Stewart Acuff

Oct 16

Tonight’s Debate

We wake up this morning to a Presidential election that is drawing closer to even. President Obama still holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney.

But the President has a much easier path to an electoral college victory than does Romney. The key swing states remain crucial victory.

Romney cannot win without Ohio. President Obama cannot lose with Ohio. We know that we have a large, strong, effective ground and worksite operation in Ohio. That operation was tested last spring and the workers of Ohio kicked the governor’s rightwing butt.


Tonight’s debate will be very important in a number of ways:
1) It will be a town hall format and both candidates will have to play not only to a large audience and a tv audience, but also an individual questioner. President Obama’s life of struggle and empathy with average people should give him a strong advantage.

2) President Obama must be more engaged and energetic tonight. He has to make his case with authority and confidence. He also must call Romney on his lies and Romney’s fundamental rightwing anti-worker beliefs and personal history. Romney made his fortune and spent his time in the private sector destroying jobs, workers, and families. President Obama must confront Romney with his antipathy to average workers. The Obama-Biden team cannot hit the Romney-Paul budget hard enough. The rightwing Republican budget is flawed in almost every way. It dismantles Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Romney-Ryan budget increases American inequality by giving larger tax breaks to the super-rich who are already sitting on record amounts of cash that they refuse to invest. Romney argues that if we give the super-rich even more, they will finally invest in America and jobs. THE SUPER-RICH ARE EXTORTING AMERICA.

3) Our role. No matter what happens tonight, our worker to worker effort must remain at a fever pitch. This is ours to win.


Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.

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