Jennifer M Granholm

Address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - Sept. 6, 2012

Jennifer M Granholm
September 06, 2012— Charlotte, North Carolina
2012 Democratic National Convention
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Good evening, I'm Jennifer Granholm, from the great state of Michigan, where the trees are just the right height! Let me tell you a story about the dark days in my home state. Toward the end of my time as governor, Ford closed one of its biggest factories, a factory in Wixom, Michigan. The plant had employed over the years thousands of middle-class men and women in neighborhoods near—yet worlds away from—the place Mitt Romney was raised.

When Ford's decision to close the factory hit, I went down to the local union hall. It was almost empty; a few workers were milling about in shock and grief. I talked to a 45-year-old guy who told me, "This is the only place I've ever worked. I've been loyal. I've done everything they've ever asked. And just like that, it's gone." He looked around the hall and said, "So, governor, is it over for us? Is the American auto industry dead?"

Honestly, at that moment, I just didn't know. But that was just the beginning. When the financial crisis hit, things got worse – and fast.

The entire auto industry, and the lives of over one million hard-working Americans, teetered on the edge of collapse; and with it, the entire manufacturing sector of this country. We looked everywhere for help. Almost nobody had the guts to help us – not the banks, not the private investors and not Bain Capital. But, in 2009, the cavalry arrived: and our new president, Barack Obama, came in!

He organized a rescue, he made the tough calls and he saved the American auto industry.

You know—Mitt Romney saw the same crisis and you know what he said: "Let Detroit go bankrupt." Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and our trees. He loves our cars so much, they even have their own elevator. But the people who design, build, and sell those cars?

Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft. You know what I’m saying.

Mitt Romney says his business experience qualifies him to be president. Sure, he's made lots of money. Good for him, good for him. Or maybe I should say, good for HIM. But how did he make that fortune, and at whose expense? Too often, he made it at the expense of middle-class Americans. Year after year, it was profit before people.

BUT…President Obama? With the auto rescue, he saved more than one million American jobs. But it wasn’t just Michigan. Hey hey—it wasn’t just Michigan, my friends. In Colorado, the auto rescue saved more than 9,000 jobs! In Virginia, more than 19,000 jobs! In North Carolina, 25,000 jobs! In Wisconsin: 28,000 jobs! In Pennsylvania: 34,000 jobs! In Florida: 35,000 jobs! In Ohio: 150,000 jobs! And in the great state of Michigan? Two hundred and eleven thousand good-paying American jobs.

All across America, autos are back! Manufacturing is rebounding! Why? Because when Mitt Romney said "Let Detroit go bankrupt," who took the wheel? Barack Obama! When America was losing 750,000 jobs per month, who gave us a lift? Barack Obama! When American markets broke down, who jump-started our engine? Barack Obama! And when America needed it most, who got us rolling again on the road to recovery? Barack Obama!

America, we need to rev up our engines! In your car and on your ballot, the "D" is for drive forward, and the "R" is for reverse. And in this election, we're driving forward, not back. Let's re-elect our great president, Barack Obama!

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