tv Campaign 2020 Sen. Kamala Harris at Portsmouth NH Democrats Dinner CSPAN September 10, 2019 3:38am-4:27am EDT
before the senate banking committee. at 2:00 p.m., the house judiciary committee meets to consider a number of gun violence prevention bills. campaign 2020. watch our live coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail. c-span's campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. senator kamala harris addressed the portsmouth, new hampshire democrats banquet on friday night. manchester news reports it's her fifth visit to the granite state since announcing her presidential candidacy. this is 45 minutes.
>> good evening, fellow democrats. it's great to be here. congratulations on the great turnout. it's a real honor to be able to introduce tonight's guest speaker. but before i do, i want to tell you why i have decided to support kamala harris for president. i was first attracted to senator harris because, after four years of donald trump, i felt there was nothing our country needed more than reconciliation and healing. she struck me, more than any other candidate, as a unifier who could bring our country together rather than split it further apart. i decided that when i saw her here at the south church. >> [ applause ] >> hundreds upon hundreds of people waiting in the snow to see her. i was next attracted to her bold, thoughtful policy proposals on a range of issues,
including raising teacher salary, which we feel strongly about in our household, to expanding healthcare, combating climate change, confronting the humanitarian disaster on our southern border, to making our economy work for everyone in our country, but most importantly, i was attracted to her strength of character, her toughness, her results. i saw in her, not only a former attorney general, who could prosecute the case against this president as her campaign likes to say, but more importantly, as a tough, disciplined, successful prosecutor, who will not only prosecute the case, but will try and convict this president, and his administration, and the republican party for abandoning our country, our constitution, and our values. i am a liberal democrat, and i care deeply about the issues, but in the end, i could really give a fig about the nuanced
policy differences between and among democratic candidates running for president. we know what our party stands for. we know who we are. we know our country is in peril. we need someone who can win pure and simple. electability is what this nominating process is about, and i believe in my heart that kamala harris is the most electable candidate. i believe she can inspire and turn out the base, that she can inspire and turn out male nails. that she can inspire and turn out people of color. she can inspire and turn out women. she can inspire and turn out voters in the heartland who felt disenfranchised. they voted for donald trump only to be stabbed in the back by policies that sellout farmers, workers, and families. most importantly of all, listen to these words. this is critical. in an election where there is a tremendous opportunity to win
over moderate republicans and independent voters, who are repulsed by the daily lives and daily ignorance, and daily cruelty, and daily embarrassments of this president, and his administration have inflicted on our country, kamala harris can turn out, and inspire those photos, too. that's where the election will be won or lost. i want to see kamala harris on the debate stage squaring off against donald trump. >> [ applause ] i believe she will obliterate him. >> [ applause ] i have been involved in the new hampshire primary for decades, and i've had the honor of supporting, and getting to know many fine candidates, but i can honestly tell you that i have never ever felt more strongly about a candidate than i do this time.
winning was never, ever more important than it is this time. kamala harris can win. if we are smart enough to nominate her, she will. your choice, and i hope hours, for president of the united states, senator kamala harris. >> [ applause ] >> i want to thank you publicly. i hope i do that often enough privately for your leadership, for your years of public service, and those who really take that calling seriously,
whether they are in elected office or not. but your words, and your support, your advice, your encouragement means the world to me, and i thank you very much. thank you, joe. >> [ applause ] >> and greetings to all of the electeds who are here. i don't have the list, or i would read all of your names, but i thank you for your leadership. these last few years as a democrat in elected office have been challenging for many reasons, but included in that, is that we who hold elected office are friends. our friends will search our eyes to be convinced that everything will be okay. they want us to assure them, and
even when we are weary, and tired, and fed up, we continue to fight, and we continue to inspire. the work of this democratic party is the work of having elected chris pappas to the united states congress. it is the work of continuing to uplift the incredible senator, martha fuller clark. >> [ applause ]. >> i congratulate you because, truly, the work of the party, and in particular, the local chapters of the democratic party are what is really holding us up. as a party nationally, and as a country. it has not been easy. i just want to start by saying thank you because each of you volunteers your time. you do extraordinary work. those who are working the poles.
extraordinary work in difficult times when so much is attacking our democracy, including our elections process, and so again, thank you, thank you, thank you for the work you do. the work you do is known all over the country. the work you do is on behalf of people you may never meet, and people who may never know your name. but because of your work, their lives are better, and will continue to be improved. thank you. thank you for the honor of inviting me to join you this evening. i also want to point out, my husband in the back of the room. but he has spent time here in portsmouth without me. he really enjoys it. you never know where we will
end up. it is great to be back. there is a lot to talk about. i would like to start by saying this. i think there is no question, and joe, you said it so well. the core of who we are as democrats, if children ever ask what's the difference between a democrat and republican. it's was an interesting conversation because you have to help it make sense. i think one of the very basic points about who we are is we really are for the people. we fight for the people. we fight for the people who don't always or necessarily, or never have power. but we know the power is in them. we are a party about lifting
people up. we are a party that is always about recognizing the importance of all systems to give each individual dignity and respect. we are the party that's always fighting for equal rights. we are the party, who right now, i believe is fighting not only on behalf of democrats, but fighting in the best interests of these united states. as you said, joe -- and all of us have friends who are republicans. we have colleagues, people we adore and love, but when you look at the structure of the party because this is who we are right now. we are in the midst of a conversation in connection with this democratic party. i do believe it is our burden, and our calling. to fight for the best of who we are as a country. i know we are up to it.
this is an inflection moment. this is a moment in time that is requiring us each, as individuals, and collectively, to look in the mirror and ask a question. that question being, who are we? i think we all know part of the answer to that question is we are better than this. this is a moment in time requiring us to fight for the best of who we are, and fight we will. as we know, over these last 2 1/2 years, since i got an office during the course of that campaign, we have all been despondent, upset, angry, frustrated. we have experienced a range of emotions. i think the most important thing at this moment in time that we must hold onto is the confidence in knowing that when we fight, we win.
because here's the thing. when we look at the place we are in right now, we must remember, as overwhelmed, as upset as we might feel, we are always up for a good fight. and in fact, nothing we have achieved by way of success in our democracy, and for the sake of democracy, has come to us without a good fight. nothing. we were born out of a fight, as a nation. let's remember that. sometimes, i reflect on many of the wise ones before us, and i will paraphrase, but coretta scott king famously said, "the fight for civil rights" which of course is the fight for justice, equality and freedom. she said, "the fight for civil
rights must be fought and won with each generation." i think she had two points when she said that. one is, it's the very nature of this fight. whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. it is the nature of it. so, the second point of the admonition is understanding it's the nature of it. do not be overwhelmed. do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves. it's just the very nature of it. if i were to simplify it, i would say this. when your nails start growing, you don't say, oh my god, my nails are growing. you just cut them. right? we have a task before us, and we are up for it. we are up for this. we are up to the task of fighting for the best of who we
are as a nation, as a country, and as a people. we are up for this. so, let's just get out there and do what you've been doing historically here in portsmouth. here is how i think about it in terms of my own personal background. we are not only a nation of fighters, i was born the child of fighters. my parents met when they were graduate students at the university of california, berkeley in the 1960s. >> [ applause ] >> when they were active in the civil rights movement. my sister and i, we joke that we grew up surrounded by a bunch of adults who spent their time marching and shouting about this thing called justice. of course, of the many heroes of that great civil rights movement, there was a lawyer. people like baker motley, and
these individuals who understood the skill of the profession of law to translate the passion from the streets to the courtrooms of our country. and do the work that we know must constantly be done, reminding folks that promise would be articulated in 1776, that we are all equal and should be treated that way, so they were the heroes of my youth, and my childhood. that is why i decided to be a lawyer. but, it was a community of fighters. i remember, you know. my mother was also extraordinary. she raised me and my sister. my mother was a scientist. one of very few at the time, and still, women of color in science, and her specialty was breast cancer research. my mother had two goals in her life. to raise her two daughters, and cure breast cancer.
i remember her fighting for women's health rights all the time. fighters. we know we are all born of a nation, and many of us, parents who were fighters. my mother, speaking of her, she was a tough cookie. my mother would say to us, look. you will be judged based on the lives that you touch. and the people that you serve. it will not be about self- service. it's the people you serve and lift up. my mother would say, don't you ever let anyone tell you who you are. you tell them who you are. my mother would say to me many times, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last. but she was tough. if she ever came home in our house complaining, about anything, our mother would look
at you, and she was all feisty talk, by the way. she would look at you, if you were complaining, and with a straight face, maybe, one hand on her hip, she would say what are you going to do about it? so, i decided to run for president of the united states. [ laughter ] >> [ applause ] but, i think we are all here for a similar reason, by the way, which is that we are not about to sit at home complaining. we are out here tonight because we are prepared to do something about it. let's talk about it for a moment. what's before us in 2020. joe talked about it. you were incredibly eloquent in the way you contextualized it.
we've got a guy in the white house, who is the face of the office of the president of the united states. i started my career as a prosecutor, in the alameda county district attorney's office that earl warren once ran. so, the symmetry in my life is i started my career in the office of a great american, who, when he was the chief justice of the u.s. supreme court, decided that the desegregation of america's schools was such a fundamental principle about who we are as a nation, if we are to hold ourselves to the constitution of the united states, says it was imperative that this not be 5-4 or 6-3. he said it was
imperative that the supreme court unanimously decided this case. you can read about the strategy and commitment he put into it, to ensure that a unanimous united states supreme court would decide brown versus board of education, which desegregated the schools of the united states. i boys loved that symmetry, but because he did that work that allows me to stand before you tonight as a serious candidate for the president of the united states. but that's where i started my career. the alameda county da's office. i learned -- i think i was 22. i learned that with the swipe of my pen, i could charge someone with the lowest level offense, and because of the swipe of my pen, that person could be arrested.
they could sit in jail for at least 48 hours. they could lose time from work, and their family, maybe, lose their job. it would have to come out of their own pocket to hire a lawyer. they would lose standing in their community all because of the swipe of my pen. weeks later, i could dismiss the charges, but their life would forever be changed. i learned at a very young age that the power to impact real human beings, that we have when we hold these offices, and i was just a lowly deputy d.a.. but we have a person in the white house, who holds the office of president of the united states. who does not fully or even
partially understand what it means to have power. let's be clear about that. he goes around swinging what he thinks is his power. he doesn't understand what it means to be powerful. because when you truly understand what it means to be powerful, you understand that the greatest measure of your strength is not who you beat down, but who you lift up. it's who you lift up. so, this is the nature, and the character of the guy we have in the white house. and then, of course, he came into office on a campaign that was about make america great again. which, for some of us, required
a really big question, which is exactly for whom? and for all of us, made clear, he was talking about going back to something. so, of course, we all asked back to what? back before the voting rights act? back before the civil rights act? back before the fair housing act? back before roe v. wade? back before title ix? back before federal minimum wage? because we are not going back. we are not going back. >> [ applause ] >> so, the point we all know, we are renewing our commitment for what we are prepared to do over the next many months. we all know not only are we not going back, but it is time to
turn the page on this guy. it is time to turn the page. yes, in order to do that, we must be able to successfully prosecute the case against four more years of donald trump. it will take a prosecutor to do it. >> [ applause ] >> and we are working with a pretty good rap sheet. because let's talk about what's on that sheet. he came in the office, making all kinds of promises to working people. he said, i see you, i hear you, i got you. then what does he do? benefitin the top 1% and the biggest corporations of america saddling us with a $1.5 trillion deficit who by the way be very colleagues, they plan on paying
for by cutting social security and medicare. what did he do? he came in saying i'm going to help you. i'm going to build up infrastructure. remember infrastructure week? we all just slept that week because it never happened. came in saying he was going to take care of health care and then spent full time trying to undo the affordable care act and but for the great american john mccain -- [ applause ] -- it would have happened. he came in talking about he was going to help working people from farmers to autoworkers, and then passes some kind of trade policy that he calls it, trade policy by tweet, unilateral action borne out of a fragile ego that has resulted in farmers
around this country, i'm spending a lot of time to iowa in addition to here, farmers in iowa who are looking at bankruptcy because you see they have soybeans rotting in bins because over the last decade and more they have built up a market to stole china which has now been cut off from them. we're look at the potential for autoworkers by the end of the year to be out of a job, the american family is expected to pay $1,000 more a year for everything from children's toys washing machines. i call it the trump trade tax. he betrayed a lot of people. what's on that rap sheet? we can look at the fact that there's a policy that was about putting babies in cages, separating children from their parents at border in the name of border security when in fact what it was is a human rights
abuse being committed by the united states government. there is plenty to prosecute that case, including most recently just this week, well, guess what, republicans, if you thought you had a friend in the white house taking money from a variety of the people that have been supporting him and being apologists, including members of the united states senate who are now looking at the fact that he's taken their federal dollars, including money from military families for their children's schools to pay for his vanity project called a wall which by the way, guys, will never get built. [ applause ] so we will be able to successfully prosecute the case against four more years of
donald trump, and in so doing turn the page, but what i would suggest to all the friends here is that this campaign has to be bigger than that. it has to be more than that, because here's the thing. even if november of 2016 had turned out differently, we would still be a nation in flux and a world in flux. we would still be looking at at moment in time where we are seeing ascending and descending economies around the world, shifting populations around the globe like we've never seen in large part because of the climate crisis, because guess what, where there is drought there will be famine and people will move to places they have not historically been and speak a different language and pray to a different god which will
result in conflict which will result in war. we are still looking at a moment in time where we are in the midst as a nation and a world of an industrial revolution, also known as a digital revolution. we are a nation in flux and a world in flux, and so the question before us would still be and is probably greater now because of that guy in the white house what will be our standing? what is our strength? what will be our definition and role in this world? these questions are the questions i believe that are before us because, you know, to make the point very simple about, you know, we have to turn the page. i'll tell you, as you know, i've spent a lot of time in new hampshire and iowa and south carolina and nevada and i was in nevada this one -- for a couple of days -- about a month ago,
and i ended up having an event that was like toward the end of the time there in las vegas on a saturday night, and i was making this point about, you know, because the point is obvious that, you know, very to turn the page, and i got a little casual, and so i said -- because the point is obvious. dude gotta go at which point because after all it was a saturday night in las vegas the whole crowd starts chanting dude gotta go, dude gotta go, right, so therefore, for shorthand, dude gotta go so that's an obvious point and the question now before us is as we turn the page on that point the issue before us as leaders is what we must do to write the next chapter based on the america we
believe in. so when we think about that, i'll share with you just a couple of thoughts about the america that i believe in, that i know we as democrats believe in, and it has to do with a lot of issues that are really not debatable but do require to us address. you know, joe talked about it in the context of this administration and this era where we have a leader who has used his power, and we've all seen it, in a way that's been about sowing hate and division in our country, sowing hate and division, trying to have americans and have us point fingers at each oh, and, you know, i so reject, that and i think this is a moment when we talk about the america we believe in, that we must talk about it with the spirit of rejecting what people are trying
to sell in terms of suggesting that we are divide instead of some democrats suggest, by the way, that when you're in the midwest you have one conversation and when you're in new england you have another and when you go down south that's a different conversation and when you're on the coast that's a different conversation because we're no better than anybody else if we start doing that. and so when i think about what we must do in writing the next chapter paced on t chapter based on the america we believe it, i strongly believe that we must do that in a spirit that in our hearts and our souls agrees that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. we must know that and feel that and let that motivate our
priorities. [ applause ] and so here's hoy know it to be true. first of all, i know it based on every personal and professional experience i've had. i know it to be true. i know it to be true based on what i call the 3:00 in the morning thought. some people call, that you know, the middle of the night thought, some people trever that as witching house, you know what i'm talking about, right, when you wake up in the middle of the night with that thought that's been weighing on you, sometimes in a cold sweat. well, for the vast majority of us, when we wake up thinking that thought it is never through the length. party with which we're registered to vote. for the vast majority of us when we wake up thinking that thought, it is never through the lens of some simplistic demographic pom pollster put us in, and for the vast majority of
us when we wake up thinking that thought, it usually has to do with one of just a very few things, our personal health, the health of the our children our or parents. for so many americans can i get a job, keep a job, pate bills by the end of the month, retire with dignity? for our students can i pay off the student loans? for so many families can i help a family member get on their opioid or drug asghiddiction? for so many seniors can i fill my refrigerator or my prescription because i can't do both? the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us, so when we think about our role as democrats and as leaders, not only most of us in this room leaders of our party, but as leaders in our country, i would remind us that one of our greatest strengths is
when we approach the fight before us in a way that is about understanding that point and then fighting for the commonality and a large part of my priorities then are borne out of that, so when fighting for the america we believe in, that might just be real the best starting point. what are the issues that wake up the vast majority of us in the middle of the night and let's address those in a way that we understand to address those issues will be transformational for those families and for america, so kamala, what are you talking about? okay. let's deal with the fact that in america today almost half of american families cannot afford a $400 unexpected expense. in america today in 99% of the counties in our country if you are a minimum wage worker working full time you cannot afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment. in america last year 12 million
people took out a loan of on average $400 from the by a day learned at an interest rate often in excess of 300%. so while this guy is walk around crowing about the economy is great, right, and then you ask well how are you measuring the so-called greatness of this economy of yours and he talks about the stock market, well, that's fine if you own stocks. guess what, 72% of the stocks in the united states are owned by just the top 10%. and you say you got another measure for the so-called greatness of this economy of yours. they talk about the unemployment numbers. well, yes, i've been traveling our country, and i will tell you indeed people are working. they are working two and three jobs and in the america we believe in as democrats people should only have to work one job have a roof over their head and food on their table.
[ applause ] let's talk about the america that we believe in. we have always fought as a party for public education. i am a product of public education race so many of us. there are three essential functions -- there are essential functions, three essential functions of our government. public safety, public health and public education so in the america we believe in understanding the challenge we face as a nation which includes the challenge to compete with our friends and foes around the globe, let's focus on investing in the future of our country and remembering that one of the smartest ways to do that is invest in our public education system and let's start with paying our teachers.
[ applause ] so in the america we believe in we will put in place what will be the first federal investment in close the teacher pay gap. here in new hampshire it's $13,500 a year. you know what $13,500 a year means? for most theme our country, it's a year's worth of mortgage payments. it's a year's worth of groceries. it means putting significant didn't in student loan debt which is the greatest barrier for our students of going out and joining a profession for which they have a passion and i want to make this point about public education. i strongly believe and as democrats we believe you should judge a society based on how it treats its children.
[ applause ] and one of the greatest expresses of love that a society can extend toward its children is to invest in their education, and by extension their teachers. let's talk about the america we believe in. on the issue of health care. let's agree that it has always been a valve ours as democrats that health care and access to health care should be a right and not just a privilege of those few who can afford it and going back to the three essential functions of government, if we are to have a thriving democracy and a thriving republic, public education and public health must be one of the highest priorities. yes today in america 30 million people are without access to health care. people say to me, well, i don't know how i feel about your medicare for all plan. i say, well, you for example right now very medicare for all.
you know where it takes place? in the emergency room. so in the america we believe in i'm propose we have a medicare for all plan that brings costs down, that covers everyone, including pre-existing conditions, and this is a point distinction between mine and some others, that gives people choice so you have the choice of a medicare public plan or a medicare private plan, but let's also recognize and agree that in the america we believe in, that this is an issue for that for so long has been impede because there are people like this administration and this president who have been in the back pocket of the pharmaceutical and insurance companies and in the america we believe in the government will fight in the best interest of the people and not private interests and profit.
[ applause ] in the america we believe in, and we did it a town hall recently on this issue and rolled out our climate plan, i will tell you, in the america we believe in, we will agree that we as human beings have created this climate crisis and we as human beings can solve it without much change in our lifestyles, but in a twha cway can have profound impact. i'm going to till i have two babe nieces, one is 1 1/2 years old and one is 3, and when i look in their eyes, and when i watch them play and then i think about the u.n. report and so many others that are very clear in telling us the science tells us that in 12 years, in by 12
years from now we do nothing it will be irreversible, and then i think and this is so easy to say and i don't like to just blame republicans, it's just too's, right, but on this issue, guys, having been in the united states senate two and a half years, the lack of leadership is profound. i kid no. i joined the united states senate two and a half years ago. i kid no. i was a part of the hearing in the united states corporation our corporation where the underlying premise of the hearing was to debate whether science should be the basis of public policy. so in the america we believe in and are fighting for we are going to say that children must be able to drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be
impeded by toxic chemicals like pfafs and we must stand up to the fossil fuel industry. in the america we believe in, we will agree as democrats that one of our first orders of business has always been and will always be national security. we will agree that one of the most important roles of the commander in chief is to concern herself -- [ applause ] -- with our nation and homeland security as opposed to the current occupant of the white house who on the subject of the fact of russia's interference in the election of the president of
the united states prefers to take the word of the russian president over the word of the american intelligence community, who on the subject of an american student who was tortured and later died. prefers to take the word of a north korean dictator over the word of the american intelligence community, that on the subject of a journalist who was assassinated, a journalist who had american credengsz prefers to take the word of a saudi prince over the word of the american intelligence community. we need a new commander in chief. [ applause ] so i could go on and on about the america that we believe in, and there are so many other issues that we as democrats that are fighting for and have led on and the range goes from all that we must do around reform of our
criminal justice system to passing comprehensivism gracious reform to paying women for equal work. i could do g down the list, continuing to fight for civil right and new york city satisfied until everyone has equal rights under theb satisfi everyone has equal rights under tt satisfied until everyone has equal rights under t satisfied until everyone has equal rights under t satisfied until everyone has equal rights under tn satisfied until everyone has equal rights under to satisfied until everyone has equal rights under tt satisfied until everyone has equal rights under t satisfied until everyone has equal rights under tb satisfied until everyone has equal rights under tei satisfied until everyone has equal rights under tng satisfied until everyone has equal rights under the law. >> over the last two and a half years we have been, yes, despondent. many of us have been throwing objects at that inanimate object called a tv. we've been going through individual and group therapy. here's what i would like to just leave with you is that we must in this march towards 2020, let us remember that one of the
greatest strengths about who were as a nation and -- who we are as a nation and as a people we by our very nature we are aspiration a. we are a nation found on noble ideals, the ideals that were present when we wrote the constitution of the united states and all its amendments and the declaration of independence and biffle rights and yes, those words we spoke in 1776. we are aspirational. we're also clear-eyed and always have been as democrats. we haven't yet reached those ideals, but the strength of who we are is we always fight to get there, and so fight we will and fight we must knowing this is a fight that is borne out of optimism. this is a fight that is born out
thank you. [ applause ] ♪ what is your vision in 2020? student cam 2020 is asking students what is issue do you most want to see the presidential candidates address during the campaign. student cam is c-span's video nationwide competition for middle and high school students with $100,000 in total cash prize at stake, including a $5,000 grand prize. students are asked to produce a short video documentary, include c-span video and reflect differing points of view. information to help you get started is on our website studentcam.org. wednesday is the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. watch our live coverage at 8:30 a.m. on c-span3 from the 9/11 memorial plaza in new york city. the moment of sigh learnings the reading of the names and the
ringing of the bell. at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span from the pentagon, a wreath-laying ceremony at the 9/11 memorial. live coverage of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on c-span, c-span3 and online at c-span.org or listen live on the free c-span radio app. now policy experts analyze shifting demographic numbers in the u.s. and what they mean for country's future. the american enterprise institute hosted this hour and 20-minute discussion. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm going to get us start right on time here today since we have a lot to discuss. it's my privilege to well you to today's event, demographic decline, national cries or moral paining here at american enterprise institute. my name is ryan streeter, the director of the domestic policy studies here and i'm