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POTUS-VPOTUS Tampa - 1.28

POTUS-VPOTUS Tampa - 1.28

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Published by: mahexaminer on Jan 29, 2010
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Harris, Michael A
bounce-817584-2257632@list.whitehouse.gov on behalf of White House Press Office[whitehouse-lists-noreply@list.whitehouse.gov]
Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:40 PM
Harris, Michael A
Remarks by the President and the Vice President at town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida
THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press Secretary ________________________________________________________________For Immediate Release January 28, 2010REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTAND THE VICE PRESIDENTAT TOWN HALL MEETINGUniversity of Tampa Bob Martinez Sports CenterTampa, Florida1:14 P.M. ESTTHE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very, very much. Thank you allvery much. It's amazing the crowds I draw. (Laughter.) It's great to bewith you all today. And I really hope you all got to hear the President'sspeech last night. (Applause.) Wasn't it good? I think the Presidentlaid out with clarity and power what we've done, what we're going to do,and how we're committed to getting it done. (Applause.)He laid out a clear and ambitious plan -- a plan that flows from ourcore principles, the principles we ran on, our core mission that we saidwe were going to attend to when we took office a year ago. And that wasvery simple: to restore the middle class in America. (Applause.)Look, because of the President's bold leadership, we weathered themost ferocious economic storm this nation has seen since the GreatDepression, keeping us from sliding into a depression, as some leadingeconomists suggested. The President from the outset has understood thatit's all about jobs, but there's a lot of business to attend to just tokeep us from sliding off the edge.Well, ladies and gentlemen, the President knows one other thing. Ina sense, it's more than about jobs. A job is more than a paycheck. It'sabout dignity and it's about respect. And too many people have lost it.(Applause.)Ladies and gentlemen, President Obama understands that the longestwalk a mother or father can make is a trip up a short flight of stairs totheir child's bedroom to say, "Honey, I'm sorry, you're not going to beable to stay at Stewart Middle School next year, or you can't play on West
Tampa's Little League team next year, honey. We're going to have to movebecause daddy or mommy lost their job, or because the bank said we can'tkeep our house."My dad made that walk when I was a kid in our home in Scranton,Pennsylvania. I remember vividly my father walking up the stairs and Isitting on the end of the bed with my sister, Valerie, the only one oldenough to understand what he was talking about. He said, "I'm sorry,honey, but I'm going to have to move."The first thought I had was, God, they're getting divorced --literally. That's what worried me. He said, "I've got to move, honey.You and Val are going to stay here with Mom and Jimmy and you're going tostay here with Grandpa, because Dad has to move to Delaware. I'll beback. It will take about a year, but I'll come back and forth. But we'regoing to be okay."Wasn't until I got older I realized how hard that must have been formy father to make that walk; how hard it must have been for him to go intothe kitchen before that walk and say to his father-in-law, "Ambrose, canyou do me a favor? Can you keep my family? Can Jean and the kids stayhere with you? I'll try to do it as quick as I can. But there's nojobs."Ladies and gentlemen, too many Floridians have had to make that walkover the last two years. And the President and I understand. Weunderstand. And we're determined to make sure that every hardworkingFloridian, every hardworking American, is able to walk into his child'sroom and say, "Honey, it's going to be okay." (Applause.) That's whatthis is all about. That's what this is all about.As you heard last night, that's why we're putting in place thepolicies that will enable us to reduce the debt we inherited and deal withthe spending required to keep us from falling off the cliff this year.And during the process, you heard him say how we are reordering ourcountry's priorities. We're investing in health care, education, energyinformation, technology, health technology -- (applause) -- electricvehicles and batteries, investments that will help us build a new economyfor the 21st century -- investments that will allow us to lead in the 21stcentury as we did in the 20th.Ladies and gentlemen, we're determined to restore America to itsrightful place at the leading edge of innovation, with bold ideas thatwill create jobs immediately and serve as the foundation, a new platform -- (applause) -- a new platform to build this economy on that will servenot just our immediate needs but future generations; ideas like windpower, solar energy, a smart grid, broadband -- (applause) -- and high-speed rail. And that's why we're here today. (Applause.)Having made over 7,900 round trips, literally, on Amtrak, 250 miles aday, I am very familiar with rail. (Laughter.) And today you have noidea how pleased I am to talk about the announcement that we made
yesterday awarding -- in total, nationwide -- nearly $8 billion from theRecovery Act, funding to move us in the direction of developing a high-speed rail service in 13 travel corridors covering 31 states all acrossthis country. (Applause.)Ladies and gentlemen, these investments -- these investments haveseveral goals: first, to improve existing rail lines to make trainservice faster, more reliable; two, to pull cars off the road, reducingcongestion, cutting pollution, and increasing productivity; and three, tobegin to develop new corridors for high-speed trains that will go from 169to 230 miles an hour. (Applause.)Ladies and gentlemen, like a corridor, right here from Tampa toOrlando -- (applause) -- so you'll be able to get on a train here toOrlando in less than an hour, without battling traffic and congestion,arrive at your destination. Ladies and gentlemen, this single investmentis not going to solve all our transportation issues overnight. Instead,with more than $55 billion of proposals from 50 states all across thecountry, we're providing $8 billion in seed money. And today's awardsprovide only initial funding for the rail system. Like Tampa and Orlandoroute, more funding is going to come in the future as progress is made.We have committed to another $5 billion in funding over the next fiveyears. It's a down payment on a truly national program that's going toreshape the way we travel. It will change the way which we go from placeto place, change the ways we work and live, and will connect communitiesto each other in a way that in the past was impossible. Just like theInterstate Highway structure did back in the mid-'50s, it will have far-reaching consequences.Let me ask you a question: How can we, the leading nation in theworld, be in a position where China, Spain, France -- and name all theother countries who have rail systems that are far superior to ours?Ladies and gentlemen, it's about time we move. But this time -- butthis time, we're not only going to be providing a better way to transport;we're going to be taking cars off of congested highways, reducing carbonemissions, and saving billions of dollars in human productivity lost justsitting in traffic jams, as studies point out.Most important, we're creating jobs -- good jobs. (Applause.)Construction jobs. Manufacturing jobs. And we're going to be creatingthem right now. We're going to spur economic development in the futureand we're making our communities more livable all in the process.And ladies and gentlemen, it's now my pleasure to introduce the manwho's leading us in this new era of adventure, the President of the UnitedStates of America. (Applause.) President Barack Obama. (Applause.)THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Hello, Tampa! (Applause.)Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. It's great to see you. All

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