What the Dems were saying at the DNC: Day 3

Great moments from Thursday's early speeches

Published September 7, 2012 1:11AM (EDT)

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.:

Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy accepted our party's nomination saying, "We are not here to curse the darkness; we are here to light a candle." This is the fundamental difference between the party of President Obama and the party of Romney-Ryan. President Obama has lit candle after candle, bringing our country out from the darkness of recession, only to see Republicans douse the flames and amuse themselves cursing the darkness. The Romney-Ryan Republicans, however, have walked away from bi-partisan efforts to find responsible approaches to moving this country forward, bringing only more darkness.

Actress Kerry Washington:

We the people. I love that phrase so much. Throughout our country's history, we've expanded the meaning of that phrase to include more and more of us. That's what it means to move forward. And that's what this election is all about.

Actress Scarlett Johansson:

When I was a little girl, my mother—a registered Democrat—would take me into the polling booth, and tell me which buttons to press and when to pull the lever. Is that even legal? I remember the excitement I felt in that secret box, and feeling like my mom's vote wasn't just about the candidate, it was about our family—and all the families just like ours.

Rep.  Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

We need President Obama for four more years to keep that dream alive!  When President Obama was elected, the American dream was on life support. The middle class was being hollowed out.  We cannot afford to go back to the failed policies of the past.

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.

He organized a rescue, made the tough calls and saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saw the same crisis and you know what he said: "Let Detroit go bankrupt."  Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and trees.

He loves our cars so much, they have their own elevator. But the people who design, build, and sell those cars? Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft. Mitt Romney says his business experience qualifies him to be president. Sure, he's made lots of money. Good for him. But how did he make that fortune, and at whose expense?

Actress Eva Longoria:

[Romney] would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own—and mine. That's not who we are as a nation, and here's why: The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers—she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont.

 Mitt, you can't Etch-A-Sketch away your record. Taxes: up. Cost of college: up. Debt: up. New business starts: down. Manufacturing: down. Median household income: down. Economic growth: down. If private equity Mitt Romney met Governor Mitt Romney, he'd do what he says he likes to do. He'd fire 'um, and outsource the job!

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, I-Fla.

I'll be honest with you, I don't agree with President Obama about everything. But I've gotten to know him, I've worked with him, and the choice is crystal clear.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

And after more than ten years without justice for thousands of Americans murdered on 9/11, after Mitt Romney said it would be "naive" to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order to finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden. Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago.

Dr. Jill Biden

For as long as I've known him, Joe has never given up, never failed to see the possibilities and never had any doubt about who he's fighting for. And as long as he has the privilege of serving this nation, I know, from the bottom of my heart, that he will continue to fight for you every day.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Our friends in the other party have a theory about America. They tell us we’re all in this alone. They say builders never need a helping hand. Democrats know better. America knows better. History and this president have shown us we are stronger when we are all in this together.


By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Democratic National Convention Joe Biden Scarlett Johansson