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October 17, 2012



Chicago, IL (OCTOBER 16, 2012) — 

President Obama stopped the bleeding in tonight’s presidential debate. In a stark contrast to Debate I, the President clearly and assertively articulated his record in stopping the economic free fall he inherited when he took office. 

We’ve gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month at the end of the Bush Administration to over 25 straight months of private sector job growth. He decisively answered the question, “are we better off now than four years ago?”

Romney would have left Detroit, the auto industry, auto workers and suppliers to die and go bankrupt, with no way to stay open--at a loss of a million jobs. His “plan”to create jobs is full of platitudes and promises, but lacks real, concrete action points.

The President took decisive action to save the auto industry and lead its recovery – creating jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and throughout the heartland of America. He bet on this country and we are allwinning. 

Romney continued to flip flop on the specifics of his tax plan, but, if his plans to cut Medicare, Obamacare, and other social programs are any indication, we can be assured that his policies will not help the poor or middle class. A recent study of Romney’s health care plan shows that it would increase health care premiums for most Americans and leave 72 million people uninsured.

 Romney’s math just doesn’t add up. As the President reminded us, referring to his opponent’s now infamous 47% remark, Romney looks down on the majority of Americans while looking out for only the very wealthy. 

Tonight, the President outlined real solutions to protect the safety net for the most vulnerable, expanding affordable health care insurance for millions of uninsured families and young people. He highlighted the path to a bright future for America’s youth – increasing Pell Grants and expanding student loans, thus allowing young people to afford higher education; working to reform and improve K-12 education, rebuilding our traditional manufacturing base, and investing in new solar, technology and green jobs.

In short, the President is on course to reinvest in American and put all Americans back to work. 

Where Romney said he sees “illegal aliens,” the President sees dreamers, young people striving to contribute to our nation. Indeed, if the DREAM Act were passed, it would add $329 billion to the economy by 2030.

There was still much missing from the debates: the plight and promise of our cities has been virtually absent, as Republicans venture into cities only for high-dollar, closed-door fund-raisers. We desperately need policies to address urban poverty — just as we need policies to address poverty in Appalachia and rural areas. As urban poverty rapidly spreads to the suburbs, we need policies to address poverty there as well. 

Mass transit, education, affordable housing, a living wage, child nutrition, Medicaid, public health — these fundamental needs of the vulnerable are now slated for deep cuts in the Romney/Ryan budgets.

 And consider inequality, which has reached greater extremes than in the age of the robber barons. Coming out of the recession, the top 1 percent captured fully 93 percent of the country’s income growth.

Romney favors lowering tax rates on the wealthy (while closing unspecified loopholes); Obama favors ending the top-end Bush tax cuts and enforcing a Buffett rule so that billionaires don’t pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. But absent has been any discussion of the implications of this kind of extreme inequality for our democracy — even as big money floods our campaigns. Absent has been any serious discussion about what agenda would be needed to rebuild a broad middle class, to recreate what we enjoyed after World War II when we all grew together and incomes on the bottom grew faster, rather than now, when the few are rising, and the rest are sinking.

We’ve witnessed another night of debate. We look forward to the last leg of the campaign, three weeks where at least some of the vital subjects that are being ignored— cities, poverty, inequality, climate change — will be presented to the American people.

The next three weeks will determine what type of America we will build and what the future holds for generations to come. President Obama has set the course and begun the race. Now he must finish it.




The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit or call(773) 373-3366.