Hillary Rodham Clinton

Building a 21st Century Economy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - July 30, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
July 30, 2016
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Hello, Pittsburgh! Wow! Thank you so much! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very, very much. Wow! It is so great being back here in Pittsburgh with all of you, and I can't tell you how happy I am to be here with a Pittsburgh native who worked hard for everything that he has made and has helped a lot of people along the way. What he exemplifies is the American Dream, but he understands the dream gets bigger the more you share it. And I want to thank Mark Cuban for being here!

I loved hearing his stories. I especially loved everyone learning what he did when he became successful and sold companies. He shared. He shared the benefits with everybody who helped him be a success. He said, when he sold the company, the second one, for a big, big amount of money, he shared it with everybody, made 300 millionaires, including people who were working at minimum wage, because they helped him be a success. And Mark is right. I want to do what I can to make it possible for more people who help their businesses succeed share in the profits because when we share, we grow. And you know what I believe: We are stronger together, and that's how we're going to make it in America!

Now, I want to thank your elected officials who have been on this pre-program and thank them for their support because I am really looking forward to working with them. They're bringing people together on behalf of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania. So thanks to Congressman Mike Doyle. Thanks to Mayor Bill Peduto, thanks for Allegheny County Executor Rich Fitzgerald, Councilman Dan Gilman, and Mayor John Fetterman from Braddock PA.

Now, as you heard from Tim Kaine, we are on a bus tour and we are having a great time because you get to drive through Pennsylvania, which really is one of the most beautiful places on Earth—and I don't say it because it's the first time I've seen it. My father was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania—and every summer of our lives we drove from outside of Chicago where we lived to Scranton. And because we did it every year and a lot of times also during Christmas, we took different routes. So I was in Pittsburgh a lot. And my dad and my brother went to Penn State so I was in State College at lot.

So for me this is really a sentimental tour through Pennsylvania, and it gives me such personal joy because I love this commonwealth and I know that a lot of good things are happening here because people are working together. But we're going to make more good things happen. We're going to have a coordinated, specific set of plans to create more jobs right here in Pennsylvania, to give more people a chance to fulfill their own dreams, to lift up the incomes of hardworking people, to create what I view as an opportunity society, where if you do your part you can get ahead and stay ahead. That's the basic bargain of America and we're going to keep our end of it.

Now, as you heard Tim say, I have laid out plans in this campaign. I have this old-fashioned idea that basically I'm being interviewed to be hired. This is a giant job interview. And I'm hoping I am hired and the other guy is fired. But I'm not asking you—I'm not asking you to vote for me just because I show up and just because I tell you you're supposed to believe in me and you're supposed to just count on me to come up with something that I don't tell you about beforehand. I'm not doing that. I'm laying out my plans in this campaign.

And here's what we're going to do. We're going to, in the first 100 days, break through the gridlock in Washington and have the biggest infrastructure and jobs program that we've had since World War II. We're going to be investing in our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our ports, our airports, our water systems. But we're also going to be investing in a new electric grid that can then take advantage and distribute all the new, clean, renewable energy we're going to be producing.

And we're going to do something else. We are going to finish the job of providing high-speed, affordable broadband internet connectivity to every single home and business in America. I was in Harrisburg last night and I told the crowd there—beautiful night, place called the Broad Street Market. It was just magical. And I told them we were going to do this on broadband. And then I said I was talking to a bunch of teachers, and they just did a survey, a national survey—I love teachers. I could tell you something about every one of my public school teachers starting in kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.

But I was talking to them and they said 70 percent of the teachers in America assign homework to our kids that requires the kids to go on the internet. Now, I think that makes sense. Just like Mark was a pioneer in using the internet to deliver services, we want our kids to know how to use it and how to learn from it. And who knows? They may grow up and follow in Mark's footsteps or whatever the next generation is.

But here's the kicker: 5 million kids in our country don't now have access to the internet in a way that enables them to do the homework they're asked to do. That's 5 million kids who are being left out. And after I finished saying that in Harrisburg I was walking the line, as I will after I talked here, meeting people, shaking hands, and one of the men I met said, "You know, that's only half of it. We still have places in Pennsylvania," he told me, "where our only option is dial-up." Right? I see heads nodding. How are we going to be a competitive 21st century economy and take on and win in the world if we can't even get broadband, if we can't even get internet connectivity to every single home and business? And we're going to do that.

Now, in addition to growing the economy we are going to make it fairer. And this is a big deal too, because I want everybody to be lifted up. I want everybody to benefit from their hard work the way Mark has done with his businesses. There's a couple of things we can do at the government level as well as encourage more businesses to follow Mark's example. We can raise the national minimum wage so that more people have a chance to get themselves out of poverty and into the middle class. And we can do more to help small businesses because that is where more of the new jobs are created, so let's do more to get them the credit they need and get rid of the red tape and the bureaucratic obstacles.

But you know the fastest way to raise incomes in America. It's pretty simple. Let's finally guarantee equal pay for women's work. Now, I've got to add, I think most of you know this, but this is not a woman's issue. It isn't. Because here's what I'd ask you: If you have a working mom, wife, sister, or daughter, it's your issue. It's a family issue. And when women are shortchanged, families are shortchanged and the economy is shortchanged.

And the other thing we're going to do, we're going to make sure that we pay for everything I'm proposing, everything from paid family leave to preschool for kids. We're going to make sure we pay for it. Because I want you to know exactly what I'm going to do and exactly how I'm going to pay for it, and I am going to go where the money is. You know that old movie Follow the Money? Well, 90 percent of the income gains have gone to the top 1 percent, so we're going to try to get those who've been successful—sorry, Mark—we're going to try to get those who have been successful to help us fund what will make America even more successful and create more millionaires and more billionaires, more entrepreneurs, more success stories. You see, I am so excited in part because I've seen what Pittsburgh has done. I told you I used to come to Pittsburgh all the time, so I have had a firsthand look at the way this great American city has reinvented itself. It didn't happen by people insulting each other. It didn't happen by folks pointing fingers and demeaning one another. It happened because people got together and said, "Wait a minute, we love this place." Right?

So how do we reimagine and reinvent Pittsburgh for the future? Let's not just keep looking backwards. Let's look forwards. How do we create more jobs? How do we bring young people back? During the primary I was at Carnegie Mellon, and I was knocked over by what I saw going on there.

So I get excited. I want us to really believe that America's best years are ahead of us, but to understand the only way we're going to make that a reality is by working together and recognizing that we've got to do more to make sure everybody is brought alone. Education is still the door to opportunity, but it's not just one kind of education. You know I believe we need to start with preschool education, because I want every child prepared to be successful when that child gets to school.

And I want to be sure that in elementary and secondary school we're providing the tools that kids will need to make the most out of their own talents and ambition. And so let's make sure we've got computer science and coding and technology programs in our high schools again.

And I have a plan to make community college free so that more people can get two-year degrees to get a good job.

There are about a million jobs right now that aren't being filled, and a lot of those jobs are in the trades. A lot of those jobs require skills. We are going to have a shortage of machinists and welders and tool-and-die makers, and these are good jobs and I want us to start respecting the work that people do to build America again.

And then we're going to do more with apprenticeship programs. I'm going to offer a tax credit so that businesses will provide apprenticeship programs that will pay, that will pay young people to learn the skills that will give them a path to a new job. And I'm going to support unions that are already providing apprenticeship programs for young people.

And we are going to make public colleges and universities debt-free so that every single young person can afford to go. And then we are going to give you ways to refinance your student debt to get the cost down. It's just not right. Donald Trump gets to take bankruptcy. American families and students get stuck. Well, we're going to change that. We're going to give you a way to pay less because we're going to lower interest rates, pay it as a percentage of your income, put a date certain when your obligations end; and if you do public service like teaching or policing or firefighting, we're going to forgive your college debt.

Now, I'm excited by this because I have seen it work. I know that if we make up our minds and roll up our sleeves, we will create these jobs and we will unleash a whole new generation of entrepreneurs. I want young people to feel like they can start their own businesses, they can take chances. I really appreciated Mark saying, you know what, he didn't succeed 100 percent of the time, I don't know anybody who has. But you learn by trying, and I want to encourage more Americans not just to dream again but try again.

And I want people to know that we can make things in America, because I believe that if we put our minds to it, we can do more in advanced manufacturing, clean energy technology. We can bring back some precision machining from Germany and Japan with a public-private partnership where we work to support manufacturers so that they can be competitive worldwide.

Now, Donald Trump talks a big game about putting America first. But then you actually peel back the story and what do you find? He makes Trump shirts in Bangladesh, not Ashland, Pennsylvania. He makes Trump furniture in Turkey, not Freeburg, Pennsylvania. He makes Trump picture frames in India, not Bristol, Pennsylvania. And I just have to point out, my husband is wearing a shirt that was made right here in Pennsylvania, in Reading—Reading, Pennsylvania. And when we were packing for the bus tour and he said, "Well, what am I supposed to wear?" I said, "Well, I don't know. It's sort of bus tour casual." And so he's going through his closet, and this morning in the hotel in Harrisburg he's putting this shirt on. He goes, "You know what? This shirt was made in Reading, Pennsylvania, and you will not believe this, at a company called 'Bill's'."

So we have a very stark choice in this election. It really is about the difference between pulling together, working together, making the future better together, and living with fear and anxiety and the kinds of insults, the bigotry, the blustering and bullying that we're seeing from the other side.

Now, I know because I've had the great experience of observing presidents up close—and working for four years for President Obama as Secretary of State—and even working with Republican presidents. I may not have agreed with what their positions were, but I will tell you this: I've had the great privilege of observing presidents, listening to them, understanding what they're trying to achieve. And even where our positions diverge, I have never doubted that they were trying to figure out, in their own minds based on their own experiences, what was right for America. We've never had someone run for president who is so manifestly temperamentally unfit and unqualified to be president and commander-in-chief.

And I understand what he's doing. There are a lot of people in our country who are frustrated. They feel like maybe the economy has passed them by, that their government doesn't help them, that nobody is listening to them, nobody cares about them. I get that. That's why I said in my convention speech I want to be a president for all Americans—Republicans, independents Democrats, people who vote for me, people who don't vote for me.

Because I think we all are in this together, and I know that if we decide we're going to set some big goals for America, we'll achieve them because that's what we've always done. And so when I think about the next 100 days of this campaign here in Pennsylvania, I will be doing everything I can to reach out and meet as many people as possible. I will go everywhere that Tim and I and Bill and Ann can reach. I will make sure that you know what I stand for, what I want to do, because I want you to hold me accountable. I want you to say, "I came and heard her."

AUDIENCE: Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!

CLINTON: Because I need your ideas—not just during the campaign but afterwards. I want us to begin a conversation that keeps going. As president I won't be stuck in the White House. I'm going to be traveling around America having meetings, listening, trying to learn what more we can do.

But I can't get there without your help. I am inviting you to join this campaign. Please, if you will, text JOIN, J-O-I-N, to 47246 or go to hillaryclinton.com, sign up, be part of this campaign. And by the way, we are hiring organizers in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania right now.

I want to end where Mark took us, because as I was backstage listening to him—I've watched him on Shark Tank. And I've watched him very respectfully try to figure out how can I help somebody. If I can't, I can't. But if I can, here's what I'd like to do. And I've really admired that, Mark. I really did. Because we've got to have that attitude in our country again. How are we going to help each other, lift each other up, have each other's back? This country is really a place that people dream and build together. With us in Philadelphia were so many wonderful people who told their stories. If you saw them during the convention, you heard the bravery, the determination.

That, to me, is the best of America. Whatever position one holds, whatever kind of background one has, getting up every day trying to make the most out of your own life, trying to get your family to go through barriers and obstacles to make the most out of theirs, reaching out to neighbors, being part of this dream that we all share—the American dream is not limited, my friends. The American dream is as big as we make it. And with your help, we're going to make it bigger than ever. Let's go win in November. Thank you and God bless you.