tv Convention Speeches CSPAN September 1, 2012 10:10pm-11:05pm EDT
brokers but with the people. [applause] this has been a time of tough debate on the important issues facing our country. this has been a time of learning. this kind of debate is part of our tradition, and as democrats we are heirs to a great tradition. i have never met a democratic president, but i have always been a democrat. years ago, as a farm boy sitting outdoors with my family on the ground in the middle of the night, gathered close around a battery radio connected to
the automobile battery and listening to the democratic conventions in far-off cities, i was a long way from the selection process. i feel much closer to it tonight. [applause] ours is the party of the man who was nominated by those distant conventions and who inspired and restored this nation in its darkest hours -- franklin d. roosevelt. [applause] ours is the party of a fighting democrat who showed us that a common man could be an uncommon leader -- harry s. truman.
great-hearted texan who took office in a tragic hour and who went on to do more than any other president in this century to advance the cause of human rights. lyndon johnson. [applause] our party was built out of the sweatshops of the old lower east side, the dark mills of new hampshire, the blazing hearths of illinois, the coal mines of pennsylvania, the hard- scrabble farms of the southern
coastal plains, and the unlimited frontiers of america. ours is the party that welcomed generations of immigrants -- the jews, the irish, the italians, the poles, and all the others, enlisted them in its ranks and fought the political battles that helped bring them into the american mainstream. and they have shaped the character of our party. that is our heritage. our party has not been perfect. we have made mistakes, and we have paid for them. but ours is a tradition of leadership and compassion and progress. our leaders have fought for every piece of progressive legislation, from rfd and rea to social security and civil rights. in times of need, the democrats were there.
[applause] but in recent years our nation has seen a failure of leadership. we have been hurt, and we have been disillusioned. we have seen a wall go up that separates us from our own government. we have lost some precious things that historically have bound our people and our government together. we feel that moral decay has weakened our country, that it is crippled by a lack of goals and values, and that our public officials have lost faith in us. we have been a nation adrift too long. we have been without leadership too long. we have had divided and
deadlocked government too long. we have been governed by veto too long. we have suffered enough at the hands of a tired and worn-out administration without new ideas, without youth or vitality, without vision and without the confidence of the american people. there is a fear that our best years are behind us. but i say to you that our nation's best is still ahead. [applause] our country has lived through a time of torment.
it is now a time for healing. we want to have faith again. we want to be proud again. we just want the truth again. it is time for the people to run the government, and not the other way around. [applause] it is the time to honor and strengthen our families and our neighborhoods and our diverse cultures and customs. we need a democratic president and a congress to work in harmony for a change, with mutual respect for a change. and next year we are going to have that new leadership. you can depend on it! it is time for america to move and to
speak not with boasting and belligerence but with a quiet strength, to depend in world affairs not merely on the size of an arsenal but on the nobility of ideas, and to govern at home not by confusion and crisis but with grace and imagination and common sense. too many have had to suffer at the hands of a political economic elite who have shaped decisions and never had to account for mistakes or to suffer from injustice. when unemployment prevails, they never stand in line looking for a job.
when deprivation results from a -- [applause] when depravation results from a confused and bewildering welfare system, they never do without food or clothing or a place to sleep. [applause] when the public schools are inferior or torn by strife, their children go to exclusive private schools. [applause] and when the bureaucracy is
bloated and confused, the powerful always manage to discover and occupy niches of special influence and privilege. an unfair tax structure serves their needs. [applause] and tight secrecy always seems to prevent reform. all of us must be careful not to cheat each other. too often unholy, self- perpetuating alliances have been formed between money and politics, and the average citizen has been held at arm's length. each time our nation has made a serious mistake the american
people have been excluded from the process. the tragedy of vietnam and cambodia, the disgrace of watergate, and the embarrassment of the cia revelations could have been avoided if our government had simply reflected the sound judgment and good common sense and the high moral character of the american people. [applause] it is time for us to take a new look at our own government, to
strip away the secrecy, to expose the unwarranted pressure of lobbyists, to eliminate waste, to release our civil servants from bureaucratic chaos, to provide tough management, and always to remember that in any town or city the mayor, the governor, and the president represent exactly the same constituents. [applause] as a governor, i had to deal each day with the complicated and confused and overlapping and wasteful federal government bureaucracy. as president, i want you to help me evolve an efficient, economical, purposeful, and manageable government for our
nation. [applause] now, i recognize the difficulty, but if i'm elected, it's going to be done. and you can depend on it! we must strengthen the government closest to the people. business, labor, agriculture, education, science, and government should not struggle in isolation from one another but should be able to strive toward mutual goals and shared opportunities.
we should make major investments in people and not in buildings and weapons. [applause] the poor, the aged, the weak, the afflicted must be treated with respect and compassion and with love. i have spoken a lot of times this year about love. but love must be aggressively translated into simple justice. the test of any government is
fairly it depends with those who must depend on it. it is time for a complete overhaul of our income tax system. [applause] i still tell you: it is a disgrace to the human race. all my life i have heard promises about tax reform, but it never quite happens. with your help, we are finally going to make it happen. and you can depend on it. here is something that can really help our country: it is time for universal voter registration. [applause]
it is time for a nationwide comprehensive health program for all our people. [applause] it is time to guarantee an end to discrimination because of race or sex by full involvement in the decision making process of government by those who know what it is to suffer from discrimination. and they'll be in the government if i am elected.
basic human freedom unless we have an orderly society. crime and lack of justice are especially cruel to those who are least able to protect themselves. swift arrest and trial, fair and uniform punishment, should be expected by anyone who would break our laws. [applause] it is time for our government leaders to respect the law no less than the humblest citizen, so that we can end once and for all a double standard of justice. i see no reason why big-shot crooks should go free and the
value to our nation of a strong system of free enterprise based on increased productivity and adequate wages. we democrats believe that competition is better than regulation. [applause] and we intend to combine strong safeguards for consumers with minimal intrusion of government in our free economic system. i believe -- [applause] i believe that anyone who's able to work ought to work. [applause]
we'll never have an end to the inflationary spiral, we'll never have a balanced budget, which i am determined to see as long as we have eight or nine million americans out of work who cannot find a job. not any system of economics is bankrupt if it sees the value of virtue in unemployment. we simply -- [applause] we simply cannot check inflation by keeping people out of work. [applause] the full most responsibility of any president above all else is to guarantee the security of our nation, a guarantee of freedom from the threat of
successful attacks or blackmail and the ability with our allies to maintain peace. but peace is not the mere absence of war. peace is action to stamp out international terrorism. [applause] peace is the undceasing effort to preserve human rights and peace is a combined demonstration of strength and goodwill. we'll pray for peace and we'll work for peace until we have removed from all nations, for all time, the threat of nuclear
destruction. [applause] america's birth opened a new chapter in mankind's history. ours is the first nation to dedicate itself clearly to basic moral and philosophical principles. that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. this national commitment was a singular act of wisdom and courage, and it brought the best and the bravest from other nations to our shores. it was a revolutionary
development that captured the imagination of mankind. it created a basis for a unique role for america. that of a piener in shaping more decent and just relations among people and amongst societies. today, 200 years later, we must address ourselves to that role both in what we do at home and how we act abroad. amopping people everywhere who have become politically more alert, socially more congested and increasingly impatient with global inequity tease and who are now organized, as you know, into some 150 different nations. this calls for nothing less
than a sustained architectural effort to shape an international framework of peace within which our own ideals gradually can become a global reality. our nation should always derive its character directly from the people and let this be the strength and the image to be presented to the world -- the character of the american people. [applause] >> to our friends and allies i say that what units is through our common dedication to democracy is much more important than that which occasionally divides us on economics or politics. to the nations that seek to lift themselves from poverty i
say that america shares your aspirations and extends its hand to you. to those nations that wish to compete with us i say that we need a fair competition nor see it as an obstacle to wider cooperation. and to all people i say that after 200 years america still remains confident and youthful in its commitment to freedom and equality, and we always will be. [applause] during this election year we candidates will ask you for
your votes and from us will be demanded our vision. my vision of this nation and its future has been deepened and mature during the 19 months that i've campaigned among you for president. i've never had more faith in america than i do today. we have an america that in bob dylan's phrase is busy being born, not busy dying. [applause] we can have an american government that's turned away from scandal and corruption and
official cynicism and is once again as decent and competent as our people. we can have an america that has reconciled its economic needs with its desire for an environment that we can pass on with pride to the next generation. we can have an america that provides excellence in education to my child and your child and every child. [applause] we can have an america that encourages and takes pride in our ethnic diversity, our religious diversity, our cultural diversity, knowing that out of this plure list
particular heritage has -- plure liftic heritage has come the strengths and the vitality that has made us great and will keep us great. [applause] we can have an american government that does not oppress or spy on its own people. [applause] but respect our dignity and our privacy and our right to be let alone, we can have an america where freedom on the one hand and equality on the other hand are mutually supported and not in conflict and where the dreams of our nation's first
leaders are fully realized in our own day and age, and we can have an america which harnesses the idealism of the students, the compassions of the nurse or the social worker, the determination of the farmer, the wisdom of a teacher, the pract cat of the business leader, and the hope of a laborer to build a better life for us all, so we can have it, and we're going to have it. [applause]
as i've said many times before we can have an american president who does not govern with negativism and fear of the future, but with vigor and vision and aggressive leadership, a president who's not isolated from the people, but who feels your pain and shares your dreams and takes his strength and his wisdom and his courage from you. [applause] i see it, america. on the move again, united, a diverse and vital and tolerant
nation entering our third century with pride and confidence, an america that lives up to the majesty of a constitution and the simple decent sieve our people. -- decency of our people. this is the america we want. this is the america that we will have. [applause] we will go forward from this convention with some differences of opinion, perhaps. but nevertheless, united and a calm determination to make our country large and driving and
[applause] >> now krill senator barack obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 democratic convention. senator bomb won the nomination over new york senator hillary clinton. the race was so close that senator clinton did not suspend her campaign and endorse senator obama until june of 2008. the democratic nominee's remarks are about 50 minutes. [applause] ♪ [applause]
thank you so much. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. [applause] thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you so much, everybody. thank you. thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you so much, thank you. thank you. thank you. ing thank you.
[applause] thank you so much. [applause] thank you very much. thank you, everybody. to my great friend dick durbin and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility i accept your nomination for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]
let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest, a champion for working americans and an inspiration to my daughters and yours, hillary roadham clinton. to president clinton. to president bill clinton, who made last nature the case for change as only he can make it.
to ted kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service. and to the next vcht the united states, joe biden, -- vice president of the united states, joe biden, i thank you. [applause] [cheers and applause] i am grateful to finish this journey with one the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to conductors on the am trak train he still takes home every night. to the love of my life, our next first lady, michelle obama. [cheers and applause]
and to malia and sasha. i love you so much and i am so proud of you. [cheers and applause] four years ago i stood before you and told you my story, that the brief union of a young man from kenya and a young woman from kansas who weren't well off, weren't well known, but shared a belief that in america their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to. it is that promise that's always set this country apart, that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one american family tone sure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
that's why i stand here tonight, because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women, students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors, found the courage to keep it alive. we meet at one of those defining moments, a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the american promise has been threatened once more. tonight more americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. more of you have lost your homes, and even more are watching your home values plummet. more of you had cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay and tuition that's beyond your reach. these challenges are not all our government's making. but the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken
politics in washington and the failed policies of george w. bush. [cheers and applause] america, we are better than these last eight years. we are a better country than this. [cheers and applause] this country's more decent than one where a woman in ohio on the brink of retirement finds herself one illness away from a lifetime of hard work. we're a better country than one where a man in indiana has to pack up the equipment that he's worked on for 20 years and watch as it's shipped off to china, and then chokes up when he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
we are better than letting families slide into poverty. [cheers and applause] that sits on its hands while a major american city drowns before our eyes. tonight i say to the people of america, to democrats and republicans and independents across this great land, enough! this moment -- [cheers and applause] this moment -- [cheers and applause] this election is our chance to keep in the 21st century the american promise alive, because next week in minnesota the same party that brought you two terms of george bush and dick cheney will ask this question
for a third. and we are here -- we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. [cheers and applause] on november 4 we must stand up and say eight is enough. [cheers and applause] [laughter] now, let there be no doubt, the republican nominee, john mccain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and
distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect. [applause] and next week we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. but the record's clear -- john mccain has voted with george bush 90% of the time. senator mccain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think george bush has been right more than 90% of the time? [cheers and applause] i don't know about you, but i'm not ready to take a 10% chance on change. [cheers and applause]
the truth is on issue after issue that would make a difference in your life on health care and education and the economy, senator mccain has been anything but independent. he said that our economy has made great progress under this president. he said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. and when one of his chief advisors, the man who wrote his economic plan, was talking about the anxieties that americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a mental recession and that we've become -- and i quote -- a nation of whiners. [crowd booing] a nation of whiners. tell that to the proud autoworkers at a michigan plant who, after they found out it was closed, they kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew
there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. these are not whiners. they work hard and they give back and they keep going without complaint. these are the americans i know. [cheers and applause] now, i don't believe that senator mccain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of americans. i just think he doesn't know. but i hope that he defines middle class as someone s making under $5 million a year.
how else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies, but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million americans? how else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help family pay for college, or a plan that would privatize social security and gamble your retirement? it's not because john mccain doesn't care, it's because john mccain doesn't get it. for over two decades -- [cheers and applause] for over two decades he subscribed to that old discredited philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. in washington they call this the ownership society, but what it really means is that you're on your own.
out of work? tough luck, you're on your own. no health care? the market will fix it. you're on your own. born into poverty? pull yourself upyou're on your . [cheers and applause] well it's time for them to own their failure. it's time for us to change america. and that's why i'm running for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] you see, we democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
we measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. we measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when bill clinton was president - when the average american family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under george bush. [cheers and applause] we measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work. the fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to
that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason i am standing here tonight. because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from iraq and afghanistan, i see my grandfather, who signed up after pearl harbor, marched in patton's army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the gi bill. in the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, i think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships. when i listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, i remember all those men and women on the south side of chicago who i stood by and
fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed. about the difficulties of starting her own business, i think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle- management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. me's the one who taught about hard work. she's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that i could have a better life. she poured everything she had into me. and although she can no longer travel, i know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well. [cheers and applause] i don't know what kind of lives john mccain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. these are my heroes.
theirs are the stories that shaped me. and it is on their behalf that i intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the united states. [cheers and applause] what is that promise? it's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect. it's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create american jobs, look out for american workers, and play by the rules of the road. [cs