SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio – On his way to Shaker Heights High School, President Barack Obama made a stop at a house on Cleveland’s southeast side, to meet with 91-year-old Endia Eason and her 81-year-old husband, William, a retired postal worker and Marine. The Eason’s have lived in their neighborhood since 1971, but 10 years ago they were approached by a broker who offered to help them take out a loan to make much needed repairs to the house.
The couple agreed, but before they knew it, the broker had disappeared with their money. The Eason’s were left with $80,000 in debt and were losing their home. A few agencies helped fix the problem and today, William Eason accompanied President Obama to Shaker Heights High School.
“I am honored. He made my day,” said Eason.
The president’s stop to the Eason’s home tied in perfectly with his speech. As Obama walked inside the school’s gym, he waved to the audience and shook the hands of those eager to hear his push for jobs, end to abuse by banks, and how he will fight for hardworking Americans.
“You’re the reason why I ran for this office…We’re still fighting for…an America where hard work and responsibility pays off,” Obama said.
Obama’s trip to Shaker Heights comes a day after the Iowa caucuses, and his announcement of Richard Cordray as America’s consumer watchdog. The president called Cordray exactly what every American needs.
“His job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry. His job will be to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions.”
With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial operations often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy.
“If you’re a student, Cordray’s job will be to protect you from dishonest lending practices” & make sure you have all info you need on student loans…If you’re a veteran, Cordray will help make sure you aren’t taken advantage of when you come home from serving our country…If you’re a senior, Cordray will help make sure you don’t lose your home or your retirement because someone saw you as an easy target.”
Before wrapping up his 25 minute speech, Obama said millions of Americans need someone who will look out for their interests. “They need someone like Richard,” he said.
“Cleveland, I know you’re hearing a lot of promises from a lot of politicians lately. But today, you’re only going to hear one from me. As long as I have the privilege of serving as your president, I promise to do everything I can, every day, to make this country a place where hard work and responsibility mean something — where everyone can get ahead, not just those at the very top or those who know how to work the system. That’s what America has always been about. That’s what today is all about. And with the help of people like Richard, that’s the country I believe we can be once again.”
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is accepting an endorsement from Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. Romney flew to New Hampshire Wednesday after his narrow Iowa caucus win to begin campaigning for next week’s primary in the New England state.
Also, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Wednesday she’s ending her bid for the Republicans presidential nomination after her last-place finish in Iowa’s leadoff precinct caucuses.