Bill Clinton in 2012 Democratic National Convention speeches


On Budget & Economy: No one could fix mess in 4 years; but policies are working

Are we where we want to be today? No. Is the president satisfied? Of course not. But are we better off than we were when Obama took office? The economy was in freefall. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is yes.

A lot of Americans are still angry and frustrated about this economy. If you look at the numbers, you know employment is growing. But too many people do not feel it yet. I had this same thing happen in 1994 and early `95. We could see that the policies were working, that the economy was growing, but most people didn't feel it yet. Thankfully, by 1996, the economy was roaring, everybody felt it. But the difference this time is purely in the circumstances. Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No president--not me, not any of my predecessors--no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years. But he has laid the foundations. And if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Budget & Economy: How to balance budgets? Arithmetic; which GOP ignores

People ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.
    If the Republicans stay with this $5 trillion tax cut plan in a debt reduction plan, the arithmetic tells us, no matter what they say, one of three things is about to happen.
  1. They'll have to eliminate so many deductions, like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving, that middle- class families will see their tax bills go up an average of $2,000, while anybody who makes $3 million or more will see their tax bill go down $250,000.
  2. Or, they'll have to cut so much spending that they'll obliterate the budget and put the future on hold.
  3. Or, in spite of all the rhetoric, they'll just do what they've been doing for more than 30 years. They'll go and cut the taxes way more than they cut spending.
Republican economic policies quadrupled the national debt in the 12 years before I took office and doubled the debt in the 8 years after I left, because it defied arithmetic
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Corporations: Republicans cut taxes for the rich & deregulate banks

[The Republicans] convinced me they were honorable people who believe what they've said and they're going to keep every commitment they've made. We've just got to make sure the American people know what those commitments are.

They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans even more than President Bush did. They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit federal bailouts. They want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the Pentagon has requested, without saying what they'll spend it on. And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor children.

I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better: He inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Environment: If you double your gas mileage, it cuts cost & reduces CO2

The agreement the administration made with the management, labor, and environmental groups to double car mileage, that was a good deal. It will cut your gas prices in half, your gas bill. No matter what the price is, if you double the mileage of your car, your bill will be half what it would have been. It will make us more energy independent. It will cut greenhouse gas emission. And according to several analyses, over the next 20 years, it will bring us another 500,000 good, new jobs into the American economy.

The president's energy strategy, which he calls all-of-the-above, is helping, too. The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near 20-year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled.

(APPLAUSE)

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Health Care: ObamaCare has already insured millions and reduced costs

The Republicans call it, derisively, "Obamacare." They say it's a government takeover, a disaster, and that if we'll just elect them, they'll repeal it. Well, are they right? Let's take a look at what's actually happened so far.
  1. Individuals and businesses have already gotten more than $1 billion in refunds from insurance companies because the new law requires 80% of your premium to go to your health care, not profits or promotion.
  2. More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents' policies can cover them.
  3. Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care
  4. Soon the insurance companies will have millions of new customers, many of them middle-class people with pre-existing conditions who never could get insurance before.
  5. For the last two years, health care costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in 50 years.
So are we better off because Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are.
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Jobs: Democratic presidents have created more jobs than Republican

Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what's the job score? Republicans: 24 million. Democrats: 42 million.

Now, there's a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, and ignorance restrict growth. When you stifle human potential, when you don't invest in new ideas, it doesn't just cut off the people who are affected. It hurts us all.

We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Principles & Values: Conflict makes good politics, but cooperation works

Through my foundation both in America and around the world, I'm working all the time with Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Sometimes I couldn't tell you for the life who I'm working with because we focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time.

When times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good, but what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation.

What works in the real world is cooperation, business and government, foundations and universities. Now, why is this true? Why does cooperation work better than constant conflict? Because nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.

Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is always the enemy, they're always right, and compromise is weakness.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

On Welfare & Poverty: "We're in this together" better than "You're on your own"

[At the GOP Convention], we heard a lot of talk all about how the president and the Democrats don't really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy. This Republican narrative, this alternative universe says that every one of us who amounts to anything, we're all completely self-made. One Democratic Party [chairman] used to say that every politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. But, he then admitted, it ain't so.

We Democrats, we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see, we believe that "We're all in this together" is a far better philosophy than "You're on your own."

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech Sep 5, 2012

The above quotations are from Speeches at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte NC, Sept. 4-6, 2012.
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