Excerpts from select speeches from the first night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The convention opened on July 25 and continues through July 28 at the Wells Fargo Center.
CONGRESSWOMAN LINDA SANCHEZ (California)
“Donald Trump believes that Mexican immigrants are murderers and rapists. But what about my parents Donald? Let me tell you what my parents are. They are the only parents in our nation’s 265-year history to send – not one – but TWO daughters to the United States Congress.”
“We know our children aren’t born with hate or racism in their hearts. They learn it from watching the world around them and following the example of the adults in their life. Too many of our children are watching and learning the wrong lessons from Donald Trump….”
“We’ve seen it at an Indiana basketball game, where a group of white students started chanting “build that wall” to taunt players from a predominantly Hispanic high school. This is the behavior Donald Trump inspires in our youth.”
MAYOR MARTY WALSH (Boston, Massachusetts)
“Good evening. My name is Marty Walsh, and I’m an alcoholic. On April 23 1995, I hit rock bottom. I woke up with little memory of the night before… and even less hope for the days to come. Everybody was losing faith in me. Everybody except my family… and the labor movement.”
“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I am lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility. Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, whether they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment.”
(Las Vegas, NV - Karla is an American citizen but her parents, including her mother, Francisca, are undocumented and live in fear of deportation. Karla met Hillary Clinton in Nevada and was featured in the campaign ad, Brave.)
“I don’t feel brave every day. On most days I’m scared… that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave. And I wonder…. What if I come home and find it empty? I want my parents to see me do science experiments and find my rare rocks in the desert. I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families.”
“Hillary Clinton told me that she would do everything she could to help us. She told me that I didn’t have to do the worrying because she would do the worrying. She wants me to have the worries of an 11 year old, not the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
“How do you tell your kids not to be a bully if their president is one? How do you tell your kids to respect their heritage if their president disparages it? How do you tell your daughters they are empowered if their president reduces women to their physical appearance?”
“Before I came out to the world on the cover of Sports illustrated, I came out privately to the Clinton family. I have known their family for almost 20 years. I knew that they would accept me for who I was; and that they would help pave a path for others to do the same. I am forever grateful for their words of wisdom back then and their unconditional support. They know that my sexual orientation made no difference in my ability to play basketball, just as someone’s gender makes no difference in his or HER ability to lead our nation.”
“I taught myself how to build software. When I was 26, I started my company with just $100 for advertising. Today we’re in more than 100 countries – and we’ve created 800 jobs in Raleigh.”
“Donald, I’m also a businessman. You build skyscrapers. I build in the cloud. But it’s clear you don’t understand something simple about business: what scares away investment is hate. Disgusting laws like North Carolina’s attack LGBT Americans are costing my state hundreds of millions of dollars. And now it’s cost us the NBA All-Star Game.”
SENATOR BOB CASEY (Pennsylvania)
“Donald Trump says he stands for workers and they he’ll put America first, but that’s not how he conducted himself in business. Where are his “tremendous” Trump products made? Dress shirts – Bangladesh. Furniture – Turkey. Picture frames – India. Wine glasses- Slovenia. Neck ties – China. Why would Donald Trump make his products in every corner of the globe but not in Altoona, Erie or here in Philadelphia.”
“Well, this is what he said: “outsourcing is not always a terrible thing.” Wages in America “are too high”. And then he complained about companies moving jobs overseas because “we don’t make things anymore.” Really?”
“You can choose a candidate who’s only out for himself, who wants get rid of the federal minimum wage and who would cut taxes for the richest Americans at the expense of the middle class. Or you can choose Hillary Clinton – a leader with a proven track record of fighting for an economy that works for all of us.”
MAYOR LUKE FEENEY (Chillicothe, Ohio)
“The last think Ohioans need is a president who has crushed small businesses by not paying them for the work they did. The last thing Ohio needs is Donald Trump.”
“Hillary’s dad was a small business owner. She gets it. Hillary knows America works best when it works for everyone. And she has a plan to make sure that entrepreneurs have all the tools they need to succeed.”
SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (New York)
“You see, Hillary Clinton’s life’s work has been defined by one question: ‘How we help those who need it most?’ Donald Trump’s has been defined by a very different question: ‘How can I help myself most?’”
“Donald Trump actually stood on a debate stage and said that wages are “too high”. Hillary knows that in the richest country in the world, it’s unacceptable that a mom with two kids working full-time still lives in poverty.”
“Donald Trump says that when it comes to paid family leave, “you have to be careful of it.” Hillary knows that it’s long past time for guaranteed paid family leave.”
“Donald Trump thinks that women should just work harder because – and I’m quoting – “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.” Every woman in America knows that’s not true! Hillary believes that women deserve equal pay for equal work.
The choice in this election couldn’t be clearer.”
SENATOR AL FRANKEN (Minnesota)
“I’m Al Franken. Minnesota Senator and world renowned expert on right wing megalomaniacs: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and now, Donald Trump…”
(New York, NY - Anastasia, along with her twin sister, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia when she was born and is an advocate for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Anastasia interned for Hillary Clinton in her U.S. Senate office and on the 2000 campaign for senate. Anastasia first met President Bill Clinton in 1993 at a town hall meeting for kids.)
“I first met Hillary as First Lady on a visit to the White House. I was 9 years old and I listened to her and my mom discuss healthcare and early intervention for children with disabilities. Over the past 23 years, she has continued to serve as a friend and a mentor… Championing my inclusion and access to classrooms, higher education and the workforce.”
“Donald Trump has shown us who he really is. And I honestly feel sorry for anyone with that much hate in their heart. I know we will show each other, and the world, who we really are in November – when we choose genuine strength and thoughtful leadership – over fear and division. Donald Trump doesn’t see me, he doesn’t hear me, and he definitely doesn’t speak for me.”
“I’m a ninth generation American from a small town in South Texas. And if you know your history, Texas used to be part of Mexico. My family never crossed a border. The border crossed us.”
“ When Donald Trump calls us criminals and rapists, he is insulting American families. My father isn’t a criminal or a rapist. In fact, he’s a veteran…”
“Hillary’s been fighting for us for decades. Now it’s time to fight for her!”
SENATOR CORY BOOKER (New Jersey)
“This is the high call of patriotism. Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good. We can’t devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other. We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love…”
“We have a presidential nominee in Hillary Clinton who knows that, in a time of stunningly wide disparities of wealth in our nation, America’s greatness must not be measured by how many millionaires and billionaires we have, but by how few people we have living in poverty.”
“Hillary knows when workers make a fair wage, it doesn’t just help their families, it builds a stronger, more durable economy that expands opportunity and makes all Americans wealthier.”
“She knows that in a global knowledge-based economy, the country that out-educates the world will out-earn the world, out-innovate the world, and lead the world.”
“She knows that debt-free college is not a gift, it’s not a charity, it’s an investment. It represents the best of our values, the best of our history, the best of our party: Bernie’s ideas, Hillary’s ideas, our shared ideas. Our shared values.”
“Hillary Clinton knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign: that we are not a zero sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another. It is you and I together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny.”
(San Antonio, TX - Cheryl Lankford heads up the local chapter of Gold Star Wives. Her husband, Jonathan M. Lankford, a command sergeant major in the Army, died in Baghdad in September 2007. In 2009, Lankford signed up for Trump University to find a way to get back on her feet. She said she spent $35,000 from an Army insurance payment to learn Mr. Trump’s secrets, and has nothing to show for it. She is a big Hillary Clinton supporter and called her a “hero.” Her story was previously reported in the New York Times. Ms. Lankford developed a business in her husband’s honor, Lankford Land Development, LLC.)
“You just saw what happened to me. How Trump University cheated me out of the money I received after my husband’s death. How they broke their promises. How they stopped taking my calls. How the whole thing was a lie…”
“Donald Trump made big promises about Trump University. And I was fooled into believing him. Now he’s making big promises about America. Please don’t make the same mistake.”
CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH KENNEDY (Massachusetts)
“First day of law school. First class. The goal: escape unscathed. Three seconds in, I get the first question:
‘Mr Kennedy, what is the definition of assumpsit?’
‘Mr Kennedy, you realize that assumpsit was the first word in your reading?’
‘Yes. I circled it because I didn’t know what it meant.’
‘Mr. Kennedy, do you own a dictionary? That’s what people use when they don’t know a word.’
I never showed up unprepared for Professor Elizabeth Warren again.”
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (Massachusetts)
“Trump thinks he can win votes by fanning the flames of fear and hatred. By turning neighbor against neighbor. By persuading you that the real problem in America is your fellow Americans – people who don’t look like you, or don’t talk like you, or don’t worship like you…
That’s Donald Trump’s America. An America of fear and hate. An America where we all break apart. Whites against Blacks and Latinos. Christians against Muslims and Jews. Straight against gay. Everyone against immigrants. Race, religion, heritage, gender – the more factions the better.
But ask yourself this. When white workers in Ohio are pitted against black workers in North Carolina, or Latino workers in Florida – who really benefits?
Divide and Conquer is an old story in America. Dr. Martin Luther King knew it. After his march from Selma to Montgomery, he spoke of how segregation was created to keep people divided. Instead of higher wages for workers, Dr. King described how poor whites in the South were fed Jim Crow, which told a poor white worker that, quote, “no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man.” Racial hatred was part of keeping the powerful on top.
When we turn on each other, bankers can run our economy for Wall Street, oil companies can fight off clean energy, and giant corporations can ship the last good jobs overseas.
When we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system.
Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump. The American people are not falling for it!
Editor's Note: Visit our website to read remarks by Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama and more.