tv Washington This Week CSPAN November 20, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST
that have to be put on the table if a deal is going to be reached because, make no mistake, there are politics in the south of europe and the north, the dutch right-wing that wants to go back to the guilder is a signal of things to come. i think the basic answer has to lie in been willing to put more on the table in return for more support. the very hard to challenge is, as you understand better than i, italy is not a single unified actor. to say that italy should put
something on the table eggs the question of who can speak for italy over the next five to seven years. >> any final word? thank you, min, glenn and >> will co back. this is paul ryan. he is the happiest guy in the room because the packers won. he is not running for president, contrary to -- >> that makes me happy. >> you can urge him on later if
you'd like. the most important thing he does in this town is run the budget committee in the house. he is the guy that put out an actual plan to reduce the deficit and set the tone for the debate. we were talking earlier, we might want to revisit lessons learned, what you can tell us about where this town is moving. let me dispose of the deficit >> our team put together a program, $1.50 trillion in savings, a very serious effort. it was designed with the effort of not -- with the idea of not
offending democrats. the basic spending package would put together put revenue on the table, but through base broadening and getting lower rates. that was pretty much rejected out of hand. like jim clark board said on sunday, the democrats have yet to coalesce around a plan. it is challenging to negotiate with the other side when they themselves are still negotiating with themselves. so we don't have much time left. these are statutory deadlines that cannot move. if the full $1.50 trillion agreement is out of reach, then hopefully we will get a plan b, which is something shy of that, to mitigate the sequestered. no matter what happens, we will put out another plan. we will budget in march, meaning the house of representatives. we will budget and showed the country specifically and exactly
how we will take on this fiscal problem. not just postponed it, we will solve it. we will put our fiscal roadmap to replace the sequestered, but also keep the debt from getting up to these levels and reform these entitlements and programs in the tax code. we will approach -- propose again like we did in april a plan to do that. >> as you just noted, you did that in april. you put out a plan that was detailed and controversial. you still have the scars to show for that, i assume. i am just curious, in the months since then, seven months since that point, what have you learned about the viability of a serious plan about what the political traffic will bear, and whether you have brought anybody along the way. >> i started with this when i became the head of the budget committee in 2007. i set forth to write a plan to trim the desk -- the debt
crisis. took about a year of running numbers with cbo and others to put together the road map for america's future. i had seven co-sponsors. congress and reintroduced it and had 13 co-sponsors. we got every republican but for to vote for it in the house. all republicans but five voted for it in the senate. largely because of the infusion of energy from our new freshmen , less career people, we dramatically moved the center of gravity on this issue, especially within our own caucus. what i get out of this, from spending time with erskine and allen on that commission, spending time with alice rivlin, to fix this problem in the making, it is erskine bowles and alice rivlin tight democrats
who we agree with on the elementsf tax reform, on the elements of and taught and tax reform, on the basic principles. the problem is, those are not the kind of democrats running the white house or in charge of the house and senate. what that means is we might have to wait for an election, but if the election goes the way we wanted to go, i see an opportunity to work with moderate democrats to form a center-right coalition where can once and for all fix this problem. we beat a lot of the blue dog democrats, but there are some jim cooper types still there. so i see some of these democrats there. >> be more specific. en ronald reagan came into office and he had to pass a budget that was also controversial, he could not do it with republican votes. he found roughly 60 -- is there a 60-vote caucus?
>> no, but we don'need that. we still pretty good about the senate. you can never take these things for granted, but what i am saying is, i think there are intellectuals in the democratic party who are the centrist talks. they more agree with us on the nature of these things and then the progressives, but the progressive run the party, and if they are in the majority, they call the shots. if we can get the majority, then what we need to do is work with those centrist democrats to put together a coalition to fix this. >> just to play devil's advocate he, if you want to draw those kinds of people into this exercise, don't you have to make some movin their direction on revenues? >> is it really feasible to ink in the political system haveoday that this is a problem that can be solved with no revenues? >> you saw pat solis, a great
conservative senator from pennsylvania, show how we would do that with his offer in the super committee, which has -- which is broaden the base, lower rates for groat's, and on a static basis, you can still get more revenues. the neat thing about our tax code is the tax base is quite narrow. by broadening the tax base and hittingew rates that our program, you can actually deal with revenues that way. but let's not take our eye off the ball, which is spending is the problem. revenues still climb as a rcentage of gdp, but nowhere near that. have to deal with the spending problem. what i have learned in my 13 years in congress is if you first go to the revenue fix, what it does is this place the need to deal with spending. let's get spending under control. let's get fundamental tax reform
that is pro-growth. our budget calls for a top tax rate of 25% for businesses. it is internationally competitive and is pro-growth and we can get through pro- growth tax policies of broader, more reliable income stream to meet this government which we are getting back down to 20%. we think that is the way to go. >> is that the size of government that america is going to be ready for? >> it is what we have had for the last 20 years. >> summer happy with that and some are not. is there a consensus? >> the average is 23%. >> are you would take the government back to that point. >> i don't look at some magic number. what matters most is economic freedom. do we have an entrepreneurial economy and our entitlements under control?
open ended, defined benefit programs are totally unsustainable because these are pay-as-you-go programs and we are doubling the amount of retirees in the country. it is a consumer, patient centered system and we have to go to a defined contribution system where we finance the benefits for people who needed the most, e sick and the poor, and finance the benefit much less for the people who need it the least. that is a way to fix this problem, which i believe there are some centrist democrats who believe -- who agree with us on that, and to me that is the secret to fixing this problem. progressives want a government run health care system. they will not agree with us so far on lowering tax rates. they want higher tax rates. they want the top tax rate to go to 50%. in wisconsin, where i come
from, nine out of 10 of our businesses file as individuals. we are going to crank up their tax rate to 50%. overseas, which in wisconsin means lake superior. [laughter] the canaens are lowering their tax rate to 15% on all their businesses. we have to be competitive. >> let's go to the core of that spending issue you just mentioned,he entitlement program, and specifically to what you did earlier this year. you put on the table a premium support alternative to the current medicare program. you either moved the debate or you have created the campaign ad for every democrat in the country next year. >> that have not shown me pushing an older woman off the cliff in a wheelchair. this is the plan that bill clinton's bipartisan commission
recommended in the late 1990's. this is similar to the plan that alice rivlin -- we offered this plan. i believe there is a center- right coalition in the making. premium support is basically the same thi federal employees and members of congress have. you get a list of guaranteed coverage options, which works like medicare advantage, plans that are pre selected by medicare competing against each other for ourusiness as patients, and then medicare subsidizes are premium based on who we are. doing it that way, according to the actuaries, makes the program solvent and wipes out trillions of unfunded liability and keeps our debt load it is debt levels from getting out of control. it also helps us get at held inflation. that is a longer conversation, but i really think it is t
right way to go with reform. the alternative is command and control, price control from this on license board of 15 reaucrats that or appointed next year. what the medice actuary is telling us is that by the end of the decade, medicare will be merged ad rates lower than medicaid. they will start at 60 cents on the dollar and go down to 30 cents on the dollar. it will be unsustainable and the system is going to collapse. we think ts makes medicare viable. it applies to 55 and below. we think it is the smartest way to go, and it is an idea that used to have bipartisan support, but now you have more aggressive leadership among the democratic party that is trying to u it as a political issue. >> the president did put on the table last summer in the conversations with speaker boehner the idea of raising the eligibility age for medicare.
that is not what you would do, but is that a sign that the back has been broken on this, that this conversation is no longer a debate but an actual search for a solution? >> the debate has been moving for a long period we could age reduction in our request as well. that does not fix the problem in and of itself. >> the president has done one thing that has been constructive. he has acknowledged that medicare cannot just be fixed with tax increases, but it is going bankrupt. now that we have that acknowledgment, are of the taking the plan -- do you want 15 bureaucrats rationing this program and telling your provide what they can and cannot give you, or do you want to be in control? do we want to support people who needed the most?
i like our odds, and the nevada congressional race that was fought over this issue went very well for us. we cannot duck this issue. i have done over 500 town hall meetings in wisconsin talking abt the specific ideas. we beat john kerry, but that is about it. [laughter] not from a big red area, if people see the facts, i think the respond very positively. >> one big picture question and then we will open it up to questis from the audience. when you step back frothe picture we have been talking about, i am wondering what you think has really changed in washington. i am thinking about the possibility that maybe you start out with spending but something has happened here, that we are having this conversation about
where and when you cut spending, not whether you cut spending. i am not sure that would have been a conversation in this town 10 years ago. has something happened here that is better than the ugly picture that presents itself to the country? >> the problem is from our perspective, we don't have partners on the other side of the aisle who have brought plans to show how they would do things differently. we put out a specific plan that keeps the debt from getting above the 60's of gdp and goes down from there. we never came close to the 90% debt levels. the president gave us a budget that was just a rubber stp of the baseline. has been over 900 days since the senate passed the budget. in the budget control act, they deem themselves appropriation
number so they don't have to do budget next year. they decided for three years now, don't even offer a budget. so our government has not had a dget since the 2009 obama budget. side.'t have that other the kind of tax increases you woulneed to close the gap are huge if you go down the be-50 route they were talking about going, 50 percent tax increase and 50% and spending. what i am trying to say is there are moderate democrats who do talk about these things, they are just not in charge. that is the point i am tryinto make. i think the fact that they aren't having political problems to not offering a budget speaks to the fact that we are beginning to see rewards.
>> a final thought, the art of politics is compromised, and one of the questions democrats raised is whether or not you could deliver a compromise of any variety, given the makeup of ur caucus and the tea party. what is your answer when they raise that? >> it is tough to talk about compromise when they offer nothing in retn. it is difficult to see where you are going to compromise when you have nothing in the alternative. we realize the president took a path on his budget. i were thinking at the time was we will put our budget out there and they will follow up and start negotiating. ey never ended up doing that. alan simpson i went to the speech with the president where he double down on demagoguery and class warfare and a that, and decided to fight us politically, rather than join us withn alternative budget to actually negotiate and compromise.
what we get out of that is, they are very tethered to ideology and if we are going to get a compromise, we will have to win an election and then include moderate democts to get one. >> let's open it up to questions or comments. could we get a microphone up there really quickly? >> most corporate reconstructions, ceo's have a burning platform. there is an extra or internal event that causes change. tting here this morning and listening to the sessions and the ones before, you wonder why external events needs to take place, as we witness the events in europe where there is significant meltdown, i think many of us thought they would model through, but now we doubt
they will even be able to muddle through. what external event would shake people on both sides of the aisle into action? you are kicking the can down the road -- not you, but the government's kicking the can down the road continuously. obama said they were moving the ball but not kicking the ball down the road. what event has to take place? >> with the current government have, it would probably be a real credit crisis. the point we are trying to make with our budget is, let's do this on our own terms. let's do fiscal consolidation and reform on our terms where we have -- that means it is probably an election that is going to have to occur to do it the way i just described it. our hope is that the credit markets see that and give us time to have the election to do
this. europe is the big wild card. if we have a real problem and that precipitates a contagion that starts washing up on our shores, that is the fear we have. our hope is, we go to the country in november 2012 and say here is what we will do if you give us the ability to do it. here is specifically a plan to preempt the debt crisis, to get the economy growing, to make america competitive, and to do it on our own terms, so if we do win that election, i call it the opportunity society, the safety net versus the welfare state unmanaged decline. then we have an affming election that gives us the ability to implement it and fix it. that is our hope, given that we don't seem to have partners on the other side of t aisle who are sincere in working with us to get the kind of savings we need.
it cannot fix this without doing health care. healthcare is the driver of our debt. you have to remember, they put in their health care law. they are not willing to open up that law. if they are not willing to open up that law, we are going to have to wait until an election to fix this. our hope is that it is an election on our timetable to fix it, and our fear is that the bond market vigilantes' get us in the meantime, and then it gets ugly. >> this is a version of the same question that martin asked, sucks.is that kind of sock even if the change in the white house a year from now and you get six months or so for everyone to get their feedback on the ground -- even if all
that happens, that is 18 months from now, and that is bullshit, i think. 18 months from now, maybe we get something done? >> i agree with you, but we control one-third of government. we don't control the other two- thirds of government. we put out a plan with revenues on the table to get a down payment. our hope is to g a single or a double. it a first down on the football field. our hope is to get a down payment because what i personally think is if we could show the credit markets that the american government is completely dysfunctional, if we can get a $1.50 trillion down payment on the problem, that helps by us the time we need to really fix the problem, but we are not even seeing that. one-third of government is what would control. we don't control the other two-
thirds. just leave me to be realistic about it, which is, we are going to have to have the ability to actually pass legislation and get a president to sign legislatn. if we are going to go to the country and say here is what we are going to do to fix the fiscal problem once and for all. i just don't think like in europe, a small austerity moves that move the retirement age in 2026 and tm the edges, that will not work. you need a real bazooka. you need to really fix these programs which are the drivers of our debt. health care and entitlements, and we are posing very specific solutions to do that, which will wipe out the debt problem and get us on the path to growth. >> [unintelligible] >> from my own experience where i come from in wisconsin, people know there is a big problem and they are ready to be talked to like adults, not pandered to
like children. when we see elections go against that grain, i am a living testament to the fact that you can win in a began an evenly divided district. my purpose in putting these ideas out there three congresses ago or to demonstrate that the things are no longer third rails. if you can explain to people why we need to do this now and do it on our own terms versus an ugly credit market debt crisis process, the country will be there with us. we have to communicate this, and we can and we should. i think that is what we are going to do. >> questions, comments? >> you talk about communication. >> hang on a second for the microphone. >> he talked about communication. my question is, in the midst of an election year, a lot of
different voices are saking on behalf of -- how does the message across to be able to achieve what you are trying to do? >> our thinking on that was, we control the house and that is it, so our actions are the best message we have. we have to act and actually pass legislation defining who will learn what we believe in. our budget is called the path to prosperity, a specific document that shows us all the budget reforms. we feel like our actions will help define us, and that is what we are going to be doing again. we are meeting with all the various people running for president, and each one of these people are pretty much by and large on board with the direction we are going. we are as unified as we have ever been. the budget bill is usually the toughest bill to pass. danny hastert said the hardest
will he ever had to pass was the deficit reduction act. the hardest thing he did in eight years. just cut $6.20 trillion over 10 years, and it was one of the easiest things we have passed this year. we have 89 of these freshmen who came for a cause and not a career, and that has really helped us a lot. we are poised to do this and we are just going to go to the country and let them make the decision, the way we see it. >> congressman, thank you for taking the time. >> the deficit reduction committee is facing a monday deadline. talks remain stalled after some morning conference calls failed to produce a breakthrough. negotiators are trying to get the plan reviewed and approved
by the official deadline on wednesday but democrats have rejected a proposal by john boehner for about $700 billion in cuts. if the committee fails to reach a deal, a series of automatic cuts would go into effect starting in 2013 including heavy reductions in defense spending for you can follow continuing coverage of the debt talks here on the cspan networks. >> the c-span.org is now easier to use. it makes it easier for you to watch today's event live and recorded. there is a section to access our most popular series and programs. we have added a and the channel finder is you can quickly find where to watch our 3 cspan network on cable or satellite systems across the country at the all new c-span.org. >> remarks from rahm emanuel, a
chicago mayor and former white house chief of staff for president obama. he was the keynote speaker at the iowa democratic jefferson jackson dinner in des moines, iowa. he talks about the 2012 election. this is about 30 minutes. so, here we come to it. when barack obama took office three years ago, he needed a chief of staff who would be loyal, aggressive, and get the job done in the face of a global economic crisis and eight years of completely failed domestic policy. that is exactly what he got in rahm emanuel. serving in both the clinton and obama white houses, representing illinois's fifth congressional district and in his current position as mayor of the great city of chicago, rum has always been focused on results. -- rahm emanuel has always been focused on results. as chief of staff, he became one
of president obama's closes at pfizer's, a catalyst for the most productive first -- closest advisers, a catalyst for the most productive first 100 days in presidential history. he ensure that policies were put into place to turn the economy around, and after decades of complacency, america has true health care reform. [applause] he is here tonight because he has been a witness to president obama's vision for our nation, and he knows the importance of granting him another four years in the white house. please join me in welcoming chicago's mayor, rahm emanuel. [applause] ♪
>> thank you, sue. we need here tonight -- while we meet here tonight, the republicans are having a debate across town. i do not know about you, but i have watched a couple of those debates. i have got to be honest. i never thought i would say this. i'm beginning to miss the wisdom of sarah palin. [laughter] their debate was called the thanksgiving family forum, which is fitting, because i have never seen a greater collection of turkeys. [laughter]
look at their candidates. take mitt romney. he is said to be in iowa -- he said he would be in iowa tonight. we should have known he would change his mind. newt was at the debate. he had to leave early. he had to run back to his most important people, the salespeople at tiffany's. herman cain and rick perry were a little late. they had to take a class to learn where libya was. governor mitch daniels, governor haley barbour, governor jeb bush are impressive candidates. the only problem is they're not in the field. think of our field. vice-president joe biden. secretary of state hillary clinton. former senator chris dodd.
president obama. now you think of their field. michele bachmann. rick perry. rick santorum. who is not feeling sorry for republican primary voters right now? four years ago, at this dinner, and many of you were in attendance, a young senator from my home state of illinois, who was 23 points down in the polls, spoke to you in words you will never forget. with the promises he made in a speech, he began a journey that would change history, and he did it with your help. now, all of us may be a little older and a little grayer, or as my youngest daughter likes to say, they call it salt and pepper, but for your dad, it is
all salt. we can remember what he said, but we can also remember that what he said was worth fighting for. he stood on this platform and promised to end a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged. republicans -- [applause] republicans did not want to let it happen, and be honest. democrats did not believe it could. yet tonight, the last of america's finest are on their way home. the war is over. [applause] that is the change we believed in. that is the change we worked for and that is the change our president delivered. four years ago, at this very dinner, then senator obama promised he would take the fight to al qaeda, to those who perpetuated the 9-11 events.
those who were responsible for 9-11. he said he would bring justice to allocate a leaders. tonight, osama bin ladin is history. al qaeda has been decimated thanks to the bold and determined leadership of our president. justice has been done and america is safer for it. typical of the person i know, president obama did not brag. you think our troops. you think our intelligence services -- he thanked our troops. he thanked our intelligence services for their incredible work. he moved onto the next person threatening america and brought him to justice. he did not hang a banner. he did not pretend that the mission was accomplished. he got the job done. that is the change we believed in. that is the change we worked
for, and that is the change the president delivered. four years ago, senator obama at this podium stood before you and said he wanted to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. he promised then, i will make certain that every single american in this country has health care they can count on, and i will not do it 20 years from now. i will not do it 10 years from now. i will do it at the end of my first term as president. now folks, you know this. politicians have been talking about this for 60 years. president obama delivered. [applause] because of president obama's leadership, an insurance company
cannot turn you down because you have a pre-existing condition. [applause] because of president obama, they cannot discriminate against you because you are a woman or have grown older. because of president obama, your children can stay on a parent's policy until they enter the workforce. because of your support, iowa, and his courage, no american will ever again receive this letter, "sorry, you have reached the limit. we will not pay for your cancer treatment anymore. [applause] republicans opposed every one of those reforms, but now we have those life-saving protections, that peace of mind, because of president obama's leadership.
that is the change we believed in, that is the change we worked for, and that is the change the president delivered. [applause] then senator obama stood at this podium four years ago, at this dinner, and he promised to make sure that every american child has the best education we have to offer, from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. as president, he doubled college scholarships. he expanded pell grants. he brought down the cost of college loans. he invested in schools with innovation with race to the top. he expanded access to community colleges, our most undervalued educational tool. you gave him that chance, iowa. republicans fought him every step of the way, but because of his leadership, millions of young americans have been given
a better chance. that is the change we believed in. that is the change we worked for. that is the change president obama delivered. [applause] you heard him say it right here in iowa four years ago. he made the pledge not just to you but to the american people, and now you have seen him deliver on the promises he made. that is how we measure character, doing what you say you will do. now, i had the privilege of seeing that character close of. working by his side during two of the most harrowing years any president has faced in our lifetime. and no, despite what you are thinking right now, they were not heroine because i was by his side. -- harrowing because i was by his side.
they say you can learn most about someone's character in a crisis. then i think we all know our president pretty well. during our greatest economic crisis in decades, the strength of our presidents character was on display every day. the president inherited an economy that was spiraling toward a depression, a financial system that had frozen up, and an auto industry that was near collapse. the problems president obama faced were not caused by accident. they were caused by policies, republican policies. the first time i worked in the white house with president clinton, we had a democratic president, a democratic house and a democratic senate. we passed an economic plan without a single republican vote, and that plan put america back to work and back to economic growth. it created millions of private sector jobs. it lifted 7 million americans out of poverty.
it ended welfare as we know it and put 100,000 cops on american streets. we balanced the budget. we put america on the path to the zero debt by 2009. that so far away date. we left president bush and the republicans a record surplus and a left president obama and the democrats' record national debt. you know how that happened. the republicans happened. they held the white house, the house and senate for six long years. they did something no one had ever tried into the years of american history. they tried to fund two wars with three tax cuts. that is how you go from 029 trillion dollars in debt. it is that simple. -- from 0-$9 trillion in debt. it is that simple. they took everything they
inherited, the jobs, the surplus, the stature of america and around the world, and they squandered it. it is a bit ironic, isn't it? you figure the one thing republicans are good at is inheriting things. [laughter] i kind of liked that one. [laughter] that is what the republicans handed president obama and america on day one, january 28th, 2009, the worst economic mess since president roosevelt took over for president hoover. but president obama did not blame or complain. he knew the burdens on everyday americans were far worse than the ones he was facing. so he rolled up its sleeves and went to work on behalf of the hard-working families in this country. every day of work by his side, i saw him to be a leader who did not ask what is the easy thing to do, what was the politically
convenient thing to do, but what was the right thing to do. what was the essential thing to do for america and america's future? the president did not -- 9 the president did not make choices based on politics. he made them because of his principles. he did not make choices for the next election, he made them for the next generation. trust me. i know this firsthand. he did not make decisions based on if they were quick or politically convenient, because i wanted him to go with decisions that were quick and politically convenient and i did not win any of those fights. president obama never tailored what he believed to the moment. compare that for a second to mitt romney, who was once pro- choice, now is not. he was once pro gay rights, and now he is night -- is not. he was once in favor of gun
control. now he is not. he supported immigration reform. now he does not. he supported national health care reform with a mandate. now he does not. mitt romney says he is a man of steadiness and consistency. if that is true, i am a linebacker for the chicago bears. [laughter] [applause] now, i want you to take a step back. while people have talked about all of the flip-flops, i actually think there is a different part to mitt romney that people do not fully appreciate. it is what he has been steadfast about, what he has refused to give an inch on, what he has refused to bend on, what he will never flip on and never abandoned his position on, and that is his position on the middle class versus the most fortunate. what he has failed to do for the middle class and what he is willing to do for the most privileged and fortunate in our society.
he faced the same set of choices president obama did when the country faced an auto industry in crisis. when the markets collapsed in 2008 and the government had to step in, mitt romney did not hesitate for a moment. he welcomed putting taxpayers on the hook to save the financial system. but when the auto industry and the millions of jobs that are dependent on it, the backbone of america's manufacturing economy was on the brink, he said while the families, all the communities, all the small businesses and all the workers, you should go bankrupt. nothing reveals more about the character and values of these two individuals and how they dealt with these two crises. president obama did not think either one should be abandoned, the financial system or the auto industry. both were is essential to america's economic leadership
and to economic growth in the future. those were the decisions he faced in the oval office. the choices he faced were not easy. for the financial system, it was a choice between more taxpayer money to support the banks or to nationalize them. for the auto companies, between helping them out or letting them go bankrupt. there were those he said he was throwing good money after bad. there were those who said that chrysler go to save gm. and then there were those led by mitt romney who advocated bankruptcy. we know where mitt romney stood. the title of the op ed under his signature, "let detroit go bankrupt." but the financial engineers who helped create the mess were essential to our future. the engineers, the technicians, the workers on the shop floor of
the auto industry were dispensable. they were dispensable. three years later, now we know who was right and who was wrong. [applause] and even after the auto industry has not only survived but is thriving, is adding jobs, is paying back of the taxpayer money, mitt romney has stuck to his guns and defended his decision to let them go bankrupt. now look, i am the mayor of chicago. ford has a plant on the south side. ford just added 1200 jobs. in ohio, chrysler just added another 1100 jobs. if we had followed mitt romney's advise, those jobs would not be there and our communities would not be thriving. you could say that is a one-off mistake. mitt romney did not stop there. he continued to show his true colors.
he values the privileged and the affluent over the middle class. just this summer, the -- mitt romney said the president was out of touch for his focus on manufacturing jobs. he has valued outsourcing over those manufacturing jobs. here in iowa, right here, he said the corporations are people with all the same rights. in nevada, one of the states with the worst housing in foreclosure crisis, he said the mortgage crisis should run its course and hit bottom. he had a plan for speculator is to step in, but not for people living in those homes who are trying to achieve the american dream. so people think he is a flip- flop. well, the only thing scarier than what he has flip flop on are the issues he has refused to bend on, where he has refused to change. he has been rock-solid in siding with the privileged over the middle class.
whether it is homeowners vs speculators, the autoworker versus the financial engineer or employees versus corporations, he has been consistent in whose side he is on. if you're in the hard-working middle class, you're left with the scrap heap. in the next four years there will be more challenges and more crises. those crises that will determine the economic vitality of the middle class and the economic future of this country. whose character, whose judgment, do you want in that office? over the next four years, there will be a series of choices. it won't be clear what the outcome will be. we will need leadership; we will need values as guideposts.
the past tells you everything you need to know about mitt romney and president obama. how they will make decisions in the future and who they will make them for. middle-class americans cannot afford mitt romney's leadership and values. the middle class of this country are fighting every day to hang on. they're fighting a daily struggle to give their children a better life. they cannot have a leader who turns a blind eye to their struggles. so, who do you want in the oval office? a man who said that the auto industry and auto workers are dispensable? a man who says the corporations are more valuable than their employees? a man who says the to speculators -- who says the speculators are more important than people living in their
homes. can we afford mitt romney's values? can we afford mitt romney's leadership? can we afford mitt romney's judgment? can we afford mitt romney's character? that is not the america our parents fought for and that is not the values that we are teaching our children. to create true middle class security, we can't just cut our way to prosperity. we must out-innovate, out- educate and out-build the world. america cannot afford an economy built on outsourcing and risky financial deals. we need an economy that is built to last. that creates jobs for the future, that makes the things the rest of the world wants to buy. we need a president who sees america's potential in every american, an america where every
american plays a role in winning the 21st century. president obama believes in an america where hard work pays off, where responsibility is rewarded. he believes in an america where everyone, from main street to wall street, does their fair share. he believes in an america where we don't have two rule books, one for those at the top, and another set for everyone else. president obama believes in the idea that our country prospers when we're all in it together. [applause] that is the american dream. it is the dream that president obama has lived by. the president was raised by a single mother who worked hard and got up before dawn to drill him on reading, math and history. he earned scholarships to the
best schools and rose through his hard work and intellect. after he was the president of harvard law, he could have made millions. but his values, his values brought into the south side of chicago to help working people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. here is the deal. you know and i know our president is a man of character. he is a man of principle. he is a man who has been fighting for the middle class and he will continue to fight for middle-class families. i know the president's values. i have seen his persistence. you need not ask whether president obama will continue to fight. the only question is, will we fight for his belief in america? [applause] i want to hear it. will you fight for the president who is fighting to save the middle class? >> yes!
>> will you fight for the president who is fighting for middle-class values? for education and a clean environment for all of our children? will you fight for a president who is fighting for equality for all of god's children, men, women, asian, hispanic, gay, straight? work.let's go to let's get in this fight. let's support our president, support the middle class. let's fight for the country we live for, the country our parents and grandparents fought for, because america and the middle class are worth fighting for. bair bless you and thank you. -- thank you and god bless you.
>> coming up, "washington journal." after that"newsmakers." tom coburn will talk about the deficit committee's efforts. today, the presidential campaign of hubert humphrey. this morning on "washington journal," the discussion on u.s.-afghanistan relations and after that they look at the latest development in the 2012 presidential campaign. presidential campaign.