Remarks at the Manor Complex in Wilton Manors, Florida
I am so excited to be here and I want to thank you. And you know I am really sorry and I know there are a lot of people outdoors who can't get in—so I want to give a big shout out to the overflow outside. I'm here with a lot of great people who are working so hard on this campaign. I want to thank Ken Evans. Thank you so much, Ken. I want to thank three members of Congress: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Congressman Alcee Hastings; and your Congresswoman Lois Frankel. I also want to thank Sheriff Israel for being here. And Mayor Resnick just gave me a key to the city of Wilton Manors. And I want to thank my longtime friend and such a great leader, Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign president. I know that Chad told me there are a bunch of Human Rights Campaign organizers. And as I've said many times, HRC for HRC sounds good to me.
Well, my friends, just nine days left until November the 8th. Nine days that really will determine the outcome of the most important election of our lifetimes. And we cannot take anyone or anything for granted. It's great to be here at the Manor Complex, a place that means so much to so many. And there have been ups and downs in all that we've gone through over the years, and even in this campaign, but I want you to know I am focused on one thing: you – your lives, your futures. The problems that keep you up at night. That's what I'm interested in, and that's what I'm going to be talking about here today and throughout the next nine days.
That's really what this election is about. There's a lot of noise and distraction, but it really comes down to what kind of future we want and who, as our president, can help us get there. So I want you to know – now, I just have to say I know I'm preaching to the choir. But I also, through you, want to talk to people who are still making up their minds, believe it or not, right? Because we've got a choice between a president who will bring us together, keep our country safe, get the economy working for everyone, not just those at the top – or someone who's temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified for the job. You know, Donald Trump is doing his best to confuse, mislead, and discourage the American people. I mean, he's such a downer, right? And it's time for him to stop fear mongering, stop distracting from what's really at stake, and frankly, stop disgracing our democracy. We can't let him get away with this.
But here's the good news. Yes, America is great, and we can make it greater if we work together and we set some goals. But we are seeing Americans coming together – Democrats, Republicans, independents – to reject Donald Trump's dark and divisive vision of our country. And it's going to be really important that we make it clear to everyone in these last nine days what's at stake. Because I really believe the vast majority of Americans agree with us. We don't want a president who demeans women. We don't want a president who has plans to break up and deport immigrant families. We don't want a president who perpetrated the lie that President Obama wasn't born in America. We don't want a president who would appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn marriage equality. But I want you to know, the energy we're now seeing out in the campaign is not just about what we're against, it's also about what we're for. Because we also share a common vision. Beyond partisanship and politics, it's a hopeful, inclusive America where everyone counts and everyone has a place, right?
And that's exactly what I'm going to be fighting for in these last nine days. We're going to honor people, not insult them. Donald Trump has insulted more than half of our population. African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, POWs, women. And by what he has said, so many others who believe that you have a positive future. I agree with that: you do. And I promise you this: I'm going to keep working every single day for you and for the vision of America that we share.
Now, I will tell you, my mom taught me to never, ever quit, and what does that mean? Well, that means –"
Audience Member: "Rise up."
Clinton: "You got it. You got it. And it also means when you're knocked down, what matters is whether you get up again. I have been fighting for families and underdogs my entire life. I'm not stopping now. We're just getting warmed up, right? And we won't be distracted, no matter what our opponents throw at us. We're not going to be knocked off course. We know how much this election matters, and we know how many people are counting on us. So we're going to take to heart the words of our wonderful First Lady, Michelle Obama: When they go low, we go high.
We're going to keep our foot on the gas because Donald Trump's strategy is real simple. They've even said it in his campaign. Here's his strategy about how he's going to win: Get women to stay home. Get young people to stay home. Get people of color to stay home. Get the LGBT committee to say home. It's all part of his scorched earth campaign, and it goes against everything we stand for. So you know how we're going to stop him? By showing up with the biggest turnout in American history.
We need everybody to turn out and vote – women, young people, people of color, the LGBT community, Latinos, African Americans, Americans from all walks of life. Let's break every single record. Let's make that the story of this election. And here's some really good news. This is amazing. More than 20 million people have already voted in this election, most of those votes in the last few days, 3 million of those votes from right here in Florida. Now, you only see numbers like that when people are standing up for what they really believe in. So if all of you vote, if your friends, your family, your coworkers vote, if everyone you talk to between now and Election Day votes, we are going to make some really big history on November the 8th.
And I want you not only coming out for me. I want you to reelect our members of Congress. And please elect Patrick Murphy to the Senate. And if there are still people who have doubts about the stakes in the election, listen to this. We've heard some outrageous things in this campaign. I'm sure we'll hear more in the next nine days. But I got to tell you, I was beginning to think that nothing we learned about Donald Trump could surprise me anymore.
But yesterday the Washington Post published a report that was truly stunning. It starts with the story of a ribbon-cutting back in 1996 for a nursery school serving children living with HIV and AIDS in New York. Now, let me say, this is important in part to remember. This is a story about children with HIV and AIDS. So there was a big celebration honoring the donors who had supported the nursery school, and all the kids and their families, for whom this was the most important thing you can imagine. Because you know, back in the '90s, some of you remember. Right? Children weren't welcomed in school.
And then, unannounced and uninvited, guess who barges in? Donald Trump. He walks right up to the stage. He sat down in the seat that was being saved for a local developer who had made a generous donation. None of the people working for the charity knew why he was there. He wasn't a donor at all. He had never given a single dollar to help build the school. He just wanted people to think he had. So he sat on the stage through the program, even posed for photographs, and when it was over, he got up and walked out. No explanation. No donation. Now really, who does that? What kind of person does that? Really? I mean, who pretends to help kids with HIV and AIDS in order to make themselves look good? Well, I'll tell you: The same kind of person who would pull a bait and switch on a high school chess team.
Back in 1997, he was principal for a day at a public school. That was a program we used to have in New York. The chess team was holding a bake sale to raise money to travel to a tournament. They were $5,000 short. He walked up to them and handed them a fake million dollar bill. At first the kids and their parents were excited. Then they were devastated to learn it was a joke. So he gave them 200 bucks and drove away in his limousine. Now, this story does have a happy ending because a woman read the story about Donald Trump's behavior, called the school, and donated the $5,000. And the coach remembers this woman saying, "I am ashamed to be the same species as this man."
Now, I got to say, any of you see the debates? Well, you know, I stood next to Donald Trump in three debates for four and a half hours, proving conclusively I have the stamina to do this job. Right? But a lot of what we've heard him say is part of a lifelong pattern. And here's what the Washington Post concludes. 'For as long as he has been rich and famous, he has wanted people to believe he is generous. He spent years constructing an image as a philanthropist by appearing at charity events and by making very public, even nationally televised promises, to give his own money away. It was in large part a façade.' And a months-long investigation by the Washington Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given or had claimed other people's giving as his own.
Now, of course, because he's refused to release his tax returns, we don't even know if he's ever given anything. But here's what we do know. With Donald, it's always Donald Trump first and everyone else last. He abuses his power. He games the system, and he doesn't care who's left holding the bag.
And here's what else we know. Donald Trump has a terrible record on LGBT rights. And this election will determine whether we continue the progress we've made or let it be ripped away. We know Trump has promised he'll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn marriage equality and that he will repeal President Obama's executive actions to protect LGBT people from discrimination. And just this week, a new story came out that tells us a lot about how he treats LGBT employees. It's a story of a maintenance worker at one of Trump's golf courses. So I want you just to think.
This guy works hard. Works with his hands. Probably there 12 hours a day, maybe more, when it's the summer season. After he told his coworkers he was gay, they started harassing him. They called him names. They even threw rocks and golf balls at him. It got so bad he ended up in the hospital. Now, his supervisor saw all of this and did nothing. So finally he went to the police for help. He was too scared even to come back to work. And what did the Trump golf course do? They fired him.
Now, this is a heart-wrenching story on a lot of levels. For starters, it's a painful reminder of the harassment, violence, and discrimination too many LGBT Americans still face every single day. And it's deeply distributing that instead of stepping in to stop this unacceptable behavior, Trump's business punished the victim for coming forward. Now, if that's how Donald Trump runs his business, what does it say about how he would run our country? We've made a lot of progress on LGBT rights, but as that story reminds us, we still have work ahead, don't we?
There is still no federal law that stops an employer from refusing to hire someone just because he or she is LGBT, or a landlord from refusing to rent an apartment to a transgender tenant, and of course there are still states where you could get married on Saturday, post your Facebook photos on Sunday, and get fired on Monday just because of who you are and who you love. So here's what I'll do as president. We will call on the Congress to pass the Equality Act. And we will then be able to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in all aspects of our lives. We'll work together to achieve the AIDS-free generation that is within our reach. And we will take on homelessness, bullying, and violence, particularly youth homelessness, which disproportionately hurts LGBT kids. And we are going to end the harmful practice of so-called conversion therapy. LGBT kids don't need to be cured of anything. They just need to be accepted and embraced and respected. And yes, we're going to bring people together to reform our gun laws and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands so that what happened in Orlando can never happen again.
Now, some of you know, Chad Griffin and others know, this issue is really important to me. I traveled to 112 countries as your Secretary of State. I saw how countries around the world treated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. And I believe with all my heart America has to lead by example. I want – I want LGBT people in every corner of our country – because don't forget you all living in Wilton Manors have moved far away from a lot of the places where people are still scared today. Right? And we're going to elevate this issue. We're going to talk about it. We're going to reach out.
So when you vote in this election, remember, it's not just my name on the ballot. It's your future. It's who we are as a country. It's every issue we care about. And make no mistake: LGBT rights are at stake. Dignity and respect for every American is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake.
I believe when the middle class thrives, Americans thrive. And we're going to make America the clean-energy superpower of the 21st Century, too. And if we're serious about supporting a middle class, we're going to be supporting families.
The other day, I was in Pittsburgh. And there was a woman there with her young child. We've got some folks from Pittsburgh. She was shaking Tim Kaine's hand. And she said to him, "I came here hoping I could tell you or Secretary Clinton I had my baby three years ago. And the next day, I was fired. It had been a difficult pregnancy. I called to ask if I could take a little time to recover, and the answer was 'No. Don't come back at all.' Nobody, no parent, should ever have to make that kind of choice, but that's also true when we talk about paid family leave, caring for a spouse or a partner, caring for an elderly relative.
I want us to recognize the way we live today. It is no longer the 1950s. We need to support people who are part of committed relationships, of families, of marriages, and give everybody the support you need to actually do what's the most important thing in life. And that is caring for each other. We're going to do everything we can to catch up to the rest of the world: affordable childcare, paid family leave, earned sick days, jobs with rising incomes. We're going to raise the national minimum wage. No one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty.
And yes, we're going to guarantee equal pay for women's work. We're going to make sure. We're going to make sure that we not only grow the economy but we make it fairer. And I've got to tell you that's such a stark contrast with Trump. He believes if you give the biggest tax cut in American history to the wealthy – that's with trillions of dollars going to the top – that will somehow trickle down. It hasn't worked. It won't work. I believe that we could grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. And that's exactly what we're going to do.
So, my friends, we've got a guy who won't pay his income tax. I mean, I've got to just say when we learned in the debate that he lost a billion dollars and that meant that he didn't pay income tax for like 20 years, he said that was smart. And I thought to myself, how smart do you have to be to lose a billion dollars? I mean, really. And what kind of genius are you to lose a billion dollars while running casinos? But it's serious because it means he's paid zero, zero for our military, our vets, for healthcare, for Pell Grants, for our universities, our colleges, our highways. This is Trump to a T.
The stories that I told you about him showing up and acting like he's done something, well, he shows up and criticizes our country. He shows up and discriminates against African Americans when he was denying them the right to rent apartments. He chose to make his products in other countries, not America. He's built a career on stiffing small businesses. I take that personally. My dad was a small business owner. I'm sure glad he never got a contract from Donald Trump.
So, my friends, we've got work to do. And let's get to that work. We've got to make sure that we get everybody out to vote. I want you to be able to say on November 9th you voted for a better future, you voted for a better America. And look how easy it is. It is so easy. Wilton Manors City Hall is just a half a mile down the street from where we are right now. And if you are registered in Broward County, you can go to any early-vote location in the county from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all week. And if you have been mailed your ballot, make sure you fill it out and mail it back today. You can go to iwillvote.com to confirm your polling place. And make sure you have a plan to vote.
But, please, also help us in these last nine days. Every phone call you make, every door you knock on will make a difference. So go to hillaryclinton.com. Sign up to volunteer. Take out your phone. Text 'JOIN,' J-O-I-N, to 47246. I don't want anybody waking up on Wednesday morning and seeing the results and getting depressed. I'm against depression. We don't want that to happen in this election. Right?"
Clinton: "I don't want people to be sad because they didn't do their part. We can't let that happen. And I have to ask you if you – if you know anybody, if you know anybody, who is thinking about voting for Trump, you've got to stage an intervention. Do everything you can to try to convince that person that they surely care about something that Donald Trump is on the wrong side of because I can guarantee you they do because, after all, friends don't let friends vote for Trump. Right?
So I am so grateful to all of you. Have many of you have already voted? Okay. So, now, how many of you will help us get somebody else to vote? That's what's going to make the difference. Change is coming. Let's make sure it's the right kind of change. The choice is yours. We're going to do everything we can to build a stronger, better, fairer America, coming together, healing the divides among us. And we're going to prove, once and for all, that love trumps Hate. Thank you.
NOTE: Remarks as delivered.
Secretary Clinton was introduced by Ken Evans who is a Broward County Democratic State Committeeman. The Manor Complex, where this event was held, is a gay friendly club/lounge.
Hillary Clinton, Remarks at the Manor Complex in Wilton Manors, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/319836