SCDP First in the South Dinner

–  video  – 
Monday, February 24, 2020 at the Charleston Marriott in Charleston, SC.

6 CANDIDATES: Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, Warren.

Background: "Join us for the First in the South Dinner the night before the Presidential Debate in Charleston! Speakers include presidential candidates, elected officials, and Democrats from across the state."

Bernie 2020
February 24, 2020

PREPARED REMARKS: Sanders at South Carolina Democratic Party First in the South Dinner

Below are Sen. Bernie Sanders’ remarks prepared for delivery for tonight’s South Carolina Democratic Party “First in the South” dinner:

Let me begin by thanking the South Carolina Democrats for all of your hard work.  Together, we are going to defeat Donald Trump.

Let me start by thanking the many thousands of volunteers we have here in South Carolina and by congratulating the supporters and volunteers who helped us win the popular vote in Iowa, followed by a victory in New Hampshire and a strong win in Nevada. Together, we are building an unprecedented movement to take on the corruption, racism, and economic inequality so rampant in our country.

As some of you may know, there has been a lot of chatter lately from the political establishment and some of my opponents about how Bernie Sanders can’t beat Trump.

Well, tonight I have a message for them: you are dead wrong.

Not only can we beat Trump, but I believe our campaign is the strongest campaign to defeat the most dangerous president president in American history - a president who must be beaten because this country cannot tolerate for another four years someone who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, and a religious bigot - and who either hasn’t read the constitution or doesn’t care.

And let me tell you why:

First, in virtually every recent national poll, our campaign is ahead of Trump, and often by a significant amount. But it’s not just national polls - polls that just came out on Sunday show us ahead in battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The most recent polls have us tied in Florida, and show that for the first time in many years, we have a chance to finally turn the state of Texas blue.

Further, in order to beat Trump, we will need the largest voter turnout in the history of our country, and our campaign and our extraordinary grassroots movement is by far the best situated to do that. In his campaign so far we have knocked on millions of doors and, I promise you, that will continue until election day in November.

We are going to beat Trump because we are building a multi-generational, multi-racial movement that is bringing out new working class and young voters who have, in many instances, given up on the  political process.

We are going to beat Trump because we have more online supporters than any other Democratic campaign. 

We are going to beat Trump because of the incredible grassroots financial support we are receiving.  At this point in the campaign we have received more campaign contributions, from more Americans, than any candidate in the history of the United States - some 8 million contributions from almost 2 million individual Americans

And the reason we’re able to create such grassroots enthusiasm is because we have the agenda that speaks to the working class and middle class of this country - the people who have been too long ignored by the political establishment.

No, in the midst of massive income and wealth inequality, it is not radical to have the wealthy and corporations finally pay their fair share of taxes.

No, it is not radical to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

No, it is not radical to make certain that all of our kids have a quality public school education, regardless of their zip code. Nor is it radical to make public college and universities tuition free or to cancel all student debt through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.

No, it is not radical to join every other major country on earth and guarantee health care to all as a human right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer system.

Let me be clear. What IS radical is to spend twice as much per capita on health care as virtually any other major country, while 87 million are uninsured or underinsured, at least 30,000 die each year because they cannot go to a doctor; and while some 500,000 go bankrupt each year because of medically related debt.

What’s also radical is paying, by far, the highest prices in the world on prescription drugs - in some cases ten times more than people in other major countries. That is extremely radical.

It is also not radical to bring fundamental reform to a broken and racist criminal justice system that puts more people in jail than any other major country on earth.

And finally, it truly is not radical to tell you that it is a moral imperative that we save the planet from the ravages of climate change.

The truth is that our campaign is the strongest campaign to beat Trump because we are doing exactly the opposite of what he is doing. Donald Trump is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, where we were born, our sexual orientation, and our religion. Our campaign is bringing people together in a vibrant and exciting political movement - black and white, Latino, Asian-American, and Native American.

Thank you.