Full Text Campaign Buzz October 23, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Delray Beach, Florida — Presses Post-Debate Attack on ‘Romnesia’

Obama Presses Post-Debate Attack on ‘Romnesia’

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages

Emboldened by a strong final debate performance, President Obama began a sprint to Election Day with a scathing rhetorical assault on Republican rival Mitt Romney as a shifty, untrustworthy candidate who will “say anything to get elected.”

Obama wasted little time continuing the line of attack he launched Tuesday night, calling Romney’s foreign policy “wrong and reckless” and “all over the map.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Delray Beach, Florida

Source: WH, 10-23-12 

Delray Tennis Center
Delray Beach, Florida

10:27 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Florida!  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)  I fired up right now!  (Applause.)  It is good to be in Florida.

Give it up for Congressman Ted Deutch, who’s here.  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Nelson McDuffie, is here.  (Applause.)  State Senator Maria Sachs.  (Applause.)  A great candidate for Congress, Lois Frankel.  (Applause.)  And my friend and your former governor, Charlie Crist, is here.  (Applause.)

And I want everybody to give a huge round of applause to Scott for that introduction.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  You guys really are fired up!  (Applause.)

Now, I was mentioning Scott.  Every time I need a pick-me-up I try to see Scott.  (Laughter.)  In addition to some outstanding pizza.  And Scott and Charlie Crist, they remind us that the values we’re fighting for, they’re not Democratic values, they’re not Republican values, they are American values.  And that’s what this election is all about.  (Applause.)

Now, two weeks from today, Americans in all 50 states will step into the voting booth.  But here in Florida, you get to start voting on Saturday.  (Applause.)  And as Scott just told you, if you need to know where to vote, you go to Vote.BarackObama.com.   But I need you to vote because you’ve got a very big choice to make.  It’s not just a choice between two candidates or two parties.  It is a choice between two very different visions for this country that we love.  (Applause.)

Now, last night we had our third and last debate.  (Applause.)  And I hope that during the debate I made those differences very clear.  (Applause.)  Because the greatest responsibility I have as President is to keep the American people safe.  That’s why I ended the war in Iraq, so we could go after the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  (Applause.)  That’s why we decimated al Qaeda’s core leadership and brought Osama bin Laden the justice he deserved.  (Applause.)  That’s why we’re ending the war in Afghanistan, because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)

In a world of new threats and profound challenges, America needs leadership that is strong and is steady.  Governor Romney’s foreign policy has been wrong and reckless.  Last night he was all over the map.  Did you notice that?  During the debate he said he didn’t want more troops in Iraq, but he was caught on video saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq, troops that would still be there today.

Last night he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan.  I’m glad he supports it.  But he’s opposed a timeline that would actually bring our troops home.  Early in this campaign he said he’d do the opposite of whatever I did in Israel, but last night I reminded him that cooperation with Israel has never been stronger.  (Applause.)

Last night he said he always supported taking out Osama bin Laden, but in 2007, he said it wasn’t worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man.

Now, we’ve come up with a name for this condition.  It’s called Romnesia.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Romnesia!  Romnesia!  Romnesia!

THE PRESIDENT:  We had a severe outbreak last night.  (Applause.)  It was at least stage three Romnesia.  (Laughter and applause.)  And I just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, Delray, because I want to make sure nobody in the surrounding area catches it.  (Laughter.)  If you say that you love American cars during a debate, but you wrote an article titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” you might have Romnesia.  (Applause.)

If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate — (applause) — but said just a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t hire any more because they won’t grow the economy, what do you have?

AUDIENCE:  Romnesia!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll bet you’ve got some Romnesia.  (Applause.)  If you say you love Medicare — and by the way, there’s a theme here — he keeps on loving stuff and then wants to end it or cut it or not help it.  But if you say that you love Medicare, but your plan turns it into a voucher that ends the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, you definitely have Romnesia.  (Laughter and applause.)

So, I mean, we’re breaking down the symptoms here.  If you’ve come down with a case of Romnesia, if you can’t seem to remember the policies on your website, or the promises that you’ve been making over the six years that you’ve been running for President, if you can’t even remember what you said last week — (applause) — don’t worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions.  (Applause.)  We can fix you up.  We can cure this disease.  (Applause.)  There’s a cure!

Listen, let me just say this.  In all seriousness, I mean, we’re accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four years ago.  We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from four days ago.  (Laughter.)

And we joke about Romnesia, but you know what — this is actually something important — this is about trust.  There’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust.  (Applause.)  The person who leads this country, you’ve got to have some confidence that he or she means what he or she says — (applause) — that if they tell you they’re going to do something or that this is what they believe, that they’re going to actually try to do it.

It doesn’t mean that every candidate is going to get everything done all at once perfectly, but you want somebody to be able to look you in the eye and say, here’s what I believe.   Here’s what I stand for.  Here’s what I’ll fight for.  (Applause.)  Here’s what I care about.  Here’s who I’m going to be looking out for in the debates in Washington.

But part of the reason I think this is hard for Governor Romney to do is his job plan doesn’t really create jobs.  His deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit; it adds to it.  His foreign policy is from the 1980s.  His social policy is from the 1950s.  His economic policies are from the 1920s.  So everything he’s doing right now is to hide his real positions and try to win this election.

He wants to just spend all his time and focus on telling people what he thinks is wrong with America.  I mean, if you notice, in his debates, in his speeches, he is really excellent at listing all the things that are wrong.  He can just go over it verbatim, just boom, boom, boom, boom — PowerPoint presentation. (Laughter.)  But you know what — that’s not leadership you can trust.

And, Florida, you know me.  (Applause.)  You can trust that I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.  (Applause.)  And, yes, we’ve been through tough times.  But you’ve never seen me quit.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And there’s no quit in America.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  So for over the last four years, we’ve been making real progress, fighting our way back from these policies that failed America.  Our businesses have now added more than 5 million new jobs over the past two and a half years.  (Applause.) Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. Home values are rising.  The stock market has nearly doubled.  Our assembly lines are getting back to work.  And our heroes are coming home.  (Applause.)

I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families — (applause) — and I did, by $3,600.  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners like Scott — and we have, 18 times.  (Applause.)  I promised we would fix the financial situation that was broken when I came into office, but we got back every single dime, with interest, that we used to rescue the banks.  (Applause.)  We passed a law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good.

We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” — (applause) — so that nobody is ever kicked out of the military because of who they love.

When the heartbeat of American manufacturing was flat-lining, we said thanks, Governor, I know you’ve got all this private sector experience, but your advice isn’t going to work this time.  And today, the American auto industry’s engines are roaring at full throttle again.  (Applause.)

I said that I would make sure that nobody in America goes bankrupt when they get sick — and we delivered on that promise. (Applause.)  I said I’d make college more affordable for our young people — and we delivered on that promise.  (Applause.)  I do what I say.  You’ve seen me.  (Applause.)

We’re not yet where we need to be, but we’ve made real progress.  And now we need to build on that progress.  And, Florida, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)   That’s why I’m running.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, in this campaign, I’ve laid out a plan for jobs and middle-class security.  And unlike Mitt Romney, I’m actually proud to talk about what’s in it -– (laughter) — because my plan actually will move America forward.  And, by the way, the math in my plan adds up.  (Laughter.)  If we’ve got any math teachers out there, you can go ahead and look in this plan  — (applause) — and you’ll see that the numbers work.  I won’t be running the okeydoke on you.  (Laughter.)

If you want to take a look at it, you check it out at BarackObama.com/plans.  Share it with your friends.  Share is with your neighbors.  Share it with your coworkers.  Folks who are still not convinced, they can look right here and find out what it is I intend to do in a second term.  There are still people out there who are trying to make up their minds.  Some of you here may still be trying to make up your minds.  Maybe you just thought —

AUDIENCE:  No!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  No?  Some people here might have thought it was a concert going on or something and wandered in by mistake.  (Laughter.)  Thought Scott was giving away free pizza.  (Applause.)  So for those of you who are still making up your minds — or your friends, or your family — I ask folks, compare my plan to Governor Romney’s.  See which plan is better for you and for America’s future.

Now, let me just summarize it real quick.  First, my plan builds on our manufacturing growth by ending tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  I want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Second, my plan will cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy here in America.  (Applause.)  And by the way, today we are less dependent on foreign oil than any time in 20 years.  And one reason is because we increased fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks so that they will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  And we need to build on that progress — not just by producing more oil and gas, but by investing in clean energy technology that’s creating jobs here in Florida and all across America.  (Applause.)

Number three —

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  But I got this plan I want to talk about, so — (applause) — I do.

Number three, my plan will make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers so that they can compete better than anybody in the world.  I want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade.  (Applause.)  I want to train 2 million workers at our community colleges with the skills that businesses are looking for right now.  I want to work with colleges and universities to keep down the growth in tuition costs because I want every young person to be able to get the higher education that they’re willing to work for.  (Applause.)

Number four, my plan is going to cut the deficit by $4 trillion — remember I said the numbers actually add up.  (Laughter.)  We’re going to do it in a balanced way by cutting spending we don’t need, but by also asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more — (applause) — so we can invest in research, invest in technology, those things that keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.  (Applause.)

And I will not, in our pursuit of reducing the deficit, turn Medicare into a voucher because no American should spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.  That’s not what Medicare is about.  (Applause.)

And finally, my plan will use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to put our people back to work doing some nation-building here at home, repairing roads, fixing bridges, building schools all across America.  And when our veterans come home, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us and make sure that they are out there getting the jobs that are going to help build America.  (Applause.)

By the way, I just want to point out, in the same way that Governor Romney didn’t mention the Afghan war or our troops in his convention speech, Governor Romney didn’t even mention our veterans last night.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo — vote.

He didn’t say a word about it.  Now, he may write off half the country as victims behind closed doors, but the men and women and their families who have served this country so bravely, they deserve better from somebody who’s applying to be Commander-in-Chief.  (Applause.)  It is my greatest honor serving as their Commander-in-Chief, and I will fight for our troops and our veterans every single day.  (Applause.)

So that’s the plan we need, Florida.  That’s how you build a strong, sustainable economy that has good middle-class jobs to offer.  That’s how you make sure that you’ve got increased take-home pay.  That’s how you make sure that businesses are taking root all across Florida and all across America.

And now it’s up to you to choose the path we take from here. Starting on Saturday, Florida, you can choose the top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose the policies we’re using to get us out of this mess.  (Applause.)  You can choose a foreign policy that’s reckless and wrong, or you can choose one that is steady and strong.  (Applause.)  You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for immigrants and gays and women or, in this election, you can decide we will remain an inclusive, generous country where no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, or who you love, you can make it if you try.  You’ve got a place in the American family.  That’s what’s at stake right now.  (Applause.)

We can go back, or we can choose to move forward, to focus on the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century; to work together as one nation, as one people, to make it another American Century.

That’s the kind of President I’ve been, Florida.  That’s the kind of President I intend to be.  I’m asking for your vote.  I’m asking for your help.  I believe in you, and I’m asking you to believe in me.  And if you stand with me, and work with me, and knock on some doors with me, and make some phone calls with me, if you do that, we will win Palm Beach County again.  We’ll win Florida again.  (Applause.)  We’ll finish what we started.  We will win this election.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

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

END
10:48 A.M. EDT

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Full Text Campaign Buzz October 19, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia — Accuses Opponent Mitt Romney of Contracting ‘Romnesia’

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Accuses Opponent of Contracting ‘Romnesia’

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-19-12

Standing in front of a bleacher consisting entirely of women at George Mason University on Friday, President Obama introduced a new line of attack designed to paint his GOP opponent’s pivot to the center as insincere and deceptive.

“Now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. ‘Severely Conservative’ wants you to think he was severely kidding about everything he said over the last year,” the president said. “He told folks he was the ideal candidate for the Tea Party, now he’s telling folks, ‘What? Who me?’ He’s forgetting what his own positions are. And he’s betting that you will too.”

Continued the president, “he’s changing up so much and backtracking and side stepping we’ve got to name this condition he’s going through.”

“I think it’s called… ‘Romnesia,’” the president said to cheers and laughter….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Fairfax, VA

Source: WH, 10-19-12 

George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia

11:55 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Virginia!  (Applause.)  Are you fired up?  (Applause.)  Are you ready to go?  (Applause.)  I can’t hear you!  (Applause.)  Well, it’s good to be back.  Thank you.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Can everybody please give Cecile a big round of applause for the great introduction and the work she does.  (Applause.)  We’ve got your Congressman here — Gerry Connolly in the house.  (Applause.)

Eighteen days.  Eighteen days, Virginia.  Eighteen days and you’re going to step into a voting booth.  And you’re going to have a very big choice to make — not just a choice between two candidates or two parties, but between two fundamentally different visions for this country that we love.

Governor Romney has got his sales pitch.  We heard it the other night at the debate.  He’s been running around talking about his five-point plan for the economy.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Booo —

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

He wants you to believe that somehow he’ll create 12 million jobs, cut taxes by $5 trillion, even though it favors the wealthiest Americans.  None of this will add to the deficit.

When folks who don’t actually work for Governor Romney start crunching the numbers, it turns out the tax plan doesn’t add up, jobs plan doesn’t create jobs, deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit.  An economist at the New York Times put it this morning, “There’s no jobs plan — there’s just a snow job on the American people.”  (Applause.)  A snow job.

Virginia, you’ve heard of the New Deal, you’ve heard of the Square Deal, the Fair Deal.  Mitt Romney is trying to give you a Sketchy Deal.  (Laughter.)  A sketchy deal.

And it’s really just a one-point plan, not a five-point plan.  One point — folks at the very top play by a different set of rules than all of you.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Listen, don’t boo — vote.  (Laughter.)

If he offered you that deal when he was in corporate finance, you wouldn’t give him a dime.  So why would you give him his vote?

This same philosophy that’s been squeezing the middle-class family for more than a decade — the same philosophy that got us into this mess.  We can’t go back to that.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ve met too many good Americans who work so hard, show so much resilience, so much resolve — we have been fighting our way back from some of the same policies he’s advocating.  We have been there.  We have tried it.  We can’t go back.  (Applause.)  We are moving forward.  And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

Now, I believe that the biggest issue in this election is how do we rebuild a strong middle class and provide ladders for opportunity — all those who want to get into the middle class, who are willing to work hard, willing to take responsibility.  Are we going to make sure that we’re a country where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules?  (Applause.)

So the economy is the dominant issue.  But I want everybody to understand that that’s not the only place where Governor Romney is offering you a sketchy deal.  It’s bad enough that my opponent wants to take us back to the failed economic policies of the past.  But when it comes to issues critical to women — the right to make your own decision about your health — (applause) — the right to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace.  (Applause.)  Governor Romney wants to take us to policies more suited to the 1950s.  Even his own running mate said he’s “kind of a throwback to the ‘50s.”  That’s one thing we agree on.  (Laughter.)

He may not have noticed, we’re in the 21st century.  (Applause.)  And in the 21st century, a woman deserves equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)  This should be a no-brainer.  But no matter how many times Governor Romney is asked whether or not he supports a law upholding that idea, he refuses to say.  Why should this be hard?  Are you for equal pay for equal work?  Are you for making sure that laws enforce that basic principle?

He can’t tell you.  I can.  (Applause.)  I support that law.  In fact, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first law that I signed into office.  (Applause.)  And this isn’t just a women’s issue.  No man should want his wife, or his daughters paid less than a man for doing the same job.  (Applause.)  This is a family issue.  This is an economic issue.  It’s one that we’ve got to fight for.

When Governor Romney says he’s going to get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo —

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  — vote.

What he apparently doesn’t understand is that there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood not just for contraceptive care, but for preventive care.  That’s not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue.

When Governor Romney said he’d have supported an extreme measure in Massachusetts that could have outlawed some forms of contraception, when he joined the far right of his party to support a bill that would have allowed any employer to deny contraceptive care to their employees —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo —

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  — vote.  (Laughter.)

What he didn’t get is that making sure your insurance policy covers contraceptive care is an economic issue also.  I don’t think your boss should decide what’s best for your health and safety.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think your insurance company gets to decide what care you should get.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  And I sure don’t think any politician should decide.  (Applause.)  The only person who should decide about your health care is you.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, that’s why we fought so hard to pass health care reform, a.k.a. Obamacare.  That’s why we pushed for it.  (Applause.)

This law has secured new access to preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings for more than 20 million women, with no co-pay, no deductible, no out-of-pocket cost, because I do not believe a working mother should have to put off a mammogram just because money is tight.  (Applause.)

This law means that most health plans are now beginning to cover the cost of contraceptive care because I don’t think a college student in Charlottesville or Blacksburg or Fairfax should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs.  (Applause.)

And, by the way for all the young people out here, Obamacare has already allowed nearly 7 million young adults under the age of 26 to sign up to stay on their parent’s plans.  (Applause.)

For all those who are young at heart but not young in years, it’s already saved millions of seniors on Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription medicine.  (Applause.)

Insurance companies can no longer put lifetime limits on your care or discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.  (Applause.)  And soon, they’ll no longer be able to charge women more for the same care just because they’re women.  That’s what change looks like.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Obama!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Now, anybody who thinks that this election doesn’t matter, know this:  My opponent has promised to repeal all of the things we just talked about as soon as he takes office, says he’d do it on day one.  We know full well that if he gets the chance, he’ll rubber-stamp the agenda of this Republican Congress the second he takes office.  Virginia, we can’t give him that chance.

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I know he’s called him severely — he’s called himself “severely conservative,” but there’s nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions.

He talks about freedom, but freedom is the ability to choose the care you need when you need it.  Freedom is the ability to change jobs or start your own business without the fear of losing your health insurance.  Freedom is the knowledge that you’ll no longer be charged more than men for the same health care, or denied affordable coverage just because you beat cancer.

When the next President and Congress could tip the balance of the highest court in the land in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come, you don’t want someone who needs to ask for binders of women.  (Applause.)  You don’t want that guy.  You want a President who has already appointed two unbelievable women to the Supreme Court of the United States.  (Applause.)

So, Virginia, the choice —

AUDIENCE:  Obama!  Obama!  Obama!

THE PRESIDENT:  The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.  But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” — (laughter) — wants you to think he was severely kidding about everything he said over the last year.  (Laughter.)  He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party.  Now suddenly he’s saying, “what, who, me?”  (Laughter.)  He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will, too.

I mean, he’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping — (laughter) — we’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through.  I think it’s called “Romnesia.”  (Laughter and applause.)  That’s what it’s called.  I think that’s what he’s going through.

Now, I’m not a medical doctor, but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you — because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.  (Laughter and applause.)  If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work — you might have Romnesia.  (Laughter and applause.)

If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care –- you might have a case of Romnesia.  (Applause.)

If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be delighted to sign a law outlying — outlawing that right to choose in all cases -– man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia.  (Applause.)

Now, this extends to other issues.  If you say earlier in the year, I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks — you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia.  (Applause.)

If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when, while you were governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you — (laughter) —

AUDIENCE:  Romnesia!

THE PRESIDENT:  — that’s some Romnesia.  (Applause.)

So I think you’re being able — you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms.  And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website — (laughter) — or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President,  here’s the good news:  Obamacare covers preexisting conditions.  (Laughter and applause.)  We can fix you up.  We’ve got a cure.  We can make you well, Virginia.  (Applause.)  This is a curable disease.  (Laughter.)

Women, men — all of you — these are family issues.  These are economic issues.  I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as anybody’s sons.  I believe America does better — the economy grows more, we create more jobs — when everybody participates, when everyone is getting a fair shot, everybody is getting a fair shake, everybody is playing by the same rules, everybody is doing their fair share.  That’s why I’m running for a second term for President of the United States.  (Applause.)  I need you to help me finish the job.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Four years ago, I told you we’d end the war in Iraq, and we did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d end the war in Afghanistan — we are.  I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have.  (Applause.)  Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)

Four years ago, I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families, and I have.  (Applause.)  I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — we have, 18 times.  (Applause.)

We got every dime back from the banks that we used to rescue those banks.  We passed laws to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good.

We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” to make sure that nobody who wants to serve our country gets kicked out because of who they love.  (Applause.)

When Governor Romney said we’d let — he’d let Detroit go bankrupt, we said, we’re not going to take your advice.  We reinvented a dying auto industry that’s come roaring back to the top of the world.  (Applause.)

Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, we’re moving.  After losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, businesses have now added over 5 million new jobs.  Unemployment has fallen from 10 percent to 7.8 percent.  Home values are back on the rise.  (Applause.)  The stock market has nearly doubled — 401(k)s are starting to recover.  Manufacturing is coming home.  Assembly lines are humming again.  We’ve got to keep moving forward.  We’ve got to keep moving forward.  (Applause.)

We’ve got more work to do.  I’ve got a plan — and it’s a real plan, not a sales pitch — to grow the economy and create jobs and build more security for the middle class.

I want to send fewer jobs overseas and sell more products overseas.  (Applause.)  I want to invest in manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs right here in Virginia, right here in America.

I want us to control more of our own energy, cut oil imports in half, create thousands of clean energy jobs.

I want every child to have the same chance at a great education that Michelle and I received.  (Applause.)  I want to hire more teachers in math and science, train 2 million workers at community colleges, bring down the cost of college tuition.  (Applause.)

I want to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our deficit, put our people back to work right here, doing some nation-building here at home.  (Applause.)

That’s the agenda you need.  That’s the agenda we need.  That’s how we strengthen the middle class.  That’s how we’ll keep moving forward.  And in 18 days, you’re going to have a chance to say whether we keep moving forward.

In 18 days, you can choose between top-down economic policies that got us into this mess, or the middle class-out policies that are getting us out of this mess.  (Applause.)

In 18 days, you can choose a foreign policy that gets us into wars with no plan to get out, or you can say let’s end the Afghan war responsibly; let’s bring our troops home.  (Applause.)  Let’s focus on making sure that we’re building America.

In 18 days, you can let them turn back the clock 50 years for immigrants, and gays, and women, or we can stand up and say we are a country in which everybody has a place.  (Applause.)  A country where no matter where you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, abled, disabled — we have a place for everybody.  (Applause.)  Everybody has got a chance to make it if you try.

That’s what’s at stake, Virginia.  That’s why I’m asking for your vote.  I believe in you.  I need you to keep believing in me.  I want to finish the job.  And if you’re willing to stand with me, and make some phone calls with me, and knock on some doors with, get your friends to vote for me — we will win Fairfax County again.  We will win Virginia again.  (Applause.)  We’ll finish what we started.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

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

END
12:18 P.M. EDT

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