Thank you! Oh, thank you all! Thank you so very, very much. (Cheers, applause.)
It is wonderful to be here with all of you.
To be in New York (cheers) with my family, with so many friends, including many New Yorkers who gave me the honor of serving them in the Senate for eight years. (Cheers, applause.)
To be right across the water from the headquarters of the United Nations, where I represented our country many times. (Cheers, applause.)
To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.
And in a place… with absolutely no ceilings. (Cheers, applause.)
You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed. One is the man I served as Secretary of State, Barack Obama, (cheers, applause) and another is my husband, Bill Clinton. (Cheers, applause.)
Two Democrats guided by the – (cheering) Oh, that will make him so happy. They were and are two Democrats guided by the fundamental American belief that real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all. (Cheers, applause.)
President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: “Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few…(cheers, applause.) The preservation of civil liberties for all… (cheers, applause) a wider and constantly rising standard of living.”
That still sounds good to me. (Cheers, applause.)
It’s America’s basic bargain. If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead. And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too.
That bargain inspired generations of families, including my own.
It’s what kept my grandfather going to work in the same Scranton lace mill every day for 50 years.
It’s what led my father to believe that if he scrimped and saved, his small business printing drapery fabric in Chicago could provide us with a middle-class life. And it did.
When President Clinton honored the bargain, we had the longest peacetime expansion in history, a balanced budget, (cheers, applause) and the first time in decades we all grew together, with the bottom 20 percent of workers increasing their incomes by the same percentage as the top 5 percent. (Cheers, applause.)
When President Obama honored the bargain, we pulled back from the brink of Depression, saved the auto industry, provided health care to 16 million working people, (cheers, applause) and replaced the jobs we lost faster than after a financial crash.
But, it’s not 1941, or 1993, or even 2009. We face new challenges in our economy and our democracy.
We’re still working our way back from a crisis that happened because time-tested values were replaced by false promises.
Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else. (Jeers, booing.)
Well, instead of a balanced budget with surpluses that could have eventually paid off our national debt, the Republicans twice cut taxes for the wealthiest, borrowed money from other countries to pay for two wars, and family incomes dropped. You know where we ended up.
Except it wasn’t the end.
As we have since our founding, Americans made a new beginning.
You worked extra shifts, took second jobs, postponed home repairs… you figured out how to make it work. And now people are beginning to think about their future again – going to college, starting a business, buying a house, finally being able to put away something for retirement.
So we’re standing again. But, we all know we’re not yet running the way America should.
You see corporations making record profits, with CEOs making record pay, but your paychecks have barely budged.
While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined. And, often paying a lower tax rate.
So, you have to wonder: “When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead?”
I say now. (Cheers, applause.)
Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers.
Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations. (Cheers, applause.)
Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain too.
You brought our country back.
Now it’s time – your time to secure the gains and move ahead.
And, you know what?
America can’t succeed unless you succeed. (Cheers, applause.)
That is why I am running for President of the United States. (Cheers, applause, chanting.)
Here, on Roosevelt Island, I believe we have a continuing rendezvous with destiny. Each American and the country we cherish.
I’m running to make our economy work for you and for every American.
For the successful and the struggling.
For the innovators and inventors.
For those breaking barriers in technology and discovering cures for diseases.
For the factory workers and food servers who stand on their feet all day. (Cheers, applause.)
For the nurses who work the night shift. (Cheers, applause.)
For the truckers who drive for hours and the farmers who feed us. (Cheers, applause.)
For the veterans who served our country.
For the small business owners who took a risk.
For everyone who’s ever been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out. (Cheers, applause.)
I’m not running for some Americans, but for all Americans. (Cheers, applause.)
Our country’s challenges didn’t begin with the Great Recession and they won’t end with the recovery.
For decades, Americans have been buffeted by powerful currents.
Advances in technology and the rise of global trade have created whole new areas of economic activity and opened new markets for our exports, but they have also displaced jobs and undercut wages for millions of Americans.
The financial industry and many multi-national corporations have created huge wealth for a few by focusing too much on short-term profit and too little on long-term value… too much on complex trading schemes and stock buybacks, too little on investments in new businesses, jobs, and fair compensation. (Cheers, applause.)
Our political system is so paralyzed by gridlock and dysfunction that most Americans have lost confidence that anything can actually get done. And they’ve lost trust in the ability of both government and Big Business to change course.
Now, we can blame historic forces beyond our control for some of this, but the choices we’ve made as a nation, leaders and citizens alike, have also played a big role.
Our next President must work with Congress and every other willing partner across our entire country. And I will do just that – (cheers, applause) to turn the tide so these currents start working for us more than against us.
At our best, that’s what Americans do. We’re problem solvers, not deniers. We don’t hide from change, we harness it. (Cheers, applause.)
But we can’t do that if we go back to the top-down economic policies that failed us before.
Americans have come too far to see our progress ripped away.
Now, there may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir, (laughter) but they’re all singing the same old song…
A song called “Yesterday.” (Laughter, cheers, applause.)