President Barack Obama traveled to Florida on Tuesday for a series of rallies, seeking to make his case for economic fairness while also encouraging his supporters the Sunshine State.
Obama, who spoke to students at Florida Atlantic University in an official event sandwiched between three fundraising events, said that the essence of America is about ensuring that everyone who works hard has a chance to prosper.
Prosperity in America, Obama said, has never "trickled-down" from a wealthy few. Instead, he said, America's strength had always come from a strong and growing middle class.
Citing the example of his own grandfather, Obama said that was how a generation of Americans who went to college on the GI Bill after WWII built "the most prosperous economy the world has ever known."
Obama also noted that automobile entrepreneur Henry Ford made a point to pay his workers well enough that they could afford to buy the cars they were producing.
"America isn't about a few people doing well," he said. "It's about giving everybody the chance to do well."
Calling on the science and engineering students in the audience, Obama also took a thinly-veiled swipe at his Republican opponents, saying that the GOP experiment with seeking to promote prosperity through tax cuts for the wealthy had failed.
Failed experiments do have value in science, Obama noted, but instead of "going back to the drawing board" to find a new approach, Republicans are "doubling down" on what he called a failed economic policy.
Earlier, while speaking at a small event before some top supporters of his campaign, Obama said that the coming election would be a clear choice between competing values and visions for the country.
"My vision … the Democratic vision is one that says that free market is the key to economic growth," Obama said, "We don't need to build government just for the sake of expanding its reach but there are certain things we have to do -- whether it's investments in education, or basic science and research, or caring for the most vulnerable among us and creating an effective safety net -- that we have to do, because we can't do it on our own."
He added, "The Republicans in this race, they've got a fundamentally different idea. Their basic deal is that if they dismantle government investments in infrastructure or clean energy research, or education, if they give it all away in tax cuts to folks like me and some of you who don't need them and weren't even asking for them, that that somehow makes America stronger."
Obama said he "fundamentally" disagreed with the Republican vision.
"Our greatness as a nation has always been because we rise together and we have a broad-based prosperity, and we build a middle class where everybody who wants to work hard, everybody who's willing to put all their effort into it, they can make it, regardless of what they look like, where they come from, what their last name is," the president said.
He added, "That's our vision for America. That's what's at stake in this election."
by RTT Staff Writer
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