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CONVENTION 2000 / THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

'I Will Fight for You'

August 18, 2000

The text of Al Gore's speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination:

I speak tonight of gratitude, achievement and high hopes for our country.

Tonight, I think first of those who helped me get here--starting with the people of Tennessee. Then, those who braved the first snows of Iowa and New Hampshire--and all of you here from all over this country who have come with me into the warm sunlight of this great city.

While I can't thank each of you individually in words, I do so in my heart.

And I know you won't mind if I single out someone who has just spoken so eloquently, someone I've loved with my whole heart since the night of my high school senior prom, my wife, Tipper. We've been lucky enough to find each other all over again at each new stage of our lives--and we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.

I want to acknowledge with great pride our four children: Kristin, Sarah and Albert, our oldest daughter, Karenna, and her husband, Drew, and the youngest member of our family, who a little over a year ago was born on the Fourth of July, our grandson, Wyatt. And my brother-in-law, Frank Hunger.

I am honored tonight by the support of a leader of high ideals and fundamental decency, who will be an important part of our country's future, Sen. Bill Bradley. Thank you, Bill. Thank you, Bill, for your focus on campaign finance reform and civil rights and ending child poverty.

*

There's someone else who will shape that future, a leader of character and courage, a defender of the environment and working families, the next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Lieberman. And Hadassah and their wonderful family.

I picked Joe for one simple reason: He's the best person for the job.

For almost eight years now, I've been the partner of a leader who moved us out of the valley of recession and into the longest period of prosperity in American history. I say to you tonight: Millions of Americans will live better lives for a long time to come because of the job that's been done by President Bill Clinton.

Instead of the biggest deficits in history, we now have the biggest surpluses, the highest home ownership ever, the lowest inflation in a generation. And instead of losing jobs, we now have 22 million good, new jobs, higher family income.

Above all, our success comes from you, the people who have worked hard for your families.

Let's not forget that a few years ago, you were also working hard. But your hard work then was undone by a government that didn't work, didn't put people first and wasn't on your side.

Together, we changed things, to help unleash your potential and unleash innovation and investment in the private sector, the engine that drives our economic growth.

And our progress on the economy is a good chapter in our history.

But now we turn the page and write a new chapter. And that's what I want to speak about tonight.

This election is not an award for past performance.

I'm not asking you to vote for me on the basis of the economy we have.

Tonight, I ask for your support on the basis of the better, fairer, more prosperous America we can build together.

Together, let's make sure that our prosperity enriches not just the few but all working families. Let's invest in health care, education, a secure retirement and middle-class tax cuts.

I'm happy that the stock market has boomed and so many businesses and new enterprises have done well. This country is richer and stronger.

But my focus is on working families, people trying to make house payments and car payments, working overtime to save for college and do right by their kids--whether you're in a suburb or an inner city, whether you raise crops or drive hogs and cattle on a farm, drive a big rig on the interstate or drive e-commerce on the Internet, whether you're starting out to raise your own family or getting ready to retire after a lifetime of hard work.

So often, powerful forces and powerful interests stand in your way, and the odds seem stacked against you, even as you do what's right for you and your family.

How and what we do for all of you--the people who pay the taxes, bear the burdens and live the American dream--that is the standard by which we should be judged.

And for all of our good times, I am not satisfied.

*

To all the families in America who have to struggle to afford the right education and the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs--I want you to know this: I've taken on the powerful forces. And as president, I'll stand up to them and I'll stand up for you.

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