Prepared Remarks for Delivery: DNC Chair Rep. Wasserman Schultz at Alaska State Convention
May 15, 2016
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Tonight, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz addressed the Alaska State Convention. Below you will find excerpts as prepared for delivery:
“As chair of the DNC, I’ve committed myself to getting to know my fellow Democrats with visits to all fifty states – and I’ll be honest, it’s been a little easier to reach those lower forty-eight.
“But I know I’m not the only one here tonight who travelled a great distance to be at the convention – I understand there are even as many as 40 high school students coming all the way from Juneau, and who registered to be delegates – let’s give them a hand for being the future of our party.
“And let me just thank everyone else here who has travelled from across our country’s largest state to show your support.
“Your enthusiasm, energy, your commitment, and your dedication to our party will make all the difference on Election Day.
“So we’ve taken the 50-state strategy that Howard Dean pioneered when he was Chair of the National Party – and we’ve gone even further –
“Providing more funding; more infrastructure; more rocket fuel to keep the engines of our state parties firing on all cylinders and holding Republicans in office and in elections accountable.
“That means that here in Alaska the DNC helps fund direct mail campaigns to reach voters and help get them to the polls on Election Day.
“We fund salaries for critical staff under our state party partnerships. In fact, Kay Brown can tell you, she was one of the first State Party Partnership employees we ever hired.
“Since 2009, the DNC has directly provided the Alaska Democratic Party more than $625,000 in direct support.
“But it’s not just the funding — the DNC has been out-pacing the GOP in how we offer direct support to our state parties with training, and bench-building; we share our deep research and communications capabilities in Alaska and across the country.
“Since 2013, we have quintupled the size of our digital team, to boost fundraising and provide training and support to our state parties.
“We’ve organized a team of experts in messaging, branding, and polling to review the way we communicate, and we’ve built an in-house Communications team to hold Republicans accountable every single day.
“We’ve built out a state-of-the-art media monitoring operation to track and inform our rapid response operation.
“Our teams are providing training, disseminating best practices, sharing technology and design assets, and building community among State Party staff and the rest of the Democratic family.
“And combined with our national, state-of-the-art voter file, which we’ve been building out for years, we have a real edge that’s going to help carry us to victory.
“And we’ve done it all while paying off more than $20 million in debt after winning the 2012 presidential election and re-electing Barack Obama.
“But of course, our number one advantage comes from our candidates, and the contrast they’re offering Alaska voters and the American people.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the two candidates at the top of our ticket.
“From Day One, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have been running smart, substantive campaigns focused on the issues that matter.
“We’ve watched them engage honestly with voters, answer thoughtfully at town halls and debates, and deliver an aspirational message that speaks to the hopes and dreams of the American people…
“And no matter which one of our candidates becomes the nominee, we will be united coming out of our convention and headed toward Election Day.
“In the words of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ‘Trump will not be president.’
“At the DNC we are not going to make the same mistake his Republican opponents made.
“We’re ready for Trump.
“Ready to hold him accountable for the damage he’s doing as a candidate and the damage he’s promising he would do as president.
“Just this week, Trump met with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to show that despite their nasty, mud-slinging primary, they’re getting ready to sing ‘kumbaya’ and give us everything they’ve got.
“And what they’ve got is the same old playbook: the same failed trickle-down economic policies that preceded the Great Recession under the last Republican president.
“So Trump isn’t something new – he’s just the old Republican brand, but with a little extra bronzer on – he’s that much move dangerous.
“He only looks out for himself. He lacks the temperament and judgment to be commander in chief. And every aspect of his presidency would harm our country and damage our standing in the world.
“Even as a candidate, Trump has damaged America’s relationships across the globe. In the White House, he would make America less safe.
“He has no foreign policy experience – but don’t worry about that – he said he’ll rely on his ‘good brain,’ instead of listening to experts.
“He has a decades-long record of denigrating women, which is why seven out of ten women disapprove of his candidacy.
“He exploits racial anxieties and cultural fears. His rallies have sparked violence against people of color, protestors, and the media.
“Recent reports found that bullying at schools is on the rise as a result of his hateful rhetoric. He’s making our communities less safe and he’s only a candidate!
“And while he tries to paint a picture of his wealth and business success, his record is riddled with examples that he prefers to turn a quick buck even when it comes at the expense of workers.
“But much of this the same old playbook gave George W. Bush two terms, so we have to treat Trump’s candidacy as a real threat because it is!
“I’m inspired here tonight – I wish everyone could see how much dedication the Democrats of Alaska have.
“Don’t believe for a second that just because the pundits like to paint Alaska red and say it isn’t a battleground state means you’re sidelined.
“In every presidential election since 2000, the percentage of Alaskans casting their vote for the Democrat has increased – from 27% in 2000 to more than 40% in 2012.
“This has already been an exciting election year nationally – working together, I know we can Dump Trump and, eventually turn Alaska Blue.
“I know we can count on you to keep working hard throughout this election.
“So thank you for all you’ve done to support our party, and thank you for everything you will do to bring us all the way to victory in November.
“Now on to victory! Thank you, Alaska Democrats!”