Edwards Delivers Remarks At DNC Fall Meeting
Today, at the DNC fall meeting in Washington, D.C., Senator John Edwards will tell Democrats that he is the candidate who will fight to build One America and break down the wall that separates Washington from the American people.
Included below are excerpts from Edwards' remarks:
"There's a wall around Washington and we need to take it down. The American people are on the outside. And on the other side, on the inside, are the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy. That wall didn't build itself or appear overnight. For decades, politicians without convictions and powerful interests gathered their bricks and their stones and their mortar, and they went to work. They went to work to protect their interests, to block the voice of the American people, and to stop our country's progress. They went to work to protect, defend, and maintain the status quo.
"That wall around Washington, it protects a system that's rigged and guess who struggles as a result? Every single day, working men and women see that wall when they have to split their bills into two piles pay-now and pay-later; when they watch the factory door shut for the last time; when they see the disappointment on their son or daughter's face when there's no money to pay for college. Every single day they see that wall when they have to use the emergency room as a doctor's office for their son because they can't afford to pay for health care. This is not okay. That wall has to come down.
"That's why America needs a fighter, Democrats. We need one to break down that wall so that we can see Our Americaimagine Our Americaand build one America.
"This is bigger than politics. Bigger than any candidate or political party. Because the truth is that it's not just Republicans who built this wall. Democrats helped too. Too many politicians from both parties are choosing self-preservation over principle, compromise over convictions.
"You have a choice in this election. You have to decide what kind of person you want as your next president. Do you want someone who is going to pretend that wall around Washington isn't there, or defend the people who helped build it? Or do you want someone who is going to lead with conviction and tell you the truth, and have a little backbone? Do you want someone who is going to hope that the people who spent millions of dollars and decades building that wall, and have billions more invested in keeping it up, are going to be willing to compromise, to take it down voluntarily? Or do you want someone who is going to stand up to those people and fight for your interests, when the chips are down, when your backs are against the wall, every single day?
"We have a choice in this election. We can keep trying to shout over that wall. We can keep trying to knock out a chink here and there, to punch little holes in it and hope our voices get through. We can settle for baby steps, half-measures and incremental change, and try to inch our way over that wall and toward a better future. Or we can be bold and knock it down.
"This is going to be the fight of our lives. I know because I've spent my whole life fighting the powerful on behalf of hard-working people, and I can tell you this: they are not going to give up their power easily. But I can also tell you this: if you fight them - and you are right - you can win.
"Democrats, America needs a fighter because this campaign is about something much bigger than celebrity politics, who's up and who's down. It's about a great moral test of our time. Twenty generations of Americans have passed this simple but profound test: Can our generation leave this country better for our children than it was when our parents gave it to us? In the best of times and the worst of times, in the middle of wars and droughts and depressions like we've never seen, they found a way to leave the country better than it was given to them. But, now, let's be honest with ourselves. We - this generation sitting here today - may be the very first generation of Americans since the founding of our republic to fail this test
"We have to fight for our futurefor our America. Because when we look our children in the eye, what will we tell them? Will we be forced to say that we left this mess to them, because the challenges were just too great? Or will we be able to look at them and say that in the face of great challenges, we changed our country. We rose to the day. We fixed a broken system and made our country stronger, safer and more prosperous than ever before. This is our moment."