President Barack Obama and his administration have made consistent progress over the past six years, but he tells “The Russ Parr Morning Show” there’s much more to accomplish. He discusses a lot of the issues that still affect this country, especially the African-American community in this exclusive interview.
Although voting numbers are high for presidential elections, we fall off tremendously when it comes to midterms. President Obama says we can’t let that happen again.
Listen to the audio player to hear him explain how the midterm elections will impact which direction the nation goes in the next two years, and the consequences we will potentially face if we fail to get out to the polls November 4th.
Read the transcribed interview below:
Russ: It’s still Reverend Al. How are you doing Mr. President?
President Obama: I know that’s not right.
Russ: Okay, my bad. (Laugh) How are you doing, Mr. President.
President Obama: Nice try. How you doing, man?
Russ: It wasn’t a good try.
President Obama: (Laugh)
Russ: All right, listen, November 4th, we’re a couple of weeks away, this is a very important election. Tell everybody why this is so darn important?
President Obama: Well look, we’ve fought for six years to dig ourselves out of the hole that was left us. We’ve now seen consistent economic growth; the unemployment rate’s dropped from over 10% down to below 6%. Millions of people have healthcare. Millions of young people are getting more help on their college attendance through Pell Grants. Reading scores are up. Math scores are up, high school graduation, up. College attendance, up. Deficits, down. So we have made consistent progress but we know we still got more work to do and what’s stopping us right now is we got a congress that is blocking things that would help middle class families and working families. Rage the minimum rage. That would help 28 million people.
President Obama: Make sure that we’ve got fair pay for women. Make sure that we’re rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in early childhood education that we know pays off in terms of kids doing better across the board, especially disadvantaged kids. So all those issues are still, right now, stuck, because we got a congress that just keeps on saying now.
Russ: You know, and I think the …
President Obama: And I need people to turn out to vote, we’ve got an election on November 4th, I’m not on the ballet, but my capacity to get things done in my last two years is going to be dependent on having a congress that wants to actually help ordinary folks. And I can’t get that done unless people vote.
President Obama: So if I voted today, many states have early voting. I want people to go towww.iwillvote.com to find if your state has an early voting. If it does, vote early, because it’s easier; no lines. It’s simple. If not then you’ve got to turn out on November 4th and I need people to get their friends and their family and their neighbors and everybody they can think of to turn out because, and a lot of these places it’s very close. And whoever turns out it’s going to end up winning.
Russ: You know, your name isn’t physically on the ballet, but all your policies are. And what is so important, and I especially want to stress to our listeners out there, is that everything that our President has done, and I can this for you, over the last close to seven years can go down the drain. Not everything, but important things. And I want everybody to have the same enthusiasm to go out November 4th as they did to re-elect our President. You know, this is a good time to find out who’s on your side, right, Mr. President?
President Obama: Well listen, the truth is everybody who’s listening to you Russ, and Dale, when we travel around the country, they come up, we’re praying for you, we got your back, they hug Michelle, we love you. We appreciate all that, we really do. But the truth of the matter is that half or more than half of our folks do not vote during the term elections. And so we definitely want the prayers, but if you want to change policies, if we want to increase the minimum wage and make sure that 28 million are getting helped, if we want to make sure that we’re creating ladders of opportunity and apprenticeships and job training for young people so they don’t go into trouble but instead on a career path then we have to have a congress that is supportive of that agenda. And the only way to do that is if we vote during the midterms. The last time we did not vote in the midterms was 2010.
President Obama: And that’s when …
Russ: The Tea Party.
President Obama: The Tea Party came up and the House of Representatives came up and for the last four years they have blocked everything. They have precipitated what was almost another economic crisis when they shut down the government. And the, you know, that is preventable. But it’s only going to be preventable if people go to the polls. And so, you know, if you want to see me and Michelle and our agenda move forward we’ve got to make sure that, you know, we’ve got a congress that cooperates, I need everybody to go out there and vote.
Russ: Yeah. And, you know, Mr. President, I know you mentioned the Tea Party, this group has been so destructive and even if there are policies that actually helps them, this is what’s so mindboggling about this. You know, legislation that actually helps them as individuals, and their constituents, they don’t care. It’s, and I don’t know if it’s personal with you or whatever it is, but, you know, they snuck in last time. This is an opportunity for everybody out there listening to the President and my voice to go November 4th and vote. There are, you know, I’m looking at the polls. It’s really, really tight. And it could go one way or the other. And your vote can make that difference.
President Obama: Well, it is absolutely true. And, as I said, a lot of states now have early voting. And that is easy. I went in there. There was no line, no wait. And so we just need people to go ahead and take responsibility. Here’s what doesn’t work is just sitting home and complaining about stuff.
Russ: There you go.
President Obama: But what does work is when people go out there and make it their personal business to cast their ballot and that ends up making a real difference across the board.
Russ: Right. Mr. President, thank you so much for your time this morning. And it’s always a pleasure talking to you. And I am, I’m on your side on this, I mean, whether, I don’t care how you guys vote, actually I do, but I’m not going to tell you how to vote; please get out there to vote. Early voting is happening right now. November 4th, a big, big day, y’all. Mr. President, thank you so much, I appreciate it.
President Obama: I appreciate you. Bye-bye.
Russ: You tell the wife I said hello.
President Obama: Will do. Thanks, Russ.