If you ask supporters from Sioux City to Miami why they support President Obama, they'll tell you stories about their kids, their grandkids, their student loan debt. "2008 was historic; 2012 is personal" is more than a campaign catchphrase—it's a reality for so many folks like Jack, who stopped by a Gotta Vote event near his home in Coconut Creek, Florida, yesterday. This year really is personal.
Colin Powell, the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and four-star general, made his 2012 endorsement this morning. He's supporting Barack Obama once again.
"I signed on for a long patrol with President Obama, and I don't think this is the time to make such a sudden change," he told CBS This Morning earlier today. "Not only am I not comfortable with what Governor Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy. The governor, who was speaking Monday night at the debate, was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier. So I'm not quite sure which Gov. Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy. … It's a moving target."
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement tonight on the final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida:
“Tonight, the American people saw their commander in chief in President Barack Obama, and it’s more than clear that Mitt Romney is not ready to step into that role. The President didn’t just win; he dominated tonight’s debate because he was strong, clear, and steady—while outlining a real vision to make our nation safer and maintain America’s leadership in the world.
“Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was incredibly unclear, uncertain, and unsteady. He endorsed President Obama’s foreign policy leadership so frequently that it looked like he was auditioning to be the President’s secretary of state. But that doesn’t change the facts—Mitt Romney was wrong on Iraq, Afghanistan, bin Laden, al Qaeda, Syria, Russia, and defense spending. Tonight’s 90 minutes simply cannot undo six years of being wrong on every major foreign policy issue. At each and every turn—including several times tonight—Romney has failed the commander in chief test.
“The President said it best tonight: Mitt Romney would take us back to the foreign policy of the 1980s, the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policy of the 1920s. Meanwhile, President Obama’s policies would keep building on the progress of the last four years—standing strong with our allies, maintaining our unbreakable alliance with partners like Israel, honoring our country’s veterans, doing critical nation building here at home, and moving America forward, not back.”
The country got a glimpse at who Mitt Romney really is when a video recently leaked showing him dismissing 47 percent of Americans as victims who depend on government handouts. At a Gotta Vote bus tour stop at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Dana Wachs, who's running for a seat in the state assembly, told this story of what Romney's comments meant to a man he met knocking on doors:
"The other day, I was campaigning in my district, and I was going through walk sheets, and I got a couple blocks mixed up—should've gone to the left, but I went to the right and walked up, knocked on the door. Then I turned around and there were pretty conservative bumper stickers on the car, and there were pretty conservative flags flying on the flagpole. I thought, my goodness, I'm going to be in there for a long time.
"And the door opened, and I said, 'I'm Dana Wachs, and I'm a Democrat running for the state assembly.' And this guy wheeled up to the door in a wheelchair, and he put his hand out, and he said, 'You're a Democrat?' I said yeah. He said, 'I've never voted for a Democrat, but I was wounded in the war, and I'm voting for one now.'"
If you don't want a president who's so quick to dismiss our combat troops and disabled veterans as "victims," then you gotta vote.
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.