Nov. 4, 2016 - GOTV rally at Eastern Market in Detroit, MI.

In Detroit, Clinton Lays Out The Consequences of a Trump Presidency, Asks Voters To Protect President Obama's Legacy

At a speech in Detroit on Friday, Hillary Clinton laid out the clear choice in this campaign and asked the crowd to imagine life with Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Donald Trump said that it wouldn’t have mattered if we’d led the auto industry go bankrupt and that wages are too high, Clinton said, more proof he will not be a champion for working people. Clinton also highlighted what a Trump presidency would mean for African Americans, detailing Donald Trump’s history of housing discrimination and his refusal to acknowledge the innocence of the Central Park Five, even after they were exonerated. Clinton said, "It doesn’t matter if you’re innocent. If he decides that you should be in prison or you should be locked up. No wonder he admired Vladimir Putin, because that’s exactly what Putin does to his people."

Clinton outlined her positive vision to break down the barriers hindering communities that are left out and left behind -- end-to-end criminal justice reform, greater investment in underserved communities like Flint, Michigan and a New College Compact to make college tuition free at public colleges for working families and debt free for everyone. Clinton asked the crowd to join over 30 million Americans in voting early or vote on Tuesday, November 8th, saying, "When your children or grandchildren ask what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line, I want you to be able to say, ‘I voted for a better, stronger, fairer America.’ An America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we prove, once and for all, that love trumps hate."

Clinton's remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“I am so glad to be back in Michigan. And that introduction, I’m just still vibrating from it. I thank my longtime friend, Reverend Wendell Anthony, for giving us some of the best lines that we’ve had in the whole campaign. Thank you.

You know, there’s something special about this place. And some of you may have recognized the song that was playing when I came in, an amazing anthem sung by the talented Andra Day called ‘Rise Up.’ And that is what Detroit is doing – you are rising up! And that is exactly what we’re going to do in America. We are going to rise up and make sure the American dream is big enough for everyone.

I’m looking forward to working with the great team you have here in Detroit and in Michigan. I want to thank your senators, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Gary Peters. I want to thank your members of Congress, Congressman John Conyers, Sandy Levin, Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence and Debbie Dingell. I want to thank your great mayor, Mayor Mike Duggan, and thank you. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. Sheriff Benny Napoleon. The president of the UAW, Dennis Williams. Longtime friends and former colleagues of mine, former Senator Carl Levin and his wife Barbara are here. And to all who are present today. And I was delighted that my friend and my supporter, Mark Cuban, could be here because – he’s not only a real billionaire – he’s actually shared his profits with his employees.

Now, are you ready to vote on Tuesday? Are you ready to volunteer to get everybody out to vote? Are you ready to choose our next president and commander-in-chief? Did any of you see the three debates that we had? Well, I spent four and a half hours standing next to Donald Trump, proving once and for all I have the stamina to be the next president.

Now, he kept saying a lot of unusual things, didn’t he? And there’s a certain preparation you do to be ready for those debates, and of course I did it because I think you should prepare to be president of the United States. And I did practice my composure. People said to me, well, how did you do that? The things he was saying. And then in that second debate when he was following you around and lurching over you. I said, well, I did practice. And I had my friends and my family just spend hours saying terrible things to me. So I was ready. But he would say, like, ‘Well, what have you done for 30 years?’ And I don’t want to brag.  But I do think it matters what you’ve done, and especially what you’ve done that maybe improves somebody else’s life, right?

And one of the great joys of this campaign has been traveling around our country meeting people who have been affected by what we’ve been doing. For example, as First Lady, I helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers eight million kids. And these are families that they’re not poor families, they’re working people, but they don’t make enough money and they don’t work for somebody who provides insurance, and so very often their kids were being affected by not getting the health care they should have had. I met a woman whose baby daughter when she was born was diagnosed as totally deaf, and the doctor said, ‘We’re sorry, there’s really nothing we can do for her.’ But this mother, like many mothers I know, did not take that for an answer, right? She got on the internet. She began to research and she found that there were treatments that she could maybe provide to her little daughter, but they were expensive and she and her husband didn’t have that kind of money and they didn’t have insurance. She was at her doctor’s office and just so distraught, and the doctor said, ‘Well, there’s this new thing called the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Maybe you should look into it.’ Turned out she was eligible. She signed up. She started giving her daughter the best health care that every child in this country should be able to have, by the way. And when I was in North Carolina, I heard about her and I got to meet her, but more than that, I met her daughter, who talked to me and who just graduated from college – because she got the health care and she got the treatment that she deserved to have.

I’ll tell you what, that is how I judge my last 30 years. Have I done something to help somebody else? I am well aware of the blessings that I have had, and I want to be sure that all of us figure out a way to pay it forward, make it possible for more families, more kids to have the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.

And I was a Senator in New York on 9/11, so I know what can happen – the evil and the hatred of terrorism. I saw it. And I spent my time helping to rebuild New York City and helping to get health care for the brave first responders who ran toward danger, not away from it – our police, our firefighters, our EMTs. And I’ll tell you who else we got covered. We got construction workers who ran with their supplies and their tools, and I see one right out there who knows exactly what I’m talking about. All across the city, people were leaving their job sites and rushing toward danger. That was America at its best. And don’t ever forget what we are capable of being, who we are. We are not afraid. We are brave, courageous people who will do our best if given the chance.

As your Secretary of State, I went to 112 countries, negotiated ceasefires, reduced the threat of nuclear weapons, stood up for human rights and women’s rights and worker rights and LGBT rights. I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I will do everything I can. If I am honored to be your president, I will get up every day in that White House, and I will go to work for you and your families to make it possible for you to get the chances and the opportunities you deserve to have.

I want you to have a candidate you can vote for and not just someone to vote against. That’s why Tim Kaine and I have run a campaign based on ideas and issues, not insults because if you really take a look at what is at stake in this election, it is a choice between two very different visions for America. I’ve got to say when I hear my opponent talk about America, I don’t recognize the country he’s talking about. It is so dark, so divisive, so hateful. That is not the America that I believe in. I believe that we should have a confident, optimistic, inclusive vision of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. I love our country, and I believe in the American people. And I think there’s nothing we can’t achieve if we work together and we set some goals and we go after them. You see, we believe in an America that is bighearted, not small-minded. We believe in an America that is already great but can be greater if we do our part. And we believe America is great because America is good. Never forget that. If we lift each other up and not tear each other down, we can go even further. And I believe with all my heart. That’s why the slogan of my campaign sums it up, that we are stronger together.  

And so come next January 20th, America is going to have a new president. [Chants of “Hillary.”] I know – I know that – I know that a lot of people say that they want change. Well, let me tell you this. Change is inevitable. There will be change. The question is, what kind of change are we going to have? [Cheers and applause.] Are we going to build a stronger, fairer, better country or are we going to fear the future and each other? I sure hope not. That is not the America that I believe we are.

And so here is what I want to ask you to do. I want you to talk to your friends and your family and your neighbors. Michigan is one of these states that doesn’t have early voting. I’ve been all over the country going to states that are already voting. In fact, I don’t know. About 31 to 32-3 million people have already voted in those states. But Michigan votes on Tuesday.

And I imagine – I imagine there are – some of you know people who say they’re going to vote for Donald Trump. Right? I know. I know. I understand that. I mean, I would hope you would try to stage an intervention before it’s too late. But maybe you could ask them with you to imagine, imagine January 20th, 2017. And imagine that my opponent is taking the oath of office in front of the Capitol. Imagine having a president who demeans women and mocks the disabled, who insults African Americans and Latinos and Muslims, who personally engages in busting unions and preventing people from having the right to bargain collectively. Now, the truth is we really don’t have to imagine what that would be like because everything he has said and done, both in his career and in this campaign, tells you what could happen.

Now, Michelle Obama, who says so many wise and wonderful things, she said the presidency doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are. And I think we’ve seen who Donald Trump is.

Maya Angelou, another great American, Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who he is, believe him the first time. And if my opponent were to win, we would have a president who has only ever been in it for himself.

Just last year, he said again it wouldn't have mattered if we had rescued the auto industry or let it go bankrupt. What is he talking about? I’m proud that President Obama saved the auto industry. And I’m even prouder that because of the hard work of people in Detroit and across Michigan and the Midwest, the U.S. auto industry just had its best year ever.

If Donald wins the election, we’d have a president who wants to ban every Muslim in the world from coming to visit the United States. We are a country founded on religious freedom. That runs contrary to our Constitution. We would have a president who has said repeatedly that he thinks the lives of black people are all about crime and poverty and despair. He has no idea about the strength of the black church and the vibrancy of black-owned businesses and the excellence of historically black colleges and universities. He seems to know nothing about the rise of a new generation of black activists and the success of black leaders in every field. I think he needs a visit from Reverend Wendell Anthony, don’t you?

Yesterday in North Carolina I was honored to stand with a woman named Mae Brown Wiggins. Decades ago, she was a hard-working nurse in New York City. She was looking for an apartment that she could afford to rent. But Donald Trump and his father, Fred, turned her away. You see, whenever African Americans tried to rent Trump apartments, their application was marked with a ‘C,’ C for colored. And that didn’t sit very well with Mae, so she went to the authorities, and eventually the Department of Justice sued the to us for housing discrimination. And although they settled, they wouldn’t change. So the government had to take them back to court. That’s a pattern. This is what happens time and time again with my opponent. If he were to win, he would be in charge of the Federal Housing Department. If he doesn’t respect all Americans now, how can we trust him to serve all Americans in the future?

He has such a casual disregard of our Constitution. He doesn’t seem to understand the rule of law, that we really are a nation of laws, not men. Here’s the latest example. There was a terrible crime back in 1990 in New York City. It was called the Central Park Five. Maybe some of you have heard of it. There were five black and Latino kids, some as young as 14. They were wrongfully convinced, and they were in prison where they spent years. Donald Trump took out full-page ads calling for the death penalty for the kids. And even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence and someone else confessed to that terrible crime, Trump actually said they should still be in prison. It doesn’t matter if you’re innocent. If he decides that you should be in prison or you should be locked up. No wonder he admired Vladimir Putin, because that’s exactly what Putin does to his people.

So we can’t trust him with our Constitution. We can’t trust him to obey the rule of law. He has shown us who he is. Now we have to decide who we are. So let me paint you a different picture. Here is what we’re going to do together if we win this election on Tuesday night.

We have three big challenges. Number one, we got to get the economy working for everyone, not just those at the top. Number two, we’ve got to keep our country safe, and we have to work with our allies to lead the world with strength and intelligence toward peace and prosperity. Number three, we’ve got to bring our country together. We have got to overcome these divides. We have to heal our nation. And I hope that you will help me meet all three of those challenges.

I have said repeatedly that we’re going to take on discrimination and bigotry because any time we hold somebody back, it can lead to holding other people back. We can’t accept as normal what we’re seeing across our country because of his campaign. A church in Mississippi was burned this week. Someone painted ‘Vote Trump’ on the side and then set it on fire. We can’t let – we can’t let that happen. What happened in Flint, Michigan should not be normal or acceptable. Our kids should be guaranteed clean air and clean water. Those are basics. We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure that we take care of our children.

And it’s important for us to recognize that when I talk about getting the economy to work for everybody, that means I want the biggest jobs program since World War II – infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, clean, renewable energy technology. Some people say we can’t do that. Well, I’m telling you, they’re wrong. They’re wrong. We have the best workers, the most productive workers. We’re going to give them more to work on, more products to produce. And we’re going to do more for small business because small business is the backbone of so many communities. And I want everybody to have the chance to succeed in America. That means we’re going to dismantle the so-called school-to-prison pipeline and replace it with the cradle-to-college pipeline.  

And we’re going to make sure that every child has a chance to go to a good school with good teachers, no matter what zip code that child lives in. And I want to start with our youngest kids, with pre-kindergarten programs. And then I want to be a good partner with our teachers. We’ve got to have high expectation and get results in helping our children. And I want to be sure that we put technical education back into high school because there are good jobs out there waiting for young people with the skills to do them.

It’ll be important that we create an environment in which our police and our communities can work together and trust each other. I believe we are safer when everyone has respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law. And that’s what we’re going to work for.

We’re also going to take common-sense steps to reduce gun violence and save lives. This has nothing to do with the scare tactics coming from my opponent. Have you seen he’s starting to wear a camo hat now? Really. We are going to work with responsible gun owners who understand that we’ve got to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place.

And while we create more safe communities, we want to invest in those communities. I want to continue the good work that our past two Democratic Presidents have done, one named Clinton, one named Obama. And I want to be a really strong partner. I’ll compete a little with them. I want to be a really strong partner with Detroit and other cities that are on the way back up to make sure you get the investment and the support, the housing, and the jobs that you need.

But we also have to make sure our economy is fairer. That’s why I believe we should raise the national minimum wage, because people who work full time should not be left in poverty. And isn’t it finally time to guarantee equal pay for women? This is not a women’s issue. If you have a wife, a mother, a daughter, or a sister who works, it’s your issue. It’s a family issue. And every time I talk about wanting to have affordable childcare, paid family leave, equal pay for women, the other side accuses me of playing the women’s card. I’ll tell you what, if standing up for equal pay is playing the women’s card, then deal me in.  

And one of the other big challenges we’re going to take on – I am so excited about this. I am really proud of the campaign that Bernie Sanders and I ran because it was a campaign about issues. And what we decided after it was over is how we could work together to make sure that everybody who wants to go to college can afford not just to start but actually to graduate. So we came up with a plan that if you go to a public college or university, you will go tuition-free if your family makes less than $125,000 a year. And it will be debt-free for everybody above that so you don’t go into debt. And for people who already have student debt, we’re going to help you pay it down and pay it off to get out from under it. And I want especially to support historically black colleges and universities that have done so much to bring forth a leadership cadre in our country.

Now, this is just some of what we are offering in this campaign, because we really believe you need to look at what will happen after the election. I had a friend say to me the other day, ‘People are just frustrated and angry.’ I get that. I understand that. We had the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression in ’08 and ’09. Millions of people lost their jobs, millions lost their homes, family wealth was wiped out. That is a trauma and people are still suffering and still climbing back from that. I get it. But I learned a long time ago from my late mother, anger is not a plan. Right? Be angry, vent about it, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s what I will do. That’s why we’ve put this all down. It’s on our website, It’s in a book that Tim Kaine and I put out called ‘Stronger Together.’ Because not only do I want you to know what I will try to do as your president; I want you to hold me accountable. I want you, when I come back to Detroit, which I will do when I travel around Michigan, which I will do, I want you to say, ‘Well, how’s it going getting those new jobs started? How much progress are we making on making sure college is affordable?’ I believe in making lists. Maybe it’s a women’s thing. My husband said – once said to me one time, ‘You have lists of your lists.’ Well, I do because I want to know what we’re going to get done and how we can make progress together.

And ultimately, this election really is about the kind of country we want for our kids, and in my case now, my grandkids. Are we really a nation that believes in freedom and justice for all?”


HILLARY CLINTON: “Are we really a nation that recognizes our best years can still be ahead of us if we make up our minds to have that be our goal? I believe we can do this together. My opponent at his convention said, ‘I alone can fix it.’ Well, no, nobody alone does anything. When our founders met in Philadelphia, it wasn’t one person creating our country. It was many people working together and fighting a revolution to get that democracy and then to fight for civil rights and voting rights and workers’ rights and women’s rights and LGBT rights. None of them – none of them were won by one person alone. The American labor movement didn’t happen because somebody one day said, ‘I alone can make it happen.’ It took millions of people in every one of these movements marching and speaking out and sitting in. Barack Obama wasn’t put into the White House by one person alone. It took everybody working and organizing, and yes, voting. That is how progress happens in America.

So really, it all comes down to you, my friends. You have to vote. Our progress is on the line. Everything that has happened up until this point is on the line. I’m ready to defend and build on the progress that we’ve made. I’m proud I was a member of President Obama’s cabinet. I’m proud that – he and I are friends. But he knows and I know that American leadership, American presidents, it’s like running a relay. You do your very best, and then you pass off the baton and you just hope that the person you pass it off to doesn’t drop to the ground or doesn’t turn around and run back the way we came from, which is what my opponent is promising to do. 

Now, I’ve told the President that when he hands off the baton that he’s going to have to bend over. He’s a lot taller than I am. But I’m excited about what we can do. I know this has been a tough campaign. I’ve got people coming up to me saying they’ve got migraines they never had before. They have stomachaches that they don’t know what they’re going to do with. I get it. It has been in many ways a really tough campaign, but I’ll tell you what. Michigan, you can make the difference.  

All I’m asking you is talk to your friends, talk to your family, talk to your coworkers, talk to everybody. If you have time to volunteer, go to to volunteer or text ‘join,’ J‑o-i-n, to 47246. Because when your children – and there are some beautiful children in this crowd here today. When your children or grandchildren ask what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line, I want you to be able to say, ‘I voted for a better, stronger, fairer America.’ An America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we prove, once and for all, that love trumps hate. Let’s get to work. Thank you. Thank you, Detroit. Thank you, Michigan. God bless you.”


For Immediate Release, November 4, 2016