As prepared for delivery — On behalf of the great state of California, I thank you for the honor and the privilege to be here. Let's get right down to business.
We are here because we love our country, and we firmly believe in the American ideal that our country should work for everyone. That ideal is written into our laws, the rules of the road that create a level playing field in this country. Those are the rules I became attorney general to uphold. And those are the rules Mitt Romney would have us roll back.
He would roll back the rules that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. Roll back the rules that protect the health and safety of women and families. Roll back the rules that prevent the kind of recklessness that got our economy into this mess in the first place.
Well, we've all seen what happens when you roll back those rules. What happens are rows of foreclosure signs. What happens are mountains of family debt. What happens is a middle class that's hurting. That's what we've seen in towns across California and across this country.
When it comes to the housing crisis, the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is clear. The fact is, we don't have to guess what Mitt Romney would have done if he were president. Because he told us. He said we should let foreclosures—and I quote—"hit the bottom" so the market could—quote—"run its course."
Run its course. That's not leadership. Doing nothing while the middle class is hurting. That's not leadership. Loose regulations and lax enforcement. That's not leadership. That's abandoning our middle class.
Here's what President Obama did: President Obama won Wall Street reform to prevent any more taxpayer-funded bailouts. President Obama won credit card reform so you don't get stuck with hidden fees and sudden rate hikes. President Obama stood with me and 48 other attorneys general in taking on the banks and winning $25 billion for struggling homeowners.
That's leadership! That's what President Obama did. And that's why we need to give him another four years. We need to move forward. President Obama will fight for working families. He will fight to level the economic playing field and fight to give every American the same fair shot my family had.
I remember when my mother, Shyamala Harris, bought our first home. I was thirteen. She was so proud, and my sister and I were so excited. Millions of Americans know that feeling of walking through the front door of their own home for the first time—the feeling of reaching for opportunity and finding it.
That's the choice in this election. It's a choice between an America where opportunity is open to everyone, where everyone plays by the same set of rules, or a philosophy that tilts the playing field to help the wealthiest few. A choice between holding Wall Street accountable or letting it write its own rules. Mitt Romney subscribes to the cynical logic that says the American dream belongs to some of us, but not all of us.
Well, I'll tell you whom the American dream belongs to. It belongs to the student in Sacramento who doesn't have much money but who goes to bed each night dreaming big dreams. It belongs to the men and women across this country who know it shouldn't be against the law to marry the person you love.
It belongs to the immigrants, young and old, who come to this country in search of a better life. And it belongs to little girls who have the joy of watching their mother, like I did, buy her first home.
The American dream belongs to all of us. And if we can work together and stand together and vote together on November 6 for President Barack Obama, that's a dream we will put within reach of all our people!
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(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)