'Hope is the better option': Obama speaks to impassioned crowd at Paramount

AUSTIN -- The 44th President of the United States gave a fiery speech to an impassioned crowd at the Paramount Theatre Thursday.

He came to Austin for his sixth visit to the capital city as commander in chief.

The president landed in Dallas on Wednesday and was greeted by Gov. Rick Perry, even after the governor initially refused to meet the president at the airport. After a fundraiser and round-table in Dallas, it was on to Austin.

Obama stayed overnight in downtown Austin ahead of delivering a speech Thursday about the economy at the Paramount Theatre. Security vehicles and K9 units were sweeping the area near the theatre early Thursday morning.

People were lined up all night and morning to be the first ones inside when doors open at the Paramount at 9:45 a.m. Thursday. The event is free and open to the public, but people wanting to see the president speak waited in line Tuesday morning for tickets guaranteeing entry to the theatre.

Many slept outside on the pavement, and some didn't sleep much at all. Many of those people waiting to see the president's speech are his supporters. They say they chatted for hours about politics and other topics, and that it's easy to pinpoint why they're waiting to see Obama speak.

"It's he himself, just what he's tried to do. I wouldn't want his job. I don't know who would, but I respect him a lot," said Roni Kendall. "And whatever he wants to say, I want to see him and hear him speak."

"Getting to see a sitting president in my lifetime is remarkable, regardless of your political affiliation," said Melissa Prescott. "We live in the United States. It's a remarkable place to be and have that opportunity."

The excited crowd started filing into the Paramount Theater around 10 a.m. to watch President Obama speak about economic issues facing our country.

The president's speech starts around 12:15 p.m. and is scheduled to last about two hours. The speech will cause several street closures and bus detours throughout the area.

Wednesday was also a busy day for the president in Dallas as he met with faith leaders and politicians, most notably, Gov. Perry. Perry met Obama on the tarmac Wednesday afternoon at DFW International Airport. The closed meeting that followed lasted about an hour.

After the meeting, Obama told the media there's nothing that the governor indicated he'd like to see that the president would have a philosophical objection to. He says he'll need Congress to approve the $3.7 billion funding package he requested earlier this week.

Obama's speech centered mostly around the economy. He said the American economy is making progress, but that Americans still had a long way to go. Talking about the economy, he said politicians need to focus on helping the middle class. He said the deficit was cut in half.

The President touched on immigration saying to Congress, "Ronald Reagan passed immigration reform, and you love Ronald Reagan, so let's do it." Obama is referencing Congress' hold up to pass an immigration reform bill.

He gave advice throughout his speech: Be optimistic when you meet young people and hope is the better option.

KVUE reporter Mark Wiggins will have more on Obama's speech tonight at 5 and 6.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment