tv Campaign 2018 Former President Obama in Wisconsin CSPAN October 27, 2018 4:51am-5:42am EDT
the senate, tammy baldwin. it is good to be back. reasons to comewe to milwaukee. you have got worse. great season. you have got the bucks. yannis is ballin'. you've got badgers. you've got beer. [laughs] so there are a lot of good reasons why i would want to come to milwaukee. also, a couple of my nephews
also live your they are little guys, they're getting bigger all the time, which is why i try to beat them at basketball before they can beat me. [laughs] mr. obama: but that is not why i am here. i am here for one simple reason. i am here to ask you to vote. what might be the most important election of our lifetime. now, politicians will always --l you "this one is really" except this one really is that important. stakes really are that high. the consequences of anybody is important, because america is that a crossroads. making sure working families get
a fair shake is on the ballot. supervisor not is on the ballot. but maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot. [cheers & applause] mr. obama: now, the good news is that in the past when we had been these crossroads at the country, americans have made the right choice. but we don't always do it right away. sometimes it takes too long to make the right choice. and when we do make the right choice, it is usually not because people sit back and let history happened to us, it is because folks like you, folks like me marched and mobilized and voted for a better history, voted for a better future. that's how we abolished slavery.
that's how we overcame the great depression. that's how we liberated a continent. that's how workers' rights came about and women's rights came about and civil rights and immigrants' rights and lgbt rights. that is how the story of america became the story of progress, because we got out there and did the work. [applause] mr. obama: because, you know what, the truth is, making this country better has never been easy. it has always been a fight. for every two steps of progressive change forward, a lot of times we take one step back in conservative retrenchment. that's what happens, that's the pattern every time we pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals that all of us are
created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. whenever we start moving in that direction, the status quote pushes back. you win the right to form a union, then people try to bust your union. you fight and win a higher minimum wage, and then congress just doesn't raise it for a decade. you win the right to vote, people try to make it hard for you to vote. the powerful and the privileged fight hard to keep what they got. and they will try to make you angry and cynical and distracted, and they will try to exploit our history of racial division or ethnic division or religious division.
they will try to get us against one another. they will tell you, everything will be ok if it wasn't for those folks who don't look like you. they will say, whatever it takes to keep their stuff, to maintain their privileges, even if it's not fair, especially if it's not fair. they like it that way, even when it hurts the country, even when it puts people at risk. it's a cynical kind of politics, but, frankly, sometimes it works. the good news, wisconsin, is right now you can reject that kind of politics. [cheers & applause] mr. obama: you can choose a bigger, more hopeful, more generous vision of america. but to do it, you've got to vote. right here in wisconsin, you can early vote right now. just go to vote.org, find out where you can cast your vote
today, and then go cast it for tammy and tony and randy and dan, and the entire democratic ticket. [applause] mr. obama: and don't let anybody tell you it doesn't matter. i get frustrated when i hear that. think back to where we were a decade ago. we had been going through one of those conservative periods, and republicans had been cutting taxes for the rich, they had been cutting rules for big banks, and we got hit with the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes. and democrats had to come in and clean it up. [applause] [crowd cheering] mr. obama: i mean, i don't know how it is that we've got such a short memory.
they memory. it blew up and then we had to go clean it up. we got the economy growing again. it has been growing ever since, by the way. so when folks talk right now about, the economy is doing so well, where do you think that started? [applause] mr. obama: come on. tell the truth. tell the truth. [applause] mr. obama: we didn't just get the economy going again, we covered 20 million people with health insurance.
we doubled the amount of clean energy we created and created jobs in the process. we put new rules on banks and credit card companies. we cut our deficit in half, and part of the way we did it was making sure the wealthiest americans pay their fair share in taxes. so by the time i left office, wages were rising, the uninsured rate was falling, the deficit was down, the economy created more jobs, by the way, during my last 20 months in office then we had in the 20 months since i left office. [applause] mr. obama: go look it up, go look it up. that's what happened when we had a progressive agenda. we didn't get everything done that we wanted to do. we couldn't reverse all the trends that had been happening for 40 years in just eight years. we couldn't get all the
manufacturing jobs that had left to come back right away. we couldn't immediately eliminate all the inequalities that have been building up over decades, and we sure couldn't do it once the republicans took over congress, because they blocked everything we tried to do. so they've now had two years of control of washington. what have they done with that power? it's not true they haven't done anything. let me tell you what they have done. they cut taxes for the rich and corporations to the tune of $1.5 trillion, just like they did the last time. they stripped rules to protect our air and water, just like they did last time. they ran up the deficit, just like they did last time.
and do you know what? they know that none of this stuff is actually popular, so their response, instead of changing their policies, is to try to actively purge voter rolls to keep people from voting. and they try to scare everybody else with whatever divisive social issues they can come up with, just like they did the last time. so let's just take a look for a second at what they've been up to. they promised to take on corruption. remember that? they had gone to washington and just plundered away. in washington, they have racked up enough indictments to field a
football team. [applause] mr. obama: nobody in my administration got indicted. [applause] mr. obama: so how is it that they've cleaned things up? in wisconsin, some of your governor's own cabinet secretary's said that after all the schemes and coverups, they are endorsing tony evers for governor because they saw what happened, and they didn't like it. if somebody who had worked for me said right before an election, he's terrible, i'm supporting the other guy. [laughter] mr. obama: i would feel bad about myself, but they don't
because there is no shame. they promised to drain the swamp. that was not on the up and up. let's see, what else did they say? they said they would fight for the little guy. instead, they have catered to the most wealthy, the most powerful. $1.5 trillion in tax cuts aimed at billionaires and corporations. did not even pretend to pay for them. deficit shot up. when it came to helping the most fortunate, the people with the most, they did not care at all about deficits. but when it came to helping everybody else, suddenly deficits are terrible. when we were trying to provide health insurance to folks who really needed health insurance, you can't do that, deficits. wanting to expand early childhood education, no, no, no, deficits, it's a nexus to
crisis,istential deficits. you want to give a tax cut to me, i don't need it and i wasn't asking for it, that, we can do. that is fine. and just last week, now that they got the tax cuts out, now the wealthiest are wealthier, now that the country is more unequal, and fewer people are being helped by the kinds of programs that would give kids a chance, give working families a leg up, now suddenly mitch mitch mcconnell -- [crowd booing] mr. obama: don't boo, vote. he said just last week, i'm concerned about these deficits, we are going to have to cut programs like medicare and medicaid and social security. look it up.
everything i say, you can look up. he said it. [applause] mr. obama: so just think about that for a second. cutting medicare and social security, making it tough for working people to retire, for your grandma or grandpa to make sure they have enough to eat and a roof over their heads, you are going to cut that so that some billionaire's tax bill is lower. that doesn't sound like fighting for the little guy to me. sounds like a scam to me. let's talk about health care.
eight years ago, democrats passed the affordable care act. [applause] mr. obama: right here in wisconsin, 200,000 people suddenly got coverage. 200,000 people got health care. the law made it illegal for the first time for insurance to discriminate against you if you got a pre-existing condition. and by the way, i'm looking out at the crowd, some of you are young, maybe you don't think you have a pre-existing condition, i promise you, by the time you get to 57, you've got something. it might be you battled cancer, it might be you got an asthma scare, but according to an insurance company, just being a woman is a pre-existing condition. and they were charging a woman
more for insurance just for being a woman, which is a lot of gall. because if there weren't women, those insurers wouldn't be there. [applause] mr. obama: i mean, you can't charge women more for insurance because they get pregnant, because otherwise we wouldn't be here. so that doesn't make much sense. that's not a logical approach. so we put an end to that. democrats made that happen. not a single republican, not one, joined us. not one. repeat that. not one. since that time, they have spent the last eight years upset, trying to undermine, sabotage, repeal that law that makes sure you are not discriminated
against because of pre-existing conditions. they took over 60 votes in congress to get rid of it. and if republicans keep control of congress, you better believe they are coming after it again. and wisconsin, you can't afford to let tammy's opponent become the deciding vote that guts your protection against the insurance companies. but that's not the worst of it. that's not the worst of it. now that it is election season, these same republicans are running millions of dollars worth of ads around the country saying, we are going to protect pre-existing conditions. your governor has been running one of those ads, while his administration is literally suing the government to take
away pre-existing condition protections. [applause] mr. obama: so, do you know who you can trust when it comes to protecting your health care, and making sure you are not discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions? you can count on tammy baldwin to do it. she was diagnosed with a pre-existing condition when she was a kid. she knows what it is like her for parents and grandparents to cover a sick kid. she is not going to let republicans gut those protections, gut your medicaid to pay for those tax cuts. these democrats are going to protect your care. if you elect tony evers as your next governor, he's going to do something your current governor refuses to do. he's going to expand medicaid to
cover 176,000 more wisconsinites. [applause] mr. obama: that's going to make a difference, but you have to vote for him and vote for a democratic legislature to help him do it. don't think this election does not make a difference, your vote doesn't make a difference. but i want to go back to the as -- those ads those republicans are running, because i want you to think about this for a second. your governor has been running an ad during election time saying he's going to protect pre-existing conditions when he is literally doing the opposite. that is some kind of gall. that is some kind of chutzpah. but let's also call it what it is. it is a lie. and that brings us to a bigger question about this election.
who are we? what kind of politics do we want to see? what kind of accountability do we expect from our elected officials? it is one thing to have a legitimate policy difference, but if you take one position, then you should be held accountable for the position that you take. you cannot suddenly pretend that you did not take that position because it is politically expedient. you cannot just lie about it. [cheers] mr. obama: look, look, throughout human history, certainly throughout american history, politicians have exaggerated. they make promises that they may try to fulfill, but it turns out that they are harder than
expected. they pump up the things that they did that were good. they downplay the things that did not work out so good. they try to put a positive spin on things. and by the way, we all do that, now. you know, when i am talking to michelle, i am saying -- did you see that i did all of the dishes? yes, but that is the first time that you did that in a week, what did you do wrong? [laughter] mr. obama: well... we all do that. it is human nature. but what we have not seen before in our recent history is that politicians are blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying. making stuff up. calling up down.
calling black white. that is what your governor is doing, just making stuff up. what he is saying is not true. and by the way, that is what republicans in congress are doing all across the country. on this pre-existing condition thing, they are running ads saying they are the ones protecting it. it is not true. the president says he passed a middle-class tax cut before the next election. congress is not even in session. he just makes it up. [applause] mr. obama: he says, i am going to protect your pre-existing conditions while his justice department is in court right now trying to strike down those protections. that is not spin.
that is not exaggeration. that is not trying to put a positive glow on things. that is lying. and -- look, it would be one thing if it was the first time, but they have done this often. accompanying making stuff up, they try to scare the heck out of people before every election. it is always something a little bit different. and then suddenly, the election comes and the problem they were scaring you about is suddenly magically gone, and you never hear about it again. let me just run through this to jog your memory. in the 2010 midterms, it was government bureaucrats are going to kill your grandma. remember? death panels. just made it up. but that was the thing.
2014, ebola is going to kill all of us. remember that? in the last election, it was hillary's emails. this is terrible. hillary's emails. we were hearing emails everywhere. it was a national security crisis. they did not care about emails. and you know how you know? because if they did, they would be up in arms right now as the chinese are listening to the that het's iphone leaves on his golf cart. it turns out -- i guess it was not that important. they scared you about the deficits. now, the latest thing is they are trying to convince everybody to be afraid of a bunch of impoverished, malnourished refugees 1000 miles away. that is the thing that is the most important thing in this
election. not health care. not whether or not folks are able to retire. not doing something about higher wages or rebuilding our roads and bridges and putting people back to work. suddenly, it is this group of folks -- we don't even know where they are, they are way down there. [laughter] mr. obama: that is the biggest thing. and you know, as soon as the election is over -- everyone will be like -- what? what happened? we were being invaded -- where did they go? and it would be funny except they do it every time, and too often it works. everyone freaks out. we have to stop falling for this stuff. we are like charlie brown with the football. [laughter]
mr. obama: you can't fall for that. do not be hoodwinked. do not be bamboozled. wisconsin, do not fall for that kind of fear mongering. because while they are distracting you with all of this stuff, they are robbing you blind. they are giving tax cuts by the billions, and they don't want you to notice. look, look over there. they are sabotaging your health care -- no, look, look. they are rewriting our laws about keeping the water and air clean. look, look over there. it's like a con where a door-to-door salesman tries to
sell you a security system and someone tries to sneak in the back door. it is like "home alone" where they try to sneak through the doggie door. i guess you are too young for that. [laughter] mr. obama: there is a more important point. when words stop meaning anything, when people can just make up anything, democracy does not work. society cannot work. if we -- if you can just say anything, and there are no consequences if it turns out that what you're saying is not true, then how are we going to have any kind of accountability? and frankly, part of the problem is that we have gotten used to it. we just expect that, like, people are just going to make stuff up. we just expect it. and part of the problem, frankly, is that a big portion
of the media right now is used to it, and a part of them repeat the lies over and over again. fox news will not tell you that what the republicans are saying about pre-existing conditions is not true. but you know what, it would be nice if the serious outlets did and were not distracted by the same kinds of fear mongering that is done every election cycle, but i guess they cannot help themselves, so they just cover it. so until we start getting a little bit better about calling a lie, a lie, the only check we have on this kind of behavior is you and your vote. [applause] mr. obama: and i know, i know during an election, it is natural for us to talk about democrat and republican.
that is part of how the democratic process works, and i really think you should vote for democrats because our policies will actually make a positive difference in peoples's lives and we actually do fight for the little guy. rather than let republicans keep attacking unions, democrats will stand up for every worker's rights to organize and fight for better wages. and rather than let republicans side with big banks while they are gutting the public university system, democrats will invest in our public schools and help more wisconsin students earn a higher degree without going broke. but there is something at stake in this election that goes beyond party. what is at stake is a policy politics that is honest and lawful and tries to do right by people. that is worthy of this country
we love because it should not be democrat or republican saying -- we just don't make stuff up. it should not be democratic or republican to say you don't punish political opponents or threaten the freedom of the press just because you don't like what they say or what they write about you. [applause] it should not be democratic or republican to say we do not target certain people based on how they look, or how they pray. [cheers and applause] mr. obama: it should not be -- i love you, too, but i am making a point right now. you know what? i have to believe there are compassionate conservatives out there who think there is nothing compassionate about ripping immigrant children from their mothers at the border and
leaving them in a cold cell. and i know there has to be people who consider themselves fiscally conservative who do not think there is anything fiscally responsible about trillion dollar deficits. i have to believe there are people of all political stripes who think it is wrong when you say deficits don't matter when you're helping rich people and pretend that somehow they matter a lot when you're trying to help working people. there has got to be people, i don't care what your party is, who think it is wrong spending eight years trying to take away people's health care and then pretending that you are florence nightingale in the last few weeks before the election. i have got to believe there are certain things that transcend party.
and that whatever your political background, i am hoping you think it is wrong to hear people spend years, months vilifying people, questioning their patriotism, calling them enemies of the people. and then suddenly, you are concerned about civility. please. and by the way, we do not need more mealymouthed elected officials who claim they are disappointed by this bad behavior but then don't do anything about it. and just go along with it. we need leaders who actually stand up for what is right regardless of party. leaders who will fight for you and what is best in the american spirit. patriots who will stand up for anyone whose fundamental rights are at stake, whether it is your health care or your kids getting bullied at school because their last name is different or a neighbor is being harassed because of who they love.
[cheers and applause] mr. obama: wisconsin, that is what all of us need to stand up for with clarity and patriotism and purpose. the values that bind us to our fellow citizen. the values your mom taught you and your dad taught you. that somehow we just ignore. what has happened? we -- we have got to get back to that -- just basic stuff. we can have disagreements, but there has to be a certain code, there has to be certain rules on how we treat each other and how we operate in the public space. [cheers and applause]
that is what americans do. that is what americans do. that is who we are. that is what america is at its best. and that is what these candidates believe. that is what tammy believes. that is what tony believes. that is what randy and dan believes. and that is why i am hopeful, wisconsin, i am hopeful that despite all of the noise and the lies and the distractions, that we are going to cut through all of that and remember who we are. who we are called to be. i am hopeful that out of this political darkness a great awakening of citizenship is happening all across the country. i cannot tell you how encouraged i have been watching so many people getting involved for the
first time, or for the first time in a very long time. marching and organizing. registering people to vote. folks running for office themselves. record numbers of women running. young veterans of iraq and afghanistan. americans who might not have been interested in politics before, but suddenly lace up their shoes, or if you are randy, they kept their work boots on, but he traded in a tool belt for a clipboard because they believe this time is different. this moment is too important to sit out. the antidote to government by a powerful few is government by the organized, energized many. [applause] mr. obama: that is what this moment is about. and i want to tell you, one election will not fix
everything. that is the truth. if you vote in this election, it is not as if poverty will suddenly be eliminated, or all of the jobs are coming back or suddenly there is no discrimination. women are not always treated with respect. that is not how politics work. it is not like everything gets fixed all at once. but, i tell you what, if you vote, things will get better. [cheers and applause] mr. obama: if you vote in this election, wisconsin, it will be a start. you have got to get started and then just keep on going. because the threat to our democracy does not just come from one person in the white house or republicans in congress or lobbyists in washington or the koch brothers. the biggest threat to our democracy is our own indifference. the biggest threat to our
democracy is us getting so cynical that we just stay home. we don't participate. because that is how in 2011 republicans made wisconsin one of the worst gerrymandered states in the country. in 2012, democrats won a majority of votes in the state assembly, and somehow republicans got two thirds of the seats. it got rigged. the fix is in. think about that -- who has ever heard of that? you know that is not fair. but that is how the system operates. in this current election across the country, democrats are going to have to win a lot more votes just to stay even and even more votes after that to take over the congress because of the gerrymandering tomfoolery, and that is why you have to vote for
democrats up and down the ticket, to break their grip and make our congressional districts fair. when you vote, not just for tammy and tony, when you vote for sheriffs and district attorneys and state representatives and secretaries of state and state treasurers, you have the power to make sure our voting rights are protected and our criminal justice system treats everybody equally under the law. when you vote, you have the power to make sure we strengthen laws that protect women in the workplace from harassment and discrimination and abuse and to make sure that women are paid the same as men for doing the same job. [cheers and applause] mr. obama: when you vote, you have the power to make it a little bit easier for a student to afford college and maybe a little bit harder for a crazy person to shoot up a classroom. [cheers and applause] mr. obama: when you vote, you
have the power to make sure a family keeps its health insurance. you could save somebody's life. that power is in your hands, if you vote. [applause] mr. obama: and if you get involved, and you knock on some doors, and you talk to your friends and convince the new neighbors and talk to that family member who is a little confused -- and you get them to vote early, for this entire, incredible, and powerful wisconsin team -- do you know what will happen? change begins to happen, and hope begins to happen, and with each new step that we take in the direction of fairness, equality, and justice, with each new step hope spreads a little bit more. it starts with you. let's get to work.
be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" this morning. join the discussion. >> sunday on c-span's q&a, james resident atr and johns hopkins university talks about the presidency of george w. bush. >> i don't really worry about my legacy because i am still studying theodore roosevelt or harry truman. there is not going to be an objective history done on this administration for a long time. to judgenot too soon on some aspects of his legacy. it is not too soon to judge the war in iraq. why? accomplishdid not what he thought it was going to accomplish before starting the war. lives, $200 american trillion. , and i don't book
think this judgment will change, that it was one of the biggest strategic blunders in american history. night onmahon, sunday c-span's q&a. speaking at a campaign rally in charlotte, north carolina, president trump promoted local candidatespolitical and talked about the news media. this is an hour and 15 minutes. c-span is your primary source for campaign 2018. ♪