Transcript: Bill Clinton's remarks at the DNC

Transcript of former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, as delivered, Sept. 5, 2012:

CLINTON: I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then, just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression, a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter -- no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there'd still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside...

(APPLAUSE)

... but who burns for America on the inside.

(APPLAUSE)

I want -- I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, by education and, yes, by cooperation.

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

You know...

(APPLAUSE)

I -- I...

(APPLAUSE)

I want -- I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. And...

(APPLAUSE)

... I proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, folks, in Tampa a few days ago, we heard a lot of talk...

(LAUGHTER)

... all about how the president and the Democrats don't really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy. This Republican narrative, this alternative universe says that...

(APPLAUSE)

... every one of us in this room who amounts to anything, we're all completely self-made. One of the greatest chairmen the Democratic Party ever had, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself.

(LAUGHTER)

But, as Strauss then admitted, it ain't so.

(LAUGHTER)

We Democrats, we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see, we believe that "We're all in this together" is a far better philosophy than "You're on your own."

(APPLAUSE)

So who's right? Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what's the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two. (APPLAUSE)

Now, there's -- there's a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, and ignorance restrict growth.

(APPLAUSE)

When you stifle human potential, when you don't invest in new ideas, it doesn't just cut off the people who are affected. It hurts us all.

(APPLAUSE)

We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, there's something I've noticed lately. You probably have, too. And it's this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other Democrats.

(APPLAUSE)

I -- that -- that would be impossible for me, because President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system. When I was a governor, I worked with President Reagan in his White House on the first round of welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm actually very grateful to -- if you saw from the film what I do today, I have to be grateful -- and you should be, too -- that President George W. Bush supported PEPFAR. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries. And...

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