Barack Obama photo

Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Denver, Colorado

October 24, 2012

The President. Hello, Colorado! Thank you! Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? Are you fired up?

Audience members. Yes!

The President. Are you ready to go?

Audience members. Yes!

The President. Well, I'm fired up. Thank you so much, everybody. Can everybody please give Sidra a great round of applause for that wonderful introduction?

We've got some good friends here today. You've got your outstanding Governor, John Hickenlooper; one of the best Senators in the country, Michael Bennet; outstanding Congresswoman, Diana DeGette; your wonderful mayor, Michael Hancock; my campaign cochair and former mayor, Federico Pena. And all of you are here, which makes me excited.

This is the second stop on our 48-hour, marathon extravaganza fly-around. We are pulling an all-nighter. No sleep, quite a bit of coffee. [Laughter]

We've just come from Iowa. After this—we've got some Iowans here? [Laughter] We are on our way to visit Nevada. We're going to go to Florida, we're going to go to Virginia, we're going to go to Ohio. And I am going to stop in Chicago to vote before this 48-hour day is done. I can't tell you who I'm voting for. [Laughter] It's a secret ballot. But Michelle says she voted for me. That's what she said.

So we can vote early in Illinois just like you can vote early in Colorado. And I've come back to Colorado—and this may not be the last time you'll see me. I've come to ask you for your vote. I've come to ask you to help me keep moving America forward.

We now have gone through three debates, months of campaigning, way too many TV ads.

Audience member. Amen!

The President. Oh, yes. Got an amen over here. [Laughter] You've heard, now, Governor Romney's sales pitch. He has been running around saying he's got a five-point plan for the economy.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Don't boo, vote. Vote. That's the way to show your opinion, is to vote.

It turns out it's not a five-point plan Governor Romney has got, it's a one-point plan: Folks at the very top get to play by their own rules—pay lower tax rates than you do, outsource more jobs, let Wall Street run wild. And if this plan sounds familiar, it's because we tried it. We tried it in the decade before I took office, and it led to falling incomes and record deficits and the slowest job growth in half a century and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And we've been working for 4 years to clean up this mess that these policies left behind.

Now, Governor Romney knows this. He knows his plan isn't any different than the policies that led to the great recession. So in the final weeks of his election, he's counting on you forgetting what he stands for. He's hoping that you, too, will come down with a case of what we like to call Romnesia. [Laughter]

He's hoping you won't remember that his economic plan is more likely to create jobs in China than here in the United States, because it rewards companies that move jobs and profits overseas. He's hoping you won't remember that he wants to give millionaires and billionaires a $250,000 tax cut, because the only way he can pay for it is by raising the deficit or by raising your taxes. He's hoping you'll come down with a severe case of Romnesia just before you cast your ballot.

But, Denver, I want you to know this: If you feel any symptoms coming on—[Laughter]—you start feeling, oh, I've got a temperature, I've got headaches, my eyes are getting blurry, it might be Romnesia. But don't worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can make you well. There's a cure, Colorado, as long as you vote. There's a cure.

Now, we joke about Romnesia, but all this speaks to something that is essential to your choice, and that is trust. When you choose a President, you don't know what is going to come up. I mean, when I was running in 2008, we didn't know necessarily that we would see the financial system completely implode. We didn't know that the auto industry might go under. We didn't understand what might be happening in terms of an Arab Spring.

But what you were voting on is somebody who you felt you could trust to work for you, to keep you in mind every single day. Trust matters. And one thing I think you've seen, Colorado, over the last 4 years is that I mean what I say. I do what I say I'm going to do.

We haven't finished everything that we want to get done. That's why I'm running for a second term. But every single day that I set foot in the Oval Office, I'm fighting for your families. And with your help, I've kept many of the major commitments that we made.

I told you we'd end the war in Iraq; we ended it. 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 now we've got a new tower rising above the New York skyline, and Al Qaida is on the path to defeat. Usama bin Laden is dead. Our heroes are coming home. I've kept those promises.

I promised to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses, and we have. I promised to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good, and we did. I promised to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," and today, you can't be kicked out of the military because of who you are and who you love. I bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and we saved a dying auto industry that's back on top of the world.

On issue after issue, we are moving forward. After losing 9 million jobs in the great recession, our businesses have now added more than 5 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years. Manufacturing is coming back to our shores. The unemployment rate has fallen. Home values and home sales are rising. Our assembly lines are humming.

We've got a long way to go, Colorado, but we've come too far to turn back now. We cannot go back to the same policies that got us into this mess. We've got to keep moving forward with the policies that are getting us out. And that's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States.

Now, you know, we——

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Now, the reason I want 4 more years is because I've got a plan that will actually create jobs, a plan that will actually create middle class security. And unlike Mitt Romney, I'm actually proud to talk about what's in my plan, because it actually adds up. And if you want to check it out, go to Share it with your friends. Share it with neighbors. Share it with coworkers. There are still people out there who are trying to make up their mind. Some of you may be trying to make up your mind. Maybe some——

Audience members. No!

The President. No, no, maybe—no—somebody may have dragged you here. [Laughter] Maybe your grandma said, I'm sorry, you've got to come. [Laughter] Maybe your girlfriend is trying to knock some sense into you, said, no, no, you've got to come to the rally.

So I want you to compare my plan to Governor Romney's. See which plan you think is better for you. See which plan is better for America's future.

I—look, I want to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, but I also want to reward small businesses and manufacturers that are creating jobs right here in the United States. I want to cut our oil imports in half by 2020. And we're going to develop traditional sources of energy. And today, we are less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades. But it's not enough just to produce more oil and natural gas. We've also increased fuel standards on cars and trucks so your car will go farther on a gallon of gas.

I want to build on the progress we've made doubling clean energy. I want fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines manufactured here in China—I want them—I don't want them manufactured in China, I want them manufactured here in the United States. I want them manufactured right here in Colorado, right here in America.

And by the way, it will be good for our environment. It will help conserve the incredible natural beauty of this State. We can do that.

I want to make it a national mission to educate our kids and train our workers better than anyone else in the world. I want to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers, train 2 million workers at community colleges to get the skills that businesses are hiring for right now. I want to work with our colleges and universities to keep tuition growth low, cut it in half over the next 10 years. We can do that.

My plan will actually cut the deficit, unlike Governor Romney's. It will actually cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, but we're going to do it in a balanced way. We'll cut out programs that don't work, but we also need to make sure that the wealthy are paying a little bit more so we can afford to invest in technology and research that will keep new jobs and businesses coming to America.

And I'll never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.

And I'll use the savings that we get from ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to put our people back to work doing some nation-building here at home: repairing our roads and our bridges and our schools; extending broadband lines into rural communities; making sure that when our veterans come home, that we are hiring them and they are getting the same kinds of opportunities that they deserve, because they shouldn't have to fight for a job when they come home after fighting for America. That's my plan.

That's the plan we need for Colorado. That's how you build a strong, sustainable economy that has good, middle class jobs to offer. That's how you encourage new businesses to start right here. That's how you help small businesses. That's how you increase take-home pay. That's how you build an economy where everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead. That's what we can do together.

But right now it's up to you, Colorado, right here, right now, today. You will choose the path we take. It's up to young people to make sure that they continue to have opportunities in the future to go to college, to get a good job. It's up to the not-so-young people to choose what—including me—to choose what we leave behind for future generations.

So we've got—you can choose the top-down policies that got us into this mess, or we can choose the policies that are going to keep on getting us out of this mess. You can choose a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless, or you can choose the steady, strong leadership that we need in the world.

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 that we are all created equal. That no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter who you love, here in America, you can make it if you try.

Colorado, we have been through some tough years. But the American people are always tougher. We always bounce back, because we pull together, because we look after one another. We don't turn back. We go forward. We don't leave anybody behind; we pull them up with us. In America, our destiny is not written for us, it's written by us, and we are going to write the next chapter together. And that's why I am asking you for your vote.

And if you give me that vote, Colorado, you'll have a President who hears your voice, a President who fights for your families, a President who spends every waking hour trying to make your lives a little bit better. I believe in you, Colorado, and I'm asking you to keep believing in me.

And if you're willing to roll up your sleeves with me, if you're willing to work with me and knock some doors with me, make some phone calls with me, we're going to win Colorado again. We're going to win this election. We're going to finish what we started. 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.

Note: The President spoke at 2:54 p.m. at the Meadow in City Park. In his remarks, he referred to Denver, CO, community health care worker Sidra Bonner; and Republican Presidential nominee W. Mitt. Romney.

Barack Obama, Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Denver, Colorado Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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