Excerpts from DNC Chair’s Remarks at DNC Summer Meeting

Today, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will address the DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis.

Below please find excerpts of her remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Every single one of our candidates believes to their core that middle class families are worth fighting for, and those still struggling to get there themselves. The next Democratic candidate – no matter who he or she may be – is committed to ensuring all Americans have a level playing field and a fair shot to get ahead. 

“The same cannot be said for the Republican Party.  Simply, they are out-of-touch, and their policies are outdated. They want to turn back the clock, to the failed policies of the past.  It doesn’t matter how many candidates Republicans have, because they’re all working from the same, old, tired Republican playbook of policies that hurt women, immigrants, and the middle class.  

“Last week Scott Walker came here to Minnesota and announced his so-called health care plan. I bet you can guess what it does:

  • Immediately takes away health care coverage from 19 million Americans;
  • Puts insurance companies back in control, allowing them to discriminate against women and make it harder to get insurance if you have a pre-existing condition;
  • Increases seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and preventive care; and
  • Cuts health funding for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children, pregnant women and others who depend on Medicaid.

“Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s the same Republican repeal plan they’ve been pushing for years.

“The Affordable Care Act has survived two Supreme Court cases, nearly sixty votes to repeal it in the House of Representatives, and a presidential election already. And 16 million Americans have insurance because of it!

“But every Republican running for President has pledged to repeal the law, taking that peace of mind away from millions of Americans.”

“Within the last month, we’ve celebrated the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid, and the 80th anniversary of Social Security!

“These programs represent a sacred promise between America and its people. Representing south Florida, I know first-hand how many older Americans rely on Medicare and Social Security so they can retire with the dignity they deserve.

“Democrats put these programs in place and we intend to keep our promise, and to strengthen it as well. But Republicans – they’re looking for any excuse they can to break that promise.

“Many Republicans, including Rand Paul and Chris Christie, have suggested raising the retirement age, pushing the prospect of a secure retirement further out of reach for many Americans. Jeb Bush supported his brother’s plan to partially privatize Social Security and ‘phase out’ Medicare, putting Americans at risk of losing their retirement savings with the ups and downs of Wall Street. And John Kasich suggested his plan would cut benefits for Baby Boomers – who are already nearing retirement age and counting on the Social Security benefits they’ve earned.

“The Republican field simply doesn’t know or worse doesn’t care about what keeps senior citizens and middle class families up in the middle of the night, and they never will.”

“Unfortunately, it seems like the only way we are talking about immigration reform in this country is in response to what Donald Trump says.  Trump launched his campaign with a slew of hateful rhetoric about Mexican immigrants, propelling him right to the top of the Republican polls.

“While some Republicans have tried to distance themselves from Trump’s hateful rhetoric, the fact is they endorse some of the same policies.

“For example – last week Trump launched a debate about whether we should deny children the American citizenship they are guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Republicans rushed to follow his lead – Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson all came out against birthright citizenship. Even Marco Rubio questioned it, and Jeb Bush called for greater enforcement against the U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, using a vile term to describe them that I won’t repeat here.

“That’s right; it’s their language and their policies that are offensive.”

“Over the next fifteen months, remember that contrast, and remember what’s at stake in this election.

“Will we as Democrats keep moving our nation forward, building on the success of middle class economics to help families get ahead?

“Or do we give Republicans a chance to turn back the clock to the failed policies of the past, undoing the progress we’ve fought so hard to achieve?”