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 Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora