President Barack Obama dropped into Atlanta today to give hundreds of key supporters a pep talk, accept thousands of their dollars, and criticize the platform of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney.
His message to the adoring crowd at the fundraiser in the Westin ballroom: Romney's proposals would only help the rich, hurt the environment, endanger the economy, and ultimately undo the progress the country's made since Obama took office.
Among the local notables cheering him on: Mayor Kasim Reed; former Gov. Roy Barnes; Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin, who's also serving as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention; Dan Halpern, Mayor Kasim Reed's campaign finance manager and a bigtime Democratic moneyman; and former United Nations Ambassador and Mayor Andrew Young. (View more photos of the event by CL photographer Joeff Davis.)
After giving a shout out to the "outstanding" Reed, Barnes, and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the president said the American Dream was becoming more difficult to achieve for many, especially the shrinking middle class. Electing Romney - whom the president said was a "patriotic American" with a "beautiful family" who's been "very successful in his life" - would only make matters worse.
Obama said that Romney's proposal to eliminate regulations and cut taxes for the rich - and putting one's faith in "the presumption that everyone in the country will share in this newfound prosperity" - was faulty.
"Here's the problem," the president said. "We tried it. We tried it very recently. And it doesn't work. That kind of top-down economics has never worked. That's not how this country was founded. It's worked for a few. But that doesn't create a broad-based middle class."
To do that, Obama said, the country must invest in the country's infrastructure, improve its educational system, focus on clean energy, and lure manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Here's the stump speech you're likely going to be hearing a lot between now and November:
"I believe we're all in it together. I've got a vision that says the way we're going to grow our economy and put people back to work is we ensure that every child in America has the best education possible. I've got a vision that says the way we grow our economy is by making sure that we're bringing manufacturing back to the United States. I've got a vision that says the way we rebuild our economy is to rebuild America - our roads, bridges, runways, our ports, our airports. We'll grow our economy if we grow our energy sources so we're not dependent on what happens the Middle East. That's why we have to [pursue] wind power, solar power. And I've got a vision that says we grow best when our tax code makes sure that wealthy Americans are paying a little bit more. The basic idea that everyone gets a fair shot. And everyone does their fair share. And everybody plays by the same set of rules."
The president spent little time on healthcare and immigration, key campaign issues being ruled on this week by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Prior to arriving to the event, Obama dropped by the Varsity for a hot dog. He was rumored to end his trip with a visit to the set of a Jackie Robinson biopic being filmed at the Biltmore.
"Let the Wingnut Circular Firing Squad fun begin!"
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thanks for letting us in on your meticulous record of how little you care