October 3rd, 2008
11:36 AM ET
9 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Obama on the stump in Pennsylvania

Obama campaigned in Pennsylvania earlier Friday.

Obama campaigned in Pennsylvania earlier Friday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama held a campaign rally in Abington, Pennsylvania earlier Friday during which he commented on the lasted jobs report showing employers slashed over 150,000 jobs last month.

Watch: Obama stumps in PA

"Just since January, we’ve lost more than 750,000 jobs across America, 7,000 in Pennsylvania alone," he said. "This is the economy that John McCain said – just two weeks ago – was fundamentally strong. This is the economy that my opponent said made great progress under the policies of George W. Bush. And those are the economic policies that he proposes to continue for another four years." (Related: Obama, McCain issue statements on job report)

Read the full prepared remarks

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama—as prepared for delivery

Abington, Pennsylvania

Friday, October 3, 2008

You know, there were a lot of noteworthy moments in that debate, but there’s one that sticks out this morning. It’s when Governor Palin said to Joe Biden that our plan to get our economy out of the ditch was somehow a job killing plan.

I wonder if she turned on the news this morning.

Because it was just reported that America has experienced its ninth straight month of job loss. Just since January, we’ve lost more than 750,000 jobs across America, 7,000 in Pennsylvania alone. This is the economy that John McCain said – just two weeks ago – was fundamentally strong. This is the economy that my opponent said made great progress under the policies of George W. Bush. And those are the economic policies that he proposes to continue for another four years.

So when Senator McCain and his running mate talk about job killing, that’s something they know a thing or two about. Because the policies they’re supporting are killing jobs every single day.

Well, Abington, I am here to tell you that we cannot afford four more years of this. Because where I come from, there’s nothing more fundamental than having the sense of meaning and purpose that comes with showing up at work in the morning. There’s nothing more fundamental than being able to put your kids through college, or having health care when you get sick, or being able to retire with security. There’s nothing more fundamental than a good paying job.

That’s why we’re here today – because we need to do what we did in the 1990s and create millions of new jobs and not lose them. We need to do what we did in the 1990s and make sure people’s incomes are going up and not down. We need to do what a guy named Bill Clinton did in the 1990s and put people first again. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.

We’ve tried it their way. It hasn’t worked. And it won’t work now. But let me tell you what will work.

What will work is investing $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable sources of energy like wind and solar – an investment that will generate five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced. And by the way, we can end our dependence on foreign oil in the process, and nothing will help our economy more than that.

What will work is making an investment in rebuilding our crumbling roads, schools, and bridges. That will mean jobs for two million more Americans.

My opponent supports giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. But what will work is giving those tax breaks to companies that create jobs here at home.

My opponent supports tax havens that let companies avoid paying taxes here in America – tax havens that cost $100 billion every year. But what will work is shutting those tax havens and closing corporate loopholes.

What will work is giving tax breaks to the small businesses that are the engine of economic growth in this country, and cutting taxes – hear me now – cutting taxes – for 95 percent of all working families. Under my plan, tax rates will actually be less than they were under Ronald Reagan.

That’s what will work. And that’s the kind of change Joe Biden and I are going to bring to Washington.

Now, let me be perfectly clear. The fact that our economy is in this mess is an outrage. It’s an outrage because we did not get here by accident. This was not a normal part of the business cycle. This did not happen because of a few bad apples.

This financial crisis is a direct result of the greed and irresponsibility that has dominated Washington and Wall Street for years. It’s the result of an economic philosophy that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else; a philosophy that views even the most common-sense regulations as unwise and unnecessary. Well, this crisis is nothing less than a final verdict on this failed philosophy – and it’s a philosophy that will end when I’m President of the United States.

That’s what this election is all about.

Because despite my opponent’s best efforts to make you think otherwise, this is the philosophy he’s embraced during his twenty-six years in Washington. And it shows just how out of touch he really is. How else could he offer $200 billion in tax cuts for big corporations at a time like this? How else could he propose giving the average Fortune 500 CEO a $700,000 tax cut at a time when millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills? How else could he come up with an economic plan that leaves out more than 100 million middle class taxpayers?

Senator McCain just doesn’t get it. Well, Abington, I do get it. And I think all of you get it too.

We know these are difficult times. We know how bad Pennsylvania has been hurting. But here’s what I also know – I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because that’s who we are. Because that’s what Americans do. This is a nation that’s faced tougher times than these – we’ve faced war and depression; great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we’ve risen to meet these challenges because we’ve never forgotten that fundamental truth – that here, in this country, our destiny is not written for us; it’s written by us.

Here, in the United States of America, the future is ours to shape. That’s what we need to do right now. Part of what that means is passing the rescue plan that’s before Congress. This is a plan that will help us deal with this immediate crisis and put our economy on a firmer footing. It’s a plan I voted for the other night – because I made sure it included taxpayer protections and wasn’t simply a blank check like this administration initially asked for. And it’s a plan that the House is going to be voting on soon. So to Democrats and Republicans in the House who are now on the fence, let me say this: do not make the same mistake twice. For the sake of our families, our economy, and our country, step up to the plate and pass this plan.

But understand, even with this plan, we may face a long and difficult road to recovery. That’s why, if I’m President, passing this rescue plan won’t be the end of what we do to strengthen our economy, it’ll be the beginning. It’ll be the beginning of a long-term rescue plan for our middle class – a plan that will put opportunity within reach for anyone who’s willing to fight for it.

Now, some people have asked whether our weakening economy means the next President will have to scale back his agenda. But I reject the idea that you can’t build a strong middle class at a time when our economy is weak. Because I’ve got a different economic philosophy than John McCain – I believe that building a strong middle class is the key to making our economy strong. And that’s what we’ll do when I’m President of the United States.

So yes, we’ll create millions of new jobs, and yes, we’ll put more money back into the pockets of hardworking families. But we’ll also do something more. We will reform our health care system so we can relieve families, businesses, and our economy from the crushing cost of health care by investing in new technology and preventative care. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.

And we’re going to stand up to the insurance companies. This is personal for me. My mother died when she was 53 from ovarian cancer, and you know what she was doing in her final months? She was in her hospital bed arguing with insurance companies about whether or not it was a preexisting condition. So I know the pain that’s caused by our broken health care system. And that’s why as President, I will stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

And another thing we know will work in the long term is to make sure that our education system is second to none so that every child in America has the skills they’ll need to compete for high wage jobs in the 21st century. I’ve laid out a comprehensive plan to get there that will give our kids the opportunities they deserve.

When I spoke about that plan a while back, Senator McCain’s top education advisor said that this isn’t an issue he’s been focused on.

Well, let me tell you, if you want to create jobs and grow this economy in the 21st century, you had better focus on education. Because we know that countries that out-teach us today will outcompete us tomorrow.

Finally, I will modernize our outdated financial regulations and put in place the common-sense rules of the road I’ve been calling for since March – rules that will keep our market free, fair, and honest; rules that will restore accountability and responsibility in the boardroom, and make sure Wall Street can never get away with the stunts that caused this crisis again.

But just as we demand accountability on Wall Street, we must also demand it in Washington. That’s why I’m not going to stand here and simply tell you what I’m going to spend, I’m going to tell you how we’re going to save when I am President.

I’ll do what you do in your own family budgets and make sure we’re spending money wisely. I will go through the entire federal budget, page by page, line by line, and eliminate programs that don’t work and aren’t needed. We’ll start by ending a war in Iraq that’s costing $10 billion a month while the Iraqi government sits on a $79 billion surplus. And we’ll save billions more by cutting waste, improving management, and strengthening oversight.

These are the changes and reforms we need. A new era of responsibility and accountability on Wall Street and in Washington. Common-sense regulations to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again. Investments in the technology and innovation that will restore prosperity and lead to new jobs and a new economy for the 21st century. Bottom-up growth that gives every American a fair shot at the American dream.

I won’t pretend this will be easy or come without cost. We will all need to sacrifice and we will all need to pull our weight because now more than ever, we are all in this together. What this crisis has taught us is that at the end of the day, there is no real separation between Main Street and Wall Street. There is only the road we’re traveling on as Americans – and we will rise or fall on that journey as one nation; as one people.

This country and the dream it represents are being tested in a way that we haven’t seen in nearly a century. And future generations will judge ours by how we respond to this test. Will they say that this was a time when America lost its way and its purpose? When we allowed our own petty differences and broken politics to plunge this country into a dark and painful recession?

Or will they say that this was another one of those moments when America overcame? When we battled back from adversity by recognizing that common stake that we have in each other’s success?

This is one of those moments. I realize you’re cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you’re disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what’s been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe – to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together.

Together, we cannot fail. Not now. Not when we have a crisis to solve and an economy to save. Not when there are so many Americans without jobs and without homes. Not when there are families who can’t afford to see a doctor, or send their child to college, or pay their bills at the end of the month. Not when there is a generation that is counting on us to give them the same opportunities and the same chances that we had for ourselves.

We can do this. Americans have done this before. Some of us had grandparents or parents who said maybe I can't go to college but my child can; maybe I can't have my own business but my child can. I may have to rent, but maybe my children will have a home they can call their own. I may not have a lot of money but maybe my child will run for Senate. I might live in a small village but maybe someday my son can be president of the United States of America.

Now it falls to us. Together, we cannot fail. And I need you to make it happen. If you want the next four years looking like the last eight, then I am not your candidate. But if you want real change – if you want an economy that rewards work, and that works for Main Street and Wall Street; if you want tax relief for the middle class and millions of new jobs; if you want health care you can afford and education that helps your kids compete; then I ask you to knock on some doors, make some calls, talk to your neighbors, and give me your vote on November 4th. And if you do, I promise you – we will win Pennsylvania, we will win this election, and then you and I – together – will change this country and change this world. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.


soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Barney

    We need Obama/Biden '08 to get us back to the Constitution and away from all the subpoena-dodging republicans.

    Today just found out (from Washington Post)
    "Mark Buse, a longtime McCain adviser who had been staff director of the Senate commerce committee, signed on as a Freddie Mac lobbyist, and his firm, ML Strategies, earned $460,000 in lobbying fees in late 2003 and 2004, according to lobbying disclosures. Buse is now chief of staff at McCain's Senate office. "

    October 3, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Dutch-VA

    Keep nailing that fact into people's heads Sen. Obama because it is so true.

    October 3, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Palin loves the camera, and it loves her back.
    –Ruben Navarrette, San Diego Union-Tribune and CNN Contributor

    This is from a piece penned by Mr. Navarrette 3 Oct 2008’s CNN.com. Is this what the election process has come to: A Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Shoot? Folks, people are losing jobs and the economy is in turmoil. This is the expert “media analysis” we are getting?

    Mr. Navarrette, was she wearing Yves St. Laurent on the red carpet this year? Could you believe the color scheme she picked? You should be covering the Oscars and not the debates! This is shameful mindless garbage that has no place in a serious discussion.

    I don’t think this is a liberal media or conservative media problem. This is a lazy media problem. Dealing with too many generalities, who cares about specifics? Cram a bunch of talking heads into a room and you know what you get, a bunch of hot air. Period.

    And don’t think it is just people like Mr Navarrette, it is systemic and all networks. Only MSNBC nailed the expansion of vice presidential powers Sarah Palin discussed from what I saw. That was totally skipped over by everyone on CNN and Fox, well…crickets chirping.

    October 3, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. MD in GA

    Senators Obama and Biden need to keep hammering the facts home. McCain and Palen will do nothing to correct the mistakes of the last 8 years. They have no plan that differs from what we have right now.. Keep it going guys...

    October 3, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Barbara Campbell

    Here in Asheville, NC we're excited that Senator Obama will be here on Sunday.

    Last night's debate convinced us that behind Palin's slick delivery was a pack of rehearsed talking points and lies about both presidential candidates' positions. The McCain camp hoped that viewers wouldn't see past Palin's winks and nose-scrunches to the shallowness of her words. It was also clear that the McCain/Palin campaign is now claiming Democratic ideology as its own, like oversight of the financial markets and reform of Washington.

    Something that has definitely NOT changed is Republican deception and propaganda tactics.

    October 3, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. david

    The election is over. Obama won!

    get out and VOTE!

    October 3, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Garp of West Virginia

    »But WHO was that IRRELEVANT little fellow called Joe(?!) who was at the Debate with the GORGEOUS,WONDERFUL,CLEVER SARAH PALIN?!?!?!...McCain/Palin,08=OF COURSE.

    October 3, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Garp

    »VOTE with your BRAIN!»VOTE McCain!...

    October 3, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. CNN pro mcain

    *Palin Winks Just Like G.W Bush.

    *Palin Wants More Power Just Like Dick Cheney.

    *Palin Can't Pronounce Nuclear.( she says New Killer), Just Like Bush.

    *Palin Lies Like There Is No Tomorrow.(Just Like Bush)

    *Palin Wants Tax Break For Oil Copmaines, and The Rich.
    and the list goes on and on.

    I mean you really must have liked what's been happening in the last 8 yrs to vote for a the same!!!!!

    October 3, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Jim from St Paul

    »Sarah Palin=So interesting,so amazing,so clever=Next US Vice-President,of course.

    October 3, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Turnabout is fair play

    Tell it on the mountain Barack! Let those smart voters in Pennsylvania know the truth about the lies of McCain and Failin Pailin!

    October 3, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Glenn; North Carolina

    All Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden need to do from this point until the 4th of next month is stick to the facts, keep getting out the message of change, and finish on the "High Road" and this thing will be a lock for sure!

    October 3, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Palin the Parrot Wants a Cracker! SQUAWK!

    Guess which candidate gets it?

    October 3, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Republican Mom for Obama/Biden!

    Bravo to Obama for the depth and backing behind each statement. Obama and Biden are the true mavericks! God bless you both and God Bless America!

    October 3, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Cincinnatian

    One house. One car. One wife.


    October 3, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Candy West Virginia

    How you rethuglicans continue to support mccain/palin is truly baffling but hey it's your funeral. My question to you is – can you afford mccain's healthcare or continuation of this war in Iraq or them thinking that the environmental issues are not manmade?

    October 3, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. LS

    Email I received today – I'm in


    There are less than two months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States. The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans.

    To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice. It’s time that we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

    If you support the policies and character of Obama, please drive with your headlights on during the day. If you support John McCain, please drive with your headlights off at night. Thank you for your participation in this patriotic endeavor!

    October 3, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Shari, NY

    This is serious business. Since job reduction will loom for quite a while, my humble advice to people is to be frugal and not spend unnecessarily. There is a lot of waste as people readily dispose of items which to them become outdated in a heartbeat. There's more to be said but time and space will not permit.

    October 3, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Deb

    Joe Biden answered the questions from intellect and Sarah Palin answered the question from about 6 memorized paragraphs, which included, Israel, Iraq, the economy, Afganistan and Pakistan, energy and her mud-slinging. That is what they prepared her with – it didn’t matter what Gwen Ifill asked – these 6 things were her responses. The people including journalist who are saying that she did good are people with the same mentality as Palin who couldn’t see the big picture. I thank God everyday that he blessed me with a little intelligence.

    October 3, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. chelle

    The problem with last night's debate for me was that anytime Sarah Palin didn't have a prepared answer, she just didn't bother even attempting to come up with one. She'd revert to her stump of little "jokes' (I'm sure she didn't come up with "Say it ain't so Joe on her own – wonder if she knows where the expression comes from....) and energy energy energy..... Do you honestly believe that she was joking when she said she didn't know what the VP does. She sure was desperate to clear that up and show she NOW knows!!!! Then her ludicrous non-answer for the VP Executive/Legislative question. There is no FLEXIBILITY!!! It is quite clear where the VP job is.... Her non-answer on the line for the use of nuclear weapons.....
    Clearly she was prepped well...but lets see how she does in press conferences, on Meet the Press etc...oh wait the Republicans have said she's only going on conservative shows..... Well now won't that be a challenge for her!!!

    October 3, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Texans for Obama

    More job losses. McCain can not run this nation w/o a continuation of teh failed BUSH policies. A lot of people are trying to get us all excited about Sara Palin, but McCain is still at teh top of the ticket. For all of you who say that you will vote for McCain because you like Palin, I say this...I have a 2008 Bugatti Veyron to sell you, but it has a lawn mower engine. That what you get with McCain/Palin...all "show" and no "go"..

    Obama 08' & 12'

    October 3, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Oppose Zig Zag Express

    "The falling repayments from mortgages are easy scapegoats for the credit crunch. Things are far more than that. The US misadventure in Iraq no doubt plays the major role in putting her in this economic predicament. Many countries of the world have either totally, partial or tactically turned their backs against the country. The deposit funds that usually flow into the country are no longer coming in as before. The financial institutions of the country do not have sufficient cash inflow to maintain their normal liquidity. Mortgage repayments alone have never kept the lenders sufficiently liquid. Which individual or country wants her fund to be confiscated, frozen or put in jeopardy?
    The Democrats Government is usually the saviour of the US economy. Such salvation will be elusive and the poor economic situation of the country could be worse if the Republicans retain the presidency. From the manner the rest of the world acknowledge and await the Democrats Presidential candidate, in the otherwise eventuality of a Republican President, they will no doubt continue to shy away from the US and her economy. "

    McCain even as at today is blaming the Economic Crises on Fredie & Fanny. This shows that he still doesn't get it!!

    The quote above sums up the Economic problem in a nut shell and profers immediate solutions.

    Vote Democrats come Nov.4th. Americans do not waste your votes on McCain he doesn't get it.God bless America

    October 3, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Anna / Independent

    After looking last nigth debate i will vote for OBAMA / BIDEN ticket coming november. It will be a SIN to vote for PALIN / MCCAIN ticket cause she is not at all ready for this job, and he is a flip flop and looks like they will continue the same BUSH / CHENEY economy policy and destroy our great nation financially.

    October 3, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Diana Ewing NJ

    Did anyone notice that for a campaign who says the media is not fair.... and all this sexisum accusations... McCain's VP did nothing but wink and flirt while making up her own questions and then answering them.. during the debate

    October 3, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Jude

    Did anybody feel like "Are you kidding me, Palin for VP?" The lady talks hockey mon and soccer mom, lipstick, hockeystick....I mean we need someone with knowledege and unstanding...someone with some inteliigence to be our VP. Biden displayed that...Palin displayed that she is average...but this is for the VP of the USA for God's sake. We don't need a hockey mom we need someone who is compentent who will represent the USA to other foregin leaders and nations.

    October 3, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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