MILWAUKEE, WI—The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today their convention plan to broadcast from Milwaukee and across the nation, in a convention geared to reach out to all Americans. The DNCC reiterated the Democratic Party’s commitment to holding a convention that would protect public health while transforming the convention experience for delegates and viewers. Convention planners said that host city Milwaukee would anchor the events for the week, and that programming would include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country.
“Vice President Biden intends to proudly accept his party’s nomination in Milwaukee and take the next step forward towards making Donald Trump a one-term president,” saidJen O’Malley Dillon, Campaign Manager, Biden for President. “The city of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner and we are committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state at our convention this August. This will be a convention for all Americans who wish to join our mission to win the battle for the soul of this nation and build a fairer, more united country for us all.”
Convention planners are also developing new ways to organize and engage online with more voters than ever before during this critical election year. Later this week, convention organizers will launch the first of a series of engagement campaigns that will allow Americans across the country to share their ideas and add their voice to convention programming.
Anchored every night in Milwaukee, the Democratic National Convention will include four nights of programming from August 17-20, 2020. The overall production of the convention’s program—including the satellite broadcasts—will be led by nine-time Emmy-award winning producer Ricky Kirshner. Kirshner has served as the Executive Producer of the Tony Awards since 2004, the Super Bowl Halftime Show—the most-watched television event of the year—since 2007, and has worked on every Democratic National Convention since 1992.
At the convention, Democrats will officially nominate Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president. Through multiple formats and mediums, it will also celebrate the promise of America by featuring the people and their stories that represent the strength and collective humanity of our nation and demonstrate that Vice President Biden is the leader the country needs right now—with the experience, steady hand, and compassion to lead us out of the crisis of the last four years, and strengthen our nation for all Americans.
“Leadership means being able to adapt to any situation,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “That’s exactly what we’ve done with our convention. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has organized and mobilized to get out the vote and ensure a successful convention anchored in Wisconsin, and I’m grateful for the extraordinary leadership of our partners in the city of Milwaukee. Donald Trump’s days in the Oval Office are numbered.”
Additional updates unveiled by the Democratic National Convention Committee today include:
Conducting official business without risking public health—After consulting with public health officials about the COVID-19 pandemic, convention organizers are announcing today that they have determined state delegations should not plan to travel to Milwaukee and should plan to conduct their official convention business remotely. A process is being developed to ensure all delegates can cast their votes on all convention matters, including the presidential nomination, remotely during the convention. DNC standing committee meetings will take place virtually as well, with the first standing committee meetings set for the last week of July.
Announcing our Convention Chair—U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson will serve as Permanent Chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The Convention Chair presides over all official convention business.
Developing robust health protocols—In addition to continued collaboration with local, state, and federal public health officials, the DNCC is bringing on nationally-renowned epidemiologists and infectious disease experts Dr. W. Ian Lipkin and Dr. Larry Brilliant, who will help advise on efforts to protect the health and safety of convention staff, attendees, and the people of Wisconsin. Dr. Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, is an expert in diagnostic testing and collaborated with the WHO on coronavirus outbreak control for SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Dr. Brilliant, a former professor of epidemiology, is best known for his work on the successful eradication of smallpox.
Updating the convention campus—With fewer people gathering in person at this year’s event, convention planners are modifying the convention campus. All convention proceedings will move from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center, the convention center located in downtown Milwaukee. Specifics regarding delegation representation on the convention floor will be provided after public health officials complete their assessment of the trajectory and impact of the coronavirus pandemic and determine how many people can safely gather in person later this summer.
Eliminating official auxiliary events—Previous conventions have included several large-scale events attended by thousands of people, such as a welcome reception for media and delegates as well as an event for volunteers. In keeping with the commitment to deliver a convention that poses no unnecessary risk to public health, convention organizers will no longer proceed with hosting these in-person parties.
“Everything is on the line this November, which is why we must find creative and forward-looking ways to organize, mobilize, and unite our party around our shared values at the convention so that we can launch Joe Biden to victory this fall,” said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention.
As convention planners continue to monitor the coronavirus health crisis and its impact across the nation, they will continue to examine all options for the success of the convention that ensure the safety of any participants and the host city. More details will be made publicly available as the convention’s plans are further finalized.
California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom delivered a powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, arguing for Hillary Clinton as the best candidate for president to uphold fundamental American values: liberty, diversity, opportunity, while Donald Trump offers a “hostile takeover of the American Dream.” Here is hjighlighted transcript:
I’m proud to be a Democrat from the great state of California! Proud because today’s California is strong and getting stronger. A jet-propelled engine of job creation, the home court for creativity around the world. We’ve done it not just through innovation but by inclusion. Pro-immigrant, pro-environment, pro-women, pro-worker. Proudly pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.
We aren’t the Golden State despite our values, but because of them. We don’t tolerate diversity, we celebrate it. Those values — liberty, diversity, opportunity — are fundamentally American values. Those values are under attack, not just by enemies abroad, but by a GOP that moved its fearmongering fringe to center stage.
What Trump presented last week wasn’t political discourse, it wasn’t even political incorrectness. What Trump presented last week was defeatist and retreatist. Never has a speech been so long, with so little substance, science, humanity, humor, or hope. His hostile takeover of the American Dream is built on two fundamental lies: That America is a dark and desperate place, and that he has any kind of a plan to make it better. Trump strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan and replaced “tear down that wall” with the cynical bigotry of “build that wall.” Contempt for the Constitution, inhumane mass deportation, malice toward different views and different hues. Those are disqualifications from any office, let alone the highest office in the land.
While it’s refreshing to finally see an openly gay man speak at a Republican convention, it doesn’t remove the stain of selecting Mike Pence, America’s most anti-LGBTQ governor. Pence supported overt discrimination and even advocated diverting taxpayer dollars to so-called “conversion therapy.” That’s not “praying away the gay;” it’s emotional torture against our most innocent citizens, our children. Telling them that to live, they must lie. About who they are, and who they love. That’s fundamentally un-American. The age-old choice has never been more clear: We can live our fears or live our dreams.
Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to putting the American Dream within reach. She believes in diversity over division. The hard work of pluralism over the “illusion of differences.”
And as a father of four, I want to say something to all the children who are watching and listening at home. When you hear people say that you and your family don’t matter because of who you are, or where you came from, or what you look like, or who you love, I want you to know one thing: The people in this room, and all across the country, believe that you matter.
Hillary Clinton believes you matter. We believe that you belong here. We need you here. We believe that you can be whoever you are, and become whatever you want to be. And we’re going to fight for you, not just over the next 100 days, but over the next 100 years. Because, no matter what people tell you, that’s what America is about, and that’s what makes America great.
In remarks to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016, General John Allen (Ret.), flanked by a battery of generals, admirals and veterans, laid out the stakes in this presidential election, drawing contrasts between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “With Hillary Clinton as our Commander-in-Chief, the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world. “ Here is a transcript:
My fellow Americans, I stand with you tonight as a retired four-star general of the United States Marine Corps, and I am joined by my fellow generals and admirals, and with these magnificent young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They went there and risked their lives because they love this country. They are here before you because this is the most consequential race for the Presidency in memory.
The stakes are enormous. We must not, we could not stand on the sidelines. This election can carry us to a future of unity and hope, or to a dark place of discord and fear. We must choose hope.
Every American, in uniform or out, in the White House or at home, must be a force for unity in America, for a vision that includes all of us: every man and woman, every race, every ethnicity, every faith and creed, every gender orientation – all of us together pursuing our common values.
From the battlefield to the capitals of our allies, friends, and partners, the free peoples of the world look to America as the last best hope for peace and for liberty for all humanity, for we ARE the greatest country on this planet.
So we stand before you tonight to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America.
We trust her judgment. We believe in her vision for a united America and we believe in her vision of America as the just and strong leader against the forces of hatred, chaos, and darkness. We know that she – as no other – knows how to use all instruments of American power, not just the military, to keep us all SAFE and FREE.
I tell you without any hesitation or reservation that Hillary Clinton will be EXACTLY the kind of Commander-in-Chief America needs today. I know this because I served with her. I know this as the former Special Envoy to the Global Coalition against ISIS.
With her as our Commander-in-Chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world. We will oppose and resist tyranny as we defeat evil. America will defeat ISIS and protect the homeland. America will honor our treaty obligations. We will lead and strengthen NATO, the Atlantic Alliance, and our allies in East Asia and around the world whom we have solemnly sworn to defend. America will stop the spread of nuclear weapons and keep them from dangerous states and groups. Our armed forces will be stronger. They will have the finest weapons and equipment. They will have the support of the American people, and the American military will continue to be THE shining example of America at our very best. Our veterans will be thanked by a grateful nation, and they will be cared for in the manner they deserve for the sacrifices they have made for all of us, for this great country, and for world peace.
But I also know that with her as our Commander-in-Chief, our international relations will NOT be reduced to a business transaction. Our armed forces will NOT become an instrument of torture, and they will NOT be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities.
With Hillary Clinton as our Commander-in-Chief, the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world.
To our allies and our friends and our partners: We are with you. America will not abandon you. To those acting against peace, civilization, and the world order: We will oppose you. And to our enemies: We will pursue you as ONLY America can. You will fear us. To ISIS and others like you: We will defeat you.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is THE moment. This is THE opportunity for our future and that of the world. We MUST seize this moment to elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.
In remarks to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, Rear Admiral John Hutson (Ret.) gave reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be Commander in Chief. Here is a transcript:
Good evening. My name is John Hutson, and unlike Donald Trump, there are two things I know an awful lot about: law and order. For 11 years, I was a law school dean. And for 30 years, I served proudly in the United States Navy, including as Judge Advocate General.
Donald Trump calls himself the “law-and-order candidate,” but he’ll violate international law. In his words, he endorses torture “at a minimum.” He’ll order our troops to commit war crimes like killing civilians. And he actually said, “You have to take out their families.” And what did he say when he was told that’s illegal? He said our troops “won’t refuse, believe me.” This morning, he personally invited Russia to hack us! That’s not law and order. That’s criminal intent!
Donald Trump would abandon our allies and let more countries get nuclear weapons. He lies about donating to our veterans and called the military I served in a “disaster.” It’s embarrassing enough that he’s the face of one of our political parties. The real disaster is what would happen if we let Donald Trump become the face of the country we love.
More than 120 Republican national-security leaders recently warned that Donald Trump would, in their words, “make America less safe.” He even mocks our POWs, like John McCain. I served in the same Navy as John McCain. I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. Donald, you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots!
But America, we have a better choice. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who knows how to work with our allies and who has a specific plan to defeat ISIS. She is smart and steady. She has the experience, temperament, and spine to be a superb Commander-in-Chief. She knows what makes us the envy of the world. It’s not our abundant natural resources, our resilient economy, or even that we have the strongest military on earth. Our strength comes from who we are, our humanity. If we lose our humanity, we lose the battle and the war.
ISIS and other radical Islamic groups have no humanity. That is their weakness. Our enemy can’t defeat us militarily. Victory won’t be found on the battlefield. For them, victory is to make us more like them: people who torture, who destabilize the international order, who target innocents because they don’t look like them or don’t pray like them. Donald Trump is a walking, talking recruiting poster for terrorists. That’s not hyperbole. ISIS literally used Trump in a commercial.
You know, you can tell a lot about a person by whom they admire. Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Rodham – these are Hillary Clinton’s heroes. Donald Trump admires Donald Trump and Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-un. And of Vladimir Putin, he said, and I quote, “in terms of leadership he’s getting an ‘A.'”
I taught national security law. Praising dictators is an automatic “F” in my class. In the 2008 election, as the dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law School, I invited each presidential candidate to talk about terrorism with me and other retired admirals and generals. Of all the candidates we met with, Hillary Clinton was by far the best prepared and most knowledgeable. She listened carefully and tested our arguments. We had more than 500 years of collective experience, and we learned from her. This was before she served as our Secretary of State. Before she brokered a cease-fire in Gaza, rallied the world to sanction Iran, advised President Obama to take out bin Laden, and restored our reputation in the world.
Anyone who’s served with the young men and women of our armed forces knows how serious it is to send them into harm’s way. When you’re a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine, you don’t get to choose your commanders. But when you’re a citizen – you have the responsibility to choose the Commander-in-Chief who will keep us safe, strong, and secure. Choose Hillary.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) delivered a powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, which drew the stark contrasts between Hillary Clinton’s values and Donald Trump’s. Here is a highlighted transcript:
Two hundred forty years ago, our forefathers gathered in this city and declared before the world that we would be a free and independent nation. Today, we gather here again, in challenging times, in this City of Brotherly Love, to reaffirm our values, before our nation and the world.
Our purpose is not to start a great nation, but to ensure that we continue in the best of our traditions, and with humble homage to generations of patriots before, we put forth two great Americans – our nominees for President and Vice President: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!
Our founding documents were genius. But not because they were perfect. They were saddled with the imperfections and even the bigotry of the past. Native Americans were referred to as savages, black Americans were referred to as fractions of human beings, and women were not mentioned at all.
But those facts and other ugly parts of our history don’t detract from our nation’s greatness. In fact, I believe we are an even greater nation, not because we started perfect, but because every generation has successfully labored to make us a more perfect union. Generations of heroic Americans have made America more inclusive, more expansive, and more just.
Our nation was not founded because we all looked alike, or prayed alike, or descended from the same family tree. But our founders, in their genius, in this, the oldest constitutional democracy, put forth on this earth the idea that all are created equal; that we all have inalienable rights. And upon this faithful foundation we built a great nation, and today, no matter who you are – rich or poor, Asian or white, man or woman, gay or straight, any religion or none at all – you are entitled to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
In this city, our founders put forth a Declaration of Independence, but also made a historic declaration of interdependence. They knew that if this country was to survive, we had to make an unusual and extraordinary commitment to one another.
I respect and value the ideals of rugged individualism and self-reliance. But rugged individualism didn’t defeat the British, it didn’t get us to the moon, build our nation’s highways, or map the human genome. We did that together.
This is the high call of patriotism. Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good.
We can’t devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other. We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love. Tolerance says I am just going to stomach your right to be different. That if you disappear from the face of the earth, I am no better or worse off.
But love – love knows that every American has worth and value, no matter what their background, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Love recognizes that we need each other, that we as a nation are better together, that when we are divided we are weak, we decline, yet when we are united we are strong – invincible!
This understanding of love is embodied in the African saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” This is one reason I’m so motivated in this election. I believe it’s a referendum on who best embodies the leadership we need to go far, together.
Donald Trump isn’t that leader.
We’ve watched him try to get laughs at others’ expense; try to incite fear at a time when we need to inspire courage; try to rise in the polls by dragging our national conversation into the gutter. We’ve watched him cruelly mock a journalist’s disability. We’ve watched him demean the service of my Senate colleague. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
We’ve watched him, with a broad and divisive brush, say that Mexican immigrants who came to America to build a better life are “bringing crime, they’re bringing drugs.” He says many of them are “rapists.” He said that an Indiana-born federal judge can’t be trusted to do his job because of his Mexican ancestry – a statement that even fellow Republicans have described as racist.
We’ve watched and heard him call women demeaning and degrading names. “Dog.” “Fat pig.” “Disgusting.” “Animal.” It’s a twisted hypocrisy when he treats other women in a manner he would never, ever accept from another man speaking about his wife or daughters. In a nation founded on religious freedom, he says ban all Muslims, don’t let certain people in because of how they pray.
Trump says he would run our country like he has run his businesses. Well, I’m from Jersey, and we have seen the way he leads. In Atlantic City, he got rich while his companies declared multiple bankruptcies. Yet without remorse, even as people got hurt by his failures, he bragged, “The money I took out of there was incredible.” Yes, he took out lots of cash but he stiffed contractors – many of them small businesses, refusing to pay them for the work they’d done. America has seen enough of a handful of people growing rich at the cost of our nation descending into economic crisis.
Americans, at our best, stand up to bullies and fight those who seek to demean and degrade others. In times of crisis we don’t abandon our values – we double down on them. Even in the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln called to the best of the country by saying, “With malice toward none and charity toward all.” This is the history I was taught.
My parents never wanted me to get too heady. Gratitude was to be my gravity, so they never stopped reminding me that my blessings sprang from countless ordinary Americans who had shown extraordinary acts of kindness and decency; people who struggled, sweat and bled for our rights, people who fought and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. I was told that we can’t pay those Americans back for their colossal acts of service, but we have an obligation to pay it forward to others through our service and sacrifice.
I support Hillary Clinton because these are her values, and she has been paying it forward her entire life. Long before she ever ran for office, in Massachusetts, she went door-to-door collecting stories of children with disabilities. In South Carolina, she fought to reform juvenile justice so children wouldn’t be thrown into adult prisons. In Alabama, she helped expose remnants of segregation in schools. In Arkansas, she started a legal aid clinic to make sure poor folks could get their day in court. She’s always fought for people, and she’s always delivered. That’s why we trust her to fight, and deliver, for us as President.
We have a Presidential nominee in Hillary Clinton who knows that, in a time of stunningly wide disparities of wealth in our nation, America’s greatness must not be measured by how many millionaires and billionaires we have, but by how few people we have living in poverty.
Hillary knows when workers make a fair wage, it doesn’t just help their families, it builds a stronger, more durable economy that expands opportunity and makes all Americans wealthier.
She knows that in a global knowledge-based economy, the country that out-educates the world will out-earn the world, out-innovate the world, and lead the world.
She knows that debt-free college is not a gift, it’s not charity, it’s an investment. It represents the best of our values, the best of our history, the best of our party: Bernie’s ideas, Hillary’s ideas, ourshared ideas. Our shared values.
She knows that we need paid family leave, because when a parent doesn’t have to choose between being there for a sick kid and paying rent, or when a single mom earns an equal wage for equal work, it empowers the most important building block this nation has for our success – the family.
She knows that true security doesn’t come from scapegoating people because of their religion, alienating our allies, stoking fear and pointing fingers. It comes when we band together to face down and defeat our common enemy.
She knows that our criminal justice system desperately needs reform, that we need to bring back fairness to a system that still, as Professor Bryan Stevenson says, treats you better if you are rich and guilty than poor and innocent.
She knows that we can be a nation that both believes that our police officers deserve more respect, support, cooperation, and love – and believes that a young twenty-something black protestor deserves to be valued, that they should be listened to with a more courageous empathy, and that change is needed in our system.
Hillary Clinton knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign: that we are not a zero-sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another. It is you and I, together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny.
When we respect each other, when we stand up for each other, when we work together against the challenges our neighbors face – be it a neighbor with a beautiful special needs child or one struggling with the ugly disease of addiction – when we help them, when we show compassion and grace, when we evidence our truth, that we are the UNITED States of America, indivisible, that is when we are stronger. That is when we go from an already great America to an even greater America.
When Trump spews insults and demeaning words about our fellow Americans, I think of the poem by Maya Angelou. You know how it begins: “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
This too captures our history: 240 years ago, an English King said he would crush our rebellion, but Americans from around our nation joined the fight. From Bunker Hill to the Battle of Trenton, they stood, and so many fell giving their lives in support of our daring declaration that: America, we will rise.
This is our history: escaped slaves, knowing that liberty is not secure for some until it’s secure for all, sometimes hungry, often hunted, in dark woods and deep swamps, they looked up to the North Star and said with a determined whisper, America, we will rise.
Immigrants, risking their lives in a time of sweatshops and child labor, organized labor unions devoted to lifting the tired, and poor and huddled masses – with the fiercest grit, they shouted so all could hear: America, we will rise.
King pointed to a mountain top, Kennedy pointed to the moon – from Seneca Falls to the Stonewall Inn, giants stood and said in a chorus of conviction that America, we will rise.
My fellow Americans, we cannot fall into complacency or indifference about this election, because still the only thing necessary for evil to be triumphant is for good people to do nothing. My fellow Americans, we cannot be seduced into cynicism about our politics, because cynicism is a refuge for cowards and this nation is and must always be the home of the brave. We are the United States of America. We will not falter or fail. We will not retreat or surrender – we will not surrender our values, we will not surrender our ideals, we will not surrender the moral high ground.
Here in Philadelphia, let us declare again that we will be a free people. Free from fear and intimidation. Let us declare that we are a nation of interdependence, and that in America love always trumps hate. Let us declare, so that generations yet unborn can hear us. We are the United States of America; our best days are ahead of us.
And together, with Hillary Clinton as our President, America, we will rise.
President Barack Obama delivered one of his strongest speeches at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2016. Here is a highlighted transcript, applause and all:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Obama! Obama! Obama!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back! (Applause.)
Hello, America! Hello, Democrats! (Applause.)
So 12 years ago tonight, I addressed this convention for the very first time. (Applause.) You met my two little girls, Malia and Sasha — now two amazing young women who just fill me with pride. (Applause.) You fell for my brilliant wife and partner Michelle — (applause) — who has made me a better father and a better man; who’s gone on to inspire our nation as First Lady — (applause) — and who somehow hasn’t aged a day. (Applause.)
I know, the same can’t be said for me. (Laughter.) My girls remind me all the time. Wow, you’ve changed so much, Daddy (Laughter.) And then they try to clean it up — not bad, you’re just more mature. (Laughter.)
And it’s true — I was so young that first time in Boston. (Applause.) And look, I’ll admit it, maybe I was a little nervous, addressing such a big crowd. But I was filled with faith; faith in America — the generous, big-hearted, hopeful country that made my story — that made all of our stories — possible.
A lot has happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war, and it’s been tested by recession and all manner of challenges — I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your President, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before. (Applause.)
How could I not be — after all that we’ve achieved together? After the worst recession in 80 years, we fought our way back. We’ve seen deficits come down, 401(k)s recover, an auto industry set new records, unemployment reach eight-year lows, and our businesses create 15 million new jobs. (Applause.)
After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, it is a right for everybody. (Applause.) After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil. We doubled our production of clean energy. (Applause.) We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. (Applause.) Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (Applause.) We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our children. (Applause.)
We put policies in place to help students with loans; protect consumers from fraud; cut veteran homelessness almost in half. (Applause.) And through countless acts of quiet courage, America learned that love has no limits, and marriage equality is now a reality across the land. (Applause.)
By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. And through every victory and every setback, I’ve insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn’t meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.
So, tonight, I’m here to tell you that, yes, we’ve still got more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who has not yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years.We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer— (applause) — our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation. (Applause.) We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal; all of us are free in the eyes of God. (Applause.)
And that work involves a big choice this November. I think it’s fair to say, this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice — about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.
Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward. (Applause.) But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems — just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.
And that is not the America I know. (Applause.) The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. (Applause.) Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, and worry about racial divisions. We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we had.
All of that is real. We are challenged to do better; to be better.
But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. (Applause.) I see people working hard and starting businesses. I see people teaching kids and serving our country. I see engineers inventing stuff, doctors coming up with new cures. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, not constrained by what is, ready to seize what ought to be. (Applause.)
And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. (Applause.) That’s what I see. That’s the America I know! (Applause.)
And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to that future; a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, and blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right!
Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary was tough. I was worn out. (Laughter.) She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels. (Applause.) And every time I thought I might have the race won, Hillary just came back stronger. (Applause.)
But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. (Applause.) And she was a little surprised. Some of my staff was surprised. (Laughter.) But ultimately she said yes — because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. (Applause.) And for four years — for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise, it wasn’t for attention — that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. (Applause.) I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for. (Applause.)
Hillary has still got the tenacity that she had as a young woman, working at the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door to ultimately make sure kids with disabilities could get a quality education. (Applause.)
She’s still got the heart she showed as our First Lady, working with Congress to help push through a Children’s Health Insurance Program that to this day protects millions of kids. (Applause.)
She’s still seared with the memory of every American she met who lost loved ones on 9/11 — which is why, as a Senator from New York, she fought so hard for funding to help first responders, to help the city rebuild; why, as Secretary of State, she sat with me in the Situation Room and forcefully argued in favor of the mission that took out bin Laden. (Applause.)
You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. You can read about it. You can study it. But until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary has been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes — what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran. And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people, and she keeps her cool, and she treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. (Applause.)
That is the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)
I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man. (Laughter.)
And, by the way, in case you’re wondering about her judgment, take a look at her choice of running mate. (Applause.) Tim Kaine is as good a man, as humble and as committed a public servant as anybody that I know. I know his family. I love Anne. I love their kids. He will be a great Vice President. He will make Hillary a better President — just like my dear friend and brother, Joe Biden, has made me a better President. (Applause.)
Now, Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she’s heard from you on the campaign trail. She’s got specific ideas to invest in new jobs, to help workers share in their company’s profits, to help put kids in preschool and put students through college without taking on a ton of debt. That’s what leaders do.
And then there’s Donald Trump.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo — vote. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Don’t boo, vote! Don’t boo, vote!
THE PRESIDENT: You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. (Laughter.) He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated. (Applause.)
Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?
AUDIENCE: Nooo —
THE PRESIDENT: If so, you should vote for him. But if you’re someone who’s truly concerned about paying your bills, if you’re really concerned about pocketbook issues and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn’t even close. (Applause.) If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, and better benefits, and a fairer tax code, and a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)
If you’re rightly concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world, well, the choice is even clearer. Hillary Clinton is respected around the world — not just by leaders, but by the people they serve.
I have to say this. People outside of the United States do not understand what’s going on in this election. They really don’t. Because they know Hillary. They’ve seen her work. She’s worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. She has the judgment and the experience and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It’s not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out their leaders, taking back territory. (Applause.) And I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She will finish the job. (Applause.) And she will do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit and she is ready to be the next Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)
Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster. Apparently, he doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. (Applause.) He suggests America is weak. He must not hear the billions of men and women and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom and dignity and human rights. (Applause.) He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection.
Well, America’s promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. We bear our burdens. (Applause.) That’s one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office. (Applause.)
America is already great. (Applause.) America is already strong. (Applause.) And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. (Applause.) In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election — the meaning of our democracy.
Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix. It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades — (applause) — because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.
And that’s another bet that Donald Trump will lose. (Applause.) And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short. We’re not a fragile people. We’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled. (Applause.) Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that We the People, can form a more perfect union. (Applause.)
That’s who we are. That’s our birthright — the capacity to shape our own destiny. (Applause.) That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent. It’s what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for collective bargaining and better wages. (Applause.)
America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s about what can be achieved by us, together — (applause) — through the hard and slow, and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.
And that’s what Hillary Clinton understands. She knows that this is a big, diverse country. She has seen it. She’s traveled. She’s talked to folks. And she understands that most issues are rarely black and white. She understands that even when you’re 100 percent right, getting things done requires compromise; that democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other. (Applause.) She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other, and see ourselves in each other, and fight for our principles but also fight to find common ground, no matter how elusive that may sometimes seem. (Applause.)
Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country when we realize the worry black parents feel when their son leaves the house isn’t so different than what a brave cop’s family feels when he puts on the blue and goes to work; that we can honor police and treat every community fairly. (Applause.) We can do that. And she knows — she knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn’t making race relations worse — it’s creating the possibility for people of goodwill to join and make things better. (Applause.)
Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reason our forebears came — to work and to study, and to make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please. She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain. (Applause.) These are the things that Hillary knows.
It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know. Hillary knows, too. When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall. People are hurt by the inaction. Supporters can grow impatient and worry that you’re not trying hard enough; that you’ve maybe sold out. But I promise you, when we keep at it, when we change enough minds, when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen. And if you doubt that, just ask the 20 million more people who have health care today. (Applause.) Just ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without hiding the husband that he loves. (Applause.)
Democracy works, America, but we got to want it — not just during an election year, but all the days in between. (Applause.)
So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders supporters have been during this election. (Applause.) We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done. (Applause.)
That’s right — feel the Bern! (Applause.)
If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote — not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state’s attorneys, and state legislators.That’s where the criminal law is made. (Applause.) And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed. That’s how democracy works. (Applause.)
If you want to fight climate change, we’ve got to engage not only young people on college campuses, we’ve got to reach out to the coal miner who’s worried about taking care of his family, the single mom worried about gas prices. (Applause.)
If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, we’ve got to get the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, who agree on things like background checks to be just as vocal and just as determined as the gun lobby that blocks change through every funeral that we hold. That is how change happens. (Applause.)
Look, Hillary has got her share of critics. She has been caricatured by the right and by some on the left. She has been accused of everything you can imagine — and some things that you cannot. (Laughter.) But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows that sometimes during those 40 years she’s made mistakes — just like I have; just like we all do. (Applause.) That’s what happens when we try. That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described — not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…but who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.” (Applause.)
Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. (Applause.) She’s been there for us — even if we haven’t always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. (Applause.) America isn’t about “yes, he will.” It’s about “yes, we can.” (Applause.) And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can. Not “yes, she can.” Not “yes, I can.” “Yes, we can.” (Applause.)
You know, there’s been a lot of talk in this campaign about what America has lost — people who tell us that our way of life is being undermined by pernicious changes and dark forces beyond our control. They tell voters there’s a “real America” out there that must be restored. This isn’t an idea, by the way, that started with Donald Trump. It’s been peddled by politicians for a long time — probably from the start of our Republic.
And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you 12 years ago tonight, about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up. (Applause.) See, my grandparents, they came from the heartland. Their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago. I don’t know if they have their birth certificates — (laughter) — but they were there. (Applause.) They were Scotch-Irish mostly — farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them — maybe even most of them — were Republicans. Party of Lincoln.
And my grandparents explained that folks in these parts, they didn’t like show-offs. They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies. They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, what they valued were traits like honesty and hard work, kindness, courtesy, humility, responsibility, helping each other out. That’s what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids.
And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii. (Applause.) They could travel even to the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life; trying to apply those values. My grandparents knew these values weren’t reserved for one race. They could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter. In fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids, living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. (Applause.) They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke, a baseball cap or a hijab. (Applause.)
America has changed over the years. But these values that my grandparents taught me — they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever, still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots is what’s in here. That’s what matters. (Applause.)
And that’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own. That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here. That’s why our military can look the way it does — every shade of humanity, forged into common service. (Applause.) That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end. (Applause.)
That is America. That is America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed. We don’t fear the future; we shape it. We embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands — this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot — that’s the America she’s fighting for. (Applause.)
And that is why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything. As much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn, for all the places where I’ve fallen short — I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me back up every single time: It’s been you. The American people. (Applause.)
It’s the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost. Do not quit.
It’s the painting I keep in my private office, a big-eyed, green owl with blue wings, made by a seven year-old girl who was taken from us in Newtown, given to me by her parents so I wouldn’t forget — a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action. (Applause.)
It’s the small business owner in Colorado who cut most of his own salary so he wouldn’t have to lay off any of his workers in the recession — because, he said, “that wouldn’t have been in the spirit of America.”
It’s the conservative in Texas who said he disagreed with me on everything, but he appreciated that, like him, I try to be a good dad. (Applause.)
It’s the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who has learned to speak again and walk again — and earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand. (Applause.)
It is every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who’d never been involved in politics, who picked up phones and hit the streets, and used the Internet in amazing new ways that I didn’t really understand, but made change happen. You are the best organizers on the planet, and I am so proud of all the change that you made possible. (Applause.)
Time and again, you’ve picked me up. And I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too. (Applause.) And tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. (Applause.) I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about 12 years ago when I talked about hope. It’s been you who fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds were great; even when the road is long. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope. (Applause.)
America, you’ve vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. So this year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation. (Applause.)
Thank you for this incredible journey. Let’s keep it going. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
(Remarks as prepared for delivery by Khizr M. Khan at the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, July 28, 2016)
Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy — that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son “the best of America.”
If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.
Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division.
We are Stronger Together.
And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next President.
Highlighted remarks by Jerry Brown, Governor of California, to the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, July 27, 2016:
Climate change is unlike any other threat we humans face. It is overarching and affects the entire earth and all living things. It is slow. It is relentless. And it is subject to irreversible tipping points and vast unknowns.
Combating climate change, the existential threat of our time, will take heroic effort on the part of many people and many nations. Make no mistake, climate change is REAL.
The vast majority of world leaders and climate scientists, like those at NASA and the Department of Defense – indeed, almost anyone who chooses to think – believes in the science of climate change and sees the moral imperative to take action. But you wouldn’t know it by listening to Donald Trump.
Last week at the Republican Convention, for 76 long and painful minutes, Trump conjured up a host of dark threats, but never once mentioned the words “climate change” or “global warming.” What do you expect? Trump represents a party with officials that have banned state employees from even using these words in Florida, and who knows where else.
Trump says global warming is a hoax. I say Trump is a fraud. Trump says there’s no drought in California. I say Trump lies. So, it’s not surprising that Trump chose as his running mate a man who denies that there’s such a thing as evolution.
Rarely in American history have two parties diverged so profoundly. Even the Know-Nothing, anti-immigrant party of the 1850s did not stray this far into sheer ignorance and dark fantasy as have the Republicans and their leader Donald Trump.
Our candidate, Hillary Clinton, couldn’t be more different. While Trump talks, and talks, and talks, Hillary gets stuff done. She fights for us on big issues. As Secretary of State, she paved the way for the historic Paris Climate Agreement, an agreement which 200 nations, including China and India, enthusiastically embraced. And Mr. Trump, he says: The world be damned; I’m tearing it up.
Hillary is the one who launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a group of nations taking action to reduce black carbon and other super climate pollutants, which cause severe lung and heart damage. And from her first day in office, President Hillary Clinton will do what’s needed to combat climate change and lead the clean energy revolution.
We know something about this in California. We have solar, wind, zero-emission cars, energy efficiency, and yes, a price on carbon. We’re proving that even with the toughest climate laws in the country, our economy is growing faster than almost any nation in the world.
Mr. Trump and those who live in climate denial say otherwise. They tell us we have to choose between saving the economy and saving the planet. Donald Trump and the climate deniers are dead wrong — dangerously wrong.
What America needs today are not deniers, but leaders. Not division, but common purpose. Not bombast, but bold action. That’s why we need Hillary. And that’s why the American people will choose her as the next President of the United States.
I confess, as I was describing to my niece the scene of Hillary Rodham Clinton making history in Philadelphia by being the first woman nominated by a major party to be president of the United States, I welled up with tears. I hadn’t realized the emotion I carried with me from the night before.
My niece, born the year I graduated college, is too young to remember the way it was when women of my age were graduating high school, conditioned to tamp down their aspirations, discouraged from pursuing the best college education or profession (secretary, nurse, teacher were the acceptable paths), legally allowed to be discriminated against in hiring (ads were segregated “male” and “female”), being told in a job interview, ”You can’t handle the equipment,” or by my publisher the day I started at the magazine , “Now you’re not going to leave me to have a baby, are you?” I was still there 12 years later when he let me work from home after I had my first baby, but I left when new owners laid down the law that I was required back in the office (“What do you mean we have an editor working from home? Do you know how many we have refused who would sue?”).
It was during my tenure at that magazine that I recall having sat across a table from Donald Trump at a lunch attended by New York’s movers and shakers. At that time (though not at the table that day, when he sat bored until the conversation shifted to his new, short-lived football team, the New Jersey Generals), he was quoted as saying that “pregnancy is an inconvenience” for employers, and women did not deserve to make the same salary as men because they don’t do the same quality of work, and that he wanted his wives to stay home because he gets angry if he comes home and dinner isn’t on the table.
If Hillary Clinton is criticized for being cold, clinical, intellectual, efficient and strategic, it is partly because that’s what it took for a woman to succeed in what was systemically a Man’s World, a Good Ol’ Boys Club. A woman had to be demonstrably better, harder working than a male counterpart, and then, would be criticized as “shrill,” “bossy” and lots of other more horrible characterizations. As she said in her acceptance speech, she sweats the details, “whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs. Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid – if it’s your family. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.”
My niece can’t possibly appreciate the change in culture that it is a “ho-hum” event to see women doctors, surgeons, university presidents, Fortune 500 CEOs – to have women at the table with Movers and Shakers at all.
My niece can’t possibly appreciate the concept of a “glass ceiling” and what Hillary means when she said in her acceptance speech, “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union…because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
It’s not just that a foundational barrier has come down, but that finally, the issues and policies I care about so deeply, that have been marginalized and trivialized will become a priority at the highest seat of power: climate action, gun violence prevention, universal health care, public education, a living wage, paid parental leave and access to affordable child care, a secure retirement (the list goes on). Hillary Clinton isn’t just A woman, but a woman who has been fighting – and winning – for these causes her entire life.
“In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it,” Hillary declared. “We’re going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the ‘woman card,’ then Deal Me In!,” Hillary declared.
As Hillary has said, these have been dismissed as “woman’s issues” or “family issues” but they are economic issues, national security issues.”When women succeed, America succeeds.”
“It’s not just her gender, but her a-genda,” a speaker at the Democratic Women’s Caucus declared.
The mechanism that Hillary has found to be successful over the years is forging consensus, finding compromise – that’s a trait that women excel at, which is evidenced from the 20 women who currently serve in the Senate – while male culture formed in sports like football (the jargon which unfortunately too often makes its way into politics), where the objective is to crush an opponent.
“Look at my record,” I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.”
Indeed, I’ve sat across the table from Hillary Clinton, too – when she was running for Senate and she invited local newspaper editors for an intimate conversation. She was just as interested as listening as she was in making her pitch.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has broken this crucial barrier at a time when women’s rights are under siege – the right wing trying to reverse course and send women back barefoot and pregnant to the confines of their kitchens. The assault on women’s reproductive rights – the right to choose when to become a parent, the right to control their own body and destiny -= has gone into high gear. Donald Trump has said that women who have an abortion should be punished and his VP Mike Pence has said he wants to see Roe v Wade relegated to the “ash heap” of history.
“It’s personal to me,” thundered Wendy Davis, former Texas State Senator famous for her 11-hour filibuster against Texas’ anti-abortion law, at the Women’s Caucus the morning of Hillary’s historic acceptance speech. “[Hillary] knows what it is to be a woman in the United States of America. We’ve had friends in the White House before – … but we have never, ever had anyone who has walked in our shoes, someone who knows and understands to be a woman in America and we have never had the kind of champion we are going to have in Hillary Clinton and It is personal to me, and it should b e personal to every one of you.”
Trump is about building walls. Hillary is about breaking down barriers.
“Hillary Clinton may be our first woman president. But she won’t be the last. Once that barrier falls, it will never, ever, ever be put back up,” declared Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock. “The women we’ve elected haven’t just brought new voices to the debate. They’ve brought new momentum to the progressive movement. You see, women don’t just fight for women. They fight for families. They fight for fairness. Inclusion. Justice.
“No wonder Republican leaders oppose equal pay for women, and refuse to stand up for working mothers trying to balance career and family. That’s why they’d let your boss fire you for using birth control, and force us to undergo invasive trans-vaginal ultrasounds. They don’t respect women. They don’t trust women. They want to control women.
“They’re afraid of the change we bring, the progress we make, when we get a chance to lead. And they’re terrified of Hillary Clinton. Because no matter what they throw at her, they’ve never been able to stop her. From the Children’s Defense Fund to the Senate, from Little Rock to Beijing, she’s fought for fairness, for inclusion, for justice, and she’s won.
“Now, they’re making their last stand. Not just against her, but against all of us who have worked so hard for so long to make progress in America. They’re panicking. They’re desperate. And that means they’re dangerous. They’ve nominated a man who said women should be punished for having an abortion. Said, ‘Putting a wife to work is a dangerous thing.’ Called us ‘fat pigs’ and ‘animals.’
“He picked a running mate who led the fight to destroy Planned Parenthood, tried to redefine rape, suggested that mothers who work ‘stunt the emotional growth’ of their kids by putting them in daycare. If they win, they’ll erase every ounce of progress we’ve dared to make. But we have fought too hard and come too far to let that happen.”
Clinton’s accomplishments are undeniable.
Is she a perfect candidate or a perfect person? There is no such thing. But frankly, I admire her agenda as exactly what I would have proposed.
She can get it done.
She is being belittled for being a “practical progressive” as if “incrementalism” is somehow synonymous with “sell out.”
“She’ll fight for your day-to-day needs and the long range needs of the country. She’ll fight for the macro issues and the macaroni and cheese issues,” declared U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski:, the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right and first woman to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. “So you’ll have national security and economic security. So you will have equal pay for equal work, living wages, and health care that’s there when you need it.”
“Hillary Clinton knows that this moment is not just about one woman’s achievement. It’s about what electing a woman President will mean for achieving the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman, every daughter, every son, and every family, all across our land, for generations to come,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared.
“This moment is about the landmark progress President Hillary Clinton will achieve for families everywhere yearning for a better life, a better chance, in a better America. Hillary Clinton has a vision rooted in deeply held values. She has a genuine strength that differs profoundly from her opponent’s bluster. She has a gift for strategic thinking, seasoned by knowledge and experience. And she has a connection to hard-working American families forged in her lifetime of leadership and service to others…
“We know what is on the line in what truly is the most important election of our lifetime: for the future of the Supreme Court, for the fate of a planet imperiled by climate change, for the sake of immigration reform, for the promise of an America that rewards hard work instead of those who exploit America’s workers, for women’s reproductive rights, equal rights, civil rights, and to do what is right for our service members, veterans and military families who have given so much for our country,” Pelosi asserted.
Clinton isn’t just any woman, but being a woman very much a part of the skill-set and life-experience she brings. She is a uniquely talented and experienced person.
“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America,” President Obama said in his speech.
And I haven’t even gotten into the horrors of the alternative: a Donald Trump presidency.
Highlighted transcript of Hillary Clinton’s remarks accepting the Democratic nomination for president:
“Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you all so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you for that amazing welcome. Thank you all for the great convention that we’ve had.
And, Chelsea, thank you. I am so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you’ve become. Thank you for bringing Marc into our family and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.
And, Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago, it is still going strong. That conversation has lasted through good times that filled us with joy and hard times that tested us. And I’ve even gotten a few words in along the way. On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my explainer-in-chief is still on the job. I’m also grateful to the rest of my family and to the friends of a lifetime.
For all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight and to those of you who joined this campaign this week, thank you. What a remarkable week it’s been. We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton; and the man of hope, Barack Obama. America is stronger because of President Obama’s leadership, and I am better because of his friendship.
We heard from our terrific Vice President, the one and only Joe Biden. He spoke from his big heart about our party’s commitment to working people as only he can do.
And First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us – that our children are watching and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.
And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine, you – you will soon understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him – from city council and mayor, to governor, and now Senator. And he will make our whole country proud as our vice president.
And I want to thank Bernie Sanders. Bernie – Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary. You put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.
And to all of your supporters here and around the country, I want you to know I have heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That is the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America. We wrote it together. Now let’s go out and make it happen together.
My friends, we’ve come to Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation, because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today. We all know the story, but we usually focus on how it turned out, and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all. When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the king, and some wanted to stick it to the king.
The revolution hung in the balance. Then somehow they began listening to each other, compromising, finding common purpose. And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation. That’s what made it possible to stand up to a king. That took courage. They had courage. Our founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.
Now America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees. It truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we will all work together so we can all rise together. Our country’s motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one. Will we stay true to that motto?
Well, we heard Donald Trump’s answer last week at his convention. He wants to divide us from the rest of the world and from each other. He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise. He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from ‘Morning in America’ to ‘Midnight in America.’ He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.
Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago, during a much more perilous time: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’
Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against, but we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall. Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good job can get one. And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy. We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.
Yet, we know there is a lot to do. Too many people haven’t had a pay raise since the crash. There’s too much inequality, too little social mobility, too much paralysis in Washington, too many threats at home and abroad.
But just look for a minute at the strengths we bring as Americans to meet these challenges. We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world. We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had. We have the most powerful military, the most innovative entrepreneurs, the most enduring values – freedom and equality, justice and opportunity. We should be so proud that those words are associated with us. I have to tell you, as your Secretary of State, I went to 112 countries. When people hear those words, they hear America.
So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says, ‘I alone can fix it.’ Yes. Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us. Really? ‘I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting troops on the front lines, police officers and firefighters who run toward danger, doctors and nurses who care for us? Teachers who change lives, entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem, mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe? He’s forgetting every last one of us. Americans don’t say, ‘I alone fix can it.’ We say, ‘We’ll fix it together.’
And remember. Remember. Our founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power. 240 years later, we still put our faith in each other. Look at what happened in Dallas. After the assassinations of five brave police officers, Police Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them. And do you know how the community responded? Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.
That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out. 20 years ago, I wrote a book called It Takes a Village. And a lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that? This is what I mean. None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community, or lift a country totally alone. America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger. I believe that with all my heart. That’s why ‘Stronger Together’ is not just a lesson from our history, it’s not just a slogan for our campaign, it’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been, and the future we’re going to build.
A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school no matter what ZIP Code you live in. A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach. Where families are strong, communities are safe, and, yes, where love trumps hate. That’s the country we’re fighting for. That’s the future we’re working toward. And so, my friends, it is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president of the United States.
Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage. As you know, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been your first lady, served eight years as a senator from the great state of New York. Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State. But my job titles only tell you what I’ve done. They don’t tell you why.The truth is, through all these years of public service, the service part has always come easier to me than the public part. I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me. So let me tell you.
The family I’m from, well, no one had their name on big buildings. My families were builders of a different kind, builders in the way most American families are. They used whatever tools they had, whatever God gave them, and whatever life in America provided, and built better lives and better futures for their kids.
My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years – because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did. And he was right. My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State – and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor. When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies. I remember watching him stand for hours over silkscreens. He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had, and he did.
My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a housemaid. She was saved by the kindness of others. Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share the entire year. The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me: No one gets through life alone.We have to look out for each other and lift each other up. And she made sure I learned the words from our Methodist faith: ‘Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.’
So I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, going door to door in New Bedford, Massachusetts – on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school. Remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house. She told me how badly she wanted to go to school. It just didn’t seem possible in those days. And I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother and what she’d gone through as a child. It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough. To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws. You need both understanding and action.
So we gathered facts. We build a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities. It’s a big idea, isn’t it? Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school. But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step by step, year by year, sometimes even door by door. My heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza representing millions of young people on this stage – because we changed our law to make sure she got an education.
So it’s true. I sweat the details of policy, whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan – the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs. Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid, if it’s your family. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president, too.
After the four days of this convention, you’ve seen some of the people who’ve inspired me, people who let me into their lives and became a part of mine, people like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning. They told their stories Tuesday night. I first met Ryan as a 7-year-old. He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed 40 pounds because I leaned over to lift him up. Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed, and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers eight million kids in our country. Lauren Manning, who stood here with such grace and power, was gravely injured on 9/11.
It was the thought of her, and Debbie Stage. John who you saw in the movie, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero. I was thinking of Lauren, Debbie, and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room, when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.
And in this campaign I’ve met many more people who motivate me to keep fighting for change, and with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House. And you heard from Republicans and Independents who are supporting our campaign. Well, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, Independents, for the struggling, the striving, the successful, for all those who vote for me and for those who don’t. For all Americans together.
‘Empower Americans to Live Better Lives’
Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president. Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I’m happy for boys and men – because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.
So let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have. But even more important than the history we make tonight is the history we will write together in the years ahead. Let’s begin with what we’re going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.
Now, I don’t think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private sector jobs. 20 million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever.
Now, that’s real progress. But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot. We’re still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery. I’ve gone around the country talking to working families. And I’ve heard from many who feel like the economy sure isn’t working for them. Some of you are frustrated – even furious. And you know what? You’re right. It’s not yet working the way it should.
Americans are willing to work – and work hard. But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do. And less respect for them, period. Democrats, we are the party of working people. But we haven’t done a good enough job showing we get what you’re going through, and we’re going to do something to help.
So tonight I want to tell you how we will empower Americans to live better lives. My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States. From my first day in office to my last. Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind. From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian country to coal country. From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.
And here’s what I believe. I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives. I believe our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should. That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And if necessary, we will pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return. Many of them are, but too many aren’t. It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other. And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
And I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.
I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to try to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together – and it’s the right thing to do.
So whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign. If you believe that companies should share profits, not pad executive bonuses, join us. If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage, and no one working full-time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us. If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care, join us! If you believe that we should say no to unfair trade deals; that we should stand up to China; that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers, then join us. If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own heath care decisions, then join us. And yes, yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay join us. That’s how we’re going to make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.
Now, you didn’t hear any of this, did you, from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd. And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn’t believe these things. No wonder he doesn’t like talking about his plans. You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.
In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure. If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.
And we will also transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs. Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all. We will also – we will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt. It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, and students and families can’t refinance their debts.
And something we don’t say often enough: Sure, college is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job. We will help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it. We will give small businesses, like my dad’s, a boost, make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks. In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.
And we will help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in.
Now – now, here’s the other thing. Now, we’re not only going to make all of these investments. We’re going to pay for every single one of them. And here’s how. Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. This is – this is not because we resent success, but when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is. And we are going to follow the money. And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we’ll make them pay us back. And we’ll put that money to work where it belongs: creating jobs here at home.
Now, I imagine that some of you are sitting at home thinking, well, that all sounds pretty good, but how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Well, look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s exactly what I’ll do as President.
But then – but then I also imagine people are thinking out there, but Trump, he’s a businessman. He must know something about the economy. Well, let’s take a closer look, shall we? In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills. Now, remember what the President said last night. Don’t boo. Vote.
But think of this. People who did the work and needed the money, not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them, he just stiffed them. And you know that sales pitch he’s making to be president: put your faith in him, and you’ll win big? That’s the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away and left working people holding the bag.
He also talks a big game about putting America first. Well, please explain what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado; Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan; Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio; Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.
Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. Well, he could start by actually making things in America again.
‘Keeping Our Nation Safe Will Be My Highest Priority’
Now, the choice we face in this election is just as stark when it comes to our national security. Anyone – anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face. From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, from San Bernardino to Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. So it’s no wonder that people are anxious and looking for reassurance, looking for steady leadership, wanting a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do that work will be my highest priority.
I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. Now we have to enforce it, and we must keep supporting Israel’s security. I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement. Now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves. And I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.
I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake we will prevail.
Now Donald Trump – Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do.’ No, Donald, you don’t.
He thinks – he thinks he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are ‘a disaster.’ Well, I’ve had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee. And I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure. We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces: decisions about war and peace, life and death. A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country, including – including Captain Khan and the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines. So just ask yourself: Do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander-in-chief? Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation – when he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter, when he’s challenged in a debate, when he sees a protestor at a rally. Imagine, if you dare imagine, imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.
I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men, the ones moved by fear and pride. America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out. It relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power. And that’s the kind of commander-in-chief I pledge to be.
And if we’re serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a president who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby. I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.We will work tirelessly with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and all others who would do us harm.
For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics too hot to touch. But I ask you: How can we just stand by and do nothing? You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence on this stage. You heard, you saw family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals. I refuse to believe we can’t find common ground here. We have to heal the divides in our country, not just on guns but on race, immigration, and more.
And that starts with listening, listening to each other, trying as best we can to walk in each other’s shoes. So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism and are made to feel like their lives are disposable. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job. We will reform our criminal justice system from end to end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. And we will defend – we will defend all our rights: civil rights, human rights, and voting rights; women’s rights and workers’ rights; LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities. And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.
For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump’s comments, excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show. They thought he couldn’t possibly mean all the horrible things he says, like when he called women ‘pigs’ or said that an American judge couldn’t be fair because of his Mexican heritage, or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability, or insults prisoners of war – like John McCain, a hero and a patriot who deserves our respect.
Now, at first, I admit, I couldn’t believe he meant it, either. It was just too hard to fathom, that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things, could be like that. But here’s the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump. This is it. And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: America is great because America is good.
So enough with the bigotry and the bombast.Donald Trump’s not offering real change. He’s offering empty promises. And what are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country – to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.
The choice is clear, my friends. Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger. None of us ever have or can do it alone. I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together. But I’m here to tell you tonight – progress is possible. I know. I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.
And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game. Like so much else in my life, I got this from my mother too. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. ‘Go back out there,’ she said. And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies. You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.
We lost our mother a few years ago, but I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what. That’s what we need to do together as a nation. And though ‘we may not live to see the glory,’ as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, ‘let us gladly join the fight.’ Let our legacy be about ‘planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.’
That’s why we’re here, not just in this hall, but on this Earth.The Founders showed us that, and so have many others since. They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow. That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.
Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose. So let’s be stronger together, my fellow Americans. Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. And when we do, America will be greater than ever.
Thank you and may God bless you and the United States of America.”