Hillary Rodham Clinton

Democratic National Committee Summer Meeting - Sept. 1, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton
September 01, 2015— Minneapolis, Minnesota
Democratic National Committee Summer Session
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Thank you all so much it's great being here with a room full of democrats! And I want to thank Stephanie, I want to thank Debbie and all the elected officials, party leaders, and grassroots organizers who everyday help strengthen families and communities across our nation. You're building our party in every county, every district, every state, and I want to be your partner every step of the way. [Applause]. I also want to give a big shout out to a giant of the democratic party someone who has devoted his life to serving his fellow Americans and who has inspired and encouraged so many of us over the years, the great Walter Mondale [Applause].

We democrats believe in an America where no matter who you are or where you come from you should have an equal shot at success. That's the America we love, that's the America we're fighting for and fundamentally that's what's at stake in this election. Whether our country keeps moving toward opportunity and prosperity for all, or whether republicans get another chance to rip away the progress we've worked so hard to achieve. Now we've come a long way, these past six and a half years, but let's not forget what we inherited from the republicans. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the American people and the leadership of President Obama, we're standing again but we're not yet running like we should. This election is about who best understands the pressures facing the families of America and the challenges facing us in the world, and who has the skills and tenacity to tackle them. Today families are stretched in a million directions, and so are their budgets. Costs for everything, from prescription drugs, to child care, to college are going up faster than wages. A full-time minimum-wage job can't lift you out of poverty middle-class pay checks haven't increased even though corporate profits and CEO pay keeps rising and at a time when more women than ever are their family's main breadwinner, too often can you believe it they still don't get equal pay. And unions that helped create the great American middle class are under concerted attack by Republicans and their allies. And think, think of the millions of Americans being held back by their student debt. They can start a business. They can't buy a house. They can't even get married because of the loans hanging over their heads.

That's not the way it's supposed to be in America. In America if you work hard and do your part you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead. That is the basic bargain- that's the basic bargain that made this country great. And that democrats have worked so hard over the years to strengthen and defend. That bargain is what kept my grandfather going to work in the Scranton lace mill factory, every day. It's what led my father to believe that if he's saved and sacrificed, his small business, printing fabric and Chicago, could provide us with a middle-class life. And you know what it did. When my husband put people first and made that bargain mean something again in the nineteen nineties, we had 23 million new jobs a balanced budget and for the first time in decades we all grew together, not just those at the top but everyone. [Applause]. And when President Obama did it we pulled back from the brink of depression, saved the auto industry, curbed Wall Street abuses, and provided health care to 16 million people [Applause].

The evidence is pretty clear the basic bargain works if everyone does their fair share and everyone gets a fair shot, our whole country succeeds. And that success doesn't just go to a few, it's widely shared. Democrats have proven that again and again. Now it is up to us to renew that bargain for a new generation. To do what we know works and what we know is right. We've got to make sure that every American gets a chance to pursue his or her dreams, to live up to their God-given potential. That's what I will do as president, that's what people tell me they want. As I've crisscrossed the country listening. Like the single mom who's juggling a job and classes at community college all while raising three kids alone. She's doing what she has to do to give herself and her kids a good life. She doesn't expect anything to come easy but she asked me isn't there anything we can do so it isn't quite so hard. For the student who told me that paying for college shouldn't be the hardest thing about going to college [applause]. Or for the grandmother who is raising her grandchild because her daughter is hooked on heroin, and now she needs help with child care while she goes back to work. I believe raising incomes and supporting families is the defining economic challenge of our time and that's why that's why I've made it the focus of my campaign and it will be my mission every single day in the white house. Now these are not new fights for you, or for me. My first job out of law school wasn't at some big firm, it was at the children's defense fund and a few years later I started an organization called Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. My whole life I've worked to even the odds for people who have the odds stacked against them. That's what we democrats do, that's why we're here. It's what keeps us working and fighting through every up and down for the values we share in the country we love. Democrats believe that corporations should be held accountable when they gouge us on drug prices, or pollute our environment, or exploit workers. That they just can't be allowed to write their own rules at everyone else's expense [applause].

I believe in strong growth, fair growth and long-term growth. That the rewards of our success cannot just go to the wealthy. That when a company does well shareholders and executives aren't the only ones who should benefit, the people who work at that company day in and day out and produced those profits should share in them too [applause]. Democrats believe Americans deserve a raise, that women deserve equal pay [applause]. We're the ones fighting to help families afford college and make sure you can refinance your debt. Democrats understand that you can't go to work if you can't find childcare. We believe you shouldn't lose your paycheck or your job when you have a baby or someone in your family gets sick. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care. And we're the ones standing up and saying that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay [applause].

We have come too far and fought too hard to let anyone destroy that now. And we're the ones who want to make social security even stronger, and who will fight any attempt to weaken America's commitment to our seniors. We believe in a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants in this country will contribute to it every single day. Democrats believe that no matter who you are, what you look like, what faith you practice, or who you love, America has a place for you and your rights are just as sacred as anyone else's [applause]. And by the way we don't just stand up for these values here at home, we stand up for them everywhere. That's why I traveled the world nonstop for four years as secretary of state, calling for equal rights for women and girls, for LGBT people [applause]. For religious minorities, for all oppressed people because the United States has always been a beacon of hope to the world and we need to keep that light shining for all to see. That's what it means to be a democrat. Those are the values we cherish and it's time to stand together and defend those values because others are doing everything they can to take our country in a very different direction.

Who watched the Republican debates a few weeks ago? 17 candidates all trying to outdo each other in their ideological purity. All either oblivious to how their ideas would hurt people, or just not interested. Not one of them had a single word to say about how to make college more affordable. Not a word about equal pay for women, or paid family leave or quality affordable preschool for our kids so they can get the best start in life. No solutions for skyrocketing prescription drug costs. No promises to end the era of mass incarceration or say clearly and loudly, "black lives matter!" [Applause].

I didn't, I didn't hear any credible plan to promote clean energy or combat climate change. And no one is standing up and saying what we all know to be true- we need to put an end to the gun violence that plagues our communities [applause]. After the terrible events of Wednesday with two journalists killed on live television, plus a police officer killed in Louisiana, and many more lost, every day, in carnage that largely goes unnoticed now across our country. I don't know how anyone could not come to the conclusion that something is deeply wrong. I believe we can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands that should not have them, domestic abusers the violently unstable. While respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Now I know the politics are hard, I know that some would rather throw up their hands or give up the fight, but not me I am not going to sit by while more good people die across America [applause].

Now republicans don't want to care about any of these things. Their flamboyant front-runner has grabbed a lot of attention lately but if you look at everyone else's policies they're pretty much the same. They're Trump without the pizzazz, or the hair [laughter]. You know a lot of people have said a lot of things about my hair over the years, so I do kind of know what Donald is going through [laughter]. And if anyone wonders if mine is real, here's the answer, the hair is real, the color isn't [laughter and applause]. Come to think of it I wonder if that's true for Donald too [laughter].

Look you hear Mr. Trump say hateful things about immigrants, even about their babies. How many others disagree with him, or support a real path to citizenship, or draw the line at repealing the 14th amendment. Today the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump. Think about it. Now of course Mr. Trump also insults and dismisses women, and by the way just yesterday he attacked me once again and said I didn't have a clue about women's health issues. Really? I mean you can't make this stuff up folks. Trump actually says he would do a much better job for women than I would. Now that's a general election debate that's going to be a lot of fun [applause].

But listen to the others, Senator Rubio brags about denying victims of rape and incest acts access to abortion. Governor Bush says 500 million is too much to spend on women's health and they all want to defund Planned Parenthood. I'd like them to tell that to the mom who called her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening, or to the teenager who avoided an unintended pregnancy because she had access to contraception, or anyone who's been protected by an HIV test. Now all the stuff they're saying might be red meat in a republican primary but it is dead wrong in 21st century America [applause]. And I know when I talk like this some people think there she goes again with the women's issues. Republicans actually say I am playing the gender card [laughter]. Well if calling for equal pay and paid leave and women's health is playing the gender card, deal me in [applause].

So my friends, we democrats are not going to sit idly by while republicans shame and blame women. We're not going to stay quiet when they demonize immigrants whether they're Latino, Asian or anything else. We're not going to keep silent when they say climate changes isn't real or same-sex couples are threatening our freedom or trickle-down economics works. We can't let them take us backwards so we're going to fight and were going to win. I'll tell you it's no secret that we're going up against some pretty powerful forces who will say, do, and spend, whatever it takes to advance they're out of touch, out of date agenda. As far as they're concerned if our democracy pays the price so be it. We have lived through this before, the robber barons of the late 19th century handed public officials bags of cash. Now we have secret unaccountable money that distorts our elections and drowns out the voices of everyday Americans. We need justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen's right to vote. Instead of what they have been doing, protecting every corporation's right to buy elections. If necessary I will work to pass a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United [applause].

Make no mistake this isn't going to be easy, you know that and I know that, but I have been fighting for families and underdogs my entire life and I'm not going to stop now, in fact I'm just getting warmed up. So I'm here, I'm here to ask for your help I'm not taking a single primary voter or caucus goer for granted. I'm building an organization in all 50 states and territories with hundreds of thousands of volunteers who will help Democrats win races up and down the ticket not just the presidential campaign [applause]. Look, in 2010, republicans routed us on redistricting. Not because they want congress but because they want state legislators, and look where we are now. We can't ever let that happen again it's time to rebuild our party from the ground up and if you make me the nominee that's exactly what I will do [applause].

I've been around long enough to know every county and local office counts, every school board and state house and Senate seat counts. Every single one. So we have to compete everywhere. When our state parties are strong, we win. That's what will happen. When Democrats win, America wins so I hope you'll join me because we're building something that will last long after next November. I want to be president to take on all the big problems that fill our screens every day at home, and around the world. Other candidates may be fighting for a particular ideology but I'm fighting for you and your families. I'll take on the kinds of problems that keep people up at night. How are you going to work if you can't find anyone to watch your kids? What happens if you lose that job you worked so hard to find? Where can you turn that loved one who's battling addiction struggling with mental illness finally wants help. All the challenges that millions of Americans deal with every day that they talked to me about. Challenges that our leaders should care about but that don't get nearly enough attention. I am paying attention. I hear you. I want to be the president to fight those fights. To the fight for every American every day. To fight for each and every one of you. Now let me say at the end here that you know I am a proud new grandmother. Of an 11 month old extraordinary granddaughter, Charlotte. Obviously her parents and Bill and I will do everything we can to make sure she has every opportunity to pursue her dreams. But you know that's not enough. Because what kind of country and world will she grow up to live in. That all of America's children will live in. You shouldn't have to be a granddaughter of a former president and secretary of state to succeed in America. I want the granddaughters a factory workers and the grandsons of farm workers to have exactly the same chance. So let's keep working with all our hearts toward a better future for our children and grandchildren. They deserve to have an America where everyone has a shot at achieving their dreams. Where everyone gets to live up to their potential. And yes where a father can say to his daughter you can be anything you want, even President of the United States [Applause].

Thank you all, god bless you!

Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVthbVuTZWM.