“ Well, we are in the middle of a very close race right now in Texas, and we may not even know the final results until morning. We do know that Senator Clinton has won Rhode Island, and while there are a lot of votes to be counted in Ohio, it looks like she did well there too, and so we congratulate her on those merican story.
We were told this wasn't possible. We were told the climb was too steep. We were told our country was too cynical – that we were just being naïve; that we couldn't really change the world as it is.
But then a few people in Iowa stood up to say, “Yes we can.” And then a few more of you stood up from the hills of New Hampshire to the coast of South Carolina. And then a few million of you stood up from Savannah to Seattle; from Boise to Baton Rouge. And tonight, because of you – because of a movement you built that stretches from Vermont's Green Mountains to the streets of San Antonio, we can stand up with confidence and clarity to say that we are turning the page, and we are ready to write the next great chapter in America's story.
In the coming weeks, we will begin a great debate about the future of this country with a man who has served it bravely and loves it dearly. And tonight, I called John McCain and congratulated him on winning the Republican nomination.
But in this election, we will offer two very different visions of the America we see in the twenty-first century. Because John McCain may claim long history of straight talk and independent-thinking, and I respect that. But in this campaign, he's fallen in line behind the very same policies that have ill-served America. He has seen where George Bush has taken our country, and he promises to keep us on the very same course.
It's the same course that threatens a century of war in Iraq – a third and fourth and fifth tour of duty for brave troops who've done all we've asked them to, even while we ask little and expect nothing of the Iraqi government whose job it is to put their country back together. A course where we spend billions of dollars a week that could be used to rebuild our roads and our schools; to care for our veterans and send our children to college.
It's the same course that continues to divide and isolate America from the world by substituting bluster and bullying for direct diplomacy – by ignoring our allies and refusing to talk to our enemies even though Presidents from Kennedy to Reagan have done just that; because strong countries and strong leaders aren't afraid to tell hard truths to petty dictators.
And it's the same course that offers the same tired answer to workers without health care and families without homes; to students in debt and children who go to bed hungry in the richest nation on Earth – four more years of tax breaks for the biggest corporations and the wealthiest few who don't need them and aren't even asking for them. It's a course that further divides Wall Street from Main Street; where struggling families are told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps because there's nothing government can do or should do – and so we should give more to those with the most and let the chips fall where they may.
Well we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in and this is not the future we want. We want a new course for this country. We want new leadership in Washington. We want change in America.
John McCain and Senator Clinton echo each other in dismissing this call for change. They say it is eloquent but empty; speeches and not solutions. And yet, they should know that it's a call that did not begin with my words. It began with words that were spoken on the floors of factories in Ohio and across the deep plains of Texas; words that came from classrooms in South Carolina and living rooms in the state of Iowa; from first-time voters and life-long cynics; from Democrats and Republicans alike.
They should know that there's nothing empty about the call for affordable health care that came from the young student who told me she gets three hours of sleep because she works the night shift after a full day of college and still can't pay her sister's medical bills.
There's nothing empty about the call for help that came from the mother in San Antonio who saw her mortgage double in two weeks and didn't know where her two-year olds would sleep at night when they were kicked out of their home.
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