Editor’s note: The following transcripts (as prepared for delivery) were posted on the website of the Democratic National Convention and on WhiteHouse.gov.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
I’m here tonight, in part, because my home state of Minnesota has been hit hard by tragedy. And we’re not alone. Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas; and Falcon Heights, Minnesota should tell us that we need a wise, compassionate, and strong leader for all Americans.
When I was elected to the United States Senate 16 years ago, I was seated next to the new Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton. For the next six years, I saw – up close and in person – precisely the kind of leader this country needs right now. In the Senate, Hillary was a trusted partner on both sides of the aisle. She listened to people explain their problems, not just from New York but throughout our entire country. She championed their causes, because she shared the belief of Minnesota’s great Senator Paul Wellstone thatwe all do better when we all do better.
Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving the needs of others.
Donald Trump, on the other hand – well, Donald Trump has dedicated his life to serving himself. He’s driven small businesses into the ground by refusing to pay his bills. He’s played his shareholders for suckers and ripped off hard-working, responsible Americans. At every turn in his life, he has stepped on others just to climb a little higher himself. And now he wants to step over all of us.
But Democrats – we’re going to send him a message, aren’t we? My old partner in the Senate, Hillary Clinton, will make sure of that. She has been traveling all over this country, listening and learning and offering real solutions to the problems Americans face: a 100-days jobs plan that includes the largest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II, a plan to make debt-free college available to everyone, 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, and giving every four-year-old a chance to go to high-quality preschool.
Hillary Clinton will also bring her lifelong fight for universal healthcare – including the choice of a public option – to the White House. Thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, we’ve made a lot of progress getting people covered. But for too many families, out-of-pocket costs are still too high. Prescription drugs are still too expensive. It’s time we decided once and for all that the purpose of health insurance is to give Americans the health care they need at prices they can afford, not to pad the profits of corporate America. If they won’t do it, we will, and Hillary Clinton will lead the charge.
America needs a president who will pull us together and move us ahead, a president who knows we are “Stronger Together.” This president is Hillary Clinton.
The choice could not be clearer. The choice could not be more important. And that’s why I am so proud to stand with all of you and to support Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
I’m here to make the case for a leader who, as you just saw, is focused on security: security for our country, our economy, and our democracy. A leader who knows we are all more secure when women have the opportunity to lead with their heads high and their strides strong. That leader is Hillary Clinton.
She sees a world where girls are not captured and sold but are fearless and bold; where they lead, not follow. And where when someone tells a young woman, “You fight like a girl,” her answer is, “Yes, I do. And I’m proud to be that girl!”
Here is one challenge: today, millions of people in the world are held in forced labor or sexual servitude. Human trafficking hits home for me. I’m a former prosecutor. A few years ago in Minnesota, a 12-year-old girl got a text to go to a party. A man picked her up in a parking lot and raped her. She ended up in a hotel and was forced to take explicit pictures of herself. They were posted online, and she was sold to two more men.
They got that guy. Our Justice Department went after him. Last December, he was convicted by a jury.
She was 12 years old. Not old enough to drive a car or go to her high school prom. Not old enough to vote. This is happening in our own country.
That’s why, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took the international report on trafficking – the one nations use to improve their prosecutions – and she made our country accountable. She added the United States to that list. Because she knows that if we are going to be a beacon for the world, then we have to get our own house in order.
And when Hillary said, “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights,” she named sex trafficking as a violation of those rights. She didn’t say it just anywhere, she said it in China. She came home from Beijing and supported the first trafficking law in our country. And years later, she supported my bipartisan bill that’s helping law enforcement crack down on trafficking and make sure kids who are trafficked are treated as victims, not criminals.
Fellow delegates, human trafficking is the third biggest criminal enterprise in the world. As long as ISIS is selling girls for $165, and parents in Nigeria are left with nothing but bows and arrows to chase the terrorists who steal their daughters in the middle of the night, we will never have a just and good world.
Because when women are held back, democracies falter. When women are bound and treated as sex slaves, tyrants rule. Opportunity for women is not a sign of a country’s weakness, it is a sign of a nation’s strength. Or maybe Mark Twain said it best: “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.”
Elevating women across the world so they’re treated with dignity and respect — that’s what Hillary Clinton will do. And if that means playing the woman card, Donald Trump, let me tell you: there are hundreds of millions of women in this world who are ready to play that card. And in the United States of America, it’s called the voting card.
You know, part of how we make this better is by telling the truth, laying out the facts, and sharing our stories. Here with us tonight is someone who has experienced the devastation of human trafficking. It’s hard to put words to the horror she’s faced, but Ima Matul has the courage to speak out.
We all have a voice. This election, let’s use it.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken
I’m Al Franken: Minnesotan, Senator, and world-renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and now Donald Trump.
A little about my qualifications. I got my doctorate in megalomania studies from Trump University. Sure, I had to empty out my 401(k) and take out a reverse mortgage on my house to pay the tuition. But Mr. Trump or, rather, some people who said they’d once met him, convinced me it was worth it.
And frankly, as a proud alum of Trump U, I think we may be underestimating Donald Trump. Sure, he’s scammed a lot of people. But did you know that Trump University’s School of Ripping People Off is ranked second in the nation? Right behind Bernie Madoff University? That’s no mean feat.
And Trump University is about more than just bilking people. Although, trust me, you will get bilked. It’s also about learning directly from success experts like Scott Baio, Mike Tyson, and, of course, a life-size cardboard cutout of Mr. Trump himself.
Now, of course, Trump University wouldn’t be Trump University without its business school. Their bankruptcy program in particular is known throughout the real estate/investment community for its creativity. The most popular course, Bankruptcy 101, or, “How to Leave Your Partners Holding the Bag,” is taught by the cardboard cutout itself.
The pride of Trump University, of course, is its library, located on a shelf in a closet on the third floor of Trump Tower. All of Mr. Trump’s bestsellers are available for sale at a special student rate, which is 10% higher than the retail price.
Clearly, Donald Trump’s enormous, dare I say “huge,” success as a businessman qualifies him to be President. And if you believe that, I’ve got some delicious Trump Steaks I’d like to sell you.
In all seriousness, I think rather than voting for someone who’s never done anything for anyone other than himself, maybe we should go with the candidate who’s spent her entire life working to get important things done for the American people.
I’ve known Hillary for a quarter-century. I’ve never met anyone smarter, tougher, or more ready to lead us forward. I am proud to call Hillary Clinton my friend. And I can’t wait to call her Madam President.
Now, we’re going to have a lot of fun this week. But when we wake up Friday morning, there will be just 102 days left until the election. And what you – yes, you – do in those 102 days could determine who wins. I mean that literally. I won my first race for the Senate by 312 votes.
President Barack Obama
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.)
The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. Sure, we have real anxieties – about paying the bills, protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; 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 we have.
“All that is real; we’re challenged to do better; to be better. But as I’ve traveled this country, through all fifty states; as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I’ve also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. I see people working hard and starting businesses; people teaching kids and serving our country. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, unconstrained by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be.”
“You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. 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’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran. Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and 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.
“That’s 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 more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.”
First Lady Michelle Obama
Thank you all. (Applause.) Thank you so much. You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be President. (Applause.) Remember how I told you about his character and conviction, his decency and his grace -– the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House.
I also told you about our daughters –- how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world. And during our time in the White House, we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women -– a journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington, when they set off for their first day at their new school.
I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just seven and ten years old, pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns. (Laughter.) And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was, “What have we done?” (Laughter.) See, because at that moment, I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them.
That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight — how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith. (Applause.) How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. (Applause.) How we explain that when someone is cruel, or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level -– no, our motto is, when they go low, we go high. (Applause.)
With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as President and First Lady, because we know that our words and actions matter not just to our girls, but to children across this country –- kids who tell us, “I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school.” Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope, and he wondered, “Is my hair like yours?” (Applause.)
And make no mistake about it, this November, when we go to the polls, that is what we’re deciding -– not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, this election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives. (Applause.) And I am here tonight because in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be President of the United States, and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)
See, I trust Hillary to lead this country because I’ve seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children –- not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection –- (applause) — but every child who needs a champion: Kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs. Kids who wonder how they’ll ever afford college. Kids whose parents don’t speak a word of English but dream of a better life. Kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be.
You see, Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives — (applause) — advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer. Fighting for children’s health care as First Lady and for quality child care in the Senate. And when she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. (Applause.) Hillary did not pack up and go home. Because as a true public servant, Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments. (Applause.) So she proudly stepped up to serve our country once again as Secretary of State, traveling the globe to keep our kids safe.
And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs. But here’s the thing — what I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. (Applause.) She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life. (Applause.)
And when I think about the kind of President that I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere. Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously. Someone who understands that the issues a President faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters. (Applause.) Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady, and measured, and well-informed. (Applause.)
I want a President with a record of public service, someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed — (applause) — and we give back, even when we’re struggling ourselves, because we know that there is always someone worse off, and there but for the grace of God go I. (Applause.)
I want a President who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters –- a President who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago: That we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story. (Applause.) And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other -– no, we listen to each other. We lean on each other. Because we are always stronger together. (Applause.)
And I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of president that Hillary Clinton will be. And that’s why, in this election, I’m with her. (Applause.)
You see, Hillary understands that the President is about one thing and one thing only -– it’s about leaving something better for our kids. That’s how we’ve always moved this country forward –- by all of us coming together on behalf of our children — folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class because they know it takes a village. Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty.
Police officers and protestors in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe. (Applause.) People who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son, their daughter in that club. (Applause.) Leaders like Tim Kaine — (applause) — who show our kids what decency and devotion look like. Leaders like Hillary Clinton, who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her. (Applause.)
That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — (applause) — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. (Applause.) And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States. (Applause.)
So don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth. (Applause.) And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.
So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired, or frustrated, or cynical. No, hear me — between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago: We need to knock on every door. We need to get out every vote. We need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.
Let’s get to work. Thank you all, and God bless.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
How great it is to be with you tonight.
Let me begin by thanking the hundreds of thousands of Americans who actively participated in our campaign as volunteers. Let me thank the 2 1/2 million Americans who helped fund our campaign with an unprecedented 8 million individual campaign contributions – averaging $27 a piece. Let me thank the 13 million Americans who voted for the political revolution, giving us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight – 46 percent of the total. And delegates: Thank you for being here, and for all the work you’ve done. I look forward to your votes during the roll call on Tuesday night.
And let me offer a special thanks to the people of my own state of Vermont who have sustained me and supported me as a mayor, congressman, senator and presidential candidate. And to my family – my wife Jane, four kids and seven grandchildren –thank you very much for your love and hard work on this campaign.
I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am. But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.
Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution – our revolution – continues. Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues. And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.
Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip. It’s not about polls. It’s not about campaign strategy. It’s not about fundraising. It’s not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing.
This election is about – and must be about – the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and grandchildren.
This election is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle class the reality that 47 million men, women and children live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living then their parents.
This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we currently experience, the worst it has been since 1928. It is not moral, not acceptable and not sustainable that the top one-tenth of one percent now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, or that the top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income. That is unacceptable. That must change.
This election is about remembering where we were 7 1/2 years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.
The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.
We have come a long way in the last 7 1/2 years, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession.
Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.
This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions – not just bombast, fear-mongering, name-calling and divisiveness.
We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger – not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans – and divides us up.
By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.
This election is about a single mom I saw in Nevada who, with tears in her eyes, told me that she was scared to death about the future because she and her young daughter were not making it on the $10.45 an hour she was earning. This election is about that woman and the millions of other workers in this country who are struggling to survive on totally inadequate wages.
Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she is determined to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants.
But her opponent – Donald Trump – well, he has a very different view. He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour – a starvation wage. While Donald Trump believes in huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25. What an outrage!
This election is about overturning Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch brothers, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and, in the process, undermine American democracy.
Hillary Clinton will nominate justices to the Supreme Court who are prepared to overturn Citizens United and end the movement toward oligarchy in this country. Her Supreme Court appointments will also defend a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.
If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country.
This election is about the thousands of young people I have met who have left college deeply in debt, and the many others who cannot afford to go to college. During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.
This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations. Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that – unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future – there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that when we do that we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.
Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a “hoax,” no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry.
This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care and reducing the number of people who are uninsured or under-insured. Hillary Clinton wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their health care exchange. She believes that anyone 55 years or older should be able to opt in to Medicare and she wants to see millions more Americans gain access to primary health care, dental care, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs through a major expansion of community health centers.
And What is Donald Trump’s position on health care? No surprise there. Same old, same old Republican contempt for working families. He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off of the health insurance they currently have and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans.
Hillary Clinton also understands that millions of seniors, disabled vets and others are struggling with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs and the fact that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their medicine. She knows that Medicare must negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and that drug companies should not be making billions in profits while one in five Americans are unable to afford the medicine they need. The greed of the drug companies must end.
This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system. It’s about making sure that young people in this country are in good schools and at good jobs, not in jail cells. Hillary Clinton understands that we have to invest in education and jobs for our young people, not more jails or incarceration.
In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.
It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.
I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.
Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.