This is the full text, as prepared for delivery, of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) at a rally today with former President Bill Clinton in support of his bid for re-election to a fourth term as the congressman from New Jersey’s 5th district:
Thank you to our First Lady, Congressman Pascrell, current and former elected officials, party leaders, first responders, veterans, the men and women of labor, and of course my wonderful family.
Chairman Juliano — I am beyond grateful for your leadership and friendship and your unending fight for our party and for the values we treasure. There is a good reason why you are our leader.
Mr. President, welcome to the house of labor. Welcome to Paramus. Welcome to Bergen County — or, as I like to call it, Bill Clinton Country.
Mr. President — these are your people — and we are fired up. Are you fired up?
My friends — as President — Bill Clinton would finish nearly every speech the same way — reminding us that, here in the greatest country in the world, our best days will always be ahead of us.
So, Mr. President, I won’t take a long look back, but just for a minute, I want us all to remember many of the great things your Administration got done.
As President, you paid down the national debt, protected Social Security and Medicare, invested in infrastructure, science, and technology, and had surpluses as far as the eye could see.
You helped create 23 million new jobs — more new jobs than Reagan and Bush combined. The lowest unemployment in 30 years. The lowest poverty rates in 20 years.
You cut taxes for the middle class.
Crime was at a 25-year low with 100,000 new community police officers on the beat — and, along with our firefighters and EMTs, you always had their backs. And you passed the assault weapons ban, which kept guns out of the hands of 500,000 criminals.
Mr. President, you made smart, hard choices to ensure America’s growth, prosperity, and safety — because it was always about opportunity and responsibility.
As I’ve always said, I’m a proud Bill Clinton Democrat.
Yes … Pro-growth. Pro-job. Pro-business. Pro-security. And, yes, pro-common sense. Mr. President, you may have grown up in Arkansas, but you’ve always had some good Jersey Values.
Fast forward to today: Like what you first confronted, Tuesday’s election is about the fight for affordability, for smart investments and fiscal responsibility, for lower taxes and lower prescription drug prices … for paying down the debt and investing in clean energy… for funding the police to fight crime and terror, and protecting our communities. All things we’ve accomplished in Congress these last two years.
You also taught us to always put country first — and that working together across party lines isn’t a weakness, but a strength to be harnessed. And we’ve done that — and then some.
Just this Congress, we’ve gotten a bipartisan infrastructure bill passed, which will fix our roads, bridges, and build the Gateway Train Tunnel, a bipartisan gun safety bill, a bipartisan bill to care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, a bipartisan chips manufacturing bill to stand up to China, and my bipartisan police funding bill that will invest to protect. Because, at the end of the day, being a Clinton Democrat isn’t about posturing or partisan politicking. It’s about getting things done — and putting people first. And we’ve done that, including taking on a key fight — doing everything we can to protect a woman’s right to choose.
The bottom line: While our best days are ahead of us, democracy takes hard work — and Tuesday is another test. We need to be vigilant to protect battles already won, like the right to choose. Instead of putting country over party, they are putting the Oath Keepers and extremism over what’s best for America — and we won’t let them turn back the clock.
We’re from Jersey — and they’ve got another thing coming. We’re about building a stronger future. This Bill Clinton Democrat — and Democrats up and down the line — know what’s at stake. So, we’re going to show up big at the polls between now and Election Day — and, thanks to everyone here, we’ll get everyone we know out to vote.
Simply put: this election here in the Fifth is about commonsense problem solving versus extremism. They’ve gone off the deep end, and we won’t let extremists take over our state or our great country.
And we will prevail — because we’ve got the grit and the guts, and we know that our children’s futures are literally on the line.
So, Jersey, are you ready to win? Are you ready to win?
My friends — Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — and there are definitely a few in this hall — I’ll never stop fighting for you. I’ll never stop fighting for our Jersey Values. The best is yet to come.
My friends, there is no better messenger for common sense and problem solving than my mentor, a great leader, the 42nd President of these United States, President William Jefferson Clinton…