Raising campaign cash in his home state of Hawaii, President Obama told supporters today that “the very core of what this country stands for is on the line.”
“The basic promise that no matter who you are or where you come from, what you look like, that you can make it in America if you try — that vision is on the line,” Obama told roughly 250 supporters who paid $1,000 each to attend brunch at the Aulani Disney Resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii.
In a relatively standard stump speech the president defended his record of “change” and accused Republicans of wanting to lead the country in a “race to the bottom” with other countries.
“Since places like China allow companies to pay low wages, they want to roll back the minimum wage and the right to organize here at home. Since other countries don’t have the same anti-pollution measures that we have — dirtier air, dirtier water — their attitude is, let’s go ahead and pollute. That’s how we’re going to compete,” he said.
The president argued that the competition for jobs and the middle class won’t be won by “saying every American is on their own” and giving “tax cuts to people who don’t need them.”
“It doesn’t work,” he said. “The reason it won’t work is because we are not a country that is built on survival of the fittest. That’s not who we are. We believe in the survival of the nation.”
Looking ahead to 2012, the president said he needs more time to fulfill his promise of change.
“It takes more than a single term. It takes more than a single president,” he said.