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Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’

This article is not new. It dates back to the end of March. In light of this past weekend in Charlottesville, it merits another look. A pro-Bernie faction continues its attempts to muscle into leadership roles in the Democratic party while Sanders himself remains stubbornly an Independent (which is fine with us since we do not want him in the party). They disparage true Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Jon Ossoff  and parrot Bernie’s inflammatory and untrue words, believe propaganda generated abroad, and threaten the very breadth of the party with extreme policy demands. (Bold emphasis below is mine.)

Sanders defends Trump voters: I don’t think they’re racists, sexists or homophobes

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) on Friday defended voters of President Trump, saying that the election was Democrats’ to lose and that the party needs to better represent the working-class voters who supported Trump and other GOP lawmakers

“Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election,” Sanders said while speaking at an Our Revolution rally in Boston with fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Sanders went on to say that a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic party” was needed to win future elections and that problems with party’s current setup is why many were quick to support Trump in the election, not because of some of the rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Please do keep reading >>>>

On the trail, Hillary Clinton was fond of quoting Maya Angelou: “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” Then, she was applying that maxim to Trump.

In March, Bernie told us who he is. I missed this article the first time around, but we should look at it now and understand who Bernie is.

Over the past several days, Trump supporters have claimed on social media as well as IRL face to face with Trump protestors that they support Trump but are not racists or Nazis. The reply from the Resistance has been “Yes, you are.”

In March, Bernie said: “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.” Been where? He neglected to clarify that. We can agree that there are probably people who voted for Trump who are not among those supporting him at his recent rallies and who would not participate in Nazi/KKK marches, but by not condemning those folks, their support is implicit. Bernie prefers to cut them slack rather than hold their feet to the fire.

As you see, he then went on to blame us for losing an election that was phenomenally well-supported, well-run, and ran the best-prepared, most thoroughly experienced candidate any of us had ever seen in our lives. I take exception to Bernie’s words! Not true!

A “perfect storm,” as Hillary has termed it, of influences and actions robbed the party of a victory and the country of the president we deserved.

Discord is a loaded term with a negative valence. We feel uncomfortable when it intrudes upon what we consider the normal flow of life. On the other hand, we live in a democracy and are accustomed to dealing with the messiness of it – including the inevitable discord and necessary compromise.

Accord, on the other hand has a positive valence. By trying to cozy up to the “populist” Trump supporters, Bernie has told us who he is. His “accord” with the Trump folks, however, is less than comforting or comfortable. He has told us who he is. We should believe him. He and his ilk have no place in our diverse party. Period.

Here’s Hillary. We are #StillWithHer.

Here is the text of her speech connecting Donald Trump to the alt-right.

Hillary Clinton in Reno

Here is her “deplorables” remark in context.

Statement from Hillary Clinton

I cannot suppress this addition.

Bernie Sanders Deletes Numerous Tweets That Blamed Trump for Charlottesville Violence

I come from a blue collar family – not elitist by any standard. My parents worked together in an aircraft plant until I was born. They scraped to send my sister and me to Catholic schools so, not by choice, I did study Latin.

“Alea jacta est.”

Loose translation: “If you are prominent in some way, your first tweet has been screen-saved by somebody.”

Latin is so succinct!

 

 

 

 

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I have never and will not tolerate those who, never having researched the true history of Eva Perón, slap back the comparisons with Hillary Clinton. I do not mean this in the popular context [Eva:bad = Hillary:bad.]  I mean it in the context of both women fighting for the people. Those who have bought the US propaganda against Evita need to do a little reading to discover who she really was: her values, her aspirations, her achievements.

On that note, I celebrate the San Diego Rep revival of the Rice-Weber opus “Evita” which I classify as more than a musical since there are no spoken words. I consider it an opera. I have seen five productions – two on Broadway. At one time I knew every word of the libretto and also completely blew my voice singing it. I wish I could see this production. If you live in SoCal, you are very lucky!


The U.S. presidential race was still raging last year when San Diego Rep and its artistic director, Sam Woodhouse, chose a show that seemed ideal for the times: “Evita.”

After all, Woodhouse points out, “the quest of a powerful woman to make change in the country she loves is at the core of this piece,” and the parallels between Eva Perón and Hillary Clinton — two popular but polarizing figures who were first ladies — seemed too rich to pass up.

SNIP

… Eva Perón — known adoringly as “Evita” in Argentina — was a champion of the working class and social reform in ways that went far beyond mere pose or populist rhetoric.

Woodhouse cites a long list of social reforms that the Peróns rolled out between 1946 and Eva’s death from cancer in 1952: social security, a minimum wage, universal free education and health care, paid vacation for workers, maternity leave.

“Eva was the leader of the first feminist political party in South America,” he continues. “Women’s right to vote passed during their reign. You know how horrified segments of the American population get when the concept of universal health care is mentioned? (Well), it was instituted in Argentina in the ’40s.

“That’s a short list, (but) it’s an amazing list of social and political transformation. Regardless of what the military or the aristocrats said, that happened.

Read more and get ticket information >>>>

I could not agree more with Sam Woodhouse’s interpretation of Evita – the woman. She was a social reformer remembered lovingly and with reverence by those who benefited from her works but remains despised and disparaged by the oligarchs and all those who chose to stand by them.

I was a very little girl when Eva Perón died. I remember my mother and my aunts being devastated and weeping. In the black and white press and on TV her hair looked white. I thought she was old and could not understand why everyone thought she was so young, but I knew she was important. Much later I learned who she really was.

I grieved that we did not have our own Evita until Hillary came along. But then, there she was! Proposing similar policies. A First Lady fighting for health care, collaborating with Mother Teresa (who would/must have loved Evita). All the better that she was not older than I – she was my contemporary. I rejoiced!

History tends to run roughshod over women like Evita and Hillary. Even now, we see efforts to destroy Hillary’s legacy in the same way Evita’s has been altered.

I am not Sam Woodhouse. I think I might love his production. One change I would make: I would fashion the Che character after Bernie Sanders. The fit is perfect. The socialist v. the democratic/progressive Eva. I can hear the Bernie/Che character singling “Oh What a Circus” about Hillary. He is singing it now. He should be banned for life from the Democratic Party. But I would love to see a white-haired Bernie in rumpled fatigues following Evita around onstage. That, after all, is who he is, an aging wannabe Che.

I wish I could be in SD to see this.  The tickets are reasonable. The production sounds so exciting with student participation. I think I would love it!

Break a leg, you guys! My heart is with you!

Recommended reading:

Fraser, Nicholas; Navarro, Marysa (1996). Evita: The Real Life of Eva Perón. W.W. Norton & Company.

Naipaul, V.S. (1980). The Return of Eva Perón. Alfred A. Knopf

Perón, Eva (1952). La Razón de mi vida. Buro Editors.

I have more titles, but they are in the attic. I will supply them upon request.

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Those watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu cannot be faulted for thinking they might be living a cyncial version of the old 1940s “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. (Who gave her that name?!) A movie called “The Road to Gilead.” Emily Peck has other ideas, but there are portents that cannot be denied.

Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope.

Peck is pretty optimistic positing that the road to Gilead is fraught with lots of potholes and obstructions, but we do well not to focus too narrowly on the falling rock on one side of the highway thereby missing the sheer cliff on the other side.

I am not watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” much as I would like to. I simply refuse to pay another dollar beyond my already expensive FiOS service, so Hulu and Netflix are out for me.  I have, however, read the book. The coincidence of the airing of the mini-series with the Democratic “Unity Tour” should set off some bells and whistles.

This is the axiom Peck offers that Bernie supporters continue to reject.

“Progress does not happen in a straight line. Setbacks are inevitable. What’s critical is what comes next.”

They rejected it during the 2016 primaries renouncing any and all incremental policies proposed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and stubbornly continued their opposition during the general election.  They persist in their unwillingness to allow the Democratic Party to evolve naturally and have set out to take it over and overturn the common sense principles that have been its warp and woof since the groundbreaking days of FDR.  Rather than empowering women, the party is rolling back its liberating positions on women under the influence of a man who refuses to join the party.  No, this is not a relitigation or extension of the 2016 primaries.  It is a fight for the future.

The parallels between the dystopia Atwood projected and perceived potential effects of the new administration are not limited to Trump’s positions and those of his cronies. The BernieBros continue to have a hand in suppressing female issues, concerns, and voices within the only party likely to continue to highlight them.

Women have a stake in resisting efforts on either side to curtail our rights and freedoms. Resisters must do it for ourselves.  But we must be careful not to lose the party.  That is where the strength is.  The reason the BernieBots are fighting to usurp that power is because they know that a third party will have no muscle except to do what they have done in 2000 and 2016 – split the progressive vote.

We must remember that there was a reason why, at the end of her senior thesis, Hillary Clinton spurned Saul Alinsky’s methods (i.e. change from without the system rather than within) as well as the job he offered her and opted for the discipline of law school instead.  We have to be in it to win it.

Leaving the party  is no solution.  Think hard before you do that because it is not only the Trump crowd that would happily see us in shades of red, blue, green, and stripes according to their designations of how we serve.  We cannot determine our fate from the outside.  The Bernie crowd knows this, and that is why they fight to take over the party.  Let’s not just abandon it to them.

Crossposted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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Statements-Fact-sheets

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At the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, Pharrell, Bernie, and Hillary fired up voters in the battleground state.

In Raleigh, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Pharrell Williams Make Closing Arguments for Clinton’s Vision of An America Where We Lift Each Other Up, Warn Against The Threat of A Trump Presidency

At an early-vote rally in North Carolina, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Pharrell Williams laid out the stakes in this election, and why she is the best candidate to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. Clinton said Trump as president would follow the pattern of Trump as a candidate: he would pit people against each other, put himself first and lash out at anyone who got under his very thin skin.

Clinton addressed Trump’s decades-long treatment of people of color, highlighting his call for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, his continued denial of their innocence even after they were exonerated and the two suits against his company by the U.S. Justice Department because it discriminated against people of color. Clinton also criticized Trump for his repeated statements casting African-American life as one of crime, poverty and despair, saying he “has no idea about the strength of the black church, the vibrancy of black-owned businesses, the excellence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the rise of a new generation of black activists for social justice, and the success of black leaders in every field.” Clinton asked how a person who has behaved as Trump has could be trusted appointing our justices and controlling our Justice Department.

Clinton offered her vision for an inclusive America that lifts up all communities – an America where we address the systemic challenges our country faces through criminal justice reform, commonsense gun safety reform, job-creating investments in communities that have been left out and left behind. Reminding supporters that the North Carolina margin of victory for President Obama in 2008 averaged only two votes per precinct, Clinton said that “President Obama’s entire legacy is on the line” and urged everyone to talk with their friends and family and vote for a better, stronger, fairer America.

Clinton said, “I’ve said many times he has shown us who he is; now it is up to us to decide who we are. And right now, people across our country are coming together to do just that. They are rejecting the dark and divisive vision for one that is more hopeful and inclusive. We know that America is bighearted, not smallminded. We want to lift people up, not tear each other down. And that’s why I do believe we are stronger together.”

Sanders cited Clinton’s support for a higher minimum wage, affordable college and more families being able to access healthcare, as the reason for his enthusiastic support. Sanders also touted the New College Compact he and Secretary Clinton developed together, which will allow families making less than $125,000 to attend college tuition-free, as proof of Secretary Clinton’s desire to break down all the barriers holding families back. Sanders said, “It is totally insane and unfair and counterproductive to the future of this country when we have hundreds of thousands of bright young people who have done well in high school who want to go to college but can’t get a higher education for one reason: their families lack the income. God only knows how many scientists and engineers and doctors and teachers we are not developing because of that.”

Clinton and Sanders’ remarks, as transcribed, are below:

HILLARY CLINTON:

“Thank you! Wow. Thank you all. Whoo! I got to say – thank you! Thank you. I got to say, after hearing from these two extraordinary men – I feel all fired up and ready to go for the next five days.

It is so great to be back here with all of you, and there are a few people in the audience that I just want to acknowledge because I’m delighted they’re there. U.S. Congressman David Price, I saw right there. Thank you, David. State Senator Dan Blue, Jr., I know – right there. Thank you, Dan. And I’m not sure she’s still here, but Deborah Ross, who I hope is your next senator. There she is. Because everything Pharrell and Bernie just said is not only about the presidential election and what’s at stake, it is about who’s going to represent you as your governor, as your senator, as members of Congress and the legislature. And you have some excellent candidates, and we are so hopeful that you will vote for them and vote for what they represent.

I really want to thank my friend, Bernie Sanders, for everything that he has done. I got to serve with Bernie. We were colleagues in the Senate. I saw firsthand his commitment to the people of Vermont and to the values that have guided his life. And when we faced each other in the primary, here’s what I was so proud about. We ran a campaign on the issues that matter to the American people. And I think because of that campaign, we were able to raise a lot of the issues that you heard Bernie talking about to the level that they are part of this presidential campaign, and they will be part of our agenda after January 20th, Bernie.

And I’ve got to say, too, this election has been a lot more fun now that we’re on the same side. And I want to thank Bernie for everything he’s done. He’s crisscrossing our country, energizing people, getting folks off the sidelines and engaged in politics. And there’s no question that his efforts are paying off. And what he said at the beginning of his remarks is absolutely true. My name may be on the ballot, but it is not about me, it’s not about my opponent, it’s not about Bernie, it’s not about David or Deborah. It is about you and your lives and what we’re going to do together.

Now, Bernie and I have already worked – we’ve worked on the plan that he told you about to make college tuition free for the middle class, for working families, for poor kids, and debt-free for everyone. Because, as Bernie said earlier this year, when people who care about progressive causes stand together, we win. And then we can get to work on making those causes into realities for the lives of our people.

So I am proud to be here with you, and I am so excited about the election, about everything that we’re going to do together. And I’m especially pleased to have Pharrell here. Now, every time I see him, which is not often enough, we always have a good conversation, like we did before this event. He always gets you to think. Not only is he a world-class talent, but he is a passionate advocate for issues that are too often overlooked and ignored. He wants to – and I’m going to do everything I can to help him – to deliver giving kids who are at risk access to educational and arts programs that they deserve to have just as much as any other child. So tell me this – tell me this, North Carolina. Tell me, North Carolina: Are you really, really, really happy that we’re here tonight? Well, we sure are. There’s nowhere we’d rather be.

Now, let me ask you this: How many of you have already voted? Well, I hope you’re going to bring more people to vote as well, right? Are you ready to volunteer? We can all use you in these last days. Are you ready to elect Roy Cooper? Well, I’m glad to hear that because it’s time you had a governor who puts families first, not radical ideology. And I love seeing our educators stand up and applaud. Because you need a governor who actually cares about the education of the children of North Carolina.

Now, are you ready to elect Deborah Ross to the United States Senate? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you, Deborah and her race are the talk of everywhere. People know she will be an independent voice for North Carolina families, that she will represent you with integrity and excellence. And unlike her opponent, she’s never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.

Are you ready now to choose our next president and commander-in-chief? Well, I’m excited. Did any of you see the debates? Well, there are several notable aspects of those debates. I mean, one is the very fact that I stood on the stage for four and a half hours with my opponent, proving once and for all I have the stamina to be president and commander-in-chief. But he also kept saying, like, ‘Oh, well, you know, what have you done for the last 30 years?’ And occasionally I would interject and say what I had done. And today in Greenville, we had a perfect comparison. I started my career fighting for children and families with the Children’s Defense Fund when I got right out of law school in the 1970s. I went to South Carolina to gather evidence to stop the government in South Carolina from putting young men, teenagers, in jails with adults. I went to Alabama undercover to gather information about segregated academies to deprive them of tax-exempt status which they did not observe. I went door to door in New Bedford, Massachusetts, gathering information to make the case that every child in America, including children with disabilities, should have the right to a public school education.

And as we heard this morning from just a wonderful, distinguished older woman by the name of Mae Wiggins, who came all the way down to tell her story – she was a nurse in New York City back in the 1970s, excited about being a young nurse, getting her career off to a start. And she was looking for a place to live. And she had a budget, like everybody does. And she found what she thought would be the perfect place. It was within her budget. It was close to work. She went to apply for an apartment. It was a new building, brand-new building. It wasn’t even totally finished yet. She went into the little office and asked for an application, and they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any apartments.’ She said, ‘But I saw the advertisement.’ ‘Well, we have no apartments let.’ Well, she thought that was pretty peculiar, and so she decided to do a little investigation. And she found out that all of her African American friends who’d gone to that apartment run by Donald Trump and his father, Fred, had been told there were no apartments.

So she had the gumption to go and make a complaint, which led to the Justice Department suing them for discrimination. They settled the suit, but then they had to come back a year later and sue them again because they were still discriminating. So when you hear, as, Bernie so powerfully said at the end of his remarks, that we are standing against the possibility of returning and normalizing discrimination, take it seriously, my friends, because it truly is – it truly is at stake in this election.

And I was also very, very grateful I had a role in helping to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program as First Lady. And let me tell you, one of the great – one of the great honors as I travel across the country is meeting young people who are the beneficiaries, or meeting their families. I met a woman here in North Carolina who told her story, and we actually recorded it because all of us were so moved by what she had to say. When her baby was born, her daughter, she was deaf. And the doctors all said, she’ll never communicate so she cannot learn to speak, so you need to teach her sign language. And the mom did all this research and concluded that there were some treatments that might help her daughter, but she didn’t have that kind of money. They didn’t have that kind of insurance.

And she was telling her doctor she didn’t know what to do, and the doctor just serendipitously said, ‘You know, there’s this new program. It’s called the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It’s for people who are not poor but they don’t make enough money to afford that kind of insurance and they don’t work for an employer who provides it. You should look into it, it is very similar to One Sure auto insurance plans. And that began the process of her getting the treatment that her daughter needed. And when I met the mother, I also met the daughter, right here. I talked with her. She told me how proud she was because she had just graduated from college, George Washington University.

So yes, I do sweat the details and I do have a lot of plans. Tim Kaine and I put a whole book out called ‘Stronger Together’ telling you exactly what we’re going to try to do if we’re fortunate enough to be President and Vice President because I actually think it’s important for you to know what we’re going to do together. And as a Senator, I helped to rebuild New York City after 9/11 and provided health care to our brave first responders. As your Secretary of State, I traveled to 112 countries, negotiated cease fires, reduced the threat of nuclear weapons, stood up for human rights and women’s rights and LGBT rights all around the world.

And everything I’ve done started by listening to people, listening to hear your stories, what you’re worried about, and then working to bring people together, to find common ground, even with people who disagreed with me on lots of issues. When I was First Lady, I had a great commitment to kids in foster care. And I wanted to improve our foster care and adoption laws. And I was looking for some Republican to work with me, and I found one because I did my research and found out that one of the most partisan Republicans, Congressman Tom DeLay from Texas, had a heart for children in foster care. He and his wife had fostered children. And I called him up. I said, ‘Congressman, would you work with me to change the laws on foster care and adoption?’ There was a silence. He said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘Well, come to the White House. Come to a meeting. We’ll sit down and figure out what we can do.’ And we did. And I meet those kids, and I meet those families, kids who were taken out of foster care and given the chance to have a loving permanent family for the first time.

Now, I’m telling you this because I really believe that’s the only way we’re going to get things done. And if you elect me next Tuesday, that is the kind of president I will be.

So let me just – let me just mention a few of the ideas that we’ve been putting forward to help you and your families get ahead and stay ahead because I truly believe you need a candidate you can vote for, not just someone to vote against. But as you’re making this choice, we need to be clear about what the choice is because come January 20th, America will have a new President. It will either be me or my opponent. Now, I think it’s fair to say things are going to change. Change is part of life. That much is certain. The question is, what kind of change are we going to see? Are we going to build a stronger, fairer, better America, or are we going to fear each other and fear our future?

I want you just to imagine. Imagine the different kinds of futures that are available, depending upon who’s elected on January 20th, because by imagining it, I want you to think about every issue you care about, everything that is dear to you, every word from Pharrell and from Bernie. It’s hard for me to imagine that we would have a president who has demeaned women, mocked the disabled, insulted African Americans and Latinos, pitted people against each other instead of bringing them together. That is unfortunately, though, what we have seen in this campaign. What we have seen, what’s been said […] it’s been. I know there are a lot of people who are upset about what’s gone on in this campaign, aren’t there?

People come and talk to me. I’ve had people say that they can’t sleep, that their stomachs are bothering them, they have headaches. And I think that’s an important signal, because this is a big decision. And as Michelle Obama has said, the presidency doesn’t change you – who you are, it reveals who you are. And I think it’s fair to say that my opponent has already revealed who he is. And he wants to ban every Muslim in the world from coming to the United States. Our country is founded on religious freedom. It is one of the most important building blocks of our democracy. He has said that he thinks the lives of black people are all crime and poverty and despair. He has no idea. No idea about the strength of the black church, the vibrancy of black-owned businesses, the excellence of historically black colleges and universities. He seems not to recognize the rise of a new generation of black activists for social justice and the success of black leaders in every field.

And we saw that again in the way he treated the Central Park Five. These were five black and Latino kids, some as young as 14, who were wrongly convicted of a terrible crime in New York City back in 1990. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four newspapers calling for the death penalty for these kids. Nearly three decades, they were exonerated by DNA evidence. And in addition, someone else confessed to the crime so they were finally released from prison. But not only did Trump refuse to apologize for what he had said about them and even calling for their executions, he actually said they should still be in prison. Evidence didn’t matter. The law didn’t matter. To him, those kids would always be guilty. So think about it. If he wants to keep exonerated people in jail, how can we trust him to fight for the rule of justice and fairness and criminal justice reform in America? Do we want him appointing our judges?”

AUDIENCE: “No.”

HILLARY CLINTON: “Do we want him controlling the Justice Department?”

AUDIENCE: “No.”

HILLARY CLINTON: “Well, I’ve said many times he has shown us who he is; now it is up to us to decide who we are. And right now, people across our country are coming together to do just that. They are rejecting the dark and divisive vision for one that is more hopeful and inclusive. We know that America is bighearted, not smallminded. We want to lift people up, not tear each other down. And that’s why I do believe we are stronger together.

So let me paint you a different picture. Here’s what we’re going to do together. We’re going to take on systemic racism with a full commitment and real follow-through. Because we refuse to accept as normal some of what we’re seeing across America. What happened to that church in Mississippi yesterday should not have happened and it should never be accepted. People painted the words, ‘Vote Trump’ on the side and then set it on fire. Who would do that? Who would do that to a place of worship where people seek solace? That can never be normal. It can never be acceptable. What happened in Flint, Michigan, as Bernie said, can never be normal, can never be acceptable. Little children drinking and bathing in poisoned water that will affect their health for years to come.

And then we know, don’t we, too many young African Americans are dying in police incidents or because of gun violence. We know their names: Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland and Keith Scott and so many others. We have got to face this, and we’re going to get to work to do just that. We are going to – We are going to dismantle the so-called school-to-prison pipeline. And we’re going to replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline. And we’re going to start with our youngest kids and their families to give them the support that they need. And we’re going to take a hard look at what we need to do to make sure every child has the chance to attend good schools with good teachers no matter what their zip code is. And we will reform our criminal justice system from end to end. It is wrong, my friends, that black men are far more likely to be stopped by police, charged, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men for the same offenses.

When I launched this campaign back in April of 2015, the very first speech I gave was on the topic of criminal justice reform. I said then, and I have repeated it throughout this campaign, we must end the era of mass incarceration. Too many families have been broken up, too many communities have been so badly affected. We have to reform these mandatory minimums and sentencing. We have to ban the box so people who have served their time can get a real chance at a good job and a fresh start. And we have to restore trust between police and communities. We are all safer when everyone has respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law.

This is important, of course, to families and communities but it is important to all of us. This is about who we are as a country, about whether we really are a nation that believes in freedom and justice for all. Too often, despite the progress we’ve made, we fall short of that goal, and we have to be honest about it. I am determined to make this one of the most important projects of my presidency, and I hope all of you will join me in doing that.

And I have to say, that is only part of what must be done, because the leading cause of death for young African American men, more than the next nine causes combined, is gun violence. We have 33,000 people a year dying from guns. I just cannot tolerate this any longer. I have met the families of those who’ve lost loved ones, who’ve lost the first-graders in Sandy Hook, the bible study churchgoers in Charleston, the clubgoers in Orlando, the moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, people going about their […] being cut down and cut senselessly short. We have to take steps to reduce gun violence, and I know we can do that because – the vast majority of Americans agree something must be done, and a very big majority of gun owners agree as well.

And we’ve got to make investments in those communities that are struggling, especially communities of color. When I was in eastern North Carolina today and I was talking to people there who had been devastated by Hurricane Matthew, people who didn’t have very much to start with who lost everything, farmers with 100-200 acres growing sweet potatoes, wiped out. We’ve got to help everybody get ahead. I believe that the economy must work for everyone, not just those at the top. And I think hardworking Americans deserve a raise and women deserve equal pay.

So how are we going to do this? Well, we’re going to go where the money is. Just as Bernie said, we’re going to make the wealthy pay their fair share and make sure Wall Street never threatens Main Street again. And I can’t wait to work with Bernie to make public colleges and universities, like NC State, right here in Raleigh, tuition-free. I know that this is another issue Pharrell feels passionately about as well. If you are struggling with student debt, we’re going to cut that and help you pay it back and get out from under it. And in my plan is a $25 billion fund specifically aimed at supporting historically black colleges and universities, schools like Shaw and St. Augustine, because you know they produce some of the finest leaders in our country, and I want to make sure they keep doing that vital work.

So we could go on all night. I mean, Bernie and I could really keep you here until breakfast [laughter] because we get excited about what we can do. But, of course, we can’t do anything if you don’t get out and vote and get everybody you know to vote. This is going to be one of the most consequential elections in our country’s history. You know that because we are at a crossroad. It’s not just who my opponent is. Pharrell is right. We don’t even have to mention his name very much. Right? It’s not just about him, although there are some special features that certainly raise deep concerns. It’s about who we are. It’s about what we want, what we are going to do to make our mark on our country at this time in our history. I believe, I believe, America’s best days are still ahead of us if we do what we are supposed to do. Every social movement, every economic advance has only come about because people were willing to work and sacrifice and keep pushing forward in the face of adversity.

It’s not easy. It wasn’t easy to get the vote for women. It wasn’t easy to have the final efforts made to ensure that the Civil Rights Act was enforced. It wasn’t easy because there are powerful interests still trying to push us back and push us down. You know because in this state, a lot of effort was put into trying to suppress the vote. Right? And some people got discouraged about that. I’ve met some people who say, ‘Well, I don’t even know what they want, what kind of identification. It gets a little discouraging.’ You cannot get discouraged. Do not grow weary while doing good. Right?

It is now our turn, our turn to stand up to people like your governor and your legislature, who wanted to shut you down and push you back because we are fundamentally a good nation and we need to make sure we deliver on that promise. And in this election, President Obama’s entire legacy is on the line, everything that he has worked so hard to do against implacable opposition. As the President said yesterday, everything we’ve done is dependent upon him being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things he believes in.

So I’ve got to tell you I told the President I am ready to take the baton, but he’s going to have to bend over because he’s a lot taller than I am. But I’m not just taking it. All of us are taking it. We are ready to grab that baton to defend and build upon the progress of his presidency. And that is why everyone must vote. Early vote. And vote on Tuesday if you can’t get to early vote. More than 31 million Americans have already voted. And listen to this, more than two million right here in North Carolina have already voted. So, make no mistake about it, you can make the difference, not only in who you elect but in the agenda that those people will then get to work on. I want you to hold me accountable. I want you to be my partners.

But I can’t do any of this – when I was with our wonderful First Lady last week, she reminded – she reminded the big crowd we had in Winston-Salem that President Obama in 2008 won this state by about 14,000 votes. If you break that down, do you know what the difference between winning and losing is? Roughly two votes per precinct. So don’t let anybody tell you their vote doesn’t matter. You’ve got to get everyone you know to come out and vote. You can vote early through this Saturday, November 5th. If you don’t know where to vote, go to iwillvote.com to confirm your voting location because the best way to repudiate the bigotry and the bluster and the bullying and the hateful rhetoric and discrimination is to show up with the biggest turnout in American history. And then that will be the story of this election.

Let’s make that one for the history books. Please be part of what we’re doing in these next days. And let’s make sure that we not only have a future we can believe in but one we can help create together and demonstrate, once and for all, that love trumps hate. Thank you all!”

BERNIE SANDERS:

“Thank you. Thank you very much. And Pharrell, thank you very much. Pharrell began his remarks by making a very important point. He said he’s not a politician; he’s a musician, but he understands that in this moment in American history, it is imperative that all of us be politicians, all of us be involved […]. Thank you, Pharrell.

Now, let me begin [a] by thanking all of you for coming out. What a fantastic turnout tonight. Thank you so much. And [b] I want to begin with a startling revelation. Are you ready for a startling revelation?”

AUDIENCE: “Yes.”

BERNIE SANDERS: “All right, I knew you would be. And here is the revelation. Despite what media may tell you, this campaign is not about Hillary Clinton, it is not about Donald Trump, it is not about Bill Clinton, it is not about Melania Trump, it is not about their children. This campaign is about you and millions of other Americans. And this campaign is not a personality contest. We’re not voting for high school president. We’re voting for the most powerful leader in the entire world. And what this campaign must be about is which candidate has the experience and the vision to work for the middle class and the working class and the families of our country. And in my view, without a shadow of doubt, that candidate is Hillary Clinton, our next president.

Now, let me also do something after giving you the startling revelation. Let me give you something else also very radical, and that is I think a campaign should be based on issues. Now, I know that’s, again, a very radical idea. Imagine talking about the real issues impacting the American people. What a crazy idea that is. But just for the heck of it, let’s do it. Why not? What do we got to lose?

When I think about the most important issue, and I speak for myself now, I worry very, very much that this country is sliding into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires control our economic and political life. As we speak – as we speak, this very moment – billionaires around the country are pouring tens and tens of millions of dollars into senatorial campaigns, House campaigns, and campaigns of all kids. What we are saying tonight is we will not allow billionaires to buy the United States Government. And one of the major differences of many between Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump is that Secretary Clinton has made it clear that she will do everything she can in every way to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. Too many brave people here in North Carolina and Vermont and all over this country have put their lives on the line to defend American democracy. We’re going to fight for that democracy. We are not going to become an oligarchy.

And there’s another issue. When we talk about democracy, which, after all, is what this country is about, we have cowardly Republican governors all over this country trying to suppress […]. Hillary Clinton and I believe that our job is to get more people to participate in the political process, not fewer people. And I say, look, in a democracy, honest people can have different points of view. Secretary Clinton has conservative friends, I have conservative friends. That’s democracy. But what is not democracy is when cowardly governors go out of their way to make it difficult for people to vote. And I say to those governors: If you don’t have the guts to participate in a free, open, and fair election, get out politics and get another job.

Thank you. So issue number one, Secretary Clinton, Pharrell, and I and all of you understand that we need a vibrant democracy where people participate, where people vote.

Second point. Now, I try not to be too hard on my Republican colleagues because many of them suffer from a serious illness called amnesia. And unlike Mr. Trump, we do not make fun of people with disabilities. And what their illness is about is they seem to have forgotten where this country was eight years ago tonight. Somehow it just skipped their minds; I don’t know. They forgot that eight years ago tonight we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, a horrific number, unprecedented since the Great Depression. They forgot – and they’re very concerned about deficits, which is an important issue. They forgot that under Bush’s last year we were running up the largest deficit in the history of this country, $1.4 trillion, just forgot about it. And they forgot, by the way, just to mention, that the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.

We have come a long way in eight years in improving the economy. Thank you, President Obama. But let us also acknowledge – let us also acknowledge – that while unemployment has gone way lower today than it was when President Obama came to office, we have also got to acknowledge that the economy is nowhere where we want it to be, and that millions of our brothers and sisters in this country are hurting financially. That is a fact.

And let us acknowledge and not be afraid to put it out on the table and to say that over the last 40 years, what we have seen is a middle class in this country which is shrinking, where people in North Carolina and Vermont and all over this country are today working not one job but two or three jobs to cobble together the income and the healthcare that they need. Let us be honest and acknowledge there are millions of working families desperately looking for decent-quality affordable childcare. Let us be honest and acknowledge that millions of older workers are moving into retirement, but they have absolutely no savings and they are very worried about their future. That is the reality, and we can’t hide it.

So it is important for us to take a hard look at which candidate is going to address those issues, which candidate understands that the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America today is unacceptable and which candidate has the courage to stand with working families and tell the billionaire class they cannot have it all, this country, our government belong to all of us.

In North Carolina and all over this country, we have people working longer hours for lower wages. Everybody here knows that nobody can make it on $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. [Cheers and applause.] And let us be very clear. A seven and a quarter federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. Let’s be clear. You can’t make it on 7 and a quarter, and you can’t make it on 10 bucks an hour. There is one candidate running for president who has pledged to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And that is Hillary Clinton. [Chants of “Hillary.”] In America, we have got to think big, not small. And one of those ways that we have got to think and understand, nobody in America who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. We are going to raise that minimum wage to a living wage.

There’s another issue. I’m almost embarrassed to mention it. And that is in the year 2016, women are still making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. And I know, I know that every man here will stand with Secretary Clinton and me and all of the people of this country in demanding pay equity for women, equal pay for equal work.

When we think big and not small, we take a hard look. We say, ‘Well, what’s going on around the rest of the world?’ And then we learn something. We learn that all over the world, working people are guaranteed paid family and medical leave. Every major country and, in fact, most poor countries guarantee paid family and medical leave, but right now, right here in North Carolina today, some working-class woman has given birth to a beautiful baby. But she is going to have to go back to work. She is going to have to separate herself from that beautiful baby in a week or two because she doesn’t have the money to stay home with that baby. That’s wrong. And that is why Secretary Clinton and I will fight to guarantee 12 weeks paid family and medical leave.

Donald Trump has a brilliant idea. And, as you know, Donald’s ideas are always brilliant because he is a self-defined genius, so by definition. And in the midst of the healthcare problems that we have as a nation, Mr. Trump’s brilliant idea is to throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance. Now, in fairness to Mr. Trump, we have to say that he really did not originate this idea. Most of his Republican colleagues feel the same way.

And I am a member of the Budget Committee. And when the Budget Committee, dominated by Republicans, passed language to that effect, I asked the chairman. I said, ‘Mr. Chairman, if you throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance, how many of them are going to die? How many of them are going to become much sicker than they should have become?’ The Republicans did not have an answer, not something they are worried about.

Well, Secretary Clinton is worried about it, and I am worried about it. We don’t think it is a good idea to throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance. We think we should be moving this country to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. And when we talk about healthcare, you go up to the average American today, and you say, ‘Well, what is the issue about healthcare that bothers you the most?’ More often than not, what they will tell you is they are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. They are tired of seeing the cost of prescription drugs soar at a time when last year, the 5 major drug companies made $50 billion in profit. And the top 10 pharmaceutical executives made over $300 million in compensation. We are saying to the drug companies tonight, ‘Stop ripping off the American people.’ ‘And if you do not do it on your own, we are going to do it for you. Prices are going down.’

Secretary Clinton understands, as I think we all do, that, while the economy is better today than it was eight years ago, there’s a lot more that has to be done. And that is why we understand that we can create millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure: our roads, our bridges, our water systems.

Secretary Clinton and I have both been to Flint, Michigan. And we have talked to parents whose children have been poisoned by lead in the water, but it’s not just Flint, Michigan. It is communities all over this country. This is America. We should have cutting-edge infrastructure. We can create millions of jobs rebuilding that infrastructure. Let’s do it.

At the end of the primary process, Secretary Clinton and I chatted for a while to see in what ways we could work together most effectively. And one area that we both feel very strongly about is that in a highly competitive global economy, this nation must have the best-educated workforce in the world. It is totally insane and unfair and counterproductive to the future of this country when we have hundreds of thousands of bright young people who have done well in high school who want to go to college but can’t get a higher education for one reason: their families lack the income. God only knows how many scientists and engineers and doctors and teachers we are not developing because of that.

So Secretary Clinton and I came up with a pretty simple proposal. And it says that we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for every family under $125,000. Now, that is, in fact, a pretty revolutionary idea, and I’ll tell you why. Number one, obviously, it’s easier for people who are in college or will soon be in college, but it does something else even more profound.

I grew up in a family where my dad dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and my mother never went to college. And there are millions of families like that in this country where kids grow up not knowing anybody who ever went to college, who believe that there is no way in the world because they’re poor, working class. They’re never going to make it to college. But when the word goes out that if those children do their schoolwork seriously and pay attention, regardless of their income, yes, they are going to be able to go to college, that’s revolutionary.

How many people here tonight are dealing with student debt? Raise your hands. Well, welcome to the club. You are part of many, many millions of Americans who leave school and gotta figure out how they’re going to pay 30-, 50-, $100,000 in debt. I talked to a young woman in Iowa last year. She went to dental school. And we desperately need dentists because we have a crisis in affordable dental care. And she graduated dental school $400,000 in debt. Now, that’s insane. It is insane and unfair to ask people who did the right thing – they went out and they got the education they were supposed to – and then they are saddled with student debt, sometimes for decades.

Secretary Clinton and I think that that situation has got to change. Now, right now, right now my guess is that here in Raleigh you can go out and buy a new car and pay an interest on that loan for that car of 1 percent, 2 percent. Am I right?”

AUDIENCE: “Yes.”

BERNIE SANDERS: “You can refinance your home at 3 or 4 percent.”

AUDIENCE: “Yes.”

BERNIE SANDERS: “Then why in God’s name are millions of people paying 6, 8, 10 percent interest rates on their student debt? So what we believe is that if you have student debt, you should be able to refinance that debt at the lowest interest rates you can find.

Now, there are many, many differences between Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump. But there is one that is very, very profound. Are you ready for a very radical thought right now? I don’t want anyone to faint. I think we have some paramedics here. But I do want to make this announcement. Are you ready for it? [Cries of “Yes!”] All right. And Madam Secretary, you correct me if I’m wrong here. I don’t want to misspeak for you. Secretary Clinton believes in science. And I know – I know I put her in a difficult position. In 2016, to believe in science, a little bit dangerous. But what the heck.

Now, I’m a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment, and I have talked to scientists – I have talked to scientists all over this country and all over the world. And let me be very clear. The debate is over. Climate change is real. Climate change is caused by human activity. And climate change is already today causing devastating problems in this country and around the world. Secretary Clinton has some very specific ideas about how we transform our energy system, how we invest in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and that is exactly what we have to do.

Now, Donald Trump has a different idea. After years and years of studying the issue from a scientific perspective – I’m joking, I’m joking – he has concluded that climate change is a hoax emanating from China. Now, why he chose China and Mexico or some Muslim country, I don’t know. But that’s the way it is. Now, we can laugh at this, but in truth, this is not a funny issue. I’ve got seven grandchildren. Secretary Clinton has grandchildren. Our jobs as custodians of this planet is to make sure that we leave our kids and grandchildren a planet that is healthy and habitable. And that means that we have to have the guts to take on the fossil fuel industry and tell them their short-term profits are not more important than the future of our planet.

Secretary Clinton understands that we have a broken criminal justice system that needs major reform. It is not acceptable to her, to me, and to, I suspect, anyone here that we as a nation have more people in jail than any other country on Earth. And Secretary Clinton understands, as I think most of us do, that it makes a heck of a lot more sense to invest in jobs and education for our young people rather than jails and incarceration.

And Secretary Clinton also understands that with 11 million people in this country who are undocumented today, the vast majority working hard to take care of their families, we need comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship.

Let me conclude by saying this. All of you know that our country, from its earliest days, has struggled with issues of racism and sexism and discrimination. And we should be very proud that we have come a long, long way in overcoming a lot of those issues. If we were here, I tell you, 15 years ago and somebody said, you know, I think we’re going to have an African American as President in the year 2008, very few people would have believed that. If somebody here said 10 years ago that gay marriage would be legal in 50 states in 2015, and let us not forget that as I stand next to our next President, 100 years ago – not a long time from a historical perspective – women were not running for President; they didn’t have the right to vote. They couldn’t get an education, couldn’t get the jobs they wanted. We have come a long way. I disagree with Donald Trump on virtually all of his policy positions. But what upsets me the most, what upsets me – it’s beyond disagreement – is we have struggled for so many to overcome discrimination, and he is running his campaign, the cornerstone of which is bigotry. Now, as Americans, we can disagree on many issues. But we have come too far. Too many people have gone to jail and too many have died in the struggle for equal rights. We are not going back to a bigoted society.

And furthermore, what we understand – you know, my dad came from Poland. And if we went around this room, you’ll find people from 100 more countries, all over the world. What we understand is our strength, our uniqueness, is our diversity. We should be proud of it. We should be proud of it, and we are not going to allow Trump or anyone else to divide us up. We’ve got a lot of work to do as Americans. In the next five days, we’ve got to do everything that we can to elect Secretary Clinton. And on the day after the election, we’re going to go back to work to make this country what we know it can become. Thank you all.

And now it is my very great honor and privilege to introduce you to the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.”
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Let’s build a BIG BLUE WALL and Make Donald Trump pay for his lies, shady cronyism, and innuendo!

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This endorsement is too cute not to share.  He does not mention which is Felix and which is Oscar.

Bernie Sanders’ ‘Most Loyal Republican Friend’ Gets Behind Hillary Clinton

Vermont businessman Tony Pomerleau is supporting the same presidential candidate as his longtime friend, despite their ideological differences.

09/29/2016

The latest Republican to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over GOP nominee Donald Trump is a longtime friend of Clinton’s opponent in the primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Tony Pomerleau, a prominent Republican businessman and developer in Sanders’ hometown of Burlington, Vermont, endorsed Clinton in a charmingly brief letter to the Clinton campaign that was provided to The Huffington Post.

“I am a loyal Republican born in 1917 and the first time a woman could vote was in 1919,” the letter reads. “I will be most happy to cast my vote to the first woman president of the United States of America. I am a loyal friend of Bernie Sanders and in Vermont they call us the ‘Odd Couple.’”

Read more and see the letter here >>>>

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Hillary arrived at Portsmouth Airport met by a contingent of supporters and went to lunch with some lucky folks who won a contest to meet her.  Then Hillary and Bernie teamed up at the University of New Hampshire Durham for a panel discussion on the New College Compact.

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In New Hampshire, Clinton and Sanders Discuss Lowering The Cost of College

Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders were in Durham, New Hampshire today discussing their shared belief that cost should not be a barrier for anyone who chooses to go to college, and student debt should not hold Americans back after they leave school.

Hillary Clinton highlighted her and Senator Kaine’s plan to confront the skyrocketing cost of college and build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. Her plan would provide tuition free college at in-state public universities for students from families making up to $125,000, expanded loan forgiveness for graduates going into public service and breaks on interest payments for aspiring entrepreneurs. She also highlighted her campaign’s college calculator. And she emphasized: “But I have to say this: none of this will happen if you all don’t turn out and vote. None of it. You know, I see all the signs saying, ‘I will vote.’ There is also a website. Please go to iwillvote.com to make sure you’re registered. All the information is there.”

Sanders praised Clinton’s plan, adding, “What this proposal, Secretary Clinton’s proposal, tells us is that if you are a low-income family, a working class family, if your kid studies hard and does well, yes. Regardless of the income of your family, your kid will be able to make it into college. That is a big deal.”

Clinton and Sanders’ remarks, as transcribed, are below:

HILLARY CLINTON: “Thank you. Thank you all so much. It is great being here on the stage at UNH with my friend Bernie Sanders, one of the most passionate champions for equality and justice that I have ever seen and someone who I am looking forward to working with to get [cheers] the kind of agenda through our Congress that will begin to make our country stronger by providing the kind of support that working families and middle class families so richly deserve.

Bernie’s campaign energized so many young people, some of you in this crowd. And there is no group of Americans who have more at stake in this election than young Americans because so much of what will happen will affect your lives, your jobs, the kind of country we are, the kind of future we want to build together.

I’m proud of the primary campaign that Bernie and I ran. We ran a campaign about issues, not insults. And when it was over, we began to work together to try to figure out how we could take the issues we agreed on and come together knowing we are stronger together to come up with specific policies in education, in health and so much else. Thank you, Bernie. Thank you for your leadership, and thank you for your support in this campaign.

Now, we’re going to need some help in Washington. And I hope New Hampshire will send your now Governor Maggie Hassan to Washington as your senator. And I sure hope you will send Carol Shea Porter back to Washington.

Isn’t this one of the strangest elections you’ve ever seen? I – I really sometimes don’t know what to make of it. Standing on that debate stage the other night, I was especially thinking about that. And, look, I have been very clear about what I want to do if I’m fortunate enough to be elected president. And Americans increasingly are zeroing in on the fact that we’re not only electing a president, we’re electing a commander-in-chief. We’re looking to see who can protect our country and provide steady and strong leadership around the world.

I was very honored today to earn the endorsement of John Warner, a retired Republican senator, World War II veteran, former – former secretary of the Navy who served under two Republican presidents. I served with him on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And I have the deepest respect for his patriotism. And it’s a great honor. He’s never endorsed a Democrat for president before. And I’m also very grateful that a number of Republicans and Independents here in New Hampshire have announced their support for this campaign. In fact, it is really an extraordinary honor that 150 Republicans here in New Hampshire are supporting this campaign because they understand how high the stakes are.

The next – the next 40 days will determine the next 40 years. So I’m going to close my campaign the way I started my public service and my career: fighting for kids and families. That’s been the cause of my life. And it will be the mission of my presidency. And when you go to vote in November or if you vote early, it’s not just my name on the ballot. Every issue you care about, think about it because, in effect, it’s on the ballot, too. It’s whether or not we continue to fight climate change or we give in to denial. This is a big deal. I never thought when I gave my acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention that I would have to put in the following sentence, ‘I believe in science.’ Climate change is real. It’s serious. And we have to be united and committed in addressing it. I never thought I’d hear someone running for president, my opponent, who says he wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality and turn the clock back on LGBT Americans, overturn a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions and reverse that fundamental right and so much more.

So there’s a lot at stake. And that’s why some of the analysts are saying more Americans will vote in this election than ever before. We had more people watching that debate than any presidential debate before. And that’s why we have to focus on what we want to do because I want to make a difference in your lives.

And one of the biggest issues that I heard about throughout the campaign that I hear about from every corner of our country is how much an education costs. Bernie is absolutely right. I remember when I went to college, my dad, who was a small business man – he had saved up money, but I had to work. I had to work through college, work during the school year, work during summers, but that was okay. We were able to put it together. It wasn’t so much that it endangered me or my family’s financial future.

And then I decided to go to law school, and my dad said, ‘Well, I can’t help you. That – we’re done. We can’t help you.’ So I kept working. I got a small scholarship, but then I took out loans. And I paid those loans back. But I was lucky because I signed up for a program that gave me the opportunity to pay my loans back as a percentage of my income, not a fixed interest rate. That’s why I could go to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. I think I made $14,000 a year, as I recall. I could never have done that if I had had the kind of interest rates that so many young people now are facing.

It’s absolutely wrong, and it has undermined the fundamental right to pursue your dreams, to have that education, to get those opportunities that you so rightly deserve.

Now, New Hampshire has the highest proportion of students with debt in the country and the second-highest average debt per student. As a student I met here in New Hampshire said, going to college should be hard, but paying for college shouldn’t be so hard that it prevents you from getting your education.

Indeed, here in New Hampshire, we’ve got so many young people graduating with debt who aren’t able to get started in their careers, aren’t able to do the jobs like I could do, because they have to get a job that pays as much as possible to begin paying their debt down. So we should, and we will, make public colleges tuition-free for families earning less than $125,000 a year.

And if you already have student debt, like so many students have here in New Hampshire, we will help you refinance it. It is absolutely outrageous that you cannot refinance student debt, and it is even worse that you’re being charged interest rates that are so much higher than anything that anybody else is paying to buy a house, to buy a car, to borrow money for a business. I don’t know how we got to where we are, but we are going to fix it. This is wrong. It’s wrong for students, it’s wrong for families, and it’s wrong for our country.

I also have met a lot of young people who want to start a business. They want to be entrepreneurs. It’s the classic American story; start that business in the garage or the basement; get going. But they can’t get credit because they have student debt. Nobody will help them out, no matter how good the idea is. So we’re going to put a moratorium, so you don’t have to pay your student debt back for a couple of years while you try to get your business started, and you get the chance to get the credit you need.

We are also – we are also going to provide loan forgiveness for people willing to go into public service or national service. And in Florida on Friday I’ll give a speech about why that is so important.

Now, when you add it up, our plan will help millions of people save thousands of dollars. Our campaign has built a tool to help you see how our college plan will actually help you, not in general, but really specifically you, the situation you’re in. To check it out, go to hillaryclinton.com/calculator.

Now, we have an example right here, and this presentation is what you can see when you go to our website. You can say, ‘I have student debt,’ you can say, ‘I am planning for college,’ you can put in what your annual household income is, how much you will save, and we are trying to make it as specific as possible because I don’t want anybody to miss out on what this plan can do for you. You can choose whether you have student debt.

I met a young woman just yesterday in North Carolina who said, ‘Nobody really explained to me and my family what I was getting into.’ I hear that so much. You know, these financial aid forms, one is called FAFSA, it takes forever to fill out, and at the end of it you really don’t know what it means? Well, we’re going to be really explicit. You know, we do have technology in America. And we ought to use it more to help people understand what they’re getting into and to provide alternatives so that they don’t make the wrong decisions for themselves.

So, please, use this, you know? You will save $60,640 if you’re in one of these categories. But there is a way to understand the choices you have to make for everybody. So I hope you will go to hillaryclinton.com/calculator.

But I have to say this: none of this will happen if you all don’t turn out and vote. None of it. You know, I see all the signs saying, ‘I will vote.’ There is also a website. Please go to iwillvote.com to make sure you’re registered. All the information is there. You put in your name, you put in your address, and through the miracle of technology you can find out if you’re registered, or maybe because you moved you were purged from the records and you have to register again. New Hampshire makes it easy. You can have same-day registration.

So both Bernie and I are excited about what we can do together. I am really looking forward to working with him and other strong Democrats and Republicans who want to help solve problems again in America. Bringing people together is what I’m going to spend a lot of my time doing as your president. And if you’ve had a chance to see or meet my running mate, Tim Kaine, you know how hard he’ll work to get things done and make it a high priority to produce results.

So we’re going to move now to the panel, and I’m very pleased to have Mary Jo Brown moderating, along with Doug Martin, who you heard from earlier. I know they have collected up questions from the crowd. But I will end by saying that I’m excited about what we can do to make college affordable, and especially as Bernie rightly said, open the doors to families and young people who have been left out. We also want to make Pell grants once again available year-round, and we want to make sure that we have – specific help for certain groups of students.

I’ll end with this story. I taught at the University of Arkansas Law School some years ago, and I met a lot of students, not only in the law school but students on campus. I’d go and eat with them and go to events with them, and I met a lot of students who scraped together the tuition money, but then something happened. You know, maybe they were already parents and their childcare fell apart. Maybe they had to drive to and from school; they lived out in the country and their old car finally broke down and there was no public transportation. Or maybe they had a health emergency. And they would come and they would say to me, ‘What can I do? Where can I get the $300 to fix the car? Where can I find childcare? How can I pay the doctor’s bills?’

And I realized that we’ve got to take care of tuition, making sure that you can go and be able to start and finish school. We’ve got to make sure costs and expenses, Pell grants and other ways of helping. But we also have to fill the gaps that exist for a lot of students. So I helped to start something called the Arkansas Single-Parent Scholarship Fund, because the people who had the most unexpected expenses were young parents, mostly, but not always, single moms, young, divorced, pretty much on their own, trying to improve their lives and prospects.

And we started a fund to help fill those gaps, and, you know, we did it over so many years now, about 35 years, and we’ve helped thousands of people, so they didn’t have to drop out. They didn’t have to cut back. That’s what I want for our country again, where we’re helping each other, where we’re reaching out and giving everybody a chance, and, yes, sometimes a second or third chance, to make the most of their lives, to pursue their dreams. I think the American dream is big enough for everybody, and education is absolutely essential to it.

So please make sure you come out and vote in this election. Thank you, all.”

BERNIE SANDERS:

“So is everybody here ready to transform America? You’ve come to the right place. Thanks very much for being here. I want to thank Secretary Clinton for inviting me to join her here in the great state of New Hampshire. And today I am asking all of you to think big, not small. To understand that here in the United States we are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, and if we are prepared to stand together and not allow people to divide us up, if we are prepared to stand up to powerful and wealthy and greedy special interests, there is night that we cannot accomplish, no goal that we cannot achieve, and that includes making fundamental changes in the way we fund higher education in our country.

Now, here is a simple truth – 40 or 50 years ago in New Hampshire and Vermont, virtually anyplace in America, you went out and you got a high school degree, the odds are that you can get decent-paying jobs and make it into the middle class. That was the world 40 or 50 years ago. But that is not the world today. The world has changed, the global economy has changed, technology has changed, and education has changed. Today, in a highly competitive global economy, if we are going to have as a people the kind of standard of living that the people of the United States deserve, we need to have the best-educated workforce in the entire world.

But let me be very honest with you and tell you that, sadly, that is not the case today. Our nation used to lead the world in the percentage of young Americans with college degrees. We were number one. Today we are number 15, and that is not acceptable. And that is why Secretary Clinton and I understand that in today’s world, when we talk about public education, it’s no longer good enough to talk about the first grade through high school. That was good. That was wonderful 30 or 40 years ago. It is not enough today. And today, when we talk about public education, it must mean making public colleges and universities tuition-free for the middle class and working families of this country.

Now, during the campaign, the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton had some very strong proposals. I had a different approach. But we came together after the campaign and reached an agreement that says that every family in this country earning $125,000 or less – that is 83 percent of our population – should be able to send their kids to public colleges and universities tuition-free.

And make no mistake about it: This is revolutionary proposal for the future of our country with wide-reaching implications. It means that, first, students will not be leaving college with outrageous levels of student debt. I went all over this country during the campaign, and I talked to too many young people, and people who were not so young, who were paying off student debts of 30-, 50-, $100,000, and in some cases it was taking them decades to pay off those debts. I want young people to leave school excited about the future, the new businesses they’ll open up, getting married, having kids, buying a house, not being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

And secondly, making public colleges and universities tuition-free does something even more profound than just reducing student debt. In my state of Vermont, here in New Hampshire, and throughout this country, there are millions of low-income and working class families with kids who don’t know anybody who graduated college. Their parents didn’t graduate college. My parents never went to college. And they are thinking to themselves, there is no way in God’s Earth that they are ever going to make it through college and into the middle class. What this proposal, Secretary Clinton’s proposal, tells us is that if you are a low-income family, a working class family, if your kid studies hard and does well, yes. Regardless of the income of your family, your kid will be able to make it into college. That is a big deal.

Today hundreds of thousands of bright and qualified young people do not get a higher education for one reason and one reason alone: Their family lacks the income. That is unfair to those families. It is unfair to the future of this country. How many great scientists and engineers and teachers and police officers are out there who will never get a chance to do what they could do because of lack of income of their families? Secretary Clinton and I are going to change that. If you have the ability, you will be able to get a college education.

And while we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for the middle class and working families of this country, we are also mindful that there are millions of people out there who have already incurred deep debt, and we intend to change that and lower those student debts as well. It makes no sense to us that when you can go get an automobile loan, refinance your home for 2, 3, 4 percent, that there are millions of people stuck with interest rates on their student debt at 6, 7, 8 percent. People should be able to refinance those debts at the lowest interest rates they can find.

Now, some people will say – our critics will say – well, it’s a good idea, making public colleges and universities tuition free. But it’s expensive, costs a lot of money. And the truth is, it is an expensive proposal. But I will tell you what is even more expensive, and that is doing nothing. We must invest in our young people and the future of this country. And I will tell you something else, that at a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, it is absorb, it is disgraceful, for Donald Trump and his friends to be talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the top 1 percent.

I think that the overwhelming majority of the American people understand that it is far more important to invest in the future of our country than to give Donald Trump and his family, Donald Trump’s family, a $4 trillion tax break if Trump were to repeal the estate tax. The Walton family, wealthiest family in America, would get a $50 billion tax break. So when you have Republicans telling us that it is okay to give tens and tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country, do not tell me that we cannot afford to make public colleges and universities tuition-free.

All of you know that New Hampshire is a battleground state. All of you know that this is a very tight election. And in fact, New Hampshire could decide the outcome. So I am asking you here today not only to vote for Secretary Clinton, but to work hard to get your uncles and your aunts, to get your friends, to vote. If anybody tells you that this election is not important, you ask them why the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson and other billionaires, why they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect their candidates. This election is enormously important for the future of our country. It is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as our next president.

And with that, let me introduce the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton!”

STAND

 

 

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