Excerpts from the speech Mitt Romney will deliver today in Ames, Iowa (home of the Iowa straw poll!):
This is an election of consequence. Our campaign is about big things, because we happen to believe that America faces big challenges. We recognize this is a year with a big choice, and the American people want to see big changes. And together we can bring real change to this country.
Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest–from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false.
But this election matters more than that. It matters to your family.
It matters to the senior who needs to get an appointment with a medical specialist but is told by one receptionist afteranother that the doctor isn’t taking any new Medicare patients, because Medicare has been slashed to pay for Obamacare.
It matters to the man from Waukesha, Wisconsin I spoke with several days ago, in what were supposed to be his best work years. He said that he used to have a job at $25 an hour with benefits and now has one at $8 an hour, without benefits.
It matters to the college student, graduating this spring, with 10 to 20 thousand dollars in student debt, who now learnsthat she also will be paying for 50 thousand dollars in government debt, a burden that will put the American Dream beyond her reach.
It matters for the child in a failing school, unable to go to the school of his parent’s choosing, because the teacher’s union that funds the President’s campaign opposes school choice.
The President’s campaign has a slogan: it is “forward.” But to the 23 million Americans struggling to find a good job, these last four years feel a lot more like “backward.” We cannot afford four more years like the last four years.
We have had four presidential and vice-presidential debates. And there is nothing in what the President proposed or defended that has any prospect of meeting the challenges of the times. Raising taxes will not grow jobs or ignite the economy–in fact, his tax plan has been calculated to destroy 700,000 jobs. A new stimulus, three years after the recession officially ended, may spare government, but it will not stimulate the private sector any better than did the stimulus of four years ago. And cutting one trillion dollars from the military will kill jobs and devastate our national defense.
This is not the time to double down on the trickle-down government policies that have failed us; it is time for new, bold changes that measure up to the moment, that can bring America’s families the certainty that the future will be better than the past.
If Paul Ryan and I are elected as your president and vice president, we will endeavor with all our hearts and energy to restore America. Instead of more spending, more borrowing from China and higher taxes from Washington, we’ll renew our faith in the power of free people pursuing their dreams. We’ll start with our plan for a stronger middle class…
Paul and I won’t stop there. When we take office, we will take responsibility to solve the big problems that everyoneagrees can’t wait any longer.
We will save and secure Medicare and Social Security, both for current and near retirees, and for the generation to come. We will restore the $716 billion President Obama has taken from Medicare to pay for his vaunted Obamacare.
We will reform healthcare to tame the growth in its cost, to provide for those with pre-existing conditions, and to assure that every American has access to healthcare. We will replace government choice with consumer choice, bringing the dynamics of the marketplace to a sector of our lives that has long been dominated by government.
I know something about leading because I’ve led before. In business, at the Olympics, and in Massachusetts, I’ve brought people together to achieve real change.
I was elected as a Republican governor in a state with a legislature that was 85% Democrat. We were looking at a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But instead of fighting with one another, we came together to solve our problems. We actually cut spending–reduced it. We lowered taxes 19 times. We defended school choice. And we worked to make our state business friendly.
Our state moved up 20 places in job growth. Our schools were ranked number one in the nation. And we turned a $3billion budget deficit into a $2 billion rainy day fund.
I know it because I have seen it: Good Democrats can come together with good Republicans to solve big problems. What we need is leadership.
We face big challenges. But we also have big opportunities … If we seize the moment and rise to the occasion, the century ahead will be an American Century.
What this requires is change, change from the course of the last four years. It requires that we put aside the small and the petty, and demand the scale of change we deserve: we need real change, big change.
Our campaign is about that kind of change–confronting the problems that politicians have avoided for over a decade, revitalizing our competitive economy, modernizing our education, restoring our founding principles.
This is the kind of change that promises a better future, one shaped by men and women pursuing their dreams in their own unique ways.
This election is a choice between the status quo–going forward with the same policies of the last four years–or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past.