Oct 20, 2020
Kamala Harris Milwaukee Virtual Rally Transcript October 20
Kamala Harris held a virtual campaign rally with Milwaukee voters on October 20. Read the transcript of the event with Harris’ remarks here.
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Onotse Oyomeni: (00:00)
-of despair. It can become a ladder to a new frontier and opportunity to imagine what is possible and then make it happen. Now, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris have been nominated with the most progressive platform in history, one that prioritizes things like raising the minimum wage, immigration reform, expanding the ACA, and implementing community-led criminal justice reform.
Onotse Oyomeni: (00:28)
Now, these things would empower us to focus more on making our dreams happen and less on breaking out of the limits and the restrictions imposed on us by other people. But if American history tells us anything, it’s that no one achieves anything alone. These two unwavering, fearless leaders can’t begin this new chapter without your vote and without your voice.
Onotse Oyomeni: (00:54)
Wisconsin has already been voting for 33 days, but now there are just 14 days left for everyone who has spent the past four years or even a lifetime making the impossible possible. There are only 14 days left to vote for a country that judges us based on our merits and not our identity. If you haven’t voted already, please go to wisdems.org/early, pick a site, and make a plan to vote. Make it today, and execute it tomorrow. Let’s give Senator Harris the most incredible birthday present by making our voices heard.
Onotse Oyomeni: (01:26)
Now, if you voted already, please make more moves before you make a lot of noise. There are just 336 hours left until November 3rd. I’m asking you to go to northmkedems.com/gotv. Please keep that all lower case. It is case sensitive, northmkedems.com/gotv, and dedicate just one of those 336 hours to signing up and helping us build a country that works for everybody and makes life easier for those of us who have spent a lifetime making the impossible possible. Now I have the incredible honor of introducing the wonderful mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett. Mayor Barrett, if you would like to take it away.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (02:13)
Well, thank you, Onotse. I want to say that Lowell, Massachusetts’ loss is Milwaukee’s gain. We are delighted that you’re here. We’re delighted that you came to our beautiful city. We want you to stay as long as you like. You obviously hit the ground running, and you’ve gotten to know the community very, very well. We appreciate everything you’re doing.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (02:31)
We’ve got a lot of spectacular people who have joined us on this call, but the real, real crowning glory, of course, is having the birthday participant herself, who will be joining us later, Senator Harris. So we’re excited to be with her on her actual birthday. I’m not going to tell you the number, but it’s a very respectable number, a very respectable number.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (02:49)
But I want to begin by talking about what’s going on in Milwaukee today, because this morning, I was honored to be at the beginning of opening of early voting, the early absentee voting, which we have expanded. In 2016, we had three locations for early voting. This year, we have 14 locations throughout the city of Milwaukee for early voting. I was at Midtown this morning, where I saw literally hundreds of people standing in line. They stood in line for a couple of football fields long, waiting to vote at a time when the temperature was still hovering around 40 degrees.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (03:25)
But that’s how great the enthusiasm was to get up and vote for Vice President Biden and Senator Harris. These individuals understood and understand what’s at stake here. But I was also very, very impressed and moved by the fact that every single person, and I mean every single person, who was standing in that line had a mask, bar none. That tells you the seriousness with which they treat the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re seeing right now not only in Milwaukee, but obviously throughout the state of Wisconsin, where the numbers have been soaring and throughout the entire country.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (04:03)
You’ve got to believe that for many of these individuals, COVID-19 is at the top of their list, because we need a leader who’s going to take this pandemic seriously. Everyone who’s involved in this call understands what’s at stake here. We had a president who at first denied, in essence, what was going on, called it a political stunt, thought the Democrats were out to get him, started deriding public health officials who wanted us to take this pandemic seriously, made fun of individuals who wore masks, and even to this day is promoting not wearing masks through many of his surrogates and the people who are attending his events, all of this happening on the day when we have now had 220,000 Americans who have succumbed to COVID-19, 220,000 people, well over 8 million people who have been infected by this pandemic, and we have a president who’s decided he’s going to take what are hopefully the last two weeks of his real presidency and tour the country in a super spreader event.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (05:06)
We saw it in the Rose Garden with the nomination of Judge Barrett, and we’ve seen him not take it seriously since then. We’ve seen people like Senator Johnson say it’s nothing worse than the flu, but then he flies back and forth to Washington DC on a private jet after he said it’s nothing to be concerned about because it’s just like a flu. We’ve seen other Republicans who have not taken this seriously, and we know the impact that this pandemic has had on this community economically. We know the impact that this pandemic has had on us really mentally because of the challenges that we’ve seen here in Milwaukee with people losing their jobs, with increases in domestic violence, in challenges that we have with opioid addiction.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (05:50)
We could address these a lot better if we had a president who supported healthcare, and that’s a major difference between Vice President Biden and President Trump, is we have Vice President Biden, who wants to see us expand the Affordable Care Act, who wants to make sure that we’re covering preexisting conditions and is not attacking it through the courts like President Trump is doing with the oral arguments before the Supreme Court literally days after this election.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (06:16)
So it is not hyperbolic to say that this is just a meaningless election. This is the most important election of our lifetime. Without a doubt, this is the most important election, and we know what happened in Wisconsin four years ago. The numbers were down. In Milwaukee, the numbers were down. But I am more optimistic than ever that if people take seriously what’s going on that we’re going to see a reversal of what we saw four years ago here and Wisconsin is going to be in the blue column, where it should be.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (06:47)
So there’s a lot of work to be done. The polls, again, are open. They’re open for 1,092 hours before November 3rd, and we want people to get out there and vote. If you’ve asked for an absentee ballot, you can put it into one of the 15 lockboxes that we have surveillance for. You can put it in the mail. But do that quickly, no later than next Monday, or you can go to one of our early voting locations, or if you desire, you can go to one of the 173 locations we’ll have open on November 3rd.
Mayor Tom Barrett: (07:15)
So it’s your choice. We want you to be safe. We want you to be engaged, because we’re going to have an election here in Milwaukee that’s filled with integrity, but with healthy people voting. We’ve had a great partnership with the county, and the person who’s really leading the charge at the county, of course, is our new county executive, David Crowley. It’s been just a joy to work with him for the last six months, and it’s my honor now to introduce to you Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. Mr. County Executive.
David Crowley: (07:43)
Thank you so much, Mayor Barrett. I am Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, and it is great to be with you all this afternoon to both kick off early voting, but also to celebrate Senator Kamala Harris’s birthday. To everyone who has joined us today, thank you for all the work you are doing to elect Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, as well as Democrats up and down the ticket.
David Crowley: (08:04)
A movement isn’t strong just because of its leadership. It’s strong because of the partners up and down the ranks who are committed to advancing its goals and priorities, partners who have never let up, even when the odds may seem long and the challenges significant. Election after election, you have been out there, making calls, sending texts, knocking on doors when safe, and donating to candidates and causes that will help move our community forward. So I want to say thank you for that. Now, we all are well aware how high the stakes are this fall. We see day in and day out the damage that Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing to our democracy and the lives of working people. It is crystal clear how much is at stake this election for Wisconsin and our nation, because so many families are living these realities every single day. Far too many Wisconsinites and Americans have lost loved ones to COVID-19. Small businesses across Milwaukee County and our state and across the country have closed their doors for good. Hardworking folks are out of a job with unemployment insurance running out, and our economy is struggling to bounce back.
David Crowley: (09:05)
The deck has already been stacked against hardworking Wisconsinites, who just want the chance to get ahead. We all deserve that opportunity, and to realize that goal, we need leaders who share it. I grew up in the inner city 53206 zip code here in Milwaukee, in a family that often struggled to make ends meet. We were evicted at least three times during my childhood. So I know what it’s like to have all of your belongings plucked from your house and tossed to the curb, and bouncing back from that, it can be tough.
David Crowley: (09:32)
If Donald Trump is elected for four more years, it will be even tougher. With Trump in charge, you can count on one thing for certain, and that is a failure to act when Wisconsinites and Americans need leadership the most. But thankfully, we have an opportunity this election to go in a new direction, an opportunity to get our nation back on track. That means restoring the soul of our nation, taking action to make healthcare more affordable, and building our economy back than ever before.
David Crowley: (09:58)
We can build back better our economy that puts them the interest of working people ahead of the wealthiest and big corporations. We can raise the minimum wage to make it easier for unions to organize and improve workplace safety. We can take action to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, no matter your employment status, reduce the power of big pharmaceutical companies, bring down prescription drug prices, and expand access to critical mental health services. We can listen to science and address the existential threat of climate change, work together. We’re going to have to work together to work towards a 100% clean energy economy, create the green jobs of the future, and protect our clean air and water from corporate pollutors.
David Crowley: (10:40)
We can create a nation where we never waver on denouncing white supremacy and form communities that are welcoming to us all, laying out roadmap to citizenship for undocumented people, doing our part to accept and comfort refugees, and protecting our LGBTQ+ community from attacks and discrimination. All of these critical issues and more are on the table and is on the ballot.
David Crowley: (11:03)
Issues and more are on the table and is on the ballot. Achieving our shared goals will take dedicated principal leadership. And now is the time for leaders who will put American people before their own personal interests. Leaders who have the compassion, empathy, and vision necessary to guide us to better days. Joe and Kamala are those leaders. And I’m so excited to work arm in arm with you all to achieve victory in this election. To make that happen will take all of us. Making calls, sending texts, and doing everything else to safely get out the vote. And if you haven’t voted yet, you need to go out and do it early, and encourage your friends and loved ones to vote early as well. Everyone needs to plan to be a voter, and be a part of our efforts to defeat Donald Trump. We need to unite and energize voters across Milwaukee County and beyond.
David Crowley: (11:48)
It is clear that the path to the White House runs through Wisconsin. And we need to dominate right here in our own backyard in Milwaukee County to turn our state blue. This is no small task, but together we have achieved momentous victories before. And I know we have exactly what it takes to do it again. So let us recommit ourselves to our efforts, prepare for the final days, and go full speed toward victory. Thank you, and God bless. And now I would like to turn it over to my good friend and Lieutenant Governor, Mandela Barnes.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (12:18)
Thanks so much, David, for the introduction. Thank you all for being here and joining us today as we kick off early voting in my hometown, Milwaukee. Again, I’m Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. I could not be more fired up to celebrate the first day of early voting, but also to celebrate the birthday of our next Vice President of the United States of America in a place that is absolutely critical. Again, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I just want to give a big thank you to the soon to be Vice President for, once again, demonstrating that Milwaukee is high on our list. Is one of the Biden-Harris campaign’s top priorities. As Senator, she’s spending her birthday here fighting for our city and our state, and she also chose Milwaukee last month to be her first in-person campaign stops since becoming a nominee. So I’m starting to think that she may like us, which is a great thing because we like her.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (13:10)
And I had an honor to host a round table that featured the Senator with local business owners. And we were able to celebrate entrepreneurship, and discuss what needs to happen to make our economy more equitable and more accessible. And also more inclusive for people, especially who’ve been left out for so long. And as Lieutenant Governor, equity has been high on my list of guiding principles. Along with sustainability in my campaign. And our administration has focused on the essentials of opportunity and that’s education, it’s healthcare, it’s the environment, but also a fair economy. A state where every child has a fair shot to reach their fullest potential regardless of their zip code. And we know that this vision can not be truly realized without leadership at the federal level, without actual leaders in the White House.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (13:58)
Our ten electoral votes, as we know, are going to determine the course of this nation. And quite frankly, the course of this planet. And we can’t afford to lose that perspective over the next 14 days. And like I said, we can always talk about how awful Donald Trump’s leadership has been. Or just lack thereof over the last four years. Like how he still has no plan for COVID-19 after nearly nine months of knowing how deadly the virus would be. And also recognizing that we are in the middle of an economic downturn. And Wisconsin has been hit especially hard. Especially here in Milwaukee, where families are paying for his failure to act with their lives and their livelihoods. Now, instead of expanding life-saving care, we see the President in court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which would strip protections from some 2.4 million Wisconsinites with preexisting conditions. That is almost half of our state’s population. During a pandemic, no less. And he’s also trying to ram through a Supreme Court nominee to rig the court in his favor.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (14:57)
But I am here to talk about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and their plan to jumpstart our economy, to jumpstart this nation, and move us all forward. Because Joe and Kamala have made it abundantly clear that we will never get the economy back on its feet unless we control the virus first. They know it’s not a choice between our health and our economy, but that the two are inextricably linked. And we know that with the Biden-Harris administration, we have a real chance of overcoming so many of the past failures, and the opportunity to build back a better nation where all working people can join a union and earn $ 15 an hour. Where healthcare is accessible, affordable, and available for everybody, along with a secure retirement. Where we have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. And where we work diligently to dismantle the systemic racism that exists in so many areas of our lives. And achieve true justice and equity for all people. We know that we have the opportunity to vote for a ticket that is committed to building our country back better and bringing everybody along.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (15:59)
But make no mistake. We know that this is going to be a close election, and that’s why the work that we do in the final 14 days is going to be so critical. And we have to make our voices heard. This year, there are so many ways to do that. There’s an option for everyone to cast their ballots. But we have to work collectively to make sure that everyone knows how easy and convenient it is to vote early. And as of today, you can join the over 900,000 Wisconsinites who have already returned absentee ballots. And you can take action to move this country forward. So if you have not already, please make a plan to vote. It is easy to vote early. You can head to iwillvote.com/wi. You can find all the information that you need. And here in Wisconsin, you can register when you vote. So just bring your photo ID and a proof of residence. And if you do still plan on voting by mail, you should plan to send your ballot in as soon as possible. And the last day is October 25th. Make sure you get it done long before that.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (16:56)
And you can also early in person at early voting sites across the city. And of course, you can also still vote in person on election day, November 3rd. But please be sure to take every precaution necessary to keep yourself safe, as well as our poll workers who are on the front lines of democracy. You do need to make sure you bring your ID, wear a mask. And if you can bring your own pen, blue or black ink preferably. And if you have any questions about how to register or cast your ballot, call the voter assistance hotline, which is (608) 336- 3232. And if you also have some free time, we want you to volunteer with the campaign in the final stretch. We need you to help us make sure that all Wisconsinites have a plan to vote. And that our own friends, our family members, and our neighbors and coworkers also have a plan.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes: (17:46)
So please keep making calls, keep sending texts. Please keep posting on social media, doing everything that you can do to spread the word. Do everything that you can do possibly to help elect Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot, in all parts of our state. Joe and Kamala cannot do it alone. They need every single one of us to play their part. I am doing everything that I can do. I’m going to leave it all on the field. So vote, bring your friends and family with you, because we are in a battle for the soul of our nation. But together we will win. Let’s get this done, Milwaukee. And now I want to turn it over to my good friend, my partner in justice, and all things to move this station forward, our Congresswoman, Gwen Moore.
Rep. Gwen Moore: (18:32)
Thank you so much Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. I’m always so heartened to hear you speak. You’re such a powerful voice for the state. And I want to join all of you in wishing my sister’s friend, soon to be the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, happy birthday. She certainly brings balance to this ticket, and she’ll bring balance, peace, and reconciliation to our country. And I’m so delighted to be able to share this birthday with her. Two weeks before she becomes our Vice Presidential nominee.
Rep. Gwen Moore: (19:10)
I just want to join everyone in repeating much of what you’ve already heard. That fully vote has really started in Milwaukee. And I was so excited seeing the numbers of people who braved the virus, and the chilly weather to start exercising that right. And Milwaukee, we can be the first in our country to vote early, to make sure that we have a plan vote early. We can register to vote early. You can bring your photo ID, even if it’s expired people, or if you moved, just bring one of your bills. You got a lot of those for proof of evidence. It couldn’t be more that our lives and the character of the country is on the ballot this year.
Rep. Gwen Moore: (20:00)
And we can not afford to just sit back and wait. We cannot, when stakes are so incredibly high. [inaudible 00:20:10] communities are facing multiple crises right now. There’s a painful economic recession going on. It’s a global health pandemic. And of course, our pre-COVID conditions were not good as well. So we are really depending on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to help us build back better. We just cannot go back to our pre-COVID conditions. We’ve got to build back better. Nobody knows that more than Joe. Joe thinks that the good old days just weren’t good enough. So our recovery, it includes all of us, no matter what our race is, we should get a fair return on our efforts in this economy. But we’ve got to do our part. And in order to do this, we’ve got to go vote. Go to iwillvote.com/wi to get info so you won’t be fooled. Won’t become complacent. You’ve got to make sure that you are not disenfranchised.
Rep. Gwen Moore: (21:14)
Don’t forget, Wisconsin, you can register to vote when you go vote in person. All you need is that ID and proof of residence. And even, even if that ID is expired or you’ve moved, just go and bring one of your bills. I know you’ve got a We Energies bill. And show that you actually live there, you can vote. If you any questions about how to register to vote, or cast your vote, don’t hesitate to call that voter assistance hotline at (608) 336-3232. (608) 336-3232. And then, sign up to volunteer with the campaign in these final days. So that you can text people, so you can call people. So that we can make sure that all Wisconsinites have a plan to vote. And that our-
Rep. Gwen Moore: (22:03)
We can make sure that all the Wisconsinites have a plan to vote, and that our friends and our family and our coworkers also have their plan. Keep making those calls, sending those texts, post on social media. Even I post on social media and spread the word. Do everything we can to help elect Joe and Kamala and Democrats up and down the ballot. Kamala can’t do it alone. And` just as [inaudible 00:22:29] Payne says, we have to do our part to make sure that we vote down the ballot. Do what Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr told us.
Rep. Gwen Moore: (22:40)
We have to elect people who will do justice and walk humbly with God. So vote, take your friends and family with you. We’re in a battle for the soul of our nation. Together, we’re going to win it. Let’s get it done, Milwaukee. And let me tell you. Nobody is better to be in this fight with us than our own Senator Tammy Baldwin. As you know, Tammy Baldwin is the author of the provision in the Affordable Care Act that is so at risk right now. And that is being able to keep kids on their parents’ insurance until they’re 21. So I’m so happy to turn it over to our good friend and our own senator, Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Tammy Baldwin: (23:25)
Thank you so much, Gwen. It is a delight to join you and follow you. Look, early in-person voting has started in Milwaukee, but you can be the first one to move our country forward. So, make a plan to vote early. Head to iwillvote.com/wi for more voting information. Now, as you know, in Wisconsin, you can register when you vote. Just bring your photo ID and proof of residence. It couldn’t be more clear that our lives and our livelihoods are on the ballot this November. And so is the character of this country, which is why we need to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Here in Wisconsin, we can play a pivotal role in moving our country forward.
Tammy Baldwin: (24:20)
We must make our voices heard. There is an option for everyone to cast their ballot, and we have to work collectively to make sure everybody knows how. The stakes are incredibly high. Wisconsin communities are facing multiple crises right now, including a painful economic recession and global health pandemic. And we have another crisis, a president who ignores all of it and has absolutely no plan. Instead of preparing for a virus that he knew would lead to a pandemic, President Trump lied. He lied to the American people. Nine months in, he still doesn’t have a plan to contain the virus. And as Wisconsin shatters all previous state records of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Trump said we are rounding the corner. I don’t know what corner he’s talking about. As the deadly disease rips through our communities, he has failed to do his job on purpose. And it didn’t have to be this bad.
Tammy Baldwin: (25:32)
Instead of fighting for working families, President Trump is looking out for his rich friends and for Wall Street interests. Instead of bringing our country together during a historic movement for racial justice, he tore us apart. Instead of conceding that whoever wins the election should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, he’s ramming through a nominee in order to gut the Affordable Care Act during a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Over four years, he’s shown that he is unable or unwilling to move our country forward. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a candidate in Joe Biden with the experience to help us recover and the empathy to help our country heal. Joe knows that the middle class isn’t a number. It’s a value set. Joe has a plan to end this pandemic. And as soon as there’s a safe and effective vaccine, he’ll make sure that it’s available to everyone, everywhere, no matter where you live or how much you can pay.
Tammy Baldwin: (26:53)
Instead of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and allow insurance companies to write the rules and discriminate against the more than 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing health conditions, Joe’s going to build on it. He’s going to lower the cost of healthcare. And instead of fighting for tax giveaways for the Mar-a-Lago crowd, Joe will build our economy back better, and this time deal everyone in. So Joe won’t just bring us back to the way things were before President Trump. For too many, the good old days weren’t so good to begin with. In this recovery, he’ll bring everyone along, regardless of your race, your hometown or your tax bracket. And he’ll build back an America that’s better than it’s ever been, an economy where every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead, and an economy more vibrant and more powerful, precisely because everyone will be cut into the deal.
Tammy Baldwin: (28:08)
But to get there, you and I have to do our part. We must vote. Go to iwillvote.com/wi to make your plan to vote early. And make no mistake, this election is going to be close, and that’s why we need to dig deep in these last two weeks to make sure that everyone knows how easy and convenient it is to vote early. As we’ve said throughout this call, if you’re voting by mail, you should plan to send your ballot in as soon as possible and at the latest by October 25th. And you can vote early in person at early voting sites across the city. And of course you can vote in person at your polling place on election day, November 3rd. Don’t forget, in Wisconsin, you can register when you vote. Just bring your ID and proof of residence. And if you have any questions about how to register or cast your ballot, call the Voter Assistance Hotline at 608-336-3232. Then sign up to volunteer with the campaign in these final days.
Tammy Baldwin: (29:21)
We must make sure that Wisconsinites have a plan to vote, and that our friends, our family, our coworkers, our neighbors also have their plans. Keep on making calls, sending texts, posting on social media and spreading the word. Do everything you can to help elect Joe and Democrats up and down the ballot. Joe and Kamala cannot do it alone. They need every single one of us to do our part. So vote, and bring your friends and family with you, because we are in the battle for the soul of our nation. And together, we will win it. Let’s get it done, Milwaukee. Now, before I turn it over to my dear friend and my colleague, Senator Kamala Harris, I wanted to wish her a very happy birthday from all of us in the badger state. Now Kamala, don’t tell us what your birthday wish is, but I bet we can all guess. So get ready to blow out your candle. Just a second here. Happy birthday, Kamala! Now blow it out. Make a wish. Blow it out.
Kamala Harris: (30:49)
Oh, that’s so great. I did. I blew it out. Oh Tammy, that’s beautiful. I virtually received that. And I thank you. I thank you. That’s so thoughtful of you. And while we have all the friends, I just want to thank you all for sending Senator Tammy Baldwin to the United States Senate. We have worked closely together on a number of issues. She is constantly fighting for the people of Milwaukee. I can’t say this often enough. The people, I mean the entire state of Wisconsin, we sit in meetings, in the caucus meetings with our colleagues, and Tammy is always standing up. No cameras in the room, or whether cameras in the room or not, always standing up for the people of Wisconsin, always standing up for working people, always standing up for families. And really is a conscience of the United States Senate. So thank you for sending her there. Tammy, thank you for your friendship and for the birthday greetings.
Kamala Harris: (31:55)
Congresswoman Gwen Moore, you are a force. You are a force. We serve together in many ways, including in the congressional black caucus. You are always, both Tammy and you, every visit I pay to Wisconsin, you are there. And beforehand, you brief me so that I will make sure that when I am in Wisconsin, I am in tune with the issues and aware of the needs of the people of the state. And so I thank you, Gwen Moore, for your leadership and friendship. County Executive David Crowley, thank you for all that you do. Mayor Tom Barrett, it’s great to see you. And Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, I want to thank you. The last time I was physically in Wisconsin, we were there together. You convened a group of leaders, community leaders, small business leaders, black entrepreneurs. It was very insightful. It was a wonderful visit. And I want to thank you for your leadership and your friendship. So, thank you to everybody. It’s great to be with you.
Kamala Harris: (32:56)
So we are 14 days away from this election. And today is the first day of-
Kamala Harris: (33:03)
… and today is the first day of early voting in Wisconsin. My first day. That was my little indulgence. But I actually started the day being in Milwaukee, virtually. I did a number of radio interviews and I was so excited to hear… I was speaking with various Milwaukee leaders, and I was so excited to hear about how at the very first hour of early voting this morning, people were lined up. I just want to say, thank you for that, because what a great beginning. Now, we got to see it through, but what a great beginning. I think it speaks, first of all, to the leadership of the people I’ve just mentioned, and all of the community leaders, the faith-based leaders, so many folks who have reminded everybody and reminded their family members and their friends and their neighbors about what is at stake in this election.
Kamala Harris: (34:05)
As Joe Biden always says, the thing that is at stake, reigning overall of it, is the soul of America. But let’s look at where we are. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, which has, at this point, taken the lives of over 220,000 Americans in just the last several months. We’re looking at the fact that over eight million people who have contracted this virus, thank God that they are living, but with untold, still untold, longterm health consequences, including what classification they are now going to be in, which is to have a preexisting condition. We’re looking at the fact that because of this public health pandemic, we’re in the midst of a recession that is being compared to the Great Depression.
Kamala Harris: (34:55)
People in Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, I know, and all across our country are driving into food lines, parked for hours, hoping that by the time they get to the end of the line, food is still there. Nationally, we’re looking at one in five mothers describing her children, under the age of 12, as being hungry. We’re not talking enough about the fact that we’re dealing with a hunger crisis on top of it all. People in Milwaukee being unable to, or finding it very difficult, in very large percentages, to pay the rent, September’s rent, October’s rent. So all of this in terms of the economic impact.
Kamala Harris: (35:37)
And then we’re looking at these crises that are as a result of the COVID and then we are also dealing with the long overdue reckoning in America in terms of America’s history and existence of racial injustice. And we’re looking at the crisis of climate, and what that is doing, and what it has been doing around our country, from the West, from where I come, with the fires that have been raging all across the Western states, to the storms that have been hitting the Gulf coast, to what has been happening in the Midwest in terms of farmers and floods, and losing a season of crops. So these are the things that have been happening in our country.
Kamala Harris: (36:17)
In addition, we’re looking at the issue of the United States Supreme Court and what is happening in terms of COVID. And then in the midst of that, we’re dealing with a push by members of the United States Congress to ram through a Supreme Court nominee, and to do that for political purposes. Meanwhile, sitting on their desk is a bill that would bring relief to the American people. It’s been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk for over 150 days and moving nowhere in the United States Senate.
Kamala Harris: (36:58)
So all of this, in addition to what we know, has been the President, Donald Trump, trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act in the United States Supreme Court, because he’s had this weird obsession with trying to get rid of whatever Barack Obama and Joe Biden created. And in so doing, if they are successful, would not only get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which brought healthcare to over 20 million people. That means over 20 million people will lose their coverage, but they would also, as a result of getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, get rid of the protections that it created for people with pre-existing conditions. People like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease. In Wisconsin, 2.4 million residents have pre-existing conditions.
Kamala Harris: (37:47)
So this is what we’re looking at. And frankly, I think that it is more than fair to say that Donald Trump has exhibited a reckless disregard for human life. There’s just no denying that. And again, when we’re looking at the numbers who have been on unemployment, the numbers who have been impacted by COVID, the numbers who have been impacted by the existence of all that has happened in terms of the death and the coverup in our country.
Kamala Harris: (38:18)
So where I am now is that we need to look at where we are in terms of Joe’s vision because clearly, Donald Trump… They knew what was going on, they knew that it could hurt people, they’ve had the information since January, they covered it up. They gave people no indication of how serious it was. They didn’t give families enough time to make decisions about how they would live their lives, how they would protect their families, and this is where we are.
Kamala Harris: (38:48)
So what we have to do is we got to elect Joe Biden. We have to elect Joe Biden. Tammy talked about it, that Joe has a plan, and we have a plan, and part of it is starting with containing COVID. The thing about Joe is that he has a deep understanding of how our government works. He has an understanding of what it means to manage a crisis. He dealt with these crises in the past, whether it be the great recession when he pushed through the Recovery Act or what he did to work on containing Ebola. Joe has talked about a plan for COVID since March. It’s a plan that is about saving lives and saving the economy. Joe and I believe, and this is a very big difference between us and Donald Trump. We believe that you can measure the health and the wellbeing of the economy, not based on how rich people are doing, but based on how working people are doing. Ours is going to be economic policy that is about supporting and holding up working people. We will not increase taxes for anybody making under $400,000 a year. But what we will do is we will eliminate the Trump tax cut for the wealthy, the top 1% of the biggest corporations. We will invest in people who need help with healthcare, and better schools, and childcare. We will protect social security and Medicare. These are the things that we will do because we understand if we want to build up America’s economy, we have to build up working people.
Kamala Harris: (40:23)
The bottom line is also, doing it in a way that unites the American people, that brings us together. Joe and I are particularly proud of a broad coalition that we have built. One of the broadest coalitions that we’ve seen in a presidential race. Democrats, of course, but also Republicans and independents, and people of every race and every background coming together around an umbrella of understanding that we are better than this as a nation and that we are all in this together.
Kamala Harris: (40:55)
So that’s the spirit with which we are in this campaign and the work that we are doing over the next 14 days. It is about building back up better. It is about unifying our country. It is about speaking to our higher purpose and ideals, and doing the work that is necessary to remind everyone, to remind everyone that they’re not alone. We’re all in this together and we’re going to get through this together.
Kamala Harris: (41:23)
So 14 days to go. Again, early voting starts today, Wisconsin, you’re the key. Milwaukee, we need you. You can register. When you vote, it’s important to know that you will just need a photo ID and proof of residence. Proof of residence could include your driver’s license, or your state ID, or utility bills, but it is important that you vote early. Please make a plan to vote. Vote early. Urge others to vote early.
Kamala Harris: (41:57)
I know you’ve heard it before, but go to the website, I will vote.com\wi, and make sure that your vote is counted and that your voice through your vote is heard. Because listen, even though some people are trying to confuse folks about the election and the process of voting, some people are trying to suggest that your vote won’t matter. No, what they understand is that when you vote, you have power. They understand the power of your vote that’s why they’re trying to discourage you, but let’s not let anyone ever take our power from us. We won’t do that. We vote to honor the ancestors, which includes folks like the great late John Lewis. We vote to honor the ancestors like those suffragettes 100 years ago this year, who passed and helped pass the 19th amendment. We vote because we know what’s at stake from healthcare to the economy, to the standing of our nation and the unity of our nation. And we vote because we know our power and we vote because we know when we vote, things change and we win. Thank you, Milwaukee. Thank you.