News / USA

    Obama in Chicago: Help Me Finish the Job in 2012

    President Barack Obama smiles as he points to his supporters at a DNC fundraising event at Navy Pier in Chicago, Thursday, April 14, 2011
    President Barack Obama smiles as he points to his supporters at a DNC fundraising event at Navy Pier in Chicago, Thursday, April 14, 2011

    President Barack Obama on Thursday used his home town of Chicago as the backdrop to formally kick off fundraising for his 2012 re-election campaign.   The president told supporters they need to help him "finish the job" he began when he was elected in 2008, and he fired some political shots at opposition Republicans.

    Though he formally filed papers a week ago confirming his candidacy, and his major fiscal policy speech this week was in part a political speech, Obama returned to his home town for what amounted to the formal kick off his campaign.

    President Obama appeared at three events, two at restaurants and another at the famous Navy Pier in Chicago, and supporters paid between $100 and $38,500 to hear him speak - money that was to flow to his re-election campaign.

    At the largest event before about 2,300 people the president listed accomplishments during his first two years in office, including passage of health care reform and drawing down U.S. military operations in Iraq.

    Pointing to unfinished work on issues such as climate change and immigration reform, he appealed to supporters to help him finish the job he began in 2008.

    "We didn’t come here tonight just to pat ourselves on the back, we came here tonight because we know that for all the progress we have made we still have business to do," he said. "We are not finished.  And the only way we are going to finish is the same way we began this journey, and that is together."

    As he spoke, back in Washington the House of Representatives and the Senate approved and sent to the president's desk legislation, the product of Obama's latest compromise with Republicans, that cuts current year spending by about $38 billion.

    In Chicago, the president said Republican budget proposals would harm the economy and result in higher health care costs for the elderly.   He said there is a need to build on compromise, but not sacrifice key priorities.

    "We can't compromise on our investments to grow, the investments we need to create jobs," he said.  "We have got to reform defense spending, we have got to reform health care spending, but we are not going to sacrifice our fundamental commitment that we make to one another through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, the safety net for our people."

    His Chicago appearances came as the field of confirmed and likely Republican candidates for 2012 continued to grow. It now includes former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

    In remarks to a Republican women's group in New Hampshire on Thursday, Barbour criticized the president on everything from his health care reform law to his 2012 budget, asserting Mr. Obama favors bigger and more expensive government.

    "The Obama administration has limitless faith in unlimited government.  And the average American understands that bigger government means a smaller economy," he said.

    On Capitol Hill on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans succeeded in fundamentally shifting the political debate, and criticized Obama for his opposition to any further extensions of Bush-era tax cuts.

    "Raising taxes on the very people that we expect to invest in our economy and create jobs is the wrong move.  Washington does not have a revenue problem, Washington has a spending problem," he said.

    Political analysts predict that President Obama may raise well over $1 billion, which would be a record, for his 2012 re-election campaign, exceeding the $774 million he brought in on the way to winning the White House in 2008.

    Obama told supporters in Chicago that while his campaign is now in its early stages, he will be fully engaged in the 2012 race and "ready to go".   He will be ramping up his travel in coming weeks and months with additional trips to states that could determine whether he wins a second term as president.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.