In the final days of the 2016 campaign for president, Hillary Clinton described the election on Sunday as a chance for voters to “rebuild confidence” in democracy and the American government by working together.
“You know, I have now spoken in front of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in small groups and big events,” Clinton said in her speech at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. “And what I try to do while I’m up here speaking is to really look at the faces of the people in front of me, because I don’t know your dreams. I don’t know your struggles. But I want so much to convey to you that I will be on your side.”
She touched lightly on Trump’s “dark and divisive” rhetoric before returning to her own vision.
“I want us to have a vision that is hopeful, optimistic and unified about what we can do together to make sure America’s best years are ahead of us,” Clinton said. “I love our country and I believe in our people. And I will never, ever quit on you no matter what.”
She described the election as a “moment of reckoning,” and acknowledged voters’ “frustration and even anger” over the course of the race.
“I see it. I hear it. Sometimes, you know, I’m the subject of it. I get it. But anger is not a plan,” Clinton said.
She addressed congressional obstruction and the importance of down-ballot races, slamming lawmakers who “don’t want to help” their constituents.
“People say to me all the time, well, how are you going to get anything done? Won’t there be gridlock?” Clinton said. “There will only be gridlock if people that are elected to represent you don’t want to help you.”
She went on to tout her plans for paid family leave, a higher national minimum wage, equal pay for women, and affordable college tuition.
“It shouldn’t just be an election about words, it should be about plans and policy,” Clinton said.
As her closing argument, she framed the election as a chance for voters to work together and reaffirm a more optimistic vision of America.
“I want to rebuild confidence in what we can do together,” Clinton said. “It’s not good for anybody that our democracy and our country are viewed so suspiciously, without confidence. That is how we govern ourselves. So we have to work together.”