October 16th, 2007
08:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: Rural America will answer our problems

FAIRFAX, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Tuesday that when it comes to the challenges facing the United States, "rural America is not the problem, it is the answer."

"This is the lesson of our history," the senator from Illinois said, "and it's the lesson that needs to be learned by Washington, because the American story is built upon the sweat and toil and ingenuity of generations of American farmers."

"America's rural communities feed this nation, and they fuel our growth."

Obama outlined his rural agenda at a news conference on a quiet farm in Fairfax, Iowa, a far cry from the usual rallies that draw hundreds–sometimes thousands–of potential supporters.

The plan is one Obama says was developed after listening to Iowans on previous visits. It includes creating a safety net to protect the smaller family farms from "millionaire farmers," reducing the energy intensity of the economy 50% by the year 2030, and investing in biofuels.

But Obama wasn't the only Democrat barnstorming Tuesday. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, was also pushing his rural agenda in Iowa.

When asked how his plan differs from Edwards,' Obama said he wasn't too familiar with his opponent's plan but he called the former senator from North Carolina a "capable candidate."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. xtina - chicago IL

    I guess I would ask Obama then, why is your party proposing to tax heavily the people you revere as giving the country sweat, toil and ingenuity? Shouldn't you let them keep more of the $ they earn and crack down on Congress' massive wasteful spending as shown recently on ac360 on cnn ...?

    October 17, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  2. laurinda,ny

    Why are you asking him on here? Do you think he has the time to read or answer you question. Go to one of his speechs and ask him there.

    October 17, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. Rodney Dallas TX

    Did he forget that 90% of "rural" america are conservatives? Those who live outside larger cities tend to build their own little world. They are not around gays or abortion clinics or blacks in some cases. What makes him think rural areas will vote for a black democrat. I was raised in a rural area of Oklahoma and trust me, those rednecks would never put a black democrat in office. Thankfully I moved to a big city where I have been accustomed to "different" ways of life and have come to accept them as not being as bad as one may think.

    October 17, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Ed Austin, TX

    This is not true. Senator Obama strongly supports the American farmer and the American worker. Hillary Clinton is the one who will tax you, not Obama. Check out what he has done for Illinois's farmers on his senate site....

    October 17, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. a voter in CT

    xtina: You should really read the details of his plan at his sight BarackObama.com

    I think it will convince you that he is the best candidate for rural America.

    October 17, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Good question, Xtina.

    I'm sure you'd receive the typical liberal blah blah blah about how redistribution of wealth is good and fair and how the government, not the people, know better how to spend our hard earned money.

    I'll never understand the socialist on this topic. If they truly were for empowering the "people" they would want the people to have more control of their money so they could save and invest for the future. The government has shown us time and time again that they do a poor job of managing the programs that are supposed to help Americans.

    I pray one day we all wake up and take our government back from tax and spend bureaucrats (of both parties!).

    Ron Paul looks better to me everyday.

    October 17, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Chris, Middletown, CT

    maybe because they are the party of entitlement programs?? Wanna read something interesting – research Saul Alinsky (Hillarys topic for her thesis) – and read about everything this "Marxist Grassroots Organizer" taught his student....then look at the social programs she is pitching today.....very very telling....its actually scarey....

    October 17, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. goawyObama

    he hasnt brought anything out to convince me to vote for him..not a thing just religious stuff i dont like that either and that faith and the enviorment that is nuts,goofy shows ya a little of unexpierence he hasnt said anything knowdlegeable ...Hope of his Campaign is attacking Hillary.

    October 17, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Frank Virginia Beach VA

    I think Obama has a truism here, hope he expands it soon, could push Hillary to the side for a second. This guy is so bright, if he could just focus on the few important points and push them he'd be a shoe-in. Correction, forgot for a moment, Hillary's being placed in the White House by "the gang" and there's nothing anyone can do about that. Too bad. The country will surely miss what this young man could have done for us. By the way, I'm a Republican.

    October 17, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  10. Denise, Columbus, Nebraska

    I'm disappointed in all the comments regarding this story. It went from questioning the candidate to "rural vs. big city". Given the chance, rural America really can help provide answers to some of the problems facing this county. Give Barack Obama some credit for actually venturing into territory that ALL the other candidates have seemed to either ignore or give some sad lip service. As for Obama, seeing as you recognize the importance of rural America to the rest of the country, how about taking a look how we've had the monetary rug yanked out from under us when it comes to homeland security? Or maybe thats a story idea for 360?

    October 18, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Frank Virginia Beach VA

    Why did you remove my comment, CNN? You are so totally biased, how immature.

    October 18, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |