Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren cast President Barack Obama as a fighter for the middle class Wednesday night, using a plum speaking spot just before Bill Clinton at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Obama, unlike Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "gets it," according to Warren, who said Romney's economic policies would harm an already struggling and shrinking middle class by stripping them of affordable health care access, changing Social Security and undermining financial reform efforts.
The following are excerpts of Warren's speech, as prepared for delivery and released by the Obama campaign:
"I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class.
"That allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives.
"An America that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity.
"An America in which each generation built something solid so that the next generation could build something better.
"But for many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered."
"President Obama believes in a level playing field.
"He believes in a country where nobody gets a free ride or a golden parachute.
"A country where anyone who has a great idea and rolls up their sleeves has a chance to build a business, and anyone who works hard can build some security and raise a family.
"President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes just like their secretaries do - and I can't believe I have to say this in 2012 - a country where women get equal pay for equal work."
"Americans are fighters.
"We are tough, resourceful and creative. If we have the chance to fight on a level playing field - where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot - then no one can stop us.
"President Obama gets it - because he's spent his life fighting for the middle class.
"And now he's fighting to level that playing field - because we know that the economy doesn't grow from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up.
"That's how we create jobs. And reduce the debt.
"And Mitt Romney?
"He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires...but for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails?
"His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000.
"Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations - but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare."