Photo of Elizabeth Warren

Remarks in Des Moines Following the Iowa Democratic Caucuses

February 03, 2020

[As prepared for delivery.]

Thank you, Iowa! Thank you so much.

So listen, it's too close to call. So I'm going to tell you what I do know.

As the baby daughter of a janitor, I'm so grateful to be up on this stage tonight.

Tonight as a party, we are one step closer to defeating the most corrupt president in American history.

Tomorrow Donald Trump will make a speech about the state of the union.

But I have a message for every American: Our union is stronger than Donald Trump. And, in less than a year, our union will be stronger than ever when that one man is replaced by one very persistent woman.

Donald Trump and I see America from very different viewpoints -- and we have since we were born. Trump grew up in New York City in a 23-room, nine-bathroom mansion. I grew up out in Oklahoma in a two-bedroom house with one bathroom and a converted garage where my three brothers slept.

By the time he was three, Donald Trump was getting a two-hundred-thousand dollar allowance every year from his dad's real estate empire. In total, he got nearly half a billion dollars from his dad. Me? I took on small jobs to make money, baby sitting, waitressing, sewing dresses for my aunts.

Donald Trump claimed bone spurs to avoid the draft. All three of my older brothers signed up for military service, and the oldest spent five-and-a-half years off and on in combat in Vietnam.

Before he became a reality TV host, Donald Trump spent most of his career running one company after another into bankruptcy -- stiffing small businesses, ripping off workers, and scamming students. I spent most of my career studying why families go broke and fighting to make it easier for them to get back on their feet. Before I was even elected to office, I built an entire federal agency to stop big banks and financial institutions from cheating people.

A person's values matter. A president's values matter. And the only thing Donald Trump values is Donald Trump.

He believes that government is just one more thing to exploit -- a tool to enrich himself and his corrupt buddies at everyone else's expense. I believe that government should work for everyone.

Tonight showed that Americans have a deep hunger for big, structural change to make our economy -- and our democracy -- work for everyone.

Tonight showed that our path to victory is to fight hard for the changes Americans are demanding -- changes that Democrats, Independents and Republicans are demanding.

Tonight showed that our agenda isn't just a progressive agenda. It isn't just a Democratic agenda. It's America's agenda.

Throughout our history, when moments of crisis have called on us to meet big challenges, Americans have answered the call.

Even when the doubters and critics say our dreams are too big, and the fights are too hard, we persist.

In the 1700s, when people said we could never overthrow a king and form a new republic, farmers and merchants came together and fought side-by-side until we won our independence.

In the 1800s, people said that slavery would endure forever and African Americans would never see liberation. But abolitionists, enslaved and formerly enslaved people formed an underground railroad and more than two million people waged a war to defeat the tyranny of slavery.

In the 1900s, people said we could never rescue our economy from the depths of the Great Depression or defeat fascism. But we forged a New Deal, mobilized to defeat fascism, expanded unions, built a middle class, and marched for civil rights.

Americans do big things. That's who we are. We don't settle. We don't back down. We meet big problems with even bigger solutions.

Iowa, tonight, you showed that big dreams are still possible in America.

Tonight you showed that when you imagine an America that lives up to its ideals, you can set in motion the process of making it a reality -- all it takes is some hard work.

Here in Iowa, that's what happened. You came together. You organized. You showed that we are united in our conviction that hope defeats fear. That courage overcomes cynicism. That we will always be a stronger party and a stronger nation when we unite around our shared values to advance justice and expand opportunity for everyone.

Right now across America, there are folks standing with a group of friends, or sitting on the couch with loved ones, or watching this quietly on their phone because everyone else in the house is asleep -- watching and thinking, "Maybe I could help out. Maybe I could volunteer some time. Maybe I could get in this fight." And that's how we're going to do this.

I am here tonight to tell you: if you have hope that America can be better than it's been in these last few years, and if you have courage to speak out and do a little organizing with us, this campaign is for you.

If you can imagine an America where corruption doesn't block our ability to reduce gun violence, urgently tackle climate change, or bring an end to the opioid epidemic, this campaign is for you.

If you can imagine an economy where every job has dignity, where people are paid a livable wage, and where everyone has a real chance to thrive, this campaign is for you.

If you can imagine a democracy where people, not money, come first, this campaign is for you.

And if you can imagine an America of moral clarity that lives its values every day, this campaign is for you.

Tonight we are one step closer to winning the fight for the America we imagine is possible.

Tonight is for you. Tonight is for every volunteer who put their feet to the pavement to fight for change. For every organizer who braved the blistering cold to knock on doors. For every person who made a call or sent a text to spread the word. I'm going to tell you about some of our volunteers.

Tonight is for the veteran who came back diagnosed with PTSD and who volunteered every week to help us become a nation that honors its promises to its veterans.

Tonight is for every undocumented, unafraid organizer and volunteer who proudly knocked on doors to let the world know that the path to progress runs through courage, not fear.

Tonight is for the innovative, persistent women who organized babysitting clubs so they could put in more hours volunteering.

Tonight is for the single mother, who had been homeless, and who was so determined that her twin daughters grow up in a better world that she found spare moments to make calls.

Tonight is for everyone who believes that no matter the color of your skin, who you love, how you worship, where you were born, or what zip code you live in, you should be safe and your opportunities should be pretty much as good as everyone else's.

In every day and every way, this movement is made up of people who know that the only way to make progress and build power is to fight from the heart.

So tonight, Iowa, I want to say thank you. Thank you for living your values. Thank you for standing together, fighting together, and persisting. You have made me a better candidate and you will make me a better president.

And while I'm at it, I want to thank my sweetie Bruce -- I couldn't do this without you. And thanks to Bailey. He truly is a good-boy.

Together we have built a movement powered by hopeful, courageous people who will do the work to make the change we need.

And we are just getting started.

This race will be decided by people like you. And if you believe something should be done, I'm asking you to do something: go to Elizabeth Warren Dot Com right now. Pitch in a few bucks, sign up to volunteer, get involved with our campaign near where you live.

Because this race started here in Iowa, but from tomorrow it will run ocean to ocean, east to New Hampshire, and then west to Nevada, then down to South Carolina.

This fight will stretch across all 57 states and territories that make up this great nation until we unite together as a party in Milwaukee. The road won't be easy. But we are built for the long haul.

Yeah, we still have a fight on our hands, but we are fueled by the hope in our hearts. Our optimism and our determination run deep.

And no matter what lies ahead, we are not afraid. This is our moment. The moment we've been called to.

Our moment to make history.

Our moment to dream big, fight hard and win.

Elizabeth Warren, Remarks in Des Moines Following the Iowa Democratic Caucuses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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