Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Obama Addresses the Clinton Global Initiative
Thursday, September 25, 2008; 11:35 AM
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: It's great to speak to you this morning. I'm sorry that I can't be there, but I did enjoy the opportunity to sit down with President Clinton recently in New York. He has helped to create a model for individual responsibility and collective action through the Clinton Global Initiative.
CGI brings people together to take on tough, global challenges. In four years, you have made concrete commitments that have affected over 200 million people in 150 countries. And I applaud your new commitment to help 20 million poor children get a healthy meal. It's time for us to come together to get this done.
You are meeting at a time of great turmoil for the American economy. We are now confronted with a financial crisis as serious as any we have faced since the Great Depression. Action must be taken to restore confidence in our economy.
Let me be clear: it's outrageous that we find ourselves in a position where taxpayers must bear the burden for the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street and Washington. But we also know that a failure to act would have grave consequences for the jobs, and savings, and retirement of the American people.
Over the last few days, I've been in close contact with Secretary Paulson and leaders in Congress. I've also had the opportunity to speak directly to the American people about what we need to do moving forward. I've laid out several clear principles that I believe must be a part of our response to this crisis.
First, we need to set up an independent board, selected by Democrats and Republicans, to provide oversight and accountability for how and where this money is spent at every step of the way.