In an op-ed for CNN, President Barack Obama laid out his closing arguments for this Tuesday’s election. The President reflected on his first term and looked forward to the next four years, while encouraging Americans to come together. He wrote:
Four years ago, we were mired in two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Together, we’ve battled our way back. The war in Iraq is over, Osama bin Laden is dead, and our heroes are coming home. Our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs in the last two and half years. Home values and 401(k)s are rising. We are less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last 20 years. And the American auto industry is back.
We’re not there yet. But we’ve made real progress. And on Tuesday, America will get to choose between two fundamentally different visions of what makes America strong.
I believe America’s prosperity was built on the strength of our middle class. We don’t succeed when a few at the top do well while everyone else struggles to get by—we’re better off when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules…
In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has started calling himself an agent of change. And I’ll give him one thing—offering another $5 trillion tax cut weighted towards the wealthy, $2 trillion in defense spending our military didn’t ask for, and more power for big banks and insurance companies is change, all right. But it’s not the change we need.
We know what real change looks like. And we can’t give up on it now…
Change is an America that turns the page on a decade of war to do some nation-building here at home. So long as I’m commander-in-chief, we’ll pursue our enemies with the strongest military in the world. But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our debt and rebuild America—our roads and bridges and schools.
Change is an America where we reduce our deficit by cutting spending where we can, and asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the income tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. I’ve worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending, and I’ll do more. I’ll work with anyone of any party to move this country forward. But I won’t agree to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly, or disabled on Medicaid, or turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.
The folks at the very top don’t need another champion in Washington. The people who need a champion in Washington are the Americans whose letters I read at night; the men and women I meet on the trail every day. The cooks and cleaning staff working overtime at a Las Vegas hotel. The furniture worker retraining for a career in biotechnology at age 55. The teacher who’s forced to spend less time with each student in her crowded classroom. Her kids, who dream of becoming something great. Every small business owner trying to expand and do right by his or her employees—all of these Americans need a champion in Washington.
When these Americans do well, America does well. That’s the change we need right now. It’s time to finish what we’ve started—to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity—to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try.
The America we believe in is within our reach. The future we hope for is within our sights. That’s why I’m asking for your vote this Tuesday.
Click here to read the entire op-ed.