PHOTOS: Thousands of delegates hear message of unity, diversity
Originally published: Sept. 6, 2012, 11:24 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 7, 2012, 12:45 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With flags, banners and signs flying as chants and applause filled Time Warner Cable Arena, President Barack Obama and his running mate Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday accepted his nomination to run again for president.
During Biden’s speech, conventioneers held up signs that read “Fired Up! Ready for Joe!” as they enthusiastically cheered the vice president. Throughout his speech, Biden praised Obama’s character and his focus on how policy decisions affect the lives of everyday Americans.
Comparing Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Biden stated: “They bring a vastly different vision and a vastly different value system to the job,” followed by examples of decisions made by Obama throughout his presidency, including his work to save the automobile industry and the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
Biden, in reference to the executive decisions made by Obama over the last four years, said: “This man has courage in his heart, passion in his soul, and a spine of steel.”
Like the rest of the three-day 2012 Democratic National Convention, Obama’s acceptance speech hit on a variety of themes as varied as economic recovery, healthcare, immigration reform, religious diversity, national defense, energy policy and civil rights.
Some of the evening’s loudest cheers came after several mentions of Obama’s successful capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The president also addressed Republicans directly, chiding their intense focus on Russia as an international enemy at their Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla.
“After all, you don’t Russia — not al Qaeda — our number one enemy unless your still stuck in a Cold War time warp,” Obama said.
Obama also stressed the importance of economic recovery without hurting working Americans. “You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class,” he said.
“I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut,” Obama said. “I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor and elderly or disabled — all so those with the most can pay less. I’m not going along with that. And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned.”
Gay Americans were also mentioned in the speech, as Obama stood up for minority groups traditionally scapegoated for the nation’s challenges.
“We don’t think that government can solve all of our problems,” Obama asserted. “But we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems ‚Äď any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles,” Obama added to great applause and “LGBT for Obama” signs waved in the crowd.
Gay members of the U.S. Armed Services were also given a nod, as Obama said those gathered at the convention and those who voted for him are the reason “why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love.”
Obama also addressed voter apathy. “If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible‚Ä¶well, change will not happen,” he said. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves.”
Obama’s final remarks resulted in deafening applause, chants of “U.S.A.” and “four more years.”
With 61 days until the election, the campaigns now enter the final stage of the election season.
Click photos below to enlarge and to scroll through gallery. All photos credit David Lari/QNotes.