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Read President Obama's full campaign kickoff speech

May 05, 2012

OBAMA: "I have, and I intend to keep it. After a decade of war that’s cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is our own.   I will use half of what we’re no longer spending on war to pay down the deficit, and the other half to repair our roads and our bridges, our runways and our wireless networks.  That’s the choice in this election -- to rebuild America.

"I'm running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible.  After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law.  And now I want to finish the job by streamlining government and cutting more waste, and reforming our tax code so that it is simpler and fairer, and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more.

"My opponent won’t tell us how he’d pay for his new, $5 trillion tax cut -- a tax cut that gives an average of $250,000 to every millionaire in this country."

AUDIENCE: "Booo."

OBAMA: "But we know the bill for that tax cut will either be passed on to our children, or it will be paid for by a whole lot of ordinary Americans. That’s what we know.  And I refuse to let that happen again.

"I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by eliminating medical research projects into things like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  I refuse to pay for another tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; or asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid.

"And as long as I’m President of the United States, I will never allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher that would end the program as we know it.  We will not go back to the days when our citizens spent their golden years at the mercy of private insurance companies.  We will reform Medicare -- not by shifting the cost of care to seniors, but by reducing the spending that isn’t making people healthier. That’s what’s at stake in this election.  That’s what’s at stake, Ohio.

"On issue after issue, we can’t afford to spend the next four years going backward.  America doesn’t need to refight the battles we just had over Wall Street reform and health care reform.  On health care reform, here is what I know:  Allowing 2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan -- that was the right thing to do.  Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors -- that was the right thing to do. I will not go back to the days when insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, or deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.  We’re not going back there.  We’re going forward. 

"We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood -- or taking away access to affordable birth control.  I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.  We are not turning back the clock.  We are moving forward.

"We’re not returning to the days when you could be kicked out of the United States military just because of who you are or who you love.  That would be wrong for our national security, and it would be a betrayal of our values.  

"This should be the last election where multimillion-dollar donations speak louder than the voices of ordinary citizens. We need more checks on lobbyists and special interests, not less.

"We’re not going to eliminate the EPA.  We’re not going to roll back the bargaining rights that generations of workers fought for.  It’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they’re the children of undocumented immigrants. This country is at its best when we harness the God-given talents of every individual; when we hear every voice; when we come together as one American family, striving for the same dream.

"That’s what we’re fighting for.  That's what we're fighting for, Ohio.  A bold America.  A competitive America.  A generous America.  A forward-looking America, where everybody has a chance to make of their life what they will.  That’s what made us the envy of the world.  That’s what makes us great.  That’s why I’m running again for President of the United States."

AUDIENCE: "Four more years!  Four more years!"

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