- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:58
- Published on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:30
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Fairfax — On Friday, President Barack Obama gave a pre-debate, fresh stump speech at George Mason University directed mainly at women and women’s issues. A light rain and then a foggy mist descended upon the area, as the world’s news organizations and the 9,000 spectators filed into the outdoor area set up with press risers, movie quality lighting, the stage for the president and a set of bleachers upon which all women stood, holding signs that read “FORWARD.”
As the press risers filled and the crowd reached its 9,000 person capacity, according to the fire chief, the mist lifted and with it so did the energy level. Unlike typical events involving the attendance of the President, to most it seemed impressive when on schedule the first speaker took the stage and from the distance the sirens of the Presidential motorcade could be heard approaching.
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President took the stage, to a rousing cheer of the crowd. Richards, a Texas native, sang Obama’s praises. Richards was given a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention and has emerged as a major campaign surrogate as both campaigns have raced to court female voters.
Richards praised Obama for the new health care law, for the law extending the statute of limitations for gender discrimination lawsuits and accused Republican nominee Mitt Romney of seeking to take women back 40 years.
“Since day one, President Obama has stood with women. The very first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, allowing us to make sure that women get equal pay to men. Under the Affordable Care Act, he’s expanded health care coverage to millions of American women.”
Regarding President Obama she said in her introductory remarks, “He is the best friend to women that we could imagine.”
In a fiery and full-throated endorsement of the President, Richards said she invoked the accomplishments of women, including her mother, who have fought for women’s rights and stressed that the only way to keep moving forward on issues close to women’s hearts, was for President Obama to be re-elected.
Richards had sharp criticism for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “It is crystal clear that Mitt Romney would set us back, not four years, but 40 years,” she told the audience in Fairfax.
In late-breaking news, Richards has announced she is taking a break from her job at Planned Parenthood to volunteer full-time for the campaign because, “Our daughters’ and our granddaughters’ future depends on it.”
“I’ve taken a break from my day job in order to volunteer full-time to reelect President Barack Obama,” Richards said in a video released by the Obama campaign.
Richards concluded her remarks, which were received with cheers and ovations by introducing President Barack Obama. The crowd went wild, the President emerged from behind a giant U.S. flag, flanked by Secret Service Agents, and instead of making a bee-line onto the stage first stopped to shake some hands and greet some supporters.
Obama took the stage to cheers, applause and chanting. He asked the crowd if they were “fired up” and “ready to go” and they were. He outlined how this election was exceptionally important, especially for women. At times when Obama mentioned Romney’s view on women – the audience would “boo”. Obama, however, would interject every time and said “Don’t boo…vote!”
However, in the most memorable part of his speech, the President went on a nearly four-minute riff on Mitt Romney’s name and his changing stance on almost every issue of importance in this campaign. Obama diagnosed Mitt Romeny with a condition, “Romnesia” which resonated with the audience at George Mason University; within seconds the hashtag #Romnesia was a worldwide Twitter trending topic. The evening news shows and all the cable political shows ate it up.
Transcript of his remarks:
The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear. But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” wants you to think he was severely kidding about everything he said over the last year. He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party. Now suddenly he’s saying, ‘what, who, me?’ He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will, too.
I mean, he’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping - we’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through. I think it’s called ‘Romnesia.’ That’s what it’s called. I think that’s what he’s going through.
Now, I’m not a medical doctor, but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you – because I want to make sure nobody else catches it. If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work – you might have Romnesia.
If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care - you might have a case of Romnesia.
If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be delighted to sign a law outlying – outlawing that right to choose in all cases – man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia.
Now, this extends to other issues. If you say earlier in the year, I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks -- you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia.
If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when, while you were governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you.
That’s some Romnesia.
So I think you’re being able - you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website - or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. This is a curable disease.