WASHINGTON–Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton knocked themselves out for the Obama Biden ticket Sunday, campaigning with Joe and Jill Biden in Scranton, Pa. And the Clinton political operation–wants to make sure the record shows that Bill and Hill are doing heavy lifting. That’s a reason the Clinton team sent out a transcript of Bill and Hill remarks from the Sunday rally (click below for transcript.). Hillary Clinton has already raised, she said, some $10 million for the Obama Biden ticket–that’s counting checks written associated with events she has headlined.
excerpt from Bill Clinton: But I just want to tell you something – I have been working in national presidential campaigns in some form or fashion since 1968. She has done 50 events for Senator Obama. She has not only done more to support him than any runner-up in the Democratic primary process in my lifetime, she has done more than all the other runner-ups combined. That says a lot about why she ran for President and what she believes in.
TRANSCRIPT: PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AND SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON DELIVER REMARKS AT “OBAMA FOR AMERICA” RALLY IN SCRANTON, PA
President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton delivered the following remarks at an “Obama for America” rally this afternoon with Senator Joe and Jill Biden in Scranton, PA.
President Bill Clinton: Thank you. Thank you, Scranton.
First, let’s give it up for Jill Biden. She is great – she did a great job. Thank you very much.
Thank you Mayor Chris Doherty, it’s great to be back in Scranton. Thank you very much. Thank you Senator Casey for being here. Thank you Congressman Paul Kanjorski for being here. Folks, Paul Kanjorski’s got a tough race. He’s got a tough race because some people in his district believe that illegal immigration is a bigger cause of their economic problems than President Bush’s economic policies. I got news for them and I’ve got news for you – you need to help him get re-elected. Thank you.
My job is to introduce Hillary so she can introduce Senator Biden. As if any of us needed an introduction in Scranton. I want to say one thing – after I bring Hilary up here, I have been dispatched by the Obama-Biden campaign to go to Virginia where we’re going to win for the first time in 40 years. I just want you to know when I saddle off the stage, it’s not because I’ve heard them both speak before.
There’s only 23 days left and we’re all maximizing our potential to get out the vote and to win this election.
I just want to say something about what this election means to me and to Hillary and why we’re here. I am profoundly grateful to all of you who helped me to serve and who supported her. More than you will ever know, I am grateful.
In the last 2 days I haven’t been thinking about politics very much and therefore I’ve been thinking about this election more in real terms. Yesterday, Hillary and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. You know what my best present was? She actually let me watch most of those football games yesterday, it was great – what a gift.
Anyway, today we came to Scranton for the 3rd christening we have celebrated at the Court Street Methodist Church in her brother, Tony’s, family. I’ve been thinking about all this and I looked at little Simon Joseph getting his head wet today and I thought to myself: we can’t let the America he christens his children in be in the shape America’s in today.
This is not just about politics. We have got to literally repair the basic financial system of America, restore the economy so that it works for ordinary people again and the American Dream is alive and well and poor people can work their way into it, and restore America’s standing in the world.
You know because Joe Biden’s from here that he understands middle-class economics with middle-class values.
I hope you know that the next Vice President for the first two years, will be relatively more important in the larger world than has ever been the case because the President’s going to have to close the door to the Oval Office and get this country out of the ditch.
In addition to the fact that Joe Biden understands you and your lives, I think it’s worth pointing out that if you had a secret ballot of all the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress – all of them – and you asked them to put two or three names down of the people in the entire Congress who do the most about the economic, political, and security challenges of America and the world, his name would be on every single secret ballot.
I really like that because sometimes you hear some people talk about people from places like Scranton and Arkansas. They act like we’re by definition “rubes,” and we’re not and he’s not and Barack Obama could not have made a better choice. So we’re proud of you.
Now, finally I want to say that I expect to spend the rest of my natural life trying to show people how grateful I am who supported Hillary in her long quest this last year.
I knew 37 years ago when I first met her that I’d never met anybody like her before and I might not ever meet anybody like her again.
But I just want to tell you something – I have been working in national presidential campaigns in some form or fashion since 1968. She has done 50 events for Senator Obama. She has not only done more to support him than any runner-up in the Democratic primary process in my lifetime, she has done more than all the other runner-ups combined. That says a lot about why she ran for President and what she believes in.
The reason that’s important here is that more than three-quarters of you supported her and you need to remember, if you supported her, why you did it. Think about that little baby that got christened in that church today. Look around here at the young people who are here. Think about what we owe them. What do we owe the next 20 or 30 years?
Hillary and I were walking yesterday and thinking about the 33 years we’ve spent. No matter what happens to us from now on out, we’re leaving this old world ahead. You’ve been good enough to us and fortune has smiled on us. We can’t get behind because of what we have been given. Those of us who are in this position have a profound obligation to think about the challenges of this moment and what we have to do to give our kids a better deal.
If you ask yourselves who has the best ideas, who’s got the best instincts, who’s got the best ability to understand these challenges, who’s got the best supporting cast, the answer is Barack Obama.
That’s why Hillary’s here, that’s why I’m here, that’s why you’re here. Come on up.
Senator Hillary Clinton: Thank you all so much.
It is great being back in Scranton and I thank my husband and I am thrilled he could be here with us. He is on his way to Virginia but we wanted to be here together with Joe and Jill to make a very simple message abundantly clear: We must elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden on November 4.
It’s great that Joe has roots here in Scranton as do I – and we will make sure that those roots and those values are carried into the White House after Joe wins. Isn’t it going to be wonderful to have a Vice President you’re proud of and excited about?
It’s great being here with Senator Bob Casey and his family, with Congressman Kanjorski and his family. I just want to reiterate what Bill said. We need as many Democrats in the Congress as we can get and we need to send Paul Kanjorski back to the House of Representatives. And I want to thank Mayor Doherty and everybody associated with not only the city and the county and this region – there are a lot of good things happening here in Scranton. And I know you are going to keep working hard to make sure that this great city, county and region have as positive a future as you have a storied past. You can count on me Chris to be your partner.
As Bill said – I’ve been crisscrossing the country campaigning for Barack and Joe. Why? Because this election is too important to sit on the sidelines of history. I haven’t spent 35 years in the trenches fighting for universal health care, for children, for families, for women, for middle class people to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our nation and the hopes of our people.
We are here today having a great time – lots of excitement and speeches and applause and rallying – but we are in a financial crisis in America. And it is a crisis born and bred by failed Republican policies championed by George Bush, John McCain, and the Washington Republicans.
You know what they have said and done – gut regulations, cut taxes for corporations and billionaires. When you try to talk about the home mortgage crisis, which I did throughout my campaign, they sort of shrug and say ‘what home mortgage crisis?’ For two years, I and others have said that people are losing their houses. They have been victimized by predatory lending. Families can’t pay their mortgage bills. And that this mortgage crisis would mushroom out of control and become a full blown economic crisis.
But to President Bush and John McCain, middle class families sinking into debt are invisible. We can help Americans losing their houses. But we can only do it by if we make sure the Republicans lose the White House come November. Now when this crisis finally hit Wall Street and big financial firms came calling, well suddenly, oh my goodness, President Bush and John McCain and the Republican base snapped to attention. A big bank is going to fail – well bail it out. A big financial firm is going to fail – well, bail it out. A big insurance company is going to fail – why, bail it out.
What about the millions of people losing their homes and their jobs every single day? Where is their bailout? If stocks to continue to plummet, homeowners fall further and further into default and many face foreclosures. People are afraid to open up their 401K statement, aren’t they? Retirees’ nest eggs are starting to crack. Businesses can’t find credit. Students can’t find college loans. The global credit crisis is shaking the foundation of the 21st century economy.
And in this election, failure is not an option. We must commit ourselves to making sure we elect leaders who will put people first, remember who built this country, who sacrificed and made us what we are today.
That’s why this week I am barnstorming across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and on to other battleground states that we can and must win because we cannot afford 4 more years of the last 8 years and that’s all the Republicans offer.
The Republicans’ answer to jobs being outsourced: continue tax incentives to companies that outsource jobs, of course. The Republican answer to a broken health care system: throw everybody to the mercy of insurance companies with no tax incentive for employers to keep providing coverage and to offer real protection to people with pre-existing conditions. The Republican answer to rising economic insecurity: John McCain still wants to privatize Social Security. Can you image if your Social Security had been in the stock market the last 3 weeks? The Republican answer to 8 years of stagnant wages and 9 straight months of job losses is just more of the same.
According to the Republicans in this new global economy, America can’t win unless most Americans lose. It makes absolutely no sense, but that is truly what they believe. That’s why they ignored the home mortgage crisis until it became a financial crisis.
That’s why John McCain and has even proposed more tax cuts for the oil companies and the drug companies. That’s why John McCain has said repeatedly that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Because to John McCain and George Bush the middle class isn’t fundamental, it’s ornamental. They don’t understand that we are at the core of whether this country goes up or down.
That’s why my friends sending the Republicans to solve this economic crisis is like sending the bull to clean up the china closet. They broke it and we’re not buying it anymore. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be leaders who will lead us out of this economic crisis. They will once again clean up this economic mess that Republicans have left behind.
In case anybody doubts we can do this – I want you to think back. By the close of the Clinton Administration, America had created 22 million new jobs. Our nation had built an economy with the lowest child poverty rate in 20 years. Wages were rising and prosperity was shared. We produced a balanced budget and a budget surplus.
Now, 8 years later we have to add a digit to the national debt clock. It took a Democratic President to clean up after the last President Bush. It’s going to take a Democratic President to clean up after this President.
Make no mistake about it and we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. America will once again rise from the ashes of the Bushes.
For 2 years on the campaign trail – in fact, for my entire adult life – I have been fighting for families left out and left behind, for the chance of every child to reach his or her God-given potential. That’s why I respect Dr. Jill Biden so much because she has worked for 27 years to help our young people realize their potential. I have fought for the people of this country who have felt invisible to their own President – like he just doesn’t even see them. And that’s who I am fighting for today.
That’s why there is only one choice in this election. Wherever I go around the country campaigning for Barack and Joe – I hear people asking each other: Well, who are you for? That’s not the right question. More importantly, the question is: Who is for you?
Just look at what Barack and Joe have proposed – a thousand dollar tax cut for hard working families covering 95% of Americans who would be eligible. They’ll end the tax breaks for oil companies and drug companies and insurance companies. They’d invest millions more in clean energy jobs, manufacturing, and infrastructure instead.
And Barack and Joe will fight for health care for all Americans. That is my passion. I’m going to work as hard as I can with President Obama and Vice President Biden until we achieve quality, affordable health care for every American and I am looking forward to being on the back lawn of the White House on a beautiful day like this when President Obama signs into law quality, affordable health care for you and you and you.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden are for you and that’s why I am for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
My friends, this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for America. We’ve got to work hard and we’ve got to work together. This is a fight for the future and it is a fight we must win.
It starts right here in Scranton where my father was raised and where he’s buried My grandfather worked in the Scranton lace mills all of his life, starting when he was 11 years old until he retired at the age of 65. My family spent summers in a cabin on Lake Winola. We went swimming and fishing and played a lot of pinochle.
My grandfather built that cabin nearly 100 years ago and it’s still standing because here in Scranton, people are built tough. Here in northeastern Pennsylvania, we don’t go down without a fight.
And I remember how proud my father and his brothers were that they could build a good life with good jobs – jobs that supported the family that gave my grandfather, who didn’t even finish elementary school, the chance to send 3 sons to college. The people in Scranton and northeastern Pennsylvania are like people I’ve met across America. The kind of people who get up every single day and work hard. You don’t ask for much. You never give up. You soldier on for your families and your communities.
And you deserve a President who will get up every day thinking about you.
And we are so lucky that by the side of our next President will be a man who really understands – who has been fighting his whole life for what he believes in, the values he was raised with. Joe Biden is a good friend and a great man. Joe has never forgotten where he came from. He’s never forgotten how his family had to struggle and his parents even had to move so his dad could find work. He has been a leader on national security. A leader for women, and children and families and the author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act.
Joe has been a voice for the hardworking middle class of this country because it’s not to him about politics. It’s not theoretical or abstract. It’s in the gut. I could not ask for a better partner in the Senate and America could not ask for a better Vice President.
It really comes down to how much each of us is willing to do in the next 23 days. Sure, the polls show Barack and Joe ahead now and that’s good news. But I don’t pay much attention to polls. Nobody should be lulled into any false sense of security.
Bill was talking about how he and I have been involved in presidential politics since 1968 – 10 presidential elections and Democrats have only won 3 of them. And of course Bill won 2 out of the 3.
That’s why you have to leave here committed and ready to go to work. You have to talk to your friends and neighbors. I know you have friends and neighbors who aren’t decided yet. I know you have friends and neighbors, and maybe even some family members who are not decided yet. You might even have a few leaning the wrong direction.
So I am deputizing every one of you to go out and make the case because Barack and Joe are not asking you to marry them. They are asking you to vote for them – and vote for yourselves.
If we can pull a big vote out of northeastern Pennsylvania for Barack and Joe, there isn’t any way they lose Pennsylvania. And if they win Pennsylvania, there is no way they lose the White House.
So let’s work for the next 23 days and let’s elect Barack Obama and the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.