Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration in Des Moines, Iowa

November 01, 2019

Wow! Thank you, Iowa. It is so, so wonderful to be back here with so many friends. Thank you!

Thank you to my good friends, Ruth and Tom Harkin and Tom and Christie Vilsack. It is great to see you. As you all know, I can see Iowa from my porch.

And we are going to win big in this state in November.

We are going to build a blue wall around Iowa and Ohio - all those states that Donald Trump won in 2016. Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. We are going to build that blue wall Democrats and we're going to make Donald Trump pay for it!

So we have been, we have been on a long journey together, and I bet you all remember where you were on election night in 2016.

I do. I was in Minnesota. And late at night I got a text from my daughter. John's here, my husband, and that text, it said: "Mom, what should we do now?"

She was actually at Hillary's party in New York. She was in college and I had forgotten she was there.

"What should we do now?"

And I wrote back this mom guilt text really fast, and it said: "The subway is still running. You need to go home. It's very sad. And remember you have class tomorrow."

She wrote back, "Mom, I mean our country."

That's when it hit me, and that's something I'll never forget. And I told her then what I tell you now: is that our country, we have been through wars, we have been through financial crises, we have been through despair, and we have always come out on the other side.

But that question she asked still echoes in my mind and in your mind every single day, "What should we do now?"

Because Democrats, if we answer it with a shrug of our shoulders or with apathy, if we just turn down the TV and put the blanket over our head, then we don't win. But if we answer it with action, we win. That is what we need to do.

And this journey, this journey for all of us, it didn't end that night. It actually began the day after the inauguration when millions and millions of people, including here in Des Moines, marched across this country. You remember that.

And the next day when 6,000 women signed up to run for office. That happened.

And then you think of it where we marched with our union brothers and sisters and we marched with immigrants and we stood up for those kids in Parkland and those moms who demanded action.

And when Donald Trump, when Donald Trump tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, when he tried to kick off kids from their health insurance - we didn't just sit down, we stood up and we won. That's what happened, and that's what we did.

Now, what happened through all that, we got Abby and Cindy - you did this - elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. You did that. You got them - I think that's a Viking horn - you're going to piss off all the Packer fans.

We got Abby and Cindy elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. And you turned the House of Representatives into the People's House again! You did that. And you gave us Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House.

And when people tell me that a woman can't beat Donald Trump, I tell them, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.

And if you think we can't win in the Midwest, Iowa Democrats, I have four words for you: "Former Governor Scott Walker."

But we still have this guy in the White House. And every single morning he wakes up, and he tries to divide us. He sends out tweets going after immigrants, he goes after people of color, he belittles people that don't agree with him and he allows a foreign country to make mincemeat of our democracy. And every day, our path gets clearer.

I believe that we need someone that heads up this ticket that understands that what unites us as a party is so much bigger than what divides us. That understands that we have to bring in our fired up Democratic base but we also have to bring in Independents and yeah, even a few moderate Republicans. If we want to win big, that is what we are going to have to do, that is what we are going to have to do, my friends. I am someone that has passed over 100 bills as lead Democrat in that gridlock of Washington, DC. I have won every race, every place, every time, in the reddest of red congressional districts. And I am someone that believes that we need a president that is not a president for half of America, but is a president for all of America.

Now, we have got this president that would rather lie than lead, that's what he does. He is running the country like a game show. And have you noticed how he always puts his business interests in front of the interests of our country? That's what he does. He sides with tyrants over innocents. He sides with dictators over our allies. I can tell you one thing, when I am president I will bring sanity back to our foreign policy. And something else, something else that I promise you, I will never ever host a gathering of international leaders at one of my resorts. Oh that's right, I don't own a resort. But what I do own is this: I own an optimistic economic and justice agenda for this country.

What does that mean? It means that after Charlottesville, there weren't two sides when one side is the Ku Klux Klan. There is only one side and that is the American side. What that means is if multimillionaires can refinance their yachts, then students should be able to refinance their loans.

And to the NRA, and to Big Oil, and to Big Pharma, no, you do not own America. And when I am president, they will not own me. The citizens own Washington, DC. And what this means is that we will take on the existential crisis of our time: climate change.

And I will get us back into the international climate change agreement on day one. Day two, bring back the clean power standards, day three, bring back the gas mileage standards and then introduce sweeping legislation and get that done in one year. That is what we have to do, Democrats.

There is an old Obijwe saying, and it is this: great leaders make decisions, not for this generation, but for generations, seven generations from now. We have a president that can't keep his decisions seven minutes from now.

So I want you to imagine what it will be like to have a candidate on the debate stage that can literally look at this guy and say, you know what the Midwest is not flyover country. I live here and I will not be treating the workers and the farmers of this country like poker chips in one of your bankrupt casinos because they are my friends and my neighbors. And I will have plans that I can pay for and deadlines that I can make that are grounded in reality.

And finally, you might go to Mar-a-Lago and tell all your rich friends that they just got a whole lot richer. You know where I'll go? I'll go to our neighborhoods and bring them gun safety legislation. I will go to our small towns and bring them rural broadband and make sure that everyone understands that health care is not the same in small towns in America. I will go to our hospitality workers and our food service workers and tell them yes, you deserve an increase in the minimum wage and child care. And I will go to our military bases with humility and with decency and the respect ground and born in the allegiance to the United States flag. That is what this is about.

But to do this, we not just change our politics. No, we have to change the tone in our politics. And that is what I will do. I ask you this: if you want to get AK-47's out of the hands of domestic abusers, we can't just win. We have to win big. If you, my friends, want to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, we can't just win. We have to win big. And if you want to get rid of the privatization of Medicaid in Iowa, we can't just win. We have to win big.

My background is different than Donald Trump's. And I think that's a good thing. I don't come from money. But I come from the grit of a February snowstorm in the middle of Minnesota. My grandpa was an iron ore miner who worked 1500 feet underground. He saved money in a coffee can to send my dad to college. My dad, he was a newspaper man; my mom, a union teacher, who taught second grade until she was seventy years old. I stand before you as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota, and a candidate for president of the United States. And that is because we live in a country of shared dreams. We live in a country that no matter where you come from, or who you know that you can make it in the United States of America.

That is our country. And I am running for you. I am running for every parent who has a kid who needs prescription drugs. I am running for every worker who needs respect for their work. And I am running for every farmer, student, builder, dreamer—I am running for you.

So I ask you to vote for me, to caucus for me, to sign up with me. And we will not only win because we know that our work doesn't end on election day. Our work begins on Inauguration Day. So let's just not win Iowa, let's win big.

Amy Klobuchar, Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives