The President. How's it going, Nashua? Are you fired up?
Audience members. Yes!
The President. Are you ready to go?
Audience members. Yes!
The President. This is an unbelievable crowd! And this is what the weather is always like in late October in New Hampshire: 70 degrees and sunny.
Can everybody please give it up for your outstanding United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen? Your next Governor, Maggie Hassan. Your next Congresswoman, Annie Kuster.
And I've just got to say something special about one of the most talented singers and songwriters that America has ever had. He has just been a great friend. This guy has been working his tail off on behalf of this campaign. I couldn't be prouder that he's working with us: James Taylor. Give him a big round of applause.
Audience member. We love you!
The President. I love you back.
Ten days, New Hampshire. Ten days. Ten days, and you'll be stepping into a voting booth and making a defining choice about the future of our country. Not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties, it is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America.
We believe in the values that built the largest middle class, the strongest economy the world's ever known; the promise that hard work will pay off; the promise that responsibility will be rewarded; the idea at the core of this Nation that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, this is a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules. That's what we believe here in America.
We believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. We insist on personal responsibility. We don't believe anybody is entitled to success; we know we all have to earn it. We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk takers, everybody who has been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world's ever known.
But we also believe that the true measure of prosperity is more than just a running tally of corporate balance sheets, quarterly profit reports. We measure prosperity not just by how many millionaires and billionaires we produce, we measure prosperity by how well a typical family is doing, by whether our kids are getting a great education and can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take us.
We understand that in this country, people succeed when they've got a chance at a decent education, when they can learn new skills. And by the way, so do the businesses that hire them or the companies that they start. We believe our economy grows when we support research into medical breakthroughs or new technologies like clean energy and fuel-efficient cars.
We know that our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security; when we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution; when there are rules in place to make sure that we aren't taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders or unscrupulous financial institutions.
We know we're better off when politicians in Washington aren't allowed to make decisions about health care that women are perfectly capable of making for themselves.
That's what we believe. That's the vision that we embrace.
Audience member. We believe in you!
The President. I appreciate that. [Laughter]
Governor Romney, now, he's got an entirely different view about what this country is about.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Don't boo——
Audience members. Vote!
The President. ——vote. Vote.
He's been running around saying he's got a five-point plan for the economy; turns out it's a one-point plan. [Laughter] Folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do. They get to pay lower tax rates, outsource jobs. They want to let Wall Street run wild and make reckless bets with other folks' money. That was his philosophy when he was a CEO. That was his philosophy as Governor. And as President Clinton said, he does have a lot of brass, because he's now talking about big change, but all he's offering is a big rerun of the same policies that created so much hardship for so many Americans.
And Governor Romney's been out here making a lot of last-minute promises lately, said he's all about fighting for the middle class, says he'd cut taxes for everybody, and asks something from nobody. But the problem is we've heard those promises before.
Now, keep in mind, Governor Romney lives just a few miles south of here in the State of Massachusetts. Love Massachusetts, so—[applause]. But during Governor Romney's campaign for Governor down there, he promised the same thing he's promising now—said he'd fight for jobs and middle class families. But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the State, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?
Audience members. Yes!
The President. Now, when he's asked about this, he says, no these weren't taxes, these were fees. [Laughter] But keep in mind, there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse. There were higher fees for gas. There were higher fees for milk. There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind. He raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would have been expensive for me. [Laughter]
He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes, so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees. [Laughter] And when he left office, there were only three States in the country that had created fewer jobs than Massachusetts. And by the way, one of them was Louisiana that had been hit by Hurricane Katrina. [Laughter]
He talked a lot about small businesses, still talks about it. Says, I'm a business guy, I know about small businesses. Massachusetts, when he was Governor, ranked 48th in small business creation. And one of the two States that ranked lower was Louisiana that had gotten hit by Hurricane Katrina. So this is a guy who has a track record of saying one thing and doing something else.
On the other hand, when I ran 4 years ago, I made promises too. I promised to cut taxes for middle class families, and I did, by $3,600. I promised to cut taxes for small-business owners, and I did 18 times. I promised to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts, and we have. And by the way, we got every dime worth of money that we used for the bank rescue, and we got interest with it too. I promised to take on those financial institutions that were charging too much for student loans, and we, as a consequence, were able to make college more affordable for millions of Americans.
I promised I'd never walk away from the millions of jobs that were in jeopardy when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. We decided to ignore Governor Romney's business advice when he said Detroit should go bankrupt, and now, America, we are building the best cars on Earth.
Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq, and we did. I promised that we would begin the transition in Afghanistan, and we are. I said we'd go after the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, and thanks to the brave men and women in uniform, the courage of our Navy SEALs, Al Qaida is on the path to defeat, and Usama bin Laden is dead.
After losing 9 million jobs under the theories that Governor Romney is now promoting, our businesses—under the ideas we've been working with—have added more than 5 million new jobs over the last 2½ years. Manufacturing: highest job growth in manufacturing since the 1990s. The unemployment rate is falling. Manufacturing's coming back to our shores. Our assembly lines are humming again. Housing prices are starting to pick up. Housing starts are on the move.
We've got a lot of work to do. But, New Hampshire, the country has come too far for us to turn back now. We can't afford to go back to the policies that got us into this mess. We've got to continue with the policies that are getting out of the mess. We've got to move forward. And that's why I am running for a second term as President of the United States.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Now——
Audience member. You can do it, Mr. President!
The President. Well, I'm going to do it with you. We can do it together.
Now, unlike Governor Romney's plan—he doesn't like to talk about it too much—I have a plan that will actually create jobs, that will actually lower our deficit and will actually provide the middle class with a greater sense of security. And the good news is my plan, the math actually adds up.
If you want to check it out, you can go to barackobama.com/plans. And I want you to share it with your friends and your neighbors and your coworkers. There are still people out there who are trying to make up their minds. Some of you who are here may be trying to make up your mind. Maybe your girlfriend dragged you out here. [Laughter] No, no, maybe Grandma said, you've got to go to the Obama rally—[laughter]—and you're still trying to figure it out. So I'm asking you to compare my plan with Governor Romney's. I want you to know what we're proposing, each of us, and see which plan is better for you and what is better for the future of America.
So number one, I want to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are putting down roots here, hiring American workers, creating American products stamped with three proud words: Made in America. We can bring those jobs back to our shores.
Number two, I want to cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy. Because of the work we've already done—increasing oil production, increasing natural gas production, but also emphasizing renewables like solar and wind and biofuels—today, we are less dependent on foreign oil than at in any time in the last two decades. That's good for your pocketbook. That's good for our national security. It's good for the environment.
And one reason we've been able—we have confidence we can keep on making progress is we've doubled the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. So in the middle of the next decade, you'll go twice as far on a gallon of gas. I want us now to build on that progress. We've got to keep making those investments. I don't want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels produced in China. I want them produced right here in New Hampshire. I want them made right here in America. And we can do that.
Number three, we have to make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers better than anybody else in the world. I want to recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers because we know that's an area where we can't afford to fall behind. I want to train 2 million workers at our community colleges for the skills that businesses are hiring for right now. And I want to work with colleges and universities to make sure that tuition does not keep on going up, because our young people can't afford the debt that they are taking on, and that's something we can do.
Number four, my plan will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years in a balanced way. We're going to cut out spending we don't need. We've already cut out a trillion dollars' worth of spending; we can do more. But I'm also going to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we can invest in the research and technology and education that will keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.
And under the guise of reducing the deficit, I will never turn Medicare into a voucher system, because no American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of an insurance company.
And by the way—I think we saw just this past week—we don't need a whole bunch of politicians in Washington, most of whom are male, making health care decisions for women. I don't think your boss or your insurance company should be making those decisions either. I believe women should be making their own health care decisions for themselves.
That's why the health care law we passed put those choices in your hands, where they belong, and that's where they'll stay as long as I'm President of the United States.
Now, finally, number five, we're going to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to put our people back to work. Let's do some nation-building here at home. Let's rebuild our roads and our bridges, our schools. Let's lay broadband lines into rural communities all across the country. And as we're doing that, we're going to be putting our veterans back to work. We've got to serve them as well as they've served us, because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads or the care that they've earned when they come home.
So that's the plan we need, New Hampshire. That's how you build a strong, sustainable economy. That's how you make sure that middle class jobs that pay a good wage are out there. That's how you encourage new businesses to start here and stay here in America. That's how you increase take-home pay, not just by talking about it. That's how you build an economy where everybody who works hard can get ahead. And that's what we can do together.
But here's the thing, New Hampshire, it's now up to you. It's your choice. It's up to the young people who are here to choose a future that is worthy of all your dreams. It's up to the not-so-young people here, including me—I'm included in that category—[laughter]—to make sure we're leaving the kind of America we want for future generations.
You can choose the top-down policy that got us into this mess, but I think we need to build on the policies that are helping us to make real progress all across this country. You can choose a foreign policy that's reckless and wrong, or you can choose the kinds of leadership that I've provided that's steady and strong.
You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and immigrants and gays, or in this election, you can stand up for that basic principle enshrined in our founding documents that all of us are created equal: Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, abled, disabled. No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, you've got a place in America. You can make it here if you try. That's what we believe.
New Hampshire, we've been through tough times, but we've been through tough times before and we are tougher. We always come out on top. We always bounce back because we pull together. Because we look after one another. Because we don't leave anybody behind. Because when we succeed, we prop that door open and bring those who are following behind us; we pull them through. That's who we are.
Our destiny is not written for us, it's written by us. We don't go backward. We look forward to that distant horizon, to that new frontier. We imagine a better America, and then we work hard to make it happen. That's who we are.
That's why I'm asking for your vote. And if you give me your vote, I promise you, you will always have a President who hears your voices, who will fight for your families, who will spend every waking moment thinking about how to make your lives a little bit better.
New Hampshire, I still believe in you. I need you to keep believing in me. And if you're willing to work with me and roll up your sleeves with me, knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, we'll win Hillsborough County again. We'll win New Hampshire again. We'll finish what we started. And we'll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.