The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery by U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 4
Rep. Gonzalez's remarks
I'm proud to speak to you tonight as the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Under President Barack Obama, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been invited into the White House and given a seat at the table. Hispanics are serving in unprecedented numbers at the highest levels of this administration, including in the Cabinet.
We made history when President Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor, a proud Latina, the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. And as the President likes to say, "Every single one of them wasn't just the best Latino for the job, but the best person for the job." President Obama understands that for the more than 50 million Hispanic Americans, their dream is the American dream, that we derive inspiration from our country's most enduring motto—E pluribus unum—out of many, one. And that we are an indispensable and indivisible part of this great country. President Obama has led with principles, with vision and with values.
And one of the most important values of Barack Obama is that he will always level with the American people. And then there's Mitt Romney. As Adlai Stevenson famously said to Richard Nixon, "If you stop telling lies about me, I'll stop telling the truth about you." When it comes to Medicare, the truth is that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to break the fundamental guarantee of Medicare, turn it into a voucher program and shift costs to our seniors.
When it comes to our country's immigration policies, the truth is that Mitt Romney has embraced the racial profiling policies of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The truth is he would separate families that have been here for generations. The truth is he has embraced distrust and division at the expense of American values. When it comes to America's economy, the truth is that Mitt Romney believes that the key to our country's economic future lies in the failed policies of the past, the same ones that put banks before people, Wall Street before Main Street, plunging us into recession and devastating the middle class.
The truth is that Republicans in Congress were prepared to throw into question the full faith and credit of the United States to forward their narrow political agenda. That's because perhaps the biggest lie the Republicans have told us is that they want to work with President Obama. The truth is what they want to do is undermine the President at the cost of our American values, like justice, fairness and opportunity.
Whether you are Hispanic American, African-American, Asian-American, we understand that we are all members of the American community. And America prospers when our neighbors are empowered and equipped to make their optimum contribution to this country. And that's not measured by the size of one's bank account, but by dedication and hard work. Justice, fairness and opportunity don't go to the highest bidder.
They belong to the American who is willing to invest his or her energy to better themselves, provide for their families and build a brighter future.
President Obama believes in an America where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded; where everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules. President Obama knows that it is the middle class that makes America great, and that's why we have to grow our economy and create jobs.
Over the past four years, President Obama's commitment to this vision led him to: rescue and re-energize the American auto industry and the more than one million jobs that depend upon it; pass health care reform to make health care a right, not just a privilege, and to strengthen and protect Medicare; help young people to afford college and jumpstart an American economy run on American energy sources.
The work that President Obama has undertaken has often been undermined by congressional Republicans.
But he has kept moving America forward. President Obama holds true to the values and vision on which this country was founded, but his work is not yet done.
As part of this great country, Hispanics have and will continue to work for the best this country has to offer, ready to do our part. We will work for policies that empower all Americans to be responsible and contributing members of the greatest country in the history of the world: the United States of America. We've worked for the American dream; now we have to vote for the American dream. And when we do, we will re-elect President Barack Obama. And now it is my great pleasure to introduce my good friend from the great state of New York, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
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