Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 July 21, 2015: Full Text of Gov. John Kasich’s Campaign Launch at Ohio State University Transcript




Transcript: Read Full Text of Gov. John Kasich’s Campaign Launch

Source: Time, 7-21-15

Ohio Gov. John Kasich launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a speech at The Ohio State University.

Here is a transcript of the full remarks.

KASICH: Wow. Huh? Wow.

Well, listen, standing here with me, of course, are the people who I’ve dedicated my life to: My sweet daughters, Emma and Reese Kasich.

You know, I remember when they were born — remember that, sweetie?


I kept saying to the doctor, “How’s it going,” you know, and he’s trying to deliver two, and finally, he looks at me square in the eye, and he said, “Can you shut up? I’m a little busy right now.”


And they came out, and I could hold them in the palm of my hand. It was so sweet.

And so I, along with Karen, have dedicated our lives to giving them a better life than we were able to ever get from our parents. And you know what? They’re doing fantastic. Emma and Reese Kasich.


And my wife, pray for her. She’s married to me, OK?


KASICH: From the very tips of my toes to the top of my head, I just love my wife so much. Such a greater partner…


… and such a great lady.

So I want to tell you that it’s this whole business of the American Dream, isn’t it, that we can all work to make sure that next generation is going to be in a position of greater strength than what we received. And I get my inspiration from the people who came before me. And I want to tell you about a few of the ones that inspire me.

I’d like to start with my uncle Steve. Uncle Steve was a tough guy — you know, the son of a coal miner. Rough and gruff and tell it like it is. And he found himself at Iwo Jima, and he looked around during that battle and he saw a lot of people dying. Uncle Steve was not a church-going man, but in the middle of all the violence and the blood and the death, he said to God, if you will take me off this island, I will go to church every day for the rest of my life.


And he did. And he did. And Uncle Steve…


When Uncle Steve came home from the war, the brothers all slept in the same room; they didn’t have a lot. And Uncle George told me that he would have nightmares and he would speak in Japanese. And he told his brothers never wake me, never wake me from that nightmare because I don’t what will happen. Let me sleep and wake up on my own.

And Uncle George — he’s here today, he’s right over here. He’s 89 years old.


I so love my Uncle George. He’s the patriarch of our family. Well, Uncle George was in the infantry, and he was scheduled to take a boat from England to Belgium. But the division he was in couldn’t all fit in the boat, so they asked Uncle George to wait until the next day. Well that boat left England on its way to Belgium, and a submarine launched a torpedo and sunk that boat and everyone on it perished.

The next day, Uncle George took another boat and he landed in France. And he fought with great honor and he returned home and became a guidance counselor and guided young people for the next 38 years of his life. What a man.


You know, when my father-in-law — we call him Popsy, grandfather — joined the Marines at the age of 17; wanted to serve his country. But I guess most important, my mom and dad. You know, Mom was — well, she was a visionary. Didn’t get the education; you know, her mother could barely speak English, but boy, was she smart. And if you think I have opinions, you never met my mom.


And my father was the mailman. They called him John the Mailman. And when we laid my mother and father to rest, there were countless numbers of people who came and said John the Mailman, he watched out for all of us. And they gave up so much, didn’t take — I wished they’d have spent more on themselves, but they just — no matter what you told them, they weren’t doing to do it because it was all about the next generation. And they are the ones that have inspired me.

And all of you that are here today, you’re the same way, aren’t you? You’ve got those people who did so much for you who are your heroes. And they don’t have to be famous, they’re just people you love and that you admire. That American Dream that is pivotal for the future for our country, but I have to tell you there are a lot of people in America today who are not sure that that American Dream is possible, that that American Dream is alive. And I can understand their concerns.

KASICH: You know, when I was a kid, you went out and you got a job and you worked at that job your entire lifetime. You got your health care, you got your retirement and everything was good.

Today, you could be a 51-year-old man and one day after serving and doing everything the right way, somebody walks into your office and says, I’m sorry, but we don’t need you anymore.

Can you imagine that conversation?

Could you imagine that dad when he is driving home or that mom when she is driving home?

They lose confidence. They wonder what their future is.

Can they get another job?

Can they support their family?

Will anybody be there to help them?

Or how about moms and dads today?

They send their kids to college, many of these young people ringing up massive amounts of debt trying to get an education and they are living in the attic and Mom and Dad are wondering, will they get a job?

Will they pay their bills?

What kind of a future are they going to have?

Or, at the same time, we can also think about what all of us fear greatly and that is the problems of bad health.

Can I afford those expensive drugs that I need to survive?

What is it going to cost me to get treatment, just not for myself but for one of the loved ones in my family?

Will I be bankrupted and lose everything I have, everything I’ve worked for?

It’s a real fear.

Or the fear of the tsunami of drugs — it’s everywhere, isn’t it? The kids that are here and there are many of them, don’t do drugs, don’t put that big 1,000-pound pack on your back and keep you from your God-given purpose. But all moms and dads worry that those drugs are going to wash away our own neighborhoods and maybe wash away our children.

And how about those that struggle to make ends meet?

There are some people just say, oh, well, just work harder or pull yourself up by your bootstraps. I believe in all that. Some people just don’t have the fortune that many of us have. And they struggle. They struggle for a whole lifetime and they worry, that can they rise?

Can they — can they pull the rest of their family members up the ladder, the promise of America? And they worry about it.

Or how about if you are a member of the minority community, an African American?

You wonder. The system, I think, sometimes doesn’t just work for me but sometimes I feel like that system works against me. And you think about the troubles that many of our African Americans still face today in a world where we have worked to provide equal rights and opportunities. Sometimes they are not so sure and I don’t blame them.

Or how about all of us? We pick up the paper. It’s Chattanooga, it’s Fort Hood, it’s ISIS.

Are we safe?

Are we going to be safe to go to the mall?

Are we safe to leave our homes?

These are the worries that many Americans have.

But I have to tell you, as serious as these are — and they are very serious — we have had a lot worse, much worse in this country.

Think about it, the civil war.

You remember reading about it? I mean, it’s not just neighbors fighting against neighbors, but it was even family members, kin fighting against one another and killing one another on a battlefield right in America.

How about the racial violence that we experienced in this country?

The early days of television when they put the dogs and the gas and the batons on people of another color. Or the world wars, where many in our families never came home, leaving widows and children without a dad. Or the Depression, the Depression. Ask your grandfather, ask your mom and dad about that depression.

KASICH: My father used to say that he would go down to the store and get some food for the family and the guy would say, “We’ll put it on your bill.” There was no bill. That’s what it took for America to get through the Depression.

And you all remember that crystal clear morning and the horror we felt on 9/11.

But guess what? We’ve always got through it, because the testing is what makes you stronger. It’s the challenges that make you better. I have lived through them, and I have become stronger for them, and America has become stronger for them.

And here’s how we’ve done it: by staying together. Not by dividing each other but by staying together with our eyes on the horizon, with our eyes on the horizon, about the future.


We have a little town in Ohio called Wilmington. They followed that formula.

Let me tell you about these folks. They played by the rules — worked every day, highly productive, teamwork — and one day, an employer said, “We’re leaving. We’re out of here.”

And thousands of people, thousands of hardworking, God-fearing people like your neighbors, went from getting a paycheck on a Friday afternoon to visiting a food pantry so they could feed their kids.

I was down there in 2010 after this earthquake — economic earthquake hit Wilmington. We had a campaign bus. My wife was with me.

We walked through that food pantry. We looked at the people and preachers and civil servants and leaders and caregivers. They were at the food pantry, but they hadn’t lost any hope, because they had their eyes on the horizon.

We got back on the bus — I will never forget it as long as I live — we got back on — on the bus, and I said, “Folks, do you understand” — some of them had been with me for a long time, so they got it. But some of the others were rookies.

I said, “Do you understand what we are doing here? This isn’t a political campaign.” And by the way, either will this be. “This is not a political campaign.

“Did you see those people? Did you see the tears in their eyes? Did you see them hugging their children? Did you see them not hopeless? We’re going to join in, and we’re going to help them, because it is our job and our mission as human beings, as children of God, to work with them, to lift them.”

And guess what? And guess what?


And in Wilmington today, the sun’s coming up. I told them that the sun would come up again. It hasn’t reached its zenith, but the sun is rising, and the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again. I promise you, it will happen.


Listen, you know — you know — you know who does this? See, it’s you and me. See, it’s teachers and preachers and moms and dads, doctors, construction workers, like that sweet man in Brown County that saw his family washed away over the weekend — keep him in your prayers — police and firemen and people like my dad, the mailman, John the mailman, because we are the glue, we are the glue that holds our country together.

How about — as for me, as for me, look, I’m just trying to do my best, OK?

I came here to Ohio State. I found myself on the 19th floor of one of the towers. You could hit it with a stone from here.

I had 15 roommates. The place was 23 floors high. The tower next door, the same size.

KASICH: Ohio State can be a pretty intimidating place, OK. It’s big. It is a big place. And I left my dorm room, went down to the first floor and I walked just right down the path to Ohio Stadium. And it was a time when you could actually walk in that stadium, they didn’t have that one end closed in. And I walked into that stadium — I swear this happened — and I walked right to the 50 yard line.

There was no one in the stadium that day, and I looked around. All of those seats, those big structures that were there and I thought to myself either this place is going to take me down or I’m going to take it down.



One way or the other, it was going to be — you know, either it was going to be me or it was going to be a place, kids — because you’ll face it someday — to help me move forward.

You know, it’s amazing, I’m back here today. You could throw a stone and hit that stadium or you could hit that dormitory so many years later, and guess what? I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president of the United States.


You know, they — they ask you all the time like it’s a trick question or something, you know, well why do you want to do this. I mean, it’s like they’re going to catch you, right?


I mean — I mean, if you can’t answer that question, you ought to be back at the 50 yard line at Ohio Stadium wondering about your future.


I do this because — well, first of all, we’re not born to serve others. Think about this, I want you to think about this. If we’re not born to serve others, what were we born to do? I do this for my family, of course, for my sweet family, for my neighbors, Molly, for my friends of many, many, many years, many of whom are working with me today 30, 40 years later. I really do it for everyone. And I have to humbly tell you — and I mean humbly tell you — that I believe I do have the skills and I have the experience…


I have the experience and the testing, the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world. And I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States. And I have to tell you, it’s a daunting challenge.

I was just at Wendy’s on Saturday up here on Hudson Avenue, and the two wonderful African-American fellows were there. And I walked in, I was standing behind them, and one said to the other one, I don’t know what I believe what I’m seeing, but I think that’s Governor Kasich standing behind me.


And he said you better run. Do you know what meant to me? Two African-American guys, one with a knee — a brace on his knee and another one with a cane. And I said well, you know, people are going to have a lot more money than I am, and they looked at me and they said but you’ve got statistics, you’ve got statistics.


KASICH: So some are going to ask, as they always have, why do you think you can do this. You know, all of my life, people have told me you can’t do something, OK? And I’ll tell you why. It’s because I do believe in the power of very big idea, big bold ideas.

In 1976, I went out to the convention in Kansas City and not only worked for Ronald Reagan, but I worked with Ronald Reagan and I got to travel with Ronald Reagan.


Yes, I actually knew the guy, OK, the real guy, not from the history book. He lost at that convention. I had been managing, I think, five states for him at that convention. I mean, you talk about lightning striking me. I was 24 years old. I walked in; they were one man short and said, could you manage five states for the governor? I had no idea what they were saying.

I said, of course I could. OK? I had no idea about it.

Well, he lost, as you know. And I was there when he met with his closest advisers. And he said we’ve lost the battle. We hadn’t lost any war because we will all be back. And I’m going to fix America with all of your help.

And of course, he did and it further cemented my notion that big ideas — big ideas change the world. Big ideas change the world.


So I came back — I came back here to Ohio and I was all charged up and I was working as an aide. And I came back and I remember meeting with one of my buddies. And I said, you know, I think I’m going to just run for the state senate and beat that guy we had been watching. And I remember he was drinking something and it fell on the floor when I told him that.

People, look, I was 24.5 years old. I had no relatives that lived in the state. I didn’t really know anybody, but I had a big idea.

And you know what we did? We went out and we got moms and dads, a lot of moms who went door to door and rang doorbells. And the weekend before the election one of the local newspapers said, he is a fine young man but he has no chance to win.

Well, I won that election with the help of the army of volunteers. I went on to chair the health committee, where I learned to work across the aisle because the House was run by Democrats and that is where I learned that policy is far more important than politics, ideology or any of the other nonsense we see.


You know, they said it couldn’t be done. We proved them wrong.

And then at the ripe old age of 30 I decided I’m going to run for Congress.

My mother and father are like, Johnny, what are you doing now? OK?

Well, they said I couldn’t win. I was too young. And by the way, I was — I was going to run against an incumbent in 1982; it’s like the worst year. We lost 26 Republican seats that year. I was going to run against a guy — a guy who got one of his degrees from Harvard.


That’s when I knew I had an edge. Clearly he couldn’t have gotten into Ohio State. And I knew I had an edge.


And in 1982 I was the only Republican in America to defeat an incumbent Democrat all across this country. And…


… guess what? Here is the irony. I got to go to Washington and work with President Ronald Reagan.

You know?


They said — they said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.

And then I got down to Washington and got on a — the Armed Services Committee, where I served for 18 years on national security. And I was there just the blink of an eye and I discovered that these hammers and screwdrivers had cost thousands of dollars. And it was taking the resources from the people that needed it who were serving in the military. We were wasting money.

And I said we need to clean this up. And they’re like, “No, come on. It’s the Pentagon. You can’t — you — forget about it. It can’t happen.”

KASICH: Well, we passed some legislation and we made things right. We saved money. We improved the system. And we helped the military. They said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.


Let me be clear. Our military must be improved. We need to — we need to…


We need to cut the bureaucracy, and we need to strengthen our services.

Now, I’m a person — I’m person that doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. But in this case, national security climbs to the very top of the heap, because we must be strong, and we must assume our role as leaders of the world.


So six years after I got to Congress, I got on the budget committee. And I remember going to those first few meetings, Bob. I mean, it was, like, terrible, and I was complaining. I was up right here at a gas station in Westerville, and I’m saying, “These people don’t want to do anything.”

And some guy walked around the pump, and he looked me square in the eye. He said, “Things are so bad, what are you going to do about them”?

So I flew down to Washington, I met with my staff, about six of them, and I said, “You know, I think — I think we should just write a budget for the United States of America.” And they said, “Well, there’s, like, 100 people at the White House working on a budget and probably 50 up here, and we only have six.”

And I said, “I know, we’re overstaffed, but we stay out of our way, we’ll be able to get this done.”


And we wrote a budget for the United States of America.

And why? Everybody knows me as a budget guy. It’s not about numbers; it’s about vision, it’s about values, and we do not have the right as grownups to ring up debts to suit ourselves and pass them onto the next generation. We don’t have that right.


10 years of my life I worked at this.

My first budget was 405 to 30. I had the 30. My staff was depressed. I thought we were doing pretty well. That’s how I was.


Well, we just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it.

And you heard my great friend, John Sununu, by the way, one of the smart — he’s a wonderful, wonderful man. If John Sununu had not come to me and told me he was going to help me in New Hampshire, I wouldn’t have done this. I — I’ve just got to tell you. He is remarkable, and we did it together.

And the politicians didn’t care about — they — they didn’t care about anything, about being reelected; they cared about fixing America, Pat. They cared about getting the budget balanced and getting the economy going.

You know what? They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was too big, too hard, too much politics, and we proved them wrong again, and we balanced that federal budget. We balanced it.


You want job creation, you balance the books. Am I right? You balance the books.

And if I’m president — or maybe I should say when I am president…


… I will promise you — I will promise you that my top priority will get this country on a path to fiscal independence, strength, and we will rebuild the economy of this country, because creating jobs is our highest moral purpose, and we will move to get that done.


And by the way — by the way, how about a little balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution so Congress will start doing its job?


So I left. You know, I — I — I left Washington and had a great time. You — you know, I was — worked at Lehman Brothers and learned about businesses, and I went to Fox News, where, as you know, I was a giant television star.


And I had a great time.

But you know, I — I had a calling. It was like — here’s kind of how it went. Didn’t hear anything, but it was clear to me.

“You’ve had an amazing life. You got a lot of skills. You’re going back. You’re going back.”

And I sensed it when I was on a trip and I came back and called my friends together and said, “I guess we got to do this,” and they — you know, a lot of people, the doubters, they said, “Well, you know, you haven’t been in politics for 10 years, in a decade. You have never run state-wide, and we haven’t defeated an incumbent in 36 years in Ohio. Incumbents don’t lose.”

KASICH: So we put together a vision, we put together a team. They said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.


And then we took over the reins. But, you know, we didn’t go unprepared. We knew what we wanted to do, because I’m going to tell you, if I’m president, I know what we need to do, OK? There’s no confusion about that. I know what needs to be done. I have been there at all levels, OK.


When we came in here, $8 billion in the hole, a loss of 350,000 jobs, $0.89 in the rainy day fund. One guy said that he game them a dollar just to double the rainy day fund. A lot of hopelessness here, particularly among the poor and minorities.

People said maybe Ohio’s best days are behind them. I thought that was just a bunch of baloney. And I said not only will we get this budget balanced, but we’ll cut taxes, and they were like, are you kidding me? There’s no way we can do that. So we went to work. And we didn’t have to slash — we didn’t have to really slash things, we just had to use a 21st century formula.

Improve things, innovate them, make a better product at a lower price. You know, let Mom and Dad stay in their home rather than being forced in a nursing home, let them stay in their own home where they’ll be healthier and happier. And if we have to knock down the special interests to get it done, so be it. And that’s what we did.


Now today, four-and-a-half years later, $8 billion in the hole, $2 billion surplus. A loss of 350,000 jobs, a gain of 350,000 jobs. And tax cuts, tax cuts of $5 billion, the largest in the country.


And as I hope you all know, economic growth is not an end unto itself. If you’re drug addicted, we’re going to try to rehab you and get you on your feet. If you’re mentally ill, prison is no place for you. Some treatment and some help is where you need to be. If you’re the working poor, we’re going to give you an opportunity to take a pay raise and not bang you over the head because you’re trying to get ahead. Well, we’re changing that system. If you have an autistic son or daughter, for most of them, they can get insurance, and we’ll work to make sure all of them have it. For the developmentally disabled, they’re made in God’s image. They have a right to rise, they have to be successful.


And with all this — with all this, they said it couldn’t be done. And guess what? We proved them wrong again. And I’m going to take what we’ve learned here in the heartland, that band of brothers and sisters that I work with every day, and we are going to take the lessons of the heartland and straighten out Washington, D.C. and fix our country.


Well, and you know, now they’re going to say — got a lot of them back here — they’re going to say well, you know, nice guy or good guy or whatever they — or not a good guy, whatever they’re going to say, OK.


I don’t know if he can win. But with you, and you, sweetheart, OK; can you paint signs?


And with — and with all of you, together, we’ll prove them wrong again, won’t we? We’ll prove them wrong again.


AUDIENCE: Go John go! Go John go!

KASICH: Thank you.

So our team — you know, we’ll tame the bureaucracy, we’ll restore some common sense. Mary Taylor has the Common Sense Initiative; get rid of all those stupid rules. Well, we’ll do that in Washington.


KASICH: How about putting some people in the government that understand job creators and respect them rather than beating them down? How — how about that for an idea?


How about some common sense and make America stronger militarily?

But folks, here’s the thing that I want to say to you, and I said this at my inaugural. Some people think they just don’t matter in this. Do you know how wrong that is?

You know, we got this Holocaust Memorial, and there’s a line etched that says, “If you save one life, you’ve changed the world.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe that?


If you save one life, you changed the world. And the Lord will record what you’ve done for another in the Book of Life.

Now, we’ve got some values that we need to think about that can bring us together. Because folks, we’re a divided country, but we can fix it.

I’ll tell you what I think some of them are: personal responsibility. God ate — or, “The dog ate my homework,” went out in the fifth grade, OK?

Here’s the thing. We own our lives. I mean, if you’re hurting, we’ll help you.

You know, my mother used to say — my mother used to say that it is a sin not to help somebody who needs help but it’s equally a sin to continue to help somebody who needs to learn how to help themselves. Personal responsibility needs to be restored in our country.


Teach our children. Resilience. Everybody doesn’t get a trophy just for showing up, folks.

(LAUGHTER) You know what resilience is? It’s getting knocked down, and I have been knocked down so many times.

But getting knocked down’s not the problem. It’s refusing to get up. We need to teach our kids, teach our children about resilience and remind ourselves that you’re 51 years old, and you lost your job. You’re going to come back stronger and better, and we’ll help you.

Empathy, this one is so important. I just would ask you to think. Put yourself in the shoes of another person. We’re so quick to make judgments today in our country. Don’t walk so — so — so fast.

You know, yesterday, I was coming downtown, and — and there was a lady, and she was older, and she had a cane, and she was barely walking. She was putting one foot in front of another. I wanted to stop and just hug her, encourage her.

People who have not been dealt — dealt the best hand in life, yeah, we want to hold them accountable, but the Lord wants our hearts to reach out to those that don’t have what we have. I mean, that shouldn’t be hard for America. That’s who we are.

When people have studied our country, they have talked about our compassion, and we need to bring it back. Empathy, don’t be so quick to judge. Me, too, OK? Me, too.

And then teamwork. I know Tom Moe is up here. You know, one time, he — you know, he used to run the veterans. I call it the great arc of life.

The man goes in the military, he sits in the Hanoi Hilton, beaten all the time in a tiny little cell, he comes home, and I put him in charge of the veterans. I mean, this was the arc, the beautiful arc of what’s right.

Tom had a little code. I don’t know where he is right now. Here he is right here. He tapped out a code that kept them all together, and it was team that carried them through the most difficult times.

Uncle George, it was team that helped you to be successful, wasn’t it? The Vietnam veterans and Iraqi veterans and the Afghanistan veterans, we do best. Or the Depression, when we all hung together. Teamwork, team, they’re not the enemy; they’re part of our team. We can disagree. They’re our team.

And then family, huh? Look at these families here. It’s the building block of America. It’s the building block of our culture. Let’s recognize it.

KASICH: And of course, faith. And faith is real simple for me. It’s about the dos, not about the don’ts. And what it’s really about is God didn’t put us on this Earth just to take of ourselves, He put us on this Earth to make things a little bit better because we live here.

And so there are some that are going to try to divide us; we see about it all the time. You know (inaudible) forget it. I don’t pay any attention to that kind of nonsense. At the end of the day, it’s about being together. Because, you know, it says We the People.

And by the way, if you think that I or anybody who becomes president or a big shot, we don’t — we don’t move America. Oh, we do our part if we have courage and intelligence, but it’s all of us in the neighborhoods, in the families across the country. We’re the strength and the glue. Don’t — please, please, please don’t lose sight of it. As for me, I’m just a flawed man, a flawed man trying to honor God’s blessings in my life.

I just — I don’t even understand it. He’s been very good to me. And I want you to know that I will do my very best to serve you because you are in my mind’s eye. Who are you? Get up every day, go to work, work hard, follow the rules, come home, spend time with your family and at night, you go to bed and say your prayers for your family, for your neighbors and for our nation.

And folks, as it has been said many times, the light of a city on a hill cannot be hidden. The light of a city on a hill cannot be hidden. America is that city and you are that light.

God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all very much.


Full Text Obama Presidency May 5, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Commencement Address to Ohio State University’s Class of 2013



Here’s What President Obama Told the Class of 2013 at The Ohio State University

Source: WH, 5-5-13

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during The Ohio State University (May 5, 2013)President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during The Ohio State University commencement at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, May 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Ohio State University is an institution that dedicates itself to “Education for Citizenship” — the Buckeye motto emblazoned on the school seal.

So when President Obama spoke to the Class of 2013 at the school’s graduation, citizenship was his theme….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at The Ohio State University Commencement

Source: WH, 5-5-13 

Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

1:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Hello, Buckeyes!  O-H!






THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you so much.  Everybody, please be seated.  Thank you, Dr. Gee, for the wonderful introduction.  I suspect the good President may have edited out some other words that were used to describe me.  (Laughter.)  I appreciate that.  But I’m going to let Michelle know of all the good comments.

To the Board of Trustees; Congresswoman Beatty; Mayor Coleman; and all of you who make up The Ohio State University for allowing me to join you — it is an incredible honor.

And most of all, congratulations, Class of 2013!  (Applause.)  And of course, congratulations to all the parents, and family, and friends and faculty here in the Horseshoe — this is your day as well.  (Applause.)  I’ve been told to ask everybody, though, please be careful with the turf.  Coach Meyer has big plans for this fall.  (Laughter.)

I very much appreciate the President’s introduction.  I will not be singing today.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE:  Aww — (laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  It is true that I did speak at that certain university up north a few years ago.  But, to be fair, you did let President Ford speak here once — and he played football for Michigan!  (Laughter.)  So everybody can get some redemption.

In my defense, this is my fifth visit to campus in the past year or so.  (Applause.)  One time, I stopped at Sloppy’s to grab some lunch.  Many of you — Sloopy’s — I know.  (Laughter.)  It’s Sunday and I’m coming off a foreign trip.  (Laughter.)  Anyway, so I’m at Sloopy’s and many of you were still eating breakfast.  At 11:30 a.m.  (Laughter.)  On a Tuesday.  (Laughter.)  So, to the Class of 2013, I will offer my first piece of advice:  Enjoy it while you can.  (Laughter.)  Soon, you will not get to wake up and have breakfast at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.  (Laughter.)  And once you have children, it gets even earlier.  (Laughter.)

But, Class of 2013, your path to this moment has wound you through years of breathtaking change.  You were born as freedom forced its way through a wall in Berlin, tore down an Iron Curtain across Europe.  You were educated in an era of instant information that put the world’s accumulated knowledge at your fingertips.  And you came of age as terror touched our shores; and an historic recession spread across the nation; and a new generation signed up to go to war.

So you’ve been tested and you’ve been tempered by events that your parents and I never imagined we’d see when we sat where you sit.  And yet, despite all this, or perhaps because of it, yours has become a generation possessed with that most American of ideas — that people who love their country can change it for the better.  For all the turmoil, for all the times you’ve been let down, or frustrated at the hand that you’ve been dealt, what I have seen — what we have witnessed from your generation — is that perennial, quintessentially American value of optimism; altruism; empathy; tolerance; a sense of community; a sense of service — all of which makes me optimistic for our future.

Consider that today, 50 ROTC cadets in your graduating class will become commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.  (Applause.)  A hundred and thirty of your fellow graduates have already served — some in combat, some on multiple deployments.  (Applause.)  Of the 98 veterans earning bachelor’s degrees today, 20 are graduating with honors, and at least one kept serving his fellow veterans when he came home by starting up a campus organization called Vets4Vets.  And as your Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of all of you.  (Applause.)

Consider that graduates of this university serve their country through the Peace Corps, and educate our children through established programs like Teach for America, startups like Blue Engine, often earning little pay for making the biggest impact.  Some of you have already launched startup companies of your own. And I suspect that those of you who pursue more education, or climb the corporate ladder, or enter the arts or science or journalism, you will still choose a cause that you care about in your life and will fight like heck to realize your vision.

There is a word for this.  It’s citizenship.  And we don’t always talk about this idea much these days — citizenship — let alone celebrate it.  Sometimes, we see it as a virtue from another time, a distant past, one that’s slipping from a society that celebrates individual ambition above all else; a society awash in instant technology that empowers us to leverage our skills and talents like never before, but just as easily allows us to retreat from the world.  And the result is that we sometimes forget the larger bonds we share as one American family.

But it’s out there, all the time, every day — especially when we need it most.  Just look at the past year.  When a hurricane struck our mightiest city, and a factory exploded in a small town in Texas, we saw citizenship.  When bombs went off in Boston, and when a malevolent spree of gunfire visited a movie theater, a temple, an Ohio high school, a 1st grade classroom in Connecticut, we saw citizenship.  In the aftermath of darkest tragedy, we have seen the American spirit at its brightest.

We’ve seen the petty divisions of color and class and creed replaced by a united urge to help each other.  We’ve seen courage and compassion, a sense of civic duty, and a recognition we are not a collection of strangers; we are bound to one another by a set of ideals and laws and commitments, and a deep devotion to this country that we love.

And that’s what citizenship is.  It’s at the heart of our founding — that as Americans, we are blessed with God-given talents and inalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities — to ourselves, and to one another, and to future generations.  (Applause.)

Now, if we’re being honest with ourselves, as you’ve studied and worked and served to become good citizens, the fact is that all too often the institutions that give structure to our society have, at times, betrayed your trust.  In the run-up to the financial crisis, too many on Wall Street forgot that their obligations don’t end with what’s happening with their shares. In entertainment and in the media, ratings and shock value often trump news and storytelling.

In Washington — well, this is a joyous occasion, so let me put it charitably — (laughter) — I think it’s fair to say our democracy isn’t working as well as we know it can.  It could do better.  (Applause.)  And so those of us fortunate enough to serve in these institutions owe it to you to do better every single day.

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we can keep this idea of citizenship in its fullest sense alive at the national level — not just on Election Day, not just in times of tragedy, but all the days in between.  And perhaps because I spend a lot of time in Washington, I’m obsessed with this issue because that sense of citizenship is so sorely needed there.  And I think of what your generation’s traits — compassion and energy, and a sense of selflessness — might mean for a democracy that must adapt more quickly to keep up with the speed of technological and demographic, and wrenching economic change.

I think about how we might perpetuate this notion of citizenship in a way that another politician from my home state of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, once described patriotism not as “short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”  That’s what patriotism is.  That’s what citizenship is.  (Applause.)

Now, I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  I’m not going to offer some grand theory on a beautiful day like this — you guys all have celebrating to do.  I’m not going to get partisan, either, because that’s not what citizenship is about.  In fact, I’m asking the same thing of you that President Bush did when he spoke at this commencement in 2002:  “America needs more than taxpayers, spectators, and occasional voters,” he said. “America needs full-time citizens.”  (Applause.)  And as graduates from a university whose motto is “Education for Citizenship,” I know all of you get that this is what you’ve signed up for.  It’s what your country expects of you.

So briefly, I’ll ask for two things from the Class of 2013: to participate, and to persevere.  After all, your democracy does not function without your active participation.  At a bare minimum, that means voting, eagerly and often — not having somebody drag you to it at 11:30 a.m. when you’re having breakfast.  (Laughter.)  It means knowing who’s been elected to make decisions on your behalf, and what they believe in, and whether or not they delivered on what they said they would.  And if they don’t represent you the way you want, or conduct themselves the way you expect, if they put special interests above your own, you’ve got to let them know that’s not okay.  And if they let you down often enough, there’s a built-in day in November where you can really let them know it’s not okay.  (Applause.)

But participation, your civic duty, is more than just voting.  You don’t have to run for office yourself — but I hope many of you do, at all levels, because our democracy needs you.  And I promise you, it will give you a tough skin.  I know a little bit about this.  (Laughter.)  President Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

And that’s precisely what the Founders left us — the power, each of us, to adapt to changing times.  They left us the keys to a system of self-government, the tools to do big things and important things together that we could not possibly do alone — to stretch railroads and electricity and a highway system across a sprawling continent.  To educate our people with a system of public schools and land-grant colleges, including The Ohio State University.  To care for the sick and the vulnerable, and provide a basic level of protection from falling into abject poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)  To conquer fascism and disease; to visit the Moon and Mars; to gradually secure our God-given rights for all of our citizens, regardless of who they are, or what they look like, or who they love.  (Applause.)

We, the people, chose to do these things together — because we know this country cannot accomplish great things if we pursue nothing greater than our own individual ambition.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works.  They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.  You should reject these voices.  Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all of our faith in government to solve our problems; we shouldn’t want to.  But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either.  Because we understand that this democracy is ours.  And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.  (Applause.)  And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.  (Applause.)

The founders trusted us with this awesome authority.  We should trust ourselves with it, too.  Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical, and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it.  That’s how we end up with lobbyists who set the agenda; and policies detached from what middle-class families face every day; the well-connected who publicly demand that Washington stay out of their business — and then whisper in government’s ear for special treatment that you don’t get.

That’s how a small minority of lawmakers get cover to defeat something the vast majority of their constituents want.  That’s how our political system gets consumed by small things when we are a people called to do great things — like rebuild a middle class, and reverse the rise of inequality, and repair the deteriorating climate that threatens everything we plan to leave for our kids and our grandkids.

Class of 2013, only you can ultimately break that cycle.  Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be.  But it requires your dedicated, and informed, and engaged citizenship.  And that citizenship is a harder, higher road to take, but it leads to a better place.  It’s how we built this country — together.

It’s the question that President Kennedy posed to the nation at his inauguration.  It’s the dream that Dr. King invoked.  It does not promise easy success or immediate progress — but it has led to success, and it has led to progress.  And it has to continue with you.

Which brings me to the second thing I ask of all of you — I ask that you persevere.  Whether you start a business, or run for office, or devote yourself to alleviating poverty or hunger, please remember that nothing worth doing happens overnight.  A British inventor named Dyson went through more than 5,000 prototypes before getting that first really fancy vacuum cleaner just right.  We remember Michael Jordan’s six championships; we don’t remember his nearly 15,000 missed shots.  As for me, I lost my first race for Congress, and look at me now — I’m an honorary graduate of The Ohio State University.  (Applause.)

The point is, if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down.  But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.  And that is not only true for your personal pursuits, but it’s also true for the broader causes that you believe in as well.

So you can’t give up your passion if things don’t work right away.  You can’t lose heart, or grow cynical if there are twists and turns on your journey.  The cynics may be the loudest voices — but I promise you, they will accomplish the least.  It’s those folks who stay at it, those who do the long, hard, committed work of change that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference.

So whenever you feel that creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices saying you can’t do it, you can’t make a difference, whenever somebody tells you to set your sights lower — the trajectory of this great nation should give you hope.  What generations have done before you should give you hope.  Because it was young people just like you who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat in to secure women’s rights, and voting rights, and workers’ rights, and gay rights — often at incredible odds, often at great danger, often over the course of years, sometimes over the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime — and they never got acknowledged for it, but they made a difference.  (Applause.)

And even if their rights were already secured, there were those who fought to secure those same rights and opportunities for others.  And that should give you some hope.

Where we’re going should give you hope.  Because while things are still hard for a lot of people, you have every reason to believe that your future is bright.  You’re graduating into an economy and a job market that is steadily healing.  The once-dying American auto industry is on pace for its strongest performance in 20 years — something that means everything to many communities in Ohio and across the Midwest.  Huge strides in domestic energy, driven in part by research at universities like this one, have us on track to secure our own energy future.  Incredible advances in information and technology spurred largely by the risk-takers of your generation have the potential to change the way we do almost everything.

There is not another country on Earth that would not gladly change places with the United States of America.  And that will be true for your generation just as it was true for previous generations.

So you’ve got a lot to look forward to, but if there’s one certainty about the decade ahead, it’s that things will be uncertain.  Change will be a constant, just as it has been throughout our history.  And, yes, we still face many important challenges.  Some will require technological breakthroughs or new policy insights.  But more than anything, what we will need is political will — to harness the ingenuity of your generation, and encourage and inspire the hard work of dedicated citizens.  To repair the middle class, to give more families a fair shake, to reject a country in which only a lucky few prosper because that’s antithetical to our ideals and our democracy — all of this is going to happen if you are involved, because it takes dogged determination — the dogged determination of our citizens.

To educate more children at a younger age, and to reform our high schools for a new time, and to give more young people the chance to earn the kind of education that you did at The Ohio State University, and to make it more affordable so young people don’t leave with a mountain of debt — that will take the care and concern of citizens like you.  (Applause.)

To build better roads and airports and faster Internet, and to advance the kinds of basic research and technology that’s always kept America ahead of everybody else — that will take the grit and fortitude of citizens.

To confront the threat of climate change before it’s too late — that requires the idealism and the initiative of citizens.

To protect more of our kids from the horrors of gun violence — that requires the unwavering passion, the untiring resolve of citizens.  (Applause.)  It will require you.

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy told the class of 1963 that “our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man.  And man can be as big as he wants.”  We’re blessed to live in the greatest nation on Earth.  But we can always be greater.  We can always aspire to something more.  That doesn’t depend on who you elect to office.  It depends on you, as citizens, how big you want us to be, how badly you want to see these changes for the better.

And look at all that America has already accomplished.  Look at how big we’ve been.  I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to dream bigger.

And from what I’ve seen of your generation, I’m confident that you will.  And so I wish you courage, and compassion, and all the strength that you will need for that tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

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

1:26 P.M. EDT

Political Headlines May 5, 2013: President Barack Obama Gives Commencement Address at Ohio State University





Obama Gives Commencement Address at Ohio State University

President Barack Obama joins The Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, left, and others in the processional before the start of commencement at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, May 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-5-13

In his first commencement address of this year’s graduation season, President Obama encouraged more than 10,000  graduates gathered at Ohio State University to pay heed to their duty as citizens and become active participants in their country in the years ahead.

“This democracy is ours. As citizens, we understand that it is not about what America may do for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government and to the class of 2013 you have to be involved in that process.”…READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 9, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio — Urges College Kids to Register to Vote




Obama Urges College Kids to Register to Vote

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-9-12


President Obama made an urgent push to get out the vote in the key battleground state of Ohio Tuesday, urging 15,000 supporters to register before time ran out.
“Today is the last day you can register. Now, I know it’s easy to procrastinate in college. I procrastinated a lot,” the president jokingly told students at the Ohio State University. “You’ve got until 9 p.m. tonight. No extensions. No excuses. I know you guys are up at 9 p.m. As you get older, you start thinking about sleeping around 9 p.m., but you guys are just getting started.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Campaign Event at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Source: WH, 10-9-12 

The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

5:08 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Buckeyes!  (Applause.)  O-H!






THE PRESIDENT:  Well, can everybody please give Sonia a big round of applause for that great introduction?  (Applause.)  And it is good to see my friend and one of the finest United States senators we’ve got today — your Senator, Sherrod Brown, is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Michael Coleman, is here.  (Applause.)  Your next congresswoman, Joyce Beatty, is here.  (Applause.)

will.i.am is in the house.  (Applause.)  A man who sometimes looks like he’s been to outer space.  (Laughter.)  I am so grateful — he has been such a great friend for a long time.  And we also have a man who has actually been to outer space — John Glenn in the house!  (Applause.)

Now, before I begin, Buckeyes, I’ve got a question for you  — are you registered to vote?


THE PRESIDENT:  Because if you’re not, today is the last day you can register.  Now, I know it’s easy to procrastinate in college.  I procrastinated a lot.  But we’ve made it easy.  You go to Vote.BarackObama.com to register yourself.  And you’ve got until 9:00 p.m. tonight.  No extensions.  No excuses.  I know you guys are up at 9:00 p.m.  (Laughter.)  As you get older you start thinking about sleeping around 9:00 p.m., but you guys are just getting started.

If you are registered, you can vote right now, today.  Just go to Vote.BarackObama.com to find out where.  All right?  (Applause.)  All right?

AUDIENCE:  All right!

THE PRESIDENT:  All right.  Now, even better, grab your friends, grab everybody in your dorm, grab your fraternity or sorority — (applause) — join will.i.am right after this event because he’s heading to an early vote location where you can register and vote in the same place right now.  (Applause.)   There are buses around the corner that can get you there and back.  So don’t wait.  Do not delay.  Go vote today.  What do you think?  (Applause.)

All right, Buckeyes, we need you.  (Applause.)  We need you fired up —


THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back, but I need you voting.  (Applause.)  I need you fired up.  I need you ready to go to vote.  Because we’ve got some work to do.  We’ve got an election to win.  Everything that we fought for in 2008 is on the line in 2012.  And I need your help to finish what we started.

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

Four years ago, I promised to cut taxes for middle class families — and we have, by $3,600.  (Applause.)  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — and we have, 18 times.  We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks, and we also passed a law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts permanently.  (Applause.)

We passed health care reform — also known as Obamacare, because I do care — (applause) — I don’t want insurance company jerking you around anymore.  (Applause.)  I don’t want somebody without health care when they’ve got a preexisting condition.

We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” as I promised we would. (Applause.)  Today no outstanding soldier or Marine or Coast Guardsman, sailor, airman — none of them can be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love.  (Applause.)

And when you think about, Ohio, when Governor Romney said that we should just let the auto industry go bankrupt, we said no, we’re not going to take your advice.


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

And we reinvented a dying auto industry that supports 1 in 8 Ohio jobs and has come roaring back to the top of the world.  (Applause.)

Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs.  This past Friday, we found out that the unemployment rate had fallen from a high of 10 percent down to 7.8 percent — the lowest level since I took office.  (Applause.)  Manufacturing is coming back to America.  Home values are back on the rise.

Now, we’re not there yet.  We’ve still got too many Americans who are looking for work and too many families who can’t pay the bills.  There are too many homes that are still underwater and there are too many young people who are burdened by too much debt after they graduate.

But if there’s one thing I know, Ohio, it’s this — we have come too far to turn back now.  The American people have worked too hard.  And the last thing we can afford to do right now is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  I cannot allow that to happen.  I will not allow it to happen.  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Over the last four years, I’ve seen a lot of folks hurting.  I’ve seen a lot of struggle.  And I am not going to make — I’m not going to have us go back to another round of top-down economics.  But that’s what my opponent is offering.  The centerpiece of Governor Romney’s economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthiest Americans.  He has been pitching that plan for an entire year, stood up onstage in one of his primary debates, proudly promised that his tax cuts would include the “top 1 percent.”

But most of the economists who’ve actually crunched the numbers said that paying for Governor Romney’s tax plan either means blowing up the deficit or raising taxes on middle-class families — one or the other, pick your poison.

Then, last week, Mitt Romney actually said, “There’s no economist who can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.”  So he said if he says it’s not true, then it’s not true.  (Laughter.)  Okay.

So if it’s true that it’s not going to add to the deficit, that leaves only one option — and that’s asking middle-class families to foot the bill by getting rid of the deductions they rely on for owning a home or raising their kids or sending them to college.

And as it turns out, most folks don’t like that idea, either.  So just last week when we were onstage together, Governor Romney decided that instead of changing his plan, he’d just pretend it didn’t exist.  (Laughter.)  What $5 trillion tax cut?  I don’t know anything about a $5 trillion tax cut.  Pay no attention to that tax cut under the carpet, behind the curtain.  (Laughter.)

When he’s asked how he’ll cut the deficit, he says he can make the math work by eliminating local public funding for PBS.


THE PRESIDENT:  Now, by the way, this is not new.  This is what he’s been saying every time he’s asked the question — well, we can cut out PBS.  So for all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry — somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.  (Laughter.)  Who knew that he was driving our deficit?  (Laughter.)  So we’re going — he’s decided we’re going after Big Bird and Elmo is making a run for the border and Oscar is hiding out in a trash can.  (Laughter.)  And Governor Romney wants to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring down the hammer on Sesame Street.  (Laughter.)

Look, that is not leadership — that’s salesmanship.  We can’t afford it.  We can’t afford to double down on top-down economics.  We can’t afford another round of tax cuts for the wealthy.  We can’t afford to roll back regulations on Wall Street banks or on insurance companies.  We can’t afford to gut our investments in education or clean energy or research or technology.  (Applause.)  That is not a jobs plan.  That is not a plan to grow the economy.  That is not change.  That is a relapse.

We have been there.  We have tried that.  We are not going back.  We are moving forward.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, we’ve got a different view about how you create jobs and prosperity in America.  A strong economy doesn’t trickle down from the top.  It grows from a thriving middle class and folks who are working hard to get into the middle class.

I believe it’s time our tax code stopped rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas.  Let’s reward small businesses and manufacturers who are making products right here in Ohio, products stamped with three proud words:  “Made In America.”  That’s the choice in this election.  (Applause.)

I believe we can create more jobs by controlling more of our own energy.  And after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in two decades.

So now it’s time to move forward.  My plan would cut our oil imports in half, and invest in the clean energy that’s creating thousands of jobs all across Ohio and America right now — not just oil and natural gas, but solar and wind and clean coal technology and fuel-efficient batteries and fuel-efficient cars. (Applause.)

And I’m not going to let oil companies continue to collect another $4 billion in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare every single year.  I’m not going to let China win the race for clean energy technology.  I want to see that technology developed by students and scientists here in Columbus, by workers and farmers all across Ohio, by patriots here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

And my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. More draught and floods and wildfires are not a joke.  They’re a threat to your future.  And we’ve got to make sure that we meet the moment.  That’s why I’m running.

I believe that we should have the best education system in the world, bar none.  (Applause.)  I would not be here if it were not for the education I was able to receive.  I didn’t come from wealth or fame, but I got a great education because that’s what this country does.  It was the gateway of opportunity for Michelle.  It’s the gateway of opportunity for so many of you.

And now you’ve got a choice.  We can gut education to pay for Governor Romney’s tax cuts — that’s exactly what his running mate, Paul Ryan, proposes.


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

Or we can do what I’ve proposed — recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers.  (Applause.)  Focus on early childhood education.  Provide job training for 2 million workers at our community colleges.  Cut the growth of tuition costs in half so that you guys are not loaded up with debt when you graduate.  That is something we can do.  (Applause.)

And by the way, I don’t just talk the talk on this; I walk the walk.  We took $60 billion that was going to banks and lenders under the student loan program, and we said let’s cut out the middleman, let’s give the money directly to students.  And as a consequence, millions of young people all across the country are getting better deals on Pell grants.  We’re able to keep our student loan rates low.  We have focused on this, and you need to focus on this in this next election because this is part of the choice that you’re going to face.  (Applause.)

And we can meet these goals together.  You can choose a better future for America.  I want to use the money we’re saving from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I want to use that to pay down our deficit, but also to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our schools all across America.  (Applause.)

And Governor Romney said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.  I disagree.  I think bringing our troops home to their families was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  If he’d gotten his way, those troops would still be there.  In a speech yesterday, he doubled down on that belief.  He said ending that war was a mistake.  After nine years of war, more than $1 trillion in spending, extraordinary sacrifices by our men and women in uniform and their families, he said we should still have troops on the ground in Iraq.

Ohio, you can’t turn a page on the failed policies of the past if you’re promising to repeat them.  We cannot afford to go back to a foreign policy that gets us into wars with no plan to end them.  We’re moving forward, not going back.  (Applause.)

And every brave American who wears the uniform of this country should know as long as I’m your Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  (Applause.)  And when our troops take off the uniform, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  (Applause.)

And finally, I’ll cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.  I’ve already worked with the Republicans and Democrats to cut a trillion dollars in spending, and I’m ready to do more.  But we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  We’re not going to get this done unless we also ask the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on their incomes over $250,000.  And that rate is the one that was in place when Bill Clinton was President — our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, a whole lot of millionaires to boot.

Governor Romney said it’s fair that he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher or autoworker who makes $50,000.  He is wrong.  I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.  (Applause.)

I refuse to pay for that tax cut by asking you, students, to pay more for college, or kicking kids out of Head Start programs, or eliminating health care for millions of Americans who are poor or disabled or elderly.  And that’s the choice that we face in this election.  That’s what the election comes down to.

Over and over, we’ve been told by Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan and their allies in Congress that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing.  If you can’t afford health insurance, hope you don’t get sick.  If a company releases pollution into the air that your kids breathe, that’s just the price of progress.  If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, just borrow money from your parents.

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

And that’s what we understood in 2008.  That was an amazing experience for me, obviously, that election.  But I said then and I still believe now that wasn’t about me; it was about you.

You’re the reason a mother in Cincinnati doesn’t have to worry about an insurance company denying her son coverage just because he got sick.  You made that happen.  You’re the reason a factory worker who lost his job in Toledo or Lordstown is back on the assembly line building the best cars in the world.   You did that.  (Applause.)

You’re the reason a young man in Columbus whose mother worked three jobs to raise him can afford to go to The Ohio State University.  That happened because of you.  (Applause.)

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

You did that.  And so if you buy into the cynicism that says change isn’t possible, that the best we can do is more tax cuts for folks at the top and the rest of folks have to figure it out, if you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices fill the void — the lobbyists and the special interests, the people who write the $10 million checks to try to buy this election, or those who are trying to make it harder for people to vote, the Washington politicians who want to tell women what they’re doing when it comes to health care choices when women are perfectly capable of making those choices themselves.  (Applause.)

That’s what’s at stake.  And only you can make sure that we move forward.  Only you have that power to move us forward.  We’ve always said that change — real change — takes time, more than one year, more than one term, even more than one President. It takes more than one party.

It can’t happen if you’re somebody who writes off half the nation before you even took office.  (Applause.)  And in — you know, it’s interesting, in 2008, 47 percent of the country didn’t vote for me.  But on the night of the election, I said to those Americans, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices. I need your help.  I’ll be your President, too.

And, Columbus, I don’t know how many folks will be around voting for me this time, but I can tell you I will be there no matter what.  (Applause.)  I’ll be fighting for you no matter what — because I’m not fighting to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs, I’m fighting to create American jobs.  (Applause.)  I’m not fighting to improve schools in red states or blue state, I’m fighting to improve schools it the United States. (Applause.)

The values that we are fighting for don’t belong to one party or one group.  They’re not black or white, or Hispanic or Asian or Native America, or gay or straight, or disabled and not disabled — they are American values.  They belong to all of us.  (Applause.)

And I am absolutely positive that we are not as divided as our politics suggest.  I still believe we’ve got more in common than our pundits tell us.  I still believe in you.  And I’m asking you to keep believing in me.  (Applause.)

Ohio, I’m asking you for your vote.  And if you’re willing to stand with me and work with me, knock on some doors and make some phone calls for me, we’ll win Franklin County again.  We’ll win Ohio again.  We’ll 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.)

Thank you, Ohio.  Let’s go vote.  Let’s go win this election!   (Applause.)

5:30 P.M. EDT

History Buzz March 19, 2012: Geoffrey Parker: Ohio State University professor awarded the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History


History Buzz


OSU professor awarded top international prize

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, 3-19-12

Ohio State University history professor Geoffrey Parker has been awarded the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History by the 200-year old Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The prize is given biennially to recognize international scholars in five fields who exemplify the highest levels of accomplishment in their areas. Recipients will receive a $150,000 cash award at a special ceremony later this year in Amsterdam. Although several of the past Heineken History Prize winners teach at American universities, Parker is the first Ohio State historian to be selected.

The selection committee cited Parker’s “outstanding scholarship on the social, political and military history of Europe between 1500 and 1650, in particular Spain, Phillip II, and the Dutch revolt; for contributions to military history in general; and for research in the role of climate in world history.”
“This is the sort of honor that, if it comes at all, only comes once,” Parker said. “It’s a particular privilege for me to join my OSU colleague and friend earth scientist Lonnie Thompson, who won a Heineken Prize for his work in environmental sciences back in 2002”
Parker was nominated for the award by history department chairman Peter Hahn, who said Parker has published 36 books, is perhaps the world’s foremost authority on early modern European history, and has an established record of expertise in military history and world history.  “Moreover, he has shaped the minds and won the hearts of thousands of students over his 45 years in the classroom,” Hahn said….READ MORE

History Buzz February 9, 2012: Hasan Jeffries: ‘New wave’ Civil Rights historian shares untold past


History Buzz


‘New wave’ Civil Rights historian shares untold past

Source: The DePauw News, 2-9-12

 Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson made great strides for Civil Rights, but Ohio State University professor Hasan Jeffries says social movements take more than just a great individual.

“When you focus on an individual or an individual organization, you miss a lot more that’s going on,” Jeffries said.

The history professor visited DePauw Wednesday afternoon to deliver a lecture stemming from his doctoral dissertation on the intersection of the 1966 elections and start of the Black Power movement in Lowndes County, Alabama.

John Ditma, a former DePauw University history professor who introduced Jeffries, said the young professor is on the “cutting edge” of a “new wave of Civil Rights history.”

But Jeffries said he doesn’t think he has discovered anything new. “It’s not about creating new history,” he said. “It’s about reemphasizing the history we do have and whose voice is heard.”…READ MORE

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