Remarks at the University of Pittsburgh
Hello, Pittsburgh! Woah! Hello back there!
Thank you, thank you. Wow! It's great to be here at this extraordinary time in our country's history at this great university to have a chance on a beautiful day to lift our sights, to think about what we are capable of doing together. The kind of future that we can create if we search for and find common ground. And it is thrilling to have traveled across our country to see the hopefulness, to talk about the positive changes that are occurring.
To really see America at its best, and tomorrow, each and every one of you gets to make a decision as to whether or not, first, you will vote. Because in Pennsylvania, it's all about Election Day. Other places around the country have been voting for weeks. And what you will vote for.
I'm here to ask you to vote for yourselves, vote for your families, vote for your futures, vote on the issues that matter to you because they are on the ballot, not just my name and my opponent's name. I want to thank Tom Colicchio for coming out here. He's in the middle of opening another one of his great restaurants, but he said he's got these two small kids and he just had to come and be part of lifting up this election and creating the kind of commitment that will bring a record breaking number of Americans to vote. We are on the path to seeing more Americans coming out to vote than we have ever seen in our history.
And I am hoping that you won't just come out to vote, obviously, I hope you vote for me, but I also hope you will send Katie McGinty to the United States Senate. We've got some great elected officials here, and I want to recognize Congressman Mike Doyle, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, from Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto, from Braddock, PA, Mayor John Fetterman.
But mostly, I'm here to say thanks. Thanks for taking time out to think about what's -- what the stakes are. I love you all, too. Absolutely! So for those who are still making up your minds or thinking, 'Maybe, maybe it's not worth voting at all,' let me just say: the choice in this election could not be clearer. It really is between division or unity. Between strong and steady leadership or a loose cannon. Between an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, and an economy that is set up and run for those at the top.
Now, I have spent my public career fighting for kids and families, and standing up for our country, and if you give me the privilege of your vote tomorrow, that is what I will do every single day of my presidency. I will get up in the White House, and I will think about what I can do that day to knock down barriers, to create opportunities, so that you have the chance to fulfill your own dreams. You see, I believe America's best days are still ahead of us. Now, that doesn't mean we don't have to work for it because we do. That doesn't mean that we can just expect it to happens as kind of a birthright, but I really believe that. I would not have worked for 18 months, travelled across our country, thought as hard as I have about what we need to do and how to do it together, proudly stand up and defend the legacy of President Obama, which has given our country progress in the right direction if I did not believe with all my heart that we could do this.
Right? We can do this! We don't have to accept a dark and divisive vision for America. Tomorrow, you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America. And our core values are being tested in this election. And I know that people are frustrated, a lot of people feel left out and left behind. There's fear, even anger, in our country. But I've got to say: anger is not a plan, my friends. If we're going to harness our energy and try to overcome our problems, then we've got to start talking to each other again, and we have to get good ideas wherever they come from.
Last night in Manchester, New Hampshire, I was with Khizr Khan, whose son was killed while serving in Iraq. You might remember him from the Democratic Convention. He was not a man to be on the stage of a political convention, but when he heard my opponent say what he said about Muslims and he looked at the flag that had been draped on his son's coffin, he felt compelled to speak out. He spoke powerfully about what America means to him and how we have to defend our values and our Constitution.
As he said last night, his son serving in the United States Army with his unit saw something suspicious, moved toward it to check it out telling his men to stay behind, and when the car exploded, he lost his life. He was awarded Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, but as Mr. Khan said, "When you listen to all the people that my opponent has insulted and denigrated, would there be a place in Donald Trump's America for Captain Khan?" The Khan family gives me hope because they truly believe in the values of this great country of ours, and they have stood up holding the Constitution as he did at the convention to say, "People around the world cherish this Constitution, believe in our values. It's a source of hope for billions of people. We will never, ever let that go, and we never let someone rip it away in the kind of negative, divisive, hateful campaign that we have seen from the other side in this election."
Sometimes when I hear my opponent speak, I don't recognize the country he's talking about. That doesn't mean we don't have problems and challenges, it doesn't mean that we don't have to do more to help people across our country get better economic opportunities. Of course, we do. But boy, I believe we can do it. I love our country. I believe in the American people. I know what we are capable of. Throughout of history, generations of Americans have risen together to meet the tests of their time. They defended democracy, built the greatest middle class that the world has ever seen, marched for civil rights and voting rights, for workers rights and women's rights, LGBT rights, and rights for people with disabilities.
Tomorrow, we face the test of our time, will we be coming together as a nation or getting further apart? Will we set goals that all of us can help meet? Or will we turn on each other and pit one group of Americans against another?
Now, our names will be on the ballot tomorrow, but those values and every issue you care about will be there, too. What kind of country do we want, and I particularly think about this for young people as I look at this crowd and see so many students and young Americans that deserve the same opportunities that many of us were given. We will make sure they are available because if you think about what it takes to have a thriving America, it comes down to a couple of key issues.
If you believe that America thrives when the middle class thrives, then you have to vote. We're going to make the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II, jobs in infrastructure, small business, clean energy, advanced manufacturing. We're going to actually deliver on that unlike my opponent, who makes his products mostly overseas, buys cheap Chinese steel and aluminum instead of what's made by American steelworkers right here in Pennsylvania. We're going to invest in America, and we're especially going to invest in communities that are left out and left behind. We're going to stand up for the right of workers to organize and bargain. We're going to get incomes rising across America.
And if you believe we need a fairer economy as I do, then we're going to raise the national minimum wage, because no one who works full time in America should still be in poverty. And we're going to do more to support working families with affordable child care, paid leave, and finally, equal pay for women's work.
I've got to tell you, this always get's about the biggest applause ever because fundamentally, we know it's not fair, but it's also about families. If you have a mother, a wife, a sister or a daughter who's working, you don't want her shortchanged, do you? Now, when I talk about equal pay and all of these other family issues, my opponent says I'm playing the woman's card. Well, you know what I say: deal me in.
If you believe all our kids should have good schools and good teachers, no matter what zip code they live in, then you have to vote. If you believe we can make college affordable for every young American, then you have got to vote.
I've got to say, I was very proud of the primary campaign that Bernie Sanders and I ran. It was a campaign on issues and ideas, not insults. And after it was over, he and I got together, and we came up with this plan. Public colleges and universities should be tuition-free for everyone who makes less than $125,000 a year. And it should be debt free for everybody else. I don't think you should go into this massive debt to get your education. It's good for you, it's good for your families, it's good for our country, and we're going to make it affordable for everyone. And for the millions of Americans already struggling with student debt, we're going to ease that burden. We're going to get those interest rates down, we're going to give you a different way of repaying it as a percentage of your income, not tied to a six, eight, 10 percent interest rate, and you're never going to have to pay more than you can afford.
You see, I think there are a lot of positive things to get excited about. And I think the agenda we've put forth in this campaign is one that will really give everybody hope. You see, working for children and families has been the cause of my life, but it's never been more important than it is right now.
So this has to be our mission together – doing all we can to help every American, especially every young American and especially every child, to have the chance to live up to your God-given potential. Because when it's all said and done, that's what matters the most. Have you helped somebody else? Have you reached out and tried to ease somebody's burden? We do it individually.
My mother got through a neglected, abandoned childhood because people showed her kindness. Her own parents didn't want her. Her own grandparents didn't want her. But that first grade teacher who saw she had nothing to eat, brought extra food every single day to make sure my mother had something to eat. And when she was 14 and had to go out and find a job to support herself and got a job as a maid and a babysitter in somebody's home, she was just relieved that she had somewhere to live and that she could support herself. But the mother of that home understood my mother wanted to go to high school and so she said, 'Dorothy, if you get up early and get your chores done, you can go to high school. You'll have to come right back because I'll need you, but you can do it.'
And look, that sounds harsh to our ears, telling a 14 year old, 'Okay, you can go to high school but you have to come right back and you have to work on both sides of it.' But to my mother, it was a blessing. So when I think about what so many people have gone through to give us the opportunities that we had had, and I'm speaking for myself, my mother gave me the resilience, the grit, the get up and go. She told me, 'Everyone gets knocked down. What matters is if you get back up.' And we had a lot of Americans knocked down because of the Great Recession, didn't we? Millions of jobs were lost, millions of homes were lost. Family wealth was wiped out, savings account, 401K's, everything that people had worked so hard for.
Well we've dug ourselves out of the hole and now we need to get up, and we've got to make sure we don't leave anybody behind. I see this man here standing with a sign: 'Coal Miners for Hillary,' and I'll tell you sir, I know how hard times are. And as I have said, and you can take it to the bank, I will not forget you and I will do everything I can to help people who have given so much, worked so hard throughout their lives for generations to build this country. We are not going to forget any American! But I can't do any of this without your help tomorrow.
This election is going to really set the course of our country. There's no doubt in my mind. Tonight, I'll be in Philadelphia with President Obama and Michelle and I so appreciate how hard they worked for me, but it's not for me. It's for us.
When President Obama came into office, put yourself in his shoes -- this young, dynamic, first African-American elected to become President of the United States. And what does he find? He finds the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, that's what he finds.
Wow, those were hard, hard times. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for making sure we didn't go even deeper in the ditch we were in. But make no mistake: there were reasons we ended up in that ditch. It didn't happen by accident. We had huge tax cuts on the wealthy, the administration in office took their eyes off the financial markets and we know what happened. They ignored the pressures in the mortgage markets and we know what happened.
Elections have consequences for everything we care about. And that's why we've got to each and every one of you put down your stake in our future. If the lines are long tomorrow, please wait. In early voting, we have had people waiting in line for two and three hours and there have been reporters and others going up and down the line, asking them, all types of Americans, not one type -- all types, 'Why are you here?' 'Because my future depends on it,' they say.
So tomorrow is the election, but that is just beginning. We have to heal this country. We have to bring people together, listen and respect each other. Now I know it's unusual for somebody running for president to say this, I started saying this months ago, because I was literally meeting who were scared about what they were hearing in this election. I've known a lot of the Republicans who've run for president been elected president in recent history, I didn't agree with them on everything, obviously we had our differences, but I didn't doubt that they were fit to serve as president. This election is different. This person is temperamentally unqualified, experientially unqualified to be president and so many people know that.
So I think we do need more love and kindness, right? We have to got to rise above all of this hate filled rhetoric, all of these insults and scapegoating and finger pointing and insulting. I want to be a president for all Americans. Not just some. I want to be the president for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I want to be the president for those who vote for and those who vote against me. I want to represent everybody. Because I know we have a role to play in building a better future.
So it starts tomorrow. If you don't know where to vote, go to IWillVote.com. You can get all the information you need, the polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM. We are on track, as I said, to have a huge turnout. But we can only do that if all of you make up your minds, you bring all your friends, everybody you know, to make sure your voices are heard.
This is a historic, historic election and we're going to do everything we can, not only to win, but then immediately to get to work. And I especially invite anyone who wants to volunteer for the next 24 hours, go to hillaryclinton.com, text join, J-O-I-N to 4-7-2-4-6, stop by one of our offices. We would love to see you. Because when your kids and grandkids ask what you in the future what you did in 2016, when everything was on the line, you'll be able to say: you voted for a stronger, fairer, better America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we finally prove once and for all that, yes, love trumps hate. Thank you.
NOTE: Remarks as delivered.
Hillary Clinton, Remarks at the University of Pittsburgh Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/319837