Remarks at a Democratic National Committee Rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hello, Philadelphia! Oh, this is a good-looking crowd here. Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?
First of all, thank you, Elliot, for the unbelievable introduction. We appreciate you. We've got a couple other special guests here. I want to make sure that I acknowledge them. Governor Ed Rendell is in the house; U.S. Senator Arlen Specter is here; U.S. Senator Bob Casey; Congressman Chaka Fattah; Congressman, soon-to-be Senator, Joe Sestak; Mayor Michael Nutter; Allegheny County Executive and soon-to-be Governor Dan Onorato.
I want to thank the first-time voters and Temple University Young Democrats for all the great work you guys have done. And give it up for Quincy Lyons for the great job he's doing organizing.
Now, I am not here to give a long speech, because I want everybody out there, not in here. I'm here to deliver two messages. The first message is thank you, because not only did all of you mobilize, organize, and energize in 2008 to help send me to the White House, but over the last 2 years, so many of you have continued to be involved each and every day to make sure that we could keep moving this country forward. It's because of you that young people are getting college scholarships that weren't getting it before.
It's because of you that young people can now stay on their parents' health insurance till they're 26 and folks who have health insurance aren't dropped by insurance companies when they get sick.
And the fact that--and it's because of you that we're also going to be able to fund AIDS. It's because of you that we are going to be in a position to make sure that each and every person out there is able to find work after a devastating economic crisis that made such a difference to so many families all across this country.
Now, here's the thing, though, guys: You cannot stop now, because the fact of the matter is, we are in a difficult election. It's difficult here in Pennsylvania. It is difficult all across the country.
And unless each and every one of you turn out and get your friends to turn out and get your families to turn out, then we could fall short and all the progress that we've made over the last couple of years can be rolled back.
So the key right now is not just to show up here; it's not just to listen to speeches. It's to go out there and do the hard work that's going to be required to bring this home over the last few days. That's going to be the key.
And so I know that some of you may have been at the rally we had with 20,000 folks at Germantown. But you know what, coming to a rally, that's not the hard part. What I need this weekend is 20,000 doors knocked on by all the volunteers who are here today. Is that something that you think you can do, 20,000?
In order for Joe Sestak to be successful and Dan Onorato to be successful and the entire Democratic ticket to be successful, you're going to need to talk to folks everywhere you can and make sure that you describe to them the future that you see for this country.
You want a country where every young person can get a decent education. You want a country where nobody is bankrupt because they get sick. You want a country where our seniors can retire with dignity and respect and Social Security is there not just for this generation, but for future generations.
You want a country that has the best infrastructure in the world. We used to be number one. We can't have the best rail lines and the best airports built in China or Singapore. They need to be right here in the United States of America.
We don't want to be falling behind in math and science and technology. We've got to be first in research and development and technology to make sure that the new products and new services are developed right here in the United States.
We want clean energy here. We don't want solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars built in China or Europe. We want them built here in the United States with American workers.
And so it is absolutely critical that you go out there and you describe your hopes for the future, especially the young people here, because this election is not just going to set the stage for the next 2 years, it's going to set the stage for the next 10, for the next 20.
And for those of you who were so excited 2 years ago, I just want to remind you this: Two years ago was not about me, it was about you and it was about this country. And I said then that change was going to be hard. Now, we've been involved in some tough fights over the last 2 years. We can't move backwards now. We've got to keep moving forward now. And that's all going to be up to you.
So I want everybody to get out there, knock on doors, make phone calls, volunteer, talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, go into the beauty shops, go into the barbershops, when you're in church or--you know, this weekend, I want everybody to be talking about have folks voted.
If you do that, then I am confident we're not just going to win this election, but we're going to keep on moving this country forward so that the American Dream is accessible for everybody, not just some.
Thank you very much, Philadelphia. I love you. God bless you. Let's get busy. Let's go to work. Thank you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:38 a.m. at Temple University. In his remarks, he referred to Elliot Griffin, student, Temple University.
Barack Obama, Remarks at a Democratic National Committee Rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/289537