Jim Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry

– video C-SPAN  |  CBSN Red & Blue 

Friday, June 21, 2019 at Coble Plaza, behind EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, SC.

21 CANDIDATES: Bennet, Biden, Booker, de Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Klobuchar, Messam, Moulton, O'Rourke, Ryan, Sanders, Swalwell, Warren, Wells, Williamson and Yang.

Background: This event was part of South Carolina Democratic Weekend, which included the Blue Palmetto Dinner earlier the same evening and the SCDP Convention the next day.  The Clyburn fish fry has become a tradition; Clyburn held his first one in 1992 to thank volunteers who had worked on his congressional campaign.  The fish fry was formerly held in a parking garage, but it has grown over the years.  Candidates were allowed to speak for a "generous moment," which meant from a little over one minute to three minutes depending on the candidate.  The program moved along efficiently; it took just over an hour for the 21 candidates to speak.  There would have been 22 but Mayor Buttigieg, who had been scheduled to speak, was in South Bend on account of the recent police-involved shooting there.

ed. note: Compare the remarks below.  Many or most of the candidates simply gave mini-versions of their stump speeches.  A few gave it a more personal touch, taking time to acknowledge Clyburn and his accomplishments.


Clyburn: Ladies and gentlemen, he's a former congressman, I told a group tonight, I give him credit for helping establish the tone that made our comeback possible.  Many of you recall one night on the floor of the House of Representatives.  John Lewis led a sit-down.  And we were told that it was against the rules.  But when John Lewis sat down at those lunch counters down in Georgia it was against the rules.  However he sat down anyway.  And to make sure that the country knew what we were doing, this man, Beto O'Rouke [strange pronunciation] put together, he put together an effort that led to everybody knowing what we were doing.  People came from all over Georgia and Virginia and Maryland and we stayed on that floor until 2 a.m. in the morning and we saw him re-establish this party in the state of Texas.  Beto O'Rouke [strange pronunciation]

Beto O'Rourke

How's everybody feeling? Muy buenas noches. I am so grateful for Majority Whip Clyburn for his work, along with Joe Cunningham, to make sure that the House of Representatives, closed the Charleston loophole, that we made progress on ending gun violence in this country.

But one of the things that I'm most grateful to you for, sir, is his work on the Reconstruction Era National Monument (+) and Penn Center, making sure that the full story of United States of America is told to the people of the United States of America. Because we know that when everyone's story is included in our national story, i is only then, we can write the wrongs and set this country on the right path. So following the lead and the inspiration of Jim Clyburn, we've been going to every single part of this state to listen to everyone.

Going to Sumter to listen to those veterans who put their lives on the line for this country, to make sure that when they return we spare no expense to deliver for them, and that we end the wars that we are in and bring those service members back home.

Going to Beaufort, and with Queen Quet (+) of the Gullah Geechee, paying respects at the grave site of Robert Smalls (+) to make sure that he's in this national story, and understand how the people of the Low Country will meet the challenge of climate change, before it is too late.

Going to Voorhees in Denmark, South Carolina, and listening to people who just want to be able to drink the water that comes out of the top, and they want a federal government and a president who will invest in their communities.

And then going to South Carolina State University, and listening to people talk about justice, where every single person's story is included so there's justice for every single American.

If we bring everyone's story into the story of this country, it is only then we will achieve the great things that we want to do: universal, guaranteed high quality healthcare; a world class public school education system because we get behind world class public school educators; criminal justice reform in this country; confronting the challenge of climate change before it is too late.

So, South Carolina, thank you for sharing your story with us, making it part of the national story and ensuring that this country can meet the greatest challenges that we've ever faced, and do it together.

[Spanish] Gracias.  We'll see you later.  Adios.  Thank you very much.

Thank you so much, Beto,. thank you.  Now ladies and gentlemen, the next person up needs no introduction. He is the former vice president of these United States. Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Biden.

Joe Biden
Hello everybody. It's great to be back—this is my third fish fry, Jim. Number three. I think I've been in every one of your counties over the years. It seems like I've lived in No- South Carolina for a long time.

Look. It's a delight to be here with Jim and it was pointed out today, the highest ranking African American in the history of the United States of America other than the guy I worked with for eight years.

And folks look, you all know in your gut this election is more important than any one, no matter how old or young you are you are, you've ever been involved in. Not because any one of us are running, but  because of the man who occupies that office. We can make up the four years of damage he's done, but eight years of damage will be almost impossible to get back. So folks, I'm here to tell you, I hope to be your nominee. I'm going to work as hard as I can to get your support. but here's the deal, whomever the Democratic nominee is, we have to stay together and elect a Democrat, President of the United States of America.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. And I tell you what I do miss Fritz being here. Jim, thank you. Nice to see y'all.

Thank you so much. We might have to put this as a day down in history—that's the shortest speech Joe Biden ever made.

Now ladies and  gentleman, I understand that today is national selfie day. If that is true, we got the best representation of that fact that one could have. Next up, I call him the selfie man of the United States of America, my good friend Cory Booker.

Cory Booker
Hello South Carolina! Give it up for Jim Clyburn!

Alright. There's a whole bunch of candidates going to be coming on this stage, but this election is not about one person in one office. It is about who we are as a nation, and who we must be to each other. And so let us dedicate ourselves in this election to making this about taking it back, not for elected, not for connected, but for the people of the United States of America.

And we all must make sure that we may be in the midst of a primary but when the primary is over, we become a united force.

Not just to beat, not just to beat one guy in one office, but we become a united force to put the indivisible back in this one nation under God, and stand up for liberty and justice for all. And so now, this is a fish fry so I want to end with this. From one dad to aguy likes that dad jokes. Let's not flounder. Let's get out there and kick some bass. Alright.

Clyburn: That's great. Thank you, And now ladies and gentlemen, this next candidate is an author who has written many self help books, a great friend of Oprah Winfrey, and now a presidential candidate. Put your hands together for the woman who is writing a self help guide on how to become president of the United States, Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson
Thank you so much, congressman.

Ladies and gentlemen, in 1863 at the battlefield where the soldiers at Gettysburg had died, Abraham Lincoln said that they had died so that a government of the people, and by the people, and for people would not perish from the Earth.

And yet today in 2019 on our watch, a government of the people, and by the people, and for the people, is perishing in front of our eyes.

A government of the people, by the people and for the people has become a government of a few of the people, for a few of the people, by a few of the people, of multinational corporations, by multinational corporations, and for multinational corporations. A capitalism gone amok, a virulent strain of capitalism has corrupted our government and it has hijacked our moral value system. It is time for the people to step in.

We need a moral and a political and an economic revolution in this country. In 1776, we said hell no to an aristocracy, and it's time to say it again. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for our generation. A generation rose up and abolished slavery. A generation rose up and gave women the right to vote. A generation rose up and abolished segregation. Ladies and gentlemen, it is our time; it is time for the people to step in. Thank you. See you tomorrow.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you congressman.

Cylburn: Thank you so very, very much. Now ladies and gentlemen, our next candidate announced his candidacy in the most milennial way possible. He announced on late night, TV, and the next day, on Twitter. My good friend, he really is my good friend, Eric Swalwell.

Eric Swalwell
Thank you Whip Clyburn. I think it's so appropriate that you gave us all the same t shirt, because I believe our candidates are a part of the Avengers. We're here save America. The Republicans— that's the Hunger Games.

But I have to ask you South Carolina. Were you finished with your work when you made us in the majority in the House of Representatives by sending us Joe Cunningham?  Were you done?  No.

You know what you did, you gave us the majority. You gave us a shot to save our country; you cut our time in hell in half. I'm running for president to bring the promise of America now to all Americans.

I was the first in my family to go to college. My dad was a cop. They worked hard so I would do better and dream bigger. We have an opportunity now with 28 new members of Congress in their 40s and under. Let's seize this moment.

Will the future be for health care, a health care guarantee where if you're sick, you're seen and you don't go broke.

Will the future for college be zero percent interest on student loans.

Will the future for our democracy get rid of dirty maps and dirty money.

And will the future for women's health care say, her body, her choice.

And will the future for ending gun violence say that we love our children more than we love our guns.

So here's my pledge to you. Ending gun violence will be my top priority. We passed background checks in the House of Representatives because you sent us Joe Cunningham.

Make me your nominee, you will get sick and tired of seeing me 'cause I'm going to come here all the way to November to help elect Jamie Harrison to the Senate, so we can pass that there too.

So let's challenge the next generation to go big on the issues, be bold with the solutions and do good again as Americans. Thank you so much. Thank you, Whip.

Clyburn: Thank you very much, Eric. Our next candidate comes to us all the way from Colorado. He has been a restauranteur, he has been a geologist, he's been a mayor, he's been a governor and he is aspiring for the next office, John Hickenlooper from California.

John Hickenlooper
Alright. How are we doing out there, South Carolina?

I want to thank Rev. Clyburn, thank you for putting this together. I want to thank all the volunteers that this is really in honor off. You know I, my name is john Hickenlooper. I'm a small business owner who took that scrappy spirit into being governor of Colorado. And I want to give you just a few examples of what we did there with that scrappy spirit.

We expanded women's reproductive rights, and we were reduced teenage abortion by 66%.

We were the first state to legalize marijuana; in the process we also changed our legal system.

We closed two prisons.

We got to near universal health care.

We passed universal background checks.

We have the most secure voting system in the country and some of the highest turnouts. You should care about that.

We also have the number one economy in America for last three years, and the best apprenticeship program this side on the Atlantic.

I want to take that same, those same processes, those same successes and roll them out for the country. A lot of people here have a lot of good ideas. We've done it. And I think if it worked in Colorado, it'll work for the United States of America.

Thank you all for being here.

Clyburn: Thank you so much governor. Our next candidate is a former Mayor, a former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a young man who aspires for another housing program, the White House of the United States of America. My good friend, Julian Castro.

Julián Castro
Buenas noches. Good evening. Thank you Whip Cllyburn. You know I have a twin brother Joaquin that serves with Representative Clyburn. We grew up on the west side of San Antonio with my grandmother and my mom. My grandmother had come over from Mexico when she was seven years old as a little girl because her parents died. She never finished elementary school in San Antonio so she worked as a maid, a cook and a babysitter her whole life. She raised my mom as a single parent, and my mom raised my brother and me as a single parent too. And to think that just two generations after my grandmother got here with nothing to the United States, one of her grandsons is serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other one is running for president of the United States of America.

That is America, that is its promise. And you know in this campaign we're not just gonna talk the talk, we're gonna walk the walk, we're gonna be fearless.

A couple of months ago, I was in Charleston, a couple of blocks away from the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. And it reminded me that four years ago someone went in there, and he murdered nine people. And then a few hours later, he was apprehended by police without incident.

And it made me think. Well then, what about Eric Garner? And what about about Stephon Clark? And what about Jason Pero? And what about Laquan McDonald? And what about Pamela Turner? And what about Sandra Bland? And what about Walter Scott?

We're going be fearless about making sure that this country works for everyone, whether it's dealing with police brutality or making sure that we don't have another Flint because we invest in ensuring that lead is not a major public health threat or we invest in affordable housing. Wwe can be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth. Let's go make it happen.

Gracias. Thank you. Thank you.

Clyburn: Thank you. Thank you so much, Julián. Our next candidate is someone with whom I've worked withvery closely, over the years. We have been the fearless duow hen it comes to expanding healthcare through community health centers. He ran before; he's back again. Ladies and gentlemen, My friend, your friend, Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders
Thank you. Thank you.

Let me thank Jim Clyburn, not only for being a great congressman, but for working together to make sure that everybody in this country can at least have high quality primary health care.

You know, we've got a president today who thinks he's gonna win reelection by dividing the American people up.

Well we've got some bad news for him.

We're gonna do it exactly the opposite. We are going to bring the American people, together, black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American, and we're going to bring our people together around an agenda that works for all of us, not just the 1%.

Health care is a right, not a privilege.

We are going to raise that minimum wage to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour.

We are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free.

And we are going to substantially reduce student debt.

Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax.

Well Donald Trump is wrong and together we are going to take on the fossil fuel industry and we are going to transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

We are the richest country in the history of the world. 500,000 people should not be sleeping out on the streets tonight.

Gentrification should not be destroying neighborhoods. We're going to put people to work rebuilding our infrastructure and building the affordable housing this country desperately needs.

Brothers and sisters, at the end of the day. the 1%, they got a lot of money and they got a lot of power, but we got something they don't have.

We are the 99%.

And 99% is a hell of bigger number than 1%.

Let us stand together. Let us defeat Trump, let us transform this country. Thank you all.

Clyburn: Thank you so much. And now ladies and gentlemen, our next candidate, is a gentleman who decided that it was not difficult enough to be mayor of New York City. He decided to take on something even a little more difficult, and that is running the United States of America. The mayor of New York City Mayor, Mayor de Blasio.

Bill de Blasio
Everybody, Congressman Jim Clyburn was a civil rights activist in his youth, now one of the great leaders of the United States of America. Let us thank him for all he does.

And Congressman that is some damn good fish. Thank you for the fish fry.

Everybody, our party needs to be the party of working people. I have a simple message: Working People First. Do you agree with that? Working People First. Working people are the heart of this country, but the government is not on the side of working people. We have no such illusion; we have to make a change.

Now in New York. I've proven it does not have to be a government of, and by and for the 1%. In New York, we listen to the people, and we have given things to working people they deserve. We put money back in the hands of working people; we need to put money back in the hands of South Carolinians and Americans everywhere. What we have done:

We have done pre-K for every child for free. Do you want that in South Carolina?

We have made sure that working people if they get sick, God forbid, they get paid sick days so they have to choose between going to work, and earning a day's pay or going to the doctor get well.  Do you deserve paid sick days in South Carolina?

We, we believe in the Green New Deal in New York City. Do you believe in the Green New Deal?

We're making it come alive in New York and we can make it come alive in this whole country. And you know what else we've done, we have divested $5 billion from the fossil fuel companies that put us in this mess to begin with.

And one more thing, one more thing. I got sick of waiting for Washington to address health care. Today in New York, we guarantee health care for anyone who does not have insurance; we guarantee it. We give them a primary care doctor for free. Do you think you need that South Carolina?

Do you think people should have to go to the emergency room and that's their only doctor? We need to guarantee health care and by the way, there is no health care without mental health care.

And I want to thank my wife Chirlane McCray, first lady of New York City, who is leading the charge in New York and around the nation. Everyone deserves access to the mental health care they need without any stigma, without any discrimination.

So my friends, our party. our party needs to be to every American clearly the party of working people. We need to be the party that's on the side of people have been ignored for so long. We need to be the party that's willing to take on the rich and the powerful once and for all.

When we become in the eyes of everyday Americans the party of working people again, we will not only defeat Donald Trump, we will defeat Trumpism. We will defeat all the division. We will defeat all the hatred. We will unify this country because it will be a place for everyone again. Let's be the party of working people. Let's be a country that honors working people, and let's win in 2020 Thank you everyone.

Clyburn: Thank you very, very much. And now, ladies and gentlemen, our next speaker demonstrates that there is something in the water out in Colorado. Ladies and gentlemen, a United States Senator from the state of Colorado, a good buddy, Michael Bennett.

Michael Bennet
I don't know if it's in the water Mr. Whip, in Colorado it might be something else.

Hello everybody, I'm Michael Bennett from Colorado. You may not have heard of me. I haven't spent my life running for office. I'm not a career politician. In fact, I was a school superintendent before I was in the Senate. But I want to say a couple things tonight while I'm on the stage. Thank you Mr Whip for your incredible leadership of this country.

It is an unbelievable thing that as we meet here tonight, we have a president in the White House who does not believe in the rule of law. We have a president who doesn't believe in an independent judiciary. We have a president who doesn't believe in the constitutionally granted right to a free press. We have a president who doesn't believe in a woman's right to choose. We have a president who doesn't believe in universal health care, and he's taken health care away from millions of Americans. We have a president who denies that climate change is real.

In my view, we have a president who doesn't care about America. I don't think he loves America. I don't think he loves anybody but himself. And if you didn't vote for him, he's not working for you, and he doesn't think you count. And he wants to take your vote away from you. And he wants to take your chance for free speech away from you.

We need to pick this guy in 2020. And the only way we're going to do it is by overovercoming the divisive politics that he represents, the rearview mirror that he represents. We need to go forward, united, on an agenda that brings the American people together around healthcare, around our economy and around climate change. I think we can do it, and not just beat Donald Trump, but govern this country again and do the right thing by the next generation of Americans.

Thanks for being here tonight. Thanks for having me, Mr Whip. We'll see you soon, South Carolina.

Clyburn: Thank you very much, Senator. Our next candidate. We have a woman who is the reigning arm wrestling champion from the state of New York. The woman who proved to me that they've got more cornfields in upstate New York than we have here in South Carolina, Kristen Gillibrand.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Thank you. I just want to thank Congressman Clyburn for hosting us, for making this opportunity for all of us to have the best fish fry in the nation. God bless you. God bless, Congressman Clyburn. Thank you.

So ladies and gentlemen, the one thing you need to know about me is that I have taken on the powerful and the corrupt my entire career.

I took on the Pentagon twice. First over the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. And then over sexual violence in the military.

As a member of Congress from New York State, I took on the banks. I voted against the bailout twice.

I've taken on members of Congress many times, first by posting my earmarks, my schedule, my financial disclosure and my taxes, and then passing a law that bans insider trading by members of Congress.

And I've taken on President Trump more than any other in the Senate, voted against his agenda more than anyone else.

So I will take on the battles that other people won't because that's what this presidential election is actually about—about standing up for our democracy, about fighting for our values, about making sure our voices are heard. In 2018 record number of people turned out, over 100 women ran for Congress and won, because we stood up to President Trump.

Imagine, imagine not just a woman having a seat at the table, but imagine a woman at the head of the table. Imagine what the agenda would be.

In order to do any of the good ideas we've heard tonight, any of them, the first thing you need to do is go to the root of the corruption—you need clean elections; you've gotta root out political corruption with publicly funded elections. Once you restore that democracy, that power, into the hands of the people so you have as much power as any Koch brother, then you can do all the things we talked about. Healthcare is a right and not a privilege. Medicare for all, single payer health care. When do you do that, you can pass a Green New Deal, take on the corrupt polluters, take on the fossil fuel industry. And you can make sure that we have lower prescription drugs by taking on the drug companies, taking on the opioid industry.

So I promise you, the best way to take on a bully, is to stand up to him and fight for what we believe in, and that's what we in this country will do it 2020. God bless America.

Clyburn: Thank you very much Kirsten. Our next candidate for president of the United States in a big snowstorm. And she kept those snowflakes in her hair so long. I thought she needed to come down here to South Carolina to get rid of them. So, Amy Klobuchr, come forward, the Senator from Minnesota.

Amy Klobuchar
Thank you so much Mr. Clyburn, and you know the last time we were together at this fish fry, when I spoke here, I think it gives us all good luck South Carolina, because the last time was the year that we elected Barack Obama as President.

Okay, so yes I announced in the middle of that snowstorm. And afterwards, the president of the United States sent out a tweet, and he made fun of me for talking about climate change in the middle of a blizzard. So I wrote back, Donald Trump the science is on my side. And I'd like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard.

Okay. The reason I did that by that river was that I wanted to make a point that it's time to cross the river of our divides to get to a higher plane in our politics. And my background is a little different than Donald Trump's. My grandpa was an iron ore miner. My mom was a teacher and a proud union member. My dad was a newspaper man, and I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man, as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota, and a candidate for president of the United States.

That, that is what America is about. These shared dreams, the simple idea that no matter where you come from, no matter who you know, no matter if you don't have money or not, no matter where you worship, no matter how you love, that you can succeed in this country.

And we have a man in the White House right now, that divides us every day. He goes after immigrants, he goes after people of color, he decides he's going to send us to war by tweet, and we need to come together and win.

And every great thing that my colleagues have said up here, we need to get done. We need to go after climate change, right. We need to do something about prescription drugs and bring those costs down. We need to go after college costs and bring them down, but none of this is going to happen unless you vote.

So I'm going to end with this. There is nothing more important than voting, not only for president, but for all of your ticket, the great Joe Cunningham if you're over there in Charleston, for, for Rep. Clyburn, for all your candidates for state House, for state Senate, and you've got to do it. And the way we do it, by the way, is reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act by start– by stopping what they have done, Stacey Abrams would be governor in Georgia right now if they hadn't done what they would do. That is right. That is true.

So my last thing I ask you, I'd love your support, because my number one goal for our democracy right now is to pass my bill to automatically register every kid in this country when they turn 18.

That is how we move this country. I'd love your support. Thank you, everyone. Thank you South Carolina.

Clyburn: Thank you Senator. Thank you so much. Our next candidate comes up to us from middle America. He has the experience of watching a small town lose all of its economic impact, watching working men and women not do well, a guy I spent a lot of time with up in Washington DC. But I turned on my TV the other morning and he was doing yoga. I don't know what that means, but Tim Ryan it's your mic, and do a yoga move.

Tim Ryan

Thank you Jim Clyburn and I think we're doing some hot yoga right here tonight.

Thank you so much. My name is Tim Ryan. I represent a congressional district that's in Northeast Ohio halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. And I can tell you stories, going back 40 years where my father in law lost his job at Youngstown Sheet and Tube 40 years ago, unemployed for 13 months, had a second daughter, had a mortgage, borrowed money from his parents.

I could tell you a story about my cousin Donnie, who was a Vietnam vet. 15 years ago his last act he did at the company he worked for was to unbolt the machine from the factory floor, put it in a box and ship it to China.

I could tell you a story just a few weeks ago, of a General Motors plant my district that used to have 16,000 workers, that is now idle.

And what I want you to know here in South Carolina is that when those factories close, I know who works in them. They're my family. They're my friends. And the middle class has been getting screwed now for 40 years; it's time for us to reclaim our place in the American democracy that we have here.

And we do this, my friends, by building again in the United States of America, by making things again in the United States of America, by filling these factories where we make the electric vehicles, where we make the batteries, where we make the solar panels, where we reverse climate change, by putting the American people back to work.

We do this, we do this, my friends, we do this my friends, by moving the center of gravity in the Democratic Party back to the middle of the country and back to the South. And if we do that, we will send Donald Trump packing, but we will also send Mitch McConnell packing, we will, we will win a seat in North Carolina, we will win a seat in West Virginia, we will win a seat in Iowa, and we will send lLndsey Graham packing too. Thank you.

Clyburn: Thank you Tim. Oh next candidate is a member of the House of Representatives. But before that, he gave his all. so that we could stand here tonight. A man who spent three tours of duty in Afghanistan, sacrificing on our behalf.  Ladies and gentlemen, Seth Moulton.

Seth Moulton
Thank you very much. Good evening, South Carolina.

I am a United States Marine veteran. I am a United States Congressman, and I am a young father. And I do not want my eight-month old daughter growing up in a country defined by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump thinks he knows what patriotism is. He thinks that patriotism is hugging the flag. Patriotism is standing up every single day to make sure the flag stands for something.

Donald Trump also thinks that he is above the law. And that is wrong. Which is why I was the first candidate in this race to say that the job of the United States House of Representatives when a president breaks the law is to start impeachment proceedings, and we should have done that a long time ago.

I have fought for this country, and I will fight for you. And someone who has been fighting for you for 25 years is Jim Clyburn. And I just want to tell you one quick thing. When I came to the United States Congress, I defeated an 18 year incumbent in my own party. I was not exactly the popular kid on the block. And a lot of people said they would be a good mentor to me, but one man took me under his wing, introduced me to all his friends and made sure that I got off to a great start. That's your Jim Clyburn. It's our Jim Clyburn. A great American. Thank you all very much.

Clyburn: Thank you. And now, ladies and gentleman, our next candidate. [supporters chanting] Alright, the leader of the Yang Gang.

Andrew Yang
Hello, South Carolina! It is so fantastic to be here with you. I am not a career politician; I am an entrepreneur and a problem solver.

And I'm here to solve the biggest problem, the biggest challenge of our time. It is a challenge that got Donald Trump elected in 2016. The reason why Donald Trump is our president today is this. We automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs here in South Carolina, in Michigan, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in Missouri, in Iowa. And my friends in technology know that what we did to the manufacturing jobs, we will now do to the retail jobs, the call center jobs, the fast food jobs, the truck driving jobs and on and on through the economy.

We are in the midst of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of our country, what experts are calling the fourth industrial revolution. And I am running for president to help manage this transition and advance real solutions for the American people that would help improve our lives.

Now if you've heard anything about me you heard this, there's an Asian man running for president who wants to give everyone $1,000 a month.

And all three of those things are dead true, South Carolina.

What would $1,000 a month mean for the college kid struggling at USC, or Columbia College to pay your bills and your tuition and your textbooks? What would $1,000 a month mean for the single mom who's trying to create a better life for their son or daughter? What would $1,000 a month mean for the elderly South Carolinian who's struggling with prescription drug prices that are going higher and higher?

This is the vision of a trickle up economy that with your help we will take to the rest of the country in 2020. Trickle up from our families, our communities, up. What do you think, South Carolina?

This is the vision. We have to solve the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place. Now Donald Trump is our president because he got some of the problems right but his solutions were garbage and nonsense. His solutions were build a wall, turn back time, bring the jobs back, and we have to do the opposite of all that. We have to turn the clock forward. We have to advance our society and our economy as fast as possible, and I am the man for that job because the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math. Let's make America think harder. Thank you, South Carolina. I love you. Thank you, Congressman Clyburn.

Clyburn: Thank you, Andrew. Ladies and gentlemen, our next candidate is also a mayor from the state of Florida...  Mayor Wayne Messam.

Wayne Messam
Thank you Congressman Clyburn. Hello South Carolina! I'm Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam, and my wife of 21 years Angela Messam.

I drug her all the way up to South Carolina, and yes I'm getting out of the doghouse. So help me say I'm sorry, baby.

But South Carolina, I'm Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam. I stand before you as a son of immigrants. My father was a contract sugar cane cutter who cut sugar cane in the hot sun of South Florida for 75 cents per row of sugar cane.

I'm not supposed to be in front of you today. I have not been the candidate you've seen on the CNN town halls, Fox town halls, MSNBC town halls, but I'm a former football player at Florida State University under legendary coach Bobby Bowden, and sorry former Clemson Tiger friends, I caught my first touchdown against Clemson, for the Heisman trophy winner Charlie Ward.

But I went on. After my NFL career was cut short, my wife and I, we built a construction management company, one of the fastest minority firms in Florida, and we're proud of that and we're grateful for that. And I'm living the American Dream that my parents came here for, but I see that for too many Americans that American Dream is slipping away.

So let's talk about what I've done as a mayor. And a mayor– city of Miramar, Florida, we're the 13th largest city in the state of Florida, but we're finding a lot of issues that's transferable across this country.

I'm suing the state of Florida right now so that I as a mayor can put sensible gun control laws in my city. If I don't want, if I don't want assault style weapons in our parks, don't you know the governor of Florida can remove me from office, fine me $5,000, and my city can be sued. That's ridiculous isn't it? But I'm not sitting back; I'm suing the state for that.

Right now, there is a– big oil is trying to drill oil right outside of my city in the Everglades. And we're fighting that right now.

As a mayor, we passed the living wage in our city, because we feel our city workers should not have to work more than one job to take care of their families,.

We banned the box in my city because you may have had a hiccup in your past, so we don't ask the question if you've been arrested if you're trying to get your life back on track.

America, my friends, for us to win this election, we cannot forget the disenchanted. I was the first candidate to propose a complete forgiveness of student loan debt in this country: $1.5 trillion affecting 44 million Americans. I'm so glad to see other candidates have proposed their own plan because we know that the access to higher education is too far reaching for many of us especially people of color, and women who own almost over 50% of that debt. We can do that.

We have a president in this country right now that is so bent up on building a wall on our southern border. The political will is just that strong that he'll take money away from our bases to build it. So my question to you is, why isn't our political will so strong enough that we'll provide health care to every American in this country. Why don't we have the political will to have sensible gun control in America. Why don't we have the political will to make sure that we pass the living wage of $15 an hour in this country so that Americans can really be able to take care of their family.

So if you want to support this campaign, I want to thank you, South Carolina. You gave me my second national poll and I'm only one poll away from making it to the debates. So if you want to continue to help my campaign visit wayneforusa.com, wayne f o r usa.com, because I tell you, I will bring a championship voice to this race. There's more ideas. So thank you for having me this evening. Thank you Mr. Clyburn for having such a great fish fry. I think I had too many pieces, but I'm going to get a couple more. We love you, South Carolina. Take care.

Clyburn: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Our next candidate is my classmate. We came to Congress together, sworn in in 1993. I'm still hanging 'round Congress. He is now retired as the governor of the state of Washington. Ladies and gentlemen, my good buddy, Jay Inslee.

Jay Inslee
Hi, my name's Jay Inslee, I'm governor of the state of Washington. Before I say anything else, can we give a big thanks for the people who fed us tonight. They were incredible. A lot of work going on.

Listen, we know that we've got hot fish and cold beer, two of the best things in the world, but we do have a little serious work to do tonight and I want to talk to you about two things. I want to talk to you about one of the reasons I've always been Jim Clyburn's big fan.

Back when George Bush was trying to start a war in Iraq, and the war drums were beating. and the deception was [inaud.] and John Bolton and his crew was trying to start a war in the Mid East, Jim Clyburn stood like a big oak tree against the Iraq war and I stood with him. And now, that same strength that this man showed, we got a show to stop a war in Iran. That's what the Democratic Party needs to do. And I hope you're gonna stand with me in that regard.

Now the second thing I'll say is I think this country deserves the president who doesn't lie to us all the time. Now there's a lot of lies that can get to us, but there's one that bugs me the most. When he says that climate change is a hoax when our towns are burning down; when our fields are flooded; when our coastlines are inundated; when he says that wind turbines cause cancer. We Democrats know they don't cause cancer, they cause jobs, and we are going to put people to work in this nation defeating climate change, because we are going to make defeating the climate crisis the number one job of the United States. And when we do that we're going to put 8 million people to work in union jobs, IBEW members, machinists, carpenters, steel workers. This is the destiny of the United States. Let's go beat climate change; it's our destiny. Thanks a lot.

Clyburn: Thank you. And now ladies and gentlemen, our next candidate is also a friend and former colleague. I had my biggest book signing event in his home, hosted by him and his great wife. Ladies and gentlemen, John Delaney.

John Delaney
Thank you. Thank you, Jim Clyburn. Let's hear it for Jim, for the incomparable, the extraordinary, the one of a kind Jim Clyburn.

Thank you, South Carolina.

I'll tell you the one thing that always struck me about Jim—so I grew up in a working class family. My dad was an electrician; he was a union electrician. And we didn't have any fancy conversations around the dinner table about politics. But what he would tell me all the time. If you care about workers, you vote for the Democrats.

And I'll tell you, If we get back to that lesson we're gonna win every election. And Jim Clyburn doesn't let anyone forget about that lesson in the Congress of the United States.

My friends together we're on a mission. A mission to find America that has been lost, lost through inaction, lost through incivility, lost through a president who lacks a moral compass. We're better than this. Every one of us are better than this. As a country we are a country of faith, of goodness, of strength and ambition.

We saved the world. We created the American Dream for millions of people, including people like myself, who grew up in a blue collar family, had a successful career in business and then the privilege to serve my country, but we did it with real solutions. Not impossible promises. And we've got to do that again. Whether it's fixing healthcare, improving public education, building infrastructure or creating jobs, we've got to do it with real solutions and put the worker at the center of those solutions. That's what I promise to do as your President. I've done it my whole life. I don't want to just be your President, I want to do the job. God bless y'all. Thank you Jim Clyburn. Thank you, South Carolina, and thank you for soon sending Jamie Harrison to the Senate of the United States of America.

Clyburn: Thank you very much John. Many of you recall John was here last year. Thank you so much for coming back. Ladies and gentleman, our next candidate is someone with whom I've partnered in recent weeks to do what we can to reduce student debt. She's got a plan for that, and I want to share in that plan. Ladies and gentlemen, Elizabeth Warren.

Elizabeth Warren
Hello, South Carolina!

South Carolina [chants: Warren] we got a government, we got a government that works great.
It works fabulously, it works terrifically for the rich and the powerful. I'm running for president because I want a government that works for the rest of us.

I'm in this fight because I believe that the time for small ideas is over, we need big, structural change in this country, in this economy. And big, structural trade starts with big ideas.

How about a wealth tax on the top 1/10th of one percent?

And you know what we can do with that money. We can build opportunity in this country.

Universal child care for every baby age zero to five.

Pre-K for every three year old and four year old in this country.

Raise the wages of every child care worker and preschool teacher in this country.

Tuition-free technical college, community college and four-year college all across this country.

$50 billion to our historically black colleges and universities,

And in a great plan with Congressman Clyburn we can cancel student loan debt for 95% of the kids who've got it.

We make this government work for us, and that means we're just getting started. We need to attack our problems head on. We need to attack climate change head on. We need to attack control of the NRA head on.

We need to have courage in this country. So for me, it's about building a future. This is our chance. 2020. We can dream big, fight hard and win.

Clyburn: Thank you. And now ladies and gentlemen I want to say to all of the candidates, after our next two speakers we would like for you to come up here. A lot of people would like to get this picture of all the candidates up here. We believe that that picture can be the picture we can carry all across South Carolina and help turn this state blue. So now ladies and gentlemen I want to introduce you to our next candidate, who's a fierce, was a fierce prosecutor, a great United States Senator from the state of California, a good friend, who's name Iknow how to pronounce. Kamala Harris.

Kamala Harris
What's up Columbia? Oh. So, listen. It's that point in the evening where almost everything that has to be said has been said, except one thing.

I'm going take us down for a moment; I want to take us down for a moment—I'm gonna take us down. Let's go for a moment. We just celebrated this week, sadly, the fourth anniversary of the Emmanual Nine.

And we cannot forget, and we cannot forget that it was here in South Carolina, that we have had heroes of our nation who fought and died for civil rights, who fought and died for equality, who fought and died to ensure that we would have a voice, that our voice would be recognized, that our voices would be powerful, and that we would not relent until there was full equality for all Americans and all human beings.

So we honor the Emmanuel Nine, we honor the heroes that they were, and it is upon these great heroes and so many who fought for civil rights, it is upon their shoulders that I stand as a candidate for president of the United States.

And I will tell you, I fully intend to win this election.

And in this fight, this is a fight, not only to recognize our history and honor the ancestors and honor the heroes, it is a fight for our future, and a vision of our future, and a vision of our future of our America.

And our vision of our America's future includes a vision where everyone has healthcare. It will not be a matter of a privilege; it will be matter of a right.

Our vision for our America is an America where no one has to suffer, no one has to be in pain, no one has to worry about where their next paycheck is coming from. In our America, people will only have to work one job to put food on the table and a roof over their head.

In our America, our teachers will be paid their value because they are raising our future.

In our America no one who has HIV or AIDS will be prevented from having the drugs they need because they don't have the money in their back pocket.

In our America our children will never have to sit in school and go through a drill worried about a gunman roaming the halls of their classroom in school because we will put in place, reasonable guns safety laws including a universal background check and a renewal of assault weapons ban in our America.

And in our America we will have a president of the United States who is in the business, not of beating people down, but lifting people up, and with your help we will get this done. Thank you, South Carolina.

Clyburn: And now ladies and gentlemen our next candidate. I know you have seen her picture on billboards all up and down our highways and byways, not just on the interstate. I'm coming out of a rural church in Colleton County Sunday before last, and I looked up, there was this big billboard in rural Colleton County, a billboard of Tulsa Gabbard. Tulsi.

Tulsi Gabbard
Aloha, South Carolina. Let me hear you one more time. Aloha.

Thank you very much, Congressman Clyburn for your incredible leadership, and how much hard work you and your team put into hosting this event.

It's great to be back here in South Carolina, especially in the middle of summer. Almost 17 years ago I was here with a big rucksack on my back and a duffel bag on my front as a young private headed to Fort Jackson.

Now I've served for now over 16 years in Army National Guard, I've deployed twice to the Middle East, where I had the privilege and honor of serving with so many great Americans. People who truly embodied what it means to put service above self. People who sacrificed so much.

As your President, I will bring those values of service above self to the White House, putting people ahead of profits, putting people ahead of politics, placing the interests of the American people and our country, above all else,

Now the challenges that we face are great, because the rich and powerful have been in charge of Washington for far too long, leaving the rest of us behind.

But here's what I know: that when we stand united, motivated by that care and love we have for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

When we stand united we can pass Medicare for All.

When we stand united we can take on Big Pharma and insurance who are exploiting the sick to profit.

When we stand united we can pass criminal justice reform, end the federal marijuana prohibition and ban private prisons.

When we stand united we can stand together to protect our environment, make sure we have clean water and clean air and ban offshore drilling.

As your president and commander in chief I will end the wasteful regime change wars that have been so costly.

I'll end the new Cold War nuclear arms race and take the trillions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and invest them in our people, in our communities and in our future.

So I'm asking you to stand with me and join me as we bend the arc of history, away from war and towards peace, towards that bright future with hope and opportunity, justice and equality for all. Thank you all so much. Have a great night. Aloha.