IDP Hall of Fame Celebration Speeches—Rep. Eric Swalwell  ... next >
Thank you, Iowa.

Thank you, Iowa. Congratulations to tonight's honorees, and welcome to my fellow candidates whom I consider we are all a part of being "The Avengers." The Republicans in 2016, that was "The Hunger Games." We're all in this with your help and support to save this country that we love so much.

But you've already done some of that work. The work that you did in 2018 by making history and sending the first two women to the House of Representatives. Were you done when you did that work? [Audience: "No."] No.

Were you done when you gave us the majority?  [Audience: "No."]

I didn't think you were done. But I'll tell you what you did. You cut our time in hell in half. You gave us a shot to save the country. But I think it's time that we don't just play defense; that we actually go on offense.

I was born in western Iowa. My dad was a cop, my mom worked a number of odd jobs. They had a simple dream, that if they worked hard enough, dug deep enough, sacrificed enough, that their firstborn son could be the first of the family to go to college.

Their hard work paid off. But for too many people of my generation, we are at risk of being the first generation that does worse than our parents.

The only way to change that, the only way to reverse that is to go big on the issues, be bold with the solutions and do good in the way that we treat each other and the way that we govern.

We need a president who lives like you live. We need a president who has the grit that you have. And we have a president right now that doesn't understand the dreams that you have. I will be that President because I have lived that struggle, and I know how hard you work and what you expect it to add up to. you. But I will always be real with you.

I will be bold without the [?bold].

My wife and I, we fight insurance companies when the surprise bills come. We stand in line at the pharmacy and we see how expensive it should be. And here's what I think we can do. We should have Medicare for anyone who wants it in America—Medicare for anyone who wants it. But also strive to invest in cures in our lifetime, to believe we can solve the unsolvable, find the unfindable and invest in such a way that innovation will allow us to cure the incurable.

I also believe that when it comes to starting a family, for our family and every family in America, it's my wife's body, it's a woman's body, it's her choice. I will only appoint judges that uphold the Roe decision. But let's not aim so low only to protect Roe. Let's repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.

When it comes to education, the lessons and memories of college, those should last a lifetime. The debt should not. We should have zero percent interest on every student loan in America. More money to start a family, buy your first home, take a good idea and start a business.

We sent my two year old to his first day of summer preschool last week, snd we worried about something that a generation before us did not— whether he would come home. I know you worry about that too.

Let's have background checks in every single state. Make me your nominee and you will get sick and tired of seeing me Iowa, because I'm going to come back here every single month to help you beat Joni Ernst so we can pass that in the Senate. I'm also the only candidate—and I welcome company on this issue—to ban and buy back 15 million assault weapons, take them off of our streets, out of our churches, out of our schools.

But on this issue of gun violence, it was summed up to me recently in the city of Philadelphia by a trauma counselor. He told me that the best they can do right now to save lives is to put a tourniquet on every corner where they have the most shootings. And I was stunned. And then I realized he was telling me that the best way to stop the bleeding was to just apply tourniquets where they know the shootings would happen.

It wasn't because he had failed to imagine bigger solutions. He just believed in Washington. We had a failure of the will to bring bigger solutions.

So I ask you today. Are we in this when it comes to gun violence to stop the bleeding? Or do we think that we can go so big, be so bold and do such good that we can stop the shootings? I think we can stop the shootings.

So on these issues, I ask you Iowa [music starts] go to Go big. Be bold. Do good. Thank you so much, Iowa. Thank you.
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