CAMPAIGN RALLY WITH SENATOR JOE BIDEN (D-DE), DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT
PUTNAM HILL PARK, ZANESVILLE, OHIO
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SEN. BIDEN: (In progress.) When asked about what to do now, John McCain's chief economic adviser said, we will just have to wait and see. (Boos.)
Ladies and gentlemen, how much longer do we have to wait? How much more do we have to see? People need help now. With Barack Obama as our president, we won't be waiting for our luck to change. We will change our luck. (Cheers, applause.)
Haven't you been impressed by how steady and steely Barack Obama has been through this crisis? I mean it. (Cheers, applause.) And how unimpressed; my friend John has been sort of lurching from one position to another. Folks, we need, we need more than a brave soldier. We need a wise leader. And that's Barack Obama. (Cheers, applause.)
Folks, you know, the reason why Barack Obama and I are so certain, and I mean this, so certain we can turn this around is because we believe in the most enduring of all American beliefs.
It's kind of, it's kind of the epitome of who Barack Obama is. And that most enduring belief is, we do not have to accept things the way they are. It's within our power to change our circumstances. And change, we will. (Cheers, applause.)
Look, folks, it's not rocket science. Middle-class people need a tax break. Businesses need a tax break if they invest here in America, not invest abroad. Energy policies -- we need an energy policy to free us from the grip of the oligarchs of oil; that protects our environment and creates, in the process -- our policy -- 5 million new green jobs.
We need to rebuild America. We need an infrastructure: our bridges, our roads, our water systems. (Cheers, applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, if we do that we can create 76,000 new high-paying jobs right here in the State of Ohio. (Cheers, applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, not only because it's right, not only because it's moral, but because it's good, solid business, we need affordable, available health care for all Americans. (Cheers, applause.) And we will make a deal with every one of you young people, in this audience, and all you parents trying to figure out how to get your child to college as the costs skyrocket.
If you serve your country, not just in the military but in our underserved communities, hospitals, schools, senior centers, rural and urban areas, we will get you to college. (Cheers, applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, you know, as I do, Ohio knows maybe better than anyone, all the jobs you've lost. Ultimately it's about jobs. Ultimately it's about jobs. And ladies and gentlemen, a job, as many of you know, like Barack and I know, is more than about a paycheck.
It is a paycheck, but it's about more than that. It's about dignity. It's about respect. And ladies and gentlemen, when a job is lost, or a house is foreclosed on, it's not just an economic loss. It's emotionally devastating for a family.
It's about having to make that long walk up a short flight of stairs, like my dad had to do when I was 10 years old, and like tens of thousands of people in Ohio are having to do now; to walk up that flight of stairs to your son or daughter's bedroom and look him in the eye and say, honey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but Daddy's lost his job, or Mom's lost her job, and we're going to have to move. We can't stay. You can't go back to that same school.
It's about explaining to a 12-year-old kid, foreclosure, honey, means that, it means that we didn't have enough money to pay the people we borrowed the money from, the bank, and they're making us move.
Ladies and gentlemen, that conversation has taken place this year on foreclosures alone in the households of 122,000 Buckeyes; 122,000 mothers and/or fathers had to walk up those stairs.
Ladies and gentlemen, we got to stop this. That's why Barack and I believe so strongly if we can help -- if we can help, which we've had to do, Wall Street, we ought to be able to help Maple Road and all the streets right here in Zanesville. Every middle class person should get the same help. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, people are in trouble. They're in real trouble. At the end of the day, folks, at the end of the day, if you want to strengthen the middle class as we've committed to do -- because by the way, it's not just fair, it's good economic policy. Seventy percent of all our economy is generated by the middle class going out and spending what they earn. Ladies and gentlemen, the reason why the GDP, the measure of our economic growth, dropped last quarter for the first time, -- it dropped because people have no money to spend. So when the middle class does well, the wealthy do just fine, and the poor do a lot better.
If we want to rebuild the middle class, if we want to restore respect for America in the world, we have to do one more thing. And it's nothing to do with legislation. It's about an attitude. We have to unite this country. We have to bring it together. I've been a guy involved in American foreign policy for a long time. I meet with all those heads of state because it's my job. I know many of them by their first names. I came up with them. I was a 29-year-old kid when they were young parliamentarians in their governments.
And you know what they ask about? They ask about how divided are you, America? They know America cannot lead the world divided red and blue.
And you know as well as I do, all the things that bring you out to this beautiful park, everything from making sure you have a decent job, affordable housing, you actually have health care, actually you'll send your kids to school, all of those things cannot be done by Democrats alone. We have to be able to reach across the aisle. We have to be able to convince 20 percent or more of the members of the House and Senate who are Republicans to join us.
So we cannot accomplish our goals as a divided nation. We cannot accomplish them as red and blue. And you know the one thing that Barack and I -- Barack and I have done when we were running separately and now running together, we have talked about this and we mean it. But folks, it's being made harder because over the past several weeks, John McCain's campaign has gone way over the top, in my opinion, trying to take a very low road to the highest office in America.
It's not only George -- George Bush's economics policies that he and Sarah McCain (sic) have bought hook, line and sinker. It's Karl Rove's -- Karl Rove's brand of politics of division and personal attacks. (Boos.) I must tell you, I never though I'd see it from John McCain's campaign. I've known him for 34 years.
You know, they're calling Barack Obama every name in the book. They're hearing -- your neighbors are getting phone calls, automated calls, with lies about Barack Obama. Well, you know, tomorrow night, they will have to call Barack Obama something else -- the 44th president of the United States of America! (Cheers, applause.)
You know, my dad used to have an expression. He'd say, "Champ, when you get knocked down, just get up. Just get up. Don't whine. Just get up." Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've never seen a time when so many Americans have been knocked down, with so little regard on the part of their government for being knocked down.
And ladies and gentlemen, as Jill and I have traveled all over the nation, no matter what part of the nation we've been in, I guarantee you one thing: The American public is ready to get up. It's time together -- together, as Americans, we get back up.
I know America's ready. I know you're ready. I guarantee you I am ready. Barack Obama is ready. (Cheers, applause.) It is our time. It is America's time. So Ohio, get up and take back this country we love. (Cheers, applause.)
May God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Thank you so much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.)