Mason Speaks

President Obama Comes to GMU

Photo by: Stephen Kline of Broadside

Today, the George Mason community once again, welcomed President Barack Obama.  Almost 2,000 people headed to the Center for the Arts for a rally in support of the President’s re-election. The enthusiasm of students, faculty, and community members was palpable; and with the announcement a couple of hours before the event that the unemployment rate dropped below eight percent for the first time since January 2009, the atmosphere was particularly high spirited.

With an additional four speakers preceding the President, including Governor Tim Kaine, Virginia’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, there was much talk of the ties between social issues and the American people’s financial wellbeing.  Even in light of the positive news regarding the unemployment rate, President Obama stated that he was “not going to talk down the economy for political points,” but acknowledged that we had come “too far to go back” to the 1950’s policies that Governor Romney supports.

He referenced the Governor’s refusal to state whether or not he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which gives women the right to at any point, sue their employers when they are not given equal pay as their male counterparts.  This is a problem that is becoming more pronounced, as women are increasingly the main source of a family’s income.  He also spent much time discussing the immense health and economic benefits of the Affordable Care Act, one of the key achievements of his first term.  He mentioned that people can now stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they are 26 years old; and that many insurance companies now cover contraception, meaning that students no longer have to decide between preventative care and textbooks.  All of which Romney has, at least at one point or another in this campaign, said he would repeal.

While President Obama may not have had many ‘zingers’ at the debate on Wednesday, he had them today; touching on what he refers to as Governor Romney’s “extreme makeover” and being “fact checked by his own campaign.”  He highlighted Romney’s inability to explain his own tax plan, which the President regards as the top down economics that did not work in the past.  All of which, the audience was extremely receptive of.

One thing was made clear at the rally; these are two very different presidential candidates, with very different perspectives on how to advance this nation. In the words of President Obama, if you too don’t believe the Governor’s economic plan will make “jobs and prosperity rain from the sky” or don’t agree with his disregard of social issues, “don’t boo, vote.”

*The views and opinions expressed belong solely to the author.

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