Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Obama Live in Florida: Economic Town Hall Meeting, Fort Myers
"We are on a downward economic spiral"; "This is a challenge we did not ask for"; "We have postponed for too long. . .talked for too long. . .the people of Florida need help and action and they need it now." Introduced by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and in front of crowds chanting, "Yes, we can!" President Obama was in full form and vigor at a live press conference just minutes ago, in Fort Meyers, Florida. The Town Hall economic meeting came on the heels of what was described as urgency to forestall catastrophe. " We are on a downward economic spiral", the President said. After telling stories of Americans in economic crisis who he had spoken with, the President said, "These set the true standard for this economic plan." "I will keep that promise" said Obama, referring to campaign promise to bring new economic life to the vast middle class. "We need to change things, and that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States" Obama asserted, to cheering crowds. Said Obama, "Fort Meyers has had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. . . property values have plunged. . . " beofore adding that Change must come, and not just to the top. . . . that is the paradox." He spoke at length of his jobs creation plan of a "highly skilled workforce". Also discussed were ending America's dependence on foreign oil and finding clean sources of energy; fixing our schools, and rebuilding our roads. "They say we cannot afford to [make all these changes]. . . Florida, you know we cannot afford NOT to!" Obama shouted, adding, "Doing nothing is not an option" as the crowds cheered him. Answering questions from the assembled group after his speech, Obama said that this current crisis can be made into an opportunity, and that we can emerge economically stronger from what "should have been addressed 15 years ago.".