October 10, 2016

In Detroit, Clinton Calls Trump Unacceptable for Working Families

At a voter registration event in Detroit, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump the wrong choice for working families and their jobs, citing a report on his use of Chinese steel and aluminum for his construction projects, opposition to the auto bailout and statement that Americans’ wages are too high. Clinton said that Trump made money on the backs of the middle class, paying no income tax for years and gaming the system while she is committed to building an economy that works for all, not just those at the top. These policies are unacceptable to American workers, Clinton said, adding, “I do have some advice for Donald. If he wants to make America great again, start by buying American steel for his construction projects.”

Clinton offered a different approach, highlighting her plans to make public colleges tuition-free for working families and debt-free for everyone, reform Wall Street’s “cowboy culture” and force companies shipping jobs overseas to pay an exit tax.

Clinton's remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Thank you! Thank you so much. Wow. Sounds like we’ve got some Wayne State Warriors here today.  I am so excited, so thrilled to be here. Did anybody see that debate last night? Well, you never saw anything like that before.

It is great to be here with so many wonderful officials. I want to thank them. I know they’ve been out to talk with you. I appreciate the introduction that Jim Allen gave me, and I’m proud to be introduced by the president of the steelworkers.  I want to thank your senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, our members of Congress, John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence and Sandy Levin.  I want to thank your wonderful mayor, Mike Duggan.  I want to thank County Executive Warren Evans.

It’s exciting to be here for so many reasons – to be back here in Detroit, to be at Wayne State.  I thought President Obama was pretty accurate when he was talking about how Detroit is coming back.  And that’s thanks to a lot of people. And it’s going to really depend upon the young people of this university and this city to build a future that we can all not only be proud of but be part of. And I will tell you this: If I am so fortunate enough as to be your president come next January, I will be your partner!

But whether or not I get that chance really depends upon all of you, and we’re coming up to an important day. Tomorrow, October 11th, tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in Michigan. So I’m hoping that all of your either are registered or you will before the deadline. And we have people all over the crowd with clipboards. We’ve got clipboards who can help you register to vote. If you’re registered but you have friends and family who aren’t, I need you to convince them to register, go to their local clerk’s office. If you’re not sure if you’re registered or if you’ve moved recently and you want to make sure, go to iwillvote.com.  It’s amazing. You can put your name in and your address to make sure you’re registered. So, please do that.

If you have an absentee ballot sitting at home, I hope you will fill it out and mail it in right away. Don’t put that off. There are a lot of important races down-ballot as well. But that’s how we’re going to win – by the biggest turnout that we have seen in a really long time.  And the reason why it’s going to be a big turnout is people really know what’s at stake in this election. They are concerned. As you heard Jim say, the differences between me and my opponent are pretty clear.  To paraphrase my friend, Michelle Obama: one of us went high, and one of us went low!  And I’ll tell you, what’s exciting to me is that we’re getting more and more support not just from Democrats but from independents and Republicans.  

Now, I believe you deserve something to vote for, not just something to vote against. So last night, when I got a chance, I tried to speak directly to the questions that are on people’s minds and to share my vision of what we can do together. And I’ll tell you what, Donald Trump spent his time attacking when he should have been apologizing.  

Now, there are a lot of things he should apologize for, right? And on Friday, the whole world heard him talking about the terrible way he treats women.  And last night, when he was pressed about how he behaves, he just doubled down on his excuse that it’s just locker room banter. Well, I’ll tell you what, women and men across America know that is just a really weak excuse for behaving badly and mistreating people.  

Now, I got to tell you, though, we’ve seen this kind of behavior all through the campaign from my opponent, and unfortunately some people don’t want to face it. But here’s a man who has insulted not just women but African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, Muslims, POWs, and so many more.

So I do hope somebody follows that gentleman out and stages an intervention. He clearly has not been following this election very closely.

But hey, folks, we now know – we now know who Donald Trump is. But the real question for us is who are we? Right? I would argue we are not who he is.  Here in America, we are taught to and we should respect each other, lift each other up, celebrate our diversity.  That’s the country that I know and love, and that’s the country that this generation of young people are going to make even stronger, more open, more tolerant.  

I believe that we can do this. ‘Stronger Together’ is not just a slogan for me, it’s a blueprint for our future.  I believe our economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top.  And I’m closing my campaign the way I started my career, fighting for kids and families to make sure every single person in this country has the chance to go as far as your hard work and your talent will take you.  

You see, I believe the American Dream is big enough for everybody.  That’s been the cause of my life. That will be the mission of my presidency, working to make your life better, investing in you, focusing on those kitchen table issues that keep families up at night. You know what they are – the cost of college, the cost of childcare, which in lots of places is as much as college, paying for health care, especially prescription drugs.  How many of you – how many of you already have student debt. Well, that is going to be one of the first things I address.

I got to tell you, I am very proud of the plan that Senator Bernie Sanders and I did together. Senator Sanders and I ran a campaign on issues, not insults, and I’m very proud of that.  And when it was over, we got together and we joined our ideas and we said, okay. Number one, we’re going to help everybody who already has debt to refinance your college debt.  That will save you thousands of dollars. It will enable you to use some of your money for other things – wouldn’t that be nice, right? – and we’re going to make college affordable.

Now, I got to tell you, we don’t really get any ideas that will help anybody else from my opponent. Last night he admitted he hasn’t paid a dime in federal income tax for years.  Now, apparently the reason for that is he lost a billion dollars in a single year on bad investments and failing casinos.  How do you lose money running casinos? And you know, somebody then said, ‘Well, that just shows what a genius he is.’ Well, it does take a certain kind of genius to lose a billion dollars in a single year.  

But seriously, you know what that means? That means zero, zero, for Pell Grants. Zero for the military. Zero for our vets. He hasn’t contributed his fair share by any stretch of the imagination to support our country. He’s been taking from America with both hands and sticking the rest of us with the bill because I believe that every single one of us in this room today has paid more in federal income taxes that Donald Trump has.

Now, last night he tried to drag Warren Buffett in it. You remember that? It was like, ‘Oh, yeah. Well, maybe I’ve never paid income tax, and maybe somebody else hasn’t, either,’ and he mentioned Warren Buffett.

Well, today Warren Buffett put out a statement.  Well, for starters, Warren Buffett is real billionaire.  And he put out a statement, and it said this: ‘I have paid’ – this is Warren Buffett talking – ‘I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13 years old.’  He says, ‘I have copies of all 72 of my returns, and none uses a carry-forward,’ which was the gimmick Trump used to avoid paying taxes. And then, I love this, his last paragraph: ‘Finally, I have been audited by the IRS multiple times, and am currently being audited. I have no problem in releasing my tax information while under audit.’  And then he concludes by saying, ‘Neither would Mr. Trump. At least he would have no legal problem.’ So if you’re going to call out Warren Buffett, you better be prepared for him telling some good, old-fashioned, Nebraska honest facts about what the truth really is.  

And the other thing about Warren Buffett is he agrees with me. Rich people ought to be paying more federal income taxes to pay their fair share for our country.  

Also last night, Donald had no answer when confronted by the report that he’s been buying cheap Chinese steel for construction projects instead of good American steel that supports good American jobs. Now, look, he’s gone all over Michigan claiming to be on the side of workers, right? You’ve seen that, you’ve heard that. He especially likes to talk about how he supports American steelworkers. He even had the nerve to brag about how, and this is a quote, ‘American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring.’ And all the while, he was hiding the truth. He went to great extremes to hide the fact that he chose to support Chinese workers, not American workers.

Now, you in Michigan, like a lot of places in our country, know that China has been dumping – dumping – cheap steel into our markets for too long. And you’ve seen the consequences up close, because when China illegally floods our markets with cheap steel and people like Donald Trump buy it, then it kills good jobs – kills jobs here in Wayne County, kills jobs across Michigan and lots of other places. That’s why Jim was out here introducing me, because the steelworkers, they know that this is a big, big deal.

And how does Trump look at these workers in the eye, how does he brag about big tall buildings when he’s putting American workers out of work and he’s shutting down steel mills? Well, he needs to try to explain that, I think. And like everything else, it’s not likely that he will. He’ll go on saying the same factually untrue things. Well, I do have some advice for Donald. If he wants to make America great again, start by buying American steel for his construction projects.

But here’s the other thing you need to remember, because I know – I assume some of you know people who might be thinking about voting for Trump.  And – I know. But you do – you do have to try. Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump. That is exactly the case, right?  So if people aren’t worried about the fact he pays no income tax, and if they’re not worried about how he’s mislead people about where he gets his steel, point out to them that he actually stood on a debate stage during the Republican primaries and said wages in America are too high.  

I love it; he keeps denying these things, and he must forget that we do have video and audio in 2016 and you can actually pull it out again and show people.

Now, last year he even suggested that U.S. automakers – remember, automakers and related industry employs 1.1 million people in Michigan, right? He even suggested that U.S. automakers shift production away from Michigan to communities where workers are paid less.  But nobody should be surprised, because back in the Great Recession when millions of jobs across America hung in the balance, Donald Trump said, ‘Rescuing the auto industry didn’t really matter very much.’  He said, and I quote again, ‘Let it go.’

Now, I can’t imagine that. I supported President Obama’s decision to rescue the auto industry in America.  And just look, last year in 2015 the auto industry had its best year ever.  

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stand up against unfair trade practices like dumping illegal steel. We are going to stand up for the proposition that investing in American workers is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.  We’re going to have – we’re going to have the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II in infrastructure – I saw some laborers back there – our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our ports, our airports, our water systems like in Flint.  

We are also going to invest in advanced manufacturing. I believe we can take jobs – good-paying, value-adding jobs away from not low-wage competitors but high-wage competitors like Germany. If we put our minds to it, we could be the center of precision machining, 3D printing. We could make a real difference in creating advanced manufacturing – a manufacturing renaissance.  

And I think we can become the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.  Clean, renewable energy jobs, building a new, modern electric grid to be able to take in and distribute clean energy. We can do this. Let’s finish the job of connecting the entire country to the internet. There are too many places and too many poor families that are still not connected. Let’s do more to support small businesses. That’s where two-thirds of the new jobs will come from.

And because of the plan that Senator Sanders and I have worked on, we’re going to make public colleges like Wayne State tuition-free for working families.  If your family makes less than $125,000 a year, it’ll be tuition-free. If it’s over that, it will be debt-free so you only pay what you can afford without going into debt.  And if you already have student debt, we will help you refinance it and pay it back so you never have to pay more than you can afford. And you can actually see how this would affect you if you go to hillaryclinton.com/calculator because we have calculated how much money you individually can save under our plan.

I am really excited about this. We’re going to rewrite the rules of our economy to create both more growth and more fairness so it’s more broadly inclusive because, in addition to creating jobs, I want to raise the national minimum wage so if you work full-time, you’re not in poverty.  I want to finally guarantee equal pay for women’s work.  And I want to do more to incentivize more companies to share their profits with their employees.  If you help to make that profit, it should not be just the executives who get to share in it.  

And we will end the cowboy culture on Wall Street and the quick-buck mentality in corporate boardrooms. We’re going to defend the tough rules, the Dodd-Frank rules, on Wall Street. We are going to defend the Consumer Protection Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was envisioned and largely created by my friend Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Donald Trump wants to get rid of the new rules on Wall Street, and he wants to get rid of this agency that protects consumers from being cheated. That is just so backward. And if companies try to ship jobs overseas, we’re going to make them pay back every penny in any tax benefit they ever got.  

And how are we going to pay for it? Well, we’re going to pay for it by getting people at the top to pay their taxes. And  – and we know how to do this. And we had quite a back-and-forth last night because it was bizarre. Donald Trump’s proposals have been independently analyzed. They will only help people like Donald Trump. They are the biggest tax breaks for the wealthy ever. They will raise taxes on millions of middle class families. And that doesn't work. That’s called trickle-down economics. It doesn’t work for the vast majority of Americans. We’ve got to make it clear, as I have, I am not raising taxes on middle class families, period.

So there are so many contrasts between Donald and me that it’s almost hard to keep track of all of them. That’s why I hope you’ll go to my website, hillaryclinton.com. Any issue you’re interested in, we do have our ideas there. But we welcome people. We’ve had people literally contact our campaign on the website and say, ‘I read your policy about this issue.’ And I think I’ve got a good idea. And we pay attention, and we contact people. We want the best ideas we could get from across America to make our country all we can be together.

So there is a lot of work to be done. But this is – this is a time to come together in these last 29 days. We know very well that we’ve got to make good things happen in our country. And I believe that with all of my heart.

I had a very blessed life. And I am grateful for everything my family did for me. But I will tell you this. It wasn’t easy. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a factory worker. My dad was a small businessman, worked really hard. My mom was abandoned and neglected as a child. And it was really only through the kindness of people that she got through her childhood. And then she was working as a maid and a babysitter by the time she was 14. So I take none of this at all for granted.  And I believe America is an exceptional nation. We have so much to be grateful for.  But we each have to do our own part. And we each have to reach out with more kindness to others.

I know there’s been a lot of negativity. And it’s easy to get cynical about politics, but I’ll tell you what. That’s what the other side wants you to feel. They want you to just say, ‘Well, I'm not going to vote because it’s so nasty.’ That’s the main reason to vote: to make it clear we’re not putting up with that kind of attitude.  And I am going to reach out to everybody because the next 30 days will shape the next 30 years.  

And we hope that, we really hope that, young people will represent the biggest voting group in this election ever. I spend a lot of time talking with and listening to young people. And I know that it is sometimes a little bit challenging to figure out what is going on. Who should I believe? What do I need to know? But trust your heart. Trust your heart because if we work together, we can make this country what we know it will be and should be.

So please help me. Make every phone call you can. Know on every door you can. Go to hillaryclinton.com and volunteer. Text JOIN, J-O-I-N, to 47246. We’re going to prove to the world we are stronger together. And, yes, love trumps hate.  Thank you.”

For Immediate Release, October 10, 2016