tv Charlie Rose PBS September 5, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
affordable for millions of middle-class families, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by securing the guarantee of medicare for our seniors, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by putting forward a concrete plan to cut waste, ask those of us at the top to pay a little more and reduce our deficit, president obama is moving america forward, not back. and by adding american manufacturing jobs for the first time since the 1990s, president obama is moving america forward, not back. facts are facts. no president since franklin delano roosevelt in the great depression inherited a worse economy, bigger job losses or deeper problems from his
predecessor, but president obama is moving america forward, not back.)y and we have to ask back to what? back to the failed policies that drove us into this deep recession? back to the days of record job lozs? back to the days when insurance companies called being a woman a preexisting condition? no, thank you. i don't want to go back. do you? >> no! >> instead of a balanced achievable plan to create jobs and reduce the deficit, mitt romney says-- puts forward a plan that would cut taxes for millionaires, while raising them on the middle class. instead of improving public safety and public education,
like president obama, mitt romney says we need less firefighters, teachers, and police. instead of safeguarding our seniors, romney and ryan would end the guarantee of medicare and replace it with a voucher in order to give bigger tax breaks to billionaires. instead of investing in america, they hide their money in swiss bank accounts and ship our jobs to china. swiss bank accounts never built an american bridge. swiss bank accounts never put cops on the streets or teachers in our classrooms. swiss bank accounts never created american jobs. governor romney, just because you bank against the united states of america doesn't mean the rest of us are willing to sell her out.
( cheering ) we are americans. we must act like americans. we must move forward, not back. is my parents, tom and barbara o'malley, like so many of yours, were part of that great generation that won the second world war. dad flew 33 missions over japan. in a b-24 liberator. he was able to go to college only because of the g.i. bill. our parents taught us to love god, love our family, and love our country. their own grandparents were immigrants. their first language may not have been english, but the hopes and dreams they had for their children were purely american. you see, there is a powerful truth at the heart of the american dream.
the stronger we make our country, the more she gives back to us, to our children, and our grandchildren. our parents and grandparents understood this truth deeply. they believed as we cothat to create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments, educating, innovating and rebuilding for our children's future, building an economy that lasts from the middle class up, not from the billionaires down. yes, we live in changing times. the question is what type of change will we make of it? as we search for common ground and the way forward together, let's ask one another, let's ask the leaders in the republican party, without any anger, meanness, or fear how much less do you really think would be good for our country? how much less education would be
good for our children? how many hungry american kids can we no longer afford to feed? governor romney, how many fewer college degrees would make us more competitive as a nation? the future we seek is not a future of less opportunity. it is a future of more opportunity, more opportunity for all americans. ( applause ) close your eyes. see the faces of your parents and your great-grandparents. they did notios an-- cross an ocean, settle a continent, do hard, back-breaking work so their children and grandchildren could live in a country of less. they came here because the united states of america is the greatest job-generating, opportunity-expanding country ever created by a free people in the history of civilization. and she still is. let us not be the first generation of americans to give our children a country of less.
let us return to the urgent work of creating more jobs, more security, and more opportunity for our people, and together, let us move forward, not back, by re-electing barack obama president of the united states. ( cheers and applause ) god bless you all. >> woodruff: the governor of maryland, martin o'malley, and as he was talking about let's move forward, not back, miraculously, gwen, blue signs saying "forward" and red signs saying "not back" popped up among the delegates. >> our first truly choreographed moment of the convention. i get a feeling it won't be our last. >> woodruff: here is the intwo duction of the keynote speaker by his brother. this is wathis is joaquin castr. i. >> the have the honor of introducing my twin brother, san
antonio mayor cass. as you can imagine this is a very special moment for our family. for each of us, the places we call home shape our character, inform how we see the world and inspire our imagination. julian is a proud texan. for 18 years-- ( cheering ) for 18 years, we shared a small room and big dreams in our neighborhood on the west side of san antonio. our home town say beautiful place, a place of hardworking, humble folks who grind out a living by day and go home and say prayers of thanks to god at night. since becoming mayor in 2009, julian has worked tirelessly to pursue policies that honor the aspirations of the people he represents. i'm proud that my brother has achieved his dream, but i'm even more proud of the work he's done to help others achieve theirs. today, san antonio is our nation's seventh largest city, a city on the rise and looks like
america tomorrow. julian is also a dedicated husband to his wife, erica, a public school teacher and a wonderful father to his three-year-old daughter garriana. so, it's with much love and pride that i present to you my best friend, my twin brother, san antonio mayor julian castro. ( cheers and applause ). ♪ i got a feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night. ♪ that tonight's gonna be a good night is. ♪ that tonight's gonna be a good, good night ♪ . >> thank you! ♪ that tonight's gonna be a good night ♪ . >> thank you! thank you! thank you! thank you!
thank you! my fellow democrats, my fellow americans, my fellow texans-- ( cheering ) i sand before you tonight as a young american, a proud american of a generation born as the cold war receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution, and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another american century, president barack obama. ( cheers and applause ). the unlikely journey that brought me here tonight began many miles from this podium. my brother joaquin and i grew up with my mother, rosy, and my grandmother, victoria. my grandmother was an orphan. as a young girl, she had to leave her home in mexico and
move to san antonio where some relatives had agreed to take her in. she never made it past the fourth grade. she had to drop out and start working to help her family. my grandmother spent her whole life work as a maid, a cook, and a baby-sitter, barely scraping by, but still working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life so my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. as my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her childregrandchildren, prix trayo god for just one grandbaby before she died. you can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered, twice over. she was so excited that the day before joaquin and i were born, she entered a cook-off and won $300. that's how she spade our she pal
bill. by the time joaquin and i came along, this incredible woman had taught herself to read and write in both spanish and english. i can still see her in the room that joaquin and i shared with her, reading her agatha christie novels late into the night, and i can still remember her every morning as joaquin and i walked out the front door to school, making the sign of the cross behind us, saying, "may god bless you." my grandmother didn't live to see us begin our lives in public service, but she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in san antonio, one grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way, the good people of san antonio willing, to the united states congress. ( cheers and applause ). my family's story isn't special.
what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation, no matter who are you or where you come from, the path is always forward. america didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. my grandmother's generation and generations before always saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. they believed that opportunity created today would lead to prosperity tomorrow. that's the country they envisioned, and that's the country they helped build. the roads and bridges they built, the schools and universities they created, the rights they fought for and won, these opened the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement,
the chance for your children to do better than you did, and that's the middle class, the engine of our economic growth. with hard work, everybody ought to be able to get there, and with hard work, everybody ought to be able to stay there and go beyond. the dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to americans. it's a human dream, one that calls acrossed oceans and borders. the dream is universal, but america makes it possible, and our investment and opportunity makes it a reality. ( cheering ) now in texas -- ( cheering ) we believe in the rugged
individual. texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps. and we-- we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize that there are some things we can't do alone. we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow. ( applause ) and it starts with education. 20 years ago, joaquin and i left home for college, and then for law school. in those classrooms, we met some of the brightest folks in the world. but at the end of our days there, i couldn't help but to think back to my classmate as thomas jefferson high school in san antonio. they had the same talents, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at
stanford and harvard. i realized the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. the difference was opportunity. in my city of san antonio, we get that. so we're working to ensure that more four-year-olds had access to pre-k. we opened cafe college, where students get help with everything from college test prep to financial aid paperwork. we know that you can't be pro business unless you're pro education. ( cheering ) we know that pre-k and student loans aren't charity. they're a smart investment in a workforce that can fill and create the jobs of tomorrow. we're investing in young minds today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow. ( applause ) and it's paying off.
>> yes, it is! >> last year the milken institute ranked san antonio as the nation's top-performing local economy, and we're only getting started. opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow. ( cheering ) now, like many of you, i watched last week's republican convention. ( booing ) and they told a few stories of individual success. we all celebrate individual success. but the question is how do we multiply that success? the answer is president barack obama. ( cheers and applause ) mitt romney, quite simply, disappoint get it. a few months ago, he visited a
university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice-- start a business, he said, but how? borrow money, if you have to, from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? ( laughter ) ( applause ) some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams, not in america, not here, not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm. i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good he's had it. ( applause ) we know that in our free market economy, some will prosper more than others. what we don't accept is the idea that some information won't even
get a chance, and the thing is, mitt romney and the republican party are perfectly comfortable with that america. in fact, that's exactly what they're promising us. the romney-ryan budget doesn't just cut public education, cut med character cut transportation, and cut job training. it doesn't just pummel the middle class. it dismantles it. it dismantles that generations before have built to ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. when it comes to getting the middle class back to work, mitt romney says no. when it comes to respecting women's rights, mitt romney says no. when it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who they want to marry, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care, mitt romney says no. actually -- ( applause )
actually-- ( cheering ) actually-- actually, mitt romney said yes and now he says no. governor romney has undergone an extreme makeover. and it ain't pretty. so here's what we're going to say to mitt romney in november. we're gonna say no. of all the fictions we heard last week in tampa, the one i find most troubling is this-- if we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't
understand is neither is opportunity. we have to invest in it. ( cheers and applause ) republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will, too. folks, we've heard that before. first they called it trickle down. then they called it supply side. now it's romney-ryan, or is it ryan-romney? either way, their theory has been tested. it failed. our economy failed. the middle class paid the price. your family paid the price. mitt romney just doesn't get it. ( cheers and applause ). but barack obama gets it. ( cheering ) he understands that when we
invest in people, we're investing in our shared prosperity. and when we neglect that responsibility, we risk our promise as a nation. just a few years ago, families that had never asked for anything found themselves at risk of losing everything. and the dream my grandmother held, that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there, if not for her, then for her children, that dream was being crushed. but then president obama took office and he took action. when detroit was in trouble, president obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. ( cheering ) seven presidents before him, republicans and democrats, tried to expand health care to all americans. president obama got it done. ( cheering ) he made a historic investment to
lift our nation's public schools and expanded pell grants so that more young people can afford college. and because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers. ( cheers and applause ) now it's time for congress to enshrine in law the right to pursue their dreams in the only place they'd ever called home, america. ( cheering ) four years ago, america stood on the brink of a depression. despite incredible odds and united republican opposition, our president took action, and now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs. he knows better than anyone that there's more hard work to do, but we're making progress, and
now we need to make a choice. it's a choice between a congress where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less, or a country where everybody pays their fair share so we can reducehe deficit and create the jobs of the future. ( cheers and applause ). it's a choice between a nation that slashedfunding for our schools and guts pell grants or a nation that invests more in education. and it's a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship american jobs overseas, or a leader who brings jobs back home. ( cheers and applause ) this is the choice before us. and to me, to my generation and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear. our choice is a man who has always chosen, us, a man who already is our president, barack
obama. ( cheers and applause ). >> four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! >> in the end, the american dream, the american dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish lean in the span of one generation, but each generation pazs on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for
civil rights so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. ( cheering ) and while she may-- while she may be proud of me tonight, i gotta tell you, mom, i'm even more proud of you. ( cheers and applause ). today-- ( cheering ) s today, my beautiful wife, erica, and i are the proud parents of a three-year-old little girl, garriana victoria, named after my grandmother.
a couple of mondays ago, a couple of mondays ago was her first day of pre-k, and as we dropped her off, we walked out of the classroom, and i found myself whispering to her, as was once whispered to me, "may god bless you." ( cheers and applause ) she's still young and her dreams far off yet, but i hope she'll reach them. as a dad, i'm going to do my part, and i know she'll do hers. but our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part as one community, one united states of america, to ensure opportunity for all of our children. the days we live in are not easy ones. but we have seen days like this before, and america prevailed.
with the wisdom of our founders and the value of our familyes, america prevailed. with each generation going further than the last, america prevailed. and with the opportunity we build today for a shared prosperity tomorrow, america will prevail. it begins with reelecting barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. may god bless you and may god bless the united states of america. ( cheers and applause ) thank you! >> ifill: an auspicious step on the national stage for the mayor of sa san antonio. sharing the spotlight with his three-year-old daughter who was having fun seeing himself. that is his mother. that is his wife on the right. and his mother, who was listening i'm sure with more than a little emotion to what her son was saying and talking about his grandmother, her mother. he and his twin brother, both graduatees of harvard and stanford. and he talked movingly about how
he was able to trade a mop for a microphone. now we're about to see the video introducing the big speaker of the night, michelle obama. >> i have the privilege of meeting folks from different backgrounds and hearing what's going on in their lives. know that when our men and women in uniform are called to serve, their families serve right alongside them. we are trying to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation. when the world is swirling around you and you're faced with tough challenges, if your family is good, you're good. if any family in this country struggles, then we cannot be fully content with our family's good fortune, because that is not what we do in this country. that is not who we are.
that is not who we are. >> our house growing up was extremely modest. i remember our bedroom being formally the living room that my parents had divided using paneling. >> it basically carved the room out into two small rooms that were small enough for a twin bedroom and a desk. a special treat was that we could sleep out on the back porch when things got hot. >> as far as where we lived, that just wasn't an issue. i was raised to have fun where we were with what we had. and it seemed like it was okay. >> neither one of our parents went to college. but with a lot of love, a lot of caring, we were afforded an opportunity to go to college. >> we didn't say, "you should be a lawyer," ear "you should be a school teacher," but, "you
should get an education." >> we had to take out student loans in order to pay for those. >> i know now how much my father had to work and struggle because he had to take out loans to cover his portion of our tuition. >> he understood his responsibilities that despite this hardship, despite his challenges, he was going to be there for his kids, always, no matter what. >> my husband did not feel like ms was a battle. he would bounce out of bed and almost sing his way out of the door to work on crutches. and that would sort of break me up. and i'm sure that did the same thing for the kids. >> we did a lot of laughing in our household, and all of that happened in those few little rooms. ( cheers and applause )
>> michelle obama, now stepping into america's most traditional role, the full-time, nonpaying multidimensional job of first lady. >> part of what makes her extraordinary is that she has been able to continue to be down to earth, even as the first lady. i mean, she's just michelle. our friendship developed, i think because we both have an interest in military families. when i met michelle, she said, "what do you think would be the issue you're most interested in?" and i said, "military families. >> and i said to jill, "that's what i'd like to do." and that's where it all began. >> we've done three tours. it's meant a lot to our family during some difficult times just ton that there are folks in the white house going in the same direction with us. >> whether it be helping homeless veterans through employment, trying to incorporate the military culture into the school systems, helping
spouses find jobs, that's all come together. >> she genuinely seems to care and want to know what military families are going through so that she can make changes on the national level. >> you all don't even ask for much, you know? it's like so we should be able to step up in whatever way we can. >can. 1% of the country is serving to protect the freedoms of the other 99% of us. so my view is that there's a lot more that we can be doing for them to make that service and sacrifice a little-- little easier. >> oh, she's so good with young people, and she sees herself in them. she treats the young children just the way she treats her own kids. and so they look at her as their mom because she is a mom. >> it's a natural for me to see her getting the nation's kids out there exercising and moving around. >> the best way to take care of yourself is to own your health, to eat better, exercise more. >> it's about the whole child. it's about understanding how a child develops and how we can best put a child in a position to be successful.
>> and she wanted it to be fun, to come up with "let's move." it has such a great name. let's move is something we do together. >> she is a strong woman, physically, obviously, we all saw poor jimmy fallon. ♪ ♪ >> i was wondering if you can do more pushups than i can do. >> and i thought it wouldn't be good to show off the first lady, so i thought-- >> i've seen a lead by example, a get right into it, a pull up your sleeves, hula hooping, jump roping first lady, and i think that's what we need. >> hello, mrs. obama. >> hey, dave. >> and the number one fun fact about gardening. >> with enough care and effort, you can grow your own barackoli. >> wow, look at this.
>> we harvest some healthy food. a lot of carrots. >> she encouraged us to exercise more and to eat healthier. >> you really are a wonderful woman. >> i think you're the perfect wife for obama. >> i am barack obama, and this is my wife, michelle. >> hey. i'm his date. >> family is everything. i think there's nothing more important to her than her children and her marriage and her mom and making sure that that all works well together. >> she was very clear, she came in with a very clear, we're going to make sure our kids are okay. >> every parent thinks their kids are fabulous and remarkable and special, and my kids are fabulous and remarkable and special. and the reason they are is
because of michelle. i always say that in our household, she's the conductor. and i'm second fiddle. >> you know, barack always gives me so much credit for who our girls have become, but let me tell you, our girls wouldn't be who they are without a man in their life who loved them deeply. >> what i love about my wife more than anything is she knows what's important, and she knows that the best and most important legacy of anybody's life is making sure that your kids turn out all right. they have good values, they're kind, they're caring. and what's very gratifying to me is that i know the girls at this point are going to be fine because they've got the best mom in the world. ( cheers and applause ) >> coming on stage now is elaine bry, a resident of ohio, mother
of five members of the u.s. armed services. >> wow. what's a mom like me doing in a place like this? i'm not even a political person but what i am is a military mom. ( cheers and applause ). my husband and i are so proud of our five kids, one each in the army, the navy, the air force, and the marines. ( cheers and applause ). is our youngest is still in high school, and, yes, we are hoping he will join the coast guard. they are a mom's most precious
treasures. and i don't know when i'm going to get them together again because within of them is always deploying. but because of dr. biden and the first lady, our lives are a little bit easier. along with president obama, they have made helping military families a top priority. they've brought together the american people, including thousands of businesses, to become part of a nationwide support network. it is honor and respect in action. and it warms this mother's heart. ( applause ) last december, i wrote michelle obama a christmas card, just a mom-to-mom note to say thank you for caring. the first lady not only read my letter. she invited my husband and i to
the white house. ( applause ) it was an amazing experience, but what's even more amazing is knowing that our commander in chief and first lady are thinking about families like mine every single day. ( applause ) so like i said, i'm not a political person, but i'm a mom, and if someone is there for my family and families like mine, then i'll be there for them. ( cheering ) that's why i am so proud to introduce my fellow mom and our first lady michelle obama. ( cheers and applause ) ♪ oh, yeah, baby
like a fool i went and stayed too long. ♪ now i'm wondering if your love's still strong. ♪ oh, baby, here i am, signed, sealed, delivered, i'm yours. ♪ then that time i went and said good-bye is. ♪ now and i'm back and not ashamed to cry. ♪ oh, baby, here i am, signed, sealed, delivered, i'm yours ♪ ( cheering ) >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you.
oh, thank you so much. with your help-- with your hel help-- let me-- let me start. i want to-- i want to start by thanking elaine. elaine, thank you so much. we are so grateful for your family service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back. ( cheers and applause ) over the past few years as first lady, i have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country, and everywhere i've gone and the people i've met and the stories i've heard, i have seen the very best of the american spirit. i have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family,
especially our girls. i've seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay. i've seen it in people who become heroes at a moment's notice diving into harm's way to save others, flying across the country to put out a fire, driving for hours to bail out a flooded town. and i've seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families. ( cheers and applause ) in wound warriors, who tell me they're not just going to walk again. they're gonna run and they're gonna run marathons. ( cheering ) in the young man blinded by a bomb in afghanistan who said simply, "i'd give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what i have done and what i can still do." every day, the people i meet
inspire me. every day, they make me proud. every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. ( cheers and applause ) serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege, but back when we first came together four years ago, i still had some concerns about this journey we'd begun. while i believed deeply in my husband's vision for this country, and i was certain he would make an extraordinary president, like any mother, i was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance. how will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight? how would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they'd ever known? see, our life before moving to washington was-- was filled with simple joys-- saturdays at soccer games, sundays at
grandma's house, and a date night for barack and me was either dinner or a movie because as an exhausted mom, i couldn't stay weak for both. ( laughter ) and the truth is, i loved the life we had built for our girls, and i deeply loved the man i had built that life with, and i didn't want that to change if he became president. ( cheers and applause ). i loved barack just the way he was. you see, even back then, when barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, i could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door. he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he found in a dumpster.
and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small. but, see, when barack started telling me about his family, see, now that's when i knew i had found a kindred spicket someone whose value and upbringing were so much like mine. you see, barack and i were both raised by families who didn't have much in the way of money and material possessions, but who had given us something far more valuable-- their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves. ( applause ) my father was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and my brother and i were young. and even as a kid, i knew there were plenty of days when he was in pain. and i knew there were plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply get out of
bed. but every morning, i watched my father wake up with a smile, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform. and when he returned home after a long day's work, my brother and i would-- would stand at the top of the stairs of our little apartment, patiently waiting to greet him, watching as he reached down to lift one leg and then the other to slowly climb his way into our arms. but despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work. he and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of. ( applause ) and when my brother and i finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants, but my dad still had to pay a
tiny portion of that tuition himself, and every semester, he was determined to pay that bill right on time, even taking out loans when he fell short. he was so proud to be sending his kids to college, and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline because his check was late. you see, for my dad, that's what it meant to be a man. ( applause ) like-- like so many of us. that was the measure of his success in life, w being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family. and as i got to know barack, i realized even though he had grown up all the way across the country, he'd been brought up just like me. barack was raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help. barack's grandmother started out
as a secretary at a community bank, and she moved quickly up the ranks, but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. and for years, men no more qualified than she was, men she had actually trained, were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money, while barack's family continued to scrape by. but day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus, arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret. and she would often tell barack, "so long as you kids do well, that's all that really matters." like so many american families, our families weren't asking for much. they didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that others had much more than they did. in fact, the they admired it. they simply believed in that
fundamental american promise that even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're posed to do, you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grand kids. that's how they raised us. ( applause ) that's what we learned from their example. we learned about dignity and decency, that how hard you worked matters more than how much you make, that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. ( applause ) we learned about honesty and integrity, that the truth matters, that-- that you don't take shortcuts. ( applause ) or play by your own set of rules. and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square.
we learned about gratitude and humility. that so many people had a hand in our success from the teachers who inspired us, to the janitors who kept our school clean. and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect. ( applause ) those are the values that barack and i and so many of you are trying to pass on to our own children. that's who we are. and standing before you four years ago, i knew that i didn't want any of that to change if barack became president. well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. ( cheers and applause )
you see, i've gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like. and i've seen how the issues that come across the president's desk are always the hard ones. you know, the problemses where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. the judgment calls when the stakes are so high and there is no margin for error, and as president, you're going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people, but at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are. ( cheers and applause ) so when it comes to rebuilding
our economy, barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother. he's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. that's why he signed the lily ledbetter fair pay act to help women get equal pay for equal work. ( applause ) that's why he cut taxes for working families and small business and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet. ( cheers and applause ) that's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again, jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs, right here in the united states of america. ( cheers and applause ) when it comes to the health of our families, barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. he didn't care whether it was
the easy thing to do politically. no, that's not how he was raised. he cared that it was the right thing to do. ( applause ) he-- he did it because he believed that here in america, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine, our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. ( cheers and applause ). and he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. ( cheers and applause ) that's what my husband stands for. when it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve,
barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could have attended college without financial aid. and believe it or not, when we were first married our combined monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage. yeah, we were so young, so in love, and so in debt. ( laughter ) and that's why barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt. ( cheers and applause ) so in the end, for barack, these issues aren't political. they're personal. because barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. barack knows the american dream
because he's lived it. and he wants-- ( applause ) -- everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. ( cheers and applause ) and he believes that when you work hard and done well, and walked through that door way of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. ( cheers and applause ) so when people ask me whether
being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. he-- ( cheers and applause ) he's the same man who-- who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work because for barack, success isn't about how much money you make. it's about the difference you make in people's lives. ( cheers and applause ) he's the same man, he's the same
man when our girls were first born would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure that they were still breathing. proudly showing them off to everyone we knew. you see, that's the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, strategizing about middle school friendships. that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him, the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills. from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise but so few opportunities. >> i love you michelle! >> and i see the concern in his
eyes. and i hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, "you won't believe what these folks are going through, michelle. it's not right. we've got to keep working on fix this. we've got so much more to do." ( cheers and applause ) i see-- i see how those storie stories-- >> four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! i see how those stories, our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams, i see how that's what drives barack obama every single day. and i didn't think that it was possible, but let me tell you,
today i love my husband even more than i did four years ago, even more than i did 20 years ago when we first met. let me tell you why. see, i love that he has never forgotten how he started. i-- i love that we can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard, especially when it's hard. yeah, i-- i love that for barack, there is no such thing as us and them. he doesn't care whether you're a democrat, a republican, or none of the above. he knows that we all love our country, and he is always ready to listen to good ideas. he's always looking for the very best in everyone he meets. and i love that even in the toughest moments, when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass and it seems like all is lost, see, barack never lets himself get
distracted by the chatter and the noise. no. just like his grandmother, he just keeps getting up and moving forward with patience and wisdom and courage and grace. ( cheers and applause ). and he reminds me-- he reminds me that we are playing a long game here. and that change is hard. and change is slow and it never happens all at once, but eventually, we get there. we always do. we-- we get there because of folks like my dad, information like barack's grandmother, men and women who said to themselves, "i may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will. maybe my grandchildren will." see, see, so many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice and
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