If you couldn't make it out to Bedford Heights at Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co. today to hear President-elect Obama pitch his economic stimulus plan, we've got the entire transcript of the brief appearance here for your reading pleasure.
The transcript in full:
[*] OBAMA: This is a (inaudible) good-looking bolt here.
(UNKNOWN): If you would please, could you sign this one for us, sir? OBAMA: I would be happy to.
Let me, first of all, I just want you to know what this bolt says here, “New energy for America. Thank you, President Barack Obama . Your friends at Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Company, Inc., January 16th, 2009.”
(UNKNOWN): All right.
(UNKNOWN): This is going to be the most valuable bolt we’ve ever seen in America here.
OBAMA: There you go.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you, sir.
OBAMA: Thank you so much.
Well, thank you so much. Please, everybody be seated.
I want to first of all say a word of thanks about your outstanding governor, Governor Ted Strickland . He has been managing the ship of this state through some very rough waters. And he’s done so with grace and compassion, and has just been a great friend of mine. We won Ohio because of his outstanding work.
His partner in crime, Lee Fisher, lieutenant governor, I want to thank both of them.
Is Congresswoman Sutton here?
There you are. How are you? It’s great to see you. We’ve got a lot of work to do in Washington.
And I know that Mayor Fletcher Berger and his wife, Melma (ph) are here. It’s wonderful to see both of you.
I want to thank John Grabner and the Grabner family, because they exemplify what’s at the core of the American spirit. You can just tell by meeting John and talking to him that if there is a barrier out there, he’s going to knock it down.
(LAUGHTER) He’s not somebody who is going to take no for an answer. He is somebody who’s going to figure out how do we get this done at the highest quality, at the best price. And it’s for that reason that we’ve seen such extraordinary growth and leadership.
And I suspect he learned a little bit of that from his father who’s here today, and so I just want to thank -- and his sons, he’s passing on that same work ethic. So I want to thank the entire family for hosting us and the great work that they’re doing here.
And I want to thank Smoky (ph) for his -- for not dropping that bolt on my toe...
... for his outstanding service to our country, his wonderful work here and the fact that he’s from Chicago.
OBAMA: So I know that when the Bulls and the Cavaliers played yesterday -- look, you guys have a better record so...
You have Lebron, so the least we can do is gloat a little a little bit when we get one win.
But, thank you so much, Smoky (ph), for the wonderful gift.
Now, I want to thank all the workers here at Cardinal Fastener for the tour that I just received. Their parts are used everywhere, and we just heard this, from coast to coast, you have bolts from Cardinal in the Statue of Liberty and in the Golden Gate Bridge.
So in some ways, you can’t think of a more iconic company that Cardinal Fastener. The story of this company which began building wind turbine parts just two years ago and is now poised to make half its earnings that way, is that renewable energy isn’t something high in the sky; it’s not part of a far-off future; it’s happening all across America right now. It’s providing alternatives to foreign oil right now. It can create millions of additional jobs and entire new industries if we act right now.
In fact, John told me that Cardinal hired two workers this week. With all the bad news going out there, with all the word of jobs being lost and businesses shuttered, jobs were created right here this week.
The need for us to act is now. It’s never been more. We started this year in the midst of a crisis unlike any that we’ve seen in our lifetime. Last month, we lost more than half a million jobs -- a total of almost 2.6 million in 2008. Another 3.4 million people who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.
With each passing day, families here in Ohio and across America are watching their bills pile up and their savings disappear. And economists from across the political spectrum tell us that if nothing is done and we continue on our current path, this recession could linger for years, and America could lose the competitive edge that has served as the foundation for our strength and our standing in the world.
Now, it’s not too late to change course, but only if we take dramatic action as soon as possible. The way I see it, the first job of my administration is to put people back to work and get our economy moving again. That’s why I’ve moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American recovery and reinvestment plan that will immediate jump start job creation and long-term growth.
And I’m pleased that Congress has seen the urgency as well and is moving quickly to consider such a plan.
OBAMA: It’s a plan that will create or save 3 million to 4 million jobs in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries. And 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector.
I want to be clear: We’re not looking to create just any kind of jobs here; we’re looking to create good jobs that pay well and can’t be shipped overseas; jobs that don’t just put people in the short- term, but position our economy to be on the cutting edge in the long- term. And that starts with new, clean sources of energy.
We know that the possibilities are limitless. Here in Ohio and all across America, we’ve seen old factories become clean energy producers. We’ve seen entrepreneurs turning solar energy into electricity and corn and soybeans into biofuels.
Our scientists and engineers are hard at work developing cars that use less gas, homes and appliances that require less energy, schools and offices that are greener and more efficient than ever before.
OBAMA: But we also know that nowhere -- nowhere in America are we near realizing the full potential of this work.
Take the example of wind power. We’ve got representatives from the biggest wind power companies in America here, all who flew in, as John said, on a day’s notice, because they recognize the importance of this moment.
If we don’t act now, because of the economic downturn, half of the wind projects planned for 2009 could end up being abandoned. Credit markets have frozen up. It’s very difficult because of the capital intensive nature of these projects for them to move forward if they can’t get loans, if they can’t get access to credit.
And think about that. Think about all the businesses that wouldn’t come to be, all the jobs that wouldn’t be created, all the clean energy that we wouldn’t produce.
And think of what’s happening in countries like Spain, Germany and Japan, where they’re making real investments in renewable energy. They’re surging ahead of us, poised to take the lead in this new industry.
This isn’t because they’re smarter than us, or work harder than us, or are more innovative than we are. It’s because their governments have harnessed their people’s hard work and ingenuity with bold investments -- investments that are paying off in good, high-wage jobs -- jobs they won’t lose to other countries.
There’s no reason we can’t do the same thing right here in America. And that’s why, as part of our recovery and reinvestment plan, we are committing to double the production of renewable energy in the next three years, and to modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes.
That will put people to work.
It will save us on our energy bills. It will free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.
In the process, we’ll put nearly half a million people to work building wind turbines and solar panels; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; developing the new energy technologies that will lead to new jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.
Here at Cardinal Fastener, that could mean going from operating at 50 percent capacity to 90 percent capacity and creating even more good, made-in-America jobs right here in Ohio.
With our recovery and reinvestment plan, we’ll also create hundreds of thousands of jobs by improving health care -- transitioning to a nationwide system of computerized medical records that won’t just save money, but save lives by preventing deadly medical errors.
And we’ll create hundreds of thousands more jobs in educating, equipping tens of thousands of schools with 21st century classrooms, labs and computers to help our kids compete with any workers anywhere in the world.
We’ll put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure -- our crumbling roads and bridges and schools. And we’ll build the new infrastructure we need to succeed in this new century, investing in science and technology, and laying down miles of new broadband lines so that businesses across our nation can compete with their counterparts around the world.
Finally, we won’t just create jobs, we’ll also provide help to those who’ve lost theirs. And I was talking to Governor Strickland, obviously, about the enormous strains on the unemployment insurance system and on Medicaid and Medicare that are -- that are being placed during this time.
So we’re going to provide help to folks who have lost their jobs, to states and families who’ve been hardest hit by recession.
OBAMA: That means bipartisan extensions of unemployment insurance and health care coverage; a thousand-dollar tax cut for 95 percent of working families; assistance to help states avoid harmful budget cuts in essential services like police and fire and education, health care, day care.
Now, given the magnitude of these challenges, none of this is going to come easy. Recovery is not going to happen overnight. It’s likely that, even with the reinvestment package that we’re putting forward, even with the measures that we’re taking, things could get worse before they get better. I want everybody to be realistic about this.
But if anyone doubts that we can dig ourselves out of this hole, I invite them here to Ohio and look what you’ve done here at Cardinal Fastener.
It hasn’t been easy here either. What John started wasn’t without risk. But here at this company, and in this state, and all across the country, the history of America has been to set our sights higher, to look at the future, not to look back.
In an economy that’s losing jobs, we’re creating them. And they’re the kind of jobs that don’t just support families and sustain communities, but also help transform our economy, spurring growth not just today, but for decades to come.
That’s what we’ve always done in moments like this. We’ve looked ahead to the next big idea, that next new breakthrough. We’ve experimented and we’ve innovated. And when we’ve failed, we’ve picked ourselves up and we’ve tried again.
And I know that if we can summon that determination and that great American spirit once again, we will meet the challenges of our time and we build a better future for our children.
I ask all of you to join me in making that happen.
Thank you so much, everybody.
Thank you. Thanks.