President Obama strode onto the stage at 9:32 p.m. to a cheering ovation and a blinding wall of camera flashes.
He gave shout-outs to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, representatives Barbara Lee and Pete Stark, and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Vernon Davis.
Of the athletes, he said, “I can’t help but wish them the best of luck until they play my Bears in week 11.” Good natured booing ensued.
“We’re here because everything we fought for in 2008 is on the line in 2012, and I’m going to need your help to finish what we started.”
Citing the new 7.8 percent unemployment figure, “Manufacturers are coming back to America, home values are on the rise, but we are not there yet, we are not where we need to be yet.”
“We have come too far to turn back now. The last thing we can afford now, California, is four years of the very same policies that led us into the mess in the first place.”
The centerpiece of Romney’s plan is a $5 trillion tax cut geared toward the wealthy, Obama said. “No, no – don’t boo. Vote!”
Suddenly “a guy pretending to be mitt Romney stood on a stage next to me” a few days ago in Denver and pretended that such a tax cut isn’t his plan – “Pay no attention to that tax cut behind the curtain.”
“You didn’t know this but for all you moms and kids out there you should have confidence that finally, someone is cracking down on Big Bird. Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban, he’s headed for the border. Oscar is hiding out in his trash can… Gov. Romney’s plan is to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring the hammer down on Sesame Street.”
At the debate, “what was being presented (by Romney) was not leadership, it was salesmanship.”
Romney today said ending the war in Iraq as we did was a mistake. “I disagree – bringing our troops home was the right thing to do,” he said, and we have to serve our returning veterans as well as they served us.
Gov. Romney says it’s fair that he pays less than a teacher making $50,000 a year, Obama said. “Don’t boo – vote!”
“That’s what change was about – you, all of us, coming together.”
“We cannot afford to be complacent and we cannot afford to be cynical. We’ve got to look back at the progress we’ve made and that should give us confidence.”
“Change takes time. We always said it would take more than one term or even one president. We said it would take more than one party. And by the way, no, it doesn’t just take me. That is not the deal. The deal is, it takes all of us.”
It won’t happen with “somebody who writes off half the nation before he even takes office, but it also doesn’t happen if half the nation writes itself off by not participating.”
“I’m not fighting for Democratic jobs or Republican jobs, I’m fighting for American jobs.”
The president left the stage at 9:57 p.m. to a thunderous ovation and Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own.”