Elizabeth Warren

Campaigning for Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland in Ohio - Sept. 17, 2016

Elizabeth Warren
September 19, 2016— Columbus, Ohio
Print friendly

Thank you for that introduction, and hello, Ohio! It is good to be here! You guys are fabulous! I love you best because you're loud! Yes! That's what we need in this campaign.

I actually have to start with my thank-yous, and my first thank you is to say thank you for sending Senator Sherrod Brown to the United States Senate. He's a great friend and I love him. Fabulous, I want to say.

And thank you for what you're going to do, and that is send Ted Strickland to the United States Senate.

And one more thank you. In this week, when Wells Fargo gets called out and has to pay a big fine for having cheated thousands of its own customers out of millions of dollars, thank you for giving us Rich Cordray in Washington to put a stop to it. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

You know, Ohio is a special place for me. It is the first time I got up on a stage and said, "I'm with Hillary," so I'm here today to say I'm with Hillary, I'm with Ted. Are you with us? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

You know, the way I see it is that Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland fight for working families because they come from working families. They know what it means to build a future. Not just for some of us, not just for those who have already made it – but to build a future for all of us and that's why we're here for them. Thank you, Ted.

So – you hear me okay in the back there? Just making sure. Good. You know, you can always tell a schoolteacher. I always keep an eye on the people in the back row. I know why you are in the back row. You will be called on before this is over, uh-huh. All I need is my seating chart and I'd be all set here.

But I'm somebody, really and truly, who came to politics, as they say, very late in life. I never thought I'd be doing anything like this. But this is personal for me. Ted made a remark about this.

I grew up in a family that was just hanging onto its place in the middle class, pretty much by our fingernails. My daddy worked a lot of jobs. He sold paint, he sold fencing, he sold carpeting. He ended up as a maintenance man. My mom worked a minimum wage job and for some times, that was the only paycheck that we had coming in. I wanted to be a teacher. All my life, it's all I ever wanted. I used to line my dollies up and teach them. It was it was tough being one of my dollies – but they were smart, they were good dollies. But to be a teacher you had to go to college and I mean there was literally just no money for that. But I ended up at a commuter college that cost fifty dollars a semester – yeah – and I hung on for dear life. And that's what opened a million doors for me.

And that's because I grew up in an America that was investing in opportunity and in creating opportunities not just for some of our kids but for all of our kids. I believe in that America. I believe we can build that America again, and that's why I'm here with you today.

So, you can't put a gal like me on a great campus like Ohio State and not expect me to be able to do just a little bit of teaching about what's going on. Because I do want to talk about what's happened in America.

What went right this where this story starts. So America is very much a boom-and-bust country. This starts from the 1790s all the way to 1930s. About every 15 years, you know, we build up and things would be going great and then there would be a crash and it would all come down. And when it came down it not only took down the speculators. It took down the small business owners, it took down the farmers, it took down employees, it took a lot of people who weren't able to do the climb up. And we hit the big one, the Great Depression, and it wiped out people all across this country.

And that's when we said as a country – we can do better than this. We can do better than this and we did. And we made two fundamental decisions. The first one was we said we are going to regulate Wall Street and the big financial institutions. That's what it's going to take. Yep. FDIC insurance – make it safe to put money in banks, right? Glass-Steagall – separate crazy banking, right, investments from regular banking.

And SEC put a cop on the beat. We did it and it worked. That's the amazing thing. We didn't have a giant crash from the 1930s until 2008 – pretty good we had.

So let's talk about this.

Second thing we said is we use that time to build America's great middle class. And how did we do it? We collected taxes and we put them into investments, investments that would create opportunities. Not just for a handful of folks at the top but opportunities for all of us.

We invested in education. That's how I ended up in a school the cost fifty dollars a semester. In DEA loans, a GI Bill, federal aid to education – because we believed that if we invested in our children, they could build a future for themselves.

We invested in infrastructure, in roads and bridges and power. Why? Not because we knew what the next great business was going to be, but we were pretty darn sure that they were going to need electricity. We were pretty darn sure they were going to need to be able to have roads and bridges so they could get their goods back and forth to market. We were pretty sure they were going to need an educated workforce.

So we all invested. Some people made it really big but everybody pitched in to make it happen and it created growth and jobs for all of us.

And the third thing we did – yes, it is worth applauding, you're right.

The third thing we did – because this showed what a remarkable people we were – we invested in research – in medical research, in scientific research, in engineering research, in social sciences – because we believed that if we built a giant pipeline of ideas that our children would build a future that we could only dream of.

Now we made those investments for more than half a century, and here's the thing. It worked. So what happens in this period of time is GDP just keeps going up. And who got the growth? Ninety percent of America – everybody outside the top ten percent – ninety percent of America got seventy percent of all of the growth in new income across 1935 to 1980. It worked.

And let's keep in mind. I get– it wasn't for everybody, working perfectly. Women were shut out of a lot of things, African-Americans, Latinos, LGBT in the closet – but, but we were bending it in the right direction.

And so following the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties, the seventies, we began to shrink the black/white wealth gap. We were moving this country in the right direction. We were building a middle-class that worked for more and more people that had more and more opportunity to come in.

And then we hit basically the end of the seventies, the 1980s. Ronald Reagan gets elected. And America turns in a very different direction. It's called trickle-down economics. It basically means "I got mine. Rest of you are on your own." And it had two parts to it. The first part was deregulate the banks – deregulate, deregulate, right? What it really was about is just turn them loose to do what they want to do, right? Deregulation was the popular name for it, but it was let the powerful and the rich do whatever they want to do.

And I gotta say – it worked. They got out there. They sold those mortgages. You saw 'em here in Ohio, right? They sold all those credit products. They made subprime mortgage. And they took down the American economy and took the American people with it.

And the second thing was cut taxes for those at the top. Make sure that the rich get richer. And what that meant is there's just less money to go around. Less money for education. Less money for infrastructure. Less money for research.

And so, that worked, too.

I'll give you just two pieces of this. GDP kept going right on up, just like it had from 1935 to 1980 – just keeps heading right on up. 1980 to 2016 – how much does the ninety percent – everybody outside the top ten percent – get now, in the new income growth? From 1980 to 2016, the answer is basically zero. Less than one percent. More than ninety-nine percent of all new growth in income – not, you know, doing after tax, not doing social security – growth in income goes to the top ten percent. And that black/white wealth gap that we talked about tripled in that period of time.

In other words, we went from a country that worked for all of us, that tried to build opportunity for all of us, to a country that worked just great for those at the top.

And now we find ourselves at a time in an election where we decide – which way are we gonna go? Are we going to be a country that's back to booms and busts? Deregulate Wall Street – is that where we're going to be? Are we going to be a country that says, this works great for those at the top but not for anyone else? No.

So here's the way I see it. Here's the way I see it. This is the election that comes to us in our time. It is up to us to make the decision. I think the data are clear. The game is rigged. It's up to us to use this election to un-rig it. That's what we're here for. That's what we're here for.

So let's start with this part. Rob Portman. I wish that Rob Portman were part of solution, I really do. We need more moderate Republicans in Congress. But he isn't one of them. Portman was the guy during the George W. Bush administration who was helping administer all of those cuts in education, in infrastructure and in research, in the things that build a future. And now he's in the United States Senate working for the rich and the powerful.

I just put together a couple of things. When we worked – Sherrod Brown and I and others worked – to put together a bill to let students refinance their student loans, Rob Portman voted no. When we voted and put together an idea to help seniors on Social Security get a raise, Rob Portman voted no. And when we voted and worked to try to get a raise in the minimum wage, Rob Portman voted no.

But don't misunderstand. Rob Portman does not always vote no. When it was time to grease the skids to get the TPP teed up and ready to go, Rob Portman was there with a strong yes vote. That's why we need someone in Washington who will not be there to vote for the rich and the powerful, not be there to vote against the rest of us, but to vote for working people. That's why we need Ted Strickland.

We need to Ted Strickland and we need Hillary Clinton. Yes.

So let's talk for just a minute about this Republican Party and their standard-bearer, Donald Trump.

What's the word? Don't boo…vote!

You know, I want to start this by saying look, I understand. Elections are tough, and sometimes the words get a little hot and sometimes people say things they don't mean.

But Donald Trump has repeatedly invited his supporters to commit a horrific act of violence against his opponent, against another human being. I just want you to think for a minute, what kind of a man does that? A bully, a twisted bully who can't fight his own fights, who can't win a fair fight, who will never be president of the United States. That's who. You bet. Yep. Yep.

Let's face it – Donald Trump has more support from Aryan Nation and the KKK than he does from leaders of its own party. For years, Donald Trump launched one racist attack after another on President Obama, and only when his handlers tied him down and forced him did he grudgingly admit that the man was born in the United States of America.

But think about it this way – what kind of a man does that? A man with a dark and ugly soul, a man who will never be president of the United States. Yep.

Trump started his own scam university to cheat students out of their life savings. He also paid off attorneys general in Florida and in Texas to shut down investigations of his scam. So what kind of man does that? A man who would cheat you as soon as look at you. A man who thinks bribery is part of running the government. A man who can never be president of the United States. Yep.

And now and now his secrets are starting to leak out – Russian oligarchs, friends of Vladimir Putin, have financed his business deals. Muammar Qaddafi – right? – the Libyan dictator who tortured, raped and slaughtered his own people, was set to rent Trump's estate. And he cut business deals like the privatization of nuclear weapons that will make a profit for Trump even if they run counter to America's interests. What kind of a man does that? A secretive man who has no loyalty to anyone except Donald Trump. A man who will never be president of the United States.

Trump says that if he is president, he will keep all the Trump businesses with the Trump names on everything and all of the Trump family making money off it, but he'll let somebody else run it. What kind of a man does that? A selfish lowlife who puts his own interests ahead of everyone and everything else. A man who will never be president of the United States. You bet. Let's hear it. Yeah. Yeah. Good.

Okay, so let's be clear here. Republicans have money and power. They're slamming Ted Strickland and Hillary Clinton with tens of millions of dollars of nasty attack ads. It's tough out there, and I'm gotta tell you – I know how it feels, right? At this point in my election, the poll came out that showed me down four points. Now what do you do at that point? Well, you can whimper, you can whine or you can fight back. Me, I'm fighting back in this race. How about you? How about you, Ted? Are you fighting back in this race? You bet! Yeah!

So that means I'm here with two asks, two asks. You want to fight back? Remember the first one. The first one is – register to vote, okay? If you've moved, if you just got on campus – the last day for registration is October 11, and early voting starts on October 12. So get registered and vote early – that's part, okay?

Second part – we need your votes, absolutely, but we need more than that. Volunteer. We need your help. We need your help. If it hadn't been for folks across Massachusetts who volunteered, who knocked on doors, who made phone calls, who got out there and made sure we had people in the office and helped people with signs and drove people to the polls – if it hadn't been for that, I don't think I'd be standing here today.

There is nothing more valuable than somebody who shows up and says, "What can I do to help?"

So – to take advantage of this moment – how can you do that? Well, you can go to TedStrickland.com – sign up. You can go to HillaryClinton.com and sign up. Or, you can go to one of these people who has a clipboard…. If you have a clipboard, raise your clipboard. See – oh! Look at all those people with clipboards! For those of you over here, you will notice the clipboards are gathered near the door. You will not get out without walking past one of them. Make sure we get everybody. Sign up on one of these clipboards. We absolutely have got to have you in this race.

So look, ultimately what this election is going to come down to, is it's going to come down to values. We get out there and we work hard because we're fighting for our values. And part of the reason we come together – we come together in these rallies, we come together – is to affirm our values, to affirm the things that we fight for.

So, let's talk about it a little bit.

Republicans voted against refinancing student loans. Trump ran a scam university. We believe that every young person should have a chance to get a college education without getting crushed by student loan debt, and we're willing to fight for it. Yes!

Wells Fargo cheats tens of thousands of people and Republicans want to repeal the rules on Wall Street. Well, we believe in more accountability for big banks, and when CEOs break the law they ought to go to jail just like anyone else. And we'll fight for it! You bet! Yeah!

Republicans have attacked labor unions, tried to undercut collective bargaining for years now. We believe that unions built America's middle class and unions will rebuild America's middle class. Yes!

Republicans support a trade deal and are trying to push it through Congress that will leave workers eating dirt. Let me be clear about where Ted Strickland and Hillary Clinton and I stand on that. No TPP. That's where we are. Good enough?

Republicans blocked raising the minimum wage and Trump wants to repeal the federal minimum wage. Well, the way we see it is that no one should work full-time and live in poverty, and that means raising America's middle class. Fight for 15! Yes!

Republicans want to privatize and cut Social Security. We believe that after a lifetime of hard work, people are entitled to retire with dignity. That means protecting Social Security and Medicare and expanding Social Security benefits for those who need it most.

Republicans have no problem with women earning less, no problem with defunding Planned Parenthood. You know, I've got to tell you. I cannot believe I have to say this in 2016. We believe in equal pay for equal work and a woman's right to control over her own body. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Donald Trump calls African-Americans thugs, Muslims terrorists, Latinos criminals, and Rob Portman and his Republican Party support his presidency. We believe that racism, injustice and bigotry have no place in our country, that black lives matter, that we will build an America for all of our children. Yes! Yes! Yes!

You know I could do this all day – and I just might.

But let me do just one more, just one more. Republicans believe that billionaires should be able to buy elections. We believe in overturning Citizens United, getting money out of politics, and returning this democracy to the people! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

You know, Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland's agenda isn't just a Democratic agenda. It's an opportunity agenda. It's an Ohio agenda. It's an American agenda. That's what it is.

Hilary and Ted are tough, experienced leaders who will fight for their values, fight for our values. It is time for us to fight for Hillary and Ted.

Are you ready to fight for Ted? Ready to fight for Hillary? Ready to fight for America? Yes!

Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmcG1yg-NF4&index=1&list=PLDLQiUqKaml562yCULyHFu6opXhPglV8s.