Below is the text as prepared for Rahm Emanuel's
Good evening. I'm from Chicago, hometown of the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.
In the 2006 election, Democrats, Independents, and even some Republicans scored a victory that President Bush himself called "a thumpin'." Well, Mr. President, as Ronald Reagan used to say, "you ain't seen nothing yet."
The truth is, the Bush crowd has been giving the middle class a thumping. This November, the middle class is going to give it right back. This election comes down to a simple question: do we want four more years of Bush-McCain or do we want the change we need?
There is only one candidate from the middle class, that understands the middle class, and that can deliver the change the middle class needs: Barack Obama. A strong economy depends on a strong middle class. But George Bush has put the middle class in a hole and John McCain has a plan to keep digging that hole with George Bush's shovel.
Under George Bush, median household incomes have declined nearly $1,000. College costs have doubled. Health care costs have doubled. And energy costs have tripled. Under George Bush, you're paying more and making less.
If John McCain has his way, your bills will continue to grow and your paycheck will continue to shrink. Under George Bush, millions of Americans are without health care. And those that do have health care are seeing their co-pays go up and their coverage go down. If John McCain has his way, we'll stick with the policies that will leave more Americans uninsured and far too many Americans paying more for health care and getting less.
You know, President Bush inherited the strongest economy in history and a huge budget surplus. He inherited an economy that created 23 million new jobs. I'm a little surprised. You would think the one thing President Bush was good at was inheriting things. Instead he turned a $236 billion surplus into a record deficit and added nearly $4 trillion in new debt. That's the one thing we can say about George Bush: Mr. President, we will be forever in your debt.
When it comes to the economy, when it comes to job creation, when it comes to health care reform, or when it comes to deficit reduction, there are three words that describe the Bush-McCain record: mission not accomplished.
It doesn't have to be this way. Barack Obama will make change a reality for middle class Americans. In an Obama-Biden administration, American families will finally get a new deal for a new economy: a tax cut they earned, health care they can afford, a pension they can keep and a college education they deserve.
Families like the Walshes from Chicago's Edgebrook neighborhood: Marge and Don Walsh raised a family and taught their kids to know the difference between right from wrong. Their son Sean is a plumber who signed up for the Illinois National Guard and when his nation called, served two tours of duty in Iraq.
The Walshes have done everything this country has asked of them and more. But the Walshes and families like them can't afford four more years of playing second fiddle to the well- connected and the powerful. And our country can't afford four more years of Bush-McCain economics.
I know the Walshes, and I know Barack Obama. And families like the Walshes can trust Barack Obama. Because Barack Obama will always put hard-working middle class families first. He will stand up to the special interests and stand up for middle class Americans. The only special interests welcomed in the Oval Office will be those of the Walshes and middle-class families like them. And Barack Obama will deliver the change our country so desperately needs.