Bernie Sanders’ Remarks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention


When I announced my candidacy four and a half months ago, I think it is fair to say that a lot of people did not take my campaign fairly seriously. That’s fair to say. But it is also fair to say that in the last four and a half months change has taken place. [cheering] What looked like a fringe campaign is now seen as a campaign that is standing up for working Americans and is prepared to take on the billionaire class. [cheers] It’s not just that all across this country we have drawn some of the largest turn outs at our rallies. It’s not just that we have over 400,000 people in this country who have made individual contributions to our campaign. And let me say a word about that. You’re looking at a candidate who does not represent the agenda of corporate America who does not represent the agenda of the billionaire class and I stand before you today to say loudly and proudly I don’t want their money, I don’t want a super PAC. We’re going to do it on our own. [cheers] I understand, I understand that when you have a super PAC, you can walk into a room of millionaires and billionaires and come out with a heck of a lot of money. I get it. But we are going to do it a different way. And we are going to raise our funds from working people, averaging $31.20 apiece, and I’m proud of that. [cheers] And let me begin by telling you about an old song, reminding you about an old union song. Some of you remember it. Which Side Are You On. Remember that song? Now you are very lucky, because I am not going to sing that song for you. I can’t sing, as some of you may know. But I grew up in a working class home in Brooklyn, New York. We grew up in a three and a half room rent controlled apartment. My family never had a lot of money. But I knew from a very early age which side I am on. [cheers] I am a proud progressive. [cheers] I am proud to stand with the working families of our country prepared to take on the powerful special interests which wield incredible power over our economy and our political life. That is what I did yesterday, that is what I did 25 years ago, that is what I will do tomorrow [cheers] and that is what I will do if elected President of the United States. [cheers] And let me also take a moment to tell you something that no other candidate will tell you, or perhaps ever has told the American people. It is a simple truth, but not widely reported. And that is no president, not Bernie Sanders, not anybody else, can bring about the enormous changes we need to rebuild our crumbling middle class, to do all of the things we have to do for the elderly, for children, for the sick, and the poor We cannot do it – no president can do it – alone unless we have a political revolution, unless [interrupted by cheers] unless tens of millions of Americans are prepared to stand up, to get actively involved in the political process and make it very very clear that this great country and our government belong to all of us, and not just a handful of billionaires and campaign contributors. [cheers] So I am here today, not just to ask for your help in winning here in New Hampshire, in winning across the country. If we are going to transform America, we need millions of people to stand together to take on corporate America, to take on Wall Street, to take on the big money interests. That is what this campaign is about. [cheers] Let me tell you something else. Some of you may agree with me and some of you may not. But in my view, the Republicans did not win the last midterm elections. We lost those elections. The American people didn’t vote for a party that wants to give huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and cut social security, medicare, medicade, nutrition and which does not even recognize the reality of climate change That is not what the American people voted for. But what happened is we had a voter turnout that was worse than abysmal. Millions of Americans looked out and they said, you know what, not for me, I’m not going to vote, I’m not going to participate in the political process. We lost that last election because voter turnout was low, and because all across this country, people are giving up on American democracy. So let me be very clear. In my view, we will not retain the White House, we will not regain control of the Senate, we will not regain the US House, or be successful in dozens of governors’ races across America, unless we are the party which generates excitement, and momentum, and enthusiasm and we’re the party that produces a huge voter turnout. [cheers] Democrats win when the voter turnout is high. Republicans win when the voter turnout is low. Our job is to make that voter turnout sky high! [cheers] And how do we do it? How do we generate the excitement on the ground? How do we get those who are disillusioned back into the political process? How do we get young people involved? How do we get working class Republicans to stop voting against their own interests? And with all due respect, that will not happen with politics as usual The same old, same old, will not likely be successful. The people of our country understand of course that we are much better off today than we were when President Bush left office and we were losing 800,000 jobs a month and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. Of course we are much better off today. [cheers] But they also understand something else. That yes, we’re better off than where we were under Bush, but they also understand that for the last 40 years, 40 years, under Democratic and Republican presidents, the great middle class of this country, once the envy of the world, has been disappearing, and all over New Hampshire, all over my state of Vermont, all over America despite an explosion of technology and worker productivity, you got millions of people working longer hours for lower wages. You have people in my state and your state not working one job, working two jobs, working three jobs just trying to cobble together an income that will sustain their families. And today we have almost more people living in poverty than in any time in American history. And what the American people understand, and what we cannot run away from and what we have to have the courage to address is that while the middle class continues to disappear and while people work longer hours for lower wages almost all of the new income and wealth that is being generated is going to the top 1%, and that has got to end. [cheers] Very few people in America no matter what their political views are believe that it is morally acceptable or economically sustainable when one tenth of one percent of the American people have more wealth than the bottom 90%. Very few people think that it is acceptable when you have people all over this country working so hard, long and crazy hours, parents can’t even stay home with their kids, they’re working so many hours and yet 58% of all new income generated today is going to the top 1%. That is not the economy we need. [cheers] We need an economy that works for the working people of this country, and not just the billionaire class. We need a political movement which is prepared to stand up to the most powerful people in this country and to create a government – I know this is a radical idea – but imagine having a government in Washington that is not controlled by large campaign donors and corporate America but which represents all of us. [cheers] We need a political movement in this country which takes on the economic and political establishment not one that is part of it. We need a movement which tells corporate America and the wealthiest people in this country that yes, they will start paying their fair share of taxes. [cheers] that multinational corporations are not going to continue stashing billions of dollars in profits in the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda, and other tax havens, while children in America go hungry. Ain’t gonna happen anymore. [cheers] No, no, the CEOs of large corporations are not going to continue to receive huge compensation packages and incredible pensions while at the same time they cut the wages and health care and pensions of their workers. Not going to continue to happen. [cheers] And no, we are not going to continue to have disasterous trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, or permanent normal trade relations with China with corporate America shutting down plants in New Hampshire, Vermont, all over this country moving to low wage countries then bringing their products back. We need trade policies which create jobs in America, not just in China. [cheers] And by the way, that means that together, we are going to defeat this disastrous Transpacific Partnership. [cheers] We need a political movement which tells Wall Street that when a bank is too big to fail it is too big to exist. [cheers] I understand the power of Wall Street. I really do. I’ve stood up to them for a very long time. But, whether they like it or not, we will reinstate Glass-Steigal [cheers] and we will create a financial system whose job it is to make affordable loans to small and medium sized businesses so we can create jobs in America not a financial system as currently exists which is an island unto itself only concerned about their profits. We are going to break up the major financial institutions on Wall Street. [cheers] And when we talk about the economy, all of you know, that throughout this country there are millions of Americans who are working for wages which are just too damn low. [cheers] In my view, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. We have got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. $15 bucks an hour over the next few years. [cheers] And I hope that every man in this room will stand with the women, and fight for pay equity for women workers. [cheers] There is no rational economic reason why women are earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men, and when we have pay equity for women workers, when we raise the minimum wage to a living wage, millions of mothers will then be able to raise their kids with security, and dignity, and they deserve that. [cheers] I know here in New Hampshire you see a lot of politicians tromping through your state. You’re suddenly a very popular destination. And you have heard many Republicans talk about “family values” – you ever hear that? They all just love families. But you know and I know what they mean by family values. What they mean, is that the women of America should not have the right to control their own bodies. I disagree. [cheers] And what they mean by “family values” is that our gay brothers and sisters should not have the right to marry. I disagree. [cheers] I’ve got 4 kids, 7 beautiful grandchildren, and Jane and I have been married for 27 years. We believe in family values, but our values are just a little bit different than Republican family values. We believe that the United States has got to end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on earth, the only one, that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave. [cheers] It is not a family value to tell a working class woman who has a baby that she has to be separated from that baby in a week or two weeks after birth because she has to run back to a job in order to earn income to sustain that family. That’s not a family value. That is the opposite of what a family value is. [cheers] And that is why I will fight for 12 weeks paid family and medical leave. [cheers] And brothers and sisters, here’s the truth about unemployment. Real unemployment is not 5.1%. That’s official unemployment. Counting those people who have given up looking for work and are working part time, real unemployment is over 10%. And let me tell you something of huge consequence. which very few people talk about. And that is the tragedy of youth unemployment. Here are the facts. Real youth unemployment if you’re a white kid, high school graduate, 33%, Hispanic 36%, African American 51%. We need a major jobs program to put our people back to work [cheers] and the fastest way to do it is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our rail, our airports, our water systems. [cheers] And let me tell you something else that I feel passionately about. The United States of America today has more people in jail than in any other country on earth. It makes a lot more sense to me to be investing in jobs and in education for our young people than in jails and incarceration. [cheers] I want us to end this distinction of having more people in jail and I want to replace it with us having the best educated population on earth. [cheers] And when we talk about politics, let me simply say this, and I think most of you know it, is that today, the campaign finance system that we operate under is corrupt, and it is undermining American democracy. [cheers] Corrupt is the right word, when the Koch brothers alone can spend $900 million on this election cycle, more money than either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Brothers and Sisters, we are not talking about democracy, we are talking about oligarchy, and together we are going to overturn Citizens United. [cheers] You know I am likely the most progressive member of the United States Senate, and I am proud of that. [cheers] And it goes without saying that I have very large areas of disagreement with my Republican colleagues. That is obvious. But, there is one area that goes beyond the disagreement and it goes to an embarassment. And some of you may have seen it just the other day, the other evening, at the Republican debate. The scientific community is virtually unanimous – no longer a debate – climate change is real it is caused by human activity, it is already causing devastating problems in America and around the world. [cheers] And our Republican colleagues are prepared to reject science. And that is a dangerous situation for the most powerful country on earth. And I will tell you something else. It’s not that these guys are dumb. It’s that they get their money from the fossil fuel industry [cheers] and they are more worried about their campaign donations than their kids and their grandchildren. That is a shame. [cheers] We must lead the world in transforming our energy system working with China, Russia, India, and we can do it. We can move to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and for the sake of our kids, that is exactly what we have to do. [cheers] And when we talk about American needs there’s something beyond comprehension for me, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how in an incredibly competitive global economy, hundreds of thousands of bright, qualified young people are unable to get into college only for one reason. And that is that their families lack the money. That is crazy. That is counter productive to the future of America, and that is why I have introduced as legislation and I will fight for as president to make every public college and university in this country tuition free. [cheers] It is not a radical idea, it is common economic sense to say that when young people or people of any age need more education, they should be able to get that education regardless of the income of their family. [cheers] And that legislation also deals with the travesty that millions of Americans are experiencing today in outrageously high student debt and outrageously high interest rates. Now to lower interest rates on student debt and to provide free tuition at public colleges and universities that is in fact, I admit it, that is an expensive proposition. And I will tell you how we are going to pay for it. We are going to pay for it based on a tax on Wall Street speculation. [cheers] The middle class of this country bailed out Wall Street – now it is time for Wall Street to help the middle class of this country. [cheers] And when we talk about bringing our country together, it is not just the need for major criminal justice reform. I do not want to see kids lives destroyed because of mandatory minimal sentencing. I think it is time we took a hard look at the so called War On Drugs and the lives that have been lost as a result of that. [cheers] I think it is high time that we make sure that when a police officer breaks the law like any other public official, that officer will be held accountable. [cheers] And when we talk about creating the kind of nation we want to become, we cannot forget that there are today 11 million people in this country who are undocumented. In my view, we need comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship. [cheers] You are looking at a Senator and a former Congressman what George W. Bush or Dick Cheyne and Don Rumsfeld were saying about Iraq and who voted against the war in Iraq. [cheers] I heard the evidence. I heard what they had to say I didn’t believe it. [cheers] And if you go to youtube, or you go to my website, go somewhere and read what I said back then – and I’m not happy, you know, doesn’t make me happy to say this but much of what I feared would happen in terms of the destabilization of that region did happen. So what we have got to understand – and I speak to you as the former Chairman of the Veterans Committee, someone who has and will continue to make sure that our veterans get the health care and the benefits they need – [cheers] but also someone who has spoken to hundreds of veterans and learned something about the costs of war, the terrible costs of war not just the 6700 brave men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan not just those many who came home without legs and arms and eyesight, but about the 500,000 men and women who came home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. And the tens of thousands of families that have been disrupted in a way that they may never recover from. And the children who have been hurt. And the divorces, and the suicides Anybody who does not understand the costs of war should not be in the United States Congress. [cheers] And that is why it astonishes me and it really hurts to hear many of my Republican colleagues talk so easily and loosely about getting into another war in Iran. The President – The President and Secretary Kerry have worked long and hard for one simple goal and that is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and that is something we must do. But what they have put together is a process and an agreement which allows us to accomplish that goal without going to war. And I hope you all support that. [cheers] Let me conclude, and I’ve probably gone on too long and I’ll get yelled at by somebody [cheers of Bernie!] Let me conclude by begging you to do one thing, and that is think big, not small. Do not get into the argument of whether we should cut education by 2% or 4%. Do not get into the debate about whether climate change is real or is not real. What I want you to think about is what we in the wealthiest country in the history of the world can accomplish. Please do not tell me that in the United State of America we cannot join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people as a right! [cheers] Which is why I support a Medicare for all, single-payer system. [cheers] Do not tell me that when we have a massive level of income and wealth inequality that the United States should continue to have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any other major country on earth. Please don’t tell me that. Please don’t tell me that when mom and dad go to work that they should not be able to find high quality and affordable child care. [cheers] And please don’t tell me that the United States cannot lead the world in trasnforming our energy system and combatting climate change. We can do that. [cheers] Brothers and Sisters, we can create a nation, in which every man, woman, and child regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of the country they came from, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, man or woman, we can create a nation which fulfills the birthright of all Americans and that is a society of of dignity, of security, and of ending all forms of discrimination. Thank you all very much.




Comments
  1. Look I'm not against successful people. I love the idea that the United States represents the idea that anyone can come here and make it doing something they love. I'm not an economist and I don't really know on what scale economic policy affects the middle class, but what I can tell you as an Army Veteran, and from my experience living overseas, is that people are on average happier, healthier, better educated, and better paid in Europe. We have been falling behind, and I think that people are finally starting to notice.

    You have my vote Bernie. #FeeltheBern

  2. like sanders says he can't do it by himself. we need to also elect representatives to congress that will be working with him to accomplish the goals of our independent movement.

  3. Corporations and their money are going to make damn sure there is never EVER another Bernie. So you better get behind the one we have, or surrender what is left of your freedom to The Machine. It really is that important….Bernie2016

  4. Bernie is out there every night, without bullet shields….or bodyguards from what I can tell…with no protection, fighting the most powerful and evil forces in our society. You ask if he is strong or brave, or believes in what he says…think about that for a second. There is a very good chance if he continues to succeed that The Machine might feel forced into implementing an accidental bullet….do not put it passed them. Bernie is my hero…and they best not hurt a hair……

  5. I believed Sen. Bernie Sanders said that " No president, no Bernie Sanders can bring about the enormous changes we need to rebuild our crumbling middle-class to to all the things….WE CAN NOT DO IT ! NO PRESIDENT CAN NOT DO IT ALONE UNLESS WE HAVE A POLITICAL REVOLUTION UNLESS… It's a perfect speeches.

  6. I am a US citizen residing in Argentina (since 1999) where public education is free.  When people in other South American countries need a free college education, they come to Argentina to study and begin their careers without debt.  I live in the city of Buenos Aires where health care is free for all residents with a new plan initiated five years ago.  I signed up for the plan in five minutes.  I don't wait months for an appointment, only a few days. I have excellent doctors and do not pay for any tests or prescriptions.  This is unheard of in the United States, but it is available in Buenos Aires, Argentina.I am retired and receive social security from the USA.  I can live comfortably in Buenos Aires on my benefits, but I'd be trying to find work if I lived in the USA.I am keeping Americans in Buenos Aires informed about Bernie on a local forum by posting his messages to Democrats Abroad in Argentina for Bernie Sanders.Bernie Sanders has to be elected for the United States to be a democracy of the people again.

  7. Women are already paid the same as men. On average they just earn less. This is the one thing that pisses me off about Bernie. He's right on so many issues and yet gets this one flat wrong.

  8. The Democratic Primaries are critical – check the schedule for your state and be ready to vote for this man. It will be an honor to vote for a genuine leader and not another corporate puppet. We must take back our nation. Bernie Sanders in 2016.

  9. Keep pushing for bernie. Even if he wins this is our opportunity to truly create change. also, explain to people they vote for republicans because of thr fake "regulations and government steal freedom". they are told this because those things we need to use to keep government in check. also religion, they are told it's a war on them. explain this stuff simply to them so they get it and vote bernie. if we don't change things now it'll get worsr and 1 day we won't be able to change it.

  10. Bernie is obviously very, very different from most politicians. Has there ever been a candidate like Bernie who is literally going after the most powerful people in this country? This mans name must be spread, we may have a lot of problems to deal with like people disagreeing on abortions and such. But as of now we face the real problem.

  11. What passion and conviction! He is surely a gift. Be smart America. Let's put this man in the White House. He's the only real choice!

  12. Loving Bernie…But-—-whether it's "Global Warming"—-or—"Climate Change"——-the focus should instead be on Pollution——if we solve the Pollution Problem—-we automatically will be doing as much as humans can or should ever hope to do to affect the Earth's climate in a constructive way…….the Climate Change lobby works for a Global Elite which seeks to maximize their own unfettered participation in modern life, while at the same time relegating everyone else to lives lived in cardboard boxes with no access to affordable electricity

  13. Got to love liberals, there's very little truth in this speech. Don't have the time to debunk the whole speech But here are some untruths. So the Koch brothers contributions are wrong for the system. Thomas Steyer is the number 1 individual political donor who makes all his money from fossil fuels but gives is money to the democrats. Second biggest individual donor is Bloomberg, another democratic donor. Actually the Koch brothers are number 11 on list.
    The war on woman. Bernie said woman get paid 28% less than men. Not true 30% of woman on average get pregnant every year, so of course they will get less money, because they are working less. Plus Obama Administration Labor Dept just said last month woman get paid about 96% of what men make. Voters research for the truth. And when you hear a politician saying there going to give you free things. It's not free it's off the back of the working middle class. If liberalism worked, Why is Chicago,Detroit,Baltimore, etc doing so bad.

  14. Bernie's got all the right ideas but he's going to need and House and Senate that will support his plans and pass the bills he wants passed. Without that he will run into the same problems that President Obama has had for all of his terms.

  15. This was one of his best speeches. He's right, think BIG not small! I'm tired of being called 'idealistic' for demanding a society that takes care of its own people. If you live in NY the primary is coming up soon! – voteforbernie.org

  16. This man will do the job as president, Bernie Sanders will do a great job relentlessly representing the American people. The election is not for sale, we all have to vote for Bernie Sanders, voting determines our country's future. Go Bernie Sanders! Bernie 2016!

  17. WE NEED A PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS THAT WILL TELL ISRAEL TO FUCK OFF AND LEAVE THE PALESTINIANS ALONE! 

    Didn't hear that in the long list of things Bernie said we needed! 

    Fuck Bernie Sanders! Another pussy that backed down when it came time to criticize that lunatic state of Israel!

    All these idiots think he's this great liberal and he's not even really that liberal! He's a fucking Lib-Tard to be more accurate.

    No true liberal white washes ethnic cleansing and murder!

    IDIOTS!

  18. I love Bernie Sanders. But just a President who shares his vision is not good enough, a congress and senate who resonate with the middle class of America is also important

  19. I've learned soo much from Bernie.
    I've always been an Independent.
    I never say "I lean" any direction.
    We should all be Independent,
    and open minded.
    Simplifying complicated subjects,
    and eating up all the sensationalized bullshit one side feeds you..
    is faaar from being Independent or free thinker.
    Bernie is the only one is for the people,
    and needs the people's help.
    Two part system is like organized communism.
    We settle for bullshit because the majority is blinded by anger and ignorance.

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