Tonight, Vice President Biden will debate Congressman Paul Ryan. And we're in Congressman Ryan's hometown: Janesville, Wisconsin.
The Gotta Vote bus team is cheering on our VP at a debate watch party at Janesville's United Auto Workers hall. It's a fitting place when you remember that during the Republican National Convention, Congressman Ryan tried to convince the American people that President Obama was somehow responsible for an auto plant that closed here in Janesville under President George W. Bush. That night, Congressman Ryan showed us his breathtaking willingness to skirt the truth, and we expect he'll show a similar disregard for the facts at tonight's debate.
The Obama Truth Team will be live fact checking Congressman Ryan all night, but since we're with the UAW, let's set the record straight on the auto rescue: President Obama's decision to lend Detroit a hand saved a million jobs up and down the supply chain. The big three American auto manufacturers—GM, Chrysler, and Ford—are all profitable for the first time since the late 1990s. Plants are adding third shifts to keep up with demand, and we've added 245,000 auto jobs across the country, many of which are here in Wisconsin.
No wonder Paul Ryan's trying to distort the President's record—his own running mate wanted to "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
If you saw his convention speech, you know: Paul Ryan is a case study in the 7 Habits of Highly Misleading People. From the casual fib to a flat-out falsehood, which tactics of deceit will he employ tonight on the debate stage?
The Gotta Vote bus tour rolled into Green Bay, Wisconsin, this morning with a special guest: Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Biden. With 27 days left till Election Day, Biden joined union members, students, retirees, and volunteers to stand up against a Republican ticket that wants to divide America.
"Behind me are those 47 percent that Romney talked about," says Biden. "Let me tell you something. The disabled vet I met in Marshalltown, Iowa, the disabled vets in this district, they don't view themselves as victims. They would return to their unit if they could. My grandmother, she didn't view herself as entitled to anything. She paid into the system and she earned her Medicare and Social Security. Moms, dads, working two, three, four jobs to put dinner on the table and provide for their families? They don't view themselves as irresponsible. They are responsible. They are the middle class."
President Obama and Vice President Biden get that, he says. They're working to build the economy from the middle class out, creating more than 5.2 million jobs and helping put our veterans to work when they come home. That's something that hits home for Biden, a member of the Delaware National Guard who served his country in Iraq. He says that when it comes to taking care of his fellow veterans, Ryan and the Democratic candidates have a fundamentally different view—and the proof is in the budget.
"My father always said, don't tell me your priorities," says Biden. "Show me your budget, and I'll tell you what your priorities are. Well, let's look at Mr. Ryan's budget. If you believe his math, he would cut 20 percent from the VA. That would amount to an $11 billion cut that would've gone to health care for veterans—22 million veterans nationally.
"We have been a generation at war for a decade. What is Mr. Ryan's priority? In 2002 and 2003, while Americans were going off to war, he was voting for a tax break for the wealthiest Americans that no one wanted or needed that blew up our budget. In 2012, he wants to do the very same thing. He has a fundamentally different set of values than my father and the President have. He's more concerned with giving the .1 percent a tax break than he is looking out for those of us who have served in Iraq and and are veterans."
If you'd rather take care of our veterans than give millionaires and billionaires another tax cut, then you gotta vote. You can still register to vote in Wisconsin and in many states across the country. Find everything you need to know about voting at www.gottavote.com.
Earlier this year, Sandra Fluke drew the wrath of conservatives when she testified before Congress arguing that her law school's lack of contraception coverage hurt women, who often use birth control for preventive care. Rush Limbaugh led the right-wing charge, verbally attacking her as a "slut" for speaking out on an issue she believed in: access to women's health care.
Fluke has become an outspoken women's rights advocate, and today, she hit the campaign trail with the Gotta Vote bus to spread the message to the women—and men—of Iowa City just how high the stakes are in this election.
"This November, we have a real choice between candidates with two visions. There's a lot at stake. Mr. Romney believes that a woman's employer should be the one who decides what kind of health care she should have. President Obama believes that trust belongs in a woman, that she can make that decision with her doctor and family.
"Mr. Romney has refused to stand up for equal pay. Our generation thought we wouldn't have to keep pushing on this. President Obama has been a clear leader. The Lilly Ledbetter Act was the first bill that he signed, and he's not done yet. He's called for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
"And when we've needed him most, President Obama has stood with women and defended our access to health care when he defended Planned Parenthood. Mr. Romney, by contrast, has said he wants to defund Planned Parenthood. That means taking away breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, and care for moms and babies. That's not the leadership or the vision that women deserve.
"So if you believe in a woman's right to fair pay and her ability to enforce that, you gotta vote. If you believe in an America where a woman can make decisions about her own body—you gotta vote, and you gotta vote for President Obama."
Today is momentous for Caroline: It's her first day as a Medicare beneficiary. So when Paul Ryan comes to her hometown of Dubuque today, Caroline's going to be doing a little campaigning of her own—because the future of Medicare is at stake in this election.
If elected, Romney and Ryan would turn Medicare into a voucher program that would put seniors at the mercy of insurance companies and could even raise their health care costs by $6,400 a year on average. That doesn't sit well with Caroline, who says, "It's obscene to consider vouchers as an option for people who have worked their whole life to be part of the system."
So as a neighborhood team leader at OFA Iowa, Caroline's urging people—young and old—to get out and vote, and since they're in Iowa, vote early. Because even if a voter thinks he's too young to care about Medicare, she wants them to realize that "one medical diagnosis, one job loss, one catastrophic thing could change everything. Everything is at stake." That's true for Caroline: Her son has a pre-existing condition, and this election comes down to choosing a President who believes in good, affordable health care for all Americans—not emergency rooms. Another son is in the military, so this election comes down to re-electing a commander-in-chief who's fighting for Caroline's son as hard as he is fighting for his country.
That's why she's going to work as hard as she can for the next 36 days—because "this isn't about Barack Obama. This is about a generation."