Bill Clinton's Full DNC Speech

Former U.S. president offers a strong endorsement of Barack Obama, Democratic economic policies.
3:00 | 09/06/12

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Transcript for Bill Clinton's Full DNC Speech
Mr. mayor and. Fellow Democrats. We are here. To nominate a president. I've got one in mind. I want to nominate a man whose own life. Has known. Its fair share of adversity. And uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy. And then just six weeks before his election. So -- suffer the biggest collapse it's a Great Depression. A man -- stopped the slide into depression. And put us on the long road to recovery. Knowing all the while. That -- how no matter how many jobs. That he saved or created there'd still be millions more waiting. Word about -- their own kids. Trying to keep their hopes alive. I want to nominate a man. Whose -- only outside. But New -- I. A man who believes. With no doubt. Then we can build a new American dream economy driven by innovation creativity by education and yes -- cooperation. And by the way after last night. How -- a man who had a good sense to marry Michelle Obama. It. And I. Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. Okay. Okay. On the -- him to be the standard bearer. Other Democratic Party. Okay the in. -- Tampa a few days ago. We heard a lot of talk. -- about how the president the Democrats don't really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative. How we want everybody to be dependent on the government. How bad we are for the economy. This Republican narrative bits alternative universe. Sad that. There are a lot of us in this room who amounts -- anything. Where are all completely self night. One of the greatest -- the Democratic Party ever had Bob Strauss. Used to say. Then every politician. -- -- every voter to believe he was born in log cabin he built himself. But. And Strauss then admitted. -- -- -- We Democrats. We think the country works better with a strong middle class with real opportunities for poor folks who work their way into it. Where the relentless focus on the future -- business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see we believe that we're all in this together there's a far better philosophy. Then you're on your. A am. Who's right. Since 1961. For 52 years now the Republicans have held -- White House 28 years. The Democrats 44. -- those 52 years. Our private economy has produced 66 million. Private sector jobs. So what's the -- -- Republicans. 24 million Democrats party. Yeah and -- It turns out that advancing equal opportunity. And economic empowerment. Is both morally right and -- economics. -- Because poverty discrimination and ignorance restrict. Growth. -- -- Human potential. When you don't -- best and new ideas. It doesn't just cut off the people who were affected it hurts us all. -- investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological group. Research increase grow. They increased good jobs and they create new wealth. For all the rest of us. There's some I've noticed lately you probably have to. And it's this mega discos -- growth at a different time but -- often disagree with Republicans. I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right. That now controls their party seems to hate our president. That would be impossible for me because. President Eisenhower sent federal troops in my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Built the interstate highway system. When I was a governor how -- -- President Reagan and his white house on. The first round of welfare reform and with president George H. W. Bush on national education goals. I'm actually very grateful. If you saw from the Belmont David diet I have to be grateful and you shouldn't be too. The president George W. Bush supported for -- -- the lives of millions of people it's your country. I have been honored to work where. Both presidents bush on natural disasters in the aftermath of the South Asian tsunami Hurricane Katrina. The horrible earthquake in Haiti. Through my foundation both that American around the world I'm Morgan all time -- Democrats Republicans and independents sometimes. I can tell you for the live -- a market -- it because we focus on. -- problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting. Okay. And here's what I want to people at home to think about. When talking -- and people are frustrated angry and hurting an uncertain. The politics of constant conflict. May be good but. But what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world what works in the real world. His cooperation. -- -- This same government. Foundations and university were. Pass the mayors who are here. Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago's getting an infrastructure bank both Republicans and Democrats are working together. -- -- -- They didn't check their brains at the door that is not disagree and put their -- -- -- to get something done. Now why is this true -- -- cooperation were better their constant conflict. Because nobody brought all the time. And -- broken clock is right twice today. Ever wanna bus and everyone of them. We're compel the stand are fleeting lies between those two extremes. No one will never -- be right all the time and hope you're right more than twice -- -- -- -- a faction that now dominates. The Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is always the enemy they're always right in compromise is weakness. Just in the last couple of elections. They defeated two distinguished Republican senators. Because they dared to go up right where Democrats on the and -- issues important to the future of the country even national security. -- -- A Republican congressman -- almost a 100% voting record on every conservative score because he said. He realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him -- that was a non -- and they threw him out. One of the main reasons we ought to reelect President Obama. Is that he is still committed had. To constructive cooperation. He appointed Republican secretaries of defense the army and transportation. He appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008. And he trusted that vice president to oversee the successful -- of the war in Iraq. And the implementation of the Recovery -- Am. I. Upon and several members. Of his cabinet. Even though they supported. Hillary in the primaries. He even reported -- It. It. I am very proud of her and I am proud of the job she in the national security team have done for America. Am. -- -- -- -- -- together to make us safer and stronger to build a world -- more partners and fewer enemies. I'm grateful for the relationship of respect then. Partnership she and the president have enjoyed in this signaled that sends to the rest of the world that democracy does not have a bloods to have to be a blood sport. It can be an honorable enterprise. The advantage. That's not the national security team I am very grateful. To the men and women who serve our country in uniform through these perilous time. Especially grateful. To Michelle Obama and the Joseph Biden. For supporting those military families -- their loved ones -- overseas. When I come home bearing the wounds of are needing help define education or jobs are housing. President Obama's whole record on national security. Is attributed to his strength to his judgment and to his preference for inclusion in partnership. Over partisanship. Winning -- We all know they also tried to work with congressional Republicans. On health care debt reduction. And new jobs. And then work out so what. But it could've been because all. As the senate Republican leaders say ahead in a remarkable moment of candor. Two full years before the election. Their number one priority was not to put America back to work. -- -- to put the president. Not out of more. Senator. I hate to break it to you. But we're gonna keep President Obama. I -- M. Okay. Okay. In Tampa don't watch their convention and I did. In Tampa. The Republican argument against the president reelection. Was actually pretty simple pretty snappy. It went something like this. We left him a total mess. He had claimed another -- enough so far him and put us back again. Well. They look good -- sounded good. They convince me that. They all other families and their children and we're grateful had been born in America and all really I'm not being. And this is important. They convinced me there were honorable people who believe what they said -- or -- -- commitment they made. We just gotta make sure the American people know what those commitments are. It's. And I don't look like an acceptable -- reasonable moderate alternative to President Obama. They just didn't -- very much about the ideas they've offered over the last two years. They couldn't. Because I wanna go back to the same old policies -- got us in trouble in the first place. They want to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did. They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future violent. They want to actually increased defense spending over a decade two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested. Without saying what they'll spend -- all. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget especially programs. That -- the middle class and poor children. As another brother who once said it. There they go again. The argument for -- and Obama's reelection. A lot better. Here it is. He inherited -- deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long hard road to recovery and laid the foundation. For a modern more well balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs vibrant new businesses and lots of new wealth for innovators. Now. Are we where. We want to me today -- know. Is the president satisfied. Of course not. But are we better off than we were when he took office. -- in free fall it'd just rock man -- percent of GDP. We were losing 750000. Jobs a -- are we doing better -- today done. Now look. Here's the challenge. He faces. In the challenged all of use supported place. I did it I know -- abandoned. A lot of Americans. Are still angry and frustrated about this economy. If you look at the numbers you know employment is growing banks -- beginning to lend again. And lot of places housing prices -- even begin to pick up but too many people do not feel it yet. I had to -- thing happened. In 1994. And early 95. We can say that the policies will work. That the economy was growing. But most people didn't feel it it. -- believe. 1996. The economy was roaring everybody felt it and we were halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in the history of the United States. That difference this time. It's purely in the circumstances. President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me now. No president. No president. Not meet. Not any of my predecessors. No one could have fully repaired all the damaged that he found it just for. -- -- He has laid the foundations for a new modern successful economy. A share prosperity. And if you will -- the president's contract. You will feel it you will -- -- Whether the American people believe what I just -- are not maybe the whole election. I just want you know that I believe. With all my heart I believe it. While I believe. -- tell you one. I believe it because President Obama took wrote embodies the values the ideas and the direction America has to take. To build the 21 century version of the American dream. Nation of shared opportunity shared responsibilities. Shared prosperity a shared sense of community. So let's give back to the story. In 2010. As the president's recovery program kicked in the job losses stop and things began to turn around. The Recovery -- saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes. Hussein is again. Cut taxes for 95%. The American people. Last. One -- nine months. Our economy has produced about four and a half. Million private sector jobs. We could've done better -- last year the Republicans blocked the president's job plan. Causing the economy more than a million new jobs. Solo. Here's another job store. President Obama. Plus -- -- -- Congressional Republicans. Zero. An area. More than 500000. Manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama that's the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s. And I'll tell -- -- available. The auto industry restructuring work. -- -- -- saved more than a million jobs and not just a GM Chrysler and their dealerships. But an auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's why even the auto makers who were part of the deal supported they need to save those parts suppliers to. Like I said. We're all in this together. So what's happened. There are now 250000. More people work in the auto industry then on the day the company's -- structure. It. Now we all -- That governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM price. So. Here's another job school. Are you listen in Michigan and Ohio and across. News and. Obama 250000. -- -- -- -- The agreement the administration -- with the management labor and environmental groups to double car mileage that was a good deal today. It will cut your gas prices in half. Your gas bill no matter what to -- -- -- price is if you double mileage of your car your -- -- -- what it would have been. It will might use more energy independent it will cut greenhouse gas emissions. And according to several analyses over the next forty years it'll bring us another half a million. Good new jobs into the American economy. The president's energy strategy which he calls all of the above is helping to. The Benton oil and gas production. Combined with greater energy efficiency. Has driven oil imports -- -- -- twenty year low a natural gas production to an all time -- And renewable energy production has doubled. Of course. We need a lot more new jobs. But there are already. More than three million jobs open and unfilled in America. Mostly because all the people who apply for them don't yet have the required skills to do them. So even as we get Americans more jobs we have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are actually going to be created. -- old economy is not coming back. We've got to build a new one and educate people. To do those jobs. The president and his education secretary -- supported community colleges and employers. And working together. To train people for jobs that are actually open in their communities. And even more important after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased to drop -- -- so much. That the percentage of our young people. With four year college degrees has gone down so much that we have dropped to sixteenth in the world. And the percentage of young people a college degree. So well. The president's student loan reform. Is more important than ever here's what it does is what it. You -- -- tell every voter where you live about it. It lowers the cost -- federal student loans and even more important. It gives students the right to repay those loans as a cleared fixed low percentage of their income for. Flooding here. No one will. -- out to drop out of college again. For fear they can't replace their debt. It means. That if someone wants. To take a job with a modest income the teacher police officer if -- -- -- -- town doctor and a little rural area. They won't have to turn those jobs down because they don't pay enough. To repay the debt. Their debt obligation will be determined by their salary. This will change. Is the future. -- -- I don't know. Oh we're better off. Because President Obama made the decisions he did. Now that -- made -- health care. Now the Republicans call it derisively obamacare. They say it's government take over a disaster and it its mildest electoral -- repeal it. Well are -- right. Let's take a look at what's actually happened so for. First. Individuals and businesses have already gotten more than a billion dollars in refunds from insurance companies. Because a -- -- requires 8885 -- your premium to go to your health care not profits are promotion. The -- but -- bunch of insurance companies have applied to lower their relates to comply with the requirement. Check -- more than three million young people between 1925. Or insured for the first time because their parents policies. Are receiving preventive care. All award from breast cancer screenings to test for heart problems and scores of other things than younger people are getting them -- Fourth -- the insurance companies not the government the insurance companies will have millions of new customers many of the middle class people with preexisting conditions. Who never could get insurance before. If -- -- for the last two years. After going up at three times the right of inflation for a decade. For the last two years health care cost. Have been under 4% in both years. For the first time in fifteen. Years. The college President Obama fought for Health Care Reform you. There were two other attacks on the president Tampa but they deserve an answer. First both governor Romney and congressman -- and attacked the president for allegedly robbing Medicare. 0716. Billion dollars. That's same attack that leveled against congress in 2010. And they got a lot of us alone. But it's not true. -- Here's what really happened -- -- gestures weren't really -- there were no cuts to benefits. At all no. What the president did. Was to save money. By taking your recommendations -- a commission. A profession. To cut unwarranted subsidies to providers. And insurance companies that who were not making people healthier. And were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service. And instead are readying Medicare. He use the savings. To close the doughnut hole in the Medicare drug program. God don't listen carefully this is -- really important and a hey -- to the life of the Medicare trust fund so it is solvent. Until 20/20. Fall. So President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare. They strengthen. Medicare. Now when congressman Ryan. Looked into that TV camera. And attacked President Obama is Medicare savings as quote. The biggest cold lists power play. I don't know whether it -- -- But well. That's 716. Billion dollars. Did exactly to the dollar this same amount of Medicare savings then he heads and his. Own budget. I get what they did take some -- -- guy for doing what you do. Good candidates good series how would you listen. It's important because. A lot of people latest. Now at least on this issue and this one issue. Governor Romney has been consistent. He attacked. President Obama to. But he actually wants to repeal -- savings. And give the money back to the insurance company. He wants to go back to the old system. Which means we'll reopen the doughnut hole for seniors to pay more for drugs. And will reduce the lives. The Medicare trust fund by eight full years. So give these elected. And if he does what he promised to do. Medicare will now -- broke in 2016. Think about -- that means after all we won't have to wait until their voucher program kicks in -- 223. To see the end of Medicare as we know it. -- -- sooner than we thought. But this -- Syrian. Because he gets worse. And you'll be laughing when I finished tell you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid. And cut it -- a third over the coming ten years. Of course that's -- really -- a lot of work kids. But that's not all. Lot of folks don't know of the nearly two thirds of Medicaid. Is spent on nursing home care. -- Medicare seniors who -- eligible for Medicaid. It's going to end Medicare as we know. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people. With disabilities. Including. A lot of middle class families. Whose kids have Down's syndrome or autism. Or other severe conditions. And well obviously -- think about it. If that happens. I don't know what those -- you gonna do. So I know what I'm gonna do. And we'll do everything I can't just say that it doesn't happen we can't. -- -- -- -- Big charged. The Republicans night. It's a real doozy. That's actually have charged. Enron -- saying. That President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements of the welfare reform bill I signed it moved millions of people from welfare to work. -- You need to know. Here's what happened. Nobody ever tells you what really happened here's what happened. When some Republican governors. Asked if I could have waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work. The Obama administration lesson. Because we all know it's hard for even people would good work histories to get jobs today so -- folks -- welfare to work as a real challenge. And the administration agreed. To give waivers to those governors and others. Only if they had a credible plan. To increase employment by 20% and they can keep away Evers only if they did increase employment now that -- it down like myself clear. The requirement was for more work not let us. -- This is personal -- me. Wouldn't have millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that -- that eight years I was president we -- a hundred times as many people move out of poverty into the middle class than happened. Under the previous twelve years. A hundred times as many. It's a big deal but I am telling you that claim that President Obama -- -- -- welfare reports work requirement is just not. -- But. They keep on running -- ads claiming it. 101 of their campaign posters saying. We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers. Finally I can say. It's true. -- this had better myself. You -- every American. Within the sound of my boys -- remembers it every time they see one of those ads. And it turns into -- -- To reelect Barack Obama and keep the fundamental principles of personal empowerment. And moving everybody can get a job in the work as soon as we can. Today interest rates are low lowered the rate of inflation people are practically -- -- to hormone. -- their money for. But it will become a big problem when the economy growth and interest rates. Start to -- We got to deal -- this big long term debt problem more it will deal with us. They'll gobble up a bigger bigger percentage of the federal budget we'd rather spend on education and healthcare and science and technology. We got to deal with -- now what is -- president done. He has all -- a reasonable plan of four trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade. -- two and a half trillion coming from. For every two and a half trillion dollars of spending cuts he raises a dollar in new revenues to -- have to walk. Any as tight controls on future spending. That's a counterbalance to vote. Proposed by the Simpson Bowles commission a bipartisan commission. Now I think his plan is way better than governor Romney's plan. First the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility. The numbers just don't -- up. -- -- Consider this. What would you do if you had this problem. So much -- though we got a big -- probably got -- reduced -- -- so what's the first thing he says you don't do well to reduce the debt. We're going to have another five trillion dollars in tax cuts. Heavily weighted upper income people. So like today -- -- bigger before we start to get out of it. Now when you say what didn't. Him. About his front trillion dollar you just ahead -- -- Myself will like it out. By eliminating. Loopholes in the tax code. So let me ask well bush loopholes and how much. You know what they -- Singing about dead after the election. I'm not like you know that's your position. -- about that -- election. Now people ask me all the time. How we got four surplus budgets in a -- What new ideas that we bring to Washington always give -- one word answer. Arithmetic. It. -- don't plan. In a debt reduction plan. The arithmetic tells us. No matter what they say. One of three things is about to happen. One. -- them and they try to do what they say they'll do you'd -- -- covered by the abductions. -- no -- One -- had to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving. That middle class families will see their tax bills go up an average of 2000 dollars. While anybody -- -- three million dollars or more we'll see their tax bill go down 250000. Dollars. Our. Tune. They'll have to cut so much spending. That -- obliterate the budget for the national parks for ensuring clean air clean water site foods site -- travel. That cut way back on pell grants college loans early childhood education. Child nutrition programs all the problems that help to empower middle class families and help for kids. -- they'll cut back on investments in roads and bridges in science and technology -- biomedical resorts. That's what they'll do. -- hard to middle class and -- -- puts future on hold. To give tax cuts for upper income people who've been get -- well. Or three. Thought of all the rhetoric to others do what they've endured for more than thirty years. They'll go to cuts taxes way more than a cut spending. -- that big defense increase. And now does explode the debt. And weaken the economy. And they'll destroy the federal government's ability to help you by letting interest gobble up all your tax. Payments. Don't you ever forget. When you hear them talking about it. That Republican. Economic policies quadrupled the national debt. Before I took office in the twelve years before I took off. -- -- -- -- Eight years after -- -- The -- it -- the arithmetic. There was how. And convenient thing for them and our device that I was. Just a country -- from Arkansas and I came from place where people still thought to into -- -- It's arithmetic. We simply cannot -- -- our. To -- the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down. Do you. -- -- Owners are bad news -- the future of our children our families and our nation's. It's a -- double -- better. It -- -- the arithmetic test and far more important. It passes the values test. -- -- All of us in this brand. -- And everybody watching at home. We -- this election will be deciding what kind of country we want to live in. If you want. A winner take all your own your own society. You should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country -- shared opportunities and shared responsibility. -- all in this together society. You should vote for Barack Obama and Joseph by. I did. Every American to vote. And you think it is wrong. To change voting procedures. Judge to reduce the turnout of younger floor minority and disabled voters. If you think the president was right. To open the doors of American opportunity to all those young immigrants brought here when they were young. So they can -- Yeah. -- properties declining where the American dream is really alive and well again. And -- the United States maintains its leadership. As -- force for peace and justice and prosperity. In this highly competitive world. You have to vote. For Barack Obama. Am. I. I love our country so much. And -- know we're coming back. For more than 200. Years. Through every crisis we've always come back. People have predicted our demise ever since George Washington was criticized. For being a mediocre sure they are with a bad set of -- faulty. And so far every single person that's been against America has lost money. Because we always come back. And we do it. Because in the and we decide to championed the cause for which our founders. Pledged their lives their fortunes their sacred honor. The plaza forming a more. Perfect union and it. The it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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