NBC News | September 04, 2012
>> my fellow democrats, my fellow americans , my fellow texans -- i stand before you tonight as a young american, a proud american of a generation born as the cold war receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another american century , president barack obama ! the unlikely journey that brought me here, began many miles from this podium. my brother and i grew up with my mother, rosie, and my grandmother, victoria. my grandmother was an orphan, as a young girl she had to leave her home in mexico and move to san antonio where relatives agreed to take her in. she never made it past the 4th grade . she had to drop out and start working to help her family. my grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook and a babysitter. barely scraping by, but still, working hard to give my mother her only child a chance in life so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. as my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren. she prayed to god for just one grandbaby before she died. you can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered, twice over. she was so excited that the day before my brother and i were born, she entered a menudo cookoff and she won $300. that's how she paid our hospital bill. by the time my brother and i came along, this incredible woman taught herself to read and write , in both spanish and english. i can still see her in the room that my brother and i shared with her. reading her agatha christie novels late into the night . i can still remember her every morning, as my brother and i walked out the front door to school, making the sign of the cross behind us, saying -- may god bless you. my grandmother didn't live to see us begin our lives in public service . but she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in san antonio , one grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way, the good people of san antonio willing to the united states congress ! my family's story isn't special. what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation , no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. america didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. my grandmother's generation and generations before her, always saw beyond the more horizons of their lives and circumstances. they believe opportunity created to day would lead to prosperity tomorrow. that's the country they envisioned and that's the country they helped build. the roads and bridges they built, the schools and universities they created, the rights they fought for and won, these opened the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did, and that's the middle-class, the engine of our economic growth. with hard work everybody ought to be able to get there. and with hard work, everybody ought to be able to stay there. and go beyond. the dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to americans . it's a human dream. one that calls across oceans and borders. the dream is universal, but america makes it possible. and our invest. in opportunity makes it a reality. now, in texas we believe in the rugged individual. texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps. and we, we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize that there are some things we can't do alone. we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow. and it starts with education. 20 years ago, my brother and i left home for college, and then for law school . and those classrooms we met some of the brightest folks in the world. but at the end of our days there, i couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at thomas jefferson high school in san antonio . they had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams, as the folks we sat with at stanford and harvard. i realized the difference wasn't intelligence or drive, the difference was opportunity. in my city of san antonio , we get that. so we are working to ensure that more 4-year-olds have access to pre-k. we opened cafe college, where students get help with everything from college test prep to financial aid paperwork. we know that you can't be pro-business unless you are pro-education. we know that pre-k and student loans aren't charity. they're a smart investment in a work force that can fill and create the jobs of tomorrow. we are investing in young mine tuesday to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow. and it's paying off. last year, the milken institute rated san antonio as the nation 's top performing local economy . and we are only getting started. opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow. now, like many of you, i watched last week's republican convention . and they told a few stories of individual success. we all celebrate individual success. but the question is -- how do we multiply that success? the answer is president barack obama . mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money if you have to from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents. but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america . not here. not in the 21st century . i don't think governor romney meant any harm. i think he is a good guy. he just has no idea how good he has had it. we know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. what we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance and the thing is mitt romney and the republican party are perfectly comfortable with that america . in fact, that's exactly what they're promising us. the romney / ryan budget doesn't just cut public education , medicare, transportation and job training it doesn't just pummel the middle-class, it dismantles it, dismantles what generations before have built to ensure everybody can enter and stay in the middle-class. when it comes to getting the middle-class back to work, mitt romney says no. when it comes to respecting women's rights, mitt romney says no. when it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who they want to marry, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care , mitt romney --
>> says no!
>> actually -- actually -- actually -- actually -- mitt romney said yes and now he says no.
>> governor romney has undergone an extreme makeover . and it ain't pretty. so here's what we are going to say to mitt romney in november. we're going to say no! of all the fictions we heard last week in tampa, the one i find most troubling is this. if we just all go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. because if we sever the thread that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't understand is neither is opportunity. we have to invest in it! republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, some how the rest of us will too. folks, we have heard that before. first they called it trickle down, then they called it supply side , now it's romney / ryan , or is it ryan / romney ? either way their theory has been tested, it failed, our economy failed, the middle class paid the price, your family paid the price, mitt romney just doesn't get it! barack obama gets it. he understands that when we invest in people, we're invegs in our shared prosperity. a few years ago families that never asked for anything, found themselves at risk of losing everything. and the dream my grandmother held that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there, if not for her, then for her children, that dream was being crushed. but then, president obama took office and he took action. when detroit was in trouble, president obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. seven presidents before him, republicans and democrats, tried to expand health care to all americans , president obama got it done. he made an historic investment to lift our nation 's public schools and extended pell grants so more young people can afford college. and because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers. now it's time for congress to enshrine in law the right to pursue their dreams in the only place they have ever called home, america . four years ago, america stood on the brink of a depression. despite incredible odds, and united republican opposition, our president took action. and now we have seen 4.5 million new jobs. he knows better than anyone there is more hard work to do. but we are making progress and now we need to make a choice. it is a choice between a country where the middle-class pays more so millionaires can pay less, or a country where everybody pays their fair share so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. it is a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and gut pell grants or a nation that invests more in education. and it is a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship american jobs overseas, or a leader who brings jobs back home! this is the choice before us. and to me, to my generation , and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear. our choice is a man who has always chosen us, a man who already is our president, barack obama !3 f2 obama es el hombre.3 f1
>> the american dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation . but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for civil rights . so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. and while she made -- while she may be proud of me tonight, i got to tell you, mom, i'm even more proud of you. thank you. today -- today my beautiful wife, erica and i are the proud parents of a 3-year-old little girl , karina victoria. named after my grandmother. a couple mondays ago, a couple mondays ago was her first day of pre-k. as we dropped her off, we walked out of the classroom, and i found myself whispering to her, as was once whispered to me -- may god bless you. she is still young and her dreams are far off yet. but i hope she will reach them. as a dad, i am going to do my part. and i know she will do hers. but our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part as one community, one united states of america , to ensure opportunity for all of our children. the days we live in are not easy ones, but we have seen days like this before. and america prevailed. with the wisdom of our founders and the values of our families, america prevail sd. with each generation going further than the last, america prevailed. and with the opportunity we build today, for a shared prosperity tomorrow, america will prevail. it begins with re-electing barack obama . it