That's the America Barack Obama and I believe in. That's the American dream. And ladies and gentlemen, is there no ordinary times, and this is no ordinary election. Because the truth of the matter is, and you know it, that American dream under eight years of Bush and McCain, that American dream is slipping away. I don't have to tell you that. You feel it in your lives. You see it in your shrinking wages, and the cost of everything from groceries to health care to college to filling up your car at the gas station. It keeps going up and up and up, and the future keeps receding further and further and further away as you reach for your dreams. You know, ladies and gentlemen, it is not a mere political saying. I say with every fiber of my being I believe we cannot as a nation stand for four more years of this. We cannot afford to keep giving tax cuts after tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans while the middle class America, middle class families are falling behind and their wages are actually shrinking. We can't afford four more years of a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse. As you know, it's not just the millions of people facing foreclosure. It's the tens of millions of your neighbors who are seeing the values of their homes drop off a cliff along with their dreams.
Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine. You sit there at night before you put the kids -- after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. It's a pretty hard experience. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at. Folks, again, it's not political sloganary when I say we literally can't afford four more years of this non- energy policy written by and for the oil companies, making us more and more dependent from hostile nations on our ability to run this country and literally, not figuratively, literally putting America's security at risk, we can't afford four more years of a foreign policy that has shredded our alliances and sacrificed our moral standing around the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's the bad news. But there is good news, America. We don't have to have four more years of George W. Bush. And John McCain. The next President of the United States is going to be delivered to the most significant moment in American history since Franklin Roosevelt. He will have such an incredible opportunity, incredible opportunity, not only to change the direction of America, but literally, literally to change the direction of the world. Barack Obama and I believe, we believe with every fiber in our being that our families, our communities as Americans, there's not a single solitary challenge we cannot face if we level with the American people. And I don't say that to say it; history, history has shown it. When have Americans ever, ever, ever, let their country down when they've had a leader to lead them?
In all my time in the United States Senate, and I want you to know there's only four senators senior to me, but Barack, there's still 44 older than me. I want you to know that part. But all kidding aside, of all my years in the Senate, I have never in my life seen Washington so broken. I have never seen so many dreams denied and so many decisions deferred by politicians who are trying like the devil to escape their responsibility and accountability. But, ladies and gentlemen, the reckoning is now. And the reality, the reality is that we must answer the call or we will risk the harshest version and verdict of history. These times call for a total change in Washington's worldview. These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader -- a leader who can deliver. A leader who can deliver the change we need.
Barack has the vision, and what you can't forget, you know his vision, but let me tell you something. He also has the courage, the courage to make this a better place, and let me tell you something else, this man is a clear eyed pragmatist who will get the job done. I watch with amazement as he came to the Senate. I watch with amazement. He made his mark literally from day one reaching across the aisle to pass legislation to secure the world's deadliest weapons, standing up to some of the most entrenched interests in Washington, risking the wrath of the old order to pass the most sweeping ethics reform in a generation. But I was proudest, I was proudest, when I watched him spontaneously focus the attention of the nation on the shameful neglect of America's wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, I know I'm told I talk too colloquially, but there's something about this guy. There's something about this guy. There's something about Barack Obama that allows him to bring people together like no one I have worked with and seen. There's something about Barack Obama that makes people understand if they make compromises they can make things better.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here for their future. I'm here for the future of your kids. I'm here for everyone I - I'm here for everyone I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, who's been forgotten and everybody in Claymont, Delaware, in Wilmington where I lived. I'm here for the cops and the fire fighters, the teachers and the line workers, the folks who live - the folks whose lives are the measure of whether the American dream endures.