By KENYA KING & AP Staff Writers
As jubilant as his chant “fired up, ready to go,” Obama was fired up about one thing at a campaign fundraiser in Atlanta – proving why he deserves four more years as President of the United States.
Skillfully rendering a sharp contrast between him and opposing presidential candidate Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama reiterated what he has been saying for months: in order for America to move forward, everyone has to step up to the plate to do their part.
“It’s the basic idea that everybody gets a fair share, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules,” said Obama.
Obama continued with telling how his economic plan differs from Romney’s. He stated that Romney’s vision relinquishes the wealthy from oversight and gives the wealthiest Americans more of what former President George W. Bush already gave them – tax breaks – while at the same time assuming everyone else will fare just fine.
“And that’s basically their economic plan,” said Obama. “I’m not making this up. It’s on Mr. Romney’s website. … Their basic vision is one in which if wealthy investors like him and folks at the very top are freed up from any kind of regulations, if they are maximizing their profits even if it means polluting more, or offshoring jobs, or avoiding taxes, or busting unions — whatever the strategies — if they’re doing well then everybody else is automatically doing well. That’s their view,” said Obama.
President Obama asserted that the problem with this plan is that America has already tested it, and in fact, tried it recently.
He said that the “top-down economics” hasn’t worked in the past and is contrary to the foundation of how America was designed. “It’s good for a few, but it doesn’t create that broad-based middle class, and folks having ladders to get into the middle class, that made this country great,” he said. Obama also said he wants to change the tax code so tax breaks can be given to businesses that choose to invest in the United States and “right here in Georgia.”
Reassuring the benefits of his plan, Obama outlaid his advocacy for education, jobs, manufacturing in the United.States, less oil dependency and improving infrastructure. He said he intends to reduce debt by having those who make more pay a little more.
“I’ve got a vision that says we’ll grow our economy if we control our own energy sources so we’re not dependent on what happens in the Middle East. And that’s why we’ve got to double down on clean energy — wind power and solar power,” said Obama.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, who has been selected as the chairman to the Democratic Convention, brought welcoming remarks and described Obama’s leadership as “sturdy.” Lowery’s heartfelt petition for support for Obama incited the crowd to roaring cheers.
“I’m here to welcome you to the heartbeat of the Obama Victory Campaign. This is your moment to catch the spirit of joy and victory. It’s your moment to understand that we have a high level of expectation. The promise of four more years of this skillful, sensitive, warm and effective leadership is in force. We come here today to say that we intend to fulfill the four more years,” said Lowery.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also offered his support and urged the crowd to commit to volunteering to help the campaign. He acknowledged that winning Georgia would not be easy. “Get out and do what’s necessary to win the state of Georgia. I don’t care how many millionaires and billionaires try to prop Mitt Romney up, he can’t sell it and the American people aren’t going to buy it.”
Reed implored the Gen44 attendees, the under-40 fundraising supporters of the campaign, that it is their turn to make a difference for America. “This is our generation’s time. You may not have been around in World War II or World War I, during the Great Depression or the Civil Rights Movement, but by goodness, you’re here right now and this is our moment to protect the United States of America.”
Air Force One touched down around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Obama went to the fundraising event at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel downtown at 1:25 p.m.
But first, his motorcade made a quick stop for lunch at a landmark Atlanta restaurant, the Varsity.
Obama ordered five chili dogs, four hotdogs and a cheeseburger for his traveling staff and Mayor Reed and Reed’s mother, Sylvia Reed.
Obama earlier pressed his immigration agenda, saying he was pleased the Supreme Court struck down key parts of Arizona’s immigration law Monday. He voiced concern about what the High Court left intact.
The court allowed a provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they stop for another reason and who they suspect is in the country illegally.
Said Obama: “No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like.” He said police in Arizona should not enforce the provision in a way that undermines civil rights.
The court’s decision came days after the Obama administration issued a directive that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants who came illegally to the United States as children.
Obama on Monday used the court’s decision to push for congressional action on a broader overhaul of immigration laws and to reaffirm his move to target deportations to criminals.
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down other provisions of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, including requiring all immigrants to carry registration papers with them.