Monday, October 6, 2008

Obama Speech in North Carolina: Transcript (10-5-08)

Read the complete transcript of Barack Obama's speech in Asheville,North Carolina.

In 30 days you are going to elect the next president, and you need and deserve a president who is going to wake up every day and fight for you, and fight for the middle class, and fight to create jobs and grow our economy again -- not another president who doesn't get it. Not another President who ignores our problems. Not more of the same.

Senator McCain and his operatives are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They'd rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up. It's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.

I want you to know that I'm going to keep on talking about the issues that matter - about the economy and health care and education and energy. I'm going to keep on standing up for hard working families. We're not going to let John McCain distract us from what we need to do to move this country forward.

Because November 4th, you and I are going to turn the page on the disastrous economic policies of George W. Bush and John McCain.

And one of the issues we must face and can't ignore is the explosion of health care costs that is crushing families and businesses across our country.

Understand, this is very personal to me.

I'm thinking today about my mother. She died of ovarian cancer at the age of 53. She fought valiantly, and endured the pain and chemotherapy with grace and good humor. But I'll never forget how she spent the final months of her life. At a time when she should have been focused on getting well, at a time when she should have been taking stock of her life and taking comfort in her family, she was lying in a hospital bed, fighting with her insurance company because they didn't want to cover her treatment. They claimed that her cancer was a pre-existing condition.

So I know something about the heartbreak caused by our health care system.

I know something about the anxiety of families hanging on by a thread as premiums have doubled, and debt piles up, and more than half - half - of all personal bankruptcies are caused in part by medical bills.

I know about the frustration of the nearly 40 percent of small business owners who can no longer afford to insure their employees - folks who work day and night, but have to lay people off, or shut their doors for good, because of rising health care costs.

I know the outrage we all feel about the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance - kids who can't see a doctor when they're sick; parents cutting their pills in half and praying for the best; folks who wind up in the emergency room in the middle of the night because they've got nowhere else to turn.

But I also know that this is not who we are.

We are not a country where a young woman I met should have to work the night shift after a full day of college and still not be able to pay the medical bills for her sister who's ill. That's not right - and it's not who we are.

We are not a country where a man I met should have to file for bankruptcy after he had a stroke, because he faced nearly $200,000 in medical costs that he couldn't afford and his insurance company didn't cover. That's not right - and it's not who we are.

That is not who we are, and that is not who we have to be. Enough is enough - it's time for change.

CBS' 'Face The Nation' Transcript (10-5-08)

Read the complete transcript.

SCHIEFFER: So that was Sarah Palin yesterday out in California. Let’s start with Congresswoman Heather Wilson. Do you agree with that line of attack, that Barack Obama does not see America as a force for good?

REP. HEATHER WILSON (R), NEW MEXICO: He has actually -- you know, he goes over to Germany and talks to the Germans about America and the need to tear down the walls between the United States and our European allies as if it’s all America’s fault, that we’ve -- you know, we’re in the situation that we’re in. That’s not what we expect from our president.

We expect someone to stand up for America and to realize that America is a force for good in the world and has been for a century.

SCHIEFFER: Well, that sounds like you’re saying that he’s somehow unpatriotic, which seemed to be the underlying theme of what she said yesterday, Congresswoman.

WILSON: Well, he has talked down about America. And you know, we’ve always had this history of saying, well, you know, politics end at the water’s edge. And it didn’t for Barack Obama . He has been critical not only of the president but of American policy and hence has kind of a negative view of America in the world.

That’s not unusual, frankly, among liberals in kind of post- Vietnam America to say that America is the problem. I think Sarah Palin believes that America is part of the solution. We are an exceptional country. We are a force for good. And we need to talk about the good things we do.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let’s see what Senator Feinstein would say about that. The ad also suggested that he is a pal of a terrorist... That refers, of course, to Bill Ayers who was part of the anti-Vietnam underground Weatherpeople (ph) I think was the name of it. He’s now a professor in Chicago.

She suggested that they’re pals. What about this whole thing, Senator?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Of course, when Bill Ayers was active in the Weather Underground, Barack Obama was 8 years old. So I think that’s really a stretch. I found it very shocking. And then I thought, you know, Barack Obama has gained a great deal of credibility and trust of the American people.

He’s leading in the polls. He’s leading in most of the battleground states. And this is going to be a month, I think, of character assassination. And so the Republican position is to try to assassinate Barack Obama ’s character and try to place him in a position where the trust that he has built dissipates, the credibility that he has dissipates.

And I hope it isn’t successful. And we must not let it be successful. Too much is at stake in this election. And you know, it’s a hard thing for me to listen to this when you know the major problems that this nation faces. And that’s what we ought to be talking about, not slamming one’s character like this.

[...]SCHIEFFER: Here in the studio with me is Congressman Roy Blunt , the majority whip -- or minority whip in the House. He carried the water for the Bush administration, did the heavy lifting, was instrumental in getting the bailout passed in the House and then being signed into law.

What about that, Congressman Blunt? Was John McCain erratic or was he trying to change the subject here?

REP. ROY BLUNT (R-MO), MINORITY WHIP: Well, I don’t think he was erratic at all. And we’re trying to shift, of course, from talking about what this really is to what it was described as, the bailout that turned out to be really a workout where the government has no reason to lose money.

But John McCain , in, I thought, a very selfless and cool way, began to talk to Republicans and others about why this had to be done. During the week this week, as we had that disappointing vote on Monday and then came back on Friday with a winning vote, he was in contact with me every day about who he could call, who he could talk to.

I think he came back and changed the discussion. We were headed toward a bill that would give a lot of money to these activist political groups like ACORN. We were headed toward a bill that would really make it harder for Americans in the future to get loans because bankruptcy judges could be able to rewrite.

And he came back and did a lot of good. I didn’t see him as erratic at all. In fact, I saw him as very purposeful, very selfless in what he was trying to do and dedicated to it. He called me at 10:15, Bob, one night last week and said, OK, who can I call now that’s on the West Coast so it won’t be too late for me to keep calling?

And he had been calling all evening members, some of which he didn’t get them to vote for it but he got them to think about why it really mattered.