I was fortunate to be able to take my fourteen-year-old nephew to see President Obama in Cedar Rapids today. While we were both disappointed to not get into the main hall for his speech, we were delighted to see him and hear his address to the overflow crowd. Special kudos and thanks to the woman who saw my nephew and made room for him at the very front of the section we were in when the President arrived.
The comments themselves were not especially surprising if you follow the news and the race for the White House, but a great pleasure and honor to see our Commander in Chief–and a special joy to share that excitement with my nephew.
Text of his remarks from WhiteHouse.gov:
Remarks by the President to Overflow Crowd at Kirkwood Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
12:47 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: How’s it going, Iowa? (Applause.) Well, it is great to see you guys. It is good to be back. (Applause.) I’m not going to give a long speech because I’m going to give a long speech there. But I just want to say, first of all, all of you guys who were involved four years ago — thank you. (Applause.) For those of you who are getting involved for the first time — welcome.
This is going to be a close election. But I have so much confidence whenever I come to Iowa, because I remember four years ago, even when the national press was writing us off, we would come here, Michelle and I, and we would talk to folks and we would sit in people’s living rooms, and drop by a diner or a VFW hall, and everywhere we went we were reminded of the strength and the decency and the values of America — because nobody represents those values better than the people of Iowa. (Applause.)
We’re going to have two choices in this election. And one choice is to take us down a path of top-down economics and an approach that says if we do good for folks at the very top, somehow everybody benefits —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: — and my vision, which says, when we grow best it’s because our middle class is doing well and everybody who’s fighting to get into the middle class. (Applause.) And this debate we’re having right now about taxes — where we want to go ahead and just make sure that 99.9 percent of the folks here, I suspect, would get the tax break that they need to help provide for their families, and folks like me, we can do without, and we can lower our deficit, rather than give more tax breaks to folks who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them — that tax debate is representative of the kind of debate that we’re going to be having on a whole bunch of issues all throughout this election.
So the bottom line, though, is I’m going to need your help. (Applause.) And all of you are going to be bombarded with all kinds of negative ads, and it’s going to be non-stop. But the thing you guys taught me four years ago is that when you have grassroots folks who are energized and enthusiastic, nobody can stop you. (Applause.)
So I hope you guys are ready to hit the streets and knock on doors, and make phone calls, and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors — because if you do, we’re going to finish what we started in 2008 and remind everybody just why it is America is the greatest country on Earth.
Thank you, Iowa! Love you, guys. (Applause.) Hope you’re still fired up and you’re still ready to go! (Applause.)