Watch President Obama's full remarks here.
In the state where his mother was born, President Obama made an argument about laying a new foundation for broad-based prosperity in America.
"It starts," he said, "with making sure that everyone has a fair shot at success."
That means giving Americans the education, infrastructure, and resources necessary to out-innovate our global competitors, structuring our tax system fairly to pay for those investments, and it means creating an environment where everyone -- from Main Street to Wall Street -- plays by the same set of rules. The President said:
As infuriating as it was for all of us, we rescued our major banks from collapse, not only because a full blown financial meltdown would have sent us into a second Depression, but because we need a strong, healthy financial sector in this country.
But part of the deal was that we would not go back to business as usual. That’s why last year we put in place new rules of the road that refocus the financial sector on this core purpose: getting capital to the entrepreneurs with the best ideas, and financing to millions of families who want to buy a home or send their kids to college. We’re not all the way there yet, and the banks are fighting us every inch of the way.
And Republicans are standing with Wall Street to block broader reform by refusing to confirm a head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- the watchdog group is charged with protecting everyday Americans from lenders who are out to take advantage of them. Here's what President Obama had to say:
The man we nominated for the post, Richard Cordray, is a former Attorney General of Ohio who has the support of most Republican and Democratic Attorneys General throughout the country.
But the Republicans in the Senate refuse to let him do his job. Why? Does anyone think the problem before that led to this crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors? Every day we go without a consumer watchdog in place is another day when a student, or a service member, or a senior citizen could be tricked into a loan they can’t afford – something that happens all the time. Financial institutions have plenty of lobbyists looking out for their interests. Consumers deserve to have someone whose job it is to look out for theirs. And I intend to make sure they do.
The Senate is slated to vote on Richard Cordray's confirmation later this week. Check back at WhiteHouse.gov for more information.