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I know how hard the women of this country are working. I know the anxiety so many of you are feeling right now, as we stand in the midst of the most serious financial crisis of our time. We've seen three of America's five largest investment banks fail or be sold off in distress. Our housing market is in shambles, and Monday brought the worst losses on Wall Street since the day after September 11th.
Everywhere you look, the economic news is troubling. But for so many of you, it isn't really news at all. You've seen your home values falling, gas prices rising, and bills piling up month after month. So you're working longer hours, or working more than one job just to get by. And then there are the jobs you do once the workday ends. Jobs like paying the bills, buying the groceries, making the dinner, doing the laundry, enforcing the bedtimes - the jobs you don't get paid for, but that hold our families together. Jobs that still, even in the year 2008, too often fall to women.
So I know these are difficult days. But here's what I also know. I know we can steer ourselves out of this economic crisis. That's who we are. That's what we've always done as Americans. Our nation has faced difficult times before. And at each of those moments, we've risen to meet the challenge because we've never forgotten that fundamental truth - that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us.
But another thing I know is that we can't steer ourselves out of this crisis by heading in the same, disastrous direction. We can't change direction with a new driver who wants to follow the same old map. And that's what this election is all about.
Yesterday, my opponent, Senator McCain, gave a speech in which his big solution to this worldwide economic crisis was to blame me for it. This is a guy who's spent a quarter century in Washington. And after spending the entire campaign saying I haven't been in Washington long enough, he apparently now is willing to assign me responsibility for all of Washington's failures. I think it's pretty clear that Senator McCain is a little panicked, and that at this point, he is willing to say anything, do anything, change any position, violate any principle to try and win this election. And that is sad to see. That's not the politics we need.
So let's be clear.
There's only one candidate who - just this week - said a line he's repeated 16 times on this campaign - quote - "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
There's only one candidate who's called himself "fundamentally a deregulator" when deregulation is part of the problem. My opponent actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine - the current issue - quote - "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
So let me get this straight - he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street. Well, Senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren't going to think that's a good idea.
There's only one candidate whose choice for Treasury Secretary is a man who thinks we're in a "mental recession" and has called the United States of America a "nation of whiners."
There's only one candidate whose campaign is being run by seven of Washington's most powerful lobbyists.
And folks, it isn't me.
I don't take a dime from Washington lobbyists and special interests. They do not run my campaign. They will not run my White House. And they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I'm President of the United States.
So when John McCain says that lobbyists "won't even get past the front gate" at his White House, my question is - who's going to stop them?
Those seven lobbyists?
His campaign manager?
The economic advisor, who got a $40 million golden parachute when she was fired as a CEO?
Or maybe the 26 advisors and fundraisers who lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
I mean, give me a break.
The same day my opponent attacked me for being associated with a Fannie Mae guy I've talked to for maybe 5 minutes in my entire life - the same day he did that - the head of the lobbying shop at Fannie Mae turned around and said wait a minute - "when I see photographs of Senator McCain's staff, it looks to me like the team of lobbyists who used to report to me."
Folks, you can't make this stuff up.