Speeches from the 2012 Democratic National Convention
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Remarks to the 2012 Democratic National Convention
Charlotte, North Carolina
September 6, 2012
I'm so proud to represent the people of South Florida. I was so honored when President Obama asked me to serve as chair of the Democratic Party. But there's one job I'm even more proud of, and that's being a mom to my three kids, Rebecca, Jake and Shelby.
In 2008, I could see what eight years of top-down economics were doing to their future. And, like so many of you, I worked day in and day out. Together, we elected President Obama. When I addressed our convention that year, I spoke about what the stakes were for our country. What I didn't tell you was how high the stakes were for my family.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2008, right before the convention, I had one of seven surgeries that year. I was fortunate. I had good insurance and great doctors. Today, I stand before you as a survivor! But like every breast cancer survivor, I now have a pre-existing condition.
I know what it's like to sit in that waiting room wondering how many more anniversaries you'll get with your husband or how many more birthdays you'll celebrate with your kids. I don't care how strong a woman you are, that moment is terrifying. And in America, no one should have to go through it without health insurance. No family should go broke just because a mom gets sick.
So when President Obama passed health care reform, it was personal! And when Governor Romney says he would repeal Obamacare and put insurance companies back in charge of a woman's health, that's personal too. When he tries to take us back to the days when insurers could charge us more just for being a woman or deny coverage to breast cancer survivors like me, that's personal. When he tries to take away a woman's control over decisions that affect her health and reproductive choices and family, that's personal.
This election is personal for every American—for the middle-class family in Hollywood, Florida; for the dreamer in Miami Beach; and for the senior citizens I meet across South Florida, from Century Village to Sunrise Lakes to Aventura.
One woman told me, "Debbie, thanks to the new law, I don't have to cut my pills in half each month." That's because President Obama is closing the prescription drug doughnut hole. He strengthened Medicare! He extended the life of the program by eight years. And what Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan won't admit is that their plan would require current seniors to pay, on average, $600 more each year for prescription drugs. And the Romney-Ryan plan would replace the guarantee of Medicare with a voucher that wouldn't keep up with costs. Congressman Ryan says that he wants Medicare to be around for his grandkids. Well, if that's the case, he had better vote for Barack Obama!
I am a proud Democrat, but the choice in this election has nothing to do with party and everything to do with people. People who believe that a senior needs Medicare more than a millionaire needs a tax cut. And people who believe our president's message to the middle class should be "we're on your side," not, "you're on your own." These are President Obama's priorities. They are our priorities.
This fall, we will fight for them harder than ever! Over the next two months, no one will outwork us! That's my promise to you! But I can't keep that promise on my own. I need you to help me keep it.
So, when you feel too drained to register one more voter, too tired to make one more phone call or too exhausted to knock on one more door, dig just a little bit deeper. Work just a little bit harder. And don't get weary! Remember this is personal! Let's finish what we started, and re-elect President Barack Obama!
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