|I just talked with Elizabeth before I came up here. There are millions of women who have been diagnosed with exactly what Elizabeth has been diagnosed with. There are many women here tonight who are suffering just as Elizabeth is. But they get up each morning and go to work, and take care of the kids, and they are incredible women. If I weren't running for president, and I were looking for the kind of human being that we need in the White House, what we need is someone who will be honest with us, a good and decent human being, someone who always does what's right. We need to feel trust in our president. You're always going to have disagreements with the president, but you want to feel good about your president. That trust bond is about feeling good, and America having faith and the rest of the world believing in our president.
The world needs to hear from the President of the US - they need to hear that America is not a place, it's an idea. That idea is equality and diversity. That's who we are. I mean every kind of diversity. We don't just tolerate it, we embrace it. The world doesn't believe that about us now. I've spent a huge amount of my time traveling. The rest of the world believes that we are at war with the Muslims. They think we're selfish, and a bully. That has to change. We have to do things that aren't just in our self-interest.
When the crisis comes, the world has to rally around us. But for that to happen, the world must see as a good place, with trustful leadership. When I'm the president, one of the first things I'll do is to close Gitmo.
We should be the light. We should be the country that everyone says "We should be like America"
Right now there's a genocide going on in Sudan. !00,000's of people raped, murdered, etc. The Sudanese govt is engaged in genocide. Let's see this thru the eyes of the rest of the world. This is what they see - years ago, the most powerful country in the world declared a genocide was happening, but then they stepped back and let it happen.
There are millions of children being born in Africa with AIDS, and the richest nation in the world stands by and watches it happen. We need to do something. We need to be strong, but the world needs to see that we understand the responsibility we have to humanity.
Then there's Iraq. American needs to leave Iraq - NOW. There's a reason the Democrats won in 2006, like Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow were re-elected and put in charge - because people want out of Iraq - now.
I want to be very clear. You can see right now where this headed. Btw, this is not the first surge Bush has called for in Iraq. This bill is going to be submitted to GWB. If he veto's it - then it is GWB who is not funding the troops, not Congress. We need to stand strong and firm, absolutely. I voted for this war, and I was wrong, and I have to live with that. You have two great Senators who voted against it. They were right and I was wrong. We need an orderly transition out of Iraq. Iran is a Shiite country in a Sunni world - the last thing they want is a broader Middle Eastern conflict.
We are now at $500B and counting in Iraq. Iraq is important, but we have to understand that Iraq is a part of a bigger puzzle. We need to be that example for the rest of the world. It's not just what we do over there - it's also what we do here. We live in a country that is emitting 25% of the world's greenhouse gases. How can we ask other countries to do their part when we're not doing ours. We have to demonstrate our responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world.
Here's the problem - you have an extraordinary Governor, state leaders, but no partner in the White House. He's been actively hurting Michigan while he's been in office. This is the place where the middle class began. This is the place that taught us what great manufacturing was for the rest of the world. This is the place that taught the world about collective bargaining and how important, what a strength it is (Standing Ovation)
I see in the midst of all this difficulty, I see great possibility. Let's talk about TRADE - listen - free, unfettered trade - we've seen what the consequences of that are. Now we're talking about a new trade agreement with South Korea. No meaningful standards - and I'm announcing tonight - I'm against this. Listen - they put workers in S. Korea in jail by the thousands because they stand up. Seems to me, don't we want our cars to be sold all over? We need trade that works for all of America. There's nobody in this world that doesn't want trade - but we need trade that works.
I look here at what's happening here in MI - and I compare it to what happens in NC - (You may remember I'm the son of a mill worker - hahaha)
I watched what happened when trade hurt our city and our mill. It's not about loss of jobs, it about dignity and respect for men and women who made this country, who built it. America was not built on Wall Street - it was built in the factories and manufacturing plants all over America. When that mill in my hometown closed, you could feel the life being pulled out of the state. But using our universities, we're creating thousands of new jobs. Now the question is what do we do to revitalize our country. I think we have a huge opportunity to fix this. We need a huge cap of greenhouse gases. We use 22 million barrels of oil a day. It has to change to grow and create jobs here and all over Michigan. You have extraordinary talent here in MI - suppose we made this the hub for transforming energy here all over America. At minimum, a billion dollars need to go transforming our cars - by using UAW workers...(3rd standing ovation)
We grew up believing in hard work, and I think MI has extraordinary talent and capacity to do that and help change the world.
I'm very proud of the fact, that I am the only candidate that has a truly universal health care plan. 46-47 Million people without health care - we have a dysfunctional health care system in America. Healthcare is not what our workers need to be negoitiating about. I'm proposing that we give people the choice between private and Government funded health care - Medicare +.
We need to fill all the gaps in health care disparity. We need full mental health care, preventive medicine, we subsidize, we bring the cost of health care down. We spend more money on health care than any other country in the industralized world. You need to be able to take your health care plan from job to job. We require by law that every single citizen have health care. My health care plan costs $90-100 Million dollars. The way we fund it is rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy - those who earn over $200K a year.
I think it says something about us by the way we take care of the poor. One of the best tools is fighting in poverty is a good job and decent wages. The greatest anti-poverty movement in the history of America is the organized works movement. Unions help keep America strong and employed. We need comprehensive labor reform law here in Michigan. Any worker in America needs to be able to sign on the line to join a union (4th standing ovation)
And, before you sit down - we ought to ban the hiring of permanent replacements for workers on strike.
I think it is absolutely crucial that we strengthen the power of unions, and I think this is important for the prosperity for America. I think we need a president who can use their bully pulpit to explain the history of the working class here in America. Things like having a decent living wage, access to college. We need to be the best, most smartest educated work force in America.
Every kid needs the opportunity to go to college. If they go to school and work hard at least 10 hours a week, we give them their college education. You are more likely to go into bankruptcy than a divorce here in America. Last year, the top 300,000 earners in America earned more than the bottom 150 million earners. This is terrible. We need to strengthen and grow the middle class here in America.
When I talk about America being the best - is there anyone here who thought that the US was the only one who saw those pictures coming out of New Orleans? No, the whole world say and called it the shaming of America. We are at our best, when we have a little guts, backbone, and courage. We are at our best when we are leading, doing what America needs us to do. Btw, I want to say a word about a man who embodies everything I believe in - your own David Bonior - (5th standing ovation)
The last thing I want to say - Elizabeth is the finest human being I know. I guess the thing I want to say, the very reason you're here shows how much you're willing to do for your country. There's so much more that we can do. The next president can't solve all our problems. There is so much capacity to do so many great things. The question you need to ask yourself - what are you going to do, what are you willing to do, how much do you love this country - because there is nothing we can't do together. But if we stay home and hope that the next president is going to solve it all - . It's time for Americans to be patriotic about something more than just war. (oooo)
I'm so relentlessly optimistic about what we can do if we do it together. All of us have to do it together. We have to take responsibility for what we do and what we need to do. If you want to see America living in a moral and just world - we have to do it together.
Thank you Michigan Dems, thank you and God Bless.