“All I can say is, wow.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama event in St. Louis, MO.   100,000 in attendance.

“We need new priorities in Washington. I think it’s time to give a tax cut to the teachers and janitors who work in our schools; to the cops and firefighters who keep us safe; to the waitresses working double shifts, the nurses in the ER, and the plumbers fighting for their American Dream. These workers are the backbone of our country. They are the ones that Washington has forgotten. They’re the ones I’ll fight for. And while Senator McCain ignores the payroll taxes you pay to score a few political points, I’ll put a tax cut into the pockets of working people so you can pay the bills, put away some savings, and pass on a brighter future to your children.

So Senator McCain can keep trying to attack me and distract you – but it’s not going to work.  Not this time – not now.  Because while my opponent thinks this campaign is all about me – the truth is, this campaign is about you. Your jobs. Your health care. Your retirement. Your children’s future. That’s what this election is about. That’s what I’m fighting for. Because I can take two more weeks of these attacks from John McCain, but the American people can’t take four more years of the same failed policies and the same divisive politics. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.”

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama(as prepared for delivery) 

 

St. Louis, MissouriWe meet at a moment of great uncertainty for America. The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. As the stock market has plummeted, millions of Americans have opened up their 401(k) statements to see that so much of their hard-earned savings have disappeared.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

 

The credit crisis has left businesses large and small unable to get loans, which means they can’t buy new equipment, or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they have. In households across the country, it’s getting harder and harder to get a loan for that new car or that startup-business or that college you’ve dreamed of attending. Wages are lower than they’ve been in nearly a decade. You’re paying more for everything from gas to groceries, but your paychecks have flat-lined.

I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. But I believe that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis because I believe in this country. Because this is the United States of America.  This is a nation that has faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats.  The American story has never been about things coming easy – it’s been about rising to the moment when the moment is hard.

America can meet this moment. We have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world.  Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and research facilities.  It won’t be easy, but there’s no reason we can’t make this century another American century.

But Missouri, I also know this.  It will take a new direction.  It will take new leadership in Washington.  It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years.  And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.

Even as we face the most serious economic crisis of our time; even as you are worried about keeping your jobs or paying your bills or staying in your homes, my opponent’s campaign announced earlier this month that they want to “turn the page” on the discussion about our economy so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”

Well, Missouri, here’s what my opponent doesn’t seem to understand. With the economy in turmoil and the American Dream at risk, the American people don’t want to hear politicians attack each other – you want to hear about how we’re going to attack the challenges facing middle class families each and every day. You want to hear about the issues that matter in your lives. You want to hear about how we’re going to bring about the change that we desperately need for our country. That’s what the American people want to hear.

So let’s talk about the issues that matter.  In the debate this week, my opponent felt the need to inform me that he’s not President Bush. And in fairness, I don’t blame Senator McCain for all of President Bush’s mistakes.  After all, he’s only voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.

But it is fair to say that over the course of three debates and twenty months, Senator McCain still hasn’t offered a single thing that he would do differently from George W. Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today.  Not one.

Just look at taxes. My opponent’s been talking a lot about taxes in his campaign. But here’s the truth Missouri – we are both offering tax cuts. The difference is who we’re cutting taxes for.

It comes down to values – in America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it? For eight years, we’ve seen what happens when we put the extremely wealthy and well-connected ahead of working people. Now, John McCain thinks that the way to rebuild this economy is to double down on George Bush’s policy of giving more and more tax breaks to those at the very top in the false hope that it will all trickle down. I think it’s time to rebuild the middle class in this country, and that is the choice in this election.

Senator McCain wants to give the average Fortune 500 CEO a $700,000 tax cut but absolutely nothing at all to over 100 million Americans. I want to cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95 percent of all workers. And under my plan, if you make less than $250,000 a year – which includes 98 percent of small business owners – you won’t see your taxes increase one single dime. Not your payroll taxes, not your income taxes, not your capital gains taxes – nothing. It’s time to give the middle class a break, and that’s what I’ll do as President of the United States.

Lately, Senator McCain has been attacking my middle class tax cut. He actually said it goes to, “those who don’t pay taxes,” even though it only goes to working people who are already getting taxed on their paycheck. That’s right, Missouri – John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people “welfare.”

The only “welfare” in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America – including $4 billion in tax breaks to big oil companies that ran up record profits under George Bush. That’s who John McCain is fighting for. But we can’t afford four more years like the last eight. George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they will be out of time.   

Rest of the speech.

The best that McCain/Palin can dredge up is 12-15k audience at a typical rally.  This election is of historic proportions and of historic consequences.  Anyone else think that McCain/Palin rallies look more and more like KKK events?  The contrast between the two campaigns has never been more clear as election day approaches.


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