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Weekly remarks: Marco Rubio on deficit spending; Obama on appreciating U.S. troops

August 28, 2010 |  3:00 am

A cooler Capitol Hill scene


Remarks by Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio of Florida, as provided by Republican congressional leadership

Hi, I’m Marco Rubio. 

It’s an honor to talk to you today about the direction of our country. 

About the decisions being made in Washington that will determine what kind of nation we leave to our children.

America is the greatest country in the history of the world. But that didn’t happen by accident and it won’t continue automatically.

Today the American Dream is threatened by out-of-control politicians in Washington who think that more government deficit spending is what it takes to grow our economy. That has never worked anywhere it’s been tried and it won’t work now.

Now for some it may be hard to imagine that the American Dream could actually be at risk, but as the son of exiles I know firsthand that it is possible to lose your country because my parents lost....

... theirs. They came to America with virtually nothing.  My Mom worked as a factory worker, a maid and a stock clerk at Kmart. My Dad was a bartender. They made many sacrifices so we would know opportunities they never did.

But you see our story is not unique. It’s the story of America. It’s our history. It’s our common heritage.

Will we remain that type of country? Well that depends on the decisions we make right now. America’s greatness is threatened by the economic policies coming from Washington, D.C.  Simply put, they are taking us in the wrong direction. But it’s not too late to do something about it.

You know, for the last two years I’ve traveled Florida, listening to the concerns of everyday Americans, and discussing ideas to bring real change to Washington.

And over and over, I heard the same message.

Like most Americans, Floridians are frustrated with arrogance in Washington.  And they have had enough of the failed stimulus, of record deficits, of reckless spending, and of economic policies that are killing jobs. 

You know, since the stimulus was passed, more than 200,000 Floridians have lost their jobs. And for the first time in our history, more than one million Floridians are out of work. 
Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio
People have every right to be upset. But in the midst of this frustration and anxiety, there is also great resilience.

Tired of finger pointing and sound bites, they want real solutions. They want an alternative to the direction Washington is taking our country and that alternative really isn’t all that complicated.

First, Washington needs to realize that politicians don’t create jobs. Jobs are created by everyday people from all walks of life who start a new business or grow an existing one. The job of government is to create an economic climate that encourages the job creators.

But the policies coming from Washington are scaring the job creators. They have created tremendous uncertainty about the future.

And that’s why we must prevent the massive tax hikes set to take effect at the end of the year.  Tax increases which would be the largest in America’s history.

And it’s time, once and for all, to abandon ideas like cap-and-trade and card check. 

Second, we need Washington, D.C., to stop spending more money than it takes in. 

And that means ending the failed stimulus and using the leftover funds to pay down the debt.

And finally, we must repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a plan that will lower health insurance costs for Americans without bankrupting the nation. 

Replace it with a system that promotes competition, allows people to keep the coverage they already have, and gives individuals the same tax breaks that businesses get when they buy healthcare insurance for their employees.

We are truly at a crossroads. Our children will either be the most prosperous Americans ever, or they will be the first to inherit a diminished country.

If we stay on the road Washington has us on right now, we will lose our exceptionalism and our country will become no different than any other country in the world.

But if we embrace free enterprise, if we accept spending discipline, well then America’s future will be brighter than her history. And we will secure for our children what they deserve to inherit. The greatest nation in all of human history.

Thank you for listening, God bless you and your family, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.    ####

Democrat president Barack Obama Golfing again

Remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House

On Tuesday, after more than seven years, the United States of America will end its combat mission in Iraq and take an important step forward in responsibly ending the Iraq war.

As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As president, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office. We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases. In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security.

In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts. But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home.

As we mark the end of America’s combat mission in Iraq, a grateful nation must pay tribute to all who have served there.  Because part of responsibly ending this war is meeting our responsibility to those who have fought it.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now make up America’s longest continuous combat engagement. For the better part of a decade, our troops and their families have served tour after tour with honor and heroism, risking and often giving their lives for the defense of our freedom and security. More than one million Americans in uniform have served in Iraq – far more than any conflict since Vietnam.  And more than one million who have served in both wars have now finished their service and joined the proud ranks of America’s veterans.

What this new generation of veterans must know is this: our nation’s commitment to all who wear its uniform is a sacred trust that is as old as our republic itself.  It is one that, as President, I consider a moral obligation to uphold.

At the same time, these are new wars; with new missions, new methods, and new perils. And what today’s veterans have earned – what they have every right to expect – is new care, new opportunity, and a new commitment to their service when they come home.

That’s why, from the earliest days of my Administration, we’ve been strengthening that sacred trust with our veterans by making our veterans policy more responsive and ready for this new century.

We’re building a 21st century VA, modernizing and expanding VA hospitals and healthcare, and adapting care to better meet the unique needs of female veterans.  We’re creating a single electronic health record that our troops and veterans can keep for life.  We’re breaking the claims backlog and reforming the process with new paperless systems.  And we are building new wounded warrior facilities through the Department of Defense

But for many of our troops and their families, the war doesn’t end when they come home. Too many suffer from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder – the signature injuries of today’s wars – and too few receive proper screening or care.  We’re changing that.  We’re directing significant resources to treatment, hiring more mental health professionals, and making major investments in awareness, outreach, and suicide prevention.  And we’re making it easier for a vet with PTSD to get the benefits he or she needs.

To make sure our troops, veterans and their families have full access to the American Dream they’ve fought to defend, we’re working to extend them new opportunity. Michelle and Jill Biden have forged a national commitment to support military families while a loved one is away. We’ve guaranteed new support to caregivers who put their lives on hold for a loved one’s long recovery.  We’re funding and implementing the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which is already helping some 300,000 veterans and their family members pursue their dream of a college education.

And for veterans trying to find work in a very tough economy, we’ve devoted new resources to job training and placement. I’ve directed the federal government to hire more veterans, including disabled veterans, and I encourage every business in America to follow suit. This new generation of veterans has proven itself to be a new generation of leaders.  They have unmatched training and skills; they’re ready to work; and our country is stronger when we tap their extraordinary talents.

New care. New opportunity. A new commitment to our veterans.

If you’d like to send our troops and veterans a message of thanks and support, just visit whitehouse.gov. There, you’ll find an easy way to upload your own text or video.

Let them know that they have the respect and support of a grateful nation. That when their tour ends; when they see our flag; when they touch our soil; they’ll always be home in an America that is forever here for them – just as they’ve been there for us.  That is the promise our nation makes to those who serve. And as long as I’m commander-in-chief, it’s a promise we’ll keep. Thank you.    ####

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Photos: Associated Press (this should cool you down these days); Rubio's office; Associated Press.

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