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tv   Gov. Pritzker Speaks at NH Democratic Convention  CSPAN  June 21, 2022 1:11am-1:48am EDT

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political careers and accomplishments. both were keynote speakers as the 2022 convention. this is about 55 minutes. >> i am excited to see we have a northwestern university graduate running for governor of this great state.
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he will be a great governor and compassionate leader who will restore a woman's right to choose and fight like hell for working families. [applause] hello new hampshire democrats. i am so happy to be an estate like illinois where hard winters produce strong democrats. survive a polar vortex under three feet of snow and then you are ready to jump into american politics. i am thrilled to be here today in a state of notable first. new hampshire was the first colony to declare independence. you were the first state to send an american into space. the first potato planted in america was here in new
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hampshire, for which every one of our illinoisians thank you. [applause] but my favorite new hampshire first is that you are the first and only state to elect two different women to be governor and then senator. and both are democrats. [applause] it gives new validity to your own slogan, always first, always right. these are two strong women. vladimir putin is so scared of her, he banned her from russia. speaking of chris sununu, i heard he once described himself as a trump guy through and
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through, which might explain why he is so scared of pro-choice democratic women. [applause] but i do not blame him. i would not want to run against maggie hassan either. she is a powerhouse, saving the affordable care act. from republicans hell-bent on destroying it. she is a loud and proud supporter of women's reproductive rights. [applause] we need to send them a back to congress. in the history of the united states, it has never been more important to elect democratic governors and democratic members of the house and senate.
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i first ran for governor of illinois in 2018. the state was facing unprecedented challenges because we had a republican governor who decided to hold the state budget hostage. things in illinois government were a mess. my friends thought i was crazy to run for governor. they told me state government couldn't be repaired. and anyway, who would vote for someone like me? look, i'm a ukrainian american. jewish. [applause] gov. pritzker: i haven't finished the list yet, and it gets worse from here.
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[laughter] a ukrainian american jewish democratic billionaire businessman. that's not exactly the archetype that the party was looking for to run for governor. that's okay with me. i know who i am and where i come from. my great-grandfather arrived in chicago a refugee without a penny to his name. when the russians were killing jews in ukraine, a refugee assistance organization gave him a ticket on the ship bound for america and sent him to chicago. they found him a place to live and he got a free public school education. [applause] gov. pritzker: his grandson, my father, became a naval officer, an analyst decoding
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russian submarine transmissions during the cold war in the 1950's. he went on to start a successful hotel company. he was a democrat through and through. my mother was an elected democratic party leader and an activist for reproductive rights, for lgbtq rights, for societal change that 50 years ago was ahead of its time. [applause] gov. pritzker: i have been lucky in life and i know it. that is why i have worked hard. after law school, i founded my own successful business. i became a national leader and a national advocate for early childhood education. i cofounded a holocaust museum, started the world's number one small business incubator, chaired the illinois human
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rights commission and help to elect democrats for more than 30 years. [applause] the democratic values that my parents instilled in me about being down the front lives in the fight for human rights, giving a voice to the voiceless, about looking up working families, those are the values that led me to run for governor. my slogan when i ran for that campaign was, think big. and yes, it was a pun on my size. [laughter] it was also an expression of what i believed. smallmindedness only produces small results. i believe in being bold and setting goals that seem improbable, but are attainable if you would provide a vision. i believe in our democratic values and our ability to
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deliver. so i promised big things. i said i would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. [applause] i said i would pass a record-setting infrastructure bill, that i would enact comprehensive nation leading laws to fight climate change. and i said i would enshrine reproductive rights into illinois law. and you know what? we accomplished all of those things. [applause] i protected our elections, our criminal justice system. and i legalized cannabis. i could not have done that
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without the help of a democratic legislature willing to vote for big change. i have not yet accomplished everything on my list, but i will never let the fear of failure stop me from trying. because you know you cannot get what you do not try for. i finished my first year in office a little bit tired, but with historic victories in hand and optimistic about achieving success and even more big things on our democratic agenda. and then march of 2020 and a global pandemic came. consecutive daily press conferences on march 9 of that year. i remember how i finished my remarks on the first day. i warned the citizens of illinois that this is going to affect your daily lives.
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every hour of that terribly long first two months of the pandemic was dedicated to one emergency after another and a frantic search for more ppe and ventilators. i needed to find a way for the citizens of my state to breathe safely. so i did something that i never thought i would do. i called donald trump and i complimented him. and then i pleaded for help. let me be clear, i loath donald trump. every stump speech i delivered in in my 2018 campaign began with everything we care about is under siege by a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic president. i know i was not subtle.
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on march 23rd of 2020, i knew i needed to swallow my pride and lean on that man's ego. i sat at my desk and i wrote myself a script because i generally wear my heart on my sleeve. so there was every likelihood that i might blurt out "narcissist" or "bigot" while i was making my request. so i needed to write it down. and then i asked myself to get president trump on the phone. i asked my staff. he got on the call. and i said, like you mr. president, i am a former businessman. i told him. i normally do not like government interfering with the commercial market. but with regard to ventilators and ppe, if you could invoke the defense production act, it would stop the price gouging and put some order in the market. i told him if you have the power now to save lives, you need to
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do it by controlling the distribution of these goods and we need your help. and then, and forgive me, i promised i'd say nice things about him on twitter if he sent me ventilators and ppe. [laughter] so trump told me he would get back to me. a few hours later, peter navarro, and yes, that corrupt recently indicted peter navarro, called me and he promised everything would arrive soon. how soon, i asked? he said in trump time. spoiler alert. trump time, as it turns out, is kind of like infrastructure week. it didn't arrive until president biden was elected. [applause] gov. pritzker: when trump decided it would be better for
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his reelection if he politicized the pandemic, we had to refute his attacks on science. endure threats against our homes and families. we grieved the dead. we mourned with the living. we yearned for a white house that would have our backs. in illinois, we danced in the streets when president biden was elected and democrats won the senate. and they delivered on so many promises to bring much-needed aid to families and small businesses and cities and states. you know what republican elected officials did in my state before and during the pandemic? you are going too fast, they said. people are not ready for this. you are doing too many things at once.
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they said they wanted to stop mitigations and delivery about -- deliberate about the pandemic. they celebrated any setback. they diminished any victory. they made it harder every day to help working families and those who rely on government services to make ends meet. they tried to distract from solving actual problems by yelling about fake ones. they were enraged because i told voters i would do big things and i got those big things done. one truism in politics is nobody ever voted anyone in office to think small or to act decisively. republicans know this. but their game plan is to convince us that the most obvious of our political instincts are wrong. unfortunately, it is a game plan that has been working. in 2022, we are living in a new world.
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politics does not handle new very well. politicians in general like to reach to the past when they are trying to navigate forward. but our view of the past is a stone at the bottom of the river. all of its rough edges smoothed over and evened out by time and pressure. that sometimes leads to dangerous nostalgia. republicans know that we cannot live in the old world anymore, but they have some democrats convinced that our party should not try to embrace a new one. that is dumb and it is dangerous. these past few years, they have been so hard. i feel it is important that we say that. it is hard to manage your family through the pandemic. a pandemic that is still lingering. it is hard to pay a grocery bill.
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it is hard to take a vacation or afford gas or take a vacation. it is hard to find an affordable apartment. it is almost impossible to buy a house. it is hard to schedule a doctors appointment. it is hard to find a used car or purchase a sofa that will arrive before your toddler leaves for college. life is hard right now. especially for those who have traditionally been marginalized. and we do not do ourselves any favors by pretending it is not. the republican game plan is to get each of us to feel alone in a struggle we are all facing together. the republican game plan is to blame the hardships imposed by a deadly global pandemic on those who were following science. they want to cast obvious solutions to everyday problems as something exotic. or woke. they are hoping that nobody is
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willing to say that the emperor has no clothes. well, i'm here to tell you that the gop is naked and afraid. [applause] gov. pritzker: they are afraid of workers' rights to organize. they are afraid of a population unburdened by student debt. they are afraid of fighting inflation by prioritizing making critical goods right here at home. and holding bad actors accountable for driving up prices. they are afraid of fiscal policy that says that the highest income earners like me should pay the highest tax rates. they are afraid to unshackle the poor because it goes against
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their belief that they somehow deserve to live in poverty. they are afraid of prioritizing creating wealth in black and brown communities. and communities that have been left out and left behind. they are afraid when democrats say you cannot pull yourselves up by your bootstraps if you never had any boots. republicans are afraid the nation will see their old world ideas for what they are and instead will embrace the new world for what it can be. they are afraid of the world women have built for themselves. [applause] birth control, fertility treatments, safe access to abortion. these things have allowed women to decide how and when and if they would like to start a
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family. it enabled women to marry who they want to, when they want to. to make choices about their careers and education and financial stability and happiness. it gave women who desperately wanted children the chance to actually have them without being subject to the whims of genetics or fate. raise your hand if you know somebody or love somebody or are somebody whose life was changed by the entire rainbow of reproductive choice. that is the era of empowerment that roe v. wade ushered in. women did not have autonomy until they had the legal right to control their own bodies. that terrifies republican politicians. they have spent half a century trying to make us think that abortion is not something that should be available to everyday women. the right wing has made the word
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abortion verboten to say. they are trying to take it out of the political lexicon because when you make a word shameful, you make the people associated with that word shameful as well. it was purposeful and it was diabolical. it meant democratic politicians have spent decades trying to figure out how to talk about women's reproductive health without actually talking about abortion. it allowed the far right to advance sinister policies. it enabled this very moment we find ourselves in. days away from a supreme court decision that will allow laws that criminalize abortion. laws that put women and their doctors in jail for a medical procedure. illinois democratic women legislators were never fooled by
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the gop's sleight-of-hand. for the last five years, they have worked to advance and pass legislation taking trigger laws off the books and making sure that illinois would remain fiercely pro-choice. [applause] i have been very proud to be their ally and to work alongside them every step of the way because men need to show up for this fight. [applause] all of us need to be every bit as focused in guaranteeing the right to choose as the radical republican right has been in trying to take it away. in illinois, we trust women.
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in new hampshire, you trust women so much you have elected them to every office in the state. [applause] we together need to fight for a country that shares our pro-choice, pro-women democratic values. the republican party is so afraid of the power and influence women have achieved in our society that they are seeking to shame and criminalize your very autonomy. and they are playing the same game with guns. for a full year, republicans have been screaming about crime. they like to target my home city of chicago. chicago should be no one's punching bag. it is a beautiful city that boasts a glorious summer festivals, the very best cultural institutions, entertainment and the kindest
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and most amazing people you will ever meet. it is the birthplace of gospel music and the blues brothers. it is where barack obama is from. we are a diverse and compelling place and we are hoping to host you in chicago for the 2024 democratic national convention. [applause] like any big city, crime is a problem in illinois. republicans are hell-bent on making you believe that the solutions are simple. they begin and end with rhetoric that points at black and brown people and then they scream lock them up. reducing crime though starts with investments in violence interruption programs, youth employment, funding for mental
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health and providing law enforcement with the resources they need to solve crimes. [applause] but make no mistake. dealing with crime involves getting guns off the street also. and if the gop afraid we are going to start saying that more loudly than we have in the past. illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. we are willing to do a lot to get the weapons of war off of our streets. just last month, i signed a bill banning ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms that can be bought online. illinois was the first state in the midwest to do this. but do you know where nearly 60% of the guns that were recovered in chicago were from? out of state.
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we are doing everything we can to get guns out of hands but because of the republican politicians, those efforts often feel like pushing back the tide with the broom. we lost 19 children last month in texas. 19. 9, 10, and 11-year-olds. we lost two teachers who laid down their lives for their students. all because the murder waited until his 18th birthday, when it would be legal in texas to purchase an ar-15, the same weapon that has been used in almost every mass shooting in the united states because of its capacity to kill dozens of people in a short amount of time. we have lost so many children to gun violence. whether it is a horrific mass shooting in texas or a stray bullet in chicago. here is where the republican
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game plan is the most audacious. they want to distract you into believing that gay marriage, black history, disney world, and library books are more of a threat to our children then an ar-15. [applause] and if we cannot call [expletive] on that, well then, democrats, we do not deserve to win elections. [applause]
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do not claim to support parents rights until you are willing to protect the right of our children to live. do not lecture us about crime until you are willing to do something about guns. and do not tell us that you are pro-life because no part of the republican agenda is about life. if it was, health insurance would cover every last cent of giving birth. and childcare would be free. if it was about life, we would have the best family and leave medical policies in the world instead of the worst. if it was about life, refugee children coming here to escape violence would be embraced
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instead of incarcerated. because if it was about life, wearing a mask would be no big deal and getting vaccinated would be sacrosanct. if it was about like, there would be a bunch of kids from sandy hook elementary school graduating from high school this year. republicans are not the live free or die party. they are at the "live how i want you to live, and that may lead to you dying" party. they are counting on us to be so numb, that we will just give up. our majority is not silent, it is exhausted. i am worried people will not wake up if somebody does not start yelling. i am done with democrats pretending we can find political success in the watered down
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mishmash of policies that neither offend nor enlighten, but merely satisfy. i do not want cowardice to replace canned door -- candor. i want the lgbtq community to know we will not let them be forced back into the closet. i want our black and brown citizens to feel like they can count on us in a fight. that their welfare and safety does not ride on the whims of the electoral cycle. that we will do what we said we will do. that we will not back down because some gop ad maker figured out how to spin a melody
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out of a dog whistle. i want the truth to be self evident, the equality of women finally will be unalienable. that her liberty to pursue happiness is guaranteed. ours is the real patriotism for a free and fair election. for politicians who honor the nation george washington founded, that abraham lincoln preserved, and that martin luther king battled for the soul of. we stand with the people who barred the doors at the capitol on january 6, not the ones who try to knock them down. [applause]
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democrats, let's not be scared of who we are. let's stand up for who we are. i want to fight for who we are. the challenges that i faced as governor the last few years have brought an unusual clarity to my thinking. there was a point in march of 2020 when a member of my staff went to the whiteboard in my office and she drew two bubbles. one said more people die, and the other said less people died. that was the most effective decision tree for everything that we did during those first terrible months of covid. we looked at that board and ask ed ourselves, would the choice we were making right then lead to more or fewer people dying? in the end, nothing else mattered.
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it is why i was willing to put aside partisanship to call donald trump that long ago march day. in a world filled with certain uncertainty, it is why i am asking myself whether my decisions are bold enough and my thinking big enough to improve the lives of the people i represent. it is how i have come to value two things that we do not talk enough about in politics. courage and kindness. we have been led to believe that real courage is flashy, that it walks on stage and has grand gestures and big headlines. but that is not real courage. real courage is persistence in the face of endless struggle, where victory feels nearly
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impossible. real courage is seen in the nurses and doctors and the health care workers who spent every day of the last few years in hospitals praying for cures and common sense, hoping that maybe this surge would be the last. we expect courage to be rewarded with some sort of happy ending. but what happens when life demands courage endlessly for victories that are never large and a struggle that is never over? that is where courage meets kindness. true kindness will always help you find real courage. if you are wondering if kindness can lead to electoral success, i give you the example of president biden. in 2020, joe biden met rancor with empathy. he showed an outstretched hand
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can have more power than a clutched fist. we should not let ourselves forget that. in a 2018i used to end every campaign speech with one question. are you ready for the fight? it was my favorite question because the response was what you would expect. a loud yes from a room full of energized voters. in 2022, it takes more courage to answer yes to that question. the institutions that define us and protect us are in more peril than ever. it feels like the solutions that we turn to are less effective. then they have ever been. everything we care about is under siege, and we are all challenged to answer about whether we have the stamina, the endurance, the courage, and the kindness to meet this moment. the forces aligned against us
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want us to think that we do not. it is a psychological game. they want us tired and believing that we are powerless to change the course of democracy. they want us to feel hopeless because hopeless people do not fight. i earned a reputation as a n optimist. it drives the republican politicians in my state insane. they seem to take it personally that i do not badmouth illinois and the country. it is not that i do not see or care about our common problems and struggles. i do. and i work to address them every day. but i believe to my very core that if you want to save your home, you have to love it first. you have to love its good things and resolve to change its bad things. you have to love its past with
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all its warts. you have to love its future with all its worries. you have to use all your courage and all your kindness to keep that level life and maintain your resolve during our darkest days. why? because we fight for the things that we love. so new hampshire, i have to ask you one question. are you ready for the fight? [applause] gov. pritzker: are you ready for the fight, new hampshire? [applause] are you ready to fight for tom sherman and maggie hassan? are you ready to fight for this great state and this wonderful country? [applause] then let's get out there and fight for our country with the courage and the kind t


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