|Obama says U.S. will be 'country we know it can be' in Maumee visit|
|Written by By PETER KUEBECK /Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 15:03|
"We're going to be the country we know we can be," said President Barack Obama as he spoke Thursday at the historic Wolcott House. The campaign stop was the first of a number of scheduled trips on the president's 48-hour bus trip across northern Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The president brought a message of increasing prosperity for the nation - and one of contrast with his opponent Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. PHOTO GALLERY
Romney and his supporters, he said, believe that American economic benefits move from the top down. "I think they're wrong."
"What we need is somebody who's out there fighting for the middle class and wants to grow the middle class."
The president spoke from a dais at the back of the Wolcott House, surrounded by hay bales, picnic tables and patriotic bunting, with a sign reading "Betting On America" at his podium. Despite a hot sun and temperatures nearing 100 degrees preceding his remarks, an estimated 500 people gathered to hear the president's message.
"It's about two fundamentally different views of where we go as a country," the president said of the 2012 presidential race. He noted that he believes in an America where everyone, regardless of race, creed or color, can make it if they try.
"We've never been a country looking for handouts," he said.
"Hard work pays off. That responsibility is rewarded."
He also emphasized the importance of the "core middle class security that built this country" and which previous generations passed on to their offspring, what he termed the "basic promise of America."
Speaking on the current economy, Obama noted that while there have been trying times in the past, "this crisis has not changed the fundamental character of America."
Forward motion on a variety of issues has been held back, he said, by stalemate in Washington.
"This election is all about fighting that stalemate."
On the auto bailout, the president jubilantly stated that "three years later the American auto industry has come a-roaring back." Toledo has seen improvement as a result, he said, stating he looks to bring similar industrial prosperity to cities around the country.
"I want goods shipped around the world stamped with 'Made In America.'"
Obama also spoke to his administration's recent action, via the World Trade Organization, against Chinese trade practices which had affected American auto makers.
"We're going to make sure that competition is fair."
On education, Obama stated he will seek to extend education tax credits and will work with colleges for lower tuitions.
"A higher education is not a luxury, it is an economic necessity for" young people in this day and age, he advocated.
Obama was also triumphant as he spoke on the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding his health care overhaul bill.
"The law I passed is here to stay," he said to great applause.
"Now's the time to move forward and ensure that Americans have affordable health insurance and that insurance companies treat them fairly."
"After a decade of war, it's time to do some nation-building here at home," the president continued, stating his goal of shifting a substantial portion of war funding into a variety of domestic projects, and of paying down the country's debt in a responsible manner - which includes asking the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
"They want to do the right thing 'cause they care about this country."
"We can't go backwards. We've got to go forwards."
The president's audience was a highly varied group, including locals as well as onlookers from other states, politicians and officials.
Speaking before his remarks, Lauren Liparato-Zanger, Ann Arbor, a student at Michigan State University, lauded the president's views on education.
"I love his stance on student loans," she said.
"It's hard for kids my age to actually get excited about politics."
University of Toledo student Wesley Thomas admired the president's determination in the face of opposition. "He's not willing to back down from things he feels strongly about."
"I think he's just got to keep talking about the message about solutions for the middle class and getting things done," said Perrysburg councilman Tom Mackin.
The president was preceded in his remarks by dignitaries including Sen. Sherrod Brown and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
In an, at times, impassioned address before the gathered crowd, Strickland praised the president's legislative and policy record and painted stark comparisons - and criticism - between Obama and Romney, singling out examples from Romney's financial and business record.
"Oh, what a contrast, my friends, between these two men who would be president."
"The president, my friends, is on our side," he said. "Mitt Romney, on the other hand, represents the One Percent."
|Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 08:42|
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