Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton’s Speech at the Al Smith Dinner Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Transcript of Hillary Clinton’s Speech at the Al Smith Dinner

Source: Time, 10-21-16

[*] CLINTON: Thank you. (APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Your Eminence, Your Excellencies, members of the clergy, Al and Nan Smith, Donald and Melania, and all the distinguished guests.

You know, earlier tonight, Al reminded me that when the first Al Smith ran for president, he chose as his running mate the progressive senator from Arkansas, Joseph T. Robinson, who was one of my husband’s political heroes.

This work that you do through the dinner — Al, you’ve done it now for 30 — 30 years — is such a labor of love. You’ve been a hero for both the children of the archdiocese and for the city of New York. And I think we all owe Al Smith a great, great round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

This is such a special event that I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here.

(LAUGHTER)

And as you’ve already heard, it’s a treat for all of you too, because usually I charge a lot for speeches like this.

(LAUGHTER)

But, for me, it was kind of ironic thinking about a fiery populist, Al Smith. If he were here today and saw how much money we’ve raised for needy children, he’d be very proud.

(APPLAUSE)

And if he saw this magnificent room, full of plutocrats celebrating his legacy, he’d be very confused.

(LAUGHTER)

It’s a special honor to be here with Your Eminence. Now I know, Your Eminence, you were criticized for inviting both Donald and me here tonight, and you responded by saying “If I only sat down with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone.”

(LAUGHTER)

Now, just to be clear, I think the Cardinal is saying I’m not eligible for sainthood. But getting through these three debates with Donald has to count as a miracle.

(LAUGHTER)

So I guess I’m up against the highest, hardest stained-glass ceiling.

(LAUGHTER) But, Your Eminence, you deserve great credit for bringing together two people who’ve been at each other’s throats — mortal enemies, bitter foes; I’ve got to ask, how did you get the governor and mayor here together tonight?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I’ve got to say, there are a lot of friendly faces here in this room; people that I’ve been privileged to know and to work with. I just want to put you all in a basket of adorables.

(LAUGHTER)

And you look so good in your tuxes; or, as I refer to them, formal pantsuits.

(LAUGHTER)

And, you know, because this is a friendly dinner for such a great cause; Donald, if at any time, you don’t like what I’m saying feel free to stand up and shout “Wrong!” while I’m talking.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, come to think of it, it’s amazing I’m up here after Donald. I didn’t think he’d be okay with a peaceful transition of power.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

And, Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, I’ve had the privilege of being at the Al Smith dinners in years past and I always enjoy it. But, remember, if you’re not happy with the way it comes out, it must be rigged.

(LAUGHTER)

And it’s always a special treat for me to be back in New York; a city that I love and which I think truly embodies the best of America. You know — don’t you think?

(APPLAUSE)

People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a “four.”

(LAUGHTER)

Maybe a “five” if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, come to think of it, you know what would be a good number for a woman? Forty-five.

(APPLAUSE)

But I digress. Now, I’m going to try my best tonight, but I understand I am not known for my sense of humor. That’s why it did take a village to write these jokes.

(LAUGHTER)

People say — and I hear them, I know — they say I’m boring compared to Donald. But I’m not boring at all. In fact, I’m the life of every party I attend and I’ve been to three.

(LAUGHTER)

And when the parties get out of hand, as occasionally they do, it’s important to have a responsible chaperone who can get everyone home safely. And that is why I picked Tim Kaine to be my Vice President.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day. And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.

(LAUGHTER)

But every year, this dinner brings together a collection of sensible, committed, mainstream Republicans — or, as we now like to call them — Hillary supporters.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, some of my critics — and I hear that too —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah.

CLINTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

They think I only say what people want to hear. Well, tonight, that is true. And here’s exactly what you want to hear — this election will be over very, very soon.

(APPLAUSE)

And look at this dais — we’ve got Charlie Rose, and Maria Bartiromo, and Chris Matthews, and Gayle King, and Nora O’Donnell, and Katie Couric — this counts as a press conference, right?

(LAUGHTER)

It is great, also, to see Mayor Bloomberg here.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s a shame he’s not speaking tonight. I’m curious to hear what a billionaire has to say.

(LAUGHTER)

And look else (ph) at the dais — we’ve got the Honorable Chuck Schumer, the Honorable Andrew Cuomo, the Honorable Mike Bloomberg, the Honorable Bill DeBlasio, the Honorable Dave Dinkins, and so many other wonderful elected officials. And we have Rudy Giuliani.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, many don’t know this, but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes. But, as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, go on Fox News and call them a genius.”

(LAUGHTER)

So as I’ve said, we’ve now had our third and, thankfully, final debate. Sharing a stage with Donald Trump is like, well, nothing really comes to mind.

(LAUGHTER)

There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump. Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate. And look, I’ve got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, actually, I did. It’s called preparation.

(LAUGHTER)

And looking back, I’ve had to listen to Donald for three full debates. And he says I don’t have any stamina.

(LAUGHTER)

That is four and a half hours. I have now stood next to Donald Trump longer than any of his campaign managers.

(LAUGHTER) Now, look, I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway. She’s working day and night for Donald and because she’s a contractor, he’s probably not even going to pay her.

(LAUGHTER)

But I think the good news is that the debates finally allowed Republicans to unite around their candidate. The bad news is, it’s Mike Pence. And it’s been a long, long campaign. That should be one of our highest priorities, shortening the campaigns.

(APPLAUSE)

And whoever wins this election, the outcome will be historic. We’ll either have the first female president or the first president who started a Twitter war with Cher.

(LAUGHTER)

And if Donald does win, it will be awkward at the annual President’s Day photo, when all the former presidents gather at the White House, and not just with Bill.

How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?

(LAUGHTER)

Now, Republicans in particular seem frustrated with their nominee. Paul Ryan told the Republican members of the House, you — you don’t have to support the top of the ticket. Don’t worry about anyone besides yourself. Just do what’s in your own best interests. So I guess Donald really has unified his party around his core philosophy.

And I don’t understand their unhappiness. They say Donald doesn’t have any polit-cies (sic). He has no policies. I keep hearing that.

I’d actually like to defend him on this. Donald has issues, serious issues.

(LAUGHTER)

Really, really serious issues.

(LAUGHTER)

And I worry about Donald’s go it alone attitude. For example, at his convention, when he said I alone can fix it, you know, in the ’90s, I said the same thing about America’s health care system and it didn’t work out so well for me, either.

But speaking of health, Donald has been very concerned about mine, very concerned. He actually sent a car to bring me here tonight. Actually, it was a hearse.

(LAUGHTER)

But I — but I kind of want to just put the information out there, so everybody can draw their own conclusions and you can judge our relative health. We’ve each released our medical records. My blood pressure is 100/70. His is unbelievably great.

(LAUGHTER)

My cholesterol is 189, his is presidential.

(LAUGHTER)

My heart rate is 72 beats per minute, his is the most beats ever, or the least beats ever, whichever sounds best.

(LAUGHTER)

But Donald really is as healthy as a horse, you know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on.

(LAUGHTER)

But — but I can say without fear of contradiction tonight, that I will be the healthiest and youngest woman ever to serve as president.

(APPLAUSE)

But this has really been a strange campaign. You saw it last night. You saw it again tonight. Donald has attacked me for a life in public service and I didn’t get that at first. I kind of get it now. As he told Howard Stern, he doesn’t like it when women have been around for more than 35 years.

But Donald, we have so much more in common than, actually, you may realize.

For example, I tried to inspire young people by showing them that with resilience and hard work anything is possible and you’re doing the same. A third grade teacher told me that one of her students refused to turn in his homework because it was under audit.

And here’s another similarity. The Republican National Committee isn’t spending a dime to help either one of us.

So tonight, let’s embrace the spirit of the evening. Let’s come together. Remember what unites us and just rip on Ted Cruz.

(LAUGHTER)

I hope you enjoyed my remarks tonight. I said no to some jokes that I thought were over the line. But I suppose you can judge for yourself on Wikileaks in the next few days.

(LAUGHTER) Donald will tell us after the benediction whether he accepts that this dinner is over. He has to wait and see. But there’s nothing funny about the stakes in this election. In the end what makes this dinner important are not the jokes we tell but the legacy that we carry forward. It is often easy to forget how far this country has come.

And there are a lot of people in this room tonight who themselves, or their parents or grandparents, came here as immigrants, made a life for yourselves, took advantage of the American dream and the greatest system that has ever been created in the history of the world to unleash the individual talents and energy and ambition of everyone willing to work hard.

And when I think about what Al Smith went through it’s important to just reflect how groundbreaking it was for him, a Catholic, to be my party’s nominee for president. Don’t forget – school boards sent home letters with children saying that if Al Smith is elected president you will not be allowed to have or read a Bible. Voters were told that he would annul Protestant marriages.

And I saw a story recently that said people even claimed the Holland Tunnel was a secret passageway to connect Rome and America, to help the Pope rule our country.

Those appeals, appeals to fear and division, can cause us to treat each other as the Other. Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to see each other, to respect each other, to listen to each other. And certainly a lot harder to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I believe how we treat others is the highest expression of faith and of service. I’m not Catholic. I’m a Methodist, but one of the things that we share is the belief that in order to achieve salvation we need both faith and good works. And you certainly don’t need to be Catholic to be inspired by the humility and heart of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Or to embrace his message.

(APPLAUSE)

His message about rejecting a mindset of hostility, his calls to reduce inequality, his warnings about climate change, his appeal that we build bridges, not walls.

Now as you may know, my running mate, Tim, is Catholic and went to Jesuit schools, and one of the things he and I have talked about is this idea from the Jesuits of the Magis, the more, the better. But we need to get better at finding ways to disagree on matters of policy while agreeing on questions of decency and civility. How we talk to each other, treat each other, respect each other.

(APPLAUSE)

So I’ve taken this concept of Magis to heart in this campaign, as best as one can in the daily heat, the back and forth of a presidential campaign, to ask how we can do more for each other, and better for each other. Because I believe that for each of us, our greatest monument on this earth won’t be what we build, but the lives we touch.

And that is ultimately what this dinner is all about. And it’s why it’s been such a great honor to join you all again. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 October 20, 2016: Donald Trump’s Speech at the Al Smith Dinner Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Transcript of Donald Trump’s Speech at the Al Smith Dinner

Source: Time, 10-21-16

[*] (UNKNOWN): Donald, the microphone is yours.

TRUMP: And it’s working. (LAUGHTER)

Thank you Al. Wow. That was good. Mm. This is a helluva dinner. Well I want to thank Your Eminence. This is really great to be with you again. Beloved Governor Cuomo, our great senators. Hi Chuck. He used to love me when I was a Democrat you know.

(LAUGHTER)

Mayor de Blasio. Wherever you are. Where’s Mayor de Blasio? (inaudible) See in the old days I would have know him very well but I haven’t doing so much of the real estate any (ph).

And I want to thank Al and Ann (ph) Smith, just a fantastic job you do with the dinner. Congratulations on a record – over $6 million, right? He’s got a record.

(APPLAUSE)

And a special hello to all of you in this room who have known and loved me for many, many years. It’s true.

The politicians. They’ve had me to their homes, they’ve introduced me to their children, I’ve become their best friends in many instances. They’ve asked for my endorsement and they always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I’ve always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me.

But that’s OK. You know, they say when you do this kind of an event you always start out with a self-deprecating joke. Some people think this would be tough for me, but the truth is …

(LAUGHTER)

It’s true — the truth is I’m actually a modest person. Very modest. It’s true. In fact many people tell me that modesty is perhaps my best quality.

(LAUGHTER)

Even better than my temperament.

(LAUGHTER)

You know Cardinal Dolan and I have some things in common. For instance, we both run impressive properties on Fifth Avenue. Of course his is much more impressive than mine. That’s because I built mine with my own beautifully formed hands.

(LAUGHTER)

While his was built with the hands of God, and nobody can compete with God. Is that correct? Nobody. Right?

(APPLAUSE)

That’s right. No contest.

It’s great to be here with a thousand wonderful people, or, as I call it, a small intimate dinner with some friends. Or as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season.

(LAUGHTER)

Ahh, this stuff. This is corny stuff. I do recognize that I come into this event with a little bit of an advantage. I know that so many of you in the archdiocese already have a place in your heart for a guy who started out as a carpenter working for his father. I was a carpenter working for mine.

(LAUGHTER)

True. Not for a long period of time but I was. For about three weeks. What’s great about the Al Smith Dinner is that even in the rough and tumble world of a really, really hard-fought campaign – in fact I don’t know if you know Hillary but last night they said, “That was the most vicious debate in the history of politics, presidential debate. The most vicious.”

And I don’t know – are we supposed to be proud of that or where are we supposed to be on that one. But they did say that and I’m trying to think back to Lincoln. I don’t think we can compete with that. But the candidates have some light-hearted moments together, which is true. I have no doubt that Hillary is going to laugh quite a bit tonight, sometimes even at appropriate moments.

(LAUGHTER)

And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, “Pardon me.”

(LAUGHTER)

And I very politely replied, “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.”

(LAUGHTER)

Just kidding, just kidding. And Hillary was very gracious. She said if somehow she gets elected she wants me to be, without question, either her ambassador to Iraq or to Afghanistan. It’s my choice.

(LAUGHTER)

But one of the things I noticed tonight – and I’ve known Hillary for a long time – this is the first time ever, ever, that Hillary is sitting down and speaking to major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it. (LAUGHTER)

It’s true. It’s true.

You know, last night, I called Hillary a “nasty woman,” but this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

In fact, I’m actually starting to like Rosie a lot.

(LAUGHTER)

These events give not only the candidates a chance to be with each other in a very social setting; it also allows the candidates the opportunity to meet the other candidate’s team — good team.

I know Hillary met my campaign manager, and I got the chance to meet the people who are working so hard to get her elected. There they are — the heads of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC — there’s the New York Times, right over there, and the Washington Post.

(LAUGHTER)

They’re working overtime. True. True.

(APPLAUSE)

Oh, this one’s going to get me in trouble.

(LAUGHTER)

Not with Hillary. You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech —

(LAUGHTER)

— and people get on her case.

(APPLAUSE)

And I don’t get it. I don’t know why.

(APPLAUSE)

And it wasn’t her fault. Stand up, Melania. Come on. She took a lot of abuse.

(APPLAUSE)

Oh, I’m in trouble when I go home tonight. I’m — she didn’t know about that one. Am I okay? Is it okay?

Cardinal, please speak to her.

(LAUGHTER)

I’d like to address an important religious matter: the issue of going to confession. Or, as Hillary calls it, the Fourth of July weekend with FBI Director Comey.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, I’m told Hillary went to confession before tonight’s event, but the priest was having a hard time, when he asked about her sins, and she said she couldn’t remember 39 times.

(LAUGHTER)

Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission.

(BOOING)

How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt. Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the 70s. What’s her pitch? The economy is busted? The government’s corrupt? Washington is failing? “Vote for me. I’ve been working on these problems for 30 years. I can fix it”, she says.

I wasn’t really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight, because I guess you didn’t send her invitation by email. Or, maybe, you did and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks.

(LAUGHTER)

We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy —

(BOOING)

— and a totally different policy in private. That’s okay. I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.

Now some of you haven’t noticed, Hillary isn’t laughing as much as the rest of us. That’s because she knows the jokes. And all of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by Donna Brazile. Which is – everyone knows, of course, Hillary’s belief that it takes a village, which only makes sense after all in places like Haiti, where she’s taken a number of them.

(BOOING)

Thank you. I don’t know – and I don’t want this evening without saying something nice about my opponent. Hillary has been in Washington a long time. She knows a lot about how government works. And according to her sworn testimony Hillary has forgotten more things than most of us will ever, ever, ever know. That I can tell you.

(BOOING)

We’re having some fun here tonight and that’s good.

On a personal note, what an amazing honor it is to be with all of you. And I want to congratulate Hillary on getting the nomination and we’re in there fighting and over the next 19 days somebody’s going to be chosen. We’ll see what happens. But I have great memories of coming to this dinner with my father over the years when I was a young man. Great experience for me.

This was always a special experience for him and me to be together. One thing we can all agree on is the need to support the great work that comes out of the dinner. Millions of dollars have been raised to support disadvantaged children, and I applaud the many people who have worked to make this wonderful event a critical lifeline for children in need.

(APPLAUSE)

And that we together broke the all-time record tonight is really something special. More than $6 million net, net, net, net. The cardinal told me that’s net net, Donald, remember. We can also agree on the need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, to defend religious liberty and to create a culture that celebrates life. America is in many ways divided …

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. America is in many ways divided like it’s never been before. And the great religious leaders here tonight give us all an example that we can follow. We’re living in a time, an age that we never thought possible before. The vicious barbarism we read about in history books, but never thought we’d see it in our so-called modern- day world. Who would have thought we would be witnessing what we’re witnessing today.

We’ve got to be very strong, very, very smart, and we’ve got to come together not only as a nation, but as a world community. Thank you very much, God bless you and God bless America. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you very much.

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