Hillary Rodham Clinton

Rejecting Donald Trump's Vision of America in Tampa, Florida - July 22, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
July 22, 2016— Tampa, Florida
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Thank you, Tampa! Thank you all. Thank you so much. Whoa. Are we ready to go win an election in November? Well, I think after the last week, what we saw in Cleveland, we'd better be ready to go win an election in November.

I want to thank Delia for those wonderful words about her life growing up here in Tampa and her strong endorsement. I want to thank my longtime friend and my colleague from the Senate, your Senator Bill Nelson. I also want to thank your great mayor, Mayor Bob Buckhorn. I also have a few others to thank, because I'm thrilled to have so many strong Florida leaders here with us today—County Commissioner Les Miller; former Governor and soon-to-be congressman Charlie Crist; former Mayor Sandy Freedman; and we've got a great group of state representatives, councilmembers, and so many more, and I am grateful to each and every one of you who are here with us.

I've got to tell you, did any of you watch that convention in Cleveland? Well, it was kind of perversely flattering. It's hard to believe they spent so much time talking about me and no time talking about jobs or education or health care. No matter what your political leanings, I think we can all agree that never in the history of conventions, certainly, but I think even more broadly, have we moved forward together by pointing fingers and scapegoating and blaming people instead of rolling up our sleeves, getting a plan together, and then working to achieve it.

Now, I mean, something has gone terribly wrong when one speaker says "vote your conscience" and gets booed. I mean, I never thought I would say these words, but Ted Cruz was right. In this election, do the right thing and vote your conscience—vote for your future; vote for a United States of America.

Now, look, I think many of us felt that those speakers, including of course their nominee, were not talking about the country we know and love. They weren't talking about the work people do every day, the opportunities we try to seize, neighbors helping neighbors. I didn't hear any of that. Instead, I heard about Donald Trump's dark and divisive vision. Last night's speech took it to a whole new level. He offered a lot of fear and anger and resentment, but no solutions about anything that he even talked about.

He didn't have a jobs program, did he? All that talk about keeping people safe; I didn't hear any plans about what he's going to do to support our police, to make sure that we are all working together. You could listen to that speech and you could think, my goodness, he believes America is in decline. And I've got to say, as he said this last night, I was pretty shocked. He said, "I alone can fix it." Now, just think about that for a minute, because it's really important. His vision of America is one where we Americans are kind of helpless, we need to be rescued. I can't really imagine him on a white horse, but—that seems to be what he's telling us: "I alone can fix it." Well, he doesn't understand that Americans, we Americans, we are strong, big-hearted, results-oriented, generous people in America.

I've spent a lot of time, a lot of wonderful times, traveling across our country, and I've seen people fixing all kinds of things. I've met educators like Delia, working with teachers and parents to turn around schools and give kids a better chance. I've met small businesses and entrepreneurs who get up every day and work really hard. And you know when they make a contract for their goods or their services, they expect to be paid. I've met so many wonderful men and women who serve in our military; they know their job, they know the grave responsibility that they fulfill, and they get up every day and they do their best. But I've never heard one of them say, "Oh, I can fix it alone."

I was in Orlando before I came here to Tampa. And I had the great honor of sitting and talking with some of the residents of that beautiful city, and hearing what they are doing together to deal with the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in American history. The mayor spoke with great pride about how his city had responded. The police captain in charge of the SWAT team talked with such conviction about how when the moment arrived, the police in Orlando were ready. They had trained. They supported each other. They were ready. The captain didn't say, "I can fix it alone." He said, "I'm a member of a team—the best team that anybody could have."

I met some of the hospital and the medical personnel who were there to take the wounded and worked so heroically to save lives, every one of them doing his or her part—triage, nursing—doing everything. I didn't meet any one of them who said, "Hey, I can fix it alone."

I've never heard of an American leader, or at least someone who wants to be an American leader, claiming that he's all we need. That's not a democracy, my friends. As I recall, we had a revolution to make sure we didn't have someone who said, "I can fix it alone."

The other thing he said that really shocked me—it is hard to know where to start, isn't it? Well, last night Donald told us, "I am your voice." Well, I don't think he speaks for most Americans, do you? He doesn't speak for small businesses like the ones he has consistently stiffed and driven into bankruptcy and financial peril. He doesn't speak for the workmen that he's employed on his various projects and then refused to pay them. He doesn't speak for the housekeepers and the cooks and everybody working at a hotel in Las Vegas that he owns that have voted to have a union and he refuses to even talk to them. He doesn't speak for immigrants; he only speaks against immigrants. He doesn't speak for people with disabilities. He doesn't speak for our military, which he has insulted consistently, and in particular, prisoners of war who sacrifice much of their life because they serve us. And contrary to what they tried to say at their convention, I don't think he speaks for women. I don't think he speaks for working families who would be devastated by his reckless economic policies. He doesn't speak for anyone who thinks our country should be standing together not splintering apart. He sure doesn't speak for me, because I know we are stronger together and that's what we're going to be next year.

Now, starting on Monday in Philadelphia, we will offer a very different vision. It's about building bridges, not walls, between people. It's about making the economy work for everyone not just those at the top. It's about embracing our diversity that does make our country great.

I have to tell you, in Orlando today, in listening to people who had been there that night, meeting a mother whose son died, meeting others who barely escaped after hiding from the killer, sitting around a table with leaders of the LGBT community, leader of the SWAT team, a county commissioner, and a Muslim imam who has been embracing the LGBT community, I was so proud, I was so proud. But—well, I'm proud of everybody in this country who gets up every day and makes a contribution and does your part. And what the folks in Orlando said to me was so touching. They said, "We have to stand against hatred no matter who it's against"—racial hatred, religious hatred, homophobia, xenophobia—all of these hates that infect the soul. And we have to stand against violence everywhere, and that includes standing up for common sense gun safety measures.

I want to say something else, I really do, because this is serious to me. I love this country. I am so grateful for all the opportunities and blessings I've had, and I am so humbled by the prospect of being nominated next week in Philadelphia. But here's what I want you to hear: I will do everything I can to make life better for hardworking Americans. I will do everything I can to bring people together. I will do everything I can to keep us safe, and I know a little bit about that.

Now, you can't put this—you can't really put this into law is what I'm about to say, but we need more love and kindness in this country. We need more respect between and among our fellow Americans. We need to be listening more to each other. The last thing we need are leaders who try to divide us even more than we are. We should be working to reach out to those who are different from us. Our differences, which make up our diversity, makes the United States the strongest, best positioned country in the world for the 21st century.

I am proud to be an American, and I want to be sure that our children and our grandchildren have the same pride and the same opportunity to have the access to the American dream that so many of us have had so that they too can enjoy the fruits of freedom and liberty, justice and equality and opportunity.

Now, look, I understand that there is a constituency for the fear and the anger that we saw last week. I know there are people who are feeling insecure and anxious about their lives, about their futures. They worry that maybe they're not going to have as a high a standard of living as their parents or grandparents or as they themselves hoped. I know that there's a lot of angst about all the changes that are happening in the world—technology, globalization. I understand all that. And I respect those who have legitimate concerns and questions.

But I've never known America to quit on ourselves. I've never known us to give up in the face of tough challenges. I've never known us to basically retreat into the kind of isolationism that was being advertised at their convention. That is not who we are. Those are not the values that made this a great country. And don't ever forget: We are a great country already!

Now, can we do better? Of course we can. Can we be fairer? Can we provide more ladders of opportunity? Yes, we can. And that's exactly what I intend to do if I'm given the great privilege of being your president. I will work every single day to make your dreams come true, to make you believe that America's future can be even better than our past. We are a forward-looking nation, aren't we? And I know that if we set our goals and we work to achieve them, we will. It has always been thus. This country has always delivered for the American people.

Now, we've had some challenging times. We've taken some detours. It took a long time for some people to be given the same rights as everybody else. We know that. But there is no place on Earth that historically has continued to move forward towards that more perfect union. The last thing we need is somebody running for president who talks trash about America.

So I hope you know that this campaign is really going to take a lot of work. I hope you will join us. I hope you will take your phones out and text, "join," J-O-I-N, 47246, or go to my website, hillaryclinton.com, to get involved. And I want to tell you this, especially the young and young at heart. We are hiring organizers right here in Florida. If you would like to apply, go to that website. We want the very most energetic, enthusiastic people because our success in the I-4 corridor is essential to our winning.

And I'm excited about this campaign because I believe that when it's all said and done, all of the scary speeches with all the side effects are over, people have stopped yelling at us at the top of their lungs like they did all week, that we will choose to be stronger together. That's what I'm counting on. That's what I, in my heart, believe, is the right course for our country. It is the only course, the only course that leads us with confidence and optimism into the future. And I know that we are up to the task. I know we are. And particularly to all the young people who are here today, every election is always about the future. This election is truly about your future.

So today in Orlando, when I asked everybody around the table what they wanted, what they needed, they basically said, "We need people to understand what we've gone through, to be there for us for the long term, to help us help all those who were affected in all the families, and we need to stand up against hate and divisiveness." And the best way I can sum up what I hope this election will lead to—the conclusion we will reach together in November and the work we will do for the next four years—is it really is great to be among so many optimistic people—but here's what I—here is what I want you to remember. My last thought for you today. Just remember, love trumps hate.