Thank you, Cincinnati! I especially want to thank all the people outside who couldn't get in. Thank you for coming today. I am so delighted to be here with my friend and a great leader, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Now, you just saw, you just saw why she is considered so terrific, so formidable, because she tells it like it is. I am very grateful for that introduction, but more importantly, I want to thank her for fighting every single day for families like hers, families like yours, and millions of hardworking Americans who deserve to have more folks on their side.
You know, Elizabeth and I came of age around the same time, and when we were coming up, as you heard her talking about her parents, her brothers, we believed in the American dream. It wasn't always going to be easy. My dad was a small businessman; it was hard work. He got up every single day and went off to work and worked hard, and lots of times my mother and my brothers and I would be there to help. He printed drapery fabrics in a long warehouse with a long table. It was dark and not very pleasant, but it was decent, honest work. And he believed—and he taught me—that's what you do in America. That's the basic bargain. You work hard, you do your part, you will get ahead and stay ahead. And we need to make sure that basic bargain is alive and well in 2016.
Elizabeth is leading the fight to liberate millions of Americans from the burden of student debt, and to make sure—to make sure Washington never again profits off of our students. She and I agree, the federal government should not be making money off of sending our young people to college to get an education.
And no one works harder to make sure Wall Street never, never wrecks Main Street again. She's come up with a lot of great ideas, but here's one that has already made a big difference. It's called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It's been around a few years under the leadership of a great leader from Ohio, Richard Cordray, who is leading the charge. It has already—think about this. It's only been around a few years, but it has already returned over $10.8 billion to 25 million Americans who have been hurt by illegal financial practices. Now, that is what standing up and fighting to right economic wrongs looks like.
And I must say: I do just love to see how she gets under Donald Trump's thin skin. As Elizabeth made clear, Donald Trump proves every day he's not in it for the American people—he's in it only for himself. And Elizabeth reminds us of that every chance she gets because—it is really important that voters here in Ohio and across America understand this. She exposes him for what he is: temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be president of the United States.
Now, some of the best TV since Elizabeth came to the Senate is actually on C-SPAN. So whenever you see her pressing a bank executive or a regulator for answers, refusing to let them off the hook—remember she is speaking for every single American who is frustrated and fed up. She is speaking for all of us, and we thank her for that.
I am thrilled that Elizabeth could be here with me in this glorious, beautiful building that has been rehabbed and put to new use as a museum. Because we want to make the point together that we must have an economy that works for everyone again, not just those at the top. Not just the rich or the well-connected—everybody.
Now, one might ask, well, yes, that is what we believe—it sounds simple, doesn't it? Honestly, I think it is. It shouldn't be complicated. But there are too many politicians and corporations that don't agree. They don't even seem to get it. But you do, and we do. And for the past now more than a year, I have been traveling across our country meeting people who have told me their wages haven't budged, even though they see executives who give themselves big bonuses. And you ask yourself, well, wait a minute, why do the richest Americans and the biggest corporations get away with manipulating the tax code so they pay lower rates than you do? That's a good question. It doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make moral sense, economic sense, and historic sense.
And you know what else doesn't make sense? When leaders in Congress give more tax breaks to hedge fund millionaires instead of making investments in manufacturing, clean energy, and education that will actually create more good jobs.
It doesn't make sense when corporations stash their profits overseas, or send them to influential shareholders, instead of making long-term investments in raising wages, training and research.
Or when governors and legislatures use every trick in the book to weaken unions and make it harder for Americans to organize themselves for better wages and benefits. You know what I'm talking about. Well, you've heard of Right to Work laws. Well, they're wrong for workers and they're wrong for America.
None of this is right, my friends. But this election is a chance for us to make it right for the future, for our kids and our grandkids. Let's make it right.
Let's make it right for hardworking Americans like Stan Hall in Cleveland, who owns a small trucking company. It's a non-stop struggle for him to compete against the bigger guys. But if we keep our economy growing, and make sure small businesses like Stan's get the right support, we can give more people a chance to succeed under that American basic bargain.
Let's make it right for young people like Erika Roitblat in West Lake. She dreamed her whole life of going to Ohio University in Athens. But the housing crash in 2008 wiped out her parents' savings and their small business. So to get her college degree at a public university, Erika wound up $100,000 in debt. We cannot let this student debt crisis continue. We have got to give hardworking students and families relief. And you know what Erika's doing now? She's volunteering for our campaign and working to elect Democrats across Ohio.
Stan's volunteering with us too, because he, like so many people across Ohio and across the country, know that we are fighting for a better future. I got into this race because I wanted to even the odds for people who have the odds stacked against them. And this is not a time for half-measures. To build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, we've got to go big and we've got to go bold.
So we need to take that frustration, the fear, the anxiety, and yes, the anger, and after we have vented it, we need to work together to achieve the kind of changes that will give everybody in this country a better shot. So let's set five ambitious goals for our economy.
Let's break through the dysfunction in Washington and make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Let's do what we need to do to invest in infrastructure like President Eisenhower did with the Interstate Highway System. That's when Republicans used to believe in building America and putting Americans to work. That's what we're going to do again.
Let's set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone, like Erika. And let's provide debt relief—let's provide debt relief as soon as we can, as soon as we start to work, Elizabeth. We'll take the day off for the inauguration, and then the Senate, the Congress, the White House, we're going to get to work to give students and their families relief from this debt.
Now, we've got more work to do, so let's set the goal of rewriting the rules so more companies share profits with their employees, not just their executives, instead of shipping profits and jobs overseas. We've got the greatest country and the greatest economy in the world. Let's start acting like it. And let's make it clear that the companies have to be part of that greatness.
And let's set the goal of making sure that Wall Street and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. Now, there are a couple ways of doing this. I've been proposing a number of them. Something called the Buffett rule, after Warren Buffett. No millionaire should pay a lower tax rate than somebody working for him, like his secretary. The people who have profited the most, even since the Great Recession, are people who now need to give back. This country has given so much to all of us, and everybody should share the burden.
So I have made a pledge: I will not raise taxes on the middle class, but we are going to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
And don't you think it's about time that we put American families first? We're not living in the '50s or the '60s anymore. We've got to catch up to how Americans actually live and work in the 21st century. I have met so many stressed-out young parents. I've met so many stressed-out middle-aged and older folks. Young parents because they're trying to balance what should be the joy of their lives, like our new grandson is for us, and our granddaughter. I remember, I was talking to Elizabeth on the phone when she was visiting her family, her grandchildren, and we talked about all this important stuff, and what we have to do, and then she said, well, I've got to go, because I have to go buy my granddaughter some sparkly shoes. There is no greater joy. But to see young parents struggling so hard, and to see older people taking care of their parents—we've got work to do. We shouldn't make it so difficult to do your job at home and to do the job that puts food on the table and a roof over your head.
Let me just say a word about rewriting the rules. There are a lot of businesses thriving right here in Ohio who see their employees the right way. They see them as assets to invest in, not costs to cut. But unfortunately, there are too many who take the opposite view, and their behavior contributes to stagnant wages and lower economic growth. That's why as President, I will work to reward companies that share profits with their employees, on top of paying a good wage. Because if they can do it for their executives, they sure can do it for their workers. And we will encourage companies to invest in worker training and to build high-quality apprenticeship programs where you earn while you learn. And we will strengthen unions, because they are the bedrock of a strong middle class in America. Unions helped bring back the auto industry in Ohio, and they will help bring back America, from coast to coast. So here's our message to every corporate boardroom: Do the right thing by your employees and your country, and we will stand by you. But cheat your employees, exploit your customers, pollute our environment, or rip off taxpayers, and we will hold you accountable.
Because when companies take taxpayer dollars with one hand and give out pink slips with the other, and ship hundreds of jobs overseas, we're going to make them pay back those tax benefits. And we're going to take that money and reinvest it in workers and communities. And we're going to slap an "exit tax" on companies that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. And we will defend American jobs and American workers by saying "no" to bad trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and unfair trade practices, like when China dumps cheap steel in our markets or uses weak "rules of origin" to undercut our car makers. I'm going to appoint a trade prosecutor who will report to the President, so we are going to end the abuse of our market, our workers, our people.
And you know what? We're going to compete and win in the global economy by not letting anybody take advantage of our workers. Not China, not Wall Street, not anyone. And we're going to defend and strengthen the tough rules to rein in Wall Street that were put in place after the crash. When corporations pay fines for breaking the law, those fines should cut into executives' bonuses. And if laws are violated, individuals, not just corporations, should be held accountable.
And I will veto any effort to weaken protections for consumers. And while we're at it, we're going to finally make Wall Street, big corporations, and the super-wealthy do more that's not only fair in terms of paying taxes, but—which is right, because we can use that money to make these big, bold investments. That will help us build a stronger economy for decades to come. And you know what? That's not only good for families and workers. That's good for companies, for businesses.
We are a 70 percent consumption economy, my friend. That means the more money that you have in your pocket that you can spend, the better that is for the economy. And the way things are right now, people are afraid. They're holding back. We've got to liberate the American consumer by protecting and helping the American worker. And we're going to make more things in America. We're going to ensure we have the most competitive auto and auto parts industries in the world. And when we invest in infrastructure, we're not just going to be investing in roads and bridges and tunnels and ports and transit and water systems; we're going to connect every home to high-speed broadband so they can get into the global marketplace.
And we're going to fight climate change by making America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. And I want to complement your mayor, Mayor Cranley, who's here, your state rep, Alicia Reece—Cincinnati is already one of the biggest cities in the country to run 100 percent on clean energy. Congratulations. And I'll tell you what, Mayor, I hope you don't mind if I go around the country in saying, if you can do it in Cincinnati, you can do it anywhere. That's what we need across America. And while we're at it, we're going to raise the national minimum wage. $7.25 an hour is a poverty wage. Workers deserve better. They deserve a living wage and a job with dignity. Families deserve real support—like quality, affordable childcare, paid family leave, and equal pay for women.
I know when I talk about these things, Donald Trump says I'm playing the "woman card."
Well, I'll tell you what, if fighting for families is playing the "woman card," deal me in. So I have to say now, in order to achieve all these goals, we have to go after and end the political dysfunction that's holding our country and economy back. So let's overturn Citizens United and get unaccountable money out of politics.
Let's shut off the revolving door in Washington and make sure the foxes aren't guarding the hen house. And let's learn how to listen to each other and work together again. I am determined to break through the gridlock to get things done for working families.
I know Democrats and Republicans can work together. I know it, because I've done it. I worked with Republicans and Democrats to create the Children's Health Insurance Program, which today insures 8 million kids. I worked with Republicans and Democrats to bring jobs back to upstate New York and to help New York City heal and rebuild after the 9/11 attacks. I proudly served as Secretary of State—and I didn't just represent Democrats—I represented all Americans.
Because, you know what? We're all on the same team. It's time we start acting like it. There's no limit to what we can achieve if we do. Now, I confess. I confess. It's true I can be a little wonky. But I have this old-fashioned idea: if you're running for President, you should say what you want to do and how you will get it done.
So now that you've heard some of my plans for the economy, ask yourself: what are Donald Trump's plans? Well, best I can tell, he has no credible strategy for creating jobs. And maybe we shouldn't expect better from someone whose most famous words are, "You're fired." He rails against other countries, doesn't he? He says he's for our workers. But Trump's own products are made in a lot of countries that aren't named America. Trump suits were made in Mexico—he could have had them made in Brooklyn, Ohio. Trump furniture is made in Turkey, instead of Cleveland. Trump barware is made in Slovenia, instead of Toledo. So how does that all fit into his talk about America First?
But that's just the start. This is a man who plays coy with white supremacists and mocks people with disabilities. Who talks about banning an entire religion from entering our country. Who advocates getting rid of gun-free zones in schools; letting more countries have nuclear weapons; defaulting on our national debt; turning back the clock on marriage equality. And just like Elizabeth, I could go on and on.
This is someone whose reaction to the horrific mass shooting in Orlando was to publicly congratulate himself.
Andon Friday, when Britain voted to leave the European Union, he crowed from his golf course about how the disruption could end up creating higher profits for that golf course—even though within 24 hours, Americans lost $100 billion from our 401(k)s. He tried to turn a global economic challenge into an infomercial.
Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office the next time America faces a crisis. Imagine him being in charge when your jobs and savings are at stake. Imagine him trying to figure out what to do in case of an emergency.
So it's no wonder, is it, that risk analysts listed Donald Trump, a Donald Trump presidency, as one of the top threats facing the global economy—ahead of terrorism. Well, we are not going to let Donald Trump bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his casinos. We need to write—we need to write a new chapter in the American dream, and it can't be Chapter 11.
If you believe that Donald Trump's wrong for American and that our best days are ahead of us, please join us in this campaign. We are stronger together. We're stronger when we grow together, when we lift each other up, when our economy is working for everyone—not just those at the top. Let's get to work, Ohio. Let's knock on doors and register voters. Let's send Ted Strickland to the Senate with Sherrod Brown! Let's send Alicia Reece back to Columbus! Let's get more strong, progressive leaders like Senator Warren in Washington and statehouses!
This November, let's take our country in the right direction, with confidence and optimism. That's what we can do together.
Thank you all and God bless you!
Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAOojnaXvkc