|The American Presidency Project|
|• Barack Obama|
|Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Delray Beach, Florida|
|October 23, 2012|
|The President. Hello, Florida! Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? I am fired up right now! It is good to be in Florida.
Give it up for Congressman Ted Deutch, who's here. Your mayor, Nelson McDuffie, is here. State Senator Maria Sachs. A great candidate for Congress, Lois Frankel. And my friend and your former Governor, Charlie Crist, is here.
And I want everybody to give a huge round of applause to Scott for that introduction.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
The President. Thank you. You guys really are fired up!
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.
Now, 2 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. 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.
Now, last night we had our third and last debate. And I hope that during the debate I made those differences very clear. 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. That's why we decimated Al Qaida's core leadership and brought Usama bin Laden the justice he deserved. 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.
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.
Last night he said he always supported taking out Usama 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.
Audience members. Romnesia! Romnesia! Romnesia!
The President. We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage-three Romnesia. [Laughter] 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.
If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate, 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 members. Romnesia!
The President. I'll bet you've got some Romnesia. 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.
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 web site or the promises that you've been making over the 6 years that you've been running for President, if you can't even remember what you said last week, don't worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can fix you up. We can cure this disease. There's a cure!
I mean, listen, let me just say this. In all seriousness, I mean, we're accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from 4 years ago. We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from 4 days ago. [Laughter]
I mean—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. The person who leads this country, you've got to have some confidence that he or she means what he or she says, 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. 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—PowerPoint presentation. But you know what, that's not leadership that you can trust.
And, Florida, you know me. You can trust that I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. And yes, we've been through tough times. But you've never seen me quit.
Audience members. No!
The President. And there's no quit in America.
Audience members. No!
The President. So for over the last 4 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 2½ years. 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.
I promised to cut taxes for middle class families, and I did, by $3,600. I promised to cut taxes for small business owners like Scott, and we have 18 times. 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. We passed a law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good.
We repealed "don't ask, don't tell" so that nobody is ever kicked out of the military because of who they love.
When the heartbeat of American manufacturing was flatlining, 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.
I said that I would make sure that nobody in America goes bankrupt when they get sick, and we delivered on that promise. I said I'd make college more affordable for our young people, and we delivered on that promise. I do what I say. You've seen me.
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. That's why I'm running.
Audience members. Four more years! 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, 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 members. No!
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. 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.
Second, my plan will cut our oil imports in half by 2020 so we control more of our own energy here in America. 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.
Audience members. We love you!
The President. I love you back. But I got this plan I want to talk about, so—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. 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.
Number four, my plan is going to cut the deficit by $4 trillion. Remember, I said the numbers actually add up. 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 so we can invest in research, invest in technology, those things that keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.
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.
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.
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 members. Boo!
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. It is my greatest honor serving as their Commander in Chief, and I will fight for our troops and our veterans every single day.
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. You can choose a foreign policy that's reckless and wrong, or you can choose one that is steady and strong. 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.
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. 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.
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
|Citation: Barack Obama: "Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Delray Beach, Florida", October 23, 2012. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=102382.|
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project