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CA-10: President Clinton Tells Bay Area Crowd: "Send Garamendi to Congress"

by: John Garamendi

Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 13:23:44 PM PDT

Last Tuesday, I had one of those days we treasure for life. I had the honor of receiving a public endorsement from President Bill Clinton at a rally with hundreds of enthusiastic Bay Area supporters at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.

The crowd was enthusiastic attentive, and the issues discussed far ranging - from solving the healthcare crisis to stabilizing our economy to slowing the ravages of climate change to creating high quality, middle-class jobs.

It's impossible to upstage the former President, and I won't try. Below are excerpts of his wonderful speech. CBS 5 has partial video.  


"I was thinking today as I was driving down here of so many things of the extent to which my life has been intertwined for the last 18 years with the Garamendi family.

"You heard John say that he and Patti served with great distinction. He was the Deputy Secretary of the Interior where he worked on everything from climate change to resolving water disputes in California, and he did a superb job of everything. And Patti at the Peace Corps, where we began what has now been an unbroken strain of bringing back the Peace Corps. Bringing more people back into it, going into more countries. ...

"This world has been pretty good to us. But on the other hand, California has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the country; Compton was ground zero of the earthquake of home mortgage foreclosures even before the failure of Lehman Brothers and the financial collapse. On September 15th, 2008, the day that Lehman Brothers collapsed, before that happened, already two-thirds of the American people were actually worse off than the day I left office. Little known fact. The median income after inflation was $2000 lower on September 15, 2008, than the day I left the presidency. And health costs after inflation had doubled. College costs after inflation have gone up 75 percent. ... We can't go on for eight more years where nobody gets a raise." ...

More over the flip...

John Garamendi :: CA-10: President Clinton Tells Bay Area Crowd: "Send Garamendi to Congress"
"I'm here because I love John ...  I'm here for him because I think he's good on the issues that will determine the future of California and the future of America. ...

"If I didn't know John Garamendi, but I know what I knew about America. And I was living up here thinking about how to bring Northern California back, and bring the state back, and bring the country back, and what we're supposed to do for our world, I'd be at this rally to support him. And I'm glad you're here, and you need to talk about it. ...

"We're not coming back until we make up our mind that we're going to stop spotting our competitors. John alluded to this. You go look at the numbers. If we're right now at about 17 percent of gross domestic product on health care, and ranked 36th in health outcomes - Columbia is 22nd. They spend five percent of their income on health care. So we're spending 17 percent on health care, give or take. No one is else is more than 11.5 percent ... Every other wealthy country. ...

"We are spotting every American competitor $900 billion a year. That is, we are spending $900 billion a year on health care we would not be spending if we had any other system. ... We cannot afford to spot our competitors $900 billion a year, when we don't even insure everybody. We can't tell the people who do have insurance their situation is secure. And we're not delivering better results. ...

"It's almost as if a lot of these people who went to the town hall meetings and berated our Congressmen are saying, "Here's what we want you to do. We want you to impose on all of us a $900 billion tax. And then we would like you - when we pay - we want you to convert it all to cash, and wheelbarrow it out to the mall on Washington DC, and show it to all of us on national television, so we can see what $900 billion looks like. Then put kerosene on it and burn it, because we ain't getting nothin' for it." ...

"I don't understand how people can say the worst thing we can do is something and the best thing we can do is nothing. This is killing our country, folks. I know something about economics. I hope I have a little bit of economic credibility with you. So never mind if your heart doesn't ache for the people who don't have insurance. Never mind if you're not worried sick that your neighbor's whole family could lose their insurance next week. Never mind all that. Just be cold blooded about it. This is the dumbest economic policy the United State could pursue, and if you want to change it, send John Garamendi to Congress," President Bill Clinton said.

# # #

Once again, I would like to thank President Clinton for his heartfelt endorsement. I am proud to call the former President a friend and mentor. Thank you also to all the volunteers and staff who helped put on this amazing event. Our campaign will be successful because supporters like you took nothing for granted. Our field operation is in full swing, and with voters already receiving their vote-by-mail ballots, we are in a critical moment of our campaign. Thousands of your friends and neighbors will soon cast ballots - some already have. If you'd be interested in volunteering (remote phone banking is available), please visit our volunteer page for more information.

California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi has spent more than three decades of public service fighting for green jobs and affordable health care as a state legislator and State insurance Commissioner. Featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and NPR, he has been a passionate advocate for the public option in federal health care reform. Vote by mail has already begun for our November 3rd election, and the stakes are high. Please visit http://www.garamendi.org for more information on Garamendi for Congress.

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