Senator Sherrod Brown Remarks
COLUMBUS, OHIO – After declaring victory tonight, Senator Brown lost his voice, and his wife, Connie Schultz, delivered most of this speech. The remarks as prepared are below:
Today in Ohio, in the middle of America, the middle class won.
Only a year ago we gathered to celebrate the defeat of Issue 2, an undisguised assault on the middle class.
Just like this fall, we fought back against secretive out-of-state forces that wanted to impose THEIR will upon OUR great state.
But that’s nothing new. Citizens United might be a new name dressed up in an expensive 21st Century suit. But it’s an old story where a few people – a few very, very rich people – wanted to rig the system for themselves.
At the turn of the last century, Mark Hanna – the Ohio Republican boss and U.S. senator – said, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is,” he proclaimed.
Back then our ancestors had an answer for Boss Hanna: It was the canary in the coal mine.
Progressive forces in our nation – people like Dorothy Day, the Reuther brothers, Lincoln Steffens and W.E.B DuBois – fought for a land of opportunity.
At the beginning of this speech, I said the middle class won today.
The middle class is not just the economic middle.
Most of us in this country think of ourselves as middle class.
It’s the values we share.
The principles we believe in.
The opportunities we create for our children.
The hard work we do every day.
The businesses we build.
This race was never really about me or my opponent. It was about the veteran in Columbus, the waitress in Waverly, the steelworker in Yorkville, the auto parts worker in Toledo, the small businessman in Marietta, and the farmer in Waldo. And it was about their families and neighbors.
The race is about the resurgence in Ohio manufacturing. The workers and managers from Navistar in Springfield, Airbus in Columbus and Arcelor-Mittal in Cleveland – all adding jobs in Ohio.
It’s about building trades members in Columbus and Dayton – raising steel, pouring concrete and laying pipe. It’s about the 300 electricians building a new assembly line in the Jeep plant.
That would be the Jeep plant in Toledo.
That would be in Ohio.
That would be in the United States of America.
And it’s about the Chevy Cruze, Ohio’s comeback story.
And Teamster car haulers move those cars all across America.
Since the auto rescue took hold, Ohio’s unemployment rate has gone from 10.6 percent to 7 percent.
But it’s not just the auto rescue that helped bring Ohio back.
It’s Lilly Ledbetter and equal pay for women – first law signed by President Obama.
It’s the special program we passed to put middle-aged veterans back to work.
It’s ending the war in Iraq.
It’s repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
And it’s Obamacare:
Family with diabetes
Tens of millions insured –
Because of these achievements, secretive out-of-state forces invaded our state.
40 million dollars worth
In October eight out-of-state groups, all at the same time were poisoning Ohio’s airwaves.
Spending more money against me than any U.S. senate candidate in the history of the United States.
Running 50,000 ads.
But these groups just didn’t know Ohio.
Here’s what they didn’t know:
They didn’t know we had the best grassroots effort in America.
They didn’t know we had tens of thousands of volunteers.
They didn’t know we had more than 100,000 contributors.
And they didn’t know that YOU could not be bought.
Remember what Mark Hanna said. “There are two things that are important in politics. First is money.” And he said, “I can’t remember what the second one is.”
In Ohio we know what the second thing is: The second one is you.
Actually, the most important thing in politics is you.