Elizabeth Warren's Remarks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - Full Speech

Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on 05.09.2012

I'm Elizabeth Warren and this is my first Democratic Convention.
AUDIENCE: Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren!
Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren!
WARREN: Stop! Ok, now. Enough! I never thought I'd run for the Senate, and I sure never dreamed
I would be the warm-up act for President Bill Clinton.
He is an amazing man who had the good sense to marry one of the coolest women on this
I -- I want to give a special shout out to the Massachusetts delegation.
I am counting on you to help me win and to help President Obama win. I am here tonight
to talk about hard working people, people who get up early, stay up late, cook dinner
and help out with homework, people who can be counted on to help their kids, their parents,
their neighbors, and a lady down the street whose car broke down, people who work their
hearts out but are up against a hard truth: the game is rigged against them.
WARREN: It wasn't always this way. Like a lot of you, I grew up in a family on the ragged
edges of the middle class. My daddy sold carpeting and ended up as a maintenance man. After he
had a heart attack, my mom worked the phones at Sears so we could hang on to our house.
All three of my brothers served in the military. One was career...
...the second a good union job in construction...
...and the third started a small business. Me, I was waiting tables of 13 and married
at 19. I graduated from public schools, and taught elementary school.
I have a wonderful husband, two great children, and three beautiful grandchildren, and I am
grateful down to my toes for every opportunity that America gave me. This is a great country.
I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class that
allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives, an America
that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity, an
WARREN: ...in which each generation built something solid so the next generation could
build something better.
But now, for many years, our middle-class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered.
Talk to the construction worker I met from Malden, Massachusetts who went nine months
without finding work. Talk to the head of a manufacturing company in Franklin, trying
to protect jobs, but worried about rising costs, talk to the student in Worcester who
worked hard to finish his degree, and now he is drowning in debt. Their fight is my
fight, and it's Barack Obama's fight too.
WARREN: That's right. Yes.
People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part: they're
right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in profits.
Billionaires pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries...
WARREN: ...and Wall Street CEOs, the same ones that wrecked our economy and destroyed
millions of jobs still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like
we should thank them. Does anyone here have a problem with that?
I do, too. I talked to small business owners all across Massachusetts, and not one of them,
not one, made big bucks from the risky bets that brought down our economy. I talked to
nurses and programmers, salespeople and firefighters, people who bust their tails every day, and
not one of them, not one, stashes their money in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying their
fair share of taxes.
These folks don't resent that somebody else made more money. We're Americans. We celebrate
success. We just don't want the game to be rigged. We fought to level the playing field
before. About a century ago when corrosive greed threatened our economy and our way of
life, the American people came together under the leadership of Teddy Roosevelt and other
Progressives to bring our nation back from the brink. We started to take children out
of factories and put them in schools.
We began to give meaning to the word consumer protection by making food and medicine safe,
and we gave the little guys a better chance to compete by preventing the big guys from
rigging the markets. We turned adversity into progress because that's what we do.
Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to
fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real
shot, then no one -- no one -- can stop us.
President Obama gets it because he spent his life fighting for the middle-class, and now
he's fighting to level that playing field, because we know the economy doesn't grow from
the top down but from the middle-class out and the bottom up. That's how we create jobs
and reduce the debt.
And Mitt Romney [chuckles] he wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires,
but for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails, his plan will hammer
them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000.
Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations, but he and Paul Ryan
would pulverize financial reform, voucherize [sic] Medicare and vaporize Obamacare.
The Republican vision is clear -- "I got mine. The rest of you are on your own."
Republicans say they don't believe in government. Sure, they do. They believe in government
to help themselves and their powerful friends.
After all, Mitt Romney is the guy who said corporations are people.
No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.
People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry, they dance.
They live, they love, and they die, and that matters. That matters.
That matters -- that matters because we do not run this country for corporations. We
run it for people, and that's why we need Barack Obama.
After the financial crisis, President Obama knew that we had to clean up Wall Street.
For years families have been tricked by credit cards, fooled by student loans, and cheated
on mortgages. I had an idea for a consumer financial protection agency to stop the rip
Now, the big banks sure didn't like it, and they marshaled one of the biggest lobbying
forces on earth to destroy the agency before it ever saw the light of day. American families
did not have an army of lobbyists on our side. What we had was a president, President Obama
leading the way.
And when the lobbyists were closing in for the kill, Barack Obama squared his shoulders,
planted his feet and stood firm, and that's how we won.
By the way, just a few weeks ago that little agency caught one of the biggest credit card
companies cheating its customers and made it give people back every penny it took plus
millions of dollars in fines.
That's what happens when you have a president on the side of the middle class. President
Obama believes in a level playing field. He believes in a country where nobody gets a
free ride or a golden parachute, a country where anyone who has a great idea and rolls
up their sleeves has a chance to build a business, and anyone who works hard can build some security
and raise a family. President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their
taxes just like their secretaries do.
And I can't believe I have to say this in 2012, a country where women get equal pay
for equal work.
He believes in a country where everyone is held accountable, where no one can steal your
purse on main street or your pension on Wall Street.
President Obama believes in a country where we invest in education, in roads and bridges,
in science, and in the future so we can create new opportunities so the next kid can make
it big and the kid after that and the kid after that. That's what President Obama believes.
And that's how we build the economy of the future. An economy with more jobs and less
debt. We root it in fairness. We grow it with opportunity. And we build it together.
I grew up in the Methodist church and taught Sunday school, and one of my favorite passages
of scripture is, "in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me," Matthew 25:40.
The passage teaches about God in each of us, that we are bound to each other and we are
called to act, not to sit, not to wait, but to act -- all of us together. Senator Ted
Kennedy understood that call.
Four years ago he addressed our convention for the last time. He said, "we have never
lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world". Generation
after generation, Americans have answered that call, and now we are called again. We
are called to restore opportunity for every American. We are called to give America's
working families a fighting chance, we are called to build something solid so the next
generation can build something better.
So let me ask you -- let me ask you America: are you ready to answer this call?
WARREN: Are you ready to fight for good jobs and a strong middle class? Are you ready to
work for a level playing field? Are you ready to prove to another generation of Americans
that we can build a better country and a newer world? Joe Biden is ready. Barack Obama is
ready. I'm ready. You're ready.
Thank you. God Bless America.