At AFSCME Conference, Clinton Pledges to Fight for Working Americans as President

Week of Six-Year Dodd-Frank Anniversary, Clinton Highlights Trump Would Repeal Law

NEVADA–(ENEWSPF)–July 19, 2016.  In remarks at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton reiterated her commitment to fighting for working families as president and defending labor unions from Republican attacks.

The week of the six-year anniversary of passing historic Dodd-Frank, Clinton highlighted Trump’s plan to repeal Wall Street reform. She said, “I predict that Donald will try to con you with tough talk about Wall Street.  Don’t believe him.” She continued, “Donald Trump wants to tear up Dodd-Frank and let Wall Street run wild again.”

Clinton also highlighted his hiring of a union-busting firm, his consistent practice of shortchanging contractors – driving some out of business, and a consensus among economists that Trump’s policies would plunge us back into a recession. Clinton will stand with workers in both the public and private sector to protect their fundamental rights to organize and collectively bargain.

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Thank you! Wow, thank you and hello, AFSCME!

It’s great to be in the same place with all of you and I have to start by thanking my longtime friend, someone I have worked with on behalf of the causes that are near and dear to your hearts, thank you Lee for that introduction, for being a stalwart friend and partner over so many years, and now he and I are both grandparents, so we have even more in common.

You know, all of you, AFSCME helped to make our 2016 Democratic platform a strong vision. Now this is a convention! It’s wonderful to be with people who want to build America up, not tear Americans down. The Republicans up in Cleveland could learn a thing or two from AFSCME.

And I also want to acknowledge someone special, your Secretary-Treasurer, the first woman to hold that position, Laura Reyes, congratulations!
And I heard Lee thanking a whole group of states, every single one of you and all whom you represent, from that first caucus in Iowa to the last primary in Washington D.C., AFSCME and the green machine was everywhere.

And I particularly want to thank my AFSCME brothers and sisters from New York who are here today. I know and I won’t forget, you had my back from the very beginning when I first ran for the Senate, and I am so grateful to you.

And I want to thank your leadership and each and every one of your members for your support in this election. And I was just told that someone I know pretty well came and addressed this convention in 1992, right Gerry? I consider that a good omen because he went on to be President of the United States, Bill Clinton!

And just like me, he loved seeing the Green Machine out on the trail, putting boots on the ground in every state – you see what I’m wearing, right? It was a little too hot with hundred-degree weather to wear my AFSCME green jacket or my AFSCME green scarf, so I figured I’d get in the spirit  and be here with all of you, because I know how much you’ve done, and I’m counting on all of you to do it again. To work hard to register voters and get folks out to the polls.

And I really like the theme of this conference: ‘Never Quit.’

We all know a little something about that, don’t we?

AFSCME, you’ve had my back—and as President, I will have yours.

Because you represent hard-working, middle-class families, people striving for a better life. You represent the American Dream. I wish we could say the same about the other party and their nominee.

Last night in Cleveland was surreal. I kept thinking, what’s this like? And then I thought, you know when I was a little girl, I went to see when they reissued it, the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ And there were similarities that appeared to me. Lots of sound and fury, even a fog machine, but when you pulled back the curtain it was just Donald Trump, with nothing to offer to the American people.

Now, they had about eight hours of speeches yesterday. They spent most of their time attacking me and President Obama rather than making any kind of argument about the future we want to build for our country. We can do a lot better than that. Because together we’re going to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Not just for the rich or the well connected, but for everyone, and that means working families who get up and do their jobs every day but haven’t seen a real raise in years. It means public employees who serve our communities and deserve to be supported, not scapegoated. You see, I have this old fashioned idea that our economy should deliver for you the way you deliver for all of us—and we should stand with you the way you stand with us.

Because supporting and respecting public employees means supporting and respecting police officers and firefighters and all the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

And I want to be really clear about this: if you take aim at them – you take aim at all of us.

There can be no justification for killing a police officer. Not at all. It’s a terrible crime – and it’s got to stop.

We also need to be partners in making law enforcement as secure and effective as we need it to be. And that means investing in the training that our police need on the proper use of force. And how to build trust with the communities they serve.

And we need to do more to support all our public servants.

Because we want young people to aspire to pursue careers in our public schools, our city halls, our public works departments. These are jobs that provide dignity and a sense of purpose. Jobs that are about giving back and making us stronger.

I can’t imagine how we could run our country if we didn’t have people like you, and the members you represent, working on our behalf every day.

That’s why it’s so outrageous when Republican governors steamroll public employees and stomp on workers’ rights.

In Wisconsin, the cradle of the labor movement, Scott Walker has ripped the heart, he’s ripped the heart, out of public-sectors workers’ right to bargain collectively for better wages and benefits.

In Illinois, Bruce Rauner has been holding the budget hostage for months, endangering public colleges and universities, hurting families, and demanding outrageous concessions from public-sector unions.

And even though workers’ rights won the day in the Supreme Court in the Friedrichs case, make no mistake—we haven’t seen the last of efforts to use the courts to undermine your rights.

So I promise you this: I will be by your side in this fight every step of the way. When I am President, working people will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House.

Because I believe that when unions are strong, America is strong.

Unions helped build the strongest middle class in the history of the world. You pioneered the basic bargain that made our country great. You know what it is: if you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead. And you’ve been on the frontlines of the fight for affordable health care, safe working conditions, fair schedules and fair wages. And I know you’re not just fighting for your members, as important as that is – you’re fighting for all working families.

That’s why it is so important that unions like AFSCME stay strong and stay on the front lines of the fight for economic justice and opportunity. And congratulations – you’ve already added nearly 340,000 new members and fee-payers to your ranks. The AFSCME Strong campaign is producing results. Let’s keep that effort going and growing.

Because I’m proud to be in the trenches fighting alongside you to raise wages, protect pensions, and keep the public in public sector.

That includes ending private prisons and detention centers that profit off our criminal justice and immigration system.

And we have to send a loud, clear message: ‘right to work’ is wrong for workers and wrong for America.

That’s why together, we will pursue a bold, progressive agenda that lifts our country up. So that no one is left out or left behind.

I have a plan to drive growth that’s strong, fair, and long-lasting. Growth that reduces inequality, increases upward mobility, and reaches into every corner of our country.

First, let’s break through the dysfunction in Washington to make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.

Second, let’s make college debt-free for all and help millions of Americans save money by refinancing their student debt.

Third, let’s rewrite the rules so more companies share profits with their employees on top of paying a good wage, and fewer ship their profits and their jobs overseas.

Fourth, let’s make sure Wall Street, corporations, and the super rich finally pay their fair share of taxes.

And by the way, if you happen to know anybody, or run across anybody, who is thinking about, even contemplating voting for the other guy, ask that person why they think he won’t release his tax returns. Just asking. I think it’s a question he should have to answer, everybody else running for president has. Put that in the back of your head.

And finally, let’s put families first and make sure our policies match how you actually work and live in the 21st century. That means expanding Social Security, not cutting it. It means supporting working parents and finally guaranteeing equal pay for women.

Now you know, Donald Trump can accuse me of playing the ‘woman card’ all he wants. But if fighting for paid family leave and affordable childcare is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in!

And what better place to do that than Vegas? Yesterday at the Republican convention in Cleveland, we heard a lot, we heard a lot about me and Donald Trump. We heard a lot of anger and division, but we did not hear a single solution that would help working families get ahead.

Donald Trump may claim he’s on the side of working people, but his actions say otherwise.

Just look at the destruction his Atlantic City bankruptcies caused. One small businessman, someone who sold pianos to Trump’s hotels, nearly lost everything when Trump refused to pay what he owed. And that’s par for the course. As the New York Times reported recently, and I quote, ‘It is hard to find a project he touched that did not produce allegations, broken promises, blatant lies, or outright fraud.’

Or what about here in Las Vegas, where he personally hired a union-busting firm to try to stop UNITE HERE from organizing at his hotel. I was proud to join those workers on the picket line twice in the last year—and even prouder when they overcame Donald Trump’s intimidation campaign and were officially certified as a union.

Donald Trump stood on a debate stage and actually said wages are ‘too high’ in this country.  Then he proposed getting rid of the federal minimum wage altogether.

Now, I predict that Donald will try to con people with tough talk about Wall Street. But like everything else he says, don’t buy it.

Remember when he promised to make hedge fund managers pay more in taxes? Well, when his actual plan came out, it turns out he lowered their taxes further.

It’s the same with the banks. This week marks the six-year anniversary of the tough new Wall Street reforms President Obama put in place after the crash. If Donald Trump actually wants to be tough on Wall Street, he’ll stand with me in defending these rules and taking steps to build on them. But I don’t think it’ll surprise you to hear he’s doing exactly the opposite.

Donald Trump wants to tear up Dodd-Frank and let Wall Street run wild again. He would scrap the rules that prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts. He’d eliminate the new agency created to protect consumers from financial fraud and abuse, even though it’s already returned $11 billion back to consumers who were ripped off. I guess that shouldn’t surprise anyone, since Donald Trump’s business model is basically fraud and abuse.

He talks a lot about ‘America First,’ but his own products are made in a lot of countries that aren’t named ‘America.’  Trump ties come from China, not North Carolina. Trump suits were made in Mexico, not Ohio. Trump furniture from Turkey, Trump picture frames from India, Trump barware from Slovenia — And I could go on and on.

If Donald Trump wants to make America great again, he should start actually making things in America again.

So the bottom line is this: Putting Donald Trump in charge of our economy would be devastating.

Economists left, right, center all agree that his policies would throw us back into a recession. Would wipe out three and a half million jobs. Now, I don’t know about you, but we can’t take that. Wipe out three and a half million jobs? And add more than $30 trillion to the debt? More giveaways to the super-rich?

That’s not what we need in this country. We need to write a new chapter in the American Dream and it can’t be Chapter 11.

I don’t think a lot of his supporters even understand what he’s actually offering — sure doesn’t answer the mail. We can disagree about what we need to do, but I believe, just like anyone else, the voters supporting Donald Trump are trying to make a good living, give their kids better futures and opportunities, trying to figure out their place in a fast changing America. That’s why I want to reclaim the promise of America for everybody, no matter who they vote for. We need to be on the American team, not the Republican or the Democratic or the red or the blue team, or the business or the labor team. Let’s get back on the America Team!

Now, that is especially important because in recent days we’ve had tragedy and turmoil. The President has to speak on behalf of all the American people. Has to try to pull us together, not drive us apart.

Can you imagine Donald Trump in that position?

A man who plays coy with white supremacists and mocks disabled people. Who demeans women and denigrates immigrants. Who talked about banning an entire religion from entering our country.

We in America are better than that.

And America is better than Donald Trump.

So my friends, let’s resolve, we don’t tear each other down, we lift each other up.

We don’t build walls, we break down barriers and build bridges.

We know we’re stronger when the economy works for everybody, not just those at the top. So let’s protect worker’s rights and women’s rights, and civil rights and gay rights, and voter rights. Let’s reject violence and bigotry, and do the hard work of building a more perfect union.

Please join me in this campaign. Knock on doors, register people to vote. Let’s work hard because we’ve got to have a big win in November. We’ve got five national labor mobilization weekends starting August 6th. We need the AFSCME Green Machine to be front and center. Talk to your friends, your neighbors about what this election means for the country we love.

Let’s elect strong, progressive leaders who will get results.

And let’s never forget our birthright as Americans – we’re going into the future with confidence and optimism together.

Thank you, AFSCME!”