Local Politics

Obama: I don't intend to lose this election

Posted August 19, 2008
Updated August 20, 2008

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— Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to double federal spending on basic scientific and technological research and develop ways to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

“We can’t have national security and our economy held hostage by (Russian Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin and (Venezuela President) Hugo Chavez,” Obama said at a town hall meeting Tuesday night at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

Obama stressed that America cannot “drill our way out of the problem.”

“We’ve got to seize the moment. This is the time. It is serious. If we don’t handle this problem now, then $4 gas is going to look good,” Obama said.

Obama proposed investing $150 billion over the next ten years in scientific research into alternate energy forms, including solar, wind and biodiesel. He also encouraged more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“The potential for us to create millions of new jobs is there,” Obama said.

The Illinois senator attacked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP's presumptive nominee, as bringing "more of the same" policies and politics.

“I don’t intend to lose this election. He can talk all he wants about Britney (Spears) and Paris (Hilton), but I don’t have time for that mess,” Obama said.

Obama was referencing McCain’s comments comparing Obama to pop culture celebrities Hilton and Spears.

Obama said he wants to focus on creating new jobs. He also wants to restore the relationship between government and citizens so both groups can “work together.”

Full funding for special education is also among the senator's goals.

Obama said he wants to focus attention on Afghanistan and finding Osama bin Laden instead of keeping attention on Iraq.

“We are going to make sure the Iraqis are carrying their share,” Obama said.

Soldiers need to be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems when returning home from duty, Obama said. A better job of transitioning veterans to civilian life is needed, he said.

At the beginning of the event, Obama recognized elected officials in attendance, including Gov. Mike Easley and former Gov. Jim Hunt.

“It seems like good things happen to me in the Carolinas. I just like the Carolinas,” Obama said. “Something about me and the Carolinas, I just get on good with them.”

Obama also took time to joke about his time on the basketball court with the University of North Carolina during a campaign stop earlier this year.

“I am still trying to recovery form that scrimmage I had with the Tar Heels … old man like me getting on the basketball court!” Obama said.

More than 2,000 tickets were available to the public, and the campaign said Monday that they were all taken in less than two hours.

“I got in a long, long line yesterday and we were lucky enough to grab some of those tickets,” Obama supporter Sharon Goodson said on Tuesday.

Obama supporters lined up outside the Exposition Center in preparation for Tuesday night’s meeting.

Ashli Blue traveled from Fayetteville to see Obama speak.

“We just ran to Raleigh as soon as we could to get tickets immediately,” Blue said.

Weather conditions from Tropical Storm Fay caused Obama to cancel an unannounced trip through eastern North Carolina Tuesday morning, campaign officials said. Obama had planned to fly from Orlando, Fla., to Kinston, N.C., and make several stops on his way to Raleigh.

Obama has made nine previous campaign visits to North Carolina, his most recent on June 9. The latest visit comes in the week before the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where he will accept his party's nomination for president.

The Obama campaign has targeted North Carolina as one of seven Republican-leaning states that it believes it can pull into the Democratic column in November.

McCain has added a full paid staff in North Carolina, but is not running television ads yet.

McCain led Obama by four percentage points in a WRAL News poll released Friday. That lead was extended from one point a month earlier.

The Democratic National Convention opens in Denver next Monday. The GOP convention begins Sept. 1.

465 Comments

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  • pebbles262004 Aug 21, 2008

    ALL I CAN SAY IS WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE IF OBAMA WINS..I CAN NOT BELIEVE ANYONE IN THIER RIGHT MIND WOULD EVEN VOTE FOR THIS GUY

  • FromClayton Aug 21, 2008

    yeah, well I didnt intend to loose anything I have lost in the last 26 years. Good luck with that.

  • Lyle Aug 21, 2008

    Regarding today's news reports of polls favoring McCain and Obama's drop in the polls, etc. Who gives a hoot how Obama does in NC, or in these polls. It's kind of like pregame player introductions. The player may get a standing "o" from the crowd and do terribly in the game, or might get booed by the crowd and be the game's MVP. The media right now is controlling the stories. The only thing that matters is what takes place in the voting booths in November. Obama '08!

  • davidgnews Aug 20, 2008

    "The media is banned from showing the images. It was a directive FROM THE WHITE HOUSE." supersalo

    In a "free and open society," no less. The same place where you have to use the "Freedom of Information Act" to get any smidgeon of information.

    Orwell must be rolling in his grave.

  • supersalo Aug 20, 2008

    tidbit: Turn off Faux News for once. The media is banned from showing the images. It was a directive FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    "The Pentagon reissued a directive during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 that banned news coverage of "deceased military personnel returning to or departing" from air bases."
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/236385_newthomas14.html

    An article from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55816-2003Oct20.html
    (that article is missing on the Post's website, but archived here: http://www.mindspace.org/liberation-news-service/archives/000266.html)

  • downtownbrown Aug 20, 2008

    "Well, that means shareholders, who are the owners of corporations."

    Sure, but CEOs are not held accountable like they should be because they contribute so much to political campaigns.

  • blackdog Aug 20, 2008

    The WRAL polls have been proven to be skewed by ballot stuffing. Word on the streets is for Obama. Too many people equate McCain to another term of Bush policies. I've talked to many who have not previously voted who swear they will be voting THIS TIME. The only support I hear for McCain is at The Carolina Country Club, and it contains questionable tones of conviction. I note much fear and defensiveness here and tones which are disparaging to the republican party by associative comments.

  • downtownbrown Aug 20, 2008

    "Being middle class is calculated based upon the maximum amount of political advantage that the Democrats need to achieve in order to grab more power."

    How do you figure? I need evidence.

  • homeimprovement Aug 20, 2008

    "A government controlled by corporate interests."

    Well, that means shareholders, who are the owners of corporations.

  • homeimprovement Aug 20, 2008

    "People that are supposedly "middle class" are lumped in the same tax bracket as those who are definitely middle class."

    Being middle class is calculated based upon the maximum amount of political advantage that the Democrats need to achieve in order to grab more power.

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