A man whose family hosted President Obama earlier this afternoon at their Iowa farm has issued a lengthy statement, which you can read below. (A photo of Obama in a private moment with the family was attached to the email, along with a “mug shot” of the GOP office holder who sent the email.) Obama’s statement at the farm is copied below as well.
HAVERHILL, IA August 14, 2012 – On Tuesday, Marshall County Treasurer Jarret Heil of rural Haverhill, Iowa issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s visit to his family farm during the President’s three day visit in Iowa.
“It is truly an honor to have the President of the United States visit our farm and see a little piece of Central Iowa up close. It is the believed to be the first time a sitting President has made a stop in Marshall County in 72 years. Meeting the President in person is like most people say, he is gracious, personable and very respectful. It is a memory that my family and community will never forget.”
“During his press conference he spoke of the importance of wind energy along with all forms of energy in America and extending the wind tax credits. He also railed against Governor Mitt Romeny that he would take us back to the failed policies of the past. The President has forgotten that it is his Democrat party’s policies that required banks to irresponsibly loan to default prone home buyers, which singlehandedly destroyed our housing market and sending us into recession. The additional banking regulations have caused uncertainty leaving investors sitting on their money and our economy stagnant.”
“As the milestone that it is for our community with the President’s visit, it is important to not get caught up in the President’s glamorous re-election words and remember President Obama’s first term record and rhetoric does not represent Middle America, entrepreneurs, small business owners and farmers. President Obama repeatedly attempts to make this campaign about dividing Americans. By refusing to extend the Bush Tax Cuts, the President will crush small businesses including farmers and steer away entrepreneurs. The President’s reckless comments telling business folks that they didn’t build it, weakens the American spirit of free enterprise. Manufacturing a “war on women”, snubbing the Catholic Church on contraception, suing the State of Florida for attempting to take non-citizens off the voting rolls, while suing the State of Ohio for giving members of the military an extended period of time to vote demonstrates the President’s efforts to divide our nation.”
“Sensational words of hope and change in Central Iowa don’t overshadow President Obama’s failures in garnering just one vote in Congress for his budgets while running up record deficits. It is time to get efficient with our federal tax dollars and get the economy back on track. It is time to restore faith in the future of our country for our investors and entrepreneurs to fire the engine of economic prosperity and bring the jobs back. Unfortunately our gracious visitor today is not equipped to manage this task, otherwise we’d already be moving in the right direction.”
“Should President Obama be re-elected, the good news is that my father took advantage of his private time with the President to pray with him for true divine guidance from our Lord Jesus Christ. My dad said he could tell the President stopped in the moment to truly think about what it means to be President and was humbled. After the President finished his press conference, he told my father to keep praying for him because he really needs it. I agree and pray to that.”
In case you’re wondering, here are Obama’s remarks at the Heil Family Farm near Haverhill this afternoon, from the White House transcription (furnished to this reporter by pool reporter designated by White House):
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank Jeff Heil and his father, Richard, for showing me around the farm. And I think it’s remarkable to think that the Heil family has been farming this land since 1902, but they’ve got a relatively new addition in the wind turbines that you see in the background. They’re part of the Laurel wind farm — 52 turbines that harvest enough wind power to power an estimated 30,000 Iowa homes in a way that’s clean and renewable.
And at a moment when we want to pursue every avenue for job creation, it’s homegrown energy like wind that’s creating good, new jobs in states like Iowa. Let me give you an example. Back when I was first running for this office and spending a lot of time in this state, I visited the town of Newton, about a half an hour down the road. The local Maytag plant was closing its doors and nearly 2,000 jobs were on the line. So you had a once-thriving factory that was going dark and going quiet and, understandably, folks were worried about what would happen to the community.
Then wind energy offered a new opportunity. When I returned to Newton to visit that plant as President several months ago, some of the same folks who had lost their jobs at Maytag were back on the line building wind towers to support some of the most advanced wind turbines in the world.
Earlier this year, at a different plant about five minutes from there, I met workers building enormous blades for these wind turbines. And I’m proud of the fact that, while we used to have to import parts like those, today they’re made in Newton, made in Iowa, made in America by American workers.
Unfortunately, what we thought was a bipartisan consensus in supporting wind power has been fraying a little bit during election season. My opponent in this election says he wants to end tax credits for wind energy, wind energy producers that make all this possible. He’s called these sources of energy “imaginary”; his new running mate has called them a “fad”.
I think a lot of folks in Iowa would disagree, because wind farms like this and the good jobs that are down in Newton, they’re not a “fad” and they’re not “imaginary.” Seventy-five thousand jobs across this country depend on wind energy; 7,000 jobs in Iowa alone. That’s more than in any other state. These are good, American jobs. And thanks to the hard work of the folks who have these jobs, Iowa generates about 20 percent of its electricity from wind — energy that powers homes and businesses and factories all across the state.
Over the past four years, we’ve doubled the amount of electricity America can generate from wind — from 25 gigawatts to 50 gigawatts. And to put that in perspective, that’s like building 12 new Hoover Dams that are powering homes all across the country. We doubled the amount of electricity we generate from solar energy, too. And combined, these energy sources are enough power to make sure that 13 million homes have reliable power and support the paychecks that help more than 100,000 Americans provide for their families.
That’s not imaginary. That is real. And that’s what’s at stake in November. Thirty-seven thousand American jobs are on the line if the wind energy tax credit is allowed to expire like my opponent thinks they should. And unlike Governor Romney, I want to stop giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies that have rarely been more profitable so that we can keep investing in homegrown energy sources like wind that have never been more promising. That’s part of the choice in this election.
We can listen to folks who want to take us backwards by doubling down on the same economic policies that got us into a fix several years ago and that we’re still fighting out of. Or we can keep moving forward to a future with more good, American jobs, more sources of homegrown, American energy, greater energy independence, and cleaner, safer environments for our kids.
And I think it was interesting talking to Jeff. He described how these wind farms got started, and what you had was all the neighboring farms coming together and essentially forming a cooperative. And folks who had these windmills on their land, on their property, recognized that, look, that was going to have an impact on folks who might not. And so everybody in this area, whether they’ve got a wind farm or not, helps benefit — or is benefiting from the economics of this wind energy.
And that’s an example of what America is about. We believe in free enterprise, we believe in hard work. The Heil family is an example of that. But we also believe in neighborliness and working together for the common good. And as a consequence of their foresight and their creativity, and with the help of these wind energy tax credits, every farmer, every landowner in this area, is benefiting. And all of us are benefiting from clean, American energy.
So I hope we continue to promote this kind of energy. I know the Heil family does, too. And my expectation is, is that over the next several years, in the same way that we’ve doubled wind energy in the past, we’re going to keep on doubling it in the future.
Thanks very much, everybody.