AUSTIN, Texas — President Obama said he wants to be a “pioneer of insourcing,” in contrast to his opponent, Mitt Romney, who Obama and his campaign are attempting to characterize as a “pioneer of outsourcing.”
“I believe in making things here in America and I believe in inventing things here in America, and Governor Romney his main calling card for running for office is his business experience, and so understandably American people have been asking ‘Well, let’s find out what you’ve been doing,’” Obama said to a crowd packed into the Austin Music Hall.
“If your main experience is investing in companies that are called pioneers of outsourcing, then that indicates that we’ve got a different vision because I don’t want to be a pioneer of outsourcing,” he said, standing before a giant American flag and an oversized Texas flag to his right at his third fundraiser of the day in Texas. “I want to be a pioneer of insourcing.”
Over the past month, the Obama campaign has hammered Romney for his connection to Bain Capital, accusing him of being at the helm of the company while it invested in companies that shipped jobs overseas.
The crowd, which stood shoulder to shoulder in this music venue where the acoustics and tight quarters gave the fundraiser the ambience of a concert, responded with loud applause when Obama repeated his support of LGBT issues, spoke about immigration, and lauded the Supreme Court’s decision on healthcare.
“We are not rolling back healthcare reform. The Supreme Court has spoken and we are moving forward,” Obama said to loud cheers and applause. “If you’ve got healthcare, the only thing that now happens to you — you’re not paying a tax. The only thing that’s happening to you is that you have more security because insurance companies can’t jerk you around.”
Obama also pledged not to end funding to Planned Parenthood, an assurance with additional meaning here as the state of Texas is locked in a court battle over whether Planned Parenthood should be included in the Women’s Health Program.
Reflecting on his early campaigns in Illinois and his 2008 run, Obama reminded voters of a promise he made to them that despite not being a perfect president, he vowed to look out for their best interests.
“In 2008 I tried to just make promises I could keep, and one of those promises I said to you — I’m not a perfect man. I promise you, talk to Michelle now. I’m not a perfect man,” Obama told the crowd as they laughed. “I said I wouldn’t be a perfect president but what I said was that I would always tell you where I stood. I’d always tell you what I thought, and I would spend every single waking hour, as long as I have the privilege of being your president, fighting for you, thinking about you because in you I saw me.”
After appearing in San Antonio earlier today, Obama closed out his Texas fundraising spree with two events in Austin — the public event for 1,100 people at Austin Music Hall priced at $250 a head and a private fundraiser at the home of Tom Meredith, a former Dell executive, at the Four Seasons Residences, costing $25,000 a couple, according to campaign officials. He is expected to raise more than $4 million on this one-day trip.
The president was accompanied at the fundraiser by a number of Texas notables: Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, and country musician Jerry Jeff Walker.
Obama’s last visit to Austin was in 2010, when he attended a DNC fundraiser and delivered a speech at the University of Texas, but the president joked with the Austin crowd this evening that after serving two terms as president or if he loses this campaign, he might settle down in the capitol of Texas and pursue a vastly different career path — dog catcher.
“Texas, let me tell you. This is my last campaign. It’s true, unless I move down here to Austin,” Obama said to a roar of cheers from the crowd. “Run for dog catcher down here or something.”