Sen: Hackett/Brown Event - Transcript
Just for the record, as they say, here is a transcript of the remarks by Mayor Mark Mallory, former senatorial candidate Paul Hackett, and Rep. Sherrod Brown at Friendship Park in Cincinnati yesterday:
Mayor Mark Mallory: [reacting to a loud whistle by Paul Hackett to gain the crowd's attention:] Wow! That helps me, yes! That's a military man!
First of all, let me thank you all for coming out for what is a very, very important announcement, not just for the Sherrod Brown campaign, but this is an important announcement as it relates to the future of families throughout this country. I want to take the opportunity to introduce the chair of the party who is somewhere ... Tim Burke, please raise your hand ... Tim is around there somewhere ... all right [laughter]. I will probably get into trouble if I try to announce all the names of the candidates and elected officials who are here, but if all the candidates and elected officials would raise your hands, please, so we know ... [applause] ... all right.
Again, thank you for being here, particularly on such short notice. This is an important day for the Sherrod Brown campaign. As you know, not long ago, a good Democrat by the name of Paul Hackett ran against Jean Schmidt and ran a fantastic race [applause]. Paul, of course, is an Iraqi War veteran. He talked on the campaign extensively about the issues that are of critical importance to the future of families throughout this country. He talked about health care, he talked about education, he talked about our policy - our foreign policy - all of those things become very important in terms of the national spotlight. So, today, Paul Hackett is here to make a very significant announcement, and without further ado I'm going to turn it over to ... Paul Hackett! [applause and cheers]
Paul Hackett: Jeez, I'm hardly used to this any longer! Well, thanks for coming out on this hot, steamy southern Ohio day. It's a real pleasure to be able to see you all here. And, I think everybody sort of knows what the topic is, so why don't I ... instead of telling you what the topic is, tell you how we got here today. And, it's really not all that complicated, but, uh ... maybe with some of my neighbors present here from Indian Hill, I will put this out to you: I'm the last guy in Indian Hill who still cuts his own grass [laughter]. Thursday night I was cutting my grass, kind of getting back to my routine where it was before I went to Iraq a couple of years ago, and it suddenly dawned on me that all of this sort of tension and this ongoing chatter about my short-lived primary race with this good man right here, Sherrod Brown, had kind of gone on too far. And somewhere in the heat and the grass clippings and the gasoline fumes [laughter], I decided it was time to pick up the phone and have a conversation with Sherrod. Selfishly, in part, for me ... hopefully to do some good for Sherrod ... but more importantly to do some good for the State of Ohio, and in a broader sense the United States, [applause] and in a very specific sense for my kids and all the other kids in America ... and so when I got done cleaning off the mower, I still had Sherrod's number in my cell phone from last year when he was gracious enough to help me in my House race down here a year ago now, and I - uh - I gave Sherrod a call and offered him an unconditional and sincere apology for the trials and tribulations that really kind of got blown out of proportion after the race. And, ah, that's pretty much what brought us here today. And, we had an opportunity to talk at length on Saturday, after he was down here to participate in southern Ohio's Paddlefest (there's Brewster ... Paddlefest! Paddlefest! [applause]) and, so, the bottom line, if you haven't figured it out, is I want to make sure that everybody understands ... and for those people who were kind enough to lend me support in all ways in both my House race and my Senate race ... understands that I am for Sherrod Brown. I told Sherrod that I am willing to help him in any way that I can ... um ... [laughing] except maybe for writing a check! [laughter] I'm still working on that myself!
And the shameless plug is, I'm back to practicing law ... so if you need a good lawyer, that's Hackett Law Offices ... [voice from the crowd: "Haditha Marines!"] Yeah, that's right, I'm also working for Haditha Marines and if you want to help out in the defense of the Marines in Haditha it's HadithaMarines.com. Enough with the shameless plugs, but, importantly, I'm here to tell everybody that supported me that I'm supporting this guy Sherrod Brown. And this is not about politics and it really ... this is my evolution as a hot-headed Irishman. Look, let's get over this. This is about bigger things than being mad, and I'll take the hit for that ... it's not the example that I want to set for my kids. I wanted to make sure that my kids when they grow up, if they read this footnote in history, that they understand that when you've made mistakes as I have both in this race and in other walks, or other points in my life, you've got to step up to the plate, you've got to get over it, you've got to apologize for it, and we've got to move on, and that's what I'm here to do today. It is to make sure we all understand, this is about something bigger than personalities, and certainly bigger than me, it's about making sure that here in the United States we have quality representatives - ah - senators, like Sherrod Brown. We're going to stand up for middle class Americans, for me something near and dear to my heart, for veterans ... not just Iraqi veterans but Vietnam veterans (applause). Sherrod Brown has always been that voice, and that's what's important. And maybe it took me four or five months too long to come to that realization, but that's where I am now, that's where I'm going to be at, and I think it's time that we take the opportunity to make a change in Ohio so that we can get some quality leadership back in America, so that we can get our country back on the right track. For those of us who believe in the democratic principles of not only our party, but the democratic principles that form the foundation of our great nation, that we get back ... get it together ... and do more than simply talk about delivering, but actually produce and deliver the greatness of our party ... things like peace, prosperity, and the freedoms that define America ... I'm confident that Sherrod Brown can do that. Please join me in supporting Sherrod Brown. Let's make the difference. It's about the future of America, and with that, I turn it over to Sherrod [applause and cheers].
Rep. Sherrod Brown: Paul Hackett, thank you for being a totally class act [applause]. Connie's ... as Paul was mowing the grass I was not mowing our grass, I was ... Connie and I had actually got home relatively early on Thursday night. We actually for the first time in maybe three weeks were sitting in front of the TV eating dinner, and the phone rang. And Connie was watching a DVD of one of her favorite shows, and I pick up the phone and it was Paul Hackett. And what Paul said is that he wants to help, he wants to help change this country. He was anything ... he was totally a class act as I picked up that phone, and I thank him for that. The next morning I called ... Paul said think about what we want to ... the next morning I called him back and said I'll meet you somewhere in Cincinnati, on Saturday if you can, and he said "Come out to the house, Suzi and I would like you to come out to our home in Indian Hill." Connie and I changed our schedule around, planned to spend maybe a half hour there, were at his home with Suzi and ... Suzi and Paul and their three beautiful children, running around, having fun, running around, going outside, watching their Dad work in the back yard, getting ready for an event that night they were doing ... and we spent two and a half hours with Paul and Suzi. And, what I understood during that two and a half hours was how much Paul Hackett and I have in common. How much we believe in this country ... how much we love our children ... how much we love our wives ... how much we care about our state ...and how angry we are about the direction our state's gone, and the direction our country's gone. [Applause] So after talking for two and a half or so hours on Saturday, we agreed to do something in the next few days. I called Paul Sunday morning when we went ... on the way to the minimum wage rally in Columbus and we talked about putting something together this afternoon. Most of you didn't find out about this until Monday morning, which is ... which tells to me how ... shows to me how much you want to see change in this state. In southern Ohio, in the middle of the work day, you find out about this four or five hours ago, and more than a hundred people show up to say "Let's change this state and let's change the direction of this country," and for that, I am thrilled tat all of you have joined us. Thank you for that. [Applause]
In addition to sharing the same values that Paul and Suzi and Connie and I share -- love of family, love of children, love of our state -- we also have realized ... all of us realized ... that this pay-to-pay culture we've seen in Columbus and in Washington have got to go. We've seen the drug industry write the Medicare law, we've seen the insurance industry and the HMOs write health care legislation, we've seen the chemical companies write environmental law, we've the seen oil and gas industry dictate energy policy in this country, and we've seen Wall Street write social security legislation. And, whether you're in northeast Ohio or northwest Ohio, whether you're in small-town, Mansfield or Sidney, Ohio, or whether you're in the big city of Cincinnati, all of us have had enough with the way our state has gone. [Applause] So, in addition to all that you have ... all that you have all done as activists, as people who care about this city, care about this state, care about this country, is in addition to how you are all going to work to elect Democrats this year ... make phone calls for Victoria Wulsin, and for John Cranley, how you're going to go door-to-door for David Pepper, how you're going to work for Catherine [?] and Brent and everybody up here [applause] to elect Democrats, I'm going to ask you to do one other thing. I want each of you to find five people ... just five, not ten not twenty people ... find five people. They may be recovering Hamilton County Republicans [laughter], they may be somebody who's not now registered to vote, they may be somebody is just undecided, and talk to those five people, recruit them, adopt them, do whatever it is you have to do, write a letter to them, send them an email, call them on the phone and invite them to a meeting, go to their house. It could be people from church, work, or from your neighborhood, it could be people from school. Wherever you know these five people, and ask them to vote for Ted Strickland, ask them to vote for Victoria Wulsin and Dave Pepper, ask them to vote for John Cranley, ask them to vote for Sherrod Brown, up and down this ticket. And you will be surprised to see it's not all that hard to do this.
I want to tell a story about Connie that really happened about a week ago. She was out ... she was working out, actually, coming out of the workout, the building where she was working out (laughter) she, um, she walks up to what she thought was her car and there was a gentleman getting into her car. And she realized as she got closer that it wasn't her car although it was identical to her car, and she sort of apologized to the guy and she said "This is my car over here," pointing to her car, and the guy looked at her and looked at the bumper sticker on her car and said "I'd rather be dead than vote for that guy" [laughter]. And Connie said "Really." And he said "Yeah, you know lady, it's not too late, it's never too late, you can save yourself a lot of embarrassment if you take that bumper sticker off your bumper, and it's not too late." And she said, "Really, it is too late." [Laughter.] He said, kind of arrogantly, "Well, why is it too late?" and she said, "Well, cause I married the guy." [Laughter.] And the blood just fell out of his face, and he turned white, he looked down, and he said "You know, I am a big jerk. I'm a total jerk," and he ... Connie looks at him and "well, you know, a lot of people disagree ...", well, not a lot, "A few people disagree with my husband's political views," [laughter], and he said, "well, I guess then, since you were so nice to me, I got to vote for your husband." [Cheers and applause.] Then, she said "Yeah, that's probably not enough," and he said "Okay, what else can I do besides vote for him?" And not missing a beat, Connie said "Find five other people ..." [laughter and applause], and by the end of the conversation back and forth, he said, "You know, because you were nice to me lady, and you seem like a decent woman, I'm going to vote for your husband and I'm going to get five other people to vote for your husband [cheers and applause].
So, thank you again, this is ... we're going to wake up on November 8th ... if we do all that Paul said, and all that all of you know how to do, and if you do ... if we each get five people, on November 8th we're going to wake up and we're going to look at headlines across the country, from the New York Times to the Cincinnati Post, to the L.A. Times, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Cincinnati Enquirer, to the Miami Herald, and there's going to be two headlines across the country. One is going to say "Democrats Win House and Senate" [applause], and the other one, Paul, is going to be, "Ohio Turns Blue." [Applause and cheers.] Thank you again all of you, Mayor Mallory and Paul Hackett, thank you for being a totally class act. Thank you, everybody! [Applause.] we'd be glad to take questions.
We thank you all again for coming out on such short notice and standing out here in such hot weather. Most of you were smart enough not to wear black, and Paul's smart enough to wear sunglasses ...
Paul Hackett:I'm not running for anything! I can wear sunglasses!
Sherrod Brown: So ... any questions?
Question from audience: Why are you wearing black?
Sherrod Brown: Why am I wearing black?
Questioner: You are not in mourning?
Sherrod Brown: I don't know, I'm not in mourning. I just wear black, I just wear black a lot. I don't know why I wear black. It goes with a blue shirt, I don't know.
Well, thank you all, we'll stick around, and thank you it again, it has been just a great celebration.