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Former Gov. Martin O'Malley
NHDP Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Manchester Radisson Hotel
Manchester, NH
November 29, 2015

[prepared remarks]

I.               INTRODUCTION
My name is Martin O'Malley. 
I’m a former Mayor of Baltimore, former Governor of Maryland.
I’m not a former socialist. I’m not a former Republican. I’m a life-long Democrat. 
I am running for President of the United States. I intend to win, and I need your help!
The best part of running for President is meeting young people who share this same idealism and belief in all things possible.
I know it is easy to become discouraged by the gridlock in Congress.  The division and polarization of our national politics.
So I urge you to do as I do.
If you want to know where our country is headed, talk to young Americans under 30. 
You will rarely find among them anyone who denies that climate change is real, or thinks their government shouldn't be doing something about it.
You'll rarely find among them people who want to bash New American Immigrants, or people that want to deny rights to gay couples or their children.
All of this tells me that we are moving to a more connected, more compassionate, and more generous place as a country.
II.             OUR TRUE SELVES
Last month when Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not be a candidate for president, he reminded us all about the values we share.
He spoke of our belief in the dignity of every person, respect for one another, a commitment to advance the common good...
He called on us, as Democrats, as Americans, not to run away from the Obama-Biden record of progress, but to build upon what we have achieved.
To be fearless about our progressive values... our ability to solve this problem of inequality...and our ability to make our economy work again for all of us. 
All of us here tonight agree that we cannot allow Donald Trump or any of the Trump minions in this year's Republican field to take over the White House. 
But we differ on who is best prepared to lead America forward -- especially in these new times.  
Who gives us our best chance as a Party to win in November?
In just 71 days, the people of New Hampshire will make a critical decision.  
It's not about yesterday. It’s not just about today. 
It’s about our country -- it is about the future our children will share.
Eight years ago, Americans voted for the future. We voted for new leadership in Barack Obama. And now we need to keep moving forward with new leadership to build on his record.
While all of the candidates here tonight share progressive values, not all of us have a record of actually getting things done. 
I do. 
With fifteen years of executive experience -- as Mayor and as a Governor --I have learned how to be a very effective leader.  I have learned how to get things done. I am clear about my principles. 
Passing a living wage and raising the minimum wage. Freezing college tuition for four years in row. 
Actions, not words!
As Governor, I made it easier -- not harder -- for workers to bargain collectively for better wages for all of us.
Actions, not words!
Instead of cutting public education funding, we made our public schools the best public schools in America for five years in a row!
Actions, not words!
I brought people together to pass the Dream Act, to pass Marriage Equality, and to pass the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in the nation with background checks and a ban on the sale of combat assault weapons! 
Actions, not words!
My wife Katie and I have four great kids, Grace and Tara, William and Jack -- like you -- there is nothing we wouldn't do to give them better, fully lives with more opportunity than we've had.
(Grace story)
Our country has come a long way since the Wall Street crash of 2008 when millions of families lost their jobs and their homes.
Thanks to President Obama's leadership, we are creating jobs again -- 68 months in a row of positive job creation! -
There is no progress without jobs!
Our country is clearly doing better.
But we elected a president not a magician.
There is urgent work to be done.
For there is in our country today a growing economic injustice. 
Our middle class is shrinking. Our poorest families are becoming poorer. 
And seventy percent of us today are earning the same or less than we were twelve years ago.
This is not how our economy is supposed to work.  This is not how country is supposed to work. 
Injustice does not solve itself.  
We must solve it -- with new leadership, and with action.
Actions to make wages go up again for all Americans.  
Actions to invest again in our own country's potential.  To make college a gateway to opportunity, not a trap-door to a lifetime of crushing debt.  
Actions that square our shoulders to the great challenges of our times -- whether it is climate change or the threat of global terror  -- and makes these challenges our opportunities!
V.            AGENDA
As Americans, we make our own future.
We must return to our true selves, and remember:
Our economy is not money, our economy is people – all our people. 
A stronger middle class is not the consequence of economic growth – a stronger middle class is the cause of economic growth. 
No American family who works hard and plays by the rules should have to raise their children in poverty! 
Therefore we must take action, together, to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour -- wherever and however we can! 
We must advance the cause of paid family leave so that all women can participate more fully in the economic life of our nation -- because "when women succeed, America succeeds!"
Over the summer, I put forward my 15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream:
Making the option of debt-free college a reality within 5 years.
Instead of cutting Social Security -- like all of the Republican candidates want to do -- we must expand Social Security!
I am the first candidate -- but let us hope not the last -- to put forth a plan to move America forward to a 100% clean electric energy grid by 2050, and create 5 million new jobs along the way!
Do we want wages to go up and not down?
Bringing 11 million of our neighbors out of the off-the-books, shadow economy by passing comprehensive immigration reform!
And to that immigrant bashing, carnival barker, Donald Trump --
Let us stand up together, and say, the enduring symbol of our nation is not the barbed wire fence,... it is the Statue of Liberty!
VI.          BACKBONE
Nothing we care about can be accomplished by words alone. 
We must take action.
As Democrats, we must cast aside the worn out politics of the past.
We must find our backbone again to stand up for what is best for our country and best for all Americans!
We must stop giving a free pass to the bullies of Wall Street.
I have never represented Wall Street and, I sure as hell won't be taking economic orders from the big banks of Wall Street when I’m in your White House! 
As your President, I will have the independence and the backbone to fight for you: if a bank is too big to fail, too big to jail, and too big to manage, then it's too damn big, and it needs to be broken up before it breaks our national economy once again!
Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was ever convicted of a single crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown.  Not. A. Single. One.
What have we come to as a nation when you can get pulled over for a broken tail light in our country, but if you wreck the nation’s economy you are untouchable?
Presidential leadership is about the good of the many -- not the greed of the few! 
That is also why I say we must stop sending American jobs and profits overseas with bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Many of us remember NAFTA.  We traded away good manufacturing jobs like and in return, we got back empty promises and empty pockets.
I am fundamentally and adamantly opposed --  as an American -- to secret trade deals that our Congress is forced to vote on before the rest of us are even allowed to read them!
It's not what other countries are doing to us.  It is what we are not doing for ourselves!
We need to build up our own American economy!
Gun Violence
As we gather here today, we must honor the victims in Colorado Springs who lost their lives or were hurt in the latest act of domestic terrorism. 
This most recent act of terror took place at a Planned Parenthood. Others have taken place in classrooms, in schools, in the basements of churches. We cannot treat these acts of terrible violence as isolated events. We must call them what they are: acts of intolerance, racism, and hate. They are designed to prey on the vulnerable and the unsuspecting. They are acts of terror. 
 And wherever it happens it is an assault on all of us. 
Part of the solution to this challenge is common sense and comprehensive gun safety legislation.
We must have the courage to put our children’s safety and public safety —each and every day— ahead of the craven and morally bankrupt interests of the National Rifle Association. 
The NRA has one goal—and one goal only—selling as many guns as possible, no matter the cost in lives.  
Well that might be their interest -- but that is not what is best for America! 
For forty years, they’ve dictated what laws should be written.
It's high time we find our backbone again as Democrats and stand up and say no to the NRA.
To save lives we must require universal background checks;
To save lives we must ban the sale of combat assault weapons;
To save lives we must use the buying power of our federal government - the biggest customer gun companies have - and refuse to buy guns from any company that doesn't use the latest and best safety technology;
And to save lives we must stop giving immunity to gun manufacturers and gun dealers who sell weapons of mass murder to criminals and psychopaths! 
Senator Sanders join me now. Secretary Clinton join me now and together we can forge a new consensus for change --
Because one American life is worth more than all the gun sales in America.  
Islamic State
A Russian airliner goes down in Egypt. Dual suicide bombings in Beirut. The terror in Paris. Hundreds killed and wounded in Ankara. And almost two dozen dead in Mali. 

This violent jihadist extremism known as ISIS must be confronted and destroyed. 
This is a global problem that requires a global solution. 

The UN Security Council unanimously issued a call for member states to "redouble" action against the Islamic State and to "take all necessary measures" in the fight.

The United States must take the lead in making this Security Council resolution real. We must lead a concerted international effort to destroy the operational capacity of ISIS.

Ultimately, our success in confronting this threat -- our long-term success in defeating this evil -- depends upon the power of our values.

Democracies are very vulnerable to turning upon themselves in the aftermath of a terror attack.  Denying this victory to terror depends upon the courage and resolve of the American people.

Individual citizens across this great land must resist the fear-based appeals of their own politicians.  Because panic and political opportunism are a toxic mix -- that can precede fascism or the plunging of our Republic into a security state.

In the last two weeks, from podiums to campaign ads, from the front page to Fox News, fear-driven politics in the United States have been on display for the whole world to see.

Just as Joe McCarthy could look at any problem and spot an invisible Communist lurking behind it, Donald Trump blames everything on New American immigrants and Muslim Americans.
Trump says we should be monitoring everyone of the Muslim faith, keeping some kind of registry, maybe even issuing special ID cards....
Who is next?
Trade unionists?
We've seen this road before, and it does not end well.
Well Donald Trump, when you start your registry of Americans who oppose your backward ideas, 
And if you want to make a list of Americans who affirmatively and vocally reject your politics of fear and division,...
And when, Donald Trump, you make your enemies list of all those who would put the interests working people ahead of the special interests of billionaires,
And if you want to know who will stand up to the NRA and fight for common sense gun safety laws,
And when you track down all of us who believe the Earth is round and climate change is real, 
We’re not going to make our economy work again for all of us by trying to scrap capitalism and replace it with socialism. 
Nor are we going to make our economy work by turning a blind eye to criminal behavior on Wall Street, or taking our orders from the big banks,,.. submitting to the sort of crony capitalism that has wages declining for 70% of us -- an economy of the few, by the few, and for the few. 
There is a better way. 
And it is the way forward. 
It is the way that says we are all in this together. Common sense wage and labor policies. Investments in our own country's potential,...in our children's potential. Tackling the great challenges of our time…. 
With fresh approaches, with new thinking, with an understanding that no one candidate has all the answers. And no one party has all the answers. This eagle flies a lot better when both wings are working.
But make no mistake about it -- as people scan the horizon in both parties for a new leader to move us forward, it is critically important that they find new leadership in the party of Franklin Roosevelt, in the party of John F Kennedy, in the party of Barack Obama. 
People sometimes say to me, “Governor O'Malley, you’ve got a tough fight.” 
Well you know what? I kind of like a tough fight. I’ve always been drawn to the tough fights. 
I didn’t run for mayor of Baltimore because things were doing well in 1999. 
And I didn’t take on the job of governor at a time when things were easy in our economy. 
But I fought to save every house and every job I possibly could. 
And to those who say to me, I have a tough fight, I look back at ‘em and say,  -- there are a lot of people who will to you that you have a  tough fight trying to give your children a better life than you have enjoyed.
I think the toughness of the fight might be the way the hidden God has of telling us we are actually fighting for something worth saving. 
Our children’s future is worth saving, 
Our country is worth saving, 
The American Dream is worth saving, 
This planet is worth saving. 
This why I am running for president.  I intend to win, and I need your help.
May God bless New Hampshire, and may God bless America in our journey forward, together!