President Donald Trump’s Speech at Make America Great Again Rally

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Make America Great Again Rally

Source: WH, 3-15-17

Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tennessee

7:06 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  So we’re just going to let the other folks come in, fill it up.  This is some crowd.  You have to see what’s outside, you wouldn’t even believe it.  (Applause.)  Unbelievable.

So I’m thrilled to be here in Nashville, Tennessee, the home — (applause) — of country music, Southern hospitality, and the great President Andrew Jackson.  (Applause.)  I just came from a tour of Andrew Jackson’s home to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.  Jackson’s life was devoted to one very crucial principle — he understood that real leadership means putting America first.  (Applause.)

Before becoming President, Andrew Jackson served your state from the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate, and he also served as commander of the Tennessee militia.  Tough cookie.  Tough cookie.  (Applause.)

So let’s begin tonight by thanking all of the incredible men and women of the United States military and all of our wonderful veterans.  The veterans.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  Amazing.  There’s no place I’d rather be than with all of you here tonight, with the wonderful, hardworking citizens of our country.  (Applause.)  I would much rather spend time with you than any of the pundits, consultants, or special interests, certainly — or reporters from Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

It’s patriotic Americans like you who make this country run, and run well.  You pay your taxes, follow our laws, support your communities, raise your children, love your country, and send your bravest to fight in our wars.  (Applause.)  All you want is a government that shows you the same loyalty in return.  It’s time that Washington heard your voice — and believe me, on November 8th, they heard your voice.  (Applause.)  The forgotten men and women of our country will never be forgotten again, believe me.  (Applause.)

I want to thank so many of your state leaders — State Party Chairman Scott Golden; Congressman Scott DesJarlais; Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn; Congresswoman Diane Black; Congressman Jimmy Duncan — right from the beginning.  (Applause.)  Governor Bill Haslam.  (Applause.)  A great friend of mine, Senator Bob Corker.  (Applause.)  An incredible guy, respected by all — Senator Lamar Alexander.  (Applause.)  And so many more.  Thank you all for being here.

We’re going to be working closely together to deliver for you, the citizens of Tennessee, like you’ve never been delivered for before.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  We’re going to reduce your taxes — big league.  Big.  (Applause.)  Big.  I want to start that process so quickly.  Got to get the healthcare done.  We got to start the tax reductions.  (Applause.)

We are going to enforce our trade rules and bring back our jobs, which are scattered all over the world.  They’re coming back to our country.  (Applause.)  We’re going to support the amazing — absolutely amazing men and women of law enforcement.  (Applause.)  Protect your freedoms, and defend the Second Amendment.  (Applause.)  And we are going to restore respect for our country and for its great and very beautiful flag.  (Applause.)

It’s been a little over 50 days since my inauguration, and we’ve been putting our America First agenda very much into action.  You see what’s happening.  We’re keeping our promises.  In fact, they have signs — “He’s Kept His Promise.”  They’re all over the place.  I have.  (Applause.)  We have done far more — I think maybe more than anybody’s done in this office in 50 days, that I could tell you.  (Applause.)

And we have just gotten started.  Wait until you see what’s coming, folks.  We’ve appointed a Supreme Court justice to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia.  His name is Judge Neil Gorsuch.  (Applause.)  He will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.  We are proposing a budget that will shrink the bloated federal bureaucracy — and I mean bloated — while protecting our national security.  You see what we’re doing with our military — bigger, better, stronger than ever before.  You see what’s happening.  (Applause.)  And you’re already seeing the results.  Our budget calls for one of the single largest increases in defense spending history in this country.  (Applause.)

We believe — especially the people in Tennessee, I know you people so well — (applause) — in peace through strength.  That’s what we’re going to have.  And we are taking steps to make sure that our allies pay their fair share.  They have to pay.  (Applause.)  We’ve begun a dramatic effort to eliminate job-killing federal regulations like nobody has ever seen before — slash, slash.  We’re going to protect the environment, we’re going to protect people’s safeties, but, let me tell you, the regulation business has become a terrible business, and we’re going to bring it down to where it should be.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, let’s go.  One person — and they’ll be the story tomorrow — did you hear there was a protestor?  (Applause.)

We’re going to put our miners back to work.  We’re going to put our auto industry back to work.  Already because of this new business climate, we are creating jobs that are starting to pour back into our country like we haven’t seen in many, many decades.  (Applause.)

In the first two job reports since I took the oath of office, we’ve already added nearly half a million new jobs, and believe me, it’s just beginning.  (Applause.)  I’ve already authorized the construction of the long-stalled and delayed Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.  (Applause.)  A lot of jobs.

I’ve also directed that new pipelines must be constructed with American steel.  (Applause.)  They want to build them here, they use our steel.  We believe in two simple rules:  Buy American and Hire American.  (Applause.)

On trade, I’ve kept my promise to the American people, and withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership disaster. (Applause.)  Tennessee has lost one third of its manufacturing jobs since the institution of NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals ever in history.  Our nation has lost over 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization — 60,000.  Think of that.  More than that.

We’re not going to let it happen anymore.  From now on, we are going to defend the American worker and our great American companies.  (Applause.)  And if America does what it says, and if your President does what I’ve been telling you, there is nobody anywhere in the world that can even come close to us, folks.  Not even close.  (Applause.)

If a company wants to leave America, fire their workers, and then ship their new products back into our country, there will be consequences.  (Applause.)  That’s what we have borders for.  And by the way, aren’t our borders getting extremely strong?  (Applause.)  Very strong.

AUDIENCE:  USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t even think about it.  We will build the wall.  Don’t even think about it.  (Applause.)  In fact, as you probably read, we went out to bid.  We had hundreds of bidders.  Everybody wants to build our wall.  (Applause.)  Usually, that means we’re going to get a good price.  We’re going to get a good price, believe me.  (Applause.)  We’re going to build the wall.

Some of the fake news said, I don’t think Donald Trump wants to build the wall.  Can you imagine if I said we’re not going to build a wall?  Fake news.  Fake, fake news.  Fake news, folks.  A lot of fake.

No, the wall is way ahead of schedule in terms of where we are.  It’s under design, and you’re going to see some very good things happening.  But the border by itself right now is doing very well.  It’s becoming very strong.  General Kelly has done a great job — General Kelly.

My administration is also following through on our promise to secure, protect, and defend that border within our United States.  Our southern border will be protected always.  It will have the wall.  Drugs will stop pouring in and poisoning our youth, and that will happen very, very soon.  You’re already seeing what’s going on.  The drugs are pouring into our country, folks.  They are poisoning our youth and plenty of others, and we’re going to stop it.  We’re not going to playing games.  Not going to be playing games.  (Applause.)  Following my executive action — and don’t forget, we’ve only been here for like — what? — 50 days — we’ve already experienced an unprecedented 40-percent reduction in illegal immigration on our Southern border; 61 percent since Inauguration Day — 61 percent.  Think about it.

And now people are saying, we’re not going to go there anymore because we can’t get in.  So it’s going to get better and better.  We got to stop those drugs, though.  We got to stop those drugs.

During the campaign, as I traveled all across this country, I met with many American families whose loved ones were viciously and violently killed by illegal immigrants because our government refused to enforce our already existing laws.  These American victims were ignored by the media.  They were ignored by Washington.  But they were not ignored by me, and they’re not ignored by you, and they never will be ignored certainly any longer.  Not going to happen.  (Applause.)

As we speak, we are finding the drug dealers, the robbers, thieves, gang members, killers and criminals preying on our citizens.  One by one — you’re reading about it, right?  They’re being thrown out of our country.  They’re being thrown into prisons.  And we will not let them back in.  (Applause.)

We’re also working, night and day, to keep our nation safe from terrorism.  (Applause.)  We have seen the devastation from 9/11 to Boston to San Bernardino — hundreds upon hundreds of people from outside our country have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses in the United States courts.  Right now we have investigations going on all over — hundreds of refugees are under federal investigation for terrorism and related reasons.  We have entire regions of the world destabilized by terrorism and ISIS.  For this reason, I issued an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration from places where it cannot safely occur.  (Applause.)

But let me give you the bad news.  We don’t like bad news, right?  I don’t want to hear — and I’ll turn it into good.  But let me give you the bad, the sad news.  Moments ago, I learned that a district judge in Hawaii — part of the much overturned 9th Circuit Court — and I have to be nice; otherwise I’ll get criticized for speaking poorly about our courts.  I’ll be criticized by these people, among the most dishonest people in the world — I will be criticized — I’ll be criticized by them for speaking harshly about our courts.  I would never want to do that.  A judge has just blocked our executive order on travel and refugees coming into our country from certain countries.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  The order he blocked was a watered-version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with.  This new order was tailored to the dictates of the 9th Circuit’s — in my opinion — flawed ruling.  This is, the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.  The law and the Constitution give the President the power to suspend immigration when he deems — or she — or she.  Fortunately, it will not be Hillary she.  (Applause.)  When he or she deems it to be in the national interest of our country.

So we have a lot of lawyers here.  We also have a lot of smart people here.  Let me read to you directly from the federal statute, 212F, of the immigration — and you know what I’m talking about, right?  Can I read this to you?  Listen to this.  Now, we’re all smart people.  We’re all good students — some are bad students, but even if you’re a bad student this is a real easy one, let me tell you.  Ready?

So here’s the statute — which they don’t even want to quote when they overrule it.  And it was put here for the security of our country.  And this goes beyond me, because there will be other Presidents, and we need this.  And sometimes we need it very badly for security — security of our country.

It says — now, listen how easy this is.  “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or any class of aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may, by proclamation, and for such period as he — see, it wasn’t politically correct, because it should say he or she.  You know, today they’d say that.  Actually, that’s the only mistake they made.  “as he shall deem necessary, suspending entry of all aliens, or any class of aliens, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or pose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deems to be appropriate.”  In other words, if he thinks there’s danger out there, he or she — whoever is President — can say, I’m sorry, folks, not now, please.  We’ve got enough problems.  (Applause.)

We’re talking about the safety of our nation, the safety and security of our people.  (Applause.)  Now, I know you people aren’t skeptical people because nobody would be that way in Tennessee.  Right?  Nobody — not Tennessee.  You don’t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you?  No.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  This ruling makes us look weak — which, by the way, we no longer are, believe me.  (Applause.)  Just look at our borders.  We’re going to fight this terrible ruling.  We’re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court.  (Applause.)  We’re going to win.  We’re going to keep our citizens safe.  And regardless, we’re going to keep our citizens safe, believe me.  (Applause.)  Even liberal Democratic lawyer, Alan Dershowitz —- good lawyer — just said that we would win this case before the Supreme Court of the United States.  (Applause.)

Remember this, I wasn’t thrilled, but the lawyers all said, let’s tailor it.  This is a watered–down version of the first one.  This is a watered–down version.  And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first one.  (Applause.)

The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.  I was elected to change our broken and dangerous system and thinking in government that has weakened and endangered our country and left our people defenseless.  (Applause.)  And I will not stop fighting for the safety of you and your families, believe me.  Not today, not ever.  We’re going to win it.  We’re going to win it.  (Applause.)

We’re going to apply common sense.  We’re going to apply intelligence.  And we’re never quitting, and we’re never going away, and we’re never, ever giving up.  The best way to keep foreign terrorists — or, as some people would say in certain instances, radical Islamic terrorists — from attacking our country is to stop them from entering our country in the first place.  (Applause.)

We’ll take it, but these are the problems we have.  People are screaming, break up the 9th Circuit.  And I’ll tell you what, that 9th Circuit — you have to see.  Take a look at how many times they have been overturned with their terrible decisions.  Take a look.  And this is what we have to live with.

Finally, I want to get to taxes.  I want to cut the hell out of taxes, but — (applause) — but before I can do that — I would have loved to have put it first, I’ll be honest — there is one more very important thing that we have to do, and we are going to repeal and replace horrible, disastrous Obamacare.  (Applause.)

If we leave Obamacare in place, millions and millions of people will be forced off their plans, and your senators just told me that in your state you’re down to practically no insurers.  You’re going to have nobody.  You’re going to have nobody.  And this is true all over.  The insurers are fleeing.  The insurers are fleeing.  It’s a catastrophic situation, and there’s nothing to compare anything to because Obamacare won’t be around for a year or two.  It’s gone.  So it’s not like, oh, gee, they have this.  Obamacare is gone.

Premiums will continue to soar double digits and even triple digits in many cases.  It will drain our budget and destroy our jobs.  Remember all of the broken promises?  You can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.  Remember the wise guy — remember the wise guy that essentially said the American people — the so–called architect — the American people are stupid because they approved it?  We’re going to show them.

Those in Congress who made these promises have no credibility whatsoever on healthcare.   (Applause.)  And remember this — remember this:  If we took, because there’s such divisiveness — and I’m not just talking now, with me.  There was with Obama.  There was with Bush.  The level of hatred and divisiveness with the politicians.  I remember years ago, I’d go to Washington — I* was always very politically active — and Republicans and Democrats, they’d fight during the day and they go to dinner at night.  Today, there’s a level that nobody has seen before.

Just remember this:  If we submitted the Democrats’ plan, drawn everything perfect for the Democrats, we wouldn’t get one vote from the Democrats.  That’s the way it is.  That’s how much divisiveness and other things there are.  So it’s a problem.  But we’re going to get it by.

So, I’ve met with so many victims of Obamacare —- the people who have been so horribly hurt by this horrible legislation.  At the very core of Obamacare was a fatal flaw — the government forcing people to buy a government–approved product.  There are very few people — very few people.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  By the way — watch what happens.  Now you just booed Obamacare.  They will say, Trump got booed when he mentioned — they’re bad people, folks.  They’re bad people.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Tonight, I’ll go home, I’ll turn on, I’ll say — listen, I’ll turn on that television.  My wife will say, darling, it’s too bad you got booed.  I said, I didn’t get booed.  This was a — I said, no, no, they were booing Obamacare.  Watch, a couple of them will actually do it, almost guaranteed.  But when we call them out, it makes it harder for them to do it.  So we’ll see.  It’s the fake, fake media.  We want Americans to be able to purchase the health insurance plans they want, not the plans forced on them by our government.  (Applause.)

The House has put forward a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare based on the principles I outlined in my joint address, but let me tell you, we’re going to arbitrate, we’re going to all get together and we’re going to get something done.  Remember this — if we didn’t do it the way we’re doing it, we need 60 votes so we have to get the Democrats involved.  They won’t vote, no matter what we do, they’re not going to vote.  So we’re doing it a different way, a complex way.  It’s fine.  The end result is when you have phase one, phase two, phase three — it’s going to be great.  It’s going to be great.

And then, we get on to tax reductions, which I like.  (Applause.)  The House legislation does so much for you.  It gives the states Medicaid flexibility.  And some of the states will take over their healthcare.  Governor Rick Scott in Florida said, just send me the money — they run a great plan.  We have states that are doing great.  It gives great flexibility.

Thank you, folks.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  It repeals hundreds of billions of dollars in Obamacare taxes.  It provides tax credits to purchase the care that is rightfully theirs.  The bill that I will ultimately sign — and that will be a bill where everybody is going to get into the room and we’re going to get it done — we’ll get rid of Obamacare and make healthcare better for you and for your family.  (Applause.)

And once this is done, and a step further, we are going to try and put it in phase three — I’m going to work on bringing down the cost of medicine by having a fair and competitive bidding process.  (Applause.)

We welcome this healthcare debate and its negotiation, and we’re going to carry it out, and have been carrying it out, in the full light of day — unlike the way Obamacare was passed.  Remember, folks, if we don’t do anything, Obamacare is gone.  It’s not like, oh, gee, it’s going to be wonderful in three years.  It’s gone.  It’s gone.  It’s gone.  Not working.  It’s gone.  What we cannot do is to be intimidated by the dishonest attacks from Democratic leaders in Congress who broke the system in the first place and who don’t believe you should be able to make your own healthcare decisions.  (Applause.)

I am very confident that if we empower the American people we will accomplish incredible things for our country — not just on healthcare, but all across our government.  We will unlock new frontiers in science and in medicine.  We will give our children the right to attend the school of their choice, one where they will be taught to love this country and its values.  (Applause.)  We will create millions and millions of new jobs by lowering taxes on our businesses, and very importantly for our workers, we’re going to lower taxes.  (Applause.)

And we will fight for the right of every American child to grow up in a safe neighborhood, attend a great school, and to graduate with access to a high-paying job that they love doing.  (Applause.)

No matter our background, no matter our income, no matter our geography, we all share the same home.  We all salute the same flag.  And we all are made by the same God.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s time to embrace our glorious American destiny.  Anything we can dream for our country we can achieve for our country.  All we have to do is tap into that American pride that is swelling our hearts and stirring our souls.  And we found that out very recently in our last election — a lot of pride.  (Applause.)  We are all Americans, and the future truly belongs to us.  The future belongs to all of you.  This is your moment.  This is your time.  This is the hour when history is made.  All we have to do is put our own citizens first, and together we will make America strong again.  (Applause.)  We will make America wealthy again.  We will make America proud again.  We will make America safe again.  And we will make America great again.  (Applause.)

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

END
7:43 P.M. CDT

 

 

Political Musings January 13, 2015: Texas GOP Rep Weber compares Obama to Hitler for not attending Paris unity march

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Texas GOP Rep Weber compares Obama to Hitler for not attending Paris unity march

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Republican Congressman Rep Randy Weber of Texas has caused more ire than the act he was originally criticizing when he took to Twitter on Monday evening, Jan. 12, 2015 and compared President Barack Obama to mass murderer Adolf Hitler…READ MORE

Political Musings January 12, 2015: Obama admits he was wrong should have sent high profile official to Paris rally

POLITICAL MUSINGS

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Obama admits he was wrong should have sent high profile official to Paris rally

By Bonnie K. Goodman

President Barack Obama finally admitted he was wrong. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during the daily press briefing on Monday, Jan. 12, that the administration “should have sent someone with a higher profile” to the…READ MORE

News Headlines January 11, 2015: World leaders and millions march in Paris, all over the globe against terrorism

NEWS HEADLINES

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THE HEADLINES….

World leaders and millions march in Paris, all over the globe against terrorism

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Over 40 world leaders gathered in Paris, France on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2015 to lead a march of over a million in solidarity “cry for freedom” with the French capital after three days of terror attacks…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 5, 2012: Mitt Romney Urges Every Eligible Voter to Head to Polls in Final Florida Rally

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Urges Every Eligible Voter to Head to Polls in Final Florida Rally

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-5-12

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney began his final day of campaigning in the Sunshine State by telling voters in Sanford, Fla., that Tuesday will be a turning point in U.S. history and urging them to head to the polls.
“Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow,” Romney said, speaking at his first of five rallies Monday.  “Tomorrow, we begin a better tomorrow.  This nation is going to begin to change for the better tomorrow.  Your work is making a difference.  The people of the world are watching.”

“The people of America are watching.  We can begin a better tomorrow tomorrow, and with the help of the people in Florida, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” he said….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines October 31, 2012: Mitt Romney Chooses New Hampshire for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Chooses NH for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Mitt Romney will hold his final campaign rally in New Hampshire, the very state in which he launched his bid for the White House 16 months ago.

The “Victory Rally” will be held in Manchester, N.H., at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, Election Day eve.  Campaign-theme song artist Kid Rock will be the special guest….READ MORE

Full Text September 3, 2011: Sarah Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Governor Palin’s Speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa (Video and Transcript)

Source: Sarah PAC, 9-3-11

The following is the video and text of Governor Palin’s speech at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa, on September 3, 2011.

Sarah Palin spoke before a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.
Jim Young/Reuters Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday.

Thank you, Iowa. Thank you so much. The sign that says, “Thank you, Sarah,” no, I thank you. You are what keeps me going, keeps so many of us going. Your love of country keeps us going. Thank you so much. Iowa, you are good people. You are all good people who are here. Thank you.

It is an honor to be in the Heartland sharing this Labor Day weekend with you. And I thank you so much for the invitation, to these organizers who put so much work into all this. It’s so good to see the O4P and C4P people here today. Last night was fun – getting to run into some of you at that restaurant and to see so many different demographics represented and so many different states all across our great nation. We got to gather together last night – different demographics, different political parties even represented – and Todd reminded me as we walked out of that room, he said, “See, we’re not celebrating ‘red America’ or ‘blue America.’ We’re celebrating red, white, and blue America.”

So, what brought us here today out in this field? Why aren’t we catching a Cyclones game, or watching the Hawkeyes perhaps, or grilling up some venison and corn-on-the-cob, maybe some caribou with some friends on this Labor Day weekend? What brought us together is a love of country. And we see that America is hurting. We’re not willing to just sit back and watch her demise through some “fundamental transformation” of the greatest country on earth. We’re here to stop that transformation and to begin the restoration of the country that we love.

We’re here because America is at a tipping point. America faces a crisis. And it’s not a crisis like perhaps a Midwest summer storm – the kind that moves in and hits hard, but then it moves on.  No, this kind will relentlessly rage until we do restore all that is free and good and right about America. It’s not just fear of a double dip recession. And it’s not even the shame of a credit downgrade for the first time in U.S. history. It’s deeper than that. This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership. And we’re going to speak truth today. It may be hard-hitting, but we’re going to speak truth today because we need to start talking about what hasn’t worked, and we’re going to start talking about what will work for America. We will talk truth.

Now, some of us saw this day coming. It was three years ago on this very day that I spoke at the GOP Convention where I was honored to be able to accept the nomination for vice president that night. And in my speech I asked America: “When the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away….what exactly is [Barack Obama’s] plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.” I spoke of this, but back then it was only my words that you had to go by. Now you have seen the proof yourself. Candidate Obama didn’t have a record while he was in office, but President Obama sure does, and that’s why we’re here today.

Candidate Obama pledged to fundamentally transform America. And for all the failures and the broken promises, that’s the one thing he has delivered on. We’ve transformed from a country of hope to one of anxiety. Today, one in five working-age men are out of work. One in seven Americans are on food stamps. Thirty percent of our mortgages are underwater. In parts of Michigan and California, they’re suffering from unemployment numbers that are greater than during the depths of the Great Depression. Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, and instead he turned around and he tripled it. And now our national debt is growing at $3 million a minute. That’s $4.25 billion a day.

President Obama, is this what you call “winning the future”? I call it losing – losing our country and with it the American dream. President Obama, these people – these Americans – feel that “fierce urgency of now.” But do you feel it, sir?

The Tea Party was borne of this urgency. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Sons of Liberty during the Revolution. It’s the same sense of urgency that propelled the Abolitionists before the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement during the 20th Century. The Tea Party Movement is part of this noble American tradition. This movement isn’t simply a political awakening; it’s an American awakening. And it’s coming from ordinary Americans, not the politicos in the Beltway. No, it’s you who grow our food; you run our small businesses; you teach our children; you fight our wars. We are always proud of America. We love our country in good times and in bad, and we never apologize for America.

That is why the far left’s irresponsible and radical policies awakened a sleeping America so that we finally understood what it was that we were about to lose. We were about to lose the blessings of liberty and prosperity. So, the working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch, you came down from the deer stand, you came out of the duck blind, you got off the John Deere, and we took to the streets, and we took to the town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box. And as much as the media wants you to forget this, Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions in November. We the people, we rose up and we rejected the left’s big government agenda. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.

That victory, remember friends, was only one step in a long march towards saving our country.

We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them – because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that. They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs, and they claim that they faced and “solved” the debt crisis that they got us in, but when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country’s first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation.

No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good.  Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.

It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.

Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you. And just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”

When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.

And what is the President’s answer to this enormous debt problem? It’s just spend more money. Only you can’t call it “spending” now. Now you got to call it “investing.” Don’t call it “spending.” Call it “investing.” It’s kind of like what happens with FEMA and some of these other bureaucratic agencies that don’t really want to refer to our centralized federal government as “government.” Now it’s called the “federal family.” Am I too old to ask to be emancipated? Never thought I’d say it, but I want a divorce.

No, the President’s answer to our debt problem is: Incur more debt. Spend more money (only call it “investing”). Make more folks even more reliant on government to supply their every need. This is the antithesis of the pioneering American spirit that empowered the individual to work, to produce, to be able to thrive and succeed with fulfillment and with pride; and that in turn built our free and hope-filled and proud country.

He wants to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some harebrained ideas like more solar panels and really fast trains. These are things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters, yet he wants to do more of them. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar panels and really fast trains are going to magically save us. He’s shouting “all aboard Obama’s bullet train to bankruptcy.”

The only future that Barack Obama is trying to win is his own re-election, and he has shown that he’s perfectly willing to mortgage our children’s future to pay for it. And there is proof of this. Just look closely at where all that “green energy” stimulus money is “invested.” See a pattern. The President’s big campaign donors got nice returns for their “investments” in him to the tune of billions of your tax dollars in the form of “green energy” stimulus funds. The technical term for this is “pay-to-play.” Between bailouts for Wall Street cronies and stimulus projects for union bosses’ security and “green energy” giveaways, he took care of his friends. And now they’re on course to raise a billion dollars for his re-election bid so that they can do it all over again. Are you going to let them do it all over again? Are you willing to unite to do all we can to not let them do it again so we can save our country?

Now to be fair, some GOP candidates also raised mammoth amounts of cash, and we need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their “investments”? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more trillion-dollar “thank you” notes to campaign backers. It is an important question, and it cuts to the heart of our problem. And I speak from experience in confronting the corruption and the crony capitalism since starting out in public office 20 years ago. I’ve been out-spent in my campaigns two to one, three to one, five to one. (And, by the way, I don’t play that game either of hiring expert political advisors just so they’ll say something nice about me on TV – if you ever wonder. You know how that game’s played too I’m sure.) But the reason is simple: It’s because like you, I’m not for sale. It’s because we believe in the free market. I believe in the free market, and that is why I detest crony capitalism. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we don’t stop it now. It’s a root that grows our economic problems. Our unsustainable debt and our high unemployment numbers and a housing market that’s in the tank and a stagnant economy – these are all symptoms. Politicians are so focused on the symptoms and not the disease. We will not solve our economic problems until we confront the cronyism of our President and our permanent political class.

So, this is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.

Yes, we need sudden and relentless reform, and that will return power to “We the People.” This, of course, requires deeds, not just words. It’s not good enough for politicians to just be throwing our way some vague generalities, talking about some promises here and there. It’s time that we hold them accountable. It is amazing to me that even some good conservatives run away from being honest and straight up with us about what needs to be done. They don’t want to rock the boat. They can’t hurt future election prospects evidently. They just talk vaguely about cuts and then they move on. They’re too busy saying what they think we want to hear, but instead they should be telling us what needs to be said and what needs to be done. So, let us today in this field have that adult conversation about what needs to be done to restore America. Let’s do that now.

In five days time, our President will gift us with yet another speech. In his next speech he’ll reveal his latest new super-duper “jobs plan.” It will have more lofty goals and flowery rhetoric, more illogical economic fantasies and more continued blame and finger-pointing. But listen closely to what he says. All of his “solutions” will revolve around more of the same – more payoffs for his friends and supporters. His “plan” is the same as it’s always been, and that’s grow more government, increase more debt, take and give more of your hard-earned money to special interests. And this is such a problem. But you know what the problems are. We could go on all day about the problems caused by the status quo in Washington. Status quo I think is Latin for “more of the same mess that we’re in.” That status quo won’t work any more. We could go on all day about the problems, but you know them because you live them everyday. So, let’s talk about real solutions. I want to tell you what my plan is. My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan, and it deals in reality. It deals in the way that the world really works because we must talk about what really works in order to get America back to work.

My plan is about empowerment: empowerment of our states, empowerment of our entrepreneurs, most importantly empowerment of you – our hardworking individuals – because I have faith, I have trust, I have respect for you.

The way forward is no more politics as usual. We must stop expanding an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government. This is first: All power not specifically delegated to the federal government by our Constitution is reserved for the states and for we the people. So, let’s enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.

Second, what happened to all those promises about staying committed to repealing the mother of all big government unfunded mandates? We must repeal Obamacare! And rein in burdensome regulations that are a boot on our neck. Get government out of the way. Let the private sector breathe and grow. This will allow the confidence that businesses need in order to expand and hire more people.

Third, no more run away debt. We must prioritize and cut. Cancel unused stimulus funds, and have that come to Jesus moment where we own up to the debt challenge that is entitlement reform. See, the reality is we will have entitlement reform; it’s just a matter of how we’re going to get there. We either do it ourselves or the world’s capital markets are going to shove it down our throats, and we’ll have no choice but to reform our entitlement programs. The status quo is no longer an option. Entitlement reform is our duty now, and it must be done in a way that honors our commitment to our esteemed elders today, while keeping faith with future generations. I don’t think anything has irked me more than this nonsense coming from the White House about maybe not sending our seniors their checks. It’s their money! They have paid into Social Security all of their working lives; and for the President to say, “ah, we may not be able to cut their checks,” ah, well, where did all their money go, politicians? It’s like the Commander-in-Chief being willing to throw our military under the bus by threatening that their paychecks may not arrive. But the politicians will still get their checks and their secure retirements, and he’ll still get his posh vacations. Aren’t you just sick to death of those skewed priorities? It’s all backwards. Our seniors and our brave men and women in uniform being used as pawns – I say it’s shameful, and enough is enough. No more.

Fourth, it is time for America to become the energy superpower. The real stimulus that we’ve been waiting for is robust and responsible domestic energy production. We have the resources. Affordable and secure energy is the key to any thriving economy, and it must be our foundation. So, I would do the opposite of Obama’s manipulation of U.S. supplies of energy. Drill here, drill now. Let the refineries and the pipelines be built. Stop kowtowing to foreign countries and dictators asking them to ramp up production and industry for us, promising them that we’ll be their greatest customer. No, not when we have the resources here. We need to move on tapping our own God-given natural resources. I promise you that this will bring real job growth, not the politicians’ phony “green jobs” fairy dust sprinkled with wishes and glitter… No, a hardcore all-of-the-above energy policy that builds this indestructible link between made-in-America energy and our prosperity and our security. You know, there are enough large conventional natural resource development projects waiting for government approval that could potentially create more than a million high-paying jobs all across the country. And this is true stimulus. It wouldn’t cost government a dime to allow the private sector to do these. In fact, these projects will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Can you imagine that: a stimulus project that actually helps dig us out of debt instead of digging us further into it! And these are good-paying jobs, and I know that from experience. For years my own family was supported (as Todd worked up on the North Slope) by a good energy sector job. America’s economic revival starts with America’s energy revival.

Fifth, we can and we will make America the most attractive country on earth to do business in. Here’s how we’re going to do this. Right now, we have the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba? This doesn’t generate as much revenue as you would think, though, because many big corporations skirt federal taxes because they have the friends in D.C. who right the rules for the rest of us. This makes us less competitive and restrains our engine of prosperity. Heck, some businesses spend more time trying to figure out how to hide their profits than they do in generating more profits so that they can expand and hire more of us. So, to make America the most attractive and competitive place to do business, to set up shop here and hire people here, to attract capital from all over the globe that will lead to an explosion of growth, instead of chasing industry offshore, I propose to eliminate all federal corporate income tax. And hear me out on this. This is how we create millions of high-paying jobs. This is how we increase opportunity and prosperity for all.

But here’s the best part: To balance out any loss of federal revenue from this tax cut, we eliminate corporate welfare and all the loopholes and we eliminate bailouts. This is how we break the back of crony capitalism because it feeds off corporate welfare, which is just socialism for the very rich. We can change all of that. The message then to job-creating corporations is: We’ll unshackle you from the world’s highest federal corporate income tax rate, but you will stand or fall on your own, just like all the rest of us out on main street.

See, when we empower the job-creators, our economy will soar; Americans will get back to work.

This plan is a first step in a long march towards fundamental restoration of a strong and free market economy. And it represents the kind of real reform that we need. And, folks, it must come from you. It must come from the American people. Real hope is in you. It’s not that hopey-changey “stuff” that we heard about back in 2008. We’ve all learned that. And real hope isn’t in an individual. It’s not in a politician certainly. And that hopey-changey stuff that was put in an individual back when Barack Obama was a candidate – that hopey-changey stuff didn’t create one job in August, did it? That’s the first time that’s happened in the United States since World War II. Real hope comes from you. Real hope comes from realizing that we the people can make the difference. And you don’t need a title to make a difference. We can get this country back on the right track. We can do it by empowering the people and realizing that God has richly blessed this most exceptional nation, and then we do something about that realization.

Don’t wait for the permanent political class to reform anything for you. They won’t. They can’t. They can’t even take responsibility for their own actions. Our credit is downgraded, but it’s not their fault. Our economy’s in turmoil, but it’s not his fault. It’s the tsunami in Japan or the Middle East uprising. It’s Irene. It’s those doggone ATM machines.

Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his “fundamental transformation” is at odds with everything that made this country great. It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense. Unbelievably our President declares that he “believes in American Exceptionalism… just as the Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism.” Well, the path he has us on will make us just as “exceptional” as Greece, alright – with the debt crisis and the stagnation and the unemployment and uprisings and all.

Friends, you are better than that. Our country is better than that. We’ve got to unite. We’ve got to stand together. We can confront the problem and we can achieve lasting reform. And I can tell you from hard-earned experience with bumps and bruises along the way, that the road ahead is not easy. You will be demonized. They’ll mock you. They’ll make things up. They’ll tell you to “go to hell.” But we’ll bite our tongue, we’ll keep it classy, and we won’t respond—as tempting as it is—to anyone who just has such disdain for our free market economy and for individual initiative and responsibility. We won’t say, “No, you go to hell.” No, we won’t say that. You know why we don’t have to say that? Because when we have time-tested truth and logic on our side, we win. And when we refuse to retreat because we know that our children’s future is at stake, we win.

No, the road isn’t easy, but it’s nothing compared to the suffering and sacrifice of those who came before us.

A few weeks ago, after my visit to the Iowa State Fair, I took my daughter Piper and my niece McKinley with us to the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. And standing in the rain, reading the inscriptions on the Memorial about the honor in one’s dedication to God and country, I thought of all those young patriots who suffered and died so far from home. And revering our vets there with the next generation by my side, there was such clarity – clarity in our calling, patriotic Constitutionalists. We have a duty not just to the living, but also to those who came and died before us and to the generations yet to be born. Our freedom was purchased by millions of men now long-forgotten throughout history who charged the bayonets, and they charged the cannons; they knew they were going to die, but it was worth it for them sacrificing for future generations’ freedom. They’re the ones who prayed in the trenches and suffered in the P.O.W. camps. They gave their lives so that we could be here today.

You and I are blessed to be “born the heirs of freedom.” As President John F. Kennedy said, “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge and who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves to close a shameful chapter, and who carved a nation out of the wilderness. We are the sons and daughters of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy and raised the flag at Iwo Jima and made America the strongest, the most prosperous, the greatest nation on earth forever in mankind’s history – the greatest, most exceptional nation.

America, we will always endure. We will always come through. We will never give up. We shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a Providential Hand has always guided us to a better future. So, let us seek that Hand once more. Our Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.” Yes, He shed his grace on thee, America! We will not squander what we have been given! We will fight for freedom. We will fight for America. We are at the tipping point. United we must stand. And we shall nobly save, not meanly lose, this last best hope on earth.

So, God bless you, Iowa! God bless the United States of America!

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