Barack Obama photo

Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

October 18, 2012

The President. Hello, New Hampshire! Are you fired up?

Audience members. Yes!

The President. Are you ready to go?

Audience members. Yes!

The President. I'm fired up. First of all, I'm fired up about this weather. I mean, I've got to say that generally when I look at a trip to New Hampshire in October, I'm not thinking it's going to look like this. But this is spectacular.

It's good to be back. And it's good to be with a great friend and an outstanding Governor, Governor Lynch. Please give him a big round of applause.

Audience member. I love you!

The President. I love you back.

And I love your outstanding Senator, Jeanne Shaheen. Jeanne was especially happy because it was her granddaughter Elle who sang the national anthem today. Give Elle a big round of applause.

Nineteen days, New Hampshire. [Applause] Nineteen days. In 19 days, you're going to step into a voting booth, and you've got a big choice to make. It's not just a choice between two candidates or parties, it's about two different visions for this country that we love.

Governor Romney's got his sales pitch. He's been running around talking about his five-point PowerPoint plan for the economy. [Laughter] But as we saw the other night, it's not a five-point—[applause]—what he's selling is not a five-point plan, it's really just a one-point plan: Folks at the top get to play with a different set of rules than you do.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Don't boo, now, vote.

They can pay lower taxes; they can keep their money offshore; they can buy companies, load it up with debt, lay off workers, strip their pensions, send their jobs overseas; they can still make money doing it, turning a big profit. It's the same philosophy that's been squeezing middle class families for more than a decade. It's the same philosophy that got us into this mess.

For the last 4 years, I've watched the American people, with their resilience and resolve, overcoming the pain and struggle and dealing with the consequences of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We've worked too hard to let this country go down that path again.

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

The President. New Hampshire, we cannot grow this economy from the top down. This economy grows from the middle out, when everybody has ladders of opportunity; if they work hard, they can succeed, they can get ahead. That's how we move ahead. And when workers have a decent living, have a little money in their pockets, that means they're out there as customers buying goods, and that means businesses do better, and that means businesses make more profits; then they hire more workers. That's how you grow an economy.

That's why we can't go backward. That's why we've got to move forward. That's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States.

On Tuesday, Governor Romney took another stab at trying to sell us this $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy. He took another swing at it, and he whiffed. Instead of telling us how he'd pay for it, he said, I'll let you know after the election.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. And then when I asked him about it, he said, I'm a businessman, I know the numbers will work, take my word for it.

Now, here—I'm going to let you in on a little tip: When a politician tells you he's going to wait until after the election, it's not because their plan is so good that they don't want to spoil the secret. [Laughter] That's usually not what's going on. And in this case, just about everybody who's looked at his tax plan says he can't pay for it without blowing a hole in the deficit, or raising your taxes, raising taxes on the middle class.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Don't boo——

Audience members. Vote!

The President. Vote.

So then, Governor Romney says he's got another plan to create 12 million jobs in the next 4 years. But when folks started crunching the numbers, his jobs plan fell apart even faster than his tax plan. The Washington Post called it a "bait and switch." A bait and switch.

So let's recap. He's got a tax plan that doesn't add up. He's got a jobs plan that doesn't create jobs. He's got a deficit plan that doesn't reduce the deficit. Listen, New Hampshire, you've heard of the New Deal; you've heard of the Square Deal and the Fair Deal. Mitt Romney is trying to sell you a sketchy deal.

We don't need a sketchy deal. We know better, because the last time this sketchy deal was tried was in the previous administration; made the same sales pitch, told you the same stuff: Look, if we cut these taxes, the economy is going to grow so much, the deficit is going to come down, don't worry about it. Just like they said we didn't have to pay for two wars. It didn't work, and that's why you're not buying it. We have been there. We've tried it. We're not going back. We're moving forward. I need your help to finish what we started in 2008.

Now, I made some commitments 4 years ago. I told you I'd end the war in Iraq, and we did. 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. And today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline, and Al Qaida is on the path to defeat, and Usama bin Laden is dead.

Four years ago, I promised to cut middle class taxes, and we have, by $3,600. I promised to cut taxes for small-business owners, and we have 18 times. And by the way, you'll hear Governor Romney talk about small businesses. What he doesn't tell you is his definition of small businesses includes Donald Trump—[Laughter]—includes hedge fund managers.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Don't boo——

Audience members. Vote!

The President. Vote.

We got back every dime used to rescue the banks. And then, we passed a law to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good. We put that in place.

Four years ago, I said in this great country of ours, nobody should go bankrupt when they get sick, and so we passed health reform—yes, I like the name Obamacare—so your insurance companies can't jerk you around anymore. So young people can stay on their parents' plans until they're 26. So women can't be charged more than men for their insurance; being a woman is not a preexisting condition.

We repealed "don't ask, don't tell" because anybody who is willing to sacrifice and serve this country we love shouldn't be prevented because of who they love.

When Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we said, no, thanks; we're not going to take that business advice. [Laughter] We reinvented a dying auto industry that's come roaring back to the top of the world.

And you may have heard, by the way, in the debate Governor Romney trying to claim that I did what he advised.

Audience members. No!

The President. Did you hear that?

Audience members. Yes!

The President. Unbelievable. [Laughter]

The President. Everybody in the auto industry knows that's not what he said. He just went ahead and said it.

Today, 4 years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, we're moving forward again. After losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years. Unemployment has fallen from 10 percent to 7.8 percent. Home values are back on the rise. The stock market's nearly doubled. Manufacturing is coming home. Our assembly lines are getting back to work.

We need to keep moving forward. We've got more work to do. That's why I'm running for a second term.

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

The President. So I've—look, we have more work to do though. I will not be satisfied until everybody who wants to work hard can find a job. And that means we've got to have a plan to grow not just the economy and create jobs, but create good jobs and provide security for the middle class.

So, number one, I want to send fewer jobs overseas, sell more products overseas. We—Governor Romney has no problem giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas or outsourcing. But I want to reward companies that are investing right here, investing in New Hampshire, investing in Manchester: insourcing, opening new plants, hiring new workers, creating new jobs right here in America. That's what we need to do.

I want to control more of our own energy and how we use energy. After 30 years of doing nothing, we raised fuel standards so by the middle of the next decade your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. We've doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar, even as we've increased the production of oil and natural gas. So today, America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades. Think about that. Our oil imports are going down.

So now you've got a choice between a plan that reverses this progress or one that builds on it. Governor Romney feels comfortable with taxpayers providing oil companies $4 billion a year in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Don't——

Audience members. Vote! Vote! Vote!

The President. We're not going to boo, we're going to vote.

But you know what, I understand why you wouldn't be happy with that idea, because we should be taking that $4 billion and investing it in the energy sources of tomorrow. Right? We don't want China to win the race for clean energy technology. We want that technology developed here in the United States of America.

And by the way, those investments not only create good jobs here at home, create new industries here at home, but it also reduces the carbon pollution that's heating our planet. Climate change is not a hoax. Droughts and floods and fires, they're not a joke. They are a threat to our children's future, and we've got to deal with it in a serious way that also grows our economy. We can do that.

Number three, I want the best education system in the world right here in the United States. Michelle and I are only where we are because of the chance an education gave us. And today, because of the actions my administration took, millions of students all across the country are paying less for college. We took a system that was wasting tens of billions of dollars on banks and lenders, we said let's cut out the middleman, give the money directly to the students. And as a consequence, young people are getting a better deal.

Now, Governor Romney wants to reverse some of these choices. He wants to gut some of our investment in education to pay—help pay for this $5 trillion tax cut. I think we should make sure that we are doing more in education: hiring new math and science teachers so that they can get the lead in the technology that's going to shape our economy in the future. Provide job training for 2 million more workers at community colleges. Work with colleges and universities to keep tuition low.

That's my agenda for change. That's what we need to do. We can have that future, but you've got to vote. That's why I'm running for a second term.

I know—I suspect we've got some teachers in the audience. Governor Romney said hiring more teachers won't grow our economy. Then he said class size doesn't matter. He said class size doesn't matter. There's not a teacher or a parent who doesn't believe this. Making sure that our kids are thriving in math and science—where we know there are going to be more jobs—that will grow our economy. Having them as—be able to get a job as an engineer, maybe start the next Apple or the next Intel, that will create jobs. That should be a national mission. That's what we're fighting for.

And by the way, we want our sons to thrive in math and science and engineering, but we also want our daughters to thrive in those fields too. See, we don't have to order up some binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women who can learn and excel in these fields right now. And when these young women graduate, I want them to receive equal pay for equal work.

I don't know why this is so complicated. [Laughter] Governor Romney still won't say whether or not he supported a law to protect that right, no matter how many times he's asked. This is not that hard. I've got two daughters. I want to make sure they get paid the same as somebody's sons for doing the same job. Pretty straightforward. Any confusion there?

Audience members. No!

The President. You know where I stand. Look, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, this was the first bill I signed into law. And I know you want the same thing for your daughters, or sisters, or moms, or grandmas as I do. And this is not—as I said in the debate, this is not just a women's issue, this is a family issue, this is an economic issue.

I also believe women should make their own health care decisions. I know you've got—and it's not just Washington that sometimes deals with this issue. You've got a State legislature up here that sometimes acts like it knows better than women when it comes to women's own health care decisions. My opponent has got the same approach. Governor Romney said he'd end funding for Planned Parenthood, despite all the work it does to provide women with mammograms and breast cancer screenings.

Audience members. Vote!

The President. Vote!

Audience members. Vote! Vote! Vote!

The President. All right, you guys are getting it. You guys are getting it. [Laughter]

He supports—we made sure that insurance companies are providing women with contraception. He supported legislation that would turn those decisions over to a woman's employer. Think about that. Do you think, like, your boss or your insurance company or some politician in Concord or Washington should get control of your health care choices?

Audience members. No!

The President. The health care law we passed puts those choices in your hands where they belong. That's where they're going to stay as long as I'm President of the United States, as long as you vote.

Audience members. Vote! Vote! Vote!

The President. All right. Now, we also have to make sure that we're using the money we're saving from ending the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, to put our people back to work here doing some nation-building here at home.

We've got a debate on Monday on foreign policy, and I'm very interested in seeing what Governor Romney has to say about this. [Laughter] You know, he said that it was "tragic" the way I ended the war in Iraq. Last week, he said we should still have troops in Iraq.

Audience members. Boo!

The President. Vote. Vote. [Laughter]

Audience members. Vote! Vote! Vote!

The President. Look, one of the great honors of my job is serving as Commander in Chief and meeting the amazing men and women in our Armed Services who serve us every single day. I think bringing our troops home after doing the job they did in Iraq was the right thing to do. Reuniting them with their families was the right thing to do. The 33,000 troops that we've brought home this year from Afghanistan, that was the right thing to do.

And every brave American who wears this country's uniform should know this: As long as I'm your Commander in Chief, I will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. And when you take off that uniform, we're going to serve you as well as you've served us, because nobody who has fought for us should ever have to fight for a job when they come home or a roof over their heads when they come home or the benefits they've earned when they come home.

All right. And finally, we've got to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years. I've put forward a plan to do it, and I've worked with the Republicans and Democrats already to cut spending that we didn't need or we couldn't afford, and I'm ready to do more. But I'm not going to cut things like education. I'm not going to cut research that helps grow our economy.

We can't get this done unless we also ask the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on their incomes above $250,000, pay the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was President, we created 23 million new jobs, and we went from a deficit to surplus. That's how you do it.

Governor Romney said he thinks it's fair that he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher who makes $50,000.

Audience members. Boo!

Audience members. Vote! Vote! Vote!

The President. Vote!

He is wrong. I'm not going to ask middle class families to give up your deductions on a home mortgage or your deductions for raising a kid just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut. I'm not going to ask students who are here to pay more for college or kick kids out of Head Start or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans just to pay for a tax we don't need—tax cut we don't need. That's not who we are. That's not what we're about.

Governor Romney and, frankly, his allies in Congress, they have banked on this idea that somehow in America everybody is on their own. If you get—if you don't have health insurance, hope you don't get sick. If you can't afford to start a business or go to college, he says, borrow money from your parents. You know what, that's not who we are. That's not what we're about.

We believe in self-reliance, we believe in individual initiative, but we also believe we're all in this together. We understand America is not just what can be done for us, but what can be done by us together, as one Nation, as one people: Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, abled, disabled, everybody coming together. That's what we're fighting for. That's our vision of America.

That's the vision we fought for in 2008. And because of you we were able to make amazing things happen. You're the reason there's a little girl with a heart disorder who needs surgery, but now has the security of knowing she's going to get that surgery because there aren't any lifetime limits on her insurance coverage. You made that happen.

You're the reason a young man who'll never—who thought he'd never be able to afford his dreams to go to medical school now is going to have that chance. You made that possible.

You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home.

You're the reason folks who served us so bravely are now embracing their family again and hearing those words, "Welcome home." [Applause] Welcome home. Welcome home. That happened because of you.

So, in 19 days, New Hampshire, you can keep moving this country forward. In 19 days, you get to choose between the top-down policies that got us into this mess or the policies that are getting us out of this mess. In 19 days, you can choose a foreign policy that takes us into wars without a plan to getting—get us out or turning the page and ending wars responsibly and bringing our troops home and focusing on building America.

In 19 days, you can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for immigrants or gays or women, or you can stand up and say we are going to move forward: that we're a country that will continue to be one that treats everybody with dignity and fairness; a country where no matter what you look like or what—where you come from or who you love, you can make it if you try.

That's what's at stake, New Hampshire. That's why I'm asking for your vote. I believe in you. I need you to keep believing in me.

I'm asking for your help to finish the job. And if you'll stand with me and work with me and knock on some doors for me, make some phone calls with me, if you'll vote for me, New Hampshire, we'll win New Hampshire again. We'll win this election. We'll finish what we started and 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 12:02 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park. In his remarks, he referred to Elle Shaheen, granddaughter of Sen. C. Jeanne Shaheen; Donald J. Trump, chairman and chief executive officer, Trump Organization; and Republican Presidential nominee W. Mitt Romney.

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

Filed Under




New Hampshire

Simple Search of Our Archives