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Barack Obama's Convention Address

10:25 PM, Sep 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Now, I've cut taxes for those who need it – middle-class families and small businesses.  But I don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit.  I don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China.  After all that we've been through, I don't believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home.  We've been there, we've tried that, and we're not going back.   We're moving forward. 

I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy.  I never have.  You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear.  You elected me to tell you the truth.  And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.  It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.  And by the way – those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington. 

But know this, America:  Our problems can be solved.  Our challenges can be met.  The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I'm asking you to choose that future.  I'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country – goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation.   That's what we can do in the next four years, and that's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States. 

We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs.  After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we're getting back to basics, and doing what America has always done best:

We're making things again. 

I've met workers in Detroit and Toledo who feared they'd never build another American car.  Today, they can't build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that's back on top of the world.   

I've worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America – not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products.  Because we work harder and smarter than anyone else.   

I've signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers – goods that are stamped with three proud words:  Made in America. 

After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.  And now you have a choice:  we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America.  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.  You can make that happen.  You can choose that future. 

You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy.  After thirty years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.   We've doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.  In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by one million barrels a day – more than any administration in recent history.  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades.

Now you have a choice – between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it.  We've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we'll open more.  But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.  

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