July 29, 2016

On Jobs Tour, Clinton and Kaine Promote American Manufacturing Jobs

At the KNEX factory in Hatfield, Pennsylvania on Friday, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine discussed their focus on making the largest investment in good-paying American jobs since World War II. Their comprehensive jobs plan would boost American manufacturing in their first 100 days: invest in infrastructure; provide $10 billion to regions with manufacturing potential; make America a clean-energy superpower and invest in the kinds of small businesses Donald Trump has stiffed. Contrasting with Donald Trump's practice of placing his own profits before his workers' well-being, Hillary Clinton highlighted her commitment to helping more places "make it in America," in stark contrast to Trump's record of making products overseas that could be made here.

Senator Tim Kaine also highlighted Trump's record of outsourcing jobs while in business, saying "Rodon K’NEX was fighting against that trend, fighting to make it in America by proud American workers with high-quality products that nobody in the rest of the world can match."

The stop is part of a Pennsylvania and Ohio bus tour that focuses on Clinton and Kaine's shared vision for an American economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Clinton and Kaine's remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Thank you so much.  Wow.  I am – I am very honored and excited about being here with all of you.  I am grateful to be here with your United States Senator, Bob Casey, someone whom I’ve known a long time and had the privilege of working with in the Senate, as Tim Kaine has had.  I also am delighted to be here with Governor Tom Wolf, somebody who knows about family-owned businesses and how important it is that we keep them alive and thriving.

And I also want to thank Michael, Michael Araten, for describing about what this company does, why it’s important, and the goals and the values that undergird it.  So, in addition to Michael, I also want to recognize Joel Glickman and Bob Glickman, Garrett Talley, all of the families and employees associated with this company.

Now, we could have come a lot of different places because we started off in Philadelphia after the end of the convention last night, but we wanted to drive through Pennsylvania, a state I’ve spent a lot of time in because my father was born in Scranton and we used to grow to Scranton every single summer and a lot of Christmases from our home outside of Chicago.  So I’ve been all over Pennsylvania.  And my dad played football at Penn State. My brother played football at Penn State.  And it’s a place that’s very meaningful to me.

And I was particularly pleased that Tim could be joined by his wonderful wife, Anne, who is the commissioner of education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And I was so pleased that I could be joined by my husband, who knows a little bit about getting the economy to work well for everybody. And if you’re looking for a kind of pessimistic, downbeat vision of America, we’re not your folks. We do not buy into that dark, divisive image that was presented at the Republican convention last week.  Donald Trump says America is weak, that we’re in decline.  Well, all I can tell you is, we are the best-placed country in the world to seize the future.  But that doesn’t happen by wishing for it.  It happens by building for it, something that you here at K’NEX know a lot about.

That’s why we’re on a jobs tour.  We want to tell you what we will do if we’re so fortunate enough to be the president and vice president.  We know that companies like this one provide some very important lessons.  You have to have a well-trained workforce.  The STEM and STED skills are important for the combination of design and production.  We know that if we’re smart about it, we can bring jobs back from China and other places if we make up our minds to do that, just like that’s happened here.  We know that companies that invest in their employees – as we were walking through the back, I introduced myself to a few of the employees.  One had been here 24 years.  One had been here 23 years – because Rodon and K’NEX actually see employees as assets to be invested in and treated with respect. 

So that’s why I’ve laid out throughout this campaign very specific plans about how we’re going to get the economy growing again, creating more good jobs, and helping people acquire the skills to fill the more than one million jobs that are available in America today, that are open, that are not being filled.  There’s nothing we can’t do if we make up our minds that we’re going to address these challenges.

So let me just briefly say we’re going to make big investments in infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, clean energy technology.  We’re going to do more to help small businesses start, grow, and succeed.  We’re going to make it possible for more people to acquire the skills that you need to be competitive in the economy of today and tomorrow.  We’re also going to make it a government policy to invest money in manufacturing communities, like Hatfield, so that more companies can make it in America. It’s absolutely wrong that American companies take tax breaks and then export jobs.  They get the tax breaks in order to have jobs in America, and I believe if they take tax breaks and then they try to export jobs, they should have to pay back every single penny of every tax […] made for our country.

And we will then put that to work in communities like Hatfield with companies like this.  We’re also going to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Now, this is something that I think is such an opportunity for America.  As I said last night, I believe in climate change.  It’s real.  It’s happening.  I’m not denying it.  Why would I deny it? It’s real. […]  And we can either wring our hands, or we can deny it, or we can accept it and we can treat it as both a challenge and opportunity.

So that’s why I want us to produce and deploy half a billion more solar panels in the next four years, and enough clean energy to power every home in America. And I know that there’s clean energy jobs here in Montgomery County.  Right, Marcel?  Because I have visited some of those clean energy jobs.  Some states are moving ahead and creating more clean energy through wind and solar and geothermal and other approaches.  Some states are denying it.

There’s a Republican governor in Florida who sent out an edict to his state employees as governor, if you can believe it, telling them that they would be disciplined and maybe lose their jobs if they wrote about or talked about climate change.  (Booing.) And then down in South Florida, you have noonday floods happening.  You have salt water getting into wells.  Of all the states in America that are the most at danger from climate change, Florida is number one.  And you’ve got a governor who is denying it at the cost of increasing insurance premiums and other kinds of risks.  This is crazy.

And when somebody like Donald Trump says, well, he thinks it’s a hoax, and that he’s not a scientist, well, go talk to a scientist.  There are a lot of them right here in Montgomery County. We’re going to make sure that people start making and building things in America because we know that small businesses are at the core of creating most of the good jobs in America.  As you heard Tim Kaine say, Donald Trump goes around with that hat on, Make America Great Again.  Everything he makes he makes somewhere else besides America.  The only thing he makes in America are bankruptcies, both his own and of the people who […]

And it really is shocking.  I didn’t know any of this before he became the leading Republican candidate.  But then I started running into people who told me stories.  Then I went to Atlantic City, and I met small businesses that had been ruined because they took work offered by one of Trump’s hotels and casinos.  I met the man who installed the glass in one of his casinos, a small company.  Submitted the bill.  The work was done.  The Trump organization said, no, we’re not going to pay.  What do you mean, you’re not going to pay?  I did the work.  I employed people.  I put my money up front to buy the supplies.  We’re not going to pay you.  It’s shocking.

Then after a while they’ll come back and they basically say to the small businesses, go ahead and sue us.  He keeps a battery of lawyers on hand in order to make it impossible for people to sue and be successful even when they’re in the right.  I met the man whose small business – third generation, as I recall – supplied all the marble for one of the casinos.  Same thing happened.  We’re not going to pay you.  It’s shocking.  Then they come back and say, well, maybe we’ll pay you 50 cents on the dollar.  Maybe 30 cents on the dollar.  The marble company and its owners had to take bankruptcy, and they didn’t walk away with somebody else’s money the way that Trump did.  They were destroyed as a company.

We have a film about an architect who designed the clubhouse at one of Trump’s golf courses.  It was a big job for this small architectural firm.  He was really proud of it.  Finished it.  Ribbon cutting.  It was opened.  Events being held.  The architect submits his bill.  Doesn’t hear anything.  A couple months go by.  He calls.  They say, we’re not going to pay it.  The architect was so shocked, he said, well, I have to talk to Mr. Trump.  I can’t believe he knows what you’re doing.  Fine.  The architect was in New York City.  Goes into one of those big buildings with Trump’s name on it.  Gets ushered into an office.  Trump’s there with his lawyers.  We’re not going to pay for it.  But it’s built.  I did the work.  If you want to take 30 cents on the dollar, that’s all you’re going to get.

I tell you those stories because if someone runs for president and says their primary qualification for being president is because they claim to be a successful businessman, then it’s only fair to ask, how did you become successful?  We don’t resent success in America.  But we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets on the way up.

If I weren’t the Democratic nominee, I would still be going around the country saying, hey, take a hard look.  When someone says, I can fix it alone, what does that really mean?  Because I don’t know anybody who can.  Instead, we are stronger together.  We’re going to work together.  We’re going to set goals together.  We’re to achieve those goals.  And the centerpiece of my presidency will be more good-paying jobs with rising incomes for more Americans, because if you’re willing to work hard, you ought to be able to get ahead and stay ahead, in my experience.

I’m just so happy to be here in a company with such a great history, such great values, such a great success, bring jobs back from China, and then exporting around the world.  That’s what we have to do. Nobody can outcompete America when we put our mind to it.  We’re going to roll up our sleeves and we’re going to get to work, and America’s best years are still ahead of us.  Thank you all.”


“[…] great to be here.  And I know we’ve got employees from Rodon, K’NEX.  We’ve got students.  And raise your hand.  I think we have a lot of teachers here.  Raise your hand if you’re a teacher. All right. Very, very important.

To begin, let me just say with Governor Wolf standing right behind me Philadelphia and Pennsylvania just knocked it out of the park.  What a powerful combination.  […] I mean, I like to brag in Virginia about Southern hospitality, but apparently there can be hospitality just about everywhere. And you guys did such a good job.  And we really appreciate it.  My wife, Anne, and I are now on the trail, excited to be part of this team. 

And just a couple of thoughts before I introduce our next president, thoughts about manufacturing, thoughts about education, and thoughts about pride. Manufacturing.  This brings back memories coming here and seeing some machinery that is really familiar to me and then some machinery that is not so familiar.  I grew up in a household where my dad ran a business called Iron Crafters Inc. in the stockyards of Kansas City.  And it was an ironworking and welding shop.  The first room we walked into, a lot of presses, punches, lathes looked exactly like the ones that I grew up working on, with his five or six employees and my two brothers and me and my mom basically all making that business work.  That’s what small businesses do. 

So you will hear people say when it comes to manufacturing in America manufacturing is dead, but that is not the case.  And it’s often these family businesses, just like Rodon K’NEX, that are keeping it alive that then are revitalizing it and bringing a renaissance so that we can do it in the 21st Century.  And so we honor that in you, and that’s why we wanted to come by on sort of our first road stop on a two-day bus tour in Pennsylvania and Ohio to talk about jobs.  We’ve got to bring manufacturing back.  And the way we do it is using the examples of successful companies, like Rodon K’NEX.

Second, education.  We’ve got educators here.  And we know how important that is. 

I’ll tell you something that I really liked last night.  There were many moments in Secretary Clinton’s speech that I really liked.  One of the ones was when she was talking about the need for a great workforce.  She, as you know, has laid out a pretty important plan for families to enable us to educate our children and to try to guarantee them that they would go through college debt-free.  Now, that would be a really, really big thing we could do for our kids.

But you may have noticed that she also kind of said and really underlined it in what she said that we shouldn’t just perpetuate sort of the myth that it’s only about college education.  It’s got to be about apprenticeships.  It’s got to be about technical skills and trades and careers.  Often jobs in these areas are the most likely jobs not to ever be outsourced.  And so we have to have an education system that inculcates in the students an appreciation for manufacturing and trades. 

And that’s another reason, Mike, to you and the whole team here, Rodon K’NEX gets it.  The products that you produce capture and spark that imagination in students, but you also work with educators to advance that cause.  Hillary Clinton is a big believer that we’ve got to define educational success in a very broad way so that we can train and inspire the next generation of neighbors, just like Rodon K’NEX does.

Now, the third thing is pride.  This company has a pride story.  This company had 50 percent, maybe more than 50 percent, of its product being produced outside of the United States, manufactured outside of the United States, before 2009.  And when a lot of companies; in fact, including companies that are owned by the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, are pushing more and more jobs overseas and when there are policies, even tax policies, in the country that give you a benefit if you push jobs overseas, Rodon K’NEX was fighting against that trend, fighting to make it in America by proud American workers with high-quality products that nobody in the rest of the world can match.  This is a pride story.  And that is one of the reasons we’re here, too.  You should be proud of yourselves just like Hillary. 

Hillary Clinton understands that pride.  She feels that pride.  She knows that the years, especially since 2008, with the greatest meltdown of the economy since the 1930s, have imposed an awful lot of pain on an awful lot of people and an awful lot of industries and an awful lot of communities.  The American economy has climbed back up the ladder to climb out of it, but we have a long way to go.  And she has laid out very clearly a set of strategies from the education strategies I talked about earlier to important strategies to make sure that those who are working are treated fairly in their benefits and their wages and also to investments to grow the economy, whether those be investments in innovation and research or investments in infrastructure to build the society that we want.

Hillary Clinton is proud to be here, and so am I.  Hillary Clinton is proud of the American worker and just wants to make sure that we have policies that reward work as much as we say we’re proud of the workers.  And that’s one of the reasons why I am just so honored to be part of this ticket.

So will you please do this with me:  give a great Pennsylvania welcome to a history-making person who is going to lead us […] the 45th president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”


For Immediate Release, July 29, 2016