Hillary Clinton Is a Progressive Who Gets Things Done
Senator Sherrod Brown’s remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
Remarks as prepared for delivery
It’s an honor to be in the birthplace of our democracy this evening.
I grew up in Mansfield, Ohio. My dad was the town doctor. I never saw him turn a patient away. He didn’t see profit margins, he saw people who needed help. My mother, who grew up in Mansfield, Georgia, raised three Eagle Scouts. She taught each of us to fight for justice. My wife, Connie, grew up inAshtabula, Ohio. Her father worked at the electric plant and was a proud member of Utility Workers Local 270. Her mother was a nurse’s aide and hospice homecare worker. They wore their bodies out working long days so their children could go to college.
For too many Americans today, that same hard work isn’t paying off. People work longer hours and produce more. But while corporate profits have gone up, workers’ wages haven’t kept pace.
Hillary Clinton knows that a job is not just a paycheck. It’s about building a better life for your family. She’s a progressive who gets things done. And she has a real plan to give American workers the chance to share in the profits they create.
Donald Trump believes “wages are too high” — those are his words. Too high? And he wants to be President? How do you help Americans build better lives for their families when you outsource jobs? This suit I’m wearing? Made by union workers ten miles from my Cleveland home in Brooklyn, Ohio. Trump suits? Made in Mexico. Trump glassware? Made in Europe — not Toledo, America’s glass city. Trump furniture? Made in Turkey, not Archbold, Ohio. Donald Trump’s hat may be stamped with “Make America Great Again,” but his ties are stamped “Made in China.”
I’ve been fighting for a trade agenda for more than 20 years that puts American workers first. And I can tell you, in all those years, I’ve never even seen Donald Trump. No — the only thing I’ve seen Donald Trump do when it comes to U.S. trade policy is run his mouth and line his pockets. While Trump outsources jobs, Hillary Clinton has a real plan to bring jobs back to America — like $10 billion in “Made in America” tax credits to revitalize manufacturing. Trump proposes tax cuts, too: $3 trillion for millionaires like himself and $2 trillion for corporations like his. Of course we can’t say for sure how much Trump will take for himself because he’s refused to share his tax returns with the American people.
The one thing we know for sure is, Donald Trump looks out only for Donald Trump, no matter who he steps on along the way. Just ask the Friel family. They had a cabinetmaking business based here inPhiladelphia — that is, until they signed a contract with Trump Plaza. They finished their work, but Trump refused to pay them what they were owed, starting a downward spiral that ended in bankruptcy. They’d spent nearly five decades in business, providing jobs and livelihoods to workers and families. It all came crashing down after a contract with Donald Trump.
Trump says he wants to run our country like one of his businesses. I guess that means he wants to slap his name on it, make false promises, and then scam innocent people out of their savings.
Look, there’s no question we’ve got work to do. We face serious challenges today. Too many families struggle just to get by, let alone get ahead. Donald Trump thinks people in states like mine will choose his counterfeit campaign over the genuine solutions we’re fighting for tonight. He is wrong. Donald Trumplooks at towns in the middle of America and sees a “rust belt” of decay.
Well, we reject the term “rust belt.” Hillary, my friend Tim Kaine, and I see vibrant and innovative communities throughout the industrial heartland: Cleveland is pioneering the country’s first freshwater wind farm. Youngstown is leading the way in advanced manufacturing. And that power plant where Connie’s father worked? It isn’t rusting. It’s been converted to a water processing plant, supporting hundreds and hundreds of Ohio jobs. That’s how we rebuild a thriving American middle class.
Those are the kinds of solutions Hillary Clinton will deliver, solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives. And that’s why Hillary will win Ohio — and as everyone in this hall knows, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.
In this hall on Tuesday, Connie and I were overtaken with emotion when our longtime friend Bernie Sanders moved to nominate Hillary Clinton to lead our party on to victory in November. It took me back toMansfield, Ohio, when I was a third grader at Brinkerhoff Elementary School. I remember looking up at the poster on the wall of our American Presidents. Other than a few mustaches and powdered wigs, they all looked pretty much like me.
My two granddaughters and three grandsons are too young to appreciate the historic nature of this moment. But when they go to school and look up at those same presidential posters in their classrooms, they won’t see faces that look only like mine. They’ll see Barack Obama. And because of the work we do over the next hundred days, my granddaughters will see themselves in the face of President Hillary Clinton.