Fighting the hardest fights
Harry Reid’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
Remarks as prepared for delivery
I spend a lot of time in the Republican Senate, so it’s nice to be in a room that respects reason and facts! I appreciate the tribute, but anything I’ve accomplished in the Senate, I owe to the great teammates I’ve had: my Democratic Senate Caucus;Nancy Pelosi in the House; President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden. And I give a never-ending tribute to our next President, Hillary Clinton!
As a team, we’ve fought for the belief that affordable health care is a right, not a privilege. As a team, we’ve fought for the idea that you shouldn’t get the bill for Wall Street’s bad bets. As a team, we’ve fought for the promise that your hard-earned Social Security is a sacred trust.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to put insurance companies back in charge of your health. Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to let big banks run wild again. And Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to gamble with your retirement benefits in the stock market. Republicans want to tear down the pillars of middle-class security. We won’t let that happen!
I’ve never seen anything more craven than Mitch McConnell and what he has done to our democracy. His Republican Party decided that the answer to hard-working Americans’ dreams is to slander our African-American President, stoke fear of Muslims, sow hatred of Latinos, insult Asians, and, of course, wage war against women. In other words, the only thing Republicans, like Mitch McConnell, have accomplished is setting the stage for a hateful con man, Donald Trump.
When Trump decided to run for President, he probably said to himself: “I’m an egomaniac. I don’t believe in science.
I think women are inferior. Where would I feel at home?”
Parents: You’re right to worry about your children hearing what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Republicans: You should have been careful, also, because Donald learned it from watching you!
They say they believe in “Country First.” What a joke. Republicans who won’t stand up to Trump believe in one thing and one thing only: “Party First.” And this year, 2016, they’ve gone even further, nominating the poster child of “Me First.” Trump knew that hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies are the way to win in today’s GOP. But that’s not how you win in America. And that’s not how America wins in the world.
Democrats know we win with an economy that works for everybody. With a strong, smart national security that values our allies. And we know winning is the work of a team.
With Hillary in the White House and a majority in the Senate, Democrats will keep fighting for immigration reform that keeps America true; clean energy that keeps America strong; a Supreme Court that keeps America just, and background checks for gun buyers and an assault-weapons ban that keep America safe.
Since my boxing days, I’ve fought my share of fights. In my 50 years of fighting for Nevadans, I’ve also realized a leader is actually a corner man: someone who stands on your side, who has your back in a fight. Middle-class families fighting to give your kids a better life — Democrats stand in your corner. Americans fighting for the equality and respect our nation promises you — we’re in your corner. New Americans risking everything to get here, and then fighting to make it here — we’re in your corner.
You’re the ones fighting the hardest fights. You’re the ones who need leaders in your corner. Leaders like my forever friend, Bernie Sanders. Leaders like Catherine Cortez Masto, who is going to help Democrats take back the Senate. Leaders who never back down, and oh, do we like Tim Kaine? Leaders who have had your back their whole lives, like Hillary Clinton, the most qualified and prepared candidate in the history of America.
In a few months, I’ll be stepping out of the ring, one last time. But Democrats will always — always — be in your corner. So together, let’s keep fighting, together; fighting the good fight!