The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, California
2012 Democratic National Convention
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Like so many of you, that’s my parents’ story, too. My father was a
construction worker who dug the ditches and laid the pipe and concrete
to build our highways. My mother arrived in this country as a newlywed
with no money, no English and no family of her own. Together, they
realized their dream of sending their four children where no man or
woman in our family in America had ever gone before: college. El sueño
Americano! The American dream! In any language, that’s what this
election is about!
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.
Maybe Governor Romney has forgotten how we got into the mess that
President Obama faced, but we haven’t—two wars, tax breaks for the
wealthiest, the Wall Street bailout, Katrina! Nearly 9 million Americans
lost their jobs because of the Great Recession. Our neighbors lost
their homes. Our teachers, firefighters and police officers were laid
off. And small businesses couldn’t get the bailed-out banks to offer
them any credit. How many construction workers like my father do you
think could dream of reaching the middle class under those conditions?
We’ve all heard the saying “put your money where your mouth is.”
Well, Governor Romney, ante up! Show us how your economic policies
differ from President Bush’s. If you believe in America, you invest in
America. That’s why it’s not courageous to cut funding for college loans
or vow to veto the dream for immigrant children. It’s not responsible
to reward companies that ship American jobs overseas with more tax
loopholes. It’s not bold to say our country is broke and then hand out
yet another deficit-busting tax break to millionaires and billionaires.
And Governor Romney, you should know, it’s not right to pull the rug out
from under older Americans after a lifetime of hard work and turn
Medicare into a voucher system—”Vouchercare!”
That’s not the America my parents built. If you want to save the
middle class, you don’t outsource it—you strengthen it. If you want to
get America back to work, you don’t fire cops, teachers, nurses, and
firefighters—you invest in them.
President Obama is fighting for the middle class, to put Americans
back to work and our country back on track. President Obama believes in
the promise of America. President Obama believes in you. That’s the
American dream. El sueño Americano. Dr. King marched for it. Cesar
Chavez organized for it. And this fall, we have to vote for it.
Together, we’re going to re-elect Barack Obama president of the United