From: John Stanton
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2016 5:42 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: travel pool report 8
Obama wrapped up his 30 minute-ish speech at the Austin Music Hall around 5:30 local time. full transcript is coming, below are some highlights.
DNC Finance Chairman Henry Munoz came out to introduce Obama, wearing a grey suit and a tie dyed shirt that read "Keep Austin Weird."
"I'm the first openly gay, openly latino, and yes openly Texan finance chairman of a political party," Munoz said to cheers.
Like most of the crowd, Munoz seemingly got misty and excited at the same time speaking of Obama, who he told the crowd "has always had our back. Even when we didn't always have his. And in this time when hate populates the front pages of our newspapers, I am so proud he has never quit marching forward."
An at ease Obama tool the stage just before 5 pm local time to a thunderous applause and cheers from the largely young crowd of 1,600 people.
"Hello Texas!" Obama shouted, prompting another round of loud cheers. "It's just a thing, me and Austin Texas. We've got that psychic connection. I love Austin Texas, I really do," he said, adding that his trip to SXSW earlier in the day was like a "deep spring break."
Obama noted that his panel at the annual technerd music nerd confab was in between more random topics, including a penl entitled "dude, where's my par. Making virtual reality golf,. Its true. So I can confirm, you've kept Austin weird."
Obama spent the top of his remarks warming up the crowd before using a recap of his 2008 election to pivot into political and policy issues.
"If people get involved, then there's nothing we can't do. If anybody ever tells you elections don't matter, think about what that election in 2008 meant," before rattling on his standard list of accomplishments on the economy, marriage equality, and health care.
He also harshly criticized the Republican presidential field. "You've got all these candidates tripping over themselves to talk down the economy when it's the bright spot in the world economy ... You've got folks saying illegal immigration is the biggest problem, when illegal immigration is lower than it's been in 40 years."
"America is pretty darn great right now ... The American people should be proud of what we can achieve, right now," Obama said. He also took direct, and repeated aim at Donald Trump.
What we should be focused on is what we can do, even better
There's "a debate inside of the other party that is fantasy, and school yard taunts, and sellin' stuff like it's the home shopping network," Obama said.
Obama also again mocked establishment Republicans, who he argues say
"We're shocked someone is fanning anti-immigrant or anti-muslim sentiment! ... We're shocked!. We're shocked that someone could be loose with the facts. Or distort someone's record. Shocked!"
"How could you be shocked? This was the guy who was sure I was born in Kenya. And wasn't letting go ... As long as it was being directed at me they were fine with it. It was a hoot ... and suddenly they're shocked! That gamblings going on in this establishment," he said.
Obama called Trump "A distillation of what has been going on in their party for more than a decade ... this is the message that's been fed ... that you just deny the evidence of science. That compromise is a betrayal. That the other side isn't simply wrong, we disagree ... the other side is destroying the country. Or treasonous. Look it up, that's what they've been saying. So they can't be surprised when somebody says, 'I can make up stuff better than that.'"
"The reaction is something they have to take responsibility for and then make an adjustment," Obama insisted.
we need to conduct ourselves will civility and principle
Obama spent some time on voting rights issues as well, which have become a key issue for Democrats.
"That we would purposefully make it harder for people to vote is shameful. It's shameful, whatever your party, it can't be something we're proud of. The history of restricting the franchise in this country isn't the best part of our history. It's the worst part of our history."
"here in Texas republicans have made it harder to register, they've made it harder to vote. And it's made a difference."
DC Bureau Chief