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Barack Obama: ‘Keep that promise alive’

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

President Barack Obama’s America’s Greater Together campaign will come to Ohio in the next eight weeks focusing on the young people of America on college campuses, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said.

“We will make trips to college campuses in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida in the next eight weeks,” Cutter said.

Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, youth vote director for Obama, said the campaign will focus on young adults because they will be a focal point in Obama’s 2012 re-election efforts.

“Young adults shattered the ballot boxes in 2008,” she said. “So we do not want to take that support for granted and we want all young people to feel appreciated.”

Butterfield-Jones said Obama is focusing on the middle class, which he made clear in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile,” Obama said. “People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year.”

Furthermore, Obama called for a 30 percent tax minimum for those who make at least $1 million a year.

Cutter said Americans should be paying close attention to what is happening in the Republican primary race, but she was quick to voice her opinion on a leading candidate, Mitt Romney.

“Romney would burden the middle class with taxes and he will say anything to get elected,” she said. “He has spent months dodging exposing his tax return records, and now that he has, we’re starting to see who he really is.”

Cutter pointed out that Romney had foreign investments in places such as Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Bermuda.

“Where is he hiding this money?” she said. “It’s not fair and he’s not playing by the same rules as we are.”

While comment from Romney was unavailable, an independent review of Romney’s 2010 tax returns, conducted by former IRS commissioner Fred Goldberg, found no wrong-doings in his off-shore banking activity,

“There is no indication or suggestion of any tax-motivated or aggressive tax planning activities. In my judgment, they have fully satisfied their responsibilities as taxpayers,” Goldberg told “Forbes Magazine.”

Butterfield-Jones said Obama has kept his campaign promises from the 2008 election, mentioning the removal of troops from Iraq, his jobs initiative and his health care reform.

“The CDC announced that 2.5 million Americans under the age of 26 are now receiving health care,” Butterfield-Jones said. “This number is 1.5 million more than we originally thought.”

Cutter said she wanted to stress the importance of Obama’s health care reform for young adults. Under Obama’s plan, those under the age of 26 can stay on their parent’s health care.

“What would happen if you were in a car accident or an emergency like it were to occur,” she said. “When you’re young and just coming out of college, you need that health care.”

Obama said during his State of the Union address that ending the Iraq War is allowing the U.S. to focus its defense efforts elsewhere.

“Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies,” he said. “From Pakistan to Yemen, the al-Qaida operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America.”

Cutter said if a Republican candidate is chosen, troops might be left in Iraq and the initiative Obama has started to wind down the Afghanistan conflict might halt.

“Obama is potentially running against someone who would leave 10-20,000 troops in Iraq,” she said. “Someone who has no end in sight for the Afghanistan War.”

Cutter said America has seen candidates running for the Republican Party that are “further and further to the right.”

In response to the State of the Union, Romney told voters today in Orlando, Fla., he could not believe the kinds of things Obama was saying. Romney said he was watching in disbelief.

“The detachment between reality and what he says is so extraordinary, I was just shaking my head as I watched the TV last night,” Romney said. “I think it’s time to have somebody who says what he means and means what he says … and if I am president, that’s the kind of president I’d be,”

“Romney said Roe v. Wade is one of the darkest decisions the Supreme Court has ever made,” she said. “He thinks that taxing millionaires less is the right thing to do and overtaxing the middle class is appropriate.”

Obama made clear in his State of the Union address he wants to keep the American dream alive for middle-class workers.

“The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive,” Obama said. “No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by.”

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