Wisconsin: Don’t Wait for November 8th to Cast Your Ballot

Photo by Pete Souza

Remarks as Delivered at Rally in Support of Wisconsin Democratic Candidates

How is everybody doing today. It’s good to be back in Wisconsin.

Good to be back in the Midwest, especially when it’s 67 degrees in October. My nephews are here. And I was talking about the fact that when we used to go trick-or-treating in Chicago, we had no idea what the costumes were because we had those big down jackets on. But this was some good trick to treat the weather out here. And it is great to be back at North Division High. This is actually the third time that I’ve spoken here. The last time was back in 2018. And for some reason, I’m the only one who looks older. Which is a little disturbing.

Yes, it’s good to see you.

Now, we’re not going to talk about the Bears or the Packers. Maybe next month, but not right now. We want to keep this an upbeat affair.

The reason I am here is simple. I am here to ask you to vote. I am here to ask you to vote for my dear friend, the 3G, Representative Gwen Moore. I’m here to ask you to vote for your Attorney General, Josh Kaul, and for your next Lieutenant Governor, Sara Rodriguez. For your outstanding Governor, Tony Evers, and your next United States Senator, Mandela Barnes.

That’s why I’m here, and you don’t have to wait for November 8th to cast your ballot. You can vote early in person, through November 5th, here in Milwaukee, or you can vote at your polling place on November 8th, and if you’re not sure about how and where and all that, you go to IWillVote.com, find out what you’re supposed to do and make a plan. Make a plan because you don’t want to sleep through the election.

And while you’re doing that, help your friends and family make a plan. Take them with you if you vote early. If you vote in person, take them with you on election day, because this election requires every single one of us to do our part. It’s that important.

Now, I think it’s fair to say that this country, and I’m sure it’s no different in Wisconsin and Milwaukee, but this country has gone through some tough times these past few years. We have been through some stuff. We’re just now coming out of a historic pandemic that wreaked havoc on families and schools and businesses and communities. Everybody was impacted.

Michelle’s good — but she was impacted. Michelle talked about this publicly. You know, even for folks who obviously — you know, we were, in so many ways, advantaged, in terms of like — you know, we didn’t have to worry about paying rent, food and stuff, but emotionally, it was hard. For everybody. But some folks were more impacted than others.

People lost loved ones. Nurses, teachers, essential workers, meaning folks who actually do work, those people were really affected and more at risk. And the pandemic also highlighted, and in some cases made worse, problems that we’ve been struggling with for years, an economy that too often works for those at the very top, but not for everybody else. Communities where too many kids are out of school and then they end up being out of work, and then they’re out of hope. And sometimes that leads them to violence and despair.

And then there was a shift. And this is a long-term trend that we saw it get worse, just a breakdown of a basic civility, a basic neighborliness, and nowhere did you see it more than in our politics, where suddenly you have politicians doing their best deliberately to stir up division, to make us angry and afraid of each other, not just for their own advantage.

And all of this was amped up, hyped up, 24–7, on cable, and then on social media that finds that it’s profitable to promote controversy and conflict instead of facts and truth. And we’re still seeing the aftermath of that.

You know, I want to take a moment just to say a prayer for a friend of mine, Mr. Paul Pelosi, 82 years old, attacked — somebody, breaks into his house looking for his wife, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and beats him with a hammer. Doctors, fortunately, believe that he’s going to be okay, and we’ll let the investigators do their jobs.

But I think one thing is clear, this habit that we’ve seen, completely contrary to what Tony was talking about, this habit of saying the worst about other people, demonizing people, that creates a dangerous climate. And if elected officials don’t do more explicitly to reject this kind of over-the-top crazy rhetoric, if they keep on ignoring it or tacitly supporting it or in some cases encouraging it, if they’re telling supporters, you’ve got to stand outside polling places armed with guns and dressed in tactical gear, that’s the kind of thing that ends up getting people hurt.

And just as significantly, it violates the basic precepts, the basic spirit of who we are supposed to be as a democracy. So I get why people are anxious. I understand why you might be worried about the course of the country. I understand why you might sometimes just want to tune out, just watch football or HGTV, or the Great British Baking Show, which is a cute show.

National parks, that’s a good show. But I’m here to tell you that tuning out, Milwaukee, is not an option. Just moping is not an option because the only way to make this economy fairer, to make it work for everybody, is if we all fight for it. The only way to make our democracy stronger is if we nurture it and work for it. And that starts with electing people who know you, who see you, and who care about you, who know what you’re going through. And you did that two years ago when you sent Joe Biden to the White House.

He’s fighting for you every day. He’s got your back. He’s doing everything he can to put more money in your pockets, to make your streets safer, to bring more good paying jobs here to Wisconsin. You did it when you elected Tony Evers governor. You did it when you sent Gwen Moore and Tammy Baldwin to Washington to fight for you, and now you’re going to do it again.

Because here’s the thing, Wisconsin. There are a lot of issues at stake in this election. But the most basic question, the fundamental issue, you should be asking yourself right now is, who will fight for you? Who cares about you?

That’s the choice in this election. All the other stuff is surface stuff. It’s a distraction. Anybody can run a TV ad, anybody — these days, they can say anything. Nobody’s fact checking anything. But in your gut, you should have a sense of who cares about you, Who’s going to fight for working people who are struggling to pay the bills?

And listen, Gwen was talking about it. I heard it backstage. Inflation’s a real problem right now. And by the way, it’s not just here in America. It’s worldwide. It’s one of the legacies of the pandemic. It threw off supply and demand. You know, folks who were in the auto industry, for example, suddenly you couldn’t get spare parts. But people wanted to buy cars and there weren’t enough cars and inventories — all this stuff has created inflation. It puts pressure on prices.

And then on top of that, you’ve got a war in Ukraine and that sends gas prices through the roof. And look, whatever the reasons, when gas prices go up, when grocery prices go up, that takes a bite out of people’s paychecks. That hurts.

But the question you should be asking is, who should do something about it? The Republicans are having a field day running ads talking about it. But what is their actual solution to it? Well, I’ll tell you. They want to gut Social Security and Medicare and then give some more tax breaks to the wealthy. And the reason I know that’s their agenda is, listen, that’s their answer to everything.

When inflation is low, what do you want to do? Cut taxes. When unemployment’s high? Let’s cut taxes on the wealthy. That’s going to solve that. I was joking down in Georgia, if there was an asteroid headed towards Earth, it’s going to land in like two weeks. If you went in the Republican caucus and you said, “What do you going to do?”

“Well, we need a tax break for the wealthy. That’s going to help.”

I’m only barely exaggerating. That’s the only economic policy. The only one, and it’s been the only one for the last 20 years. I mean, I’d be nice, if every problem you had, you just had one answer. You know, those of you who are young, you are still in school, you go into a math exam, and it’s like every answer, it’s just like, number eight. Just write “eight” and you get an A.

But that’s not how the world works there. They don’t have a plan. That’s why Democrats actually have plans to take on drug companies to lower prices, to get oil industry to clean up its act, to pass laws to make housing more affordable, to make sure big corporations that are already getting tax breaks create jobs here in Wisconsin instead overseas. That’s the choice in this election. That’s what it’s about.

I know you guys must be sick of these television ads. I mean, look, so let’s talk about another one. There’s a lot of talk about crime right now, as if folks in Milwaukee don’t have any idea. Listen, that’s — oh, yeah, violent crime has gone up over the last seven years, not just the last two, by the way. They act like the other guy wasn’t president when some of this was happening. It’s gone up in conservative and rural areas, not just in the city.

So who will fight to keep you and your families safe? Is it going to be Republican politicians who want to flood our streets with more guns? Who actually voted against more resources for police departments? Or is it leaders like Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore, who worked with President Biden to pass the first major gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years? That’s the choice in this election.

That’s what is at stake right now. Who will fight for your freedoms? Is it Republican politicians and judges who think they should get to decide when you start a family or how many children you should have, or who you marry or who you love? Or is it Democratic leaders who believe that the freedom to make these most intimate personal decisions belongs to every American, not politicians, mostly men sitting somewhere in Washington.

That’s the choice in this election. That’s why you have to decide. And you’ve got to decide who’s going to fight to make our political process, our democracy, work for you. Look, you can watch the news, read what they say. These Republican politicians have promised, and they’re on record. If they get control of Congress, they will spend the next two years investigating President Biden and their political opponents.

That’s all they want to do. They see it as payback, and some of them have said they are already prepared, that they are going to impeach him, Biden, and they are not sure what for, but that’s apparently beside the point.

And you are laughing, except they have actually said that. The have literally said, “We’re not sure what the theory is, but we’re going to come up with one.” Now, how is that going to help you pay your bills? How is that going to help your kids find a good job and career? How is that going to help Wisconsin compete?

Or do you stand a better chance with President Biden and Democratic leaders who have worked together, sometimes with Republicans where possible, to pass an infrastructure bill that creates new jobs, who’ve made health care and prescription drugs more affordable? You’ve made the single largest-ever investment in fighting climate change.

That is the choice in this election. You’ve got a choice between folks who will say anything and do anything to get power, and leaders who share our values, who are decent, good people, and who are inspired by Mr. Rogers.

Leaders who want to help make your lives better and move this country forward. And look, let me be clear, because I’ve been out here campaigning for the last few days, and this has not always been a partisan thing.

My favorite president was a guy from my home state of Illinois named Abe Lincoln. He helped found the Republican Party. It used to be that there were GOP members who championed progress and civil rights and rule of law. Folks who were with me in the 2008 election, you remember, we talked about bringing people together and spoke to all people, regardless of party, about how we could move the country forward.

So that’s my instinct. I’m not somebody who believes that some party label defines us, but I have to speak the truth, which is, these days, just about every Republican politician seems obsessed with just two things own the libs — yeah, let’s own the libs, and getting Donald Trump’s approval.

(Booing.)

That’s their agenda. No, no, no. Don’t boo. Vote.

Nobody can hear you both outside this auditorium, but they’ll hear your vote. But this this current crop Republican politicians, they’re not interested in solving problems. They’re interested in making you angry and then finding somebody to blame. And they’re hoping that that’ll distract you from the fact that they don’t have any answers of their own.

That’s their obsession. That’s their formula. That’s their answer to everything. I can tell you what Tony Evers is obsessed with. He’s obsessed with growing Wisconsin’s economy, making sure every child gets a good education in this state.

You heard him mention that his opponent wants to make it easier for people to sue public school districts. His opponent called proposals to increase education funding “the definition of insanity.” Really? I mean, have you been on the Internet? People are out there saying that we’re ruled by giant lizards and that Elvis is alive. You can’t think of anything crazier than investing more in our schools and our children.

And let me tell you, if that’s crazy, then then Tony is a good crazy, because he’s a lifelong educator and as governor, he’s worked with leaders from both parties to invest more in public education in Wisconsin, and he has for almost two decades.

He vetoed Republican bills that tried to make it harder to vote. He vetoed bills that would make it easier to carry concealed weapons.

I can tell you where Mandela Barnes and his priorities lie. As your senator, he won’t go off on some wacky conspiracy theory. You don’t see him trying to make you afraid of everybody just so he can grab power. He’s going to work to bring manufacturing jobs to Wisconsin and help small businesses and family firms compete against huge global corporations. That’s his agenda

I want to say something here. I know that there’s some folks, right, and maybe not in this auditorium, but elsewhere in Wisconsin, who think — and I know these ads are running this way, that just because Mandela was named Mandela, just because he’s a Democrat with a funny name, he must not be like you. He must not share your values.

I mean, we’ve seen this. It sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? So Mandela, get ready to dig out that birth certificate. Get ready.

Remember when that — that’s the good old days. Remember when that was the craziest thing that people said?

Think about that. Like that one wasn’t that long ago, and everybody is like, “Wow, that’s some crazy stuff,” but now, it doesn’t even make the top list of crazy.

But the truth is, I just talked to Mandela’s parents. They’re in the photo line.

Son — this here is the son of a third-shift autoworker and a public-school teacher. He grew up in one of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods, worked as an organizer, served as a state legislator, now a lieutenant governor. He’s fought every step of the way to make sure Wisconsinites have the opportunity to get ahead, just like he did.

He believes in the American dream. If that’s not a true-blooded Wisconsin American, I don’t know what is. Come on!

And then there’s Mandela’s opponent.

(Booing.)

Don’t boo. Don’t waste your vote towards booing. Vote.

That’s right, all right, you got the idea.

So Ron Johnson. As your senator, he’s — now remember, the question is, who’s going to fight for you? Remember that, right? Who’s on your side? Who cares about you? Who’s thinking about you?

Ron Johnson, as a senator, helped give millions of dollars in tax deductions to some of the biggest donors who funded his campaign, and after he voted for a tax plan that allows people to write off the cost of private planes. I’ve been trying to get this thing closed since I was president. (Laughter.) If you can afford a private plane, then you don’t need a tax break. (Applause.) But no, he fought for this. And then, his adult children bought not one, not two, but three private planes because apparently, carpooling was not an option. (Laughter.) Now, I mean, you need three?

Meanwhile, Senator Johnson voted to raise the retirement age to 70, supported a plan that would put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every single year. Each year, you’d have to vote to renew this thing. I mean, think about it, because Washington works so well. You want your Social Security and Medicare reliant on Congress every year. He’s called Social Security a Ponzi scheme, said that it’s candy that the left is giving away.

The point is some of you here are on Social Security. Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it. (Applause.) They worked hard jobs for it. They have chapped hands for it. They had long hours, and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security.

And if Ron Johnson does not understand that, if he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands, making sure that seniors who worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect, he’s not the person who’s thinking about you, and knows you and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin! (Applause.)

I mean, the message he’s sending is pretty clear. If you’re related to him, if you donate to his campaign, you get a deal. If you’re not, you’re out of luck and you’re on your own. So when you see ads implying that Mandela is somehow dangerous is different, ask yourself who knows more about your life? This millionaire whose top priority seems to be looking out for his rich friends, or a guy from a working-class family who understands what Wisconsinites are going through each and every day — and wants to make your lives better, whose Dad knows what it’s like to work hard with his hands, whose mom knows what it’s like to work hard as a teacher.

Don’t fall for it, Wisconsin. You deserve better. You deserve a senator like Mandela Barnes! (Applause.) See through the surface of things. Just go a little deeper.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Obama!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: I do, I love you, too.

You also deserve somebody who’s going to stand up for a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

Abortion has been controversial since I’ve been around, and I genuinely believe that there are good people of conscience who may differ with me on this issue. But we should all agree that women everywhere should be able to control what happens with their own bodies. (Applause.) And it shouldn’t be controversial to say that the most personal of healthcare decisions, the most profound of personal choices, should be made by a woman and her doctor, and not by a bunch of mostly male politicians sitting in a state capitol or sitting in Washington, and don’t know nothing about it.

And that’s why, when Supreme Court struck down Roe versus Wade, it was a wakeup call for a lot of young people, especially young women, who maybe took Roe for granted. It was a reminder that a politicized court can reinterpret well-settled constitutional rights. We can go backwards, not just forward. If Republicans take back the House and Senate, we can be one presidential election away from a nationwide ban on access to abortion. And that might just be the beginning.

I taught constitutional law for a decade. If a court does not believe in a zone of privacy that allows each of us to make certain decisions without the government interfering like it’s not their business, then other freedoms that we take for granted are at risk. And Justice Clarence Thomas already said as much. He wrote it in the Dobbs Opinion. If there’s no right to privacy, then same sex marriage could be at risk. The same idea of a right to privacy was the basis for saying that states couldn’t ban interracial marriage.

There’s no actual right to marriage written down in the Constitution, just like there’s no right to contraception in the Constitution. So almost every Republican in the House of Representatives has already voted against guaranteeing a right to use contraception.

Now, you think about that. If they take that power, there’s no guarantee that that won’t be next.

Here in Wisconsin, Governor Evers’ opponent wants to ban abortion with no exceptions. According to him, and I’m quoting here, it’s not unreasonable for the government to force rape victims to give birth.

AUDIENCE: No! No!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Vote!

Supports a criminal abortion ban passed more than 70 years before women got the right to vote that could put doctors in jail for trying to save a patient’s life, because part of what, a lot of times, people don’t think about is there are people who want to bring a child to term. Something goes wrong, and if you don’t have exceptions and doctors are being criminalized, they don’t train to deal with those situations. They won’t know what to do in some cases, or you won’t have a lot of people who can deal with it.

The good news is if you vote for Tony, that’s not going to happen. (Applause.) Two days after the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case that would overturn Roe versus Wade, he vetoed five Republican bills that would have eliminated or limited access to abortion.

As long as Tony Evers is governor, he’ll keep doing whatever it takes to make sure that women have power to make their own healthcare decisions. And that’s how it should be.

All of these issues are at stake.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Te quiero mucho!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Gracias.

All these issues at stake. If that’s not worth 15 minutes of your time, I don’t know what is.

But if you do need another reason to vote, consider the fact that democracy is also on the ballot. I mentioned earlier, things have changed in terms of our political discourse. And I have to admit, it wears on me. Sometimes, the idea of going out on the campaign trail feels a little bit harder, and not just because I’m older and a little grayer.

Back when I was first running for office, people didn’t agree with me on everything. I’d go and I was driving myself. I didn’t even have a driver. And by the way, I’m really dating myself because we used maps, like paper maps. You never knew how to fold them back up, so they’re sitting in the passenger seat. And I’d be driving around, and we’d go out in the rural areas, farm country. And there weren’t a lot of folks named Barack or who looked like me. And a lot of these were predominately conservative Republican areas.

And I’d stop by a VFW hall, or I’d talk to somebody at a fish fry, might stop by the local paper. And you sit down, maybe it’s at diner over a piece of pie and coffee. And they didn’t agree with me on everything, but we could have a nice conversation. And we could talk about the things we had in common, our hopes for our kids, problems we were seeing with farm prices. You could have a conversation about healthcare and an ailing mom. And over the course of the conversation, maybe we kind of learn from each other and you persuade each other a little bit.

And then folks didn’t all vote for me just because I had that conversation, but you felt as if you could make a connection. And that’s why I ended up getting a bunch of Republican votes. And then after I won for the presidency, my opponent, John McCain, first thing he did, graciously conceded, got on stage, wished me luck for the good and the sake of the country.

That was the basic foundation of our democracy. That’s how it worked, some sense of mutual respect. We can disagree without being disagreeable. And that’s at risk right now.

And listen, you may not hear this a lot of times at the Democratic rally. Democrats aren’t perfect. I wasn’t perfect as president. I’m the first one to admit it. Politicians, just like all of us, can make mistakes, even with the best of intentions. But for the most part, just about unanimously, Democrats still abide by the basic norms and rules of how the democracy is supposed to work.

In 2016, when my successor won, and I’m in the moment, I wasn’t feeling good, but I stayed up till three in the morning until it was finally decided. And then I had to call him and say, congratulations, because that’s how democracy is supposed to work. And we ensured a peaceful transition of power.

Now today, with just a few notable exceptions, and I give credit to some courageous Republicans who probably lost their seats because they believed in the rules, but the vast majority of Republican politicians, whether it’s because they actually believe it or because they’re scared to say otherwise, they’re not even pretending that the rules apply anymore. They are literally just making stuff up.

Mandela’s opponent has done more than just about anybody in Congress to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. I mean, he has a gold medal in that event. He said the attacks on law enforcement at the Capitol on January 6 were by and large, quote, peaceful protests, although he did say that the rioters, quote, taught us all how you can use flagpoles as weapons.

Now, if that’s the lesson you take away from a violent insurrection storming the Capitol, I don’t know what to tell you, but I do know you probably shouldn’t be serving as Wisconsin’s representative to the U.S. Senate, because that’s not how our democracy is supposed to work. (Applause.)

I mean, if that doesn’t elicit uniform outrage, what will? What does it take?

Tony’s opponent said if he’s elected governor, he’ll dissolve the bipartisan Elections Commission. He basically just wants, I guess, to be able to decide on his own how elections turned out or not. He even said he’s open to signing a bill to overturn the results of the last election.

And to say the obvious, if somebody is openly obsessed with changing the last election, he probably should not be in charge of overseeing this one coming up. (Applause.) You’ve got Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature trying to give themselves power to do whatever they want. Here in Wisconsin, already, the map is so gerrymandered, they only have to win 44% of the vote to get a majority of the assembly.

Now, think about that. Think about any other thing you do in life where 44% are on one side, 56% on the other, and 44 wins. It don’t make sense. That is correct. And if they pick up a few more seats in both chambers, they’ll be able to force through extreme, unpopular laws on everything from guns to education to abortion. And there won’t be anything Democrats can do about it.

AUDIENCE: No, no!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Right now, the only person standing in their way is Tony Evers.

And let me say this: I know Tony’s low key. He’s self-deprecating. He’s got a little more of a Clark Kent vibe than a Superman vibe. (Laughter.)

But don’t let the glasses and the necktie fool you, because Tony is tough. He’s single handedly keeping Republicans from driving the car off the road. He might be democracy’s best hope in Wisconsin. That’s one more reason he deserves your vote!

I get that democracy might… right now, today, democracy might not seem like a top priority, especially because people have other things to worry about. They’re worried about gas bills. They’re worrying about food bills, worried about their paychecks, worried about their kids. I get that. I understand why, when you don’t see enough progress on some issues that matter to you or your family, you might just say, I don’t have time to think about something so abstract like democracy.

But you know what? We’ve seen throughout history what happens when we lose democracy. We can see it right now around the world in other countries, where the government tells you what books you can read and what books you can read, that question your loyalty if you don’t worship the way they want you to worship, countries that put dissidents and reporters in jail, countries where it really doesn’t matter who you vote for, because the game really is fixed and people will do anything to keep the power they’ve got, and where corruption is rampant because there’s absolutely no accountability.

I’ve seen it. When I was president, I dealt with countries like that all the time. And once that goes away, once self-government goes away, it’s hard to get it back. It’s dangerous, and people get hurt and it can have real life consequences.

And that’s why generations of Americans, my grandfather in World War II, folks in every generation have fought and died for the idea of self-government. That’s why folks marched down in Selma, and some folks died to make sure that the rules were fair. And that’s why women suffragists marched and fought, so that they could be included in self-government — (applause) — so that we could set up rules that were fair to give everybody a voice, rules that we teach our kids when they’re little about being honest and about being fair, rules about how we should make decisions if we’re in a group.

Everybody gets a say, everybody takes a turn, everybody raises their hand. And if you don’t get your way, you don’t throw a tantrum in the sandbox. You don’t pick up your ball and go home. We teach our kids this stuff. We tell our kids, no, you get over it. You try to do better next time.

I mean, I lost my first election for Congress. I got whooped. I didn’t say, wow, the election was rigged. I didn’t say, let’s go storm the Capitol. And that’s what I mean when I say democracy is at stake in this election, and that’s why it’s not enough to elect Democrats like Mandela, Barnes and Tony Evers. You’ve got to elect good people up and down the ballot, because if things get close, they could make all the difference.

And guess what? The good news, because I know some of this has been a little dark, but here’s the good news. You get to make a difference. Your vote will make a difference. That’s why Republicans are working so hard to stop you, and that’s why you can’t let them.

We joke in my house that, between me and Michelle, Michelle can be the glass half empty person sometimes. And I’m more of the glass half full guy. I’m the hope and change guy. So, I’m usually a little more optimistic at the dinner table. And sometimes, when she gets down about the state of the country or the world, she’s been reading a little bit too much news, I tell her, “Honey, everything’s going to be okay.” And I believe it will.

But I also know things won’t be okay on their own. We have to fight for it. We have to work for it, not just on Election Day, but every day in between. That’s why this election matters, Wisconsin.

And I know these are tough times, but we’ve been through tough times before. The important thing is to resist the temptation just to throw our hands up and turn inward and see politics is a zero-sum game where rules are made to be broken, and the only way for people like us to win is for people like them to lose, to sink in the cynicism.

Even in our darkest moments, and I remind Michelle, and I tell my children, this country has seen darker moments before. Underneath it all, I believe we’ve had more in common than our politics and our politicians suggest. Even when times are tough, I believe what unites us can be stronger than what divides us.

There have always been certain values that bind us together as citizens, no matter who we are or where we come from or what we look like or who we love. We think about our kids, and we think about working hard, and we think about being honest and being fair, homespun values.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re on the farm somewhere or in the inner city, people have a sense of that. Doesn’t matter what your last name is. That’s the promise of America. That’s who we at least want to be.

And in this election, you have a chance to do that, to make America live up to what we hope it can be. You have a chance to vote for leaders like Gwen Moore!

You a chance to vote for Josh Cole!

You’ve got a chance to vote for Sarah Rodriguez!

You’ve got a chance to vote for a great and decent governor like Tony Evers!

You got a chance to vote for an outstanding young man who will work hard for you, Mandela Barnes!

You’ve got a chance to vote for this whole ticket that will fight for a big, inclusive, hopeful America that we believe in, an America where we might not fix all our problems overnight, but where we can make things better. And better is worth fighting for. (Applause.)

If you’re anxious, if you’re frustrated, don’t complain. Don’t boo.

AUDIENCE: No!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Don’t tune out.

AUDIENCE: No!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Don’t get bamboozled.

AUDIENCE: No!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Don’t fall for that okey-doke.

AUDIENCE: No!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Vote! (Applause.) Get off your couch and –

AUDIENCE: Vote!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Put down your phones for a minute and –

AUDIENCE: Vote!

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: Vote for this whole Wisconsin Democratic ticket! (Applause.)

Tell other folks to do the same, because if enough of us make our voices heard, things will be better! (Applause.) And we will build a country that is more fair, and more just, and more equal and more free! Let’s go to this Wisconsin! (Applause.)

Thank you, Milwaukee. I love you. Let’s get to work!

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A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store