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The annotated Bill Clinton convention speech

September 6, 2012 by NCC Staff

 

What did Bill Clinton plan to say and what did he actually say? We've compared his prepared remarks with his actual live speech, so you can follow along with the ad libs, or planned differences.

The new content in the live speech appears as an underline in the combined speech below. Key added passages are marked in red as well. Omitted content has a line through the words.

Here is the combined text of the released remarks and the spoken speech:

Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. And I’ve got one in mind.

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. AI want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before thehis election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs werethat he saved or created and saved, there were, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside.

I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and yes — by cooperation.

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States And I proudly nominate him asto be the standard -bearer of the Democratic Party.

In Now, folks, in Tampa a few days ago, we heard a lot of talk all about how the president and the Democrats don’t really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyoneeverybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

TheThis Republican narrative is that all — this alternative universe —— says that every one of us in this room who amountamounts to anything are, we’re all completely self-made. One of ourthe greatest chairmen the Democratic ChairmenParty ever had, Bob Strauss used to say that everyever politician wants youevery voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, But, as Strauss then admitted, it ain'tain’t so.

We Democrats — we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor peoplefolks 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 sharedshare prosperity. We think "we'reYou see, we believe that “we’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “you’re on your own.” It is.

Who'sSo 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. What's

So what’s the jobsjob score? Republicans, 24 million,; Democrats, 42 (million!).

Now, there’s a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while. When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all. We know that investments in education, and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating moregrowth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us.

ThoughNow, there’s something I’ve noticed lately. You probably have too. And it’s this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obamaour president and thea lot of other Democrats. After all, that would be impossible for me because President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and School. President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system. And as

When I was a governor, I worked with President Reagan onand his White House on the first round of welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am

I’m actually very grateful to — if you saw from the film what I do today, I have to be grateful, and you should be, too — that President George W. Bush forsupported PEPFAR, which is saving. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to .

And I have been honored to work with both Presidents Bush foron natural disasters in the work we've done together afteraftermath of the South AsiaAsian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and, the Haitianhorrible earthquake.

in Haiti. Through my foundation, both in America and around the world, I workI’m working all the time with Democrats, Republicans andindependents. Sometimes I couldn’t tell you for the life who are focusedI’m working with because we focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities, and not fighting each other.all the time.

When And so here’s what I want to say to you, and here’s what I want the people at home to think about. When times are tough, and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics butdoes not necessarily work in the real world, . What works in the real world is cooperation works better. After all, nobody's. 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. All

And every one of us are destined to live our 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 hoping we’re right more than twice a day.

Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn'tdoesn’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 almost a hundred 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 nonstarter, and they threw him out.

One of the main reasons America should we ought to re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.constructive cooperation. Look at his record. Look at his record. Look at his record. He appointed Republican secretaries of defense, the Army andtransportation. He appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008, And he trusted himthat vice president to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act.

And Joe Biden — Joe Biden did a great job with both.

He — President Obama — appointed several members of his Cabinet members who even though they supported Hillary in the primaries.primary. Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I'm so .

Wait a minute. I am — I am very proud of her. I am proud of the job she and grateful to our entirethe national security team for all they'vehave done for America. I am grateful that they have worked together to make us safer and stronger and, to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I'm also grateful to the youngI’m grateful for the relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed and the signal that sends to the rest of the world, that democracy does not have a blood — have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest.

Now besides the national security team, I am very grateful to the men and women who And I am especially grateful to Michelle Obama and Jillto Joe Biden for supporting those military families whenwhile their loved ones arewere overseas and for helpingsupporting our veterans when they came home, when they comecame home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help withto find education, or jobs or housing, and jobs.

President Obama’s whole record on national security is a tribute to his strength, andto his judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship. We need more if it in Washington, D.C.

He Now, we all know that he also tried to work with Congressionalcongressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and new jobs, but. And that didn’t work out so well. Probably( But it could have been because, as the Senate Republican leader, said in a remarkable moment of candor, said two full years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but; it was to put President Obamathe 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!

Now, are you ready for that? Are you willing to work for it. Oh, wait a minute.

In Tampa — in Tampa — did y’all watch their convention?

I did. In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple: we pretty snappy. It went something like this: We left him a total mess, He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, So fire him and put us back in.

InNow — but they did it well. They looked good; the sounded good. They convinced me that they all love their families and their children and were grateful they’d been born in America and all that really, I’m not being — they did.

And this is important, they convinced me they were honorable people who believed what they said and they’re going to keep every commitment they’ve made. We just got to make sure the American people know what those commitments are —because in order to look like an acceptable, reasonable, moderate alternative to President Obama, they couldn'tjust didn’t say very much about the ideas they havethey’ve offered over the last two years. You see

They couldn’t because they want to go back to the same old policies that got us intoin 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 bailouts;. They want to actually increase defense spending twoover a decade $2 trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they'llthey’ll spend the moneyit on;. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids. As another President once said – there they go againchildren.

As another president once said, there they go again.

Now, I like — I like — I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. Here it is. He inherited a 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 the innovators.

AreNow, are we where we want to be today? No.

Is the president satisfied? Of course not.

But are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy ?

And listen to this. Listen to this. Everybody when President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in free fall . It had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month.

Are we doing better than that today?

The answer is yes.

I understandNow, look. Here’s the challenge wehe faces and the challenge all of you who support him face. I get it. I know manyit. I’ve been there. A lot of Americans are still angry and frustrated with theabout this economy. Though If you look at the numbers, you know employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even again. And in a lot of places, housing prices are pickingeven beginning to pick up a bit,.

But too many people don'tdo not feel it yet.

I experiencedhad the same thing happen in 1994 and early 1995. Our ‘95. We could see that the policies were working and, that the economy was growing but. But most people didn'tdidn’t feel it yet. By Thankfully, by 1996, the economy was roaring, everybody felt it, and we were halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in Americanthe history.

President Obama of the United States. But wait, wait. The difference this time is purely in the circumstances. President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not Listen to me or , 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 conditions are improving and

Now — but — he has — he has laid the foundation for a new, modern, successful economy of shared prosperity. And if you'llyou will renew the president’s contract, you will feel it. You will feel it.

I believe that with all my heart.

Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it.

Now, why do I believe it?

I’m fixing to tell you why. I believe it because President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America musthas to take to build athe 21st -century version of the American Dream in: a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities., shared prosperity, a shared sense of community.

So let’s get back to the story. In 2010, as thepresident’s recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around.

The ecovery act saved andor created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% let me say this again — cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. In And, in the last 29 months the, our economy has produced about 4.5 1/2 million private sector jobs. But

We could have done better, but last year, the Republicans blocked the president’s job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs.

Sohere’s anotherjob score:. President Obama: plus 4.5 1/2 million,. Congressional Republicans: zero.

Over that same During this period — during this period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama. That’s the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.

And I’ll tell you something else. The auto industry restructuring worked. It saved — it saved more than a million jobs, and not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's

That’s why even auto-makers that weren'tthe automakers who weren’t part of the deal supported it. They needed to save thethose parts suppliers too. Like I said, we’re all in this together.

Now thereSo what’s happened? There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured.

So — now, we all know that Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here’s another job score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand,. Are you listening in Michigan and Ohio and across the country?Here — here’s another job score: Obama, 250,000; Romney, zero.

Now, the agreement the administration made with the management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another , that was a good deal: it too. It will cut your gas billprices in half, your gas bill. No matter what the price is, if you double the mileage of your car, your bill will be half what it would have been. It will make us more energy independent,. It will cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 . And according to several analyses, over the next 20 years, it’ll bring us another half a million good jobs.new jobs into the American economy.

President Obama's "The president’s energy strategy, which he calls “all of the above” energy plan,” is helping too – the. The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near -20- year low and natural gas

Of course, we need a lot more new jobs, lots of them, but. But there are already more than 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don'tpeople who apply for them don’t yet have the required skills. We to do them. So even as we get Americans more jobs, we have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are beingactually going to be created in a world fueled by new technology. That's why investments in our people are more important than ever. The President has. The old economy is not coming back. We’ve got to build a new one and educate people to do those jobs.

The president — the president and his education secretary have supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for jobs that are actually open jobs in their communities. And, — and even more important after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased thedropout rate so much that we've fallenthe percentage of our young people with four-year college degrees has gone down so much that we have dropped to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adultspeople with college degrees, his.

So the president’s student loan reformis more important than ever. Here’s what it does — here’s what it does. You need to tell every voter where you live about this. It lowers the cost of federal student loans and. And even more important, givesit give students the right to repay thethose loans as a clear, fixed, low percentage of their incomesincome for up to 20 years. That means

Now what does this mean? What does this mean? Think of it. It means no one will ever have to drop- out of college again for fear they can’t repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as.

And it means that if someone wants to take a job with a modest income, a teacher, a police officer or, if they want to be a small -town doctor in a little rural area, they won’t have to turn those jobs down because it doesn'tthey don’t pay enough to make therepay they debt payments.. Their debt obligation will be determined by their salary. This will change the future for young Americans.America.

I know we'reI don’t know about you — but on all these issues, I know we’re better off because President Obama made thesethe decisions he did.

ThatNow, that brings me to health care.

And the Republicans call it , derisively, “Obamacare and.” They sayt’s a government takeover of health care that they'll, a disaster, and that if we’ll just elect them, they’ll repeal. Are it. Well, are they right?

Let’s take a look at what’s actually happened so far. Individuals

First, individuals and businesses have securedalready gotten more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiumscompanies because the new law requires 80% (percent) to 85% percent of your premiumspremium to be spent ongo to your health care, not profits or promotion. Other And the gains are even greater than that because a bunch of insurance companies have loweredapplied to lower their rates to meetcomply with the requirement. More

Second, more than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on familyparents’ policies. can cover them.

Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including , all the way from breast cancer screenings andto tests for heart problems. Soon and scores of other things. And younger people are getting them, too.

Fourth, soon the insurance companies, not the government, the insurance companies — will have millions of new customers, many of them middle -class people with pre-existing conditions. And who never could get insurance before.

Now, finally, listen to this. For the last two years — after going up at three times the rate of inflation for a decade, for the last two years, health care spending has growncosts have been under 4%, percent in both years for the first time in 50 years.

So arelet me ask you something. Are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it?health care reform? You bet we are.

Now, there were two other attacks on thepresident in Tampa thatI think deserve an answer. BothFirst, both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the

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