Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Speech in Canton, Ohio: Transcript (10-27-08)

Read the complete transcript.

After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush and twenty-one months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California and everywhere in between, we are one week away from changing America. (Cheers, applause.)

In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks right here in Canton, folks right on Main Street. (Cheers, applause.)

In one week, you can choose. You can choose policies that invest in our middle-class and create new jobs and grow this economy from the bottom-up, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women on the factory floor. In one week. (Cheers, applause.)

In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation, just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region and city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope. In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need. You can do that. (Cheers, applause.)

You know, we began this journey in the depths of winter, nearly two years ago, on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, the place where Abraham Lincoln served for so many years.

You know, back then, we didn't have much money and we didn't have many endorsements. We weren't given much of a chance by the polls or the pundits. And we knew how steep our climb would be.

But I also knew this. I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas and new leadership and a new kind of politics, one that favors common sense over ideology, one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans. (Cheers, applause.)

Most of all, I believed in you. I believed in your ability to make change happen. I knew that the American people were a decent, generous people who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations. (Cheers, applause.)

And I was absolutely convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists or the most vicious political attacks -- (cheers) -- or the full force of a status quo in Washington that wants to keep things just the way they are. (Cheers, applause.)

And Canton, 21 months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That's how we've come so far, how we've come so close -- because of you. That's how we'll change this country -- with your help. That's why we cannot afford to slow down or sit back. We cannot let up for one day, or one minute, or one second in this last week. (Cheers, applause.) Not now, not when there's so much is at stake. One week. (Cheers, applause.)

We are in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I don't have to tell you, Ohio; 760,000 workers have lost their jobs so far this year. Businesses and families can't get credit. Home values are falling. Pensions are disappearing. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the cost of everything from health care to college have never been higher. It's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month.

Obama Speech in Denver: Transcript (10-26-08)

Obama spoke before an enormous crowd in Denver,Colorado. Read the complete transcript.

Colorado, in just 9 days, you'll have the chance to elect your next President. And you'll have the chance to bring the change we need to Washington. That's the good news. But we're going to have to work, and struggle, and fight for every single one of those 9 days to move our country in a new direction. We cannot let up. And we won't.

Because one thing we know is that change never comes without a fight. In the final days of campaigns, the say-anything, do-anything politics too often takes over. We've seen it before. And we're seeing it again today. The ugly phone calls. The misleading mail and TV ads. The careless, outrageous comments. All aimed at keeping us from working together, all aimed at stopping change.

Well, this isn't what we need right now. 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. So what we need now is honest leadership and real change, and that's why I'm running for President of the United States.

This is a moment of great uncertainty for America. The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Businesses large and small are finding it impossible to get loans, which means they can't buy new equipment, or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they have.

We've lost more than 750,000 jobs this year. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the cost of health care and college have never been higher. It's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month. At this rate, the question isn't just “are you better off than you were four years ago?”, it's “are you better off than you were four weeks ago?”

So what we need right now is a real debate about how to fix our economy and help middle class families. But that's not what we're getting from the other side. A couple of weeks ago, my opponent's campaign said that “if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose”, so they said they'd be focusing on attacking me instead.

And that's one campaign promise they've actually kept. Senator McCain has been throwing everything he's got at us, hoping something will stick. He's even called me a socialist for suggesting that we focus on tax cuts, not for corporations and the wealthy, but for the middle class.

The other day, he took it to a whole new level. He said that I was like George W. Bush. You can't make this stuff up, folks. In what may be the strangest twist of all, Senator McCain said that I would somehow continue the Bush economic policies – and that he, John McCain, would change them.

But then, just this morning, Senator McCain said that he and President Bush – “share a common philosophy.” That's right, Colorado. I guess that was John McCain finally giving us a little straight talk, and owning up to the fact that he and George Bush actually have a whole lot in common.