tv Pres. Obama VA Gubernatorial Candidate Ralph Northam CSPAN October 20, 2017 12:06pm-12:45pm EDT
we were in a war. i did not like it, but at the war time, when you are in a and you are captured by the enemy, you cannot expect, you know, to have tea. >> 50 years after his capture arizona senator john mccain talks about the impact of the vietnam war on his life and the country, sunday at 6:00 and 10:00 eastern on c-span3. former president obama was in virginia this week to campaign for lieutenant ralph northern, the democratic governor for governor. he spoke at the greater richmond convention center for about 30 minutes. he touched on the current lyrical climate. -- political climate.
>> how is everybody doing today? are you fired up? ready to go? [applause] it is good to be back in richmond. i was going to say, it's good to be back in virginia, but i'm in virginia pretty much every day, going back just a little further north. i remember coming here in the raceng days of my last five years ago. i remember the enthusiasm, the generosity, the warmth of the
people of virginia. i remember that when i first announced for my candidacy as 2007, theback in first major elected official outside of illinois was a certain gentleman named tim kaine. ann kaine is right there. [applause] andme here and i said to 10 what the heck are you doing? nobody can pronounce my name yet. but they believe in me, i think even before michelle did. i will always have warm, fond memories of richmond, virginia.
part of the reason i have more memories, i have good friends here. that include char governor, terry mcauliffe. that includes your attorney general, mark herring. that includes your next lieutenant governor, justin fairfax. [applause] that includes outstanding members of congress like bobby scott and don mceachin. [applause] your mayor, levar stoney. and it includes the next governor of the commonwealth of virginia, ralph northam. >> [cheering] mr. obama: now, i want to thank
ralph for getting me fired up backstage. and since he said a few nice things about me, i have to embarrass him in return. richmond, this is someone you will be proud to have as your governor. >> [cheering] mr. obama: ralph's whole life has been about honest, responsible service to others. one of the stories i love is about ralph, and how when he was a cadet at vmi, his fellow cadets elected him president of the honor court. let me say this -- when i was in college, i was kind of a goof off, so they would have not given me that honor.
think about that. even as a young man, people already recognized that this is somebody whose character made him trustworthy. somebody with a code of honor, and integrity. they trusted him to hold himself and all of them to a high standard. they trusted him to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. >> [cheering] mr. obama: isn't that what we want in our leaders? isn't that who we want making tough decisions on our behalf? honesty, integrity, a willingness to put others before yourself. that is the way that ralph has always lived his life. >> [cheering]
mr. obama: in the army, he served at walter reed. and i can tell you, as somebody who visited walter reed consistently throughout my eight years, what it meant to have a medical staff that would literally help to rebuild people's lives after they had served our country in such a profound way. in germany, treating our wounded warriors from the first iraq war. when he left active duty, he and his wonderful wife pam, an educator, decided to settle down on the same chesapeake bay where he had grown up. and he took care of kids, specializing in pediatric neurology. you know you have to be smart to do pediatric neurology. >> [applause] mr. obama: you know, it is hard
to pronounce, much less do. so he devoted himself to the next generation, just like pam did. he taught not just neurology to students at eastern virginia medical school, but he taught ethics. for nearly 20 years, he has given his time freely to care for terminally ill children and in portsmouth. >> [cheering] mr. obama: if you ask him, he will save those kids have given him more than he can ever give back. that is ralph northam. that is who is seeking your support for governor. >> [cheering] mr. obama: justin fairfax's story isn't so different. he didn't grow up with much, but with scholarships, with help
from a hard-working mom, justin went to college, went to law school, gave over his life to public service, to make sure that any striving young kid could have the same chance as he did. >> [cheering] mr. obama: the point is, you've got really good candidates. you've got people who will make you proud. you've got people who are in this race for the right reasons. at a time when so many of us can be so cynical about government in public service, to have somebody step up who you can trust, and who just wants to do right by the people of virginia -- that is worth something. >> [cheering] mr. obama: and when ralph was tending to our wounded warriors,
he wasn't thinking about whether they were democrats or republicans, he was thinking about them in only one way, as americans who defended our country, and how he could make sure they were healed. >> [applause] mr. obama: and so the question now, at a time when our politics seems so divided and so angry and so nasty, is whether we can recapture that spirit, whether we support and embrace somebody that wants to bring people together. yes, we can. >> [cheering] mr. obama: we can do that. look, i always believed in that kind of politics. >> [chanting]
yes we can! mr. obama: yes we can. because that is american democracy at its best. that is the politics i have always believed in. that is what ralph believes in, justin and mark believes in. when everyone gets engaged, when everyone pushes in the same direction, that is when good things happen. >> [cheering] mr. obama: we are at our best not when we are trying to put people down, but when we are trying to lift everybody up. >> [cheering] mr. obama: we are at our best not when we try to find what is wrong with somebody else, but when we find the decency and good will and common effort that so often we see in our
neighborhoods and in our congregations, and that we try to impart onto our children. that is what we believe. and we have to be honest, that kind of politics doesn't always carry the day. we live in a time when all sorts of forces conspire to turn good people off from politics. the way we get our news, the way money floods into our campaigns, the way our political districts are drawn, that candidates are rewarded for pandering to the extremes instead of trying to keep common ground. and forging consensus. and by the way, ralph wants to end the practice of gerrymandering, so our districts are drawn in a nonpartisan way. >> [cheering] mr. obama: we should not have politicians choosing their voters, we should have voters choosing those that would serve them.
that is one more difference between him and his opponent. but all of these things conspire so that our politics doesn't reflect our values. folks don't feel good right now about what they see. they don't feel as if our public life reflects our best. instead of our politics reflecting our values, we've got politics infecting our communities. >> [cheering] mr. obama: instead of looking for ways to work together and get things done in a practical way, we have folks deliberately trying to make folks angry, to demonize people that have different ideas, to get the base
all riled up, because it provides a short-term tactical advantage. and so sometimes that can feel frustrating. and look, i have been in this arena for a while. but what i also know is, as frustrated as you get, the goodness of america, the goodness and decency and hard work and responsibility and sacrifice that is on display are the american people every single day in their communities all across this country, all across this great state, people of every walk of life -- it doesn't matter whether they are white or black, hispanic or asian, native american, whether they are disabled, whether they are gay or straight -- there are people all across this country that want to do things better,
that want to work together. >> [cheering] mr. obama: and i have seen the possibilities of our democracy. you have seen it. look what we did over the last eight years. jobs for the jobless. made it easier for young people to earn an education. covered more families with health insurance. brought home more of our brave troops. made sure we were looking after our veterans. made america more respected leader around the world. started making sure that we are dealing with climate change in a serious way. we know what we can achieve when we put our minds to it, and when we are working together. >> [cheering] mr. obama: and this year, we have seen countless people get active and organize and march, not just for themselves, not just for their own narrow interests, but for the well-being of others. we have seen people who never
thought about jumping into the arena before. suddenly, they are grabbing a clipboard and putting on marching shoes. they are going to run for something. they are going to fight for a cause. right here in virginia, there are 50 first-time delegates running for your house of delegates. >> [cheering] mr. obama: people that will fight for fair wages and criminal justice reform. more than half of them are women, a dozen of them are millennials. if you want a house of delegates that looks warlike virginia and understands your life, then make sure to get out and vote for the whole ticket, not just a little bit of the ticket. >> [cheering] mr. obama: because ultimately it does come down to you. i have said before, the most
important office in a democracy is not president, not governor, not mayor, it is the office of citizen. because in a democracy, ultimately, you decide what kind of politics we have. you decide by what you do and what you don't do. you decide by whether you are active or whether you are not. you decided by whether you decide to use your voice and your franchise to make things better, or whether you succumb to cynicism. it is in your hands. so the question for you tonight , and over the next 19 days is, is do you want a politics of division and distraction? or do you believe in a better kind of politics, one where we listen to each other and move this country forward?
>> [cheering] mr. obama: do you want an economy that only works for the very top? or do you want an economy that works for everybody? that lifts up a strong vibrant middle class, and creates ladders of opportunity for everyone willing to work hard, so they can get their piece of the american dream. do you believe that every child should get a good education? that every worker should get the skills they need to get a good job, with decent wages and decent benefits? do you believe that everyone should be judged not by the color of their skin, or who they love, or their last name, but by the content of their character, and their contribution to this great state? >> [cheering] mr. obama: you have a choice to make.
and this choice matters. i know what ralph northam believes. i know what justin fairfax believes. they have plans and policies that will reflect your values and your priorities to create jobs and educate kids, and to keep virginia clean and safe and healthy. the question is, will you show up to vote on november 7 and give him that chance? it is up to you. >> [applause] mr. obama: this election comes down to you. i have to say, by the way, off year elections, midterm elections, democrats sometimes-- >> [laughter] mr. obama: y'all get a little sleepy.
you get a little complacent. this is not my opinion, this is the data. this is the data. during presidential elections, everybody gets excited. when it is an off year election, suddenly everyone goes, there is an election going on? as a consequence, folks wake up and they are surprised. how come we can't get things through congress? how come we can get things through the statehouse? because you slept through the election. >> [cheering] mr. obama: but the stakes now don't allow you to sleep. because it is going to come down to how bad you want it. i don't want to hear folks complaining and not doing something about it. >> [cheering]
mr. obama: all the young people out here. >> [cheering] mr. obama: i think it is great that you hashtag and meme, but i need you to vote. >> [cheering] i tend not to watch a lot of tv, even though i have a lot more time on my hands. >> [laughter] mr. obama: michele and i get the same commercials in d.c. as you all do here. i have seen enough of them to know that ralph's opponent is pulling from that same old playbook. >> [booing] mr. obama: don't boo, vote. don't boo. booing doesn't do any good.
voting does some good. >> [cheering] mr. obama: we have seen this so many times before. you've got the advertisement. there is some ominous voice. everything is kind of dark. just letting you know that somebody is coming to get you. that our values are at risk if you vote for ralph. they don't really tell you exactly why. we have seen it before. and it is a tactic that shows ralph's opponent does not think highly of virginians. i don't think someone thinks that someone who spent his life performing surgery on soldiers
and children is suddenly cozying up to street gangs. that strains credulity. that sounds like a fib. sounds like an okie-doke. nobody believes that. does anybody really believe that ralph spent his whole life in old dominion, and then he's going to run for governor and suddenly try to erase virginia's history? that is not what this election is about. that is distraction. that is phony. that is divisive. >> [applause] mr. obama: it is not true. look, we all have valid concerns about crime.
we have legitimate concerns, and even legitimate differences of how to manage immigration in a way that is orderly and fair. but the fact is crime and illegal immigration were as low as they have been in decades. they were last year as well. and ralph's opponent knows it. he has gone on record in the past, condemning the same kind of rhetoric that he's using right now. >> [applause] mr. obama: and if he honestly thought these were serious issues, he would offer serious solutions. but he is not, because what he is really trying to deliver is fear. what he really believes is if you scare enough voters, you might score just enough votes to win an election. and that is what makes this anything-goes politics so
corrosive and damaging to our democracy. it is as cynical as politics gets. it is not going to create jobs, it is not going to educate kids, it won't clear up traffic, it won't clean up the environment, it won't protect your health care. >> [applause] mr. obama: i mean, i have not been commenting on politics lately, but here is one thing i know -- if you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you are not going to be able to govern them. you won't be able to unite them later if that's how you start. >> [cheering] mr. obama: so ralph northam believes we should have an orderly immigration system, that we should crack down on criminals and gangs and put them behind bars.
or they are not from this country and engaged in criminal acts, they should be gone. he understands that, but he also believes we can accomplish in those things without fanning anti-immigrant sentiment, which makes none of us safer. he believes every kid should get a good education, and workers should have the tools to find a good job and grow industry. that is what will make a difference in the lives of virginians all across this state. he is a hunter, and an army vet, and a doctor who knows better than most what assault weapons can do. he knows that we can protect our rights and our kids at the same time. he's not trying to scare somebody. >> [cheering] mr. obama: he is trying to put in place sensible solutions. let me just say something about history. ralph believes if we are going
to talk about our history, we should do it in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds, not in a way that divides. we should not use the most painful parts of our history just to score political points. we saw what happened in charlottesville, but we also saw what happened after charlottesville, when the biggest gathering of all rejected fear and hate. and the decency and good will of the american people came out. that is how we rise. we don't rise up by repeating the past, we rise up by learning from the past. and by listening to each other, and knowing that we are all flawed, but we still try to
presume some baseline measure of goodness and decency, of patriotism. we look for the good in other people, not the worst. we think of ourselves as americans first. that is how we should be thinking about our history. i have written about this before. my father was from kenya, as you know. well, some of you know. some of you may have forgotten. >> [laughter] mr. obama: i was reading about the fact that my mother -- you can trace her lineage. i'm 1/8th or 1/10th of a removed cousin from jefferson davis, the head of the confederacy. think about that. i bet he is spinning in his grave. >> [cheering]
mr. obama: the point is, that is america. and we claim all of our history, the good and the bad. and we can acknowledge that thomas jefferson, one of virginia's most famous sons, owned and sold slaves. that is not disputable. we can also acknowledge he wrote the words "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." that among these are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and we can recognize that even if our past is not perfect, we can honor the constitutional ideals that have allowed us to come this far, and to keep moving toward a more perfect union. that is what america is. that is who we are.
>> [cheering] mr. obama: that is who we are. why are we deliberately trying to misunderstand each other? and be cruel to each other, and put each other down? that is not who we are. it was those ideals provided to us by our founders that drew waves of immigrants to our shores, that drove waves of troops to storm beaches to save our democracy. it led generations of americans to march for workers rights and women's rights and voting rights and civil rights and lgbt rights. to expand the reach of our democracy.
it is that conviction that we can choose our own course and shape our own destiny that is given generations of ordinary citizens the capacity, no matter how bleak things seem, to keep moving this country forward. that is who we are. and it started in part right here in virginia. that is what our founders understood. for all of our flaws, our fate is in our own hands. that was the radical idea of america, that we decide our direction, not some king, not some despot, but us, citizens. and our progress doesn't always go in a straight line. sometimes we take two steps forward, and we might take a step back. they understood that, too.
the idea of america is not about going backwards, it is about pushing forwards. >> [applause] mr. obama: america is a story of progress. ralph northam wants progress. he wants to take us forward, not backward. he wants to reach out for hope, not fear. that is where justin fairfax wants to take us. that is where you should want to take us. we need you to take this seriously. because our democracy is at stake, and it is at stake right here in virginia. and if you play your part, not just voting yourself, but talking to your friends and neighbors and students and coworkers, then i'm confident virginia will make the right choice, just like you did with mark warner, just like you did with tim kaine, just like you did with terry mcauliffe, just like you gave me a chance. we need your help.
elections matter. voting matters. you can't take anything for granted. you can't sit this one out. it is up to you. if you believe in that better vision, not just of our politics, but of our common life, of our democracy, of who we are, if you want that reflected in our government, if you want our kids to see our government and feel good about it, and feel like they are represented, and you want those values that you are teaching your children reinforced, the values of generosity and tolerance and community and hard
work and responsibility -- if you want to see that reflected, then you've got to go out there. days to knock on .ome doors you have 19 days to go out there and campaign. i started yesterday. help, tohy i need your help me count, and to help me make sure that we are making enough phone calls to get ralph northam elected, that we are making enough door knocks to get justin fairfax elected. if you do, i guarantee you, not only will route northam -- ralph
northam be our next governor and jason fairfax your next lieutenant governor, but you'll send a message all across this great country and all around the world of just what it is that america stands for. i love you, virginia. god bless you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪
>> vice president mike pence has also been can meaning in the virginia governor's contest. at an event for and collects the comedy compare the democratic and republican positions. here is a short portion. >> ed gillespie will do the exact same thing as governor of virginia. it's why i'm here. ed has put on one of the most detailed policy plans i've ever seen, 20 policies to make life better for every virginian. it's exactly what this great state needs to move forward. at gillespie is pro-jobs, progrowth, pro-american energy, pro-life, pro-second amendment. folks, you name it, ed gillespie is on the right side of every issue.
but you know the same cannot be said of his opponent. there is a reason virginia's economy has not barely budged in recent years. it is because of the bad policy supported by ralph northam and his election as governor would only make things worse. ralph northam has voted to raise taxes. he wants to repeal virginia's right to work law. he opposes affordable energy for virginia families and job creators. ralph northam kassie tie-breaking vote against the bill in the state senate to crack down on sanctuary cities. withillespie will stand president trump to put the prosperity and security of the people of virginia first, and we will ban sensuality cities from virginia once and for all. cities from virginia once and for all. [applause]
this election really is about the future. if virginia votes to make ed gillespie the governor, i know virginia's future will be broader than ever before. with president trump's support because ed gillespie has always been there. has always been there when the republican party needed him, when the good people of virginia needed him, and when the country needed him most. ed was there when another republican president needed a steady hand. ed was there when the republican party needed strong national leadership. when somebody needed to step up and take a long shot raced to the people of virginia a strong conservative voice in washington. was right there standing shoulder to shoulder with me campaigning for the trump-pence team all across virginia. ed gillespie was there. the truth is, ed gillespie has
always been there, that is why we are here. today, president trump and i are asking every virginia patriot, do everything you can to elect ed gillespie as the next governor. >> former president bush came out of retirement this week to talk about politics, speaking in new york city, where he talked about alleged cyber attacks during the toy 16 elections, raise leadership, and more. this is about 20 minutes. >> thank you all. thank you. ok. gracias. a face only a mother could love. [laughter] no, i love you, ramon.