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Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton
NHDP Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Manchester Radisson Hotel
Manchester, NH
November 29, 2015

[transcript from Hillary for America]

HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all so much. Wow. Thank you. Thank you wow. It’s wonderful to be here. Thank you. Thank you all very very much. I am very conscious of the fact that I am all that stands between you and the kickoff of the Patriots game, but it is wonderful to be here and I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to build this party and the campaign from the bottom up, all over this state. 


I’m so honored to have the support of your terrific Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and your amazing, Governor and your next Senator, Maggie Hassen, they inspire me everyday with their leadership. And I also want to thank Congresswoman Kuster and Carol Shea Porter for your support and all of the senators and representatives, Executive Councilors, local leaders, grassroots organizers, and volunteers who are doing so much across this state. 


With your help, we are going to elect Democrats up and down the ballot next year.


Now some of you know that New Hampshire has always been a special place for me and my family.  You have fought for me – and now I am fighting for you.


Since the start of this campaign, I have heard the worries that keep New Hampshire families up at night, and I have heard the hopes and dreams that get you up in the morning. The stress you feel when bills pile up, just walking to the mailbox can become an act of courage, but also the pride of finally getting that better job, feeling secure enough to put a little more away for your retirement. 


You have shared with me the feelings that you have when your are like caring for an aging parent, or a child suffering from substance abuse, or a loved one with a mental illness. I listened to your stories and am humbled by the courage and resilience.


It can take all the strength you have, especially if you are already under pressure at work and there isn’t anyone to lean on at home.


I know we can do better. 


Just like you found a way to make it work in the worst of the recession, taking a second job, working an extra shift, putting away a little extra money when you could, we’re going to make this recovery work for you. 


We are going to make our economy and our country work for everyone, not just those at the top. We are not going to do it by making promises we can’t keep. We’re going to do it the way we always have before – by rolling up our sleeves and getting the job done together.


Let’s start with where we are.  Thanks to the hard work and determination of the American people, we’ve come back from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And I want to ask you to remember the mess President Obama inherited. I want you to remember the facts. Our economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House. This is evidence that our Republican friends would prefer we forget and they will do everything they can to  try to impose a state of collective amnesia on us. But I am not going to let them forget. In the last 35 years, we've had 5 presidents, three Republicans and two Democrats. I happen to know both those Democrats. And each of them inherited economic problems from their Republican predecessor. In my husband's case, it was a recession and the fact that the debt of the United States had been quadrupled in the prior 12 years. I remember Bill telling me, shortly after the election, "It's so much worse than they told us." He was asked one time, "What did you bring to the White House from Arkansas?" and he paused and he thought and he said, "Well, arithmetic I guess."


And he got to work. Eight years later we had 23 million new jobs and incomes rose for everybody, not just those at the top but people in the middle, working people, and poor people all saw their incomes go up. And we ended up with a balanced budget and a surplus. And you would think that might have given the Republicans an idea about how to run the economy, but instead they went right back to trickle-down economics, cutting taxes on the wealthy, getting out of the way of corporations, and we know what happened. Shortly after the '08 election, President-elect Obama called and and asked me to come see him in Chicago. I didn't know why. Turned out, he wanted to ask me to be Secretary of State. But before we got talking about that, he said to me, "It is so much worse than they told us." I said, "I've heard that before." But it was. We were on the brink of a Great Depression. We were losing 800,000 a month. Before the President turned it around, 9 million Americans had lost their jobs, 5 million homes lost to foreclosure, 13 trillion dollars in family wealth disappeared. Now, I don't think President Obama gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy from the Republican mess that he inherited.  


But we’re still not running the way American should. Paychecks for most people have barely budged, but corporate profits and CEO pay are at near-record highs. And something is very wrong when the top 25 hedge fund managers make more in a year than all the kindergarten teachers in America combined. 


Now, I know there are big changes in our economy that didn’t start  with the great recession and won’t end with the recovery and many Americans are finding it harder and harder to get ahead. There are still too many barriers to opportunity, and too much talent stuck on the sidelines. Costs that hit hard-working families like prescription drugs, child care, and college tuition are all rising faster than incomes.


That’s why in this campaign I’m fighting for an economy where nothing holds you back and everyone who works hard can get ahead again.


Opportunity should be as universal as talent. Because America can only live up to our potential when every person can live up to his or hers.


Let me tell you about the America we are fighting for together. It’s an America that creates the good paying jobs of the future, where wages rise faster than costs. Today in Boston, I laid out a plan to help put Americans to work repairing our roads and bridges and building and tunnels and all of the airports and the ports and the rail systems, building that economy for the future. I was very proud to be endorsed by Mayor Walsh and have so many of the construction trade unions that have endorsed me there because they know I am going to put them back to work. We will establish an national infrastructure bank to get more public and private investment flowing.  And not just bricks and mortar, as important as those are, -- by 2020, I want 100 percent of American households to have access to quality, affordable high-speed Internet no matter where they live.


We also have to set some big goals for clean energy and scientific research. Like half a billion solar panels installed in four years and enough renewal energy to power every home in America in the next 10 years. 


And to get paychecks growing, we must raise the minimum wage so it no longer is a poverty wage. Now, you know the Republicans don't favor that. You've heard them. They've been criss-crossing New Hampshire, day in and day out. And so far as I can tell, not one of them believes in raising the minimum wage. Now here is what I don't understand about this. I think it is really unfair when people work full-time, particularly since two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, work full-time and can't get themselves out of poverty, but it's also shortsighted. We are a 70% consumption economy. You raise the minimum wage, we know that then puts upward pressure on additional wages. That means more customers for New Hampshire businesses. It means more financial security for New Hampshire families. It actually helps to spur the recovery. So ask the Republicans next time you see them going through town, "What is it you don't like about raising the minimum wage to help people get ahead and to help our economy do better?"


I am almost embarrassed saying this, it is November of 2015 after all, but it is time to finally guarantee equal pay for women. Now again, this is another one of those issues that the Republicans just don't believe they should be for. I don't get this either. Because when you short-change women, you short-change families, you short-change the economy. So the next time they come through one of the towns in New Hampshire and you see them on the street, stop them and ask them, why don't they believe in equal pay for equal work for women.


And we have to make it for small businesses to get the loans they need to grow and hire, not just the corporations who can afford lawyers and lobbyists to get the loans they want in order to grow even bigger than they are.


And we have to close the loopholes that let corporations ship jobs and profits overseas, and instead reward businesses that invest right here in America training new workers, sharing profits with their employees instead of bigger bonuses for CEOs. If it works for Market Basket here in New England, it can work for America.


So far as I know, I am the only candidate in this race who has pledged to raise your wages, not your taxes. I think those at the top should pay more and you should pay less. So I have proposed tax cuts to help middle class families pay for college, pay health care, and pay to care for an elderly parent. And I will oppose any plan or proposal that takes more money out of your paychecks.


We’re fighting for an America where everyone who works hard has a ladder of opportunity. That starts with high quality preschool available for every family in this country, because all our kids deserve the best start in life. It also means getting back to what works in K-12 education and supporting our teachers, not scapegoating them.


It means making college affordable for everyone. You should not have to borrow a dime to pay tuition at a public college or university and everyone should be able to refinance their student debt just like they can refinance a mortgage or a car loan. 


But when it comes to affordable college, I will not spend your tax dollars paying for Donald Trump’s kids – or any other millionaire or billionaire’s kids -- to go to college. That is not a good investment. That is not smart. I want to help middle class, working class, poor kids, get the chance to go to college again, instead of being priced out.


And I believe a true ladder of opportunity has to include life-long learning, job training, and apprenticeships. Today in Boston, I talked about apprenticeships because I think it is one of the best ways to help prepare, not only young people, but people returning to the workforce, for the jobs that we are going to have. I also believe that middle-class jobs should lead to a secure retirement that you can count on. 


So I’ll fight to protect Social Security and expand it for those who need it most, especially elderly women, widows, and people who have spent years caring for others without getting paid. The caregivers of America deserve security just like everyone else.


Now we are also fighting for an America that leads the world with strength and smarts, keeping our people safe and defeating the terrorist networks that threaten us. We have to use every pillar of American power and get more allies and partners off the sidelines to go after ISIS in the air, on the ground, and in cyberspace.


But we cannot give in to the fear-mongers who say we are at war with Islam or that we should put every Muslim in America in a government database. That’s not who we are and besides that is not smart law enforcement techniques for us finding out the information we need to keep up safe in the first place.


The fact is no other country on Earth is better positioned to thrive in the 21st century – I happen to think America already is great. We just have to make it greater by working together and solving our problems again.


In this election, you aren’t just choosing a President – you’re choosing a Commander-in-Chief. And I promise you this: I’ll get up every single day and do whatever it takes to make sure our country is safe and strong. I take this very personally. I was a Senator from New York on 9/11. I spent years working with the victims of that horrific attack, working with the few survivors who were so grievously injured, working with the first responders and the construction workers who ran toward the pile and stayed their for months, ending up sick themselves. So I take a back seat to no one when I tell you I will do whatever is necessary to protect us, but I will also do it in a way that furthers and promotes our values and makes it absolutely clear that this country of ours will continue to lead the world, not only in the dangerous spots, but in pursuit of the opportunities that will make us even greater in the future.


We re fighting for an America where we lift each other up and we have each other’s backs. This is an America where we support families and neighborhoods and communities -- because when families are strong, our country is strong.


Where more young people seize the opportunity and responsibility of national service.  And if they do, we’ll make sure that they can go to college absolutely debt-free. Where immigrant families can stay together and have a real path to citizenship, not get ripped apart by deportation. Where we end discrimination against LGBT Americans once and for all. It is just wrong that in many places in our country you can be married on Saturday but fired on Monday, just for who you are and who you love and that has to change. The kind of America that I am working toward will be one where people struggling with heroin, prescription drugs, and other substance abuse get the treatment they need and end up in recovery, not in prison. Where we rebuild trust and respect between law enforcement and the communities they serve. And work hopefully in a bipartisan way for criminal justice reform and to end the era of mass incarceration. And it is an America where we finally together stand up to the gun lobby. 


As you know, on Friday, there was another mass shooting, this time in Colorado. 


Our condolences prayers are with the families of the victims, and we think particularly of that brave young police officer who rushed toward danger to protect others.  How many more Americans need to die before we take action?


Common-sense steps like comprehensive background checks. 

Closing the loopholes that let guns fall into the wrong hands – even people on the terrorist watch list. This is truly unbelievable. That after what we have seen in Paris and other places, the Republicans will not bring up a bill that will prohibit anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun in America. If you are too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America. And we must get rid of the special immunity Congress gave the gun industry.  That was a mistake, plain and simple, and we need to reverse it.


The shooting on Friday was at, as you know, a Planned Parenthood clinic, a place where lots of women get health care they need. 

Breast exams, STD testing, contraception, and yes, safe and legal abortions. We should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not attacking it. 


And it is way past time for us to protect women’s health and respect women’s rights, not use them as political footballs. Here in New Hampshire, Republicans on your Executive Council cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. In Congress and on the campaign trail, Republicans who claim they just hate big government are only too happy to have government to step in when it comes to women’s bodies and health. It’s wrong and we are not going to stand for it.  


I know when I talk like this, some people, especially of the Republican persuasion, say I’m playing the gender card. Well, if talking about women’s health, equal pay, paid family leave, and affordable child care, is playing the gender card, deal me in. 


For too long, Republicans have stacked the deck for those at the top, pushing an out-of-touch, out-of-date agenda that failed us and will rip away all the progress we’ve made. You know what they will do. They are telling you what they will do. It has been my experience hanging around politics for a few years. When people tell you what they intend to do, take them at their word. Don't act surprised when they then try to do it. So you know what they will do.


They’ll give more tax cuts to the super wealthy and let powerful interests write their own rules -- the gun lobby, pharmaceutical companies, big banks, and polluters. That’s who they are fighting for.


Republicans have voted nearly 60 times to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this month I met a woman named Ami in Windham.  Four years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

She’s gone through 16 rounds of chemo. Radiation. Surgery. Thankfully, she had good health insurance. But if the Affordable Care Act is scrapped, which a Republican president and a Republican Congress will do, insurance companies will be able to go back to discriminating against pre-existing conditions and people like Ami could be left to fend for themselves. She’s fearless when it comes to cancer – but she told me how scared she is about losing her insurance.


Yes, we have a lot of work to do to bring down costs and improve quality of health care in this country, but we are not going back. We can't go back to where women were charged more than men. So yes, we will improve quality of healthcare. I want to bring down out of pocket expenses. I want to tackle the rising cost of prescription drugs, but I will not give in to those who think we should rip up the affordable care act and throw our country back into a contentious debate where the insurance companies and the drug companies are likely to call the shots again. This is not going to be easy, but when it comes to prescription drugs, just know a few things, because already the drug companies are saying that I am going to prevent them from doing research that will save lives. I will ask them then why they spend more money advertising drugs than doing research. Ask them why the American taxpayer pays for the NIH to help them with the research, pays for the FDA to test whether a drug is safe and effective, and then we pay the highest prices in the world for the very same drugs. We are going to make sure Medicare can negotiate for lower prices just like happens in Canada and Europe and everywhere else in the advanced economies.  So I don't want to tell you that any of this will be easy. I know it won't be. I still have the scars from health care reform back in the early nineties. But I didn't quit. I got up and we finally got the Children's Health Insurance Program passed.


So we have to work together. You should expect all of us -- all of us -- who are running for President to explain how we’re actually going to accomplish what we say we will do.


Now some candidates may be running to make a point, but I’m running to make a difference… a real difference for you and for families across our country.


There’s a lot we can do to break the gridlock and dysfunction.

We can fight back against the war on voting in this country. 

Instead of making it harder to vote – as Republicans are doing – we should be making it easier, with early voting everywhere and automatic, universal registration for everyone who turns 18 unless they opt out.


And we can’t let Republicans and their donors keep rigging our elections with secret, unaccountable money. 


We need to amplify the voices of everyday Americans with robust public financing. 


And we need a Supreme Court that protects the right of every citizen to vote, not the right of every corporation to buy elections. 


And I will tell you this. Even if it takes a constitutional amendment, we will overturn Citizens United.


From my very first job going door-to-door for the Children’s Defense Fund and more than thirty years of fighting for kids and women, families, and our country, I’ve learned how to make progress.


Start with our values -- what we learned from our families and our faith, our country.  That has to be the guide.


Then sit down and really listen to people… try to understand the problems that may hold them back and the anxieties that weigh them down. Bring people together to find smart solutions, guided by evidence, not ideology.  And then work like crazy to get results. 


We have to know when to stand our ground and when to find common ground. 


That’s the way I worked with Republicans and Democrats to reform our foster care and adoption system and extend health benefits for our National Guard and Reserve, provide 9/11 first responders the care they needed, create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids. 


It’s how I helped round up enough votes in a divided Senate to pass a landmark treaty with Russia that reduced the number of nuclear weapons that could threaten our country. 


Most of all, though, we’re only going to make progress if we remember that everybody has a role to play in lifting up our country.  


There's nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what’s right with America.


And I know it’s unusual -- it's unusual for a candidate for President, especially in these divisive times, to say we need more love and kindness, but that’s exactly what we need in America right now. So please, as we go through this election let's thing about ways we can look out for one another, try to walk in each other’s shoes, and make sure no one in America feels left out or left behind. I’m running for President for all Americans, for the struggling, the striving, and the successful. Because everyone can contribute to make our country even better.


For the family in Keene keeping a 100-year old furniture business going and growing…  the students I met in Exeter who dream of starting their own small businesses some day.


I’m running for the veterans I sat with in Derry who served our country with honor and courage.


For Keith, the librarian from Brookline whose mother has Alzheimer’s. And he can’t afford a full-time caretaker. So he brings her to work with him because he doesn’t know where else to turn.


I’m running for the young man who told me that he got his first real job at 17 as a cashier at the store where his mother had worked. She'd been there for years and when he brought home his first paycheck and showed his mom, her face fell.  He said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” She looked up and said, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong. You’re making more an hour having just started than I’m making having worked there four years.” 


I’m running for everyone who’s ever been knocked down but refused to be counted out. 


That’s a lesson my mother taught me a long time ago – and it’s what I plan to teach my daughter and my granddaughter as long as I'm able.


From the Southern tier to the North Country… from the Upper Valley to the Seacoast… you deserve a President who will listen to you, fight for you, and deliver for you.


And if we do this together we’ll build an America that we all desperately want to see again. Where success is measured by how many people work their way into the middle class, not how many CEOs get bonuses.



I’m the granddaughter of a factory worker from Scranton, Pennsylvania and the grandmother of the most wonderful little girl in the world that we had the pleasure of being with over Thanksgiving. Bill and I will do everything we can to ensure she has every opportunity to succeed. 


But I don’t think you should have to be the granddaughter of a former President to share in the promise of America. The granddaughters and the grandsons of factory workers and teachers and firefighters and truck drivers should have that chance too.


So let’s get together, let's run a campaign, let's win, let's build an America where there are no ceilings for anyone.  Let's make it happen. Thank you all so much!