Text of Clinton speech DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Campaign 1996


Here is the text of President Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention:

Mr. Chairman - Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice President, my fellow Democrats, and my fellow Americans. Thank you for your nomination. I - I don't know if I can find a fancy way to say this, but I accept. Thank you.

So many so many have contributed to the record we have made for the American people, but one above all - my partner, my friend, and the best vice president in our history, Al Gore.

Tonight I thank the city of Chicago, its great mayor and its wonderful people for this magnificent convention. I love Chicago for many reasons; for your powerful spirit, your sports teams, your lively politics, but most of all for the love and light of my life, Chicago's daughter, Hillary. Four years ago, you and I set forth on a journey to bring our vision to our country, to keep the American Dream alive for all who were willing to work for it, to make our American communities stronger, to keep America the strongest force for peace and freedom and prosperity.

Four years ago, with high unemployment, stagnant wages, crime, welfare and the deficit on the rise, with a host of unmet challenges and a rising tide of cynicism, I told you about a place I was born, and I told you that I still believe in a place called Hope. Well, for four years now, to realize our vision, we have pursued a simple but profound strategy: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, a strong, united American community.

Four days ago, as you were making your way here, I began a train ride to make my way to Chicago through America's heartland. I wanted to see the faces, I wanted to hear the voices of the people for whom I have worked and fought these last four years. And did I ever see them!

I met an ingenious businesswoman who was once on welfare in West Virginia; a brave police officer, shot and paralyzed, now a civic leader in Kentucky; an auto worker in Ohio, once unemployed, once unemployed, now proud to be working in the oldest auto plant in America, to help make America No. 1 in auto production again for the first time in 20 years.

I met a grandmother fighting for her grandson's environment in Michigan, and I stood with two wonderful little children proudly reading form their favorite book, "The Little Engine That Could."

At every stop, large and exuberant crowds greeted me, and maybe more important, when we just rolled through little towns, there were always schoolchildren there waving their American flags. All of them believing in America and its future.

I would not have missed that trip for all the world. For that trip showed me that hope is back in America. We are on the right track to the 21st century!)

'Look at what's happened'

Look at the facts. Just look at the facts. 4.4 million Americans now living in a home of their own for the first time. Hundreds of thousands of women have started their own new businesses. More minorities own businesses than ever before. Record numbers of new small businesses and exports.

Look at what's happened. We have the lowest combined rates of unemployment, inflation and home mortgages in 28 years. Look at what happened: 10 million new jobs, over half of them high-wage jobs. Ten million workers getting the raise they deserve with the minimum wage law. Twenty-five million people now having protection in their health insurance because the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill says you can't lose your insurance anymore when you change jobs, even if somebody in your family has been sick.

Forty million Americans with more pension security. A tax cut for 15 million of our hardest-working, hardest-pressed Americans, and all small businesses. Twelve million Americans, 12 million of them, taking advantage of the Family and Medical Leave law so they can be good parents and good workers.

Ten million students have saved money on their college loans. We are making our democracy work.

We have also passed political reform: the line-item veto, the motor-voter bill, tougher registration laws for lobbyists, making Congress live under the laws they impose on the private sector, stopping unfunded mandates to state and local government. We've come a long way. We've got one more thing to do. Would you help me get campaign finance reform in the next four years?

We have increased our investments in research in technology. We have increased investment in breast cancer research dramatically. We are developing a super-computer that will do more calculating in a second than a person with a hand-held calculator can do in 30,000 years. More rapid development of drugs to deal with HIV and AIDS and moving them to the market quicker have almost doubled life expectancy in only four years - and we are looking at no limit in sight to that.

We'll keep going until normal life is returned to people who deal with this.

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