Okay you anti-Obama vigilantes out there, I'm ready for you. Give me your best shot. I am still going to call it as I see it.
Bill Clinton's speech nominating President Obama was probably the best speech that he has every given- perhaps one of the best nominating speeches ever. For 48 minutes, President Clinton held me and millions of other Americans in rapt attention. For those listening who had not made up their minds yet who to vote for, Bill Clinton made it so much easier to make that decision.
Parts of Bill Clinton's 48 minute speech were adlibbed. But every word of that man's speech came from the heart. I hope that my readers will forgive me for not using my own words in describing President Clinton's speech. There is no way that I could ever express those thoughts the way Bill Clinton did.
Let me just mention a few of President Clinton's more memorable lines. In stressing the need for a strong middle class, Clinton said, "We Democrats, we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see, we believe that 'We’re all in this together' is a far better philosophy than 'You’re on your own'.
So who’s right? Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two".
On the issue of cooperation and partisanship, Bill Clinton landed a power house right on the Tea Party. "What works in the real world is cooperation, business and government, foundations and universities. Ask the mayors who are here. Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it. They didn't check their brains at the door. They didn't stop disagreeing. But their purpose was to get something done. Now, why is this true? Why does cooperation work better than constant conflict? Because nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.....And every one of us -- every one of us and every one of them, we're compelled to spend our fleeting lives between those two extremes, knowing we're never going to be right all the time, and hopefully we're right more than twice a day.
Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is always the enemy, they're always right, and compromise is weakness. Just in the last couple of elections, they defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security.
They beat a Republican congressman with an almost 100 percent voting record on every conservative score because he said he realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him. Boy, that was a non-starter, and they threw him out...... as the Senate Republican leader said, in a remarkable moment of candor, two full years before the election, their number-one priority was not to put America back to work. It was to put the president out of work. Well, wait a minute. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job.
Jobs and the economy are on everyone's mind. There is no getting around the fact that the economy is still weak and that unemployment is still too high.".... when President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in freefall. It had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month......Here's the challenge he faces and the challenge all of you who support him face. I get it. I know it. I've been there. A lot of Americans are still angry and frustrated about this economy. If you look at the numbers, you know employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend again, and in a lot of places, housing prices have even began to pick up......But too many people do not feel it yet. I had this same thing happen in 1994 and early '95..... the difference this time is purely in the circumstances. President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me now. No president, no president -- not me, not any of my predecessors -- no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years.....but he has laid the foundations for a new, modern, successful economy of shared prosperity. And if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it....."
Health care (often called Obamacare) was also the focus of President Clinton's speech. ".....both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly 'robbing Medicare' of $716 billion. That's the same attack they leveled against the Congress in 2010, and they got a lot of votes on it. But it's not true.....Look, here's what really happened. You be the judge. There were no cuts to benefits at all, none. What the president did was to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of professionals to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service. And instead of raiding Medicare, he used the savings to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program. And -- you all got to listen carefully to this. This is really important -- and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare trust fund so it is solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare. They strengthened Medicare.
Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama's Medicare savings as, quote, 'the biggest, coldest power play,' I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget! You got to give one thing: It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.....So if [Governor Romney] is elected, and if he does what he promised to do, Medicare will now go broke in 2016. Think about that. That means after all we won't have to wait until their voucher program kicks in, in 2023, to see the end of Medicare as we know it. They're going to do it to us sooner than we thought.....Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won't be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that's going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that's not all. A lot of folks don't know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid. It's going to end Medicare as we know it. 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, honestly, just think about it. If that happens, I don't know what those families are going to do. So I know what I'm going to do: I'm going to do everything I can to see that it doesn't happen. We can't let it happen. We can't
For a full transcript of President Clinton's speech, just Google "Bill Clinton speech 2012".