RUSH TRANSCRIPT: GOVERNOR CUOMO ADDRESSES THE 2016 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today delivered remarks to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA. The Governor addressed the Convention ahead of Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States.
A rush transcript of Governor Cuomo’s remarks is below.
Thank you. Thank you. Good evening, Democrats. Is this a great Convention or what? I would like to begin — with your permission, I would like to begin this evening by acknowledging my father who we lost last year. He was a twelve-year Governor of the State of New York, Mario Cuomo. He gave a keynote speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention — instructed me how to lead, and he loved being a Democrat. The 1984 election was important because it was more about two opposing philosophies, more than two people. Even more profoundly, at stake this November, is not which person or party wins or loses – at stake in this election, my friends, is the very soul of America.
Now, last week we heard the Republicans lay out their strategy — unfortunately it offered no new solutions. But it’s clear that their plan is to fan the flames of fear and to offer a scapegoat for all our problems. The Trump campaign — the Trump campaign is marketing a great distraction, using people’s fear and anxiety to drive his ratings. Their message comes down to this: be afraid of people who are different — be afraid of different religions and different colors and different languages. Stop immigration and they believe the nation will automatically rise.
It’s not right, it’s divisive, it’s delusional, and we must expose the truth to the people of this nation. Now, Republicans are suffering from short-term memory loss. Unless Republicans are all Native Americans, then they are immigrants too. If we listen to the Republicans, they would cut this nation in half, and turn one against the other. It would take our greatest strength, our diversity, and it would make it a weakness and we are not going to let that happen to our America.
Now, my friends, fear is a powerful weapon. It can excite and motivate and it can get people to yell and scream. Fear can even bring you into power. But fear has never created a job, and fear has never educated a child, and fear has never built a home, and fear has never built a community, and fear will never build a nation. Let them remember: when they set out fear, fear is not strength — fear is weakness — no matter how loud you yell — and our America is never weak.
Republicans say they want to make America great again. They say they want to to take us back to the old days – the good old days. I want to know what good old days they want to take us back to. Do they want to take us back before the Civil Rights Act? Before minimum wage and worker protection laws? Or do they want to take us back before Roe v. Wade?
We have a different vision for this nation – we’re not going back. We’re going forward. They say – they say they want to make America great than ever before, we say you haven’t seen anything yet. You watch what we’re going to do with America. You think America is great now? You think America is great now – imagine how great America can be when every child, rich and poor, is fully educated to their God-given talents. Let’s be honest – right now in this country we have two education systems. Not public and private, but rich and poor.
You go to school on a rich side of town, they’ll show in the first grade all the children are on laptop computers. You go to school on the poor side of town and you’ll see the most sophisticated piece of electronic equipment is the metal detector that you walk through on the way to the classroom. That is not educating every child equally. You think – you think America is strong. Imagine how strong America will be when we truly heed Martin Luther King’s wisdom and we judge people by content of character and not color of skin. Imagine how strong we will be when we understand that the greatest feast is the one that is enjoyed by the most people at the table. Imagine how strong we will be when our government has the strength to fight for freedom, but the intelligence to know that the strongest four letter word is not hate but love.
We know what Republicans will say that Democrats are dreamers. We are dreamers, but we are also doers. FDR lifted a nation from its knees, JFK launched our mission to the moon, LBJ enacted voting rights for all Americans. President Obama delivered health coverage for 20 million uninsured Americans.
Mario Cuomo was a dreamer too, but our progressive government is working. We raised the minimum wage to 15 dollars because we insist on economic justice. We enacted paid family leave because all workers deserve dignity. We are rebuilding our middle class and we are working hand in hand with organized labor because the middle class is the backbone of this society. We are protecting the environment by banning fracking because this is the only planet we have. We fought the NRA and we won and we outlawed assault weapons to keep them from the hands of madmen who are killing innocents.
We passed marriage equality and GENDA. We did it not because the Supreme Court said we must legally, but because people believed that we should morally. Now, these are not dreams. These are realities. Progressive government works and we proved that progress government works.
We did it together — without leaving anyone out or anyone behind because we believe that we are interconnected and we are all interrelated. We say, “somos uno” — we are one. We say there is a cord that connects you to you, and you to you. Maybe you can’t see it, but it’s there and it weaves the fabric of community and when one of us is raised we’re all raised and when one of us is lowered we’re all lowered.
The Republicans say our vision of community is not possible — but we know it is. We’ve seen it happen and we’ve seen it close. Fifteen years ago on September 11 we saw death and destruction – unimaginable horror and cruelty — but we saw something else, my friends. We saw this nation come together like it had never come together before.
We were not Texans, Californians or New Yorkers. We weren’t Democrats Republicans or Independents. We weren’t Muslims, Christians or Jews. We were Americans. We weren’t black, or white or brown — we were red, and white and blue, and those are the only colors that matter in the United States of America. In that moment, we were one. We achieved community. We were there for each other. We were there the way a family is there.
We cried together, we mourned together, and then we got up and we rebuilt together. That was America at its best. Today – today the freedom tower stands taller than ever before, and it is a monument to the fact that there is nothing that we can’t do. We say, “E pluribus unum” — out of many, one. This is our founding premise and our enduring promise. That is our goal for this nation and Hillary Clinton is the person to make that goal a reality.
I spent eight years in the Clinton administration and worked with Hillary every day. I’ve been all over the world with her. I’ve seen her in the trenches and in the good days and bad.
She stood on the world stage and declared that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights. She fought for healthcare for all Americans. As Secretary of State, she repaired America’s reputation worldwide. My friends, she won’t just shatter the glass ceiling for my daughters and your daughters, and provide a new role model for an entire generation of women. She also has the vision, intelligence and qualifications to be a transformative force for this nation. She will unify, not divide this nation and move us forward together as one. That’s why we must make Hillary Clinton the next President of these United States of America.
And last point, my friends: that was the essence of my father’s timeless message in 1984. That message is timeless. My father was the keynote speaker for this nation’s better angels, and he was beautiful. And tonight, Pop, wherever you are, and I think I know where, at this time of fear, help this country remember what truly makes it great: that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.