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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Remarks by President Obama. Aired 11:30a-Noon ET
Aired November 3, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:02] BARACK OBAMA, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: -- support our troops or our veterans. He's not helping to build roads or build schools or help young people finance a college education, because he's not putting anything in. He's taking a lot out but hasn't put anything in.
He says that he's going to be his own foreign policy adviser. He says that's because he's got a good brain. Now, I won't opine on his brain. What I can say is that anybody who suggests that America should torture people or ban entire religions from entering America, or insults POWs or attacks a gold star mom -- don't boo. Or talks down about our troops, that's not somebody who's fit to be president.
Listen, you even have a Republican senator saying you cannot afford to give the nuclear codes to somebody so erratic. And as Hillary points out, anybody that you can bait with a tweet is not someone you can trust with nuclear weapons. Anybody who is upset about a "Saturday Night Live" skit, you don't want in charge of nuclear weapons. No, I'm serious. This is a guy who like tweets they should cancel "Saturday Night Live. I don't like how Alec Baldwin's imitating me." Really? I mean, that's the thing that bothers you and you want to be president of the United States? Come on, man. Can't do it.
Now, I think -- but you know what? We have to be honest. He's got support here in Florida, he's got some support around the country. No, he does. If he didn't, then I wouldn't have to go around getting everybody to vote. He's got some support.
And the most frustrating thing is, some of his support's coming from working folks. People say, well, you know, he's going to be our voice. Are you serious? This is a guy who spent 70 years, his whole life, born with a silver spoon, showing no respect for working people. He's spent a lot of time with celebrities. Spends a lot of time hanging out with the really wealthy folk. But you don't see him hanging out with working people unless they're cleaning his room or mowing the fairways on his golf club. You're going to make this guy your champion if you're a working person? Come on.
Somebody who spent his life without ever showing any regard for working folks. But he has insulted minorities and immigrants and Muslims and Americans with disabilities. That's the voice you want?
You want a voice who's bragging about how being famous lets you get away with what would qualify as sexual assault, and calls women pigs and dog and slobs? And when he pays attention to women, it's because he's grading them on a scale of one to 10. What kind of message are we sending if that's our voice?
I tell you what, we're going to teach our kids, I want to teach all American kids that our diversity is our strength. That, in America, it's not about what you look like, but who you are and what you do and what your character is. That women are not just full and equal citizens, they may be a lot more capable of doing what a man can do.
But the problem is that he has said so much stuff, and our culture and our media's just gotten so reality T.V.-ized. I know that's not a word, but you get my drift. It's become normal when somebody just says wacky stuff as long as they're famous, we think it's OK.
[11:35:06] I mean, and you hear people justifying it. They're all like well, you know, it's just locker room talk or I don't really like what he's saying but as long as he supports Republican policies and he cuts taxes for the wealthy, that's what I care about -- saying character doesn't matter.
Let me tell you something about this office that I have been in for eight years. Who you are, what you are, does not change after you occupy the Oval Office. All it does is magnify who you are. All it does is shine a spotlight on who you are. If you disrespected women before you were in office, you will disrespect women as president. If you accept the support of Klan sympathizers before you are president, you will accept their support after you're president. If you disrespect the Constitution before you're president and threaten to shut down the press when it says something you don't like, or threaten to throw your opponent in jail in a live presidential debate without any regard for due process, if you discriminate against people of different faiths before you are president, then that is what you will do in office, except you will have more power to carry out the twisted notions that you had before you were in office.
So you can't make excuses for this stuff. This isn't a joke. This isn't "Survivor", this isn't "The Bachelorette." This counts. This has to do with what's going to happen in your family, in your community, to soldiers and veterans. The safety of our kids.
Listen, we are -- I am a strong Democrat, but I tell you what, we aren't born Democrats or Republicans. We're Americans first. And I have good friends who are Republicans and I know they don't think this way about women. They don't think this way about Muslims. They don't think this way about immigrants. This is -- what they are doing is something different entirely. It is different from what we have seen before.
And the good news is all of you are uniquely qualified to make sure that this uniquely unqualified person does not become president. And all you've got to do is make sure that you go out there and you vote.
And the other good news is you don't just have to vote against this guy because you have a candidate who is actually worthy of your vote. Somebody who is smart. Somebody who is steady. Somebody who is tested, perhaps the most qualified person ever to run for this office, our next president, Hillary Clinton. This is somebody who has dedicated her life to making this country better. Think about how she got her start. While Donald Trump and his developer dad were being sued by the Justice Department for denying housing to African-American families, Hillary was going undercover from school to school to make sure minority kids were getting an equal shot at a good education.
She has not stopped fighting for justice, fighting for equality ever since. Her heart's always been in the right place. Works hard every single day. I know. She worked hard when she was running against me. I was worn out. She worked hard when she was working for me. She was there in the situation room as my secretary of state making the argument to go after Bin Laden even when it was risky. Circled the globe as secretary of state. Earned the respect of world leaders.
Her efforts weren't always flashy. They weren't always fully appreciated which is true for a lot of the work that women do, by the way. Just want to make that observation. She made me a better president. She understands policy. She understands how the world works.
[11:40:02] She understands that this stuff that we do, the challenges we face, aren't abstract. They mean something to real people. She knows that she's got to work hard because you are out there working hard. And by the way, she doesn't whine or complain or blame others or suggest every thing's rigged when things aren't going her way. She just works harder. She just comes back better because she knows no matter how hard things may be for her, there are a lot of people who are having an even tougher time trying to pay the bills or trying to find a job or trying to finance a college education so she doesn't have time to whine. She just gets up and does the work.
And she knows the decisions you make as president mean something to that soldier or that veteran or our military families, that a parent who's trying to make ends meet, they need a president who cares and knows what they're doing, that a student trying to go to college for the first time needs somebody with an actual plan to help them. That a young person who was brought to this country as a child, has never known another country, is American by every standard except they don't have a piece of paper, she knows they need to have a chance to give back to this country they love.
She's got plans that will actually help these people. She's going to be a leader who actually values hard work, respects working Americans, and she will be an outstanding commander-in-chief because she's been in the room when tough decisions were made.
You worry about keeping America safe? She'll do it because she knows our military and knows our diplomats. She doesn't just talk about it. She doesn't play one on T.V. She's been there. She will be a smart, steady president for the United States.
And the one thing I got to remind you, she's not going to do it alone. That's why we have got to have a Congress that is also focused on you. Patrick Murphy, he's got the same values Hillary does unlike his opponent, Marco Rubio, Patrick -- don't boo. What are you supposed to do?
OBAMA: Unlike his opponent, Marco Rubio, Patrick actually shows up to work. He puts you ahead of politics. He didn't try to de-fund Planned Parenthood. He didn't think that some politicians should be making decisions. He said, let women make their own health care decisions. He didn't walk away from Florida's Latino community when the politics got tough. He kept on. Patrick kept on fighting for comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship.
He actually believes in science and as a consequence believes climate change is a problem for the people of Florida and that we should do something about it. Patrick Murphy brought Democrats and Republicans together to fund everglades restoration. He has a track record of caring about the environment. As your next senator, he and Hillary will help protect this planet for our kids and help make sure that Florida is protected against some of the worst consequences of climate change. This should be a no-brainer.
And there's one other big difference between Patrick and Marco. Marco supports Donald Trump. Now, keep in mind earlier this year, he called Donald a "dangerous con-artist." He said that Donald Trump has "spent a career sticking it to working people." And then he tweeted -- this is Marco Rubio, he tweeted. Friends don't let friends vote for con- artists." So guess who just voted for Donald Trump a few days ago? Marco Rubio. Obviously, he did not have good enough friends.
Listen, but this tells you something. This tells you something. Now, if you knew better when are running against Trump -- you knew he was a con-artist, spent a lifetime sticking it to working people, this is what you said. I'm not making this up, right? I just want to be clear.
[11:45:03] He said this, quoted, taped, right? If you knew better and then you went ahead and voted for this guy anyway, and supported this guy anyway, that means you are somebody who will say anything or be anything, be anybody, just so you can get elected or cling to power.
And you know what? If that's the kind of person you want representing you, I guess you should vote for Marco Rubio. But if you want, if you want a senator who will show up and work for you and have some integrity and has some consistency and will actually say what he thinks and what he means and then act on that, somebody you have confidence in, then you should vote for Patrick Murphy. I trust Patrick Murphy. I believe in Patrick Murphy. And Hillary needs Patrick Murphy in the United States Senate to make sure she gets done what she gets done.
So, part of the reason that -- part of the reason that it's important to get Patrick in, part of what I want to say about this election is, this is about more than just plans, policies. There is something more fundamental at stake. What's at stake is the character of our nation. You know, when Hillary was young, her mom taught her the Methodist creed -- do all you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways that you can for as long as you can. That's what guides her. That's her North Star. She believes we can summon the best in this country and make it better for all people, not just some. That's what America is all about, isn't it?
We're a country like no other not because of the height of our skyscrapers, not because of the size of our military. It's because this is a place founded on an idea. We hold these truths to be self- evident that all men and women are created equal, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. We don't have to be born to wealth or privilege. You don't have to have a certain last name or look a certain way or do your hair a certain style. You just got to be willing to contribute. You just got to be willing to work. You just got to care enough about other people and making sure everybody's got a fair shot. And if you do that, if you do that, then you're a patriot. And you can contribute to this country that you love and you can go as far as your dreams can take you. That what makes this place special.
That's what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny to found this nation. That's what led GIs to liberate a continent. That's what led women to march to get the ballot. That's what led marchers to cross a bridge in Selma to win their rights. That's what allowed workers to organize for collective bargaining and better wages. That's what made America exceptional. That's what always made America great. We've never been about just doing for ourselves, it's about what we can do together.
It's about what can be achieved by us, the people together through the heart, soul and yes, sometimes frustrating work of self-government. That's not what Donald Trump stands for, but it is what Hillary stands for. The idea that in this big, diverse country of ours, we don't demonize each other. We reach out and try to work together. We recognize that issues aren't always black and white and sometimes you got to compromise. Even when you are right, she knows none of us are perfect. But she knows that those of us who've been blessed with positions of leadership should try to conduct ourselves with the sense of decency and big heartedness that can set an example for our kids.
And I know Hillary will do that. I know she will continue the progress we've made and she'll need allies like Patrick because we can't just have Hillary stuck with a Republican Congress that behaves the way they've been behaving. You know, they haven't worked with me since I've been in office. They didn't work with me when we were about to go into a Great Depression.
[11:50:02] Even, even now, they control the Senate and the House, and they can't pass their own stuff. They're so accustomed to just saying no, obstruction, gridlock, "We're against whatever it is that Obama proposes."
I will sometimes propose their own stuff and they'll oppose it. It surprises them. I'll be like, well, this is in your Republican handbook, this is in your talking points, I bet you all record this. No, but you're for it now, we can't be for that -- I'm sorry. Come on, man.
So, apparently, they don't have much confidence in their nominee. So instead they're already promising more unprecedented dysfunction in Washington. Now, it's hard to promise more dysfunction, right? I mean, that's a hard thing to do. But they're promising that. They're promising years of investigation, years of hearings, years of shutdown, years of abstract, years to repeal Obamacare votes.
Can I just say by the way, let me -- I know I'm taking another side, I know I'm running long but -- we have given -- 20 million people have health insurance that didn't have it before. Twenty million people. The parade of horribles the Republican have talked about haven't happened. Death panels, you remember that? Saying this would bankrupt the country. None of what they've said is that.
So, now after 60 votes to repeal this thing that haven't succeeded, Donald Trump says we got to call a special session to repeal it. And he had a big press conference. And he had all -- a couple of doctors and nurse, Ben Carson and some people -- no, no -- who's an excellent neurosurgeon, he really is. I don't know what happened on the political thing.
So they come and they spend like an hour, we're going to repeal Obamacare. OK. And then what you gonna do? "Well, then we're going to repeal it and we're going to give you something great." "OK, what?" "Well, something." Because premiums are going up. Well, now it is true, premiums are going up for a handful of people who don't get tax credits. That's important. We're going to work as hard as we can to do something about it. We would have already done it if the Republicans had helped. But keep in mind, their alternative would have been no health insurance. That's what they had before.
So the reason I point this out was you watch the press conference and what you realize is they got no plan. They want to repeal because, ideologically, they're opposed to the idea of helping these 20 million people get health insurance. It's not like they don't even have a pretense of a plan. They don't even have a semblance of a plan. There's not even a hint of a plan. Not even a moat. Not even a -- there's no plan. Nothing. Zero. Nada, come on.
You can't just be against something, you got to be for something. You can't spend eight years being against me. And now you're going to be against Hillary but you haven't been for anything. Come on. Now you got some of these senators are talking about how we won't even appoint another Supreme Court justice. Now we've had nine Supreme Court justices for a really long time. And part of the reason you have nine is to break ties. And some of the same folks who just a while back said well we can't have hearings and vote for the guy Obama nominated because we're so close to the election and we should let the next president make the nomination, right, that's what they said.
So now they think Hillary might win, they say, well we might block hers too.
[11:55:03] Wait, but I thought you said that's the people were going to decide. Can I talk to the press for a second? What happened? Do we have to run back the tape? Do we have to kind of go, well, what happened? That's what they said and now they're saying something entirely different. Come on, man. This has got to be on the level. Don't pretend like gridlock is happening because somehow Democrats and Republicans are equally obstructionists. It's just not true.
You've got some Republicans right now who are suggesting they will impeach Hillary. They don't necessarily know why but they're just going to impeach her. Imagine if you had sitting Democratic senators saying that about Donald Trump. Before he was even elected saying we -- he will be impeached.
Look, nobody likes gridlock. But gridlock is not something mysterious that descends like a fog on Washington. Gridlock doesn't happening because both sides are doing bad things and both sides are corrupt. That's not what's going on. Gridlock happens purposely when Republican politicians like Marco Rubio decide they will do anything to oppose anything good for the country if a Democratic president proposes it. And that's now Marco Rubio's campaign platform, gridlock.
If you think "Vote for Gridlock" is a good slogan, you should vote for Republicans. But if you believe America can do better, if you think we should be doing something to create jobs for working families, if you think we should be providing health care for folks who need it, if you think we should be helping single moms with child care so they can go to the job, if you think we should have equal pay for equal work or raise the minimum wage, then you need to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket. You got to vote for Hillary and Patrick, people who role up the sleeves and will discuss it forward.
All right, I got on too long. I know I got a little too long, I got -- my staff is going to talk about me when I get back there. They'll say, what was going on, you just -- you're talking too long.
So let me end with this. Let's take it down for a second, I just want to -- because I want to make this point to young people especially. Just give me one second, just give me one second.
You know, I know a lot of you are cynical about politics. There's a lot in this election that gives you reason to be. But I'm here to tell you right now you have a chance to move history in a better direction. You have a chance to reject divisive politics and mean- spirited politics. You have a chance to elect a leader who spend her entire life trying to move this country forward, the first female president who can be an example for our sons and our daughters. You have the chance to shape history. And I want young people to understand those moments don't come that often.
You know, there are times where history is movable. Where you can make things better or worse. This is one of those moments. And it's in your hands. This incredible power that each of you have. I know you care about a lot of issues, young people. I've heard from you. I've heard -- I've seen you march for criminal justice reform. That's great. But if you care about criminal justice reform, it's not just enough to protest, you've also got to vote for a President and Congress, and prosecutors who care about disrupting that pipeline of underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. And make sure that the criminal justice system is accountable and fair.
I know that a lot of young people who care about the environment and climate change. I've heard you. But you got to have a President and a Congress who believes in science and who cares about climate change. And who will protect the progress we made and want to leave a better planet for our kids. If you've been working on immigration reform, I've been working too. But if we're going to finish the job, you got to have a President and a Congress who sees immigrants, not criminals or rapists, but people who have the same dreams and aspirations and who care about this country and who want to contribute and give back to it.
My point is your vote matters. It's because of you that 20 million have health insurance that didn't have it. It's because of you that there are young people who got Pell grants and could go to college who couldn't before --