Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to a campaign field office today in Orlando where he spent about 30 minutes talking to volunteers and thanking them for all their hard work.
From Obama for America, Florida, the White House press pool, and Trip Gabriel of The New York Times:
The Vice President and his daughter, Ashley Biden, arrived with large brown “Boxes of Joe’’ from Dunkin Donuts. In addition, Biden carried a large white bag of donuts.
As Biden entered, people applauded, and he told the room, “This is what you call interfering with productivity.’’
“I come from a state where you campaign door to door,’’ he said. “It matters. The thing that matters the most, when you show up at the door you’re not just asking vote for us, you’re vouching for us. That’s the thing I want to thank you most for. The hardest thing for a man or woman to do in my opinion is to associate themselves, to say I vouch for you.’’
Biden hugged a young woman who was smiling at him, Marissa Priceman, 17. She started to cry.
“Thank you,’’ she said through her tears.
Biden also joked with members of the press from CNN, CBS and The New York Times.
“I tell you what,’’ Biden said. “We’ve got a lot of press here. I wanted them to see you guys. But one of the thing is, you guys deserve answers to questions. Things you may have in your mind. So I tell you what, if we can, I don’t know if I’im allowed to do this, ask the press to go eat some donuts.’’
“By the way, these guys have been great,’’ he added, meaning the press. “They’ve picked up every mistake we’ve all made.’’
The room laughed.
“Of course you know I never make any mistakes.’’
Biden then left Orlando to travel to an afternoon rally in St. Augustine.
Don't buy it.
One of the things you need to know about Paul Ryan before you watch tonight's Vice Presidential debate, from Think Progress:
Romney and Ryan would eliminate health care for 31 million people who are poor or disabled. Medicaid, which helps poor Americans, some seniors, and children afford health care, is right in the crosshairs of Paul Ryan’s House budget. He proposed cutting $1.4 trillion from the program, a move that would kick about 11 million people off Medicaid over the course of ten years. The Romney-Ryan plan is even worse, and is estimated to force about 44 million people off the program.
Don't buy into the "hype" of Paul Ryan's empty words.
They cost him nothing, but they'll cost you plenty:
Below are the full remarks of Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention, as prepared for delivery:
My fellow Democrats, and my favorite Democrat.
Jilly, I want you to know that Beau, Hunt, Ashley, and I are so proud of you. We admire the way you treat every single student who walks into your classroom. You not only teach them. You give them confidence. And the passion you bring to easing the burden on the families of our warriors. They know you understand what they're going through. It makes a difference. And I'm grateful. So grateful that you said Yes on that fifth try.
And Beau, thank you for placing my name in nomination to be Vice President of the United States. I accept.
My fellow Americans, four years ago, a battered nation turned away from the failed policies of the past—and turned to a leader—who they knew, could lift our nation out of crisis. Our journey isn’t finished. We still have more to do. But today, I say to you, my fellow citizens: In the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetimes-- this nation proved itself. We're as worthy as any generation that has gone before us. The same grit, the same determination, the same courage, that has always defined what it’s meant to be an American—is in you.
We're on a mission to move this nation forward—from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity. A mission we will continue and a mission we will complete.
Folks, tonight, I want to tell you about Barack Obama. The Barack Obama I’ve come to know. I want to show you the character of a leader—who had what it took, when the American people stood at the brink of a new Depression. A leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years--to a future as great as our people.
I want to take you inside the White House to see the President, as I see him every day. Because I don’t see him in sound bites. I walk down the hall, 30 steps to the Oval Office, and I see him in action.
Four years ago, middle class incomes were already falling. Then the bottom fell out. The financial crisis hit. You remember the headlines: “Markets Plummet Worldwide”, “Highest Job Losses in 60 Years”, and “Economy on the Brink”
From the moment President Obama sat behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, he knew he had to restore the confidence not only of the nation-- but the whole world. He knew, that one false move could bring a run on the banks, or a credit collapse, that could throw millions out of work. America and the world needed a strong president with a steady hand, with the judgment and vision to see us through.
Day after day, night after night, I sat beside him, as he made one gutsy decision after another--to stop the slide and reverse it. I watched him stand up to intense pressure and stare down choices of enormous consequence. Most of all, I saw what drove him: His profound concern for the American people.
He knew, that no matter how tough the decisions he had to make in the Oval Office were, families all over America had to make decisions every bit as tough for them—as they sat around their kitchen tables. Barack and I have been through a lot together. And we’ve learned a lot about each other. I learned of the enormity of his heart. And he learned of the depth of my loyalty. And there was another thing that bound us. We both had a pretty good idea what these families were going through--in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles.
Barack had to sit at the end of his mom's hospital bed and watch her fight cancer and fight her insurance companies at the same time. I was a kid, but I can remember the day that my dad sat at the end of my bed, and said, things are going to be tough for a while. I have to go to Delaware to get a new job. But it's going to be better for us. The rest of my life, my dad never failed to remind me--that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your children in the eye—and say honey, it’s going to be okay, and believe it was going to be okay. When Barack and I were growing up, there was an implicit understanding. If you took responsibility, you’d get a fair shot at a better deal. The values behind that deal--were the values that shaped us both. And today, they are Barack’s guiding star.
Folks, I’ve watched him. He never wavers. He steps up. He asks the same thing over and over again: How is this going to work for ordinary families? Will it help them? And because of the decisions he’s made, and the strength the American people have demonstrated every day, America has turned the corner. After the worst job loss since the Great Depression, we’ve created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months.
President Obama and Governor Romney are both loving husbands and devoted fathers. But they bring vastly different values and visions to the job. Tonight I’d like to focus on two crises--that show the character of the leadership each man will bring to the job. The first is the rescue of the automobile industry.
Let me tell you about how Barack saved more than 1 million American jobs. In our first days in office, General Motors and Chrysler were on the verge of liquidation. If the President didn’t act immediately, there wouldn’t be an industry left to save.
We listened to Senators, Congressmen, outside advisors, even some of our own advisors say--we shouldn’t step in, the risks were too high, the outcome too uncertain. The President patiently listened. But he didn’t see it their way. He understood something they didn’t. He understood that this wasn’t just about cars. It was about the Americans who built those cars and the America they built.
In those meetings, I often thought about my dad. My dad was an automobile man. He would have been one of those guys—all the way down the line—not in the factory—not along the supply chain—but one of those guys selling American cars to the American people. I thought about what this crisis would have meant for the mechanics, the secretaries, the sales people who he managed. And I know for certain, that if my dad were here today, he would be fighting for this President, who fought to save all those jobs, his job, and the jobs of all the people he cared about. He would respect Barack Obama for having the guts to stand up for the automobile industry, when others walked away.
When I look back now on the President’s decision, I also think of another son of an automobile man--Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney grew up in Detroit. His father ran American Motors. Yet he was willing to let Detroit go bankrupt. It’s not that he’s a bad guy. I’m sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did. I just don’t think he understood—I just don’t think he understood what saving the automobile industry meant-to all of America. I think he saw it the Bain way. Balance sheets. Write-offs.
Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profit. But it’s not the way to lead your country from its highest office.
When things hung in the balance, the President understood it was about a lot more than the automobile industry. It was about restoring America’s pride. He knew what it would mean to leave 1 million people without hope or work if we didn’t act. He knew the message it would have sent to the rest of the world if the United States of America gave up on the industry that helped put America on the map. Conviction. Resolve.
Barack Obama. This President has shown that same resolve, that same steady hand, in his role as Commander in Chief. Which brings me to the second crisis.
In 2008, Barack Obama made a promise to the American people. He said, “If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights, we will take him out. That has to be our biggest national security priority.” Barack understood that the search for bin Laden was about a lot more than taking a monstrous leader off the battlefield. It was about righting an unspeakable wrong, healing a nearly unbearable wound in America’s heart. He also knew the message we had to send to terrorists around the world—if you attack innocent Americans, we will follow you to the ends of the earth. Most of all, the President had faith in our special forces--the finest warriors the world has ever known.
We sat for days in the Situation Room. He listened to the risks and reservations about the raid. And he asked the tough questions. But when Admiral McRaven looked him in the eye and said-- “Sir, we can get this done,” I knew at that moment Barack had made his decision. His response was decisive. He said do it. And justice was done.
But Governor Romney didn’t see things that way. When he was asked about bin Laden in 2007, he said, and I quote, “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth, and spending billions of dollars, just trying to catch one person.”
He was wrong. If you understood that America’s heart had to be healed, you would have done exactly what the President did. And you too would have moved heaven and earth--to hunt down bin Laden, and bring him to justice.
Four years ago, when my mom was still with us, sitting in the stadium in Denver, I quoted one of her favorite expressions. She used to say, Joey, bravery resides in every heart, and the time will come, when it must be summoned.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m here to tell you, bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama. And time and time again, I witnessed him summon it. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and steel in his spine. And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made--and because of the grit and determination of American workers--and the unparalled bravery of our special forces--we can now proudly say—
Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.
Folks, we know we have more work to do. We know we’re not there yet. But not a day has gone by, in the last four years when I haven’t been grateful that Barack Obama is our President. Because he has always had the courage to make the tough calls.
Speaking of tough calls, last week at their convention, our opponents pledged that they too had the courage to make tough calls. But in case you didn’t notice, they didn’t have the courage to tell you what calls they would make. They talked about how much they cared about Medicare. How much they wanted to preserve it. That’s what they told you.
But what they didn’t tell you, is that their plan would immediately cut benefits to more than 30 million seniors already on Medicare. What they didn’t tell you is what they’re proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016. And what they really didn’t tell you is, they’re not for preserving Medicare. They’re for a whole new plan. They’re for Vouchercare. That’s not courage. That’s not even truthful.
In Tampa, they talked with great urgency about the national debt. The need to act, to act now. But not once, not once, did they tell you they’ve rejected every plan put forward by us--by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission—by other respected outside groups—to reduce our national debt if it contained even one dollar—one cent—in new taxes for millionaires. That’s not courage. And that’s not fair.
Let’s just say it straight: The two men seeking to lead this country over the next four years have fundamentally different visions, and a completely different value set.
Governor Romney believes that in the global economy, it doesn’t much matter where American companies put their money or where they create jobs. As a matter of fact, he has a new tax proposal -- the territorial tax -- that experts say will create 800,000 jobs, all of them overseas.
I found it fascinating last week--when Governor Romney said, that as President, he’d take a jobs tour. Well with all his support for outsourcing, it’s going to have to be a foreign trip. Look, President Obama knows that creating jobs in America--keeping jobs in America--and bringing jobs back to America--is what being President is all about. That’s the President's job.
Governor Romney believes that it’s okay to raise taxes on the middle class by $2,000 in order to pay for over a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the very wealthy. President Obama knows that there is nothing decent or fair about asking more of those with less--and less--of those with more.
Governor Romney believes that kids-the kids we call DREAMers—those immigrant children who were brought to America at a very young age, through no fault of their own—he thinks they’re a drag on America.
President Obama believes that even though these DREAMERs—these kids—didn’t choose to come to America-they’ve chosen to do right by America and we should do right by them. Governor Romney looks at the notion of equal pay for equal work in terms of a company’s bottom line.
President Obama knows--that making sure our daughters are paid the same as our sons for the same job must be every father’s bottom line. But I must tell you--one thing that perplexed me the most at their convention was this idea of a culture of dependency. They seem to think you create a culture of dependency when you provide a bright, qualified child from a working family a loan to get to college, or when you provide job training in a new industry, for a dad who lost his job, because it was outsourced.
Folks, that’s not how we look at it. Americans have never looked at it that way. These men and women aren’t looking for a handout. They’re just looking for a chance to acquire the tools and the skills to provide for their families—so they can hold their heads high and lead independent lives with dignity. I told you the choice is stark. Two different visions. Two different value sets. And at its core, the difference is, we have incredible faith in the decency, and the hard work of the American people. And we know what has made this country great--its people.
As I mentioned at the outset folks--four years ago, Americans we were hit hard. You saw your retirement accounts drained, the equity in your homes vanish, and your jobs lost or on the line. But you did what Americans have always done. You didn’t lose faith. You fought back. You didn’t give up. You got up. You’re the ones bringing America back. You’re the reason why we’re still better positioned-- than any country in the world--to lead the 21st century.
You never quit on America. And you deserve a President who will never quit on you. And one more thing that our opponents are dead wrong about: America is NOT in decline.
I’ve got news for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan, it has never, never, ever, been a good bet to bet against the American people.
My fellow Americans, America is coming back and we’re not going back! And we have no intention of downsizing the American Dream.
In a moment you’re going to hear from a man, whose whole life is a testament to the power of that dream. And whose Presidency is the best hope to secure that dream, for our children.
We see a future where everyone rich or poor does their part and has a part.
A future where we depend more on clean energy from home and less on oil from abroad.
A future where we’re #1 in the world again in college graduation.
A future where we promote the private sector, not the privileged sector.
And a future where women control their own choices, health, and destiny.
A future where no one—no one—is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance.
We see a future where America leads not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. Where we bring our troops home from Afghanistan, just as we brought them home from Iraq.
And a future where we fulfill the only truly, sacred obligation we have as a nation--to equip those we send to war and care for them when they come home from war.
Where we acknowledge the incredible debt we owe to the families of the 6,473 fallen angels and the 49,746 wounded. Thousands, critically wounded.
We must never forget their sacrifice and always keep them in our care and our prayers.
My fellow Americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history. And the direction we turn is in your hands. It has been an honor to serve you, and to serve with a President who has always stood up for you.
As I’ve said, I’ve seen him tested. I know his strength, his command, his faith.
I also know, the incredible confidence he has in all of you. I know this man. Yes, the work of recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way.
The journey of hope is not yet finished, but we are on our way. The cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way. So I say to you tonight, with absolute confidence,
America’s best days are ahead of us, and, yes, we are on our way.
In the light of that horizon, for the values that define us, for the ideas that inspire us, there is only one choice.
The choice is to move forward, boldly forward. Finish the job we started and re-elect President Barack Obama.
God bless you and may God protect our troops.
Excerpts from Bill Clinton's DNC speech tonight, as prepared: (Updated, Full transcript below.)
“In Tampa the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in."
“I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators."
“The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
Full transcript of President Bill Clinton's speech from the 2012 Democratic National Convention, as prepared:
We're here to nominate a President, and I've got one in mind.
I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.
I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside. A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.
I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.
In Tampa, we heard a lot of talk about how the President and the Democrats don't believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyone to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.
The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made. One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain't so.
We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own."
Who's right? Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!
It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.
Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats. After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system. And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we've done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.
Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other.
When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes. Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.
One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation. He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation. He appointed a Vice President who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. And Joe Biden did a great job with both. He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries. Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I'm so proud of her and grateful to our entire national security team for all they've done to make us safer and stronger and to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I'm also grateful to the young men and women who serve our country in the military and to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for supporting military families when their loved ones are overseas and for helping our veterans, when they come home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help with education, housing, and jobs.
President Obama's record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship.
He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn't work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work.
Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job!
In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.
In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn't say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they'll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids. As another President once said – there they go again.
I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.
Are we where we want to be? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month. The answer is YES.
I understand the challenge we face. I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don't feel it.
I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995. Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn't feel it yet. By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.
President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the President's contract you will feel it.
I believe that with all my heart.
President Obama's approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.
So back to the story. In 2010, as the President's recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around.
The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. But last year, the Republicans blocked the President's jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here's another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million, Congressional Republicans zero.
Over that same period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama – the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.
The auto industry restructuring worked. It saved more than a million jobs, not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's why even auto-makers that weren't part of the deal supported it. They needed to save the suppliers too. Like I said, we're all in this together.
Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured. Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here's another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.
The agreement the administration made with management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another good deal: it will cut your gas bill in half, make us more energy independent, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 good jobs.
President Obama's "all of the above" energy plan is helping too – the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20 year low and natural gas production to an all time high. Renewable energy production has also doubled.
We do need more new jobs, lots of them, but there are already more than three million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don't have the required skills. We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology. That's why investments in our people are more important than ever. The President has supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for open jobs in their communities. And, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the drop-out rate so much that we've fallen to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adults with college degrees, his student loan reform lowers the cost of federal student loans and even more important, gives students the right to repay the loans as a fixed percentage of their incomes for up to 20 years. That means no one will have to drop-out of college for fear they can't repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer or a small town doctor because it doesn't pay enough to make the debt payments. This will change the future for young Americans.
I know we're better off because President Obama made these decisions.
That brings me to health care.
The Republicans call it Obamacare and say it's a government takeover of health care that they'll repeal. Are they right? Let's look at what's happened so far. Individuals and businesses have secured more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiums because the new law requires 80% to 85% of your premiums to be spent on health care, not profits or promotion. Other insurance companies have lowered their rates to meet the requirement. More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on family policies. Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including breast cancer screenings and tests for heart problems. Soon the insurance companies, not the government, will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with pre-existing conditions. And for the last two years, health care spending has grown under 4%, for the first time in 50 years.
So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it? You bet we are.
There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars. Here's what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren't making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. It's now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.
When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama's "biggest coldest power play" in raiding Medicare, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget.
At least on this one, Governor Romney's been consistent. He wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies, re-open the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and reduce the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years. So now if he's elected and does what he promised Medicare will go broke by 2016. If that happens, you won't have to wait until their voucher program to begins in 2023 to see the end Medicare as we know it.
But it gets worse. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming decade. Of course, that will hurt poor kids, but that's not all. Almost two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for seniors and on people with disabilities, including kids from middle class families, with special needs like, Downs syndrome or Autism. I don't know how those families are going to deal with it. We can't let it happen
Now let's look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.
Here's what happened. When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%. You hear that? More work. So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.
Let's talk about the debt. We have to deal with it or it will deal with us. President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It's the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.
I think the President's plan is better than the Romney plan, because the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: The numbers don't add up.
It's supposed to be a debt reduction plan but it begins with five trillion dollars in tax cuts over a ten-year period. That makes the debt hole bigger before they even start to dig out. They say they'll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code. When you ask "which loopholes and how much?," they say "See me after the election on that."
People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets. What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic. If they stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the – arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they'll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they'll have to cut so much spending that they'll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they'll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they'll do what they've been doing for thirty plus years now – cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy. Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down.
President Obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation.
My fellow Americans, you have to decide what kind of country you want to live in. If you want a you're on your own, winner take all society you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you want every American to vote and you think its wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama. If you think the President was right to open the doors of American opportunity to young immigrants brought here as children who want to go to college or serve in the military, you should vote for Barack Obama. If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American Dream is alive and well, and where the United States remains the leading force for peace and prosperity in a highly competitive world, you should vote for Barack Obama.
I love our country – and I know we're coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we've always come out stronger than we went in. And we will again as long as we do it together. We champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to form a more perfect union.
If that's what you believe, if that's what you want, we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.
God Bless You – God Bless America.
CBS News reports today that President Obama has decided not to release photographs of Osama bin Laden's body, in spite of "skeptics" who demand photographic proof of the demise of the Al Qaeda leader, in part because it would do little to reassure them anyway.
Probably true. Those very skeptics probably wouldn't accept bloody photos as proof any more than they would accept that President Obama was born in the U.S. in spite of the release of his birth certificate on numerous occasions.
That of course was just one of the reasons, and a minor one at that:
..officials at the Pentagon and State Department expressed qualms about releasing gruesome photos of Bin Laden’s bloodied corpse, with some arguing that the photos would not silence those who doubt that he was killed. Some lawmakers also opposed releasing the photos, arguing that doing so would serve little purpose and could endanger American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not only would it endanger the troops, but it could further inflame tensions in the Muslim world. That decision, and the reasoning behind it makes sense.
To most people.
It's hard to believe, but there is at least one person who would jump at the chance to inflame and offend those very people, (the troops be damned!) and she's perfectly willing to go "on the record" to say so.
As one who has seemed hell-bent on doing her part towards the destruction of America since running for VP in 2008, the beast of Wasilla has spoken!
Yes, by all means, show that photo, as gruesome and bloody as it may be, get it out there "as a warning" she says! For Palin and her war-mongering, blood lust pals, it's much more than a warning. This is a trophy to be displayed! This is so much bigger than shooting wolves from helicopters! To think that before she came on the national scene she had to settle for mere moose heads on a wall, or bear skin area rugs! That was before she signed on with John "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran but seriously folks" McCain. Now she's a wannabe with the crowd who go after the really big fish. Not the ones who send them to sleep with the fishes!
Yes Sarah, that's some warning you're sending out there! Especially since you're giving all the credit to the wrong President for getting bin Laden in the first place: President Bush.
"No pussy-footing around" you say? That's right! Nothing says "pussy-footing around" like going to war in the wrong country and then "not caring about, or looking for" Osama bin Laden as nearly ten years go by, while tens of thousands of soldiers and innocent men, women and children are killed. Make that "pussy-footing" through two wars, which we are still fighting as you Tweet.
President Obama on the other hand, who actually did what you credit Bush for, did not "pussy-foot" around. We know you weren't paying attention during the campaign, but President Obama made a campaign promise in 2008 to get Osama bin Laden, and he did get bin Laden. In 2011. Take your time adding up and comparing the years between the two Administrations and see what you come up with there, Sarah.
"No politicking!" you say? Wrong again there pit bull! Unlike your Republican party which politicizes everything, especially the tragedy of 9-11, which has become a virtual GOP cottage industry and morphed into the largely fictional "Tea Bagger Party," there was nothing political in Pres. Obama's decision not to make those photos public. It's a carefully thought out decision to prevent more deaths, more destruction. Not just of American and for Americans, but other countries and their citizens as well. It's also a decision made out of respect for others, yet another concept that would be foreign to you, Sarah. "Politicking" would be proudly marching around and waving pictures of a bloodied corpse as a threat to anyone not like yourself. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems to be the message in your "Tweet."
"No drama." One has to wonder what you define as "drama." I can think of nothing quite as dramatic and dark as displaying photos of a violent death in your "mission" to traumatize and intimidate those you see as enemies. To dream that one up, Ms. Palin, it takes a mighty sick minded individual. You must be so proud of yourself.
"It's all part of the mission." Death and violence, it seems, are things to be taken lightly as you go about your "mission." Whatever that mission is, we've all witnessed it in its ugliest forms, more recently with your SarahPac crosshairs map incident. You chose Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as a target in Arizona. Even after she was shot, you not only continued to laugh it off and dismiss the map as "typical" of a political campaign, and the shooting as merely a coincidence, but you exploited Rep. Giffords as she lay gravely wounded in a hospital to gain yet more exposure for yourself.
We can see by this latest "Tweet" that you haven't learned anything since, nor have you changed. This week we learned that three years after running in, and losing the 2008 election, you still can't name a significant newspaper that you read. I would guess that even now, after being taught by as many coaches as the Republican party could possibly afford, you still couldn't identify Pakistan on a map if you had to.
Thanks to all this, there may be one mission you actually have succeeded at. You've illustrated once again what a mistake this country would have made if they had elected John McCain and yourself instead of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
More to the point, you've improved on it in the last three years. You have become accurately symbolic of the Republican party, and you've reminded the country once again what a mistake it would be to hand the next election to anyone, ANYONE from the Republican party. For that, we can thank you.
Posted by Martha Jackovics on 05/04/2011 at 07:50 PM in Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, Election 2012, Joe Biden, John McCain, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)