, if they’re not confident that the industry is going to be moving at a fast clip and they start reducing orders here, that affects you.  You can’t wait for six months.  You can’t wait for eight months.  You can’t wait for a year to get this done.  It’s got to be done now.  (Applause.)

So this is a simple thing on Congress’s “To-Do” list — extend these tax credits.  Do it now.  Every day they don’t act business grows more concerned that they will not be renewed.  They’re worried demand for their products is going down, so they start thinking twice about expanding, more cautious about making new investments.  They start looking overseas.  I was talking to your CEO.  We got an opportunity to branch out, but we want to branch out by making the stuff here and then sending it there.  We don’t want to branch out by sending the jobs and the investments over there, and then shipping it back to America.  That doesn’t make sense.  (Applause.)  One company that had plans to invest $100 million to build a wind manufacturing plant in Arkansas — and create hundreds of jobs –- put those plans on hold.

And by the way, this should not be a partisan issue.  There are several Republican governors –- including the governor of this state -– who are calling on Congress to act.  There are members of Congress in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle –- including your two senators –- who support these tax credits.  And that doesn’t happen much in Washington where Democrats and Republicans say they agree on something.  So if you agree, why haven’t we gotten it done yet?

This is not just an issue, by the way, for the wind industry.   Some of America’s most prominent companies -– from Starbucks to Campbell’s Soup –- they’re calling on Congress to act because they use renewable energy.

Sometimes when I think about Washington and Congress — and I know some of you think the same way — I don’t get it.  I understand why we wouldn’t get something if we really disagree on something.  And there are some big disagreements:  They want to make big cuts to pay for more big tax cuts for the wealthy.  I disagree with that.  I think we should have a balanced approach  — cut waste, but make sure that everybody is paying their fair share.  (Applause.)  An issue like that, maybe it can’t get settled before an election because they just have a different approach.  I understand that.  But this, everybody says they agree to or at least a lot of people agree to it.

So I’m going to need your help.  I need you to get involved. I need you to help get this done.  I need everybody here in Newton — and I mean everybody — I don’t just mean folks who work at TPI — anybody who’s watching, everybody here in Iowa, pick up the phone, send an email, send a tweet, tell Congress, let’s do the right thing.  Tell Congress the story of Newton.  Tell folks why it’s so important to this community.  Tell them we’ve come too far to turn back now.  (Applause.)

It used to be Newton was known for building washers and dryers, used to be Newton was known for Maytag.  And obviously they were a big employer — thousands of people working in the area.  But back in 2007 when they closed down the operations here, that was a major blow.  And everybody here, if you don’t — if you weren’t affected personally by it, you were affected indirectly.  Your friends, your neighbors, friends like Quinten were forced to start all over again.  And he didn’t give up.  You didn’t give up.  You kept pushing ahead.  Some of you had to retrain.  Pretty soon after one industry had left, another showed up.  Some of the facilities that Maytag closed were reopened.  So a lot of folks who used to build washers and dryers, now they’re part of the future, building an industry that’s going to make America stronger.  That’s the story of Newton.  That’s the story of America.

So, yes, we’re facing tough times, but we’re getting through them.  We’re getting through them together — because in this country, just like in Newton, we don’t give up.  We keep moving. We keep moving forward.  And if we work together with a common purpose, we will get this economy back on track — and remind everybody why America is the greatest country on Earth.

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

END
4:55 P.M. CDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz May 15, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Iowa Speech Defends Economic Record Blames Obama for ‘Prairie fire of Debt’ — Day After Obama Campaign Ad Attacked Bain Years as Job Killing

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: ROMNEY DEFENDS ECONOMIC RECORD IN IOWA SPEECH AFTER OBAMA AD TARGETED BAIN YEARS AS JOB KILLING

On Spending, President Obama Hasn’t Kept His Promises To Iowa: “President Obama has spent the last four years trying to convince Iowans he will stop passing our financial burdens to the next generation. But his liberal policies of skyrocketing debt and deficits just haven’t lived up to the promises he’s made. As president, Mitt Romney will finally deliver the change Washington needs by reining in wasteful spending and getting our economy moving again.” –- Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson, 5-15-12

In Iowa, Romney tags Obama for debt ‘prairie fire’: Republican Mitt Romney said Tuesday President Barack Obama’s support for increased federal debt has put the economy on a disastrous course, portraying himself in a speech in battleground Iowa as the defender of fiscal responsibility and his opponent as reckless…. – AP, 5-15-12

  • In Iowa, Romney Tests Economic Message: Iowa is an interesting laboratory for Mr. Romney’s campaign – and how he does in the state could dramatically impact the outcome of the presidential election in November…. – NYT, 5-15-12
  • Romney, GOP try to shift focus to deficit: Mitt Romney will continue his blitz against President Barack Obama over the federal deficit on Tuesday, signaling a GOP shift away from social issues and back to what Republicans consider the president’s Achilles’ heel…. – CNN, 5-15-12
  • How Romney is fighting harsh charge he’s a heartless job-killer: Two new pro-Obama ads are hammering Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, for the demise of a Missouri steel company. The counter-ad from the Romney camp focuses on a firm that Bain bolstered… – CS Monitor, 5-15-12
  • Romney vows to douse ‘prairie fire of debt’: Mitt Romney will say today he can extinguish the “prairie fire of debt” that’s sweeping across the nation. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee will speak this afternoon in Des Moines, in his first campaign appearance…. – USA Today, 5-15-12
  • Rob Portman defends Romney over Bain attacks: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman defended Mitt Romney against Democratic charges that he was a “job destroyer” during his tenure at Bain Capital, insisting the presumptive Republican nominee has a “pretty good” record of creating jobs…. – ABC News, 5-14-12 Obama targets Mitt Romney’s Bain years: President Obama’s reelection campaign rolled out a broad attack Monday against Republican Mitt Romney’s business experience at Bain Capital, trying to undermine Romney’s core argument for why he should be president. The Obama campaign began airing a…. – WaPo, 5-14-12
  • Obama ad depicts Mitt Romney as job-killing ‘vampire.’ Over the top?: Obama’s new ‘Steel’ ad picks up themes of vanquished Romney GOP rivals – that Mitt Romney is not a job creator but a job killer. But Romney was no longer with Bain Capital when the Kansas City steel mill went under…. CS Monitor, 5-14-12
  • Mitt Romney, Bain Capital, and the One Percent Economy: Last week, the Obama reelection campaign told Mark Halperin that it believes Mitt Romney’s one chance of winning the election would be to establish himself as a credible economic fix-it figure, and that it intended to focus its attacks on destroying that reputation. Today the campaign launches a missile straight at its target with an unusually long two-minute campaign ad assailing Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, along with a website (romneyeconomics.com) reinforcing the message that Romney’s record is all about extracting profit for the very rich, at the expense of the middle class. The name of the website, of course, implies that Romney’s record at Bain defines his economic philosophy…. – New York Magazine, 5-14-12

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks In Des Moines, Iowa

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 5-15-12

Mitt Romney today delivered remarks in Des Moines, Iowa. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Thank you all very much.

It’s good to be back in Iowa. So many friends here hold a special place in my heart.

I’ve come here today to talk to you about an issue that affects the very heart of America.

Of course, Iowa is much more than a collection of beautiful farms and small towns and cities bounded by two of America’s great rivers. Iowa is a collection of the values that built America and that have sustained us through good times and bad. You know them well: hard work, taking care of our neighbors, family, faith in God and country. Common sense, kitchen table values. Not fancy, but enduring.

These aren’t the values that lead to out-of-control spending sprees, or to piling up massive amounts of debt you know your children – and grandchildren – will have to work all their lives to pay off. These aren’t the values of putting off difficult decisions with the hope that maybe someone else will solve them.

Today America faces a financial crisis of debt and spending that threatens what it means to be an American. Here in the heartland you know in your hearts that it’s wrong.

We can’t spend another four years talking about solving a problem that we know we are making worse every single day.

When the men and women who settled the Iowa prairie saw a fire in the distance, they didn’t look around for someone else to save them or go back to sleep hoping the wind might blow another direction. They knew that their survival was up to them.

A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation and every day we fail to act that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love.

This is not solely a Democrat or a Republican problem. The issue isn’t who deserves the most blame, it’s who is going to do what it takes to put out the fire.

The people of Iowa and America have watched President Obama for nearly four years, much of that time with Congress controlled by his own party. And rather than put out the spending fire, he has fed the fire. He has spent more and borrowed more.

The time has come for a president, a leader, who will lead. I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can’t even imagine, from foreign countries we’ll never even visit. I will bring us together to put out the fire!

A lot of people think this is a problem we can’t solve. I reject that kind of “can’t do” defeatist talk. It’s wrong.

What’s happened here isn’t complicated. Washington has been spending too much money and our new President made things much worse. His policies have taken us backwards.

Almost a generation ago, Bill Clinton announced that the Era of Big Government was over.

Even a former McGovern campaign worker like President Clinton was signaling to his own Party that Democrats should no longer try to govern by proposing a new program for every problem.

President Obama tucked away the Clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas, along with transparency and bipartisanship. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe it was a personal beef with the Clintons….but really it runs much deeper.

President Obama is an old school liberal whose first instinct is to see free enterprise as the villain and government as the hero. America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs.  Instead, he bailed out the public-sector, gave billions of dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.

The consequence is that we are enduring the most tepid recovery in modern history.

The consequence is that half of the kids graduating from college can’t find a job that uses their skills. Half.

The consequence is that retirees can no longer get by on savings and Social Security.

The consequence is that the length of time it takes an unemployed worker to find a job is the longest on record.

This is why even those who voted for Barack Obama are disappointed in him.

Disappointment is the key in which the President’s re-election is being played. Americans will not settle for four more years of the same melancholy song. We can and we must do better.

President Obama started out with a near trillion-dollar stimulus package – the biggest, most careless one-time expenditure by the federal government in history.  And remember this: the stimulus wasn’t just wasted – it was borrowed and wasted.  We still owe the money, we’re still paying interest on it, and it’ll be that way long after this presidency ends.

Then there was Obamacare.  Even now nobody knows what it will actually cost.  And that uncertainty has slowed our economy.  Employers delay hiring and entrepreneurs put the brakes on starting new businesses, because of a massive, European-style entitlement that Americans didn’t want and can’t afford.

When you add up his policies, this President has increased the national debt by five trillion dollars.

Let me put that in a way we can understand. Your household’s share of government debt and unfunded liabilities has reached more than $520,000 under this president. Think about what that means. Your household will be taxed year after year with the interest cost of that debt and with the principal payments for those liabilities. Of course, it won’t be paid off by the adults in your household.  It will be passed along to your children. They will struggle throughout their lives with the interest on our debts–and President Obama is adding to them every single day.

And that’s the best case scenario. The interest rate on that debt is bound to go up, like an adjustable mortgage. And there’s a good chance this debt could cause us to hit a Greece-like wall.

Subprime mortgages came close to bringing the economy to its knees. This debt is America’s Nightmare Mortgage. It is adjustable, no-money down, and assigned to our children. Politicians have been trying to hide the truth about this Nightmare Mortgage for years–just like liar-loans.

This is not just bad economics; it is immoral.

During my time in business and in state government, I came to see the economy as having three big players – the private sector, the states and localities, and the federal government.

Of these three, the private sector is by far the most efficient and cost effective. That’s because scores of businesses and thousands of entrepreneurs are competing every day to find a way to deliver a product or a service that is better than anyone else’s. Think about smart phones. Blackberry got things going. Then Apple introduced the iPhone. Now the Android platform leads the market. In the world of free enterprise, competition brings us better and better products at lower and lower cost. Innovate and change or you go out of business. And the customer–us–benefits.

Government doesn’t begin to compare when it comes to change and improvements that provide better and less expensive services and products. But among governments, the states and localities are more responsive than the federal government, probably because there is a degree of competition between them.

The slowest, least responsive sector is the federal government.  Nobody hears “Washington, D.C.” and thinks “efficiency.”

Imagine if the federal government was the sole legal supplier of cell phones. First, they’d still be under review, with hearings in Congress. When finally approved, the contract to make them would go to an Obama donor. They’d be the size of a shoe, with a collapsible solar panel.  And campaign donors would be competing to become the all-powerful App Czar.

My point is this:  as President Obama and old-school liberals absorb more and more of our economy into government, they make what we do more expensive, less efficient, and less useful. They make America less competitive. They make government more expensive.

What President Obama is doing is not bold; it’s old.

As president, I will make the federal government simpler, smaller, smarter – and, by the way, more in keeping with the vision of the Framers of our Constitution.

This is why I do not, for one moment, share my opponent’s belief that our spending problems can be solved with more taxes.  You do not owe Washington a bigger share of your paycheck.

Instead of putting more limits on your earnings and your options, we need to place clear and firm limits on government spending.  As a start, I will lower federal spending to 20 percent of GDP within four years’ time – down from the 24.3 percent today.

The President’s plan assumes an endless expansion of government, with costs rising and rising with the spread of Obamacare. I will halt the expansion of government, and repeal Obamacare.

Working together, we can save Social Security without making any changes in the system for people in or nearing retirement.  We have two basic options for future retirees: a tax increase for high-income retirees, or a decrease in the benefit growth rate for high-income retirees.  I favor the second option; it protects everyone in the system and it avoids higher taxes that will drag down the economy.

I have proposed a Medicare plan that improves the program, keeps it solvent, and slows the rate of growth in health care costs.

Both of these reforms are relatively simple, compared to the far more difficult choices we’ll face if we do nothing.  Of course, Medicare and Social Security are also easy to demagogue, and I expect the President to continue doing that in this campaign.  But Americans are on to that game, and I’m not going to insult voters by pretending that we can just keep putting off entitlement reform.  I will continue to speak honestly, and, if elected, I will do what is right for the people of America.

The President has made little effort to rein in redundancy and waste.

In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found 34 areas where agencies, offices, or initiatives in the federal government had overlapping objectives or were providing similar services.  The GAO estimated that fixing this redundancy could save over $100 billion.  Yet, one year later, only three of these 34 areas had been fully addressed.  Only one program was actually defunded.

In 2010, 17 federal government agencies gave $7.7 billion to more than 25 United Nations programs, billions of it voluntarily.

Another example:  There are 94 federal programs in 11 agencies that encourage “green” building.  A report found that the results of their initiatives and investments are, quote, “unknown.”

We see the same bureaucracy and overhead in our anti-poverty programs.  Last year, the federal government spent more than $600 billion on more than 100 different programs that aim to help the poor.

My approach to federal programs and bureaucracy is entirely different. Move programs to states or to the private sector where they can be run more efficiently and where we can do a better job helping the people who need our help. Shut down programs that aren’t working. And streamline everything that’s left. It’s time for the people of America to take back the government of America.

Entitlement reform, doing away with redundancy and waste, and shifting services and programs to the economic player who can deliver them best – these are all serious steps toward getting our debt and spending under control.

But above all, we need to shake off the static big-government mindset of these past few years, and all the limits and regulations that go with it.  We need a big turnaround here, and it requires a focused, unrelenting, long-term agenda for economic growth.

Instead of leading the world in how much we borrow, America must continue to lead the world in how much we build, create, and invent.

With all that we’ve been through these past few years, the challenges can seem awfully big, and some might look at America and wonder if we have lost our confidence.  But confidence is not what is missing.  All that’s lacking now is direction and leadership.

These have been years of disappointment and decline, and soon we can put them behind us.  We can prosper again, with the powerful recovery we’ve all been waiting for, the good jobs that so many still need, and, above all, the opportunities we owe to our children and grandchildren.

All of this can be more than our hope – it can be our future.  It can begin this year, in the choice you make, so I ask for your help, your support, and your vote on the sixth of November.

Thank you all, and God bless America.

Full Text Campaign Buzz December 15, 2011: Fox News GOP Iowa Debate Transcript — Republican Presidential Candidates Debate in Sioux City Iowa — Last Debate of 2011 & Before Iowa Caucus

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

Eric Thayer for The New York Times

The seven Republican presidential candidates made their case to prospective voters in Sioux City, Iowa, on Thursday night in the last debate of the year. More Photos »

 

Republican Candidates Debate in Sioux City, Iowa December 15, 2011

PARTICIPANTS:
Representative Michele Bachmann (MN);
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GA);
Former Governor Jon Huntsman (UT);
Representative Ron Paul (TX);
Governor Rick Perry (TX);
Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA); and
Former Senator Rick Santorum (PA)

MODERATOR:
Bret Baier (Fox News)

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, since our last debate, your position in this race has changed dramatically. You are now physically at the center of the stage, which means you’re at the top of the polls, yet many Republicans seem conflicted about you. They say that you’re smart, that you’re a big thinker. At the same time, many of those same Republicans worry deeply about your electability in a general election, saying perhaps Governor Romney is a safer bet.

Can you put to rest once and for all the persistent doubts that you are, indeed, the right candidate on this stage to go up and beat President Obama?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, let me just say to you and to all of our viewers, Merry Christmas. This is a great time for us to be here. And I hope that everybody across the country has a very joyous Christmas season.

I’ve been around long enough that I remember at this exact time in 1979 when Ronald Reagan was running 30 points behind Bill Clinton — behind Jimmy Carter. And if people had said, “Gosh, electability is the number-one issue,” they wouldn’t have nominated him.

What they said was: He believes what he’s talking about. He has big solutions. He can get the economy growing. He understands foreign policy, and he’s the person I want to have debate Jimmy Carter. He carried more states against Carter than FDR carried against Herbert Hoover in 1932.

I believe I can debate Barack Obama, and I think in seven three- hour debates, Barack Obama will not have a leg to stand on in trying to defend a record that is terrible and an ideology that is radical.

MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, Governor Romney…[applause]

Governor Romney just yesterday said you’re an unreliable conservative. Now, obviously, he’s your opponent. He’s your opponent. But even Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said today he respects you greatly, but he openly questioned whether you had the discipline and focus to be president.

GINGRICH: Well, those are two different questions. The first — let me take them one by one, very quickly. I have a 90 percent American Conservative Union voting record for 20 years. I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt. Pretty conservative. The first wealth entitlement reform of your lifetime, in fact, the only major entitlement reform until now was welfare. Two out of three people went back to work or went to school. Pretty conservative. First tax cut in 16 years, largest capital gains tax cut in American history, unemployment came down to 4.2 percent. Pretty conservative.

I think on the conservative thing, it’s sort of laughable to suggest that somebody who campaigned with Ronald Reagan and with Jack Kemp and has had a 30-year record of conservatism, is somehow not a conservative?

MODERATOR: And what about the concerns from Iowa governor Branstad?

GINGRICH: I think people have to watch my career and decide. I spent 16 years working to create the first Republican majority in 40 years. I spent years helping create the first balanced budgets. I am the longest serving teacher in the senior military, 23 years teaching one and two-star generals and admirals the art of war. I think it’s fair to say that my commitment to disciplined, systematic work is — is fairly obvious. You know, people just have to decide.

Part of the difference is, I do change things when conditions change. And part of the difference is I strive for very large changes and I’m prepared to really try to lead the American people to get this country back on the right track. And that’s a very large change.

MODERATOR: Now to my colleague, Megyn Kelly.

MODERATOR: A similar question to you, Congressman Paul. You have some bold ideas. Some very fervent supporters and probably the most organized ground campaign here in Iowa. But there are many Republicans inside and outside of this state who openly doubt whether you can be elected president. How can you convince them otherwise? And if you don’t wind up winning this nomination, will you pledge here tonight that you will support the ultimate nominee?

PAUL: Well, you know, fortunately for the Republican party this year, probably every — anybody up here could probably beat Obama, so. [laughter] [applause]

PAUL: So the challenge isn’t all that great on how we’re going to beat Obama. I think he’s beating himself. I think really the question is, is what do we have to offer? And I have something different to offer. I emphasize civil liberties. I emphasize a pro-American foreign policy, which is a lot different than policemen of the world. I emphasize, you know, monetary policy and these things that the other candidates don’t — don’t talk about. But I think the important thing is the philosophy I’m talking about is the Constitution and freedom.

And that brings people together. It brings independents into the fold and it brings Democrats over on some of these issues. So, therefore, I see this philosophy as being very electable, because it’s an America philosophy. It’s the rule of law. And it — it means that, you know, we ought to balance the budget. It opens up the door for saying — supporting my willingness to cut $1 trillion out of the budget the first year. [applause]

MODERATOR: Senator Santorum, no one has spent more time in Iowa than you. You have visited every county in the state. And yet while we have seen no fewer than four Republican candidates surge in the polls, sometimes in extraordinary ways, so far your campaign and you have failed to catch fire with the voters. Why?

SANTORUM: Well I’m counting on the people of Iowa to catch fire for me. That’s — that’s what this plan was all about from day one, is to go to all 99 counties and do already almost 350 town hall meetings here in Iowa. We’re organizing. We have a very clear message. That’s the thing that’s going to pay off for us in the end. And we present a clear contrast that really nobody else in this race does.

We present the contrast of someone who’s been a strong conviction conservative. You know where I stand. You can trust me because I’ve been there and I’ve done it. And I did it as a leader. When I was in the leadership, if you were a conservative and you had an issue that you wanted to get voted on or you wanted to get done in the United States Senate, you came to Rick Santorum. Because I was the guy fighting for the conservative cause when it was popular, and when it was unpopular.

The speaker had a conservative revolution against him when he was the speaker of the House. I had conservatives knocking down my door because I was the effective advocate for the principles that they believed in. That’s the contrast. We have — we need someone who’s strong in their political and personal life to go out and contrast themselves with the president and make him the issue in this campaign. And that’s why Iowans are beginning to respond. They like the accountability. They like the fact that I’ve been there and — and met with them and believe in them to lead this country.

MODERATOR: Chris Wallace? [applause]

MODERATOR: Thank you Brett. Governor Romney, I want to follow up on Brett’s line of questioning to the speaker. Because many of our viewers tell us that they are supporting Newt Gingrich because they think that he will be tougher than you in taking the fight to Barack Obama in next fall’s debates. Why would you be able to make the Republican case against the president more effectively than the speaker?

ROMNEY: Well lets step back and talk about what’s really happening in the country. What we’re finding across America is a lot of people are really hurting. 25 million people out of work, stopped looking for work or in part-time work that need full-time jobs. A lot of people in the middle-class who have seen incomes go down as the cost of their living has gone up and up and up. The American people care very deeply about having a president who’d get America right again.

And all of us on this stage have spoken over the last several debates about the fact that government doesn’t create jobs, but the private sector does. I spent my life, my career in the private sector. I understand, by the way from my successes and failures what it’s going to take to put Americans back to work with high-paying jobs.

I can debate President Obama based upon that understanding. And I’ll have credibility on the economy when he doesn’t. My successes include some businesses that were successful, like Staples and Bright Horizons Children’s Centers, and a steel mill in the middle of Indiana, some things I learned from.

And, by the way, some failures. I remember when founders of Jet Blue came to me and said, invest in us. I said, well, that will never work. Got it wrong. Now one of my favorite airlines.

I know what it takes to get this economy going. The president doesn’t. The proof is in his record. It’s terrible. My record shows that I can get America working again. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann, no one questions your conservative credentials, but what about your appeal to independents who are so crucial in a general election? If you are fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, how would you counter the efforts by the Barack Obama campaign to paint you as too conservative to moderate voters?

BACHMANN: Well, it’s very clear in the last five years I have won four elections as the first Republican woman ever to win out of the state of Minnesota. And I did that by attracting not only Republicans but also independents and Democrats as well.

Because people wanted to know, who could they trust? They knew that in me they may not always agree with me but they knew that I was a woman who said what she meant and meant what she said. And they respected that level of authenticity and sincerity.

And They also knew that I was an action person. That I wasn’t just going to sit on my hands. I was going to work and serve them. And that is what I’ve done. I have worked very hard in the United States Congress in the brief time that I have been there.

I’m 55 years old. I spent 50 years as a real person. And now five years going toe-to-toe with Barack Obama, taking him on, on every issue from Dodd-Frank to cap and trade to illegal immigration to “Obama-care.” And I will do that as president of the United States. That is my proven track record. [applause]

MODERATOR: Neil Cavuto?

MODERATOR: Thank you, Bret. Governor Perry, by your own admission, you are not a great debater. You have said as much, and downplayed debating skills in general. But if you were to become your party’s nominee, you would be going up against an accomplished debater in Barack Obama.

There are many in this audience tonight, sir, who fear that possibility. And don’t think you are up to the fight. Allay them of their concerns.

PERRY: Well, I want to share something with you. That as each one of these debates — I’m kind of getting where I like these debates. As a matter of fact, I hope Obama and I debate a lot. And I’ll get there early. And we will get it on and we will talk about our differences, which are great.

I’ll talk about what we have done in the state of Texas. I’ll talk about passing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Congress. I’ll talk about having the type of part-time Congress that I think Americans are ready for.

And, you know, there are a lot of people out there — I understand it, you know, there are a lot of folks that said Tim Tebow wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback. There are people that stood up and said, well, he doesn’t have the right throwing mechanisms, or he doesn’t — you know, he is not playing the game right.

And, you know, he won two national championships. And that looked pretty good. We’re the national champions in job creation back in Texas. And so — but am I ready for the next level? Let me tell you, I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses. [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, your campaign has been praised by moderates but many question your ability to galvanize Republicans, and energize the conservative base of the party. They are especially leery of your refusal to sign on to a no-tax-hike pledge. How can you reassure them tonight?

HUNTSMAN: I think people, Neil, are coming around to finding that I am the consistent conservative in this race. They are coming around to find that I am not going to pander. I am not going to contort myself into a pretzel to please any audience I’m in front of. And I’m not going to sign those silly pledges.

And you know what else? I’m not going to show up at a Donald Trump debate. [laughter] [applause]

HUNTSMAN: This nation has been downgraded. This nation is on the cusp of the third government shutdown. We have been kicked around as people. We are getting screwed as Americans. And I’m here to tell you, we are going to lead charge in doing what must be done in addressing the two deficits we have.

We have an economic deficit in this country, and is it going to shipwreck the next generation unless we can deal with it. And we have a trust deficit. People in this country don’t trust the institutions of power anymore.

We need to go to Congress and we need to say, you need term limits. We need to go to Congress and say, we need to close that revolving door that allows members of Congress to file on out and lobby.

And we need to go to Wall Street and say, no trust there either, because we have banks that are “too big to fail.” And I’m telling you, Neil, I’m the person who is going to leave the charge on all of the above and fix the economic deficit, but I’m going fix this country’s trust deficit, because we’re too good as people to be in the hole we’re in and we deserve better. [applause]

MODERATOR: As Governor Huntsman just mentioned, there is a real drama playing out real-time in Washington right now with the threat of yet another government shutdown, the possibility that millions of Americans could see their payroll taxes go up. If you’re president, as is the case now, and you are at lagerheads with one chamber of congress, how would you handle this situation?

30 seconds down the line. Start with Senator Santorum.

SANTORUM: Well, you do what leaders do. They go out and try to bring people together. They tell a narrative and remind Americans who we are and how we solve our problems. This country is a great country because we believe in free people.

In 2008, the American public were convinced by Barack Obama that they needed someone to believe in, that they could believe in. We now understand that what we need is some president who believes in them. That is the narrative. Go out and motivate the American public, have them talk to their representatives in Washington to pass solutions that believe in bottom up, how we built America, free markets, free people.

MODERATOR: Governor perry?

PERRY: After three years, you would think this president could learn how to work in Washington, D.C. If there has ever been a greater example of on-the-job training, this is it. Couldn’t have been at a worst time for America.

We need a president who has that governing, executive experience, someone who understands how to work with both sides of the aisle. Frankly, we should never have gotten this point at all.

The idea that he walked away from the work at hand and we had a supercommittee, that was put in place, that was going to fail on its face, that is the type of leadership that this president has been an absolute failure at and the type that I have been working at as the governor of Texas for the last 11 years.

MODERATOR: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Bret, this is a question that ought to take longer than 30 seconds, even 60 seconds. This is the question of the presidency. What is leadership?

I had the disadvantage of some respects of becoming governor and a state with a legislature 85 percent Democrat. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. To get anything done, I had to learn how to get respect of the speaker of the house and the senate president and Democratic leaders. I found a way to do that, to find common ground from time to time. And when crisis arose, we were able to work together. That is what has to happen.

There are Democrats who love America as Republicans do, but we need to have a leader in the White House, that knows how to lead. I have had four leadership experiences in my life where I have lead enterprises. I want to use that experience to get America right again. And I will do it as president.

MODERATOR: We will have many more questions about gridlock in Washington and this topic overall. But Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: I want to start by reinforcing what Governor Romney just said. Leadership is the key. When you have a Sal Alinsky radical who is a campaigner in chief who doesn’t do the job of president, because he’s too busy trying to run for re-election, the constitution can’t work. I helped Ronald Reagan when Tip O’Neil was speaker to get enough votes to pass the Reagan program despite a Democratic majority.

As speaker, one reason some people aren’t happy with my leadership I worked things out with Bill Clinton to get welfare reform, a tax cut and four balanced budgets signed in a way that required bipartisanship, because you couldn’t get anything done otherwise. So leadership matters immensely in getting this done.

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: The main problem we have is the government is too big and the debt is too big and you have to cut spending so you have to get people to come together. They have been coming together to increase spending for decades. We have to get them to come together to do the opposite.

But there are two factions up there, one wants welfare and the other want warfare around the world and policing the world. So you go to people who like warfare you say give me half of the cuts that have to be in the welfare. Go to welfare people and say give me the cuts to cut the oversea warfare spending and bring people together and live up to what they say.

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: As president of the United States I would have called all 535 members of congress to come sit down in Washington last summer looking at the debt ceiling crisis. And what I would have done is said there are three principles we are going to follow, because the first one needs to be no new taxes. We’re taxed enough already.

The second principle needed to be that government can’t spend any more money than what it is taking in.

And the third principle had to be that we were going to follow the constitution of the United States. What that would have meant we would have looked at $15 trillion debt in the eye and said we are not going to add one more cent to it. We are going to prioritize our spending. And we’re going to put the reform in these long-term programs now, not wait eight months or five months. We are going to reform right now.

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman.

HUNTSMAN: Leadership is action, not words. And I learned a very important lesson about this when I ran for governor in 2004. I promised the people of my state as governor that we would create the finest state in America for business. I ran on a flat-tax proposal. It took us two years; we got it delivered.

Flat — I hear a lot of people talking about tax reform and a flat — we actually got one done. The finest business in the United States, we delivered to our people. Health care reform without a mandate. The list went on and on and on.

I ran for re-election. I got almost 80 percent of the vote, not because I’m a great politician, but I learned some lessons in leadership, that people want to be told where you can take them, and then they want you to deliver.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We have many more interesting questions coming up. We have a new feature for you tonight, as well. How well are the candidates answering the questions? We’re asking you to weigh in on Twitter. Tweet the candidate’s last name and the hash-tag #answer if you think they’re tackling the question or the hash-tag #dodge if you think they’re avoiding the question. Then you can go to foxnews.com/debate to see those results.

Now, during the break, you can head there and check it out. And if you have a suggested question or a follow-up to something you’ve heard, tweet @bretbaier. We’ll be using some of those suggested questions tonight.

MODERATOR: After the break, the candidates on the increasingly sharp tone of this campaign, the economy, and a topic that has not been raised in any of the debates so far. Stay with us.

[commercial break]

[begin video clip]

STRAWN: Good evening from Sioux City in northwest Iowa. I’m Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa GOP. Four years after repelling Barack Obama to the White House, Iowa has seen a surge of new Republican voters as Iowa Republicans have posted 33 straight months of voter registration gains. And as those Republicans prepare to vote in just 19 days, we understand the responsibility that comes with the privilege of being first in the nation.

And because the fight to reclaim the White House extends far beyond Iowa’s borders, we want you to be the first to know. So text “Iowa” to 91919 to know the results and other updates. Thank you and now let’s return to the final debate before the January 3 Iowa Caucus.

[end video clip]

MODERATOR: Thank you Mr. Chairman and welcome back to Sioux City Iowa and the Republican presidential debate. For the next round of questions, I turn to my colleague, Chris Wallace.

MODERATOR: Thanks Brett. Candidates, I’m going to call this section, for lack of a better word, D.C. Culture. Governor Romney, I’m going to begin with you. Speaker Gingrich says that you should give back the millions of dollars you made, in his words, “bankrupting companies and laying off employees.” You respond that he has, in your words, “an extraordinary lack of understanding of how the economy works.”

But his comments dovetail with arguments you hear from Democrats that your belief in, what’s called, the creative destruction of capitalism, shows a hardheartedness. What do you think of what Speaker Gingrich had to say about you? And are you vulnerable to that kind of attack?

ROMNEY: I think it’s a great opportunity for us. Because I think the president is going to level the same attack. He’s going to go after me and say, you know, you — in businesses that you’ve invested in, they didn’t all succeed. Some failed. Some laid people off. And he’ll be absolutely right. But if you look at all the businesses we invested in, over 100 different businesses, they added tens of thousands of jobs.

In — in the real world that the president has not lived in, I — I actually think he doesn’t understand that not every business succeeds. That not every entrepreneur is lucky enough to do as well as the entrepreneurs that I described at Bright Horizons and Staples and that steel company and many, many others. I myself have had the chance of leading four different organizations. Each of those was highly successful, in part because of hard work and in part because of good luck.

In the real world, some things don’t make it. And I believe I’ve learned from my successes and my failures. The president I’ll look at and say, Mr. President, how — how did you do when you were running General Motors as the president, took it over? Gee, you closed down factories. You closed down dealerships. And he’ll say, well I did that to save the business. Same thing with us, Mr. President. We did our very best to make those businesses succeed. I’m — I’m pleased that they did and I’ve learned the lessons of how the economy works.

This president doesn’t know how the economy works. I believe to create jobs, it helps to have created jobs.

MODERATOR: Thank you. [applause]

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, on the Freddie Mac website in 19 — in rather 2007 you said this, I like the GSE, or government sponsored enterprise like Freddy Mac model, making home ownership more affordable is a policy goal that I believe conservatives should embrace. Now in an earlier debate, a recent debate, you said that politicians like Barney Frank, who in your words, profited from the environment that led to the financial meltdown, should go to jail.

Now that it turns out that you were on the Freddie Mac payroll to the tune of more than $1.6 million, how do you answer critics who say that you’re being hypocritical.

GINGRICH: I think pretty straightforward. Barney Frank was in public office with direct power over Freddie Mac. He exploited that power just as Chris Dodd was in public office when he got special bargains from Countrywide, a firm that went broke. They were using power. I was a private citizen, engaged in a business like any other business. Now, if you read the whole thing that they posted, I said they need more regulations and I want to go back to my point about helping people buy houses.

I worked for years with Habitat for Humanity. I think it’s a good conservative principle to try to find ways to help families that are right at the margin learn how to budget, learn how to take care of a house, learn how to buy a house. And I — I’m not going to step back from the idea that in fact we should have as a goal, helping as many Americans as possible be capable of buying homes. And when you look for example at electric membership co-ops, and you look at credit unions, there are a lot of government sponsored enterprises that are awfully important and do an awfully good job.

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul you are — and having been in this town for what 48 hours now, you are all over Iowa TV these days with a negative ad about Speaker Gingrich. You accuse him of selling access and playing the corrupt revolving door game. What about the explanation that you just heard, that he’s in the private sector and this is free enterprise?

PAUL: Well he has a different definition of the private sector than I have. Because it’s a GSE, government sponsored enterprise. That’s completely different. It’s — it’s a government agency. They get the money and the sponsorship. They get mixed up. It’s — it’s the worst kind of economy.

You know, pure private enterprise, more closely probably to what Governor Romney is involved with, but if it’s government-sponsored, it’s a mixture of business and government. It’s very, very dangerous. Some people say, if it goes to extreme, it becomes fascism, because big business and big government get together.

So, yes, they get money. And I was talking about that for a long time, the line of credit, the excessive credit from the Federal Reserve, the Community Reinvestment Act for 10 years or so. The Austrian economists knew there was a bubble. And at this time, nobody was listening or doing anything in the Congress.

And then to go to work for them and get money from them, it literally is — it’s literally coming from the taxpayer. They went broke. We had to bail them out. So indirectly, that was money that he ended up getting. They’re still getting money from a government- sponsored enterprise. It’s not a free-market enterprise.

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, 30 seconds to respond?

GINGRICH: Well, let me just go back to what I said a minute ago. The term government-sponsored enterprise has a very wide range of things that do a great deal of good. Go across this state and talk to people in the electric membership co-ops. Go across this state and talk to people in the credit unions. There are a lot of very good institutions that are government-sponsored.

And, frankly, the idea that anything which in any way has ever touched government could raise questions about doctors dealing with Medicare and Medicaid and a whole range of other government activities. There are many things governments do. I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization. And that was — that was a key part of every agreement we had.

MODERATOR: Well, let me pick up with that with you, Congresswoman Bachmann, because you accused Speaker Gingrich of peddling his influence with congressional Republicans to help the companies that paid him tens of millions of dollars since he’s left office. Given his denial over time and again tonight that he’s — denies ever having lobbied, what is your evidence, hard evidence that he engaged in influence-peddling?

BACHMANN: Well, it’s the fact that — that we know that he cashed paychecks from Freddie Mac. That’s the best evidence that you can have, over $1.6 million. And, frankly, I am shocked listening to the former speaker of the House, because he’s defending the continuing practice of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

There’s a big difference between a credit union and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And they were the epicenter of the mortgage financial meltdown. I was trying to see these two entities put into bankruptcy, because they, frankly, need to go away, when the speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior Republicans to keep the scam going in Washington, D.C. That’s absolutely wrong. We can’t have as our nominee for the Republican Party someone who continues to stand for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. They need to be shut down, not built up. [applause]

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Well, the easiest answer is, that’s just not true. What she just said is factually not true. I never lobbied under any circumstance. I never went in and suggested in any way that we do this.

In fact, I tried to help defeat the housing act when the Democrats were in charge of the House. And if you go back and talk to former Congressman Rick Lazio, he’ll tell you, when we were passing housing reform while I was speaker, I never at any time tried to slow down the reform effort. In fact, I helped him pass the reform bill. And I think some of those people ought to have facts before they make wild allegations.

BACHMANN: Let me — let me…

MODERATOR: Yes, go ahead. Congresswoman?

BACHMANN: Well, after the debates that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything that I said was true. And the evidence is that Speaker Gingrich took $1.6 million. You don’t need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding.

And the bidding was to keep this grandiose scam of Freddie Mac going. That’s — that is something that our nominee can’t stand for. We have to shut down these government enterprises. And we’ve got to end them. And I think that’s shocking that he’s saying that.

GINGRICH: And let me just say two things…

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, quickly. [applause]

GINGRICH: OK, I want to say two things. First, my policy is to break up both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is not anything like what she just described.

Second, I want to state unequivocally, for every person watching tonight, I have never once changed my positions because of any kind of payment. Because I — the truth is, I was a national figure who was doing just fine, doing a whole variety of things, including writing best-selling books, making speeches. And the fact is, I only chose to work with people whose values I shared and having people have a chance to buy a house is a value I believe still is important in America.

MODERATOR: Now to Neil Cavuto with questions about the economy.

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, not to make you a target, but you…

GINGRICH: It goes with being right here.

MODERATOR: You just responded this morning, sir, tweeted originally and with follow-up statements as a major break through of this plan on the part of Republican congressman Paul Ryan working with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden to find a sort of updated way to keep Medicare solvent. This would involve a choice, those who like the program as it is can stick with it. They will be a private option, et cetera.

But earlier on, this might have confused Congressman Ryan and others for whom you had said was the initial Medicare fix that it was right wing social engineering. Later on you backed off that comment, said there was much you could find in Mr. Ryan’s plan to like.

Can you blame Governor Romney for saying you have a consistency problem on this issue?

GINGRICH: I’m not in the business of blaming Governor Romney. I’m in the business to try and understand what we can do as a policy. If you go back and look at the “Meet the Press” quote I didn’t want reference him. And I’ll come back and say it again, a free society should make very big decisions with the support of the people.

Now you can earn that support. You can win a communications argument. Reagan was very, very good at that. But the only point I was making on “Meet the Press” is when you are going to have a major change, you have to communicate with the American people in order to ensure that they are for you.

Now Governor Romney came up, frankly, with a very good variation on the Ryan plan which allowed the maintenance of the current system. Paul has adopted that. And I think did a very brave act by Senator Ron Wyden, you now have a Democrat willing to co-sponsor the bill. I’ve endorsed the concept today. I think it is a big step forward. And I think Governor Romney deserves some of the credit for having helped figure out a way to make this thing workable.

So, I think it’s a nice thing to actually have a bipartisan plan in Washington that we could actually look at in a positive way and hope would help save Medicare.

MODERATOR: Governor Romney do you want to respond to that compliment?

ROMNEY: Yeah. Thank you.

Yeah, I hope people understand just how big today is for this country. We all understand that the spending crisis is extraordinary with $15 trillion now in debt, with the president that’s racked up as much debt as all the other presidents combined.

But there is another problem we have, which is our national balance sheet. Which are the obligations that we have made, that we have no funding behind. And it adds up to $62 trillion.

And today Republicans and Democrats came together with Senator Wyden and Congressman Paul Ryan to say we have a solution to remove that $62 trillion. This is a big day for our kids and grand kids. It’s an enormous achievement. It means we finally have the prospect of dealing with somebody which has the potential of crushing our future generations and a good Democrat and a good Republican came together.

This is the impact of people on both sides of the aisle that care about America at a critical time. And I applaud him. It’s good news.

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul, as you have been warning, we are on the brink of another government shutdown because of the spending that you call out of control. But haven’t you contributed to that spending problem yourself, sir, supporting over the years earmarks that have benefited your district and your state?

Back in 2009, you explained this by saying if I can give my district any money back, I encourage that. I don’t think that the federal government should be doing it but if they are going to allot the money, I have a responsibility to represent my people.

Isn’t that what they call a mixed message, congressman?

PAUL: Well, it’s a mixed question is the problem, because the real message is you should include in your question also you have never voted once for an earmark.

No, it’s a principle that I deal with, because if the government takes money from you and you fill out your tax form, you take your deductions. I look at that the same way in our communities. They take our money, they take our highway funds. and we have every right to apply for them to come back.

As a matter of fact, it’s a bigger principle for me than that. I think this whole thing is out of control on the earmarks, because I think the congress has an obligation to earmark every penny, not to deliver that power to the executive branch. What happens when you don’t vote for the earmarks it goes in to the slush fund, the executive branch spends the money then you have to grovel to the executive branch and beg and plead and say oh, please return my highway funds to me.

So if this whole principle of budgeting that is messed up, but I never vote, I never voted for an earmark. But I do argue the case for my — the people I represent to try to get their money back if at all possible.

MODERATOR: But isn’t that the same thing of having your cake and eating it too? You can complain about earmarks but then if there are provisions there that help your district or your state that’s different? If 434 other members felt the same way, how would we ever fix the problem?

PAUL: Yes, but you’re missing the point. I don’t complain about earmarks, because it is the principle of the Congress meeting their obligation. But if everybody did what I did, there would be no earmarks. The budget would be balanced and we’d be cutting about 80 percent of the spending. So that would be the solution. [applause]

PAUL: But you also want to protect the process. You want to emphasize the responsibility of the Congress, and not delivering more power to the president. I would be a different kind of president. I wouldn’t be looking for more power.

Everybody wants to be a powerful executive and run things. I, as the president, wouldn’t want to run the world. I don’t want to police individual activities and their lifestyle. And I don’t want to run the economy.

So that is an entirely different philosophy, but it’s very, very much in our tradition and in a tradition of our Constitution. [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Perry, you said the only way to stop our spending problem is to get Congress to stop spending. Quoting you, sir, you said: “I vetoed 82 bills in my first year as governor of Texas. I have a record of keeping spending under control.”

But as Texas agriculture commissioner, you oversaw a loan guarantee program that, as The Austin American-Statesman reported at the time, had so many defaults that the state had to stop guaranteeing bank loans to start-ups in the agribusiness, and eventually bailed out the program with the tax-payer money.

So aren’t you guilty of the same behavior you rail against as a presidential candidate?

PERRY: Well, two things. Number one, don’t believe everything you read in The Austin American-Statesman. And the second side of it is, we had that program put in place and the state did not bail out, those programs worked as they were supposed to work. Just like in any bank or any business, you are going to have some that fail.

But I want to go back and talk about just a second the issue of where we had a big back-and-forth about whether Newt was involved in untoward activity or not. And I’ll be real honest with you, the issue we ought to be talking about on this stage is how you really overhaul Washington, D.C.

And the idea that you can’t tell the difference between lobbying and consulting, the idea that we have Congress staying there as many days as they do and the salary that they have, that is the reason I have called for a part-time Congress.

Cut their pay in half. Cut their time in Washington in half. Cut their staff in half. Send them home. Let them get a job like everybody else back home has and live within the laws of which they passed. [applause]

PERRY: We do that and you pass a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution, and the conversations that we’ve been having up here will be minor.

MODERATOR: By the way, Governor, they worked 151 days last year. How much more would constitute part-time?

PERRY: I would suggest to you maybe 140 days every other year like we do in Texas. [laughter] [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, as you’re probable familiar, sir, the Chinese have just left huge tariffs of up to 22 percent on imports of some American sport utility vehicles, larger American cars.

Now as a former ambassador to China and one who has argued for an adult conversation with Beijing, how would you respond to what some are calling a childish move on the part of a country that routinely flouts international trade rules?

HUNTSMAN: Well, it’s a large and complicated relationship. It’s part trade, it’s part North Korea, it’s part Iran, part Pakistan, part Burma, part South China Sea, party military-to-military engagement. You move one end of the relationship, it impacts the other.

The best thing to do, invite a few dissidents who are seeking freedom and want to expand democracy in China to the United States embassy, the kind of thing that I used to do. That is what matters to the Chinese people who are looking for change and looking for reform these days.

That is the kind of thing that over time is going to create enough swell of change and reform in that country that is going to make the U.S.-China relationship successful longer term.

Because eventually, we need more than just a transactional relationship. We need shared values infused into this relationship. Let’s face it, the 21st Century will only have two relationships that matter: the United States and China.

For that to succeed, we need shared values. That is democracy. That is human rights. That is recognition of the role of the Internet in society. That is greater tolerance toward religion, and so much more.

As president of the United States, I would drive that home. And I would make it a relationship that worked.

MODERATOR: Senator Santorum, right now American companies have trillions parked overseas because of the very high tax rates here. Would you support a tax holiday to bring that money back, but only under, as some Democrats have suggested, the condition that these companies hire workers with that money?

SANTORUM: Yes, what I proposed in the “Made in the USA” plan is that if money has been made overseas, that it can come back at 5.5 percent rate, which is what we did back in 2004, and it did cause a lot of money to come back. But I put a special rate, zero, if they bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment in America.

We need to rebuild the manufacturing base of this country. When I traveled around to all of these counties in Iowa, I went to a lot of small towns, like Sidney and Hamburg down in Fremont County, and I was in — the other day in Newton, where they’ve lost jobs to overseas. Why? Because we’re not competitive.

We need to have our capital be competitive and — and come here free so they can invest it. We need to cut the corporate tax on manufacturers to zero. Why? Because there’s a 20 percent cost differential between America and our nine top trading partners. And we — and that’s excluding labor costs.

We need to get our taxes down. We need to repeal regulations. I promise to repeal every single Obamacare regulation. Every single Obama regulation that cost businesses over $100 million, I can repeal it. I can’t repeal laws, but as a president, you can repeal — excuse me, regulations. And I will repeal every single one of them so business can get going in this country. [applause]

MODERATOR: Thank you, Neil.

This question is from Twitter. And it is for you, Governor Romney. @LeonJamesPage tweets, “Over the next 10 years, in what sector or industries will most of the new jobs be created?”

ROMNEY: The great thing is, the free market will decide that. Government won’t. And we have in a president someone who, again, doesn’t understand how the economy works and thinks that, as a government, he can choose, for instance, which energy sector is going to be successful. So he invests as a venture capitalist in certain car companies that have electric battery power, not understanding that perhaps Toyota and G.M. could do a better job than Tesla and Fisker.

The president decides to go into Solyndra because he thinks that solar power is going to be the future. Look, let markets determine what the future course of our economy will be.

What do I happen to think will be the future? I think manufacturing is going to come back. I think manufacturing, for some of the reasons Rick just indicated, it’s going to come back to the U.S. I also think, of course, that high-tech is going to be an extraordinarily source — extraordinary source of growth for a long time in this country.

And energy. We have extraordinary energy resources in this country. Opening those up — our president holds them off, doesn’t give them the permits to start drilling and getting the natural gas and oil — those are some of the areas that are extraordinarily powerful. This economy has every potential to continue to lead the world. Our president thinks America is in decline. It is if he’s president. It’s not if I’m president. This is going to be an American century. [applause]

MODERATOR: Thank you, Governor Romney.

Now to Megyn Kelly with the next round of questions. And this is a new topic, the judiciary.

MODERATOR: This is something we have heard pressure little about in this election, but something that’s an important issue for a lot of voters.

Speaker Gingrich, let me start with you. You have proposed a plan to subpoena judges to testify before Congress about controversial decisions that they make. In certain cases, you advocate impeaching judges or abolishing courts altogether. Two conservative former attorneys general have criticized your plan, saying it alters the checks and balances of the three branches of government. And they used words like “dangerous,” “outrageous,” and “totally irresponsible.” Are they wrong?

GINGRICH: Well, the first half is right. It alters the balance, because the courts have become grotesquely dictatorial, far too powerful, and I think, frankly, arrogant in their misreading of the American people. [applause]

There’s an entire paper at newt.org — I’ve been working on this project since 2002, when the Ninth Circuit Court said that “one nation under God” is unconstitutional in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I decided, if you had judges who were so radically anti-American that they thought “one nation under God” was wrong, they shouldn’t be on the court. Now, we have… [applause]

I taught a short course in this at the University of Georgia Law School. I testified in front of sitting Supreme Court justices at Georgetown Law School. And I warned them: You keep attacking the core base of American exceptionalism, and you are going to find an uprising against you which will rebalance the judiciary.

We have a balance of three branches. We do not have a judicial dictatorship in this country. And that’s what the Federalist papers promised us. And I would — just like Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR — I would be prepared to take on the judiciary if, in fact, it did not restrict itself in what it was doing.

MODERATOR: What of the former attorney general? [applause]

These are conservative former attorneys generals who have criticized the plan, as I say, dangerous, ridiculous, outrageous, totally irresponsible.

GINGRICH: Sure. I’d ask, first of all, have they studied Jefferson, who in 1802 abolished 18 out of 35 federal judges? Eighteen out of 35 were abolished.

MODERATOR: Something that was highly criticized.

GINGRICH: Not by anybody in power in 1802. [laughter] [applause]

Jefferson himself was asked, is the Supreme Court supreme? And he said, that is absurd. That would be an oligarchy. Lincoln repudiates the Dred Scott decision in his first inaugural address in 1861 and says, no nine people can make law in this country. That would be the end of our freedom. So I would suggest to you, actually as a historian, I may understand this better than lawyers. And as lawyers those two attorneys general are behaving exactly like law schools, which have overly empowered lawyers to think that they can dictate to the rest of us. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann. [applause]

MODERATOR: You heard Speaker Gingrich — you heard Speaker Gingrich reference the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and that is one of the courts that he has suggested abolishing. It is a left-leaning court and as he points out, as he has done before, he believes it’s an activist court because in part it was the court that — that issued a ruling striking down “under God” in the pledge years ago. A decision that was reversed by the Supreme Court leader.

Do you agree that the Ninth Circuit should be abolished? And if so, what would then happen if a Democratic president came into office and we had a democratically controlled Congress that later took aim at the right-leaning federal courts. Where would it end?

BACHMANN: Well where it needs to end is under the Constitution of the United States. That’s the real issue. Are the courts following the Constitution or aren’t they following the Constitution? It isn’t just Congress that gets it wrong, it’s the courts that get it wrong as well.

MODERATOR: But what do you do about it?

BACHMANN: Well what we need to do about it is have the — both the president and the United States Congress take their authority back and I would agree with Newt Gingrich that I think that the Congress and the president of the United States have failed to take their authority. Because now we’ve gotten to the point where we think the final arbitrator of law is the court system. It isn’t. The intention of the founders was that the courts would be the least powerful system of government.

And if we give to the courts, the right to make law, then the people will have lost their representation. They need to hold onto their representation. That’s why I commend Iowans, because they chose not to retain three judges that decided that marriage would be… [applause]

BACHMANN: …and Iowans decided to take their Constitution back. That’s what the American people need to do, take the Constitution back and as president of the United States, I would only appoint judges to the Supreme Court who believe in the original intent of the Constitution.

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul let me ask you, do you believe in — in what the two candidates have said? That it would potentially be OK to abolish courts like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals entirely, or judges, impeach them if Congress and the president don’t decide — decide they don’t like their rulings?

PAUL: Well the Congress can get rid of these courts. If — if a judge misbehaves and is unethical and gets into trouble, the proper procedure is impeachment. But to subpoena judges before the Congress, I’d really question that. And if you get too careless about abolishing courts, that could open up a can of worms. Because it — you — there — there could be retaliation. So it should be a more serious — yes we get very frustrated with this. But the whole thing is, if you just say, well we’re going to — OK there are 10 courts, lets get rid of three this year because they ruled a — a way we didn’t like.

That — that to me is, I think opening up a can of worms for us and it would lead to trouble. But I really, really question this idea that the — the Congress could subpoena judges and bring them before us. That’s a real affront to the separation of the powers.

MODERATOR: Governor Romney, many people believe that the way to reign in, so-called activist judges is to be careful in appointing or nominating the judges in the first place. As governor of Massachusetts, you passed over Republicans for three quarters of the judicial vacancies you faced, instead nominating Democrats or Independents. With that track record, why should Republicans believe that you will appoint conservatives to the bench if you become president?

ROMNEY: Well I have to let you know that in Massachusetts, I actually don’t get to appoint the judges. I get to nominate them. They go before something known as the Governor’s Council. It consists of, I believe, seven members, all of whom are elected Democrats. And so to be able to get my appointments through, I had to have people of both parties. And the people I put forward, all were individuals who I vetted very carefully to make sure they would follow the rule of law.

These were largely people going into criminal courts. I chose overwhelmingly people who had been prosecutors in their prior experience. And so we had that kind of justice. Now, let — let me note that the key thing I think the president is going to do, is going to be with the longest legacy. It’s going to be appointing Supreme Court and justices throughout the judicial system. As many as half the justices in the next four years are going to be appointed by the next president.

This is a critical time to choose someone who believes in conservative principles. Now I — I don’t believe that it makes a lot of sense to have Congress overseeing justices. The — the — the only group that has less credibility than justices perhaps is Congress. So lets not have them be in charge of overseeing the — the justices. [applause]

ROMNEY: However — however, we don’t call it we the judges. We call it we, the people. And we do have the ability to remove justices that need to be impeached. We also have the ability to pass new amendments if we think a justice is taken the nation in the wrong direction. And where a statute has been misinterpreted, congress can write a statute that clarifies that point. We have ability to rein in excessive judges.

MODERATOR: All right. And I just want to go quickly down the line. With just a name, favorite Supreme Court justice. Senator Santorum — current.

SANTORUM: I have to say of these folks over here have been talking about taking on the courts. I have done it. I actually campaigned in Iowa against those justices and I was the only one on this panel that did it, number one.

Number two, when the partial birth abortion status struck down by the Supreme Court, George Bush got elected we actually went back and I worked with Henry Hyde and we passed another bill, told the Supreme Court they were wrong. Passed it, George Bush signed it and it was overturned.

We can talk about reform and doing something to confront the courts, or you can actually go out and make it happen. I made it happen. And it’s tops.

MODERATOR: And quickly down the line, favorite current Supreme Court justice.

PERRY: I’ll be as quickly as I can, but when I talk about overhauling Washington, D.C., one of the things I talk about besides a part-time congress is no longer having lifetime terms for the federal bench. I think that is one of the ways that you keep these unaccountable legislators from rogues to try to dictate to the rest of us. And I would say, you know, you pick Alito, Roberts, Thomas, pick one.

MODERATOR: All right. Would you pick one, please.

ROMNEY: Yes. Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Scalia.

MODERATOR: All right. Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: I think that is a pretty darned good list. And I would sign up for those guys. Scalia is probably the most intellectual of the four. They’re all four terrific judges.

I mean, if we had nine judges as good as those four we would be happy with the Supreme Court.

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: From my point they’re all good and they’re all bad, because our country a long time ago split freedom up to two pieces — personal liberty and economic liberty. And the judges, as is congress and as is nation, think it’s two issues. It’s but one issue. So therefore, congress is on this issue as well as our judges.

MODERATOR: Last chance to say a name.

PAUL: No, I’m not going to — all of them are good and all of them are bad. How is that?

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann?

BACHMANN: Well, I do think that there are good justices. And I would put Antonin Scalia at the top of the list. I would also include Clarence Thomas and John Roberts and Alito. I think they are all marvelous. It could be easy to pick any one of them.

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: One of the reasons I’m optimistic about the future of this country is because we have rule of law. Let’s face it. One of the great things that this country has that very few other countries have. So the Judiciary is critically important.

It’s also important to note that governors actually some experience appointing judges. You got to make those hard decisions. And as I reflect on those who today serve I’ve got to say Justice Roberts and Justice Alito fit the bill very, very nicely.

MODERATOR: Thank you, all.

MODERATOR: That was a valiant effort.

MODERATOR: I tried. I tried.

MODERATOR: Coming up, there is a lot of ground to cover in this next hour. The threat from Iran and other foreign policy hot spots, up- and-down oil prices, immigration and border issues, and controversial social issues. Stay with us. Remember, tweet @bretbaier with a question or followup. We’ll be right back.

[commercial break]

MODERATOR: Welcome back to Sioux City, Iowa, and the Republican presidential debate. [applause]

Fired-up crowd, they’re ready for hour number two. And we begin hour number two with an important topic, foreign policy.

Congressman Paul, many Middle East experts now say Iran may be less than one year away from getting a nuclear weapon. Now, judging from your past statements, even if you had solid intelligence that Iran, in fact, was going to get a nuclear weapon, President Paul would remove the U.S. sanctions on Iran, included those added by the Obama administration. So, to be clear, GOP nominee Paul would be running left of President Obama on the issue of Iran?

PAUL: But I’d be running with the American people, because it would be a much better policy. For you to say that there is some scientific evidence and some people arguing that maybe in a year they might have a weapon, there’s a lot more saying they don’t have it.

There’s no U.N. evidence of that happening. Clapper at the — in our national security department, he says there is no evidence. It’s no different than it was in 2003. You know what I really fear about what’s happening here? It’s another Iraq coming. There’s war propaganda going on. [applause]

And we’re arguing — to me, the greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact and we will soon bomb Iran. And the sentiment is very mixed. It’s — it’s very mixed even in Israel. You know, there — the — a head of the security for Israel, who just recently retired, said that it wouldn’t make sense to do this, to take — to take them out, because they might be having a weapon. So I would say that the greatest danger is overreacting. There is no evidence that they have it. And it would make more sense — if we lived through the Cold War, which we did, with 30,000 missiles pointed at us, we ought to really sit back and think and not jump the gun and believe that we are going to be attacked. That’s how we got into that useless war in Iraq and lost so much in Iraq. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul, the — the question was based on the premise that you had solid intelligence, you actually had solid intelligence as President Paul, and yet you still at that point would — would pull back U.S. sanctions and again, as a GOP nominee, would be running left of President Obama on this issue?

PAUL: Yes. All we’re doing is promoting their desire to have it. Ehud Barak, the defense minister for Israel, said that — that, if he were in — in Iran, he would probably want a nuclear weapon, too, because they’re surrounded, for geopolitical reasons. So that’s an understanding.

So the fact that they are surrounded, they have a desire. And how do we treat people when they have a nuclear weapon? With a lot more respect. What did we do with Libya? We talked to them. We talked them out of their nuclear weapon. And then we killed them.

So, it makes more sense to work with people. And the whole thing is that nuclear weapons are loaded over there. Pakistan, India, Israel has 300 of them. We have our ships there. We’ve got to get it in a proper context. We don’t need another war. [cheering and applause]

MODERATOR: Understood. And you make that point quite a lot. I’m going to — I’ll try one more time. Iran is reportedly running exercises on closing the Strait of Hormuz, a key passage, as you know, for global trade. Now what should the U.S. response be if Iran were to take that dramatic step?

PAUL: This is — the plans are on the book. All they talk about is, when are we, the West, going to bomb Iran? So why wouldn’t they talk about — they don’t have a weapon, they don’t have a nuclear weapon, why wouldn’t they try to send out some information there and say, you know, if you come and bomb us, we might close the Straits of Hormuz down.

So already the president, and I think he is wisely backing off on the sanctions, because it’s going to be an economic calamity if you take all the oil out of Europe. So I think that makes sense.

He knows these sanctions are overreaching. Sanctions are an act of war when you prevent goods and services from going into a country. We need to approach this a little differently. We have 12,000 diplomats in our services. We ought to use a little bit of diplomacy once in a while. [applause]

MODERATOR: OK. Just a reminder again, that little friendly beep is when you wrap up. Senator Santorum, you have a very different thought about the threat from Iran. For several years, according to the U.S. military leaders, Iran has provided training, funding, and lethal arms to jihadists killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are those acts of war?

SANTORUM: They have been continually. They just tried to plan an attack here in this country, killing the Saudi ambassador. They have been at war with us since 1979. The IEDs that have killed so many soldiers, they are manufactured in Iran.

This is — Iran is not any other country. It is a country that is ruled by the equivalent of al Qaeda on top of this country. They are a radical theocracy. The principle virtue of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to President Ahmadinejad, is not freedom, opportunity, it’s martyrdom.

The idea, Ron, that mutual assured destruction, like the policy during the Cold War with the Soviet Union would work on Iran when their principle virtue is martyrdom, is — mutual assured destruction with respect to Iran would not be any kind of, you know, idea of preventing a war. It would be an inducement to a war.

This is what their objective is. Their objective is to in fact create a calamity. This is what their theology teaches. They believe that it is their mission to take on the West. They don’t hate us because of what we do or the policies we have. They hate us because of who we are and what we believe in.

And we need to make sure that they do not have a nuclear weapon. And we should be working with the state of Israel right now. We should use covert activity. And we should be planning a strike against their facilities and say, if you do not open up those facilities and not close them down, we will close them down for you. [cheering and applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Romney, this week President Obama said the U.S. asked Iran to give our downed high-tech drone back. As you know, the Iranians have it on display. They claim they are extracting data from it and they have no intention of giving it back.

Yesterday you called the president’s response, quote, “extraordinarily weak and timid.” Now in your book you write, quote, “weakness invites challenges, acts of intimidation, acts of aggression, and sometimes war.”

So in this case, are President Obama’s actions inviting war?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. Does timidity and weakness invite aggression on the part of other people? Absolutely. A strong America, a strong America is the best ally peace has ever known. This is a president with — the spy drone being brought down, he says pretty please? A foreign policy based on pretty please? You have got to be kidding.

This is a president who fundamentally believes that this next century is the post-American century. Perhaps it’s going to be the Chinese century. He is wrong. It has to be the American century. America has to lead the free world. [applause]

ROMNEY: And the free world has to lead the entire world. The right course under President Obama’s plans is to shrink our military, thinking somehow if we appease or accommodate the tyrants of the world, that the world will be safer. He’s wrong.

The right course for America is to strengthen our economy, our values, our families, and our military. We need to rebuild our Navy and go from nine ships a year to 15. We need to modernize our Air Force. We need 100,000 new additional troops in our military. We need to take care of our veterans in the way they deserve.

It is time for us to recognize once again a strong military does not create war. A strong America prevents people from trying to test us around the world. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann, today is the official end of the U.S. military operations in Iraq, and there is real concern, as you know, about growing Iranian influence inside Iraq. Also, the deputy prime minister there has expressed concerns about the country possibly slipping into civil war. Are there any circumstances as president where you would send U.S. troops back in to Iraq?

BACHMANN: Well, I think clearly the biggest mistake that President Obama has made — and there are many when it comes to foreign policy — has been the decision that he made regarding Iraq. He was essentially given on a silver platter victory in Iraq, and he’s choosing intentionally to lose the peace.

And we all know what’s going to happen. We know that Iran is going to be the hegemon and try to come into Iraq and have the dominant influence. And then Iraq will essentially have dominance from the Persian Gulf all the way to the Mediterranean through its ally, Syria.

And with all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul. And I’ll tell you the reason why. [applause]

And the reason — the reason — the reason why I would say that is because we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally, Israel, off the face of the map, and they’ve stated they will use it against the United States of America.

Look no further than the Iranian constitution, which states unequivocally that their admission — their mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up a worldwide caliphate. We would be fools and knaves to ignore their purpose and their plan. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Obviously, I would like to see a lot less nuclear weapons. I — I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I would like to reduce them, because there would be less chance of war.

But to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same, this is dangerous talk. Yeah, there are some radicals, but they don’t come here to kill us because we’re free and prosperous. Do they go to Switzerland and Sweden? I mean, that’s absurd.

If you think that is the reason, we have no chance of winning this. They come here and explicitly explain it to us. The CIA has explained it to us. It said they come here and they want to do us harm because we’re bombing them.

What is the whole world about the drone being in Iran? And we’re begging and pleading, and how are we going to start a war to get this drone back? Why were we flying the drone over Iran? Why do we have to bomb so many countries? Why are we in — have 900 bases, 130 countries, and we’re totally bankrupt? How are you going to rebuild the military when we have no money? How are we going to take care of the people? [applause]

So I think — I think this wild goal to have another war in the name of defense is the dangerous thing. The danger is really us overreacting. And we need a strong national defense. And we need to only go to war with a declaration of war, and just carelessly flouting it and starting these wars so often.

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, is Congressman Paul…

[crosstalk]

BACHMANN: And the point would be — can I respond to that? Can I…

MODERATOR: Go ahead.

BACHMANN: Can I respond? And the problem would be the greatest under-reaction in world history if we have an avowed madman who uses that nuclear weapon to wipe nations off the face of the Earth. And we have an IAEA report that just recently came out that said, literally, Iran is within just months of being able to obtain that weapon. Nothing could be more dangerous than the comments that we just heard.

[crosstalk]

MODERATOR: All right, 30 seconds, Dr. Paul.

PAUL: There is no U.N. report that said that. It’s totally wrong on what — what you just said.

BACHMANN: It’s an IAEA report.

PAUL: That — that is not — that is not true. They — they produced information that led you to believe that, but they have no evidence. There’s no — been no enrichment of these bombs.

BACHMANN: And if we agree with that…[booing]… if we agree with that, the United States’ people could be at risk of our national security.

PAUL: OK. She took my time, so I’d like — I’d like to finish. If she thinks we live in a dangerous world, she ought to think back when I was drafted in the 1962 with nuclear missiles in Cuba. And Kennedy calls Khrushchev and talks to them, and talks them out of this so we don’t have a nuclear exchange.

And you’re trying to dramatize this, that we have to go and — and treat Iran like we’ve treated Iraq and kill a million Iraqis, and 8,000-some Americans have died since we’ve gone to war. You cannot solve these problems with war. You can solve the problems if we follow our constitution and go to war only when we declare the war, win them and get them over with instead of this endless fighting and this endless attitude that we have enemy all around the world.

BACHMANN: But as president, I stand on the side of…

MODERATOR: Thank you — we have been liberal with our friendly ding.

Mr. Speaker, you have been openly critical of the United Nations. For example on the topic of Palestinian efforts for statehood at the U.S. you said, quote, “we don’t need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies.”

In a Gingrich administration would the United States leave the UN?

GINGRICH: No, but we would dramatically reduce our reliance on it. And we’d confront certain realities. People talk about a peace process. 11 missiles were fired in Israel last month, last month. Over 200 missiles fired at Israel this year. You think if we had 11 missiles fired in the United States we — well, this president anyway would say gee, maybe we could communicate and you would like us more.

But I don’t think there is — you know, I think most of us, most Americans would say you know if you are firing missiles at me, that may not be a good gesture. OK? The United Nations camps that we have helped fund have been training grounds for terrorism.

As Congressman Bachmann pointed out the last time we debated, she was over there with textbooks that are clearly teaching terrorism that are indirectly funded by the United States through the UN.

We have no obligation to lie and every obligation to tell the truth about how bad the UN bureaucracy is and why it ought to be fixed or we ought to radically cut what we’re paying.

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, do you agree?

HUNTSMAN: I think the United Nations serves a useful purpose in the area of peacekeeping and some humanitarian work. Beyond that, I hate the anti-Americanism. I hate the anti-Israel sentiment.

But let me tell you what this nation needs and what it is going to get under a Huntsman administration. It needs a new foreign policy. We need to update it a little bit. We are still trapped a little bit in the Cold War, George Tenet mind set.

I want to make sure that first and foremost we have a foreign policy, and a the national security strategy that recognizes that we have to fix our core here at home. We are weak. This economy is broken. When we are strong, we project values of goodness that transform and change people like no military can — liberty, democracy, human rights and free markets.

We have got to fix this core first and foremost if we are going to be effective overseas. And that is what i want to focus on.

Second of all, I want to make sure that…

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, that is the time.

HUNTSMAN: Let me just get the second point.

Second of all, I want a foreign policy — I want a foreign policy that is driven by economics first. Let me just tell you, its used to break my heart sitting in embassy in Beijing the second largest embassy in the world looking at Afghanistan with 100,000 troops. We are securing the place, the Chinese go in and they win the mining concession. There is something wrong with that picture.

We need to change the way we’re doing business.

MODERATOR: OK. Two dings in that one.

Governor Perry, given the grim details of the recent United Nations report on the Syrian regime killing and torturing its own people, thousands of people said to be killed at the hands of the Assad regime. At what point should the U.S. consider military intervention there?

PERRY: Well, I have already called for a overfly zone — no fly zone over Syria already. They are Iran’s partner. They are attached at the hip. And we have to stand firm with our ally in that region, Israel. There needs to be no space between the United States and Israel. And this administration has absolutely bungled.

It is the most muddled foreign policy that I can ever remember in my lifetime whether it was in ’09 when we had the opportunity either covertly, overtly or other ways of helping the Iranian citizens as they were trying to overthrow that repressive regime, whether it was working with Mubarak, and trying to have a moderate to come in and replace him, whether it was leading from behind, as we have seen in Libya, and now we have seen this president, as Mitt and Newt have both talked about, asking the Iranians to give us back that drone.

What we should have done is one of two things — we either destroy it or we retrieve it. He took a third route, which was the worst and the weakest, and that is to do nothing.

MODERATOR: Now to my colleague Neil Cavuto — Neil?

MODERATOR: Candidates, I want to move on if we can to energy issues. And Speaker Gingrich, I would like to begin with you. As you know, the president, sir, has rejected any efforts to tie a payroll tax cut extension with the Keystone pipeline and to reopen it and to explore reopening it as well.

He says that any other way to connect the two would be akin to adding an extraneous issue. Given his opposition and — and the likelihood that the Keystone issue could be up in the air for a year or more, how do you recommend Republicans deal with this to force the issue?

GINGRICH: You know, Neil, I sometimes get accused of using language that’s too strong, so I’ve been standing here editing. [laughter]

I’m very concerned about not appearing to be zany. And…[laughter]

But — but I want to paint a picture for all of us. The Iranians are practicing closing the Straits of Hormuz. The Canadian prime minister has already said to the American president, if you don’t want to build this pipeline to bring — create 20,000 American jobs and bring oil through the United States to the largest refinery complex in the world, Houston, I want to put it straight west in Canada to Vancouver and ship the oil direct to China, so you’ll lose the jobs, you’ll lose the throughput, you’ll lose 30 or 40 years of work in Houston.

And the president of the United States cannot figure out that it is — I’m using mild words here — utterly irrational to say, I’m now going to veto a middle-class tax cut to protect left-wing environmental extremists in San Francisco, so that we’re going to kill American jobs, weaken American energy, make us more vulnerable to the Iranians, and do so in a way that makes no sense to any normal, rational American. [applause]

MODERATOR: No offense, sir, but you didn’t answer my question. [laughter]

What would — what would you do to try to move on this within a year?

GINGRICH: What — what should the congressional Republicans do? They should attach it to the middle-class tax cut, send it to president, force him to veto it, send it a second time. We had to send welfare reform to Bill Clinton three times. He vetoed it twice. By the third time, the popular outrage was so angry, 92 percent of the country wanted to have welfare reform, he decided to sign it. It happened to be an election year.

I’d say to the president, you want to look like you are totally out of touch with the American people? Be my guest, but I’m not backing down when we’re right and you are totally wrong. [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, on the same issue [inaubible] the delay, as you’ve pointed out, stands to threaten thousands of jobs, in a recent speech, you said potentially up to 100,000 jobs. But the president’s supporters say a rushed decision could cost the environment a great deal more. What I’d like to ask you, Governor, is there any condition under which a President Huntsman would say the need to protect our land trumps the need to provide more jobs?

HUNTSMAN: It’s always going to be a balancing act. We’ve got land that everybody respects and appreciates, but the job we’ve got to undertake as American people is to fuel our future.

We have no choice. I mean, our economy has hit the wall. I want to get rid of that heroin-like addiction we have based on imported oil. Three hundred billion dollars transfers every year from this country to a lot of unpredictable and relationships that are no more than transactional.

In order to get to where this country needs to be, we need a relationship with Canada from which we can draw raw materials. But I also want to make sure that I’m able as president to disrupt the oil monopoly. There’s a one-product monopoly in terms of product distribution in this country. If we’re going to achieve real energy independence, we’re going to have to be able to draw from a multiplicity of products like natural gas.

We wake up to the reality [inaubible] in this country that we have more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil, I say, how stupid are we? When are we going to get with the picture and start converting to transportation, converting to manufacturing, converting to electricity and power generation? It is completely within our grasp.

It’s going to require a president who understands that — that delicate balance and who’s going to be able to go out with an aggressive plan toward energy independence — independence that gets it done for this country. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann, you — you were very critical, Congresswoman, of the extended shutdown after the BP oil spill that I believe lasted upwards of five, six months, in terms of a moratorium. I was wondering, though, Congresswoman, if you were president and there were such a disaster again, what would be an acceptable period for oil drilling to cease, for you to get to the bottom of a problem?

BACHMANN: Well, what we needed to do was find out what the true cause of the problem was. And the Obama administration wasn’t willing to have a true and thoughtful investigation to get to the bottom of it.

President Obama jumped to conclusions, and he put a moratorium on accessing American oil in the Gulf region that actually hurt the economy more than the original disaster. But I wanted to add something on Keystone. Keystone is extremely important, the pipeline.

This pipeline is one that would have brought at least 20,000 jobs, at least $6.5 billion worth of economic activity. And if I was president of the United States, I wouldn’t have taken the decision that President Obama did. His entire calculus was based upon his reelection effort. Because quite frankly, the radical environmentalists said to President Obama, you pass Keystone, we’re not going to do your volunteer door-to-door work.

That’s what Barack Obama has done to this country. He’s put his reelection over adding jobs and making the United States energy independent. I would have made the decision as president of the United States, we would put Keystone online immediately. [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Perry, you — you have railed against the special treatment of Ford and Solyndra as have the other candidates here tonight. And particularly the tax code incentives for green technologies and allowances that have been made for this industry. But it’s nexus, governor you have afforded the same attention to the oil industry. Back in 2003, you signed a bill that reduced the tax paid by some natural gas companies that have helped them reap since, better than $7 billion in tax savings. So I — I guess what I’m saying is, are you guilty of the same behavior as governor, favoring an industry, that you claim this president has, favoring the green industry?

PERRY: Today is the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights. And one of those, the Tenth Amendment, I like a lot. And the reason is because that’s how our founding fathers saw this country set up. Where we had these laboratories of innovation. It — it should be in the purview and the decision making process of a state. If they want to put tax policies in place that helps make them be more competitive.

PERRY: We did it not only for the oil and gas industry, but we also did it for the alternative industry — alternative energy industry. And the wind industry. They came in droves, made Texas the number one wind energy producing state in the nation. But government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers from Washington, D.C. That’s the difference. If in the states — I’ll promise you Terry Branstad in this state, he knows how to put tax policy, regulatory policy in place to make his state be more competitive. And you need 50 states out there competing with each other and Washington out of their hair. [applause]

MODERATOR: Thank you Neil. And a reminder, go to Foxnews.com/debate to see how well the candidates are answering the questions with your votes. Coming up, we’ll ask about border issues, immigration and a topic that got a lot of attention on Twitter, plus some controversial social issues as well. Stay tuned. [applause]

[commercial break]

MODERATOR: Welcome back to Sioux City, Iowa. And our Republican presidential debate here in northwestern Iowa.

These people tend to like it I think so far. I think they do. You have to next round of questions on board issues and immigration.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Bret.

The question is for you, Governor Perry. This topic received traffic on Twitter. You have joined the 57 House Republicans who have called for the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, to resign in the wake of the failed federal gun tracking program Operation Fast and Furious.

So far, there is no clear proof that Mr. Holder knew about the controversial aspects of this operation. And he points out that he actually helped stop it when it came to his attention. Are you and other Republicans politicizing this issue as General Holder claims?

PERRY: If I’m the president of the United States, and I find out that there is an operation like Fast and Furious and my attorney general didn’t know about it, I would have him resign immediately. You cannot, the president of the United States comes to El Paso, Texas, earlier this year and proclaims that the border of Texas and Mexico, the U.S. border with Mexico is safer than it’s ever been.

Well, let me tell you, I’ve been dealing with this issue for 11 years. I’ve sent Texas Ranger recon teams there. Our law enforcement men and women face fire from across the border or in the U.S. side from these drug cartels. It is not safe there. Our country is at jeopardy.

If we are going to be able to defend America, from Iran, from Hezbollah, from Hamas, that are using Mexico as a border, as a way to penetrate in the southern part of the United States. Venezuela has the largest Iranian embassy in the world there. We know what is going on. It is time for this country to have a real conversation about a Monroe Doctrine again like we did against the Cubans in the 60s.

MODERATOR: Senator Santorum, what say you to the attorney general’s claim that the Republicans are politicizing this issue?

SANTORUM: I would agree with Governor Perry that if he was the attorney general under me, I would have him — I would fire him. I wouldn’t have him resign, I’d fire him. This is something he should have been aware of, something that should have been stopped, it shouldn’t have started in the first place.

I think Governor Perry is also right. And this is something I’ve been saying now for many years, which is we need to pay much more attention to what is going on in our own hemisphere, not only do they have the largest embassy in Venezuela, there are flights from Tehran, from Damascus to Caracas. And those flights stop at a military base before they come into the civilian base.

There are training camps, jihaddist training camps in Central and South America. They’re working with the drug cartels. And they are planning assaults on the United States. That is what we know is going on right now. And we are doing — this president has ignored that threat. Has insulted our allies like Honduras and Colombia, deliberately. Has embraced — as he has the other scoundrels in the Middle East, has embraced Chavez and Ortega and others in Central and South America, not promoting our values and interests.

We need a brand new initiative, an initiative that says that we will promote our values in this region and we will stop the spread of terrorism in Central and South America. [cheering and applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Romney, last week you said that the 11 million illegal immigrants now in this country must return to their countries of origin before they can apply for legal status.

You also said that we are not going to go around and round up the 11 million. Why would these illegal immigrants voluntarily leave America just to apply for a chance at legal status, especially when they have your assurance that if they stay put we are not going to round them up?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you how that works. We are going to have an identification card for people who come here legally. The last campaign, actually, Rudy Giuliani talked about this time and time again.

We would have a card, a little plastic card, bio-information on it. Individuals who come here legally have that card. And when they apply for a job, they are able to show that to the employer. The employer must then check it with E-Verify or a similar system.

Newt Gingrich points out, let Federal Express — or not Federal Express, American Express or MasterCard or Visa process that, immediately determine if the card is valid or not.

So people come here legally, they’ve got that card. If employers hire people without that card, the employer gets sanctioned just like they do for not paying taxes. Very serious sanctions.

So you say to people who are here illegally today, you are not going to be able to work here unless you register, unless — and we will give you transition period of time, and then ultimately you have got to go home, apply for permanent residency here or citizenship, if you want to try and do that, but get in line behind everyone else.

My view is, people who have come here illegally, we welcome you to apply but you must get at the back of the line, because there are millions of people who are in line right now that want to come here legally. I want those to come here legally. Those that are here illegally have to get in line with everybody else. [applause]

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, is that realistic?

GINGRICH: Well, let me start and say that Congressman Steve King has just introduced the IDEA act, which would in fact reinforce this model. Because it would take away all tax deductibility for anyone who is employed illegally, and once you have something like E-Verify effectively working, you really build a big sanction.

We disagree some on what you do with very, very long-term people here. I think somebody who has been here 25 years and has family here and has local family supporting them ought to have some kind of civilian certification.

But let me say on this whole issue of immigration. On day one, I would drop all the lawsuits against Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama. It is wrong for the government. [cheering and applause]

GINGRICH: I would propose — I would propose cutting off all federal aid to any sanctuary city that deliberately violated federal law. [cheering and applause]

GINGRICH: And I would begin the process of completing control of the border by January 1st, 2014. Those steps would begin to fundamentally change the entire way of behavior towards getting control of legality in the United States. [applause]

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman, a recent FOX News poll showed that 66 percent of voters believe that the government should allow a pass to citizenship for the illegal immigrants who are already here in this country.

Nearly three-quarters of Latinos agree. Given these majorities and given the growing importance of the Latino vote in the general election, does the Republican presidential candidate need to take a more moderate approach on this issue if he hopes to defeat President Obama?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I think the Republican candidate has to speak based on our values, the values of the Republican Party. Limited government, pro-growth, these are the things that the Hispanic and the Latino populations are going to be looking for.

You don’t need to pander. You just need to be — we need to be who we are. But in terms of immigration, and illegal immigration, this president has so screwed up this economy, nobody is coming anymore. There is nothing to come for. I mean, there’s not a problem today. Just take a look at the numbers coming across.

I mean, the numbers, it was posted the other day, lowest in four decades. So I say, you know, we have got to secure the border, of course. We have got to deal with the 11, 12 million people who are here.

But let’s not lose sight of the fact that legal immigration is an engine of growth for this country. Half of the Fortune 500 companies in this country today were founded by immigrants.

We have lost probably — well, our market share of travel and tourism has gone from 7 percent to 12 percent because our visa system is so screwed up in this nation. So you’ve got to look at the Department of Homeland Security.

You’ve got to completely remake the way that people are moving back and forth, our H1-B visa system, how we are dealing with the movement of people, how we are dealing with immigration. This is an economic development opportunity and we are missing it. [applause]

MODERATOR: Chris Wallace has the next round of questions.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Bret. Governor Romney, you have changed your position in the last 10 years on abortion, on gay rights, on guns. You say keeping an open mind is a strength, but some of your critics say that every one of these moves has been to your political advantage. When you were running in Massachusetts, you took liberal positions. Running now as president, you take more conservative positions. Is that principle or is it just politics?

ROMNEY: Well, I’ll begin by taking exception with your list there. I did change my…

MODERATOR: Which — which one?

ROMNEY: Gay rights.

MODERATOR: Well…

ROMNEY: I’m firmly in support of people not being discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation. At the same time, I oppose same-sex marriage. That’s been my position from the beginning.

With regards to abortion, I changed my mind. With regards to abortion, I had the experience of coming in to office, running for governor, saying, you know, I’m going to keep the laws as they exist in the state. And they were pro-choice laws, so effectively I was pro-choice.

Then I had a bill come to my desk that didn’t just keep the laws as they were, but would have created new embryos for the purpose of destroying them. I studied it in some depth and concluded I simply could not sign on to take human life. I vetoed that bill. [applause]

I went to the — to the Boston Globe. I described for them why I am pro-life. Every decision I took as governor was taken on the side of life. I am firmly pro-life.

I’ve learned over time, like Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush and others, my experience in life over, what, 19 — 17, 18, 19 years has told me that sometimes I was wrong. Where I was wrong, I’ve tried to correct myself.

MODERATOR: If I may just pick up, you say the one issue which I was wrong on was gay rights. Correct, sir?

ROMNEY: Mm-hmm. What was the — what was the — I don’t recall the whole list, but I…

[crosstalk]

MODERATOR: It was abortion, gay rights, and guns.

ROMNEY: You know, I’ve always supported the Second Amendment. And — and we had a piece of legislation that came to our desk that would have — that provided an assault weapon ban. The gun lobby favored it because it also did things that the gun lobby wanted. Working with them, we decided to sign the bill. So you can say, well, I’ve changed my position on that, but I’ve been pro-gun and continue to be pro-gun.

MODERATOR: If I may, sir, in 1994, when you were running for the Senate, you wrote a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans in which you said, “I am more convinced than ever before that, as we seek full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent,” who was Ted Kennedy.

In 1994, you also said you supported not only an assault weapons ban, but also a five-day waiting period. And in 2002, when you were running as governor, you said that you supported the tough gun control laws in Massachusetts. And then as you say in 2004, you also signed an assault weapons ban.

So you are still more of a champion of gay rights than Ted Kennedy was?

ROMNEY: I think — I think — I think you just said exactly what I said, which is this.

MODERATOR: I…

ROMNEY: Let me — let me go back and say that. I do not believe in discriminating against people based upon their sexual orientation. There are some people that do. I had a member of my administration, my cabinet who was — who was gay. I didn’t ask justices that I was looking to appoint — rather, people who are applicants for jobs — what their sexual orientation was.

I believe as a Republican, I had the potential to fight for antidiscrimination in a way that would be even better than Senator Kennedy, as a Democrat, was expected to do so.

At the same time, Chris, in 1994 — and throughout my career — I’ve said I oppose same-sex marriage. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. My view is — let me tell you — protects — protect the sanctity of marriage, protect the sanctity of life. That’s my view. I’ve had it for many years.

Thank you. [applause]

MODERATOR: Senator Santorum, you have campaigned on social issues as much or perhaps more than any other candidate on this stage. Are you persuaded that Governor Romney has made these changes or what he says in some cases are not changes, based on principle and not political expedience?

SANTORUM: Governor Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, was faced with a Supreme Court decision that said that same-sex — that traditional marriage was unconstitutional. In that court decision, the court said that they did not have the power to change the law in Massachusetts and rule same-sex marriage legal. Why? Because in the Massachusetts constitution, it states specifically that only the governor and the legislature can change marriage laws.

Governor Romney — the court then gave the legislature a certain amount of time to change the law. They did not. So Governor Romney was faced with a choice: Go along with the court, or go along with the constitution and the statute. He chose the court and ordered people to issue gay marriage licenses, and went beyond that. He personally as governor issued gay marriage licenses. I don’t think that is an accurate representation of his position of saying tolerance versus substantively changes in the laws.

I’ve had a strong, consistent track record of standing up for the values of this country, not discriminating. It had a no- discrimination policy in my office. But we’re not talking about discrimination. We’re talking about changing the basic values of our country.

MODERATOR: Governor Romney, 30 seconds to respond, sir. [applause]

ROMNEY: That is a very novel understanding of what our Supreme Court of Massachusetts did. I think everybody in Massachusetts and the legal profession in Massachusetts and my legal counsel indicated that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts determined that under our constitution, same-sex marriage was required. And the idea that somehow that was up to me to make a choice as to whether we had it or not is a little unusual. We got together with our legislature and I fought leading an effort to put in place a constitutional amendment in Massachusetts to overturn the court’s decision to make marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

This is something I battled in the year I had after their decision. I fought it every way I possibly could. I went to Washington, testifying in favor of a federal amendment to define marriage as a relationship between man and a woman.

Let me tell you, I want to make it very clear, I have been a champion of protecting traditional marriage that continues to be my view. If I somehow missed somewhere I’m happy to get corrected. But that is something I feel very deeply.

MODERATOR: All right. Congresswoman Bachmann, you say that Speaker Gingrich has a, quote, “inconsistent record on life” and you singled out comments he made recently that life begins with the implantation of a fertilized egg, not at conception. What is your concern?

BACHMANN: Well, my concern is the fact that the Republican Party can’t get the issue of life wrong. This is a basic part of our party. Just last night we gathered in Des Moines to talk about this issue, because it’s that crucial to our party. And one of the concerns that I had is that when Speaker Gingrich was Speaker of the House he had an opportunity to de-fund Planned Parenthood. And he chose not to take it. That is a big issue.

And also I think even more troubling when he was in Washington, D.C., he made an affirmative statement that he would not only support but he would campaign for Republicans who are in support of the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion. I could never do that.

And as a matter of fact, George Wilt asked the question of Speaker Gingrich. he said this: he said, “is it a virtue to tolerate infanticide?” This is a seminal issue and something we can’t get wrong. As president of the United States, I will be 100 percent pro- life from conception until natural death.

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Sometimes Congressman Bachmann doesn’t get her facts very accurate. I had ad 98.5 percent right to life voting record in 20 years. The only …

MODERATOR: Go ahead. I’m…

GINGRICH: The only difference was that they didn’t like the initial welfare reform bill, which every other conservative group had said had nothing in it on abortion. Period. That’s the only one in 20 years.

I believe that life begins at conception. The conversation we’re having which is an ABC interview, I was frankly thinking about proposing a commission to look at fertility, because I think there is a challenge with what happens to embryos, who I think should be regarded as life because by definition they have been conceived. I am against any kind of experimentation on embryos. And I think my position on life actually has been very clear and very consistent.

MODERATOR: Let me just ask you — no. I want to ask you a direct question, if I may, speaker. That was your rebuttal to Congresswoman Bachmann.

BACHMANN: Can I rebuttal, because have a rebuttal for getting my facts wrong?

MODERATOR: Absolutely, congresswoman.

BACHMANN: Because this isn’t just once, I think it’s outrageous to continue to say over and over through the debate that I don’t have my facts right. When as a matter of fact, I do. I’m a serious candidate for president of the United States. And my facts are accurate.

Speaker Gingrich said that he would actively support and campaign for Republicans who got behind the barbaric practice of partial birth abortions. This is not a small issue. This is a big issue.

I think George Will was right when he asked that question. What virtue is there in tolerating infanticide?

MODERATOR: We are way over time. So I’m just going to ask you for 30 seconds to respond on the that specific issue.

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, what I said on that particular issue is I wouldn’t go out and try to purge Republicans. Now, I don’t see how you are going to govern the country if you are going to run around and decide who you are going to purge. The fact is, twice when I was speaker we moved the end of partial-birth abortion. Clinton vetoed it. We worked very hard. And Rick Santorum has been a leader on this issue.

I have consistently opposed partial birth abortion. I, in fact, would like to see us go much further than that and eliminate abortion as a choice. And I said as president I would de-fund Planned Parenthood and shift the money to pay for adoption services to give young women a choice of life rather than death.

MODERATOR: Thank you, speaker.

GINGRICH: Thank you, Chris. Candidates, Ronald Reagan famously espoused his 11th Commandment: Thou shall not…

PROTESTER: [off-mike]

MODERATOR: I’m sorry. Thank you. Thank you very much.

PROTESTER: [off-mike]

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Well — well, let me just finish this question. We’re running out of time.

Ronald Reagan famously espoused the 11th Commandment: Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican. Yet to varying degrees, during this campaign, you’ve all broken that one way or another, broken that vow. So I guess the question is, how do you balance on the one hand trying to win the nomination with on the other hand not weakening the eventual nominee to the point where he or she is less electable than President Obama?

Down the row, Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: We have a responsibility to vet the candidates. That’s what — look, I’ve been at 350 town hall meetings. I’ve been kicked pretty hard by a lot of Iowans about the positions I hold, and that’s what — that’s the process. The process is, let’s find out who can stand up. Let’s find out who has the best record, who’s the most — who’s the person that can have that — the consistency of — of going out there and finding for the principles that we believe in.

Because I — let me assure you, the other side’s going to kick very, very hard, and we have to have someone who can stand up for it, fight, and holds those convictions deep so they can fight the good fight in the fall and win this presidency.

MODERATOR: Governor Perry?

PERRY: Yeah, there’s a — there’s an — as a matter of fact, I think that was the Republican chairman, not Ronald Reagan, that actually said that.

MODERATOR: Well, he espoused it. That’s what I said.

PERRY: Right, indeed he did. But there’s an NFL player — his name doesn’t come to mind — but he said, if you don’t get your tail kicked every now and then, you’re not playing at a high enough level. And I just want to give all of you all credit for letting me play at a high enough level and for training me the way that you have. [laughter]

MODERATOR: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Yeah, we can handle it. And — and there’s nothing — there’s nothing that’s been said by — by these folks on this stage about me that I’m not going to hear 100 times from — from President Obama. He’s going to have a — what, $1 billion to go after me or whoever our nominee is? We’re — we’re going to give each other what we need to for people to understand who we are.

But let’s not forget this. Let’s every day remember that, time and time again, this — it’s President Obama we’ve got to be talking about. He has unveiled himself as a president that’s not — not the right person to lead this country. [applause]

MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it’s pretty clear, if you look at my ads, if you look at my website, if you look at what — how I’ve operated in the debates, that while I reserve the right to correct attacks against my — against me, overall I’ve tried very hard to talk about very big solutions to be — to go to the American people with the communication about, what do we need to do?

And I’ve said consistently, these are all friends of mine. Any of these folks would be better than Barack Obama in the White House. Any of them would be great in the next administration. [applause]

Our only opponent is Barack Obama. And we need to come out of this process remembering: Beating him is what we collectively have to do. [applause]

MODERATOR: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: You know, the media has a responsibility and we have a responsibility, and I think exposing our opponents to what they believe in and their flip-flop, I think the reason maybe that we had to do more this year is maybe the media is messing up and they haven’t asked enough questions, that we have to fill in and ask these questions and get this information out.

So, no, I think it’s a responsibility on us. I think there should be lines drawn. I think there are some things below the belt. I don’t think — but I don’t like the demagoguing, the distortion, and taking things out of context. I don’t like that. But when they disagree on an issue, important issues, then we should expose it.

MODERATOR: Congresswoman Bachmann? [applause]

BACHMANN: Ronald Reagan also brought clarity to the — his opponents that he had in his primaries, as well. And he famously asked the question, in 1980, are we better off today than we were four years under Jimmy Carter? And I think the republic is in far worse shape today under Barack Obama’s leadership.

That’s what we’re exposing now. Who will be — who will continue that legacy of Ronald Reagan? And who will take Barack Obama on toe to toe and hold him accountable? And I think that I’ll be the best one to do that on the stage.

MODERATOR: Governor Huntsman?

HUNTSMAN: I actually worked for Ronald Reagan. And I think he would have been the first to stand up and say: Debate is good. It must be respectful, and it must be rigorous.

A rigorous debate will lead to greater trust. And the one thing this nation needs desperately today is heightened trust, in our institutions, in our tax code, in our wars abroad, in Congress, toward Wall Street.

And I’m here to tell you that this kind of debate over time is going to elevate the trust level in whomever makes it out as the nominee. That will allow us to beat Barack Obama.

Thank you. [applause]

MODERATOR: Well, that is it for our debate tonight. Thank you all very much. Our thanks to the candidates, their staffs, the Iowa Republican Party, and to all the great people here in Sioux City, and, of course, in Iowa. They could not have been more hospitable.



Citation: Presidential Candidates Debates: “Republican Candidates Debate in Sioux City, Iowa,” December 15, 2011. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=97978.