President Obama North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 17, 2011: Asheville, West Wilkes High School

President Barack Obama official portrait

Watch President Barack Obama’s North Carolina bus tour speech video on Mon. Oct. 17, 2011 at Asheville Regional Airport and West Wilkes High School on day one of the three-day American Jobs Act bus tour. The speech times are 10:50 a.m. ET and 5 p.m. ET. Watch live stream video below at that time. Thereafter check back for the full replay video and transcript text.

UPDATE: Replay video and transcript are added below.


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UPDATE: Click here to watch the Asheville Regional Airport Speech video. Transcript of the speech is posted below.

Click here to watch the West Wilkes High School Speech video Transcript is below.


Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act at Asheville Regional Airport

Asheville Regional Airport
Asheville, North Carolina

10:53 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Asheville! (Applause.) It is good to be back in Asheville, North Carolina! (Applause.) I love Asheville. In fact, I think I should be on the tourism promotion bureau of Ashville. (Applause.) Every time I meet somebody I say, have you guys gone down to Asheville? (Applause.) That’s a nice place to be. So it is wonderful to be back in one of my favorite parts of the country. Our family has great memories of staying here, and it’s always nice to get out of Washington — (laughter) — and breathe some of that mountain air. (Applause.)

I want to recognize a couple people who are here. First of all, one of the outstanding senators in the United States Senate, your Senator, Kay Hagan, is in the house. (Applause.) Kay’s daughter just got married this weekend, so, congratulations to Kay’s daughter. We are so thrilled by that.

And we also have your lovely and intelligent Mayor of Asheville, Terry Bellamy, is in the house. (Applause.) The last time I was here Terry said she could play basketball. And so we went out — it turned out she was a cheerleader and not a basketball player. (Laughter.) But she’s doing an outstanding job overall. Thank you both for coming.

Now, as you may have noticed, I came here on a plane. It’s a pretty nice plane. But I’m leaving on a bus. (Applause.) The bus is pretty hard to miss. And over the next few days, we are going to take this bus through North Carolina and Virginia and I’m going to get a chance to hear from folks about how they’re doing, what direction they want to take the country in.

And I’ll be doing a little bit of talking, but mostly I’m going to do a whole lot of listening — because there doesn’t seem to be much listening going on in Washington these days. (Applause.) People don’t seem to be paying much attention to the folks who sent them there in the first place. And that’s a shame. Because once you escape the partisanship and the political point-scoring in Washington, once you start really start listening to the American people, it’s pretty clear what our country and your leaders should be spending their time on.

AUDIENCE: Jobs!

THE PRESIDENT: We should be talking about jobs. When you hear what’s going on out in the country, when you take the time to listen, you understand that a lot of folks are hurting out there. Too many people are looking for work. Too many families are looking for that sense of security that’s been slipping away for the past decade, now.

Here in North Carolina, you’ve got thousands of construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing bubble burst. Some of those construction workers are here today. They’ve got experience. They’ve got skills. All they want is to be back on the job site doing what they do best. (Applause.)

And there is plenty of work to go around. In this airport right here in Asheville, you’ve got a runway that needs to be widened and repaired. You’ve got a taxiway that’s in the wrong spot –- which means that planes sometimes get too close together. So we could be doing some work right here at the Asheville Airport that would help boost tourism, help to boost the economy here, put people to work right now. (Applause.)

But it’s not just here in Asheville. All across the state, you’ve got highways that need to be built. You’ve got bridges that need to be fixed. You’ve got schools that need to be modernized. (Applause.) And that’s what America used to do best. We used to build things — built the Transcontinental Railroad; built the Golden Gate Bridge; the Hoover Dam; the Grand Central Station. There’s no reason why we should sit here and watch the best highways and the newest airports being built in China. We should be building them right here in the United States of America. (Applause.) Right here in North Carolina. (Applause.)

Now, our problems were a long time in the making –- we’re not going to solve them overnight. But there are things we can do right now to put people back to work — right now. There are things we should do right now to give the economy the jolt that it needs. So that’s why I sent Congress the American Jobs Act. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Thank you!

THE PRESIDENT: Keep in mind — keep in mind, Asheville, this is the kind of bill containing the kinds of proposals that in the past have received support from Democrats and Republicans. It’s completely paid for — by asking our wealthiest citizens, folks making more than a million dollars a year, to pay their fair share. (Applause.)

Independent economists — not my economists, but independent economists — have said this jobs bill would create nearly 2 million jobs. That’s not my opinion. It’s not the opinion of folks who work for me. It’s the opinion of people who evaluate these kinds of things for a living. It says this bill will help put people back to work and give our economy a boost right away.

But apparently none of this matters to the Republicans in the Senate — because last week they got together to block this bill. They said no to putting teachers and construction workers back on the job. They said no to rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our airports. They said no to cutting taxes for middle-class families and small businesses when all they’ve been doing is cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: They said no to helping veterans find jobs.
Essentially, they said no to you — because it turns out one poll found that 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. (Applause.) So 63 percent of Americans support the jobs bill that I put forward; 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: No, it does not.

Now, it turns out that the Republicans have a plan, too. I want to be fair. They call — they put forward this plan last week. They called it the “Real American Jobs Act.” The “real one” — that’s what they called it — just in case you were wondering. (Laughter.) So let’s take a look at what the Republican American jobs act looks like. It turns out the Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas: They want to gut regulations; they want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: They want to drill more.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: And they want to repeal health care reform.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s their jobs plan.

So let’s do a little comparison here. The Republican plan says that what’s been standing in the way between us and full employment are laws that keep companies from polluting as much as they want. On the other hand, our plan puts teachers, construction workers, firefighters and police officers back on the job. (Applause.)

Their plan says the big problem we have is that we helped to get 30 million Americans health insurance. They figure we should throw those folks off the health insurance rolls; somehow that’s going to help people find jobs.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: Our plan says we’re better off if every small business and worker in America gets a tax cut, and that’s what’s in my jobs bill. (Applause.) Their plan says we should go back to the good old days before the financial crisis when Wall Street was writing its own rules. They want to roll back all the reforms that we’ve put into place.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Our plan says we need to make it easier for small businesses to grow and hire and push this economy forward. (Applause.)

All right, so you’ve gotten a sense — you got their plan, and then we got my plan. My plan says we’re going to put teachers back in the classroom; construction workers back to work rebuilding America, rebuilding our schools — (applause) — tax cuts for small businesses; tax cuts for hiring veterans; tax cuts if you give your worker a raise. (Applause.) That’s my plan.

And then you got their plan, which is let’s have dirtier air, dirtier water.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: Less people with health insurance.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: All right so, so far at least, I feel better about my plan. (Laughter and applause.) But let’s admit I’m a little biased. So remember those independent economists who said our plan would create jobs, maybe as many as almost 2 million jobs, grow the economy by as much as 2 percent? So one of the same economists that took a look at our plan took a look at the Republican plan, and they said, well, this won’t do much to help the economy in the short term — it could actually cost us jobs. We could actually lose jobs with their plan.

So I’ll let you decide which plan is the real American Jobs Act. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Obama’s plan!

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Look, I appreciate the “four more years,” but right now I’m thinking about the next 13 months. (Applause.) Because, yes, we’ve got an election coming up, but that election is a long ways away, and a lot of folks can’t wait. A lot of folks are living paycheck to paycheck. A lot of folks are living week to week. You’ve got kids right now who’ve lost their teachers because at the local level you ended up having layoffs. You’ve got bridges right now that are crumbling and deteriorating. So we don’t have time to wait. And we’ve got a choice right now — right now.

Look, I want to work with Republicans on ways to create jobs right now. And where they’ve got a decent idea I’m happy to work with them. Just last week, we passed a bipartisan trade agreement with Korea that will allow us to sell more goods overseas and support almost 70,000 jobs here at home. Because my attitude is if we’re buying Hyundais and Kias, I want them buying some Fords and Chryslers and Chevys. (Applause.)

So if they’re serious about creating jobs, I’m ready to go. I don’t think anybody doubts that I have gone out of my way to try to find areas of cooperation with these Republicans. (Applause.) In fact, some of you have been mad at me for trying too hard to cooperate with them, haven’t you? (Applause.) Some of you — I get some of your letters and your emails. You’re all like, why are you cooperating with them all the time? Because it can’t be all about politics. Sometimes we’ve got to try to actually get something done. And so I’m eager to see them stand up with a serious approach to putting people back to work.

It’s time to focus less on satisfying some wing of the party and more on common-sense ideas that we can take to people to work right now and help the middle class — and help people get into the middle class, because there are a whole bunch of folks who are hurting out there and have never gotten the opportunity.

So we’re going to give members of Congress another chance to step up to the plate and do the right thing. Kay and I, we’ve decided let’s go ahead and let them do the right thing one more time. We’re going to give them another chance to do their jobs by looking after your jobs.

AUDIENCE: Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: So this week, I’m asking members of Congress to vote — what we’re going to do is we’re going to break up my jobs bill. Maybe they just couldn’t understand the whole all at once. (Laughter.) So we’re going to break it up into bite-size pieces so they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation.

So this week I’m going to ask members of Congress to vote on one component of the plan, which is whether we should put hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, and cops back on the street, and firefighters back to work. (Applause.) So members of Congress will have a chance to decide — what kind of future do our kids deserve? Should we stand up for men and women who are often digging into their own pockets to buy school supplies, when we know that the education of our children is going to determine our future as a nation? (Applause.)

They’re going to have a chance to decide, do we want to make sure that we’re looking after the men and women who protect our communities every day — our first responders, our firefighters, our police officers? (Applause.) And then, after they’ve taken that vote, we’re going to give members of Congress a chance to vote on whether we’re going to put construction workers back to work. Should they be just sitting around while roads and bridges and runways fall apart? Or should we put them back to work doing the work that America needs done? (Applause.)

After that, we’ll give them a chance to decide whether unemployed Americans should continue to struggle, or whether we should give them the experience and support they need to get back in the workforce and build a better life. And we’ll ask them to take a stand on whether we should ask people like me to pay a little more so middle-class families and small businesses can pay a little less, and end up creating the kinds of jobs we need in this economy. (Applause.)

So those are the choices that members of Congress are going to face in the coming weeks. And if they vote against these proposals again — like I said, maybe they just didn’t understand the whole thing, so we’re breaking it up into pieces. If they vote against taking steps that we know will put Americans back to work right now –-

AUDIENCE: Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: — right now —

AUDIENCE: Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: — then they’re not going to have to answer to me. They’re going to have to answer to you. (Applause.) They’re going to have to come down to North Carolina and tell kids why they can’t have their teachers back. They’re going to come down to North Carolina and look those construction workers in the eye and tell them why they can’t get to work doing the work that America needs done. They’re going to have to come down here and explain to working families why their taxes are going up while the richest Americans and largest corporations keep getting sweet deals in the tax code. They’re going to have to come down and explain to you why they don’t have an answer for how we’re putting Americans to work right now. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Right now! Right now! Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: And if they support the Republican plan — if they support the Republican plan, they’ll have to explain to you why they’d rather deny health care to millions of Americans and let corporations and banks write their own rules instead of supporting proposals that we know will create jobs right now.

So that’s where all of you come in. Some of these folks just aren’t getting the message, so I need you to send them a message. I need you to make your voices heard. I need you to give Congress a piece of your mind. (Applause.) These members of Congress work for you. If they’re not delivering, it’s time to let them know. It’s time to get on the phone and write a letter, tweet, pay a visit. Tell your elected leaders to do the right thing. Remind them what’s at stake: Putting people back to work, restoring economic security for middle-class families and helping create a ladder for folks who aren’t middle class yet to get into the middle class; rebuilding an economy where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded, building an economy that lasts for the future and for our children. (Applause.)

If we want to actually lower the deficit and invest in our future, if we want the best roads and best bridges and best airports here in the United States, if we want to continue to invest in our technology and our basic science and research so that we can continue to invent new drugs and make sure the new cars of the future that are running on electricity are made right here in North Carolina and made right here in America — if we want to do all those things, then we got to step up. (Applause.) We got to get to work. We got to get busy right now. (Applause.)

We can’t do nothing. Too many folks are hurting out there to do nothing. We need to act.

AUDIENCE: Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: Right now. (Applause.) We are not a people who sit by and do nothing when things aren’t right. We’re Americans. If something is not working, we go out there and fix it. We stick with it until the problem is fixed. That’s the spirit we need to muster right now.

AUDIENCE: Right now!

THE PRESIDENT: Let’s meet this moment. Let’s get to work. Let’s show the world once again why the United States is the greatest country on Earth.

God bless you. God bless the United States. And thank you, Asheville. Thank you, North Carolina. (Applause.)

END
11:13 A.M. EDT

Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act — West Wilkes High School, Millers Creek, NC
West Wilkes High School, Millers Creek, NC

5:08 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Millers Creek! (Applause.) It is great to be here. (Applause.) It is great to be back in North Carolina. (Applause.) And I bet — I know it’s a little warm out here, so if anybody wants to take their jacket off, please feel free. (Applause.) Some of you guys, loosen your ties there.

I am thrilled to be here with all of you. (Applause.) I want to thank all the Blackhawks who are here. (Applause.) I want to thank the Blackhawks band. (Applause.) I want to thank the Struttin’ Hawks. (Applause.)

I want to especially thank Dr. Steven Laws for the great introduction, but also for his service. He’s about to retire soon, so give him a big round of applause. (Applause.)

The Blackhawks principal, Dr. Wayne Shepherd is here. (Applause.) And I know that there are a few Mountaineers here as well, so — (applause.) I also want to thank your Lieutenant Governor, Walter Dalton — (applause) — and the mayor of North Wilkesboro, Robert Johnson. (Applause.)

Now, I’m down here today because I decided it was time to get out of Washington. (Applause.) I wanted to hit the open road and come visit some of the most beautiful parts of this great country of ours. (Applause.) We just had an unbelievable drive. We came across from Asheville, stopped in Marion for some barbecue. (Applause.) Went to the general store in Boone to buy some candy. (Applause.) Halloween is coming up, so I had to stock up a little bit. (Laughter.) Saw the mountains; saw some lakes; saw all the wonderful people in this part of the country. (Applause.)

And somebody asked me, why do you come back to North Carolina so much? I said there is just something — the people of North Carolina are so nice. (Applause.) They are gracious and they are kind, and even the folks who don’t vote for me are nice. (Applause.) So I love North Carolina. But I also thought it would be good to hear from all of you, because it seems as if your voices aren’t being heard in Washington right now. (Applause.)

This is a tough time for a lot of Americans. Here in North Carolina, a lot of folks have spent months looking for work. Others are doing their best just to scrape by. You give up nights with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; folks postponing their retirement so they can send their kids to college.

Now, I think we all understand most of these problems were not caused overnight. We’ve been dealing with some of these problems for a decade now — manufacturing leaving America to go overseas. We’ve had a health care system that didn’t work and put burdens on families and businesses. We haven’t had an energy policy in this country that makes sense and frees ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. (Applause.) Our schools haven’t done everything they need to to make sure our young people are — to make college become more affordable for too many young people.

So there are a lot of challenges that we won’t solve overnight because they weren’t caused overnight. It’s going to take time to rebuild an America where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded. (Applause.) It’s going to take time to rebuild an America where we restore a sense of security for middle-class families, and opportunity for folks who are trying to get into the middle class; an America with an economy that’s built to last and built to compete, where we are out-educating, and out-innovating, and out-building every other nation on Earth. That’s what we’ve got to build. And we’ve got to build en economy that works for everybody, not just some people. Not just the folks at the top, but for everybody. (Applause.)

Rebuilding this America will take time. But there are things we can do right now to put people back to work; things we can do right now to help middle-class Americans get ahead; things we can do right now to give our economy the jolt that it needs.

So this is why I sent Congress a while back the American Jobs Act.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Pass this bill!

THE PRESIDENT: Pass this bill. We need to pass this bill. Let me tell you about this bill. Somebody was just asking me about this bill. I said, look, this is the kind of bill that in the past would have been supported by Democrats and Republicans. It’s completely paid for. It asks folks like me, who have been incredibly blessed, to pay a little bit more so that — to pay our fair share -– folks making a million dollars or more — so that we can help folks who are struggling to get by. (Applause.)

Independent economists have said this jobs bill would create nearly 2 million jobs, grow the economy by nearly two extra percentage points. And that’s not — that is not my opinion. That is not the opinion of somebody who works for me. That’s the opinion of people whose job it is to analyze these things. Economists have said this would put people back to work.

But there are some folks in Washington who just aren’t listening.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: Last week, all the Republicans in the Senate got together and blocked the jobs bill.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: They refused to even debate it. Now, keep in mind, one poll showed that about 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. (Applause.) So why is it that 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it? It doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense.

Somebody asked me — we had a wonderful reporter come here, Dave Wagner from Charlotte. And he asked me, well, people tell me this is kind of a Republican area, so why would you come here instead of going to where there are a whole lot of Democrats?
I said, look, this is an American Jobs Act. (Applause.) It’s not the Democratic jobs act. It’s not the Republican jobs act. It’s the American Jobs Act. (Applause.)

Now, I want to be fair here. So to be fair, it turns out the Republicans, they’ve got their plan, too. Ours is called the American Jobs Act. So they started out calling theirs the “Real American Jobs Act.” I said, all right, you don’t get points for originality, but let’s see what you got. (Laughter.)

We took a look. It turns out the Republicans’ jobs plan boils down to these ideas: They want to gut environmental regulations. They want to roll back Wall Street reform so that we end up with the same financial system we had that got us into this mess in the first place. And they want to repeal health care reform so that 30 million people won’t have health insurance. That is what they call their “Real American Jobs Act.” It’s inspiring stuff. (Laughter.)

So let’s do a comparison. We can do a comparison here. The Republican plan says that what’s standing between us and full employment are laws that keep companies from polluting our air and our water. Our plan, on the other hand, says let’s put construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and schools. (Applause.) Let’s put teachers back in the classroom where they belong. (Applause.) Let’s make sure that we’re not laying off police officers and firefighters, and let’s help veterans get a job after they have defended this country. (Applause.)

Their plan says we’ll be better off if 30 million Americans don’t have health insurance. Our plan says we’ll be better off if we give a tax cut to virtually every small business and every worker in America. (Applause.) Their plan says we need to go back to the old days when Wall Street wrote its own rules. Our plan says we need to make it easier for small businesses to grow and to hire and to push this economy forward. (Applause.)

Now, remember I said — here’s the kicker. Remember I said that these independent economists had evaluated our plan — we presented, not folks who work for us. We said, all right, what do you think this will do? They said, this will create up to 2 million jobs; that will grow the economy. One of the same economists took a look at the Republican plan, and you know what they said? They said, well, this isn’t going to do much to help the economy in the short term. It could actually lead up to losing jobs, not gaining them. So much for their jobs plan.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: So I’ll let you decide which is the real American jobs plan. Because the fact is we face a choice in this country right now. I want to work with Republicans in any way possible to create jobs right now. (Applause.) And the fact is — let me say this — let me say this. I have bent over backwards. I have shown myself to be willing again and again to try to cooperate with Republicans. (Applause.) I’ve tried so hard to cooperate with Republicans, Democrats have been getting mad at me. (Laughter and applause.) But the reason I have is because my attitude is when we’re in a time that’s difficult, we can’t afford to play politics. When we’re in a time that’s difficult, we should try to find common ground. (Applause.)

Just last week, Congress passed a bipartisan trade agreement with Korea that will allow us to sell more goods into that country. Now, we’ve got a bunch of Hyundais and Kias. I think that’s fine. But I want to see some Koreans driving Fords and Chryslers and Chevys. (Applause.)

So my attitude is, it’s been — it’s way overdue for us to stop trying to satisfy some branch of the party, and take some common-sense steps to help America and to create jobs and to help the middle class.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right on!

THE PRESIDENT: And that’s why — that’s why, even though they said no the first time, we’re going to give them another chance. (Applause.) I think maybe the first time, because we had it all in one bill, maybe they didn’t study it all properly. (Laughter.) Maybe they didn’t know what they were voting against. So we’re going to chop it up into some bite-sized pieces and give them another chance to look out for your jobs instead of looking out for their own jobs. (Applause.)

So first thing we’re going to do is, this week Congress is scheduled to take a vote on whether we’re going to put hundreds of thousands of police officers and firefighters and teachers back on the job. (Applause.) Well, are we going to help state and local governments who are under a severe budget crunch make sure that they are not laying off teachers at a time when we know we’ve got to excel in education? (Applause.)

All over the country and right here in North Carolina folks are losing their jobs. Nearly 2,000 classroom positions have been eliminated this school year. And here at West Wilkes High I know some teachers weren’t rehired. You’ve had to increase class sizes and there’s almost no money for things like textbooks. This makes no sense. I can tell you the last thing a superintendent wants to do is to lose good teachers. (Applause.) Your governor has been fighting against education cuts as well. It’s unfair to our kids. It undermines our future. (Applause.)

How are we going to compete when countries like Korea and Germany who are hiring teachers and preparing their kids for the global economy, and we’re laying off teachers left and right? One North Carolina teacher said, “We didn’t cause the poor economy; if anything, we built the good part.” And he’s absolutely right. Our teachers built the good parts of this economy. They give our kids a chance to compete. They give our kids a future. That’s why we’ve got to look out for them. And this jobs bill does it. (Applause.)

My jobs plan would mean more than 13,000 education jobs here in North Carolina. (Applause.) So when the Senate votes this week — when the Senate votes this week, you all have to tell them it’s time to put our teachers back to work. (Applause.)

We’re going to give members of Congress a chance to vote on the other components of the bill — so we’re going to ask them to vote on whether construction workers should sit idly by while China is building the newest roads and bridges and airports, or whether we should put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America so that we can compete in the 21st century. (Applause.) That’s a choice that Congress is going to have to make.

Congress is going to have to make a decision whether they decide to help unemployed Americans who are struggling, or whether we should make sure that we give them the experience and support that they need to get back in the workforce and build a better life.

We’ll ask Congress whether we should stand back and let people like me take advantage of corporate loopholes and pay less in taxes, or should we ask folks like me to pay my fair share so that we give tax cuts to middle-class families and small businesses? (Applause.)

These are the choices that members of Congress are going to have to make in the coming weeks. And if they vote against these proposals, if they vote against taking steps that we know will put Americans back to work, they’ve got to explain not to me, but to you, why they’re doing it. They don’t have to answer to me, but they do have to answer to you. You sent them there. They’re going to have to come down here to North Carolina and tell kids why they can’t have their teachers back. They’re going to have to look construction workers in the eye and tell them why they shouldn’t be rebuilding roads and bridges and airports. They’re going to have to explain to working families why their taxes are going up while the richest Americans and largest corporations are getting a sweet deal.

So that’s where you guys come in. Some of these folks are just not getting the message, so I’ve got to make sure your voices are heard. I need you to give Congress a piece of your mind. (Applause.) Tell these members of Congress that they don’t work for special interest, they don’t work for lobbyists — they work for you. And if they’re not delivering, you need to let them know. (Applause.) And I don’t know whether you’re going to get on the phone, or you’re going to tweet them or write them a letter, or pay them a visit, but tell them to do the right thing. Tell them what’s at stake here.

There are too many of our fellow Americans hurting, and you can’t stand by and do nothing. Now is the time to act. And, by the way, there’s going to be an election, and we’re going to have a convention right here in North Carolina. (Applause.) But that convention is 11 months away. The election is 13 months away. And folks can’t afford to wait that long.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: They can’t sit around just listening to a bunch of political arguments. They need action, and they need it now. Because folks are living paycheck to paycheck. There are folks who are living week to week. And I don’t accept the idea that in the face of that kind of hardship that we’re going to stand by and do nothing. That’s not who we are. We are Americans. (Applause.) And you know what, we keep working at things until we get them fixed.

Yes, we have a problem with the financial — and the economy is not where it needs to be, but we can fix it. We just got to stay on it. We got to be persistent. We got to keep on trying things until folks are back to work and the economy is growing again. And we’ve got to muster that spirit right now — a “can do” spirit. Not a “no, we can’t” spirit, but a “yes, we can” spirit. (Applause.) We don’t need a “why we can’t” attitude, we need a “why we can” attitude.

I know that sometimes everybody watches television and you see what’s going on in Washington, and you get discouraged. But I just want you to remember that we’ve been through tougher times before. This is a country that’s been through a Revolutionary War, a Civil War. We got through slavery. We got through a depression. We got through World War I. We got through World War II. We have been through tougher times before. We are going to get through this, and we’re going to get through it together. Because Americans don’t quit.

So let’s meet this moment. Let’s get to work. And let’s show the world once again why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)

God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

END 5:29 P.M. EDT

Previously…

Link for mobile viewing. Live web-feed video is above. The streaming video is also available at CNN Live as well as CNN for iPhone and iPad app It can also be seen via the White House iPad and iPhone app, a free download. The speeches will begin at 10:50 a.m. ET (7:50 a.m. PT) at Asheville Regional Airport in
Fletcher, North Carolina and 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT) at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, North Carolina.

While on the 3-day American Jobs Act bus tour, the President will make stops in North Carolina and Virginia, key battleground states in the 2012 Presidential election. He will tout the $447 billion American Jobs Act and discuss jobs and the economy.

Today’s complete itinerary is here: President Obama official schedule and guidance, October 17, 2011.

Watch a video report below. See also:




YouTube Link

Related posts:


President Obama North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 17, 2011: Asheville, West Wilkes High School

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