And we are here LIVE, listening to radio coverage of Obama's appearance in SWFL.
It's a rock concert-like atmosphere. The crowd has broken into a chant of "Yes we can!"
Charlie Crist introduces Obama, talking bipartisanship, begging for the stimulus package.
O starts off his routine, "It's good to be in Florida … In February."
O gives props to local elected officials, getting their names out there. All the U.S. Congressional reps from Florida appear to be there. Gives big props to Crist. Talks about how governors are on the frontlines.
"When the town is burning, you don't stop to check party labels … Grab a hose!"
Economy recovery plan … Talks about Elkhart, Indiana … Talks about hardship in Fort Myers. Unemployment. Foreclosures.
Mentions Kraft Const and Chico's. Mentions specific names. Small construction business owner who has lost home.
Losing healthcare, homes, kids not going to college – "True measure of economic crisis."
Carried stories to White House. Intends to keep promises.
References Great Depression. Crisis. Can't wait and hope.
"I believe in hope, but … also action."
Rejection of previous years. Intends to change things.
Problems deep and widespread. Many different solutions.
Stem foreclosures — mild applause. Have to help homeowners, not just banks.
Ft. Myers — highest rate of foreclosures in nation.
Stronger community = stronger economy. Change from bottom up.
Put people back to work.
High demand for jobs – "paradox and promise of moment."
Recovery and reinvestment plan – 4 million jobs. Ignite investments. Greater unemployment benefits and healthcare. Extended benefits.
Moral responsibility and good business sense.
$1,000 of tax relief.
$2,500 tax credit for college students.
Put people to work by investments in health, energy, infrastructure.
Not make-work jobs.
Wind turbines. Solar panels. Cheers.
Foreign oil = evil.
Upgrading schools. Cheers.
Broadband for schools. Cheers.
Mentions Hurricane Katrina.
Keep teachers and police officers working. Cheers.
"There are always critics … We have postponed and neglected (priorities) too long."
"Plan isn't perfect. It was produced in Washington." Cheers and laughs.
"Doing nothing is not an option." Loud cheers.
"Had a good debate. The time for talk is over." Cheers.
Audience member says something, loud cheers … Ah, someone said Obama has 8 years.
People don't have patience for bickering.
Best workers in world in Florida … Best neighbors. Tepid applause.
Time Washington did its part.
Confident we can set aside differences.