Hello, Columbus. I am just so happy to be here on this absolutely glorious, beautiful Ohio afternoon. And I am so glad to be making this journey with Senator Tim Kaine and Anne Holton because they understand what public service is all about. They are committed to doing everything they can—as Tim has, starting on city council, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor, and now senator—to give people the best chance they can to get ahead and stay ahead. So please join me again in thanking Senator Tim Kaine.
And Mayor Ginther, we're happy to be here in your beautiful capital city here in Columbus. And I don't know how you all felt, but boy, I thought your congresswoman really knocked it out of the park at the convention. I haven't even had time to tell Joyce this, but I think it might have been on the very first night she was sitting in the box with my husband, sitting right next to him. And all of a sudden, Twitter was going crazy, "Who is that beautiful, well-dressed, elegant woman sitting next to Bill Clinton?" And finally, somebody says, "That's the congresswoman from Ohio," and I was so proud to have her support.
Now, there's somebody else with us, somebody very special to us, somebody special to Ohio, your former governor, Ted Strickland. I've had the great privilege of knowing Ted for decades. I've seen how hard he has worked. He got dealt a bad hand being governor during the Republican-generated Great Recession and doing everything he could to try to help Ohioans and get through that. Well, now he's running to represent you in the Senate. I think your other great senator, Sherrod Brown, deserves a partner. Every time Sherrod stands up and fights for you, he needs a partner to do the same and not have his vote canceled out. So do everything you can to send Ted Strickland to the Senate in November.
Tim's right; we've had a great time. How many of you watched the convention? I was so proud to see Democrats standing up and speaking about what we can do together to make sure the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top, taking on the special interests that have benefited from a system that is rigged in their favor.
So when we finished those four days, I was thrilled to get on that bus in Philadelphia and head out across Pennsylvania and into Ohio. And along the way, we stopped at factories, where hardworking Americans are still making things. We stopped at a factory in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where business and management works with the steel workers who are there represented by their union fighting hard to have more good jobs. They told me how they are bringing jobs back from China, how they're creating more opportunity.
That's the American story that we're going to be telling during this campaign during these last 100 days. I have specific plans about how we're going to get the economy working for everybody. We are going to make the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II and put millions of Americans to work.
And here's how we're going to do it: We're going to invest in infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our ports, our airports, our water systems. But not just what you can physically see; we need a new electric grid to be able to take and distribute all the clean renewable energy we're going to be producing.
And we need to finish the job of connecting every home and business in America to high-speed broadband internet access. I talk a lot about building our economy, getting jobs for everyone. Well, it's a little heartbreaking to learn, as I did when I was talking to some teachers a few days ago—and I love teachers—and the teachers told me they had just had a national survey done, and learned that 70 percent of the teachers in America assign homework to their students that required kids to go on the internet.
Now, that makes sense. We're living in the information age. We want more people, particularly young people, to help create that future so we have even more opportunities. But here's the problem: 5 million kids in America don't have access at home to high-speed internet. So already they're being left behind. So we've got to build America's competition, build America's opportunities, and the plans that we've laid out will do just that.
I also believe we need to do more for small business. 98 percent of the businesses in Ohio are small businesses. Let's have greater access to credit. Let's be sure we cut through and eliminate any of the red tape and the other obstacles. You heard Tim say his dad ran a small business. So did mine. My father ran a print plant where fabrics were printed with designs for draperies. I was there helping him, but I know how hard he worked. And I am personally sickened when I hear the stories about Donald Trump refusing to pay plumbers and painters and marble installers and glass installers and small businesses who have done the work.
I think about my dad. He worked hard. What would have happened if the customers he had, after he printed those drapery fabrics, made them into draperies, loaded them into his car, delivered them, helped to install them, and somebody like Donald Trump said, "We're not paying you."? My dad would have said, "What do you mean? I did what I was contracted to do." But to person after person and business after business, Donald Trump said, "I don't care." It's not because he couldn't pay them. He wouldn't pay them. He drove businesses into bankruptcy in addition to taking bankruptcy himself six times. My friends, that's not how we do business in America. If you do the work, you deserve the pay. And we're going to stand up and make that case against Donald Trump.
The other thing about Trump—you've heard him—he says, "America first." Sounds real, doesn't it? As if we wouldn't put America first. That's sure what I believe. He says it. But then everything he makes, he makes somewhere else. He makes dress shirts in China, not Brooklyn, New York. He makes furniture in Turkey, not Cleveland, Ohio. He makes barware in Slovenia, not Jackson, Ohio. And he goes around saying he wants to put America first and American workers first.
And then just today we learn, once again, he's asked for visas to employ foreign workers at his country clubs because he says he can't find any American workers. Shame on you, Donald Trump. Shame on you. Let's cut through all of the hype and the rhetoric and understand that we're dealing with somebody who has a history of stiffing people, making things somewhere else besides America, and whenever possible, hiring foreign workers. I don't think that adds up in any way to making America great again. I think it adds up to making Donald Trump more money, that's what it's all about.
So we're not only going to grow the economy and create more jobs for American workers—we are going to make the economy fairer. We are going to raise the minimum wage so that nobody who works full-time will be in poverty. And you've heard it before, but I'll say it again: The fastest way to raise incomes in America is to pay women equal pay for the work we do. Now, this is not just a woman's issue. This is a family issue. If you've got a working mother, wife, sister, or daughter, it's your issue. And we are going to enforce the laws and finally make it absolutely clear: No more discrimination against women who work in the workplace.
So I know we're up against some powerful forces, and here's what I want you to know. As you talk to your friends, your neighbors, about this election, everything I've proposed—and you can go tohillaryclinton.com and read all about it—I've told you how I will pay for it. How will I pay for it? I will pay for everything I've proposed by making the wealthy corporations and Wall Street finally pay their fair share of taxes. Somebody asked me, well, why are you doing that? Do you resent success?
No, I don't resent success. I do resent people taking advantage of other people to try to become successful. But the reason we're going to get the wealthy to pay is that's where the money is. They have earned 90 percent of all of the income gains since the recession. That's the top 1 percent. And I just think, like that old movie says, you've got to follow the money. And the money is with the super-wealthy.
Now, we're also going to do more for education, starting with preschool education. We're going to support our teachers in order to give them what they need to do the job we're asking them to do. We are going to make four-year college affordable by making it debt-free. And we're going to help those of you who have student debt pay it back at a lower interest rate, at a faster timetable. And if you do public service like teaching, policing, firefighting, social work, we will forgive your debt. This seems to me also to be fair. Donald Trump gets to refinance and forgive his debts. Well, what about the families and students of America who get to have some help with their debts? So if you vote for us, that's exactly what we're going to do next year.
So there's a big agenda, and I watched what's happened over the last two weeks. A lot of the rhetoric that came from Trump and his convention was so dark, so pessimistic, so negative. I know we've got problems and challenges. I'm not taking a position that we don't have work to do. In fact, I'm telling you what work we can do together. But at the end of the day, we Americans are better when we roll up our sleeves, we set some goals, and we work together, because yes, we are stronger together.
And I am very excited about what we can do. You see, I view this campaign as a giant job interview. I am here telling you what I want to achieve, asking for your vote, and asking you also to hold me accountable. I want you not just to vote for me in November but help me be the best president I can be for all Americans. I want to be the president for every American. And that's why today Tim and I and Anne are here, because we are kicking off this campaign in Ohio.
And yes, we have a lot of other issues that we are concerned about. I see some of the t-shirts and the signs. We will defend Planned Parenthood from these outrageous attacks. We will defend and improve benefits under Social Security. We will take on the gun lobby for comprehensive gun safety reforms. We will take on the real challenges that confront America, not pick fights with people, not act as though some folks are better than others, not insult and finger-point. We're going to stand up for Americans' rights: for women's rights and gay rights and voting rights and workers' rights.
But we can't do any of this without your help. And I'm asking for it. We need you to get involved in the campaign. And right now, if you will text JOIN, J-O-I-N, at 47246 or go to hillaryclinton.com, you can find out how to get involved. And, by the way, we are hiring organizers in Ohio if you're interested in being part of our campaign staff because at the end of this election, I want people to have made an informed choice. I don't want folks to be misled, to listen to the rhetoric and the demagoguery.
I personally think that Donald Trump poses a serious threat to our democracy. And it's going to be up to all of us to repudiate the hatefulness, attacks on distinguished military leaders, like General John Allen, who came to the Democratic Convention because he loves a country that he served for more than 40 years and wanted to be clear about what he thought was best for our national security, or insulting the family of a fallen soldier, Captain Khan, an American Muslim who sacrificed his life to protect his unit and other soldiers as a taxi raced toward the gates of a base containing a bomb.
When his father spoke at the convention and pulled out a copy of the Constitution, it was so fitting that happened in Philadelphia, where our country started 240 years ago. They enshrined in our Constitution the principle of religious liberty. They understood that America would be including and attracting people from all over the world. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, they addressed different religions, including Islam, that were present in America way back at our beginning. And I want us always to stand for freedom and equality and justice and opportunity now and forever. Help us go out and win an election that will keep our democracy strong, our economy growing, and give every American a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.
Thank you so much, Columbus.