Transcript: President Barack Obama’s “Romnesia” remarks

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Excerpts from President Barack Obama’s speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia on Oct. 19, 2012:

“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 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 pre-existing conditions.

“We can fix you up.  We’ve got a cure.  We can make you well, Virginia.  This is a curable disease.

“Women, men — all of you — these are family issues.  These are economic issues.  I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as anybody’s sons.  I believe America does better — the economy grows more, we create more jobs — when everybody participates, when everyone is getting a fair shot, everybody is getting a fair shake, everybody is playing by the same rules, everybody is doing their fair share.  That’s why I’m running for a second term for President of the United States.  I need you to help me finish the job.”

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