Transcript: Corzine's Victory Speech

JON CORZINE, DEMOCRATIC SENATOR-ELECT: Good evening, New Jersey.

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Good evening, everyone. I love you. I love you. You guys are terrific.

I can only say that it is absolutely one of the greatest thrills of my life to be here, to be the next United States senator from the state of New Jersey.

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From the bottom of my heart, I love you and I look forward to being your senator every day for the next six years.

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For everyone in the room tonight, I want to say I thank you for joining me in this special moment, joining my family and me and all of my friends here who have made this possible. I want to make this special moment possible for everyone in the state of New Jersey.

I appreciate your warmth and your support. I also want you to know I will dedicate my service in the United States Senate to making sure everybody has the same opportunity at the American promise that I’ve had.

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About a half an hour ago, Congressman Franks gave me a call, and he was very generous and gracious in his remarks. And I want to return the favor of saying how important I think this election has been, but I want to congratulate him on a very, very competitive race, and actually his graciousness in how we have handled this whole process.

I want to say, everyone give him a hand. I respect his service to the state of New Jersey and our nation.

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He was a worthy competitor. And I know, if we can work together, join hands together in our spiritual life, I know we can in our secular life, Bob Franks is a good man.

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Now let me say that I am honored by the small “d” democratic process that made its judgment and made its choice today. I respect the people of New Jersey for the choice they made and I hope very much to be a great senator, in the footsteps of Frank Lautenberg and Bob Torricelli.

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And as Joanie (ph) said, as my wife said, I trust the judgment of the people of New Jersey. I could not be more humbled by that confidence that they have expressed, and I look forward, as I said, working the next six years to do those things that we’ve talked about over and over in this election. Making sure that we invest in a health care system for everyone in America.

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Making sure we deliver a prescription drug benefit for all of our seniors.

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That we invest in our educational system, from early childhood education to our higher education, where everyone has hope to go to college.

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I want to make sure we have universal registration and licensing of guns.

And, most importantly, I want to make sure everyone has access — open access to the American dream. That means we have to have — embrace a positive view of affirmative action, equal pay for equal work for women, and an outlawing of racial profiling.

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Now political campaigns are tough. Sometimes, I think maybe they’re too tough. They thicken a candidate’s skin, that’s for sure. And they challenge the spirit. But if a candidate remembers he or she isn’t alone, if a candidate remembers that there’s a larger purpose, if a candidate stays in touch with his or her roots, then a campaign can be a joyful journey. And this has been a joyful journey for me, for my family. And let me assure you, I know my roots. They’re standing right here. They are my family.

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They’ve made all this possible with their sacrifice and support. And I hope they can enjoy this moment and this process as much as I am.

This campaign, this effort, has been a joyous journey, because it is clear to me from the Jersey shore to the highlands, across New Jersey our people want a better world. They want a brighter future, a just and safe community. Make no mistake, the spirit of community is alive and well in New Jersey.

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Another thing — and this is important. This campaign has always been about a purpose, a purpose greater than personal recognition, power or special interests.

This effort has been about the joy of making sure that we serve our children; to make sure that they have an education that lifts them up in life; that they have quality health care. I will fight for those things in the United States Senate.

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This effort has been a joyous journey because its purpose is to serve our seniors, our veterans, our greatest generation, who has given us the opportunity of this great prosperity in America.

And this journey has been joyous because its purpose is to demand of America inclusion for everyone; an America where every person has access at the American promise, just like my family and I have had. We need to fight for that.

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On this score, we need to develop a more perfect union.

Finally, this campaign has been a joyous journey because in my heart, this is only the beginning. We are just entering the fray. This is the beginning, not the end. People and purpose will be the hallmarks of my service in the United States Senate, the focus of every day of my six-year term. To each New Jersey citizen I say, “Hold me accountable to that pledge.”

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Now understanding the hour is late. We’ve had a little to-ing and fro-ing going on tonight, I want to say a few thanks. There really are too many people to thank. And I will not be able to get all of it out.

I want you to all know, from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate everything everyone has done. I know that no one does anything in life by themselves. They do it because they join hands. They lift each other up together. That’s what this election has been about. That’s what this process is about. And I want your help to make that happen in the next six years.

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First of all, let me thank the voters of New Jersey. Again, I appreciate your confidence. I will not betray that confidence.

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Next, I want you to know that the elected officials, many of them who are on the stage tonight, have made a terrific difference. Actually from the United —f rom President Clinton all the way down to the mayors of our towns and the council people, have reached out and made a difference.

I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t single out two particular ones. First of all, Frank Lautenberg, who has been a great, great senator.

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No one has worked harder, no one has given more, or no one has put New Jersey first more than Frank Lautenberg. And I look forward to working with him in the years ahead to fulfill the legacy that he has put in place.

Let me also thank Senator Torricelli, who is working down in Washington to make a great difference.

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I look forward to being his partner. I look forward to being his friend and I know together we will deliver for the state of New Jersey.

To our congressional candidates — or delegation, Frank Pallone, Bob Menendez, Donald Payne, Rob Andrews, Bill Pascrell, Steve Rothman and Rush Holt, you all have been terrific.

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I appreciate your help. You are a great fighter team for New Jersey.

To this man, Tom Giblet (ph), who has led this Democratic Party. Let’s hear a rousing round of applause.

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To the county chairs that have organized this effort and to the county committee folks who made it happen, I say thank you. No one wins without your help.

You know, by the way, Joanie (ph) and I were new to politics and a couple of years ago somebody said, GOTV. We thought that was a television station. It’s what Tom Giblet (ph) has taught me how to deliver.

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Let me give a special word of thanks also to some special New Jersey Democrats, two people who have a very bright future. One is Bill Bradley who helped campaign for me. He’s not here tonight but let’s hear it for Bill Bradley.

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And the second is something that we’re all going to go to work on tomorrow morning and that’s to make sure we have a next governor of New Jersey, Jim McGravy (ph).

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Tomorrow morning I expect you to be working, Jim.

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(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE)

CORZINE: What’s new?

Let me say now something that is truly special and I know made a difference in this race, and that is labor.

The AFL-CIO, Charlie Nelson (ph) and Kimmie Cannigliero (ph), Laura Brennan (ph), a whole series of everyone got out and made the difference. I’ve said over and over today, I’ve walked with labor, I’ll work with labor and I won with labor. And I thank you.

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Let me also say to the people in the leadership of minority and ethnic communities, the environmental movement, women’s groups across the state, I say a special thank you, because I know you made a difference. Your challenges are my challenges.

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And of all those I’ve thanked, let me say to the African-American clergy, I want to make clear that I know that you know and the public should know you are truly unbought and unbossed.

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To my campaign chairs, Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg (ph) …

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She is a winner.

To Mayor Sharpe James (ph) and Assemblyman Rudy Garcia (ph), thank you for your incredible help. From the start to finish, you provided the counsel, the warmth, the support that’s made a difference to make this successful effort.

And, Sharpe (ph), you know you were right when you said to a whole bunch of crowds all over this state, “You can’t wish him in. You can’t pray him in. You’ve got to vote him in.” You have voted me in.

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They did, and I know it, and I thank you.

To Debra Lynch (ph), Nancy Dunlap (ph), Warren Kramer (ph), and hundreds of friends and neighbors, I could not be more appreciative of your help. Personal friends who work to make their friend’s dreams come true are truly special people. You all are special people.

To Chuck Rush (ph), I thank you for your care and counsel and prayers, for both Bob and myself.

And to my campaign staff, to all who have endured the trial by fire of two tough elections over 19 months, for managing a halting neophyte, an occasional grouch, and a leading to tonight’s magnificent victory, I say, thank you.

You should be proud. I am proud of you.

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Particularly I am proud of the young lady over on my right, Christie Davis (ph), one of the strongest, most remarkable young ladies in politics.

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And to Steve DeMico (ph), for your judgment and your solid pair of hands. When we needed stability, Steve DeMico (ph) delivered, and I thank him.

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To Steven Goldstein (ph), who is not here, who helped us in the primary. Tom Shay (ph), Patti McGuire (ph), Regina Thomas (ph) and Joe Tyrell (ph), your leadership has been outstanding. You’ve delivered on this night.

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And I have to say special thanks, for there is a guy that has driven around in a Ford Explorer for about a year, named Scott Kish (ph), who is a wonderful human being. I don’t know where Scott is. And Tanya Crawvich (ph) who works in my office. They’re terrific in dealing and facing with everyone.

And to all of the many other staffs, let me tell you I love you and I thank you. I am grateful for all your help.

And finally, let me say to my family, Joanie, Jenny — Where are you? — there you are. Josh, and Jeff, Aunt Carrie (ph), my mother, Nancy, my brother Alan (ph), to all of you, I want to say thank you. You are the foundation that has made this possible in my life. You are those roots and we thank you very, very much.

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Finally, I could not love these folks more and they could not have given more to me. But Joanie, you are first among equals. You’ve seen it all; you’ve shared it all. For about 32 years you’ve been putting up with this act. And most importantly, you, like me, we believe in the American promise. We’ve shared it together, we’ve lived it together and now we want to fight to make sure every one in New Jersey has that same access of the American promise. We will work tirelessly, relentlessly to make that happen.

I want to say thank you to all of you tonight. Let’s go on and have some fun and I am glad this is over.

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Thank you.