Hillary Clinton photo

Remarks at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio

October 21, 2016

"Hello Cleveland. Wow. There is nothing like being introduced by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge to get everybody going.

I am so excited to be here, what a time to be back in Cleveland.

The Indians are going to the World Series.

That is after the Cavs won the championship. What a year for Cleveland, you really are "Believe Land."

Now I, for one, am hoping for a Great Lakes series, I spent a lot of days at Wrigley field as a kid, so that would be a dream come true for me, to have Cleveland and Chicago in World Series, and for us to win Ohio.

I want to thank all of the people who are here today because you've heard from some great, great folks. I want to thank Governor Ted Strickland, our candidate to the United States Senate. I'll tell you, we could really use a Democratic senate to get things done for the people of Ohio and America.

I wanna thank Mayor Frank Jackson, County Executive, Armond Budish. I wanna thank my great friend from Youngstown, Congressman Tim Ryan.

And we need you all in. We need you all in. You're rallying together and we need to rally together because you know, I really believe we are stronger together!

Anybody watch the debate Wednesday night? Well, that was the third and last time. That I will ever have to debate Donald Trump.

I have now spent four and a half hours on stage with Donald, proving once again, I have the stamina to be president and commander in chief.

Really, you -- you just have to be a good cheer when you find yourself in situations like that.

And because I love this country and I believe in the American people, I could feel so clear in my own mind and my heart about what we can do together. So no matter what he was saying, I just kept thinking of all the people that I have met throughout this campaign. And I had the chance to talk about some of the most important concerns on people's minds, what keeps you up at night. And as I said then and as I have said continuously, we're going to invest in the middle class.

We're going to invest in you and your families. We're going to make sure we produce enough good jobs with rising incomes that every single person, especially every single young American here today, will have the chance to go as far as your talents and your hard work will take you.

And we're also going to protect our children from gun violence. We are not going to tolerate the kind of gun violence epidemic that has swept this country and results in the deaths of 33,000 people a year. We can come together to meet our challenges, no matter what they are.

But on Wednesday night, Donald Trump did something no other presidential nominee has ever done. He refused to say that he would respect the results of this election.

Now, make no mistake. By doing that, he is threatening our democracy.

He is basically saying hey, we've been around 240 years and we've always had peaceful transitions no matter who won or who lost. Look, if you lose an election -- I've lost elections, you don't feel very good the next day, do you?

But we know in our country the difference between leadership and dictatorship, right?

And the peaceful transition -- the peaceful transition of power is one of the things that sets us apart. It's how we hold our country together no matter who's in charge. You know, I went to 112 countries as your secretary of state and I -- I saw the difference between what we do and what others do, I was in countries where people jail their political opponents or execute them or exile them. Or invalidate elections that they didn't win.

That can never be allowed to happen here. I believe that's true no matter who you support in this election, whether or not you support me. Or you support my opponent, together, we must support American democracy and the country that has given every one of us so many opportunities.

And the best way to do that, my friends, is to turn out and vote.

[points to an audience member holding a sign]

Those are great. That is great. I'm excited because we are well on our way, there is an inspiring story being written right now by people across America, and many of you are getting involved in this election, some of you for the first time in your lives. We now have in America more than 200 million registered voters.

That is more than we have ever had in our entire history, and that is really good news for our democracy. More than 50 million millennials have registered.

You know what that means? Young people will determine the outcome of this election, which I think is good news. That means our future is in good hands.

And listen to this, because this is really exciting. More than 4 million people have already voted.

Including many people right here in Ohio.

In fact, in the first four days of in-person early voting here in Ohio, more people showed up to vote than they did at the same time in 2012, in our last election.

That is fantastic and it shows how serious people are taking this election. So numbers like that remind us that no matter all the negativity that's out there, there is something really exciting happening right now. People are coming together. Democrats, Republicans, independents, all of us to reject hate and division.

People are motivated to vote early, to defend core American values, to embrace a future where every person counts, everyone has a place, and everyone can contribute. That is my vision. I have a hopeful, optimistic, unifying vision for what our country will be. Because from the beginning, our campaign has been focused on ideas, not insults, on bringing people together, not tearing us apart.

And I want all of you to know that that is true not only for the campaign, but if I am fortunate enough to be your president, I want you to know, and I want you to tell anybody you know, any friends, or colleagues at school or work, or your neighborhood who may be planning to support the other guy, here is what I want you to tell them.

I want you to tell them that I want to be their president. I want to be every single American's president, whether you agree or disagree, whether you vote for me or against me.

I believe we can disagree without being disagreeable. I believe that. And I have seen that happen. I want to be a good listener. I know there are a lot of people here in Ohio who are discouraged, frustrated, even angry about what is going on in their lives, about losing jobs, they are upset about what they see happening around them. I get that.

But I think anger is not a plan. We need plans that will help us deal with the legitimate concerns and questions that people have here in Ohio. I think that is what the country needs now. And that is what I will try to offer.

CLINTON: I am not going to pretend that we can just snap our fingers and solve our problems. That would not be fair. It wouldn't be true. But I know we can make progress together and you deserve something to vote for, not just against.

So I want to speak directly to the challenges that a lot of people here in Ohio face, especially when it comes to our economy. You see I believe really simply that when the middle class thrives, America thrives. When we build the economy from the middle out and the ground up, not from the top down, we are more likely to provide better lives, better incomes, better opportunities for more Americans.

My opponent has a different perspective. He really believes if you give trillions, that's with a T, trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy, to millionaires and billionaires and corporations, everything will work out. It's really trickle down on steroids. I believe differently that we must invest in working families in the middle class, in small businesses, that will power the economy.

And that's what we're going to do. We're going to get the economy to work for everyone, not just those at the top who have done pretty well over the last years. Now Donald likes to say he's on the side of American workers but his actions tell a different story. He has been buying cheap Chinese steel and aluminum for his construction projects when he should be buying good American made steel that supports good American jobs.

And this is a very important issue here in Ohio because you're one of the largest steel producing states in America so you understand how important this is to support the American steel industry so I'm going to let Donald try to explain himself to the steel workers filing for unemployment. He has put Chinese steel workers to work, not American steel workers and we're going to change that.

And for all of his talk about putting America first, he's made his products in at least 12 other countries. Trump's suits were made in Mexico. They could have been made in Brooklyn, Ohio. Trump's furniture is made in Turkey and it could have been made in Cleveland. Trump barware is made in Slovenia instead of Toledo. So if he wants to make America great again, why doesn't he start by making things in America again?

And we also know that he hasn't paid a dime in federal income tax for years.

He says that makes him smart. Well, I don't know how smart you have to be to lose $1 billion in a year in the first place. But what that means is everybody else here, all of us, have paid more in federal income taxes than a billionaire, right? And that means he's contributed zero, zero for our military or our vets, zero for Pell grants to help young people go to college, zero for our highways or investing in clean energy or other ways to help us with new jobs for the future.

Now Tim Kaine and I, we have a different view. We want to make the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II. Jobs in infrastructure and manufacturing, clean energy, technology and small business. We are going to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.

And I've set some big goals. I want us to deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term.

And enough clean energy to power every home within 10 years.

We're also going to strengthen education at every level starting with universal pre-kindergarten education.

And we want good schools with good teachers in every zip code so that every kid gets a world class education. I want us to bring back technical education in high school. I think it was a mistake when we took it out of our high schools.

And let's remember, it's at community colleges like this that thousands and thousands of people in our country, of all ages, get such a good start.

And I'm going to make public colleges and universities tuition free for any families making less than $125,000 a year.

Education should lift you up, not hold you back. And we're going to help you, we're going to help you pay back and pay down your loans. Too many young people are burdened by those debts.

It's going to be great to help you pay it back as a percentage of your income, so you're never on the hook for more than you can afford. Senator Bernie Sanders and I worked on this plan together.

It's going to help save millions of people thousands of dollars, and you can actually go to HillaryClinton.com/calculator to see how much money you and your family could save with our plan.

I also want to do more for apprenticeship programs. I thank all the unions represented here for the great apprentice programs that you have in place. Thank you.

I want to support apprenticeship programs and skills trainings with business and labor unions, because there are going to be good jobs out there for welders, and machinists, and health technicians, and computer coders, and so much more. I want everybody to have the chance to get your piece of the American dream, and I think the American dream is big enough for everybody.

And we're going to raise the national minimum wage because no one who works full-time should still be in poverty.

As I said in the debate the other night, I want to make sure that we take care of people on Social Security who were low-income workers and women, particularly widows, who lose have of their monthly payment when their husbands die.

We've got to do more to make sure Social Security provides a decent income for our seniors. And, yes, don't you think it's finally time to guarantee equal pay for women's work?

Now the equal pay issue is important in and of itself because, if you've got a mother or a wife or a daughter or a sister who's working, you want her to be paid fairly. I mean that's good for the entire family, right?

But the equal pay issue gets at something even deeper. We've got to make sure that women and girls are treated with the dignity and respect in our country that they deserve.

We cannot -- we cannot tolerate the kind of behavior and language we've seen from my opponent. He thinks that belittling women makes him bigger. Goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don't think there's a woman anywhere who doesn't know how that feels.

So we're going to stand up for everybody, men and women, retirees, the young, millennials, everybody deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

And I have said repeatedly that we're going to reform the criminal justice system so that it works fairly for everyone. And we have to address systemic racism that is still too big a part of our lives together.

I want to give credit to all the young people, and really people of all ages, who've been marching and speaking out, doing everything you can to make sure that issues of policing and mass incarceration, environmental justice, economic justice, educational equity, gun violence, voting rights, that they get the attention they deserve. Because it's important that we lift these issues up and work to make sure that everybody in our country feels like they are seen and they are heard. And all the advocates and activists who have challenged us to think about these issues of race and justice and equality and opportunity in new and powerful ways really deserve our appreciation.

I'm going to do everything I can to lift these issues up, because one of my hopes for my presidency will be to root out systemic racism and bigotry and discrimination in whatever form it takes.

So really, when you think about it, my name will be on the ballot, but it is not just me. People say, well, she has lots of plans and all of that. I do, but I also have a lot of humility about this.

I really believe our country is at a turning point, that this is a crossroads election. So yes, my name may be on the ballot, but the question really is, who are we as a country? What are our values? What kind of future do we want to create together?

It is so easy to get cynical about politics, believe me, I know that. But this matters so deeply to our families and our communities and our country, and indeed our world.

So I want to say something to people who may be reconsidering their support for my opponent. I know you may still have questions for me. I respect that, I want to answer them, I want to earn your vote.

I am reaching out to all Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents. I think America needs every single one of us to bring our energy and our talents, our ambition to build that better country.

So I hope that as we move through these next 18 days, everyone thinks seriously about what you really want to see, not just in your next president, but in your lives, in your jobs, in your education, in our future together.

And the only way we can have that positive, optimistic, unifying future is if all of you help us get there. Every phone call you make, every door you knock on, every voter you register makes a big difference.

So I hope you will give whatever time you can for these last days. You can go to hillaryclinton.com and sign up to volunteer. You can text "JOIN," J-O-I-N, to 47246 to join. With your help, we can elect Democrats up and down the ballot starting with Ted Strickland and others who are running.

Remember that early in-person voting in Ohio began on October 12th and it ends on November 7th. So you have more of a window to vote than a lot of people in other states.

And I hope you will exercise that. And I hope that you will decide whatever issue you care about, you can almost in your mind's eye see that on the ballot, see it next to my name, see it whether you care about climate change and what we are doing to protect the Great Lakes, including Lake Eerie, while creating good paying clean energy jobs.

Whether you believe women should be able to make our own health care decisions.

If you believe marriage equality should be protected.

And that LGBT Americans should be treated equally.

If you believe we should do more to stop the opioid epidemic that is destroying lives and communities.

That we should do more to help with mental health and make sure that people get the treatment that they deserve.

If you believe we need to get the cost of health care, premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and prescription drug costs down.

If you believe that we should have a foreign policy where we work with our allies, not insult them, and achieve common goals toward peace and prosperity.

This is our chance to send a very clear, unmistakable message about what kind of country and future we want.

You know, I have two of the most wonderful grandchildren ever, and I see them whenever I can, I FaceTime with them all the time.

But I think about them endlessly because I feel such a sense of responsibility, not just because they're my grandchildren, obviously, and I would do anything to help them, but because I want everybody's children and grandchildren to have the same opportunities, to chart your own future, to believe in yourself, to contribute to this great America democracy of ours.

To be part on an economy that lifts you up, not drags you down. I am motivated by my work that I've done my entire life on behalf of kids and families.

From the time I joined the Children's Defense Fund, until today. And I will do whatever I can to make it my mission to give every single person, especially every child and young person, the chance to live up to your God-given potential.

Let's go out and prove that love trumps hate. Thank you!"

NOTE: Remarks as delivered.

Hillary Clinton, Remarks at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/319031

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