A familiar face visits Mansfield
With 97 days until the Nov. 6 presidential election, President Barrack Obama visited Mansfield on Aug. 1 for a brief speech in front of more than 1,000 supporters. Several blocks in the downtown area of the city were blocked off for the event at Central Park and security was very high.
Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland was in attendance and spoke briefly at the beginning of the ceremony. He has been serving as co-chairman for Obama’s re-election campaign and got the crowd “fired up,” part of one of the many campaign slogans.
- Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland talks to reporters before the ceremony.
Local business owner Brenda Baker (Fast Eddie’s Pizza in Bellville) had the honor of introducing the president, who flew over the park by helicopter. When Obama approached the podium just minutes later and waved to the cheering crowd, the park quickly became silent for his speech.
Beginning at 11:45 that morning, Obama first recognized the American athletes competing at the Olympics, including the 17 athletes from Ohio. Then he discussed the election and the issues many Americans are concerned about. “My first order of business is to recover all the jobs lost to the wealth depression…Beyond that, we’re here to reclaim the financial security that has been stripped away for over a decade,” he stated.
The president asked the audience to think about everything positive that America has going: the best workers, the best congressmen and the best educational institutions. “People want to come here from every corner of the globe,” he continued. “So no matter what the nay sayers tell us, not matter how dark things may look, there is not another country on Earth that would not gladly trade places with the United States of America.”
He cited politics and a lack of compromise between the two parties as the major problem in the country. He also bashed top down economics, which his opponent, Republican presidential nominee Mit Romney, is in favor of, saying that it would only hurt the middle class. According to him, under Romney’s plan individuals earning more than $3 million in income would receive a quarter of a million dollars in tax breaks.
“Under my opponent’s plan, who do you think gets the bill for these $250, 000 tax cuts? You do, and you don’t have to take my word for it.” He then referenced a study by independent researchers, who said the plan would cause a tax increase for the middle class of more than $2,000 per household.
- Obama opponents, mainly members of the local Tea Party, picket outside of the roadblocks.
“I promise you we will not get there if we adopt these ideas that somehow spending more on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires who don’t need them–and aren’t even asking for them–is actually going to improve the economy. We tried that and it did not work,” Obama concluded.
He continued to point out some of the main differences between his plan and Romney’s, like keeping jobs in the United States and continued tax breaks for middle class families. However, he said that fixing the national economic situation is not only about creating more jobs, but growing the economy over the long haul.
“All I’m asking you to do is contribute just a little bit more to help continue growing the economy…And I’m going to make sure the government does its part. We can make more cuts…but not by cutting the investments that have always kept the middle class strong.”
“Wouldn’t we be better off in making higher education more affordable? Wouldn’t we be better off if we kept investing in manufacturing, so we can sell goods around the world stamped with the words ‘Made in Mansfield, Ohio’? Wouldn’t we be better off if we had the courage to keep moving forward?”