Hillary Clinton photo

Remarks at Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh, North Carolina

November 03, 2016

Thank you. Wow! Thank you all. Woo!

Thank you. Thank you. I -- I got to -- I got to say, after hearing -- after hearing from these two extraordinary men I -- I feel all fired up and ready to go for the next five days.

It is so great to be back here with all of you, and there are a few people in the audience that I just want to acknowledge because I'm delighted they're there -- U.S. Congressman David Price I saw right there.Thank you, David.

State Senator Dan Blue Jr., I know, right there. Thank you, Dan.And I'm not sure she's still here, but Deborah Ross, who I hope is your next senator. There she is!

Because everything Pharrell and Bernie just said is not only about the presidential election and what's at stake, it is about who's going to represent you as your governor, as your senator, as members of Congress and the legislature, and you have some excellent candidates. And we are so hopeful that you will vote for them and vote for what they represent.

Now, I really want to thank my friend, Bernie Sanders, for everything that he has done.

I -- I got to serve with Bernie. We were colleagues in the Senate. I saw firsthand his commitment to the people of Vermont and to the values that have guided his life. And when we faced each other in the primary, here's what I was so proud about. We ran a campaign on the issues that matter to the American people.

And I -- I think because of that campaign, we were able to raise a lot of the issues that you heard Bernie talking about to the level that they are part of this presidential cam-paign, and they will be part of our agenda after January 20th, Bernie.

And I've got to say, too, this election has been a lot more fun now that we're on the same side.

And I want to thank Bernie for everything he's done. He's crisscrossing our country, energizing people, getting folks off the sidelines and engaged in politics. And there's no question that his efforts are paying off.

And what he said at the beginning of his remarks is absolutely true. My name may be on the ballot, but it is not about me, it's not about my opponent, it's not about Bernie, it's not about David or Deborah, it is about you and your lives and what we're going to do together.

Now, Bernie and I have already worked, we've worked on the plan that he told you about to make college tuition-free for the middle-class, for working families, for poor kids and debt-free for everyone.

Because as Bernie said earlier this year, when people who care about progressive causes stand together, we win, and then we can get to work on making those causes into realities for the lives of our people. So I am proud to be here with you and I am so excited about -- of the election, about everything that we're going to do together.

And I'm especially pleased to have Pharrell here.

Now, every time I see him, which is not often enough, we always have a good conversation like we did before this event. He always gets you to think. Not only is he a world-class talent, but he is a passionate advocate for issues that are too often overlooked and ignored. He wants to -- and I'm going to do everything I can help him -- to deliver -- giving kids who are at risk access to educational and arts programs that they deserve to have just as much as any other child.

So tell me this, tell me this, North Carolina, tell me, North Carolina, are you really, really, really happy that we're here tonight?

Well, we sure are. There's nowhere we'd rather be.Now, let me ask you this, how many of you have already voted?Well, I hope you're going to bring more people to vote as well, right?Are you ready to volunteer?

We can all use you in these last days. Are you ready to elect Roy Cooper?

Well, I'm glad to hear that because it's time you had a governor who puts families first, not radical ideology.And I love seeing our educators stand up and applaud because you need a governor who actually cares about the education of the children of North Carolina.

Now, are you ready to elect Deborah Ross to the United States Senate? I'll tell you -- I'll tell you, Deborah and her race are the talk of everywhere. People know she will be an independent voice for North Carolina families, that she will represent you with integrity and excellence. And unlike her opponent, she's never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.

Are you ready now to choose our next president and commander-in- chief?

Well, I'm -- I'm excited. Did any of you see the debates?Well, you know, there's several -- there's several notable aspects of those debates.

I mean, one is the very fact that I stood on the stage for four and a half hours with my opponent proving, once and for all, I have the stamina to be president and commander-in-chief.

But you know -- but you know, he -- he also kept saying, like oh, well you know, what have you done for the last 30 years? And you know, occasionally I would interject and say what I had done.

And today, in Greenville, we had a perfect comparison. I started my career fighting for children and families with the Children's Defense Fund when I got right out of law school in the 1970's.

I went to South Carolina to gather evidence to stop the government in South Carolina for -- from putting young men, teenagers in jails with adults. I went to Alabama undercover to gather information about segregated academies to deprive them of tax-exempt status, which they did not deserve.

I went door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts, gathering information to make the case that every child in America, including children with disabilities, should have the right to a public school education.

And as we heard this morning from a -- just a wonderful, distinguished older woman by the name of Mae Wiggins who came all the way down to tell her story. She was a nurse in New York City back in the 1970's, excited about being a young nurse, getting her career off to a start. And she was looking for a place to live, and she had a budget like everybody does. And she found what she thought would be the perfect place. It was within her budget. It was close to work.

She went to apply for an apartment. It was a new building -- brand new building. It wasn't even totally finished yet. She went into the little office and asked for an application and they said, "Oh, we don't have any apartments." She said, "But I saw the advertisement." "Well, we have no apartments left."

Well, she thought that was pretty peculiar and so she decided to do a little investigation and she found out that all of her African- American friends who had gone to that apartment run by Donald Trump and his father, Fred, had been told there were no apartments.

So she had the gumption to go and make a complaint, which led to the Justice Depart-ment suing them for discrimination. They settled the suit, but then they had to come back a year later and sue them again because they were still discriminating.

So when you hear, as Bernie so powerfully said at the end of his remarks, that we are standing against the possibility of returning and normalizing discrimination, take it seriously, my friends, because it truly is -- it truly is at stake in this election.

And I was also very, very grateful. I had a role in helping to create the Children's Health Insurance Program as first lady, and let me tell you, one of the great -- one of the great honors as I travel across the country is meeting young people who are the beneficiaries or meeting their families.

I met a woman here in North Carolina who told her story and we actually recorded it because all of us were so moved by what she had to say when her baby was born. Her daughter, she was deaf. And the doctors all said she'll never -- she'll never communicate, so she cannot learn to speak, so you need to teach her sign language.

And the mom did all this research and concluded that there were some treatments that might help her daughter, but she didn't have that kind of money. They didn't have that kind of insurance. And she was telling her doctor she didn't know what to do, and the doctor just serendipitously said, "You know, there's this new program, it's called the Children's Health Insurance Program. It's for people who are not poor, but they don't make enough money to afford that kind of insurance, and they don't work for an employer who provides it. You should look into it." And she did. And that began the process of her getting the treatment that her daughter needed.

And when I met the mother, I also met the daughter, right here. I talked with her. She told me how proud she was because she had just graduated from college, George Washington University.

So, yes, you know, I do sweat the details and I do have a lot of plans. Tim Kaine and I put a whole book out called "Stronger Together" telling you exactly what we're going to try to do if we're fortunate enough to be president and vice president because I actually think it's important for you to know what we're going to do together.

And as your -- as a senator, I helped to rebuild New York City after 9/11 and provided health care to our brave first responders. As your secretary of state, I traveled to 112 countries, negotiated cease-fires, reduced the threat of nuclear weapons, stood up for human rights and women's rights and LGBT rights all around the world.

And you know, everything I've done started by listening to people. Listening to hear your stories, what you're worried about, and then working to bring people together to find common ground, even with people who disagreed with me on lots of issues.

You know, when I was first lady, I had a great commitment to kids in foster care and I wanted to improve our foster care and adoption laws, and I was looking for some Re-publican to work with me, and I found one because I did my research and found out that one of the most partisan Republicans, Congressman Tom DeLay from Texas, had a heart for children in foster care. He and his wife had fostered children, and I called him up.

I said, "Congressman, would you work with me to change the laws on foster care and adoption?" There was a silence. He said, "Well, what do you want me to do?" I said, "Well, come to the White House. Come to a meeting. We'll sit down and figure out what we can do." And we did, and I meet those kids, and I meet those families, kids who were taken out of foster care and given the chance to have a loving permanent family for the first time.

Now, I'm telling you this because I really believe that's the only way we're going to get things done. And if you elect me next Tuesday, that is the kind of president I will be.

So, let me just mention a few of the ideas that we've been putting forward to help you and your families get ahead and stay ahead because I truly believe you need a candidate you can vote for, not just someone to vote against.

But as you're making this choice, we need to be clear about what the choice is, because come January 20th, America will have a new president. It will either be me or my opponent.

Now, I think it's fair to say, things are going to change. Change is part of life. That much is certain. The question is what kind of change are we going to see? Are we going to build a stronger, fairer, better America or are we going to fear each other and fear our future?

I want you just to imagine, imagine the different kinds of futures that are available depending upon who's elected on January 20th, because by imagining it, I want you to think about every issue you care about, everything that is dear to you, everything that you heard from Pharrell and from Bernie.

It's hard for me to imagine that we would have a president who has demeaned women, mocked the disabled, insulted African-Americans and Latinos, pitted people against each other instead of bringing them together. That is, unfortunately though, what we have seen in this campaign, what we have seen, what's been said and how distressful it's been.

I know there are a lot of people who are upset about what's going on in this campaign, aren't there? People come and talk to me. I've had people say that they can't sleep, that their stomachs are bothering them, they have headaches. And I think that's an im-portant signal because this is a big decision. And as Michelle Obama has said, the presidency doesn't change you -- who you are, it reveals who you are.

And I think it's fair to say that my opponent has already revealed who he is. And he wants to ban every Muslim in the world from coming to the United States. Our country is founded on religious freedom. It is one of the most important building blocks of our democracy.

He has said that he thinks the lives of black people are all crime and poverty and des-pair. He has no idea -- no idea about the strength of the black church, the vibrancy of black-owned businesses, the excellence of historically black colleges and universities.

He seems not to recognize the rise of a new generation of black activists for social justice and the success of black leaders in every field.

And we saw that again in the way he treated the Central Park Five. These were five black and Latino kids, some as young as 14, who were wrongly convicted of a terrible crime in New York City back in 1990. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four newspapers calling for the death penalty for these kids. Nearly three decades later, they were exonerated by DNA evidence.

And in addition, someone else confessed to the crime, so they were finally released from prison. But not only did Trump refuse to apologize for what he had said about them and even calling for their executions, he actually said, "They should still be in prison." Evidence didn't matter. The law didn't matter. To him, those kids would always be guilty.

So think about it, if he wants to keep exonerated people in jail, how can we trust him to fight for the rule of justice and fairness and criminal justice reform in America?

Do we want him appointing our judges?

Audience: No!

Clinton: Do we want him controlling the Justice Department?

Audience: No!

Clinton: Well, I've said many times, he has shown us who he is, now it is up to us to decide who we are. And right now, people across our country are coming together to do just that. They are rejecting the dark and divisive vision for one that is more hopeful and inclusive. We know that America is big-hearted, not small-minded. We want to lift people up, not tear each other down.

And that's why I do believe we are stronger together, so let me paint you a different picture. Here's what we're going to do together. We're going to take on systemic racism with a full commitment and real follow-through because we refuse to accept as normal some of what we're seeing across America.

What happened to that church in Mississippi yesterday should not have happened and it should never be accepted. People painted the words "Vote Trump" on the side and then set it on fire. Who would do that? Who would do that to a place of worship where people seek solace? That can never be normal. It can never be acceptable.

What happened in Flint, Michigan, as Bernie said, can never be normal, can never be acceptable.

Little children drinking and bathing in poisoned water that will affect their health for years to come.

And then we know, don't we? Too many young African-Americans are dying in police incidents or because of gun violence.

We know their names; Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland and Keith Scott and so many others. We have got to face this, and we're going to get to work to do just that. We are going to - we are going to dismantle the so-called school-to-prison pipeline and we're going to replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline.

And we're going to start with our youngest kids and their families to give them the support that they need. And we're going to take a hard look at what we need to do to make sure every child has the chance to attend good schools with good teachers, no matter what their ZIP code is.

And we will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end. It is wrong, my friends, that black men are far more likely to be stopped by police, charged and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men for the same offenses.

When I -- when I launched this campaign back in April of 2015, the very first speech I gave was on the topic of criminal justice reform. I said then and I have repeated it throughout this campaign, we must end the era of mass incarceration.

Too many families have been broken up, too many communities have been so badly affected. We have to reform these mandatory minimums and sentencing. We have to ban the box so people who have served their time can get a real chance at a good job and a fresh start.

And we have to restore trust between police and communities. We are all safer when everyone has respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law.

This is important, of course, to families and communities, but it is important to all of us. This is about who we are as a country, about whether we really are a nation that believes in freedom and justice for all. Too often, despite the progress we've made, we fall short of that goal, and we have to be honest about it.

I am determined to make this one of the most important projects of my presidency and I hope all of you will join me in doing that.

And I have to say - I have to say that is only part of what must be done because the leading cause of death for young African-American men, more than the next nine causes.

We have 33,000 people a year dying from guns. I just cannot tolerate this any longer. I have met the families of those who have lost loved ones, who have lost the first graders in Sandy Hook, the bible study churchgoers in Charleston, the club-goers in Orlando, the moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, people going about their lives being cut down and cut senselessly short. We have to take steps to reduce gun violence, and I know we can do that because the vast majority of Americans agree something must be done and a very big majority of gun owners agree as well.

And we've got to make investments in those communities that are struggling, especially communities of color.

When I was in eastern North Carolina today and I was talking to people there who had been devastated by Hurricane Matthew, people who didn't have very much to start with, who lost everything, farmers with 100, 200 acres growing sweet potatoes, wiped out. We've got to help everybody get ahead.

I believe that the economy must work for everyone, not just those at the top. And I think hardworking Americans deserve a raise and women deserve equal pay.

So, how are we going to do this? Well, we're going to go where the money is. Just as Bernie said, we're going to make the wealthy pay their fair share, and make sure Wall Street never threatens Main Street again.

And I can't wait to work with Bernie to make public colleges and universities like N.C. State right here at Raleigh tuition-free.

I know that this is another issue Pharrell feels passionately about as well. If you're struggling with student debt, we're going to cut that and help you pay it back and get out from under it.

And in my plan is a $25 billion fund specifically aimed at supporting historically black colleges and universities - schools like Shaw and Saint Augustine - because you know they produce some of the finest leaders in our country, and I want to make sure they keep doing that vital work.

So we could go on all night. I mean, Bernie and I could really keep you here until breakfast because we get excited about what we can do. But of course, we can't do anything if you don't get out and vote and get everybody you know to vote.

This is going to be one of the most consequential elections in our country's history, you know that, because we are at a crossroads. It's not just who my opponent is. Pharrell is right, we don't even have to mention his name very much. Right? It's not just about him, although there are some special features that certainly raise deep concerns. It's about who we are. It's about what we want, what we're going to do to make our mark on our country at this time in our history.

I believe -- I believe America's best days are still ahead of us if we do what we're sup-posed to do.

Every social movement, every economic advance has only come about because people were willing to work and sacrifice and keep pushing forward in the face of adversity. It's not easy. It wasn't easy to get the vote for women. It wasn't easy to have the final efforts made to ensure that the Civil Rights Act was enforced. It wasn't easy because there are powerful interests still trying to push us back and push us down.

And right now, you know, because in this state a lot of effort was put into trying to suppress the vote, right?

And some people got discouraged about that. I've met some people who say, well, you know, I don't even know what they want, what kind of identification. It gets a little discouraging. You cannot get discouraged. Do not grow weary while doing good, right?

It is now our turn -- our turn to stand up to people like your governor and your legislature who wanted to shut you down and push you back because we are fundamentally a good nation and we need to make sure we deliver on that promise.

And in this election, President Obama's entire legacy is on the line, everything that he has worked so hard to do against implacable opposition. As the president said yesterday, everything we've done is dependent upon him being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things he believes in.

So I got to tell you, I've told the president I'm ready to take the baton, but he's going to have to bend over because he's a lot taller than I am.

But I'm not just taking it, all of us are taking it. We are ready to grab that baton, to defend and build upon the progress of his presidency, and that is why everyone must vote. Early vote and vote on Tuesday if you can't get to early vote.And listen to this, more than two million right here in North Carolina have already voted.

So make no mistake about it, you can make the difference, not only in who you elect, but in the agenda that those people will then get to work on. I want you to hold me accountable. I want you to be my partners, but I can't do any of this.

You know, when I was with our wonderful first lady last week, she reminded —she reminded the big crowd we had in Winston-Salem that President Obama in 2008 won this state by about 14,000 votes.

If you break that down, you know what the difference between winning and losing is? Roughly two votes per precinct. So don't let anybody tell you their vote doesn't matter. You've got to get everyone you know to come out and vote. You can vote early through this Saturday, November 5th. If you don't know where to vote, go to iwillvote.com to confirm your voting location because the best way to repudiate the bigotry and the bluster and the bullying and the hateful rhetoric and discrimination is to show up with the biggest turnout in American history.

And then that will be the story of this election. Let's make that one for the history books. Please be part of what we're doing in these next days and let's make sure that we not only have a future we can believe in, but one we can help create together, and demonstrate, once and for all, that love trumps hate.

Thank you all.

NOTE: Speech as delivered.

Secretary Clinton was introduced by both Senator Bernie Sanders and Pharrell Williams. Williams is a Grammy award winning song-writer, rapper, and record producer.

Hillary Clinton, Remarks at Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh, North Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/319827

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