During her speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton reflected on her loss during the presidential election in 2016 and urged Americans not to take this year's election’s outcome for granted.
"The morning after the last election, I said we owe Donald Trump an open mind and the chance to lead. I meant it. Every president deserves that. And Trump came in with so much set up for him, a strong economy, plans for managing crisis, including a pandemic," Clinton said.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee also took aim at Trump's coronavirus response.
"I wish Donald Trump knew how to be a president because America needs a president right now. Throughout this time of crisis. Americans keep going, checking on neighbors, showing up to jobs as first responders, hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes. Yes, it still takes a village. And we need leaders equal to this moment of sacrifice and service," Clinton said. "Remember back in 2016 when Trump asked what do you have to lose? Well, now we know. Our healthcare, our jobs, our loved ones. Our leadership in the world and even our post office," Clinton said.
Wednesday’s speech was Clinton’s sixth to the Democratic National Convention. In 1992 her husband, longtime Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, was the presidential nominee, but Clinton didn’t speak at that year’s convention. Her first DNC speech was in 1996, when the then-first lady faced criticism about the Whitewater scandal and for having too much influence on administration policy.
In 2000, Clinton spoke as a candidate for the Senate, and in 2004 the then-senator from New York introduced her husband. She was on stage in 2008 after her first presidential bid, backing Barack Obama, the man to whom she lost the nomination and in whose administration she later served as secretary of state. In 2016 she was the nominee and told delegates, "We just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.”
"Vote for the parents and teachers struggling to balance children's education and safety. For healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 with little help from the White House. Vote for paid family leave and healthcare for everyone. For social security and medicare. And Planned Parenthood. Vote for dreamers and their families. Vote for law enforcement. Purged of racial bias that keeps all our streets safe. Vote for justice," Clinton said.
Clinton took the time to acknowledge the high profile deaths of Black people, which led to uprisings in cities around the country.
"For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. But Black Lives Matter. Vote for honest elections. So we — not a foreign adversary — choose a president. Vote for the diverse, hopeful America we saw in last night's roll call. And don't forget, Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose. Take it from me. So we need numbers overwhelming. So Trump can't sneak or steal his way to victory," Clinton said.
Four years after she made history as the first woman nominated for president by a major party, Clinton will nod to another enduring legacy: the millions of women inspired by her 2016 bid who marched, ran for office and have become a powerful force in taking on Trump. Her presence Wednesday night comes as California Sen. Kamala Harris became the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major presidential ticket and one day after the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
"Tonight I'm thinking of the girls and boys who see themselves in America's future because of Kamala Harris. A Black woman, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants and our nominee for vice president. This is our country's story. Breaking down barriers and expanding the circle of possibility," Clinton said.
Clinton added, "To the young people watching, don't give up on America. Despite flaws and problems we have come so far. We can still be a more just, equal country with opportunities previous generations could never have imagined. There's a lot of heartbreak in America now. The truth is many things were broken before the pandemic. As the saying goes, the world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places. That's Joe Biden. He knows how to keep going, unify and lead. Because he's done that for his family and country. So come November, if we're strong together, we'll heal together. We'll redeem lt soul and the promise of our country. Led by President Joe Biden. And Vice President Kamala Harris."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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