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Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Sen. Barack Obama Speaks at Campaign Event in Dunedin, Florida

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008; 2:21 PM

SPEAKER: SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.

[*] OBAMA: We meet here at a time of great uncertainty for America. The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led us to a financial crisis as serious as any we have faced since the Great Depression. They said they wanted to let the market run free but they let it run wild, and in doing so, they trampled our core values of fairness, balance, and responsibility to one another.

Everywhere you look, the economic news is troubling. But for so many Americans, it isn't really news at all.

600,000 workers have lost their jobs since January. Home values are falling. Your paycheck doesn't go as far as it used to. It's never been harder to save or retire; to buy gas or groceries; and if you put it on a credit card, they've probably raised your rates. In so many cities and towns across America, it feels as if the dream that so many generations have fought for is slowly slipping away.

So I know these are difficult days. But here's what I also know. I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because that's who we are. Because that's what we've always done as Americans. Our nation has faced difficult times before. And at each of those moments, we've risen to meet the challenge because we've never forgotten that fundamental truth -- that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us.

There are many to blame for causing the crisis we are in, and that starts with the speculators on Wall Street who gamed the system and the regulators in Washington who looked the other way. But now that we're here, every American has a stake in solving this crisis and saving our financial system from collapse. Because if we don't act, your jobs, your life savings, and your economic security will be put at risk.

The clock is ticking on this crisis. We have to act swiftly, but we also have to get it right. That means everyone -- Republicans and Democrats; the White House and Congress -- must work together to come up with a solution that protects American taxpayers and our economy without rewarding those whose greed helped bring us to this point.

So we need to act and act now. This cannot fall victim to the usual partisan politics or special-interest lobbying. But it also can't be negotiated by the Administration with the same my-way-or-the- highway mentality that is all too familiar.


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