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DEVAL PATRICK REMARKS (AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY) SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 "RALLY FOR CHANGE", BOSTON COMMON
REMARKS (AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
"RALLY FOR CHANGE", BOSTON COMMON
Let’s talk about crime. And let’s try talking about it honestly. I am the only candidate in this race who has ever actually sent anyone to prison. I’m not a criminologist. I was a federal prosecutor. I have had to make those tough decisions about whom to charge and with what, to test that evidence and argue the sentence.
I have had to comfort victims. I have represented victims. Thanks to the newspaper, you now know my family and I have been victims of crime ourselves. You can’t grow up in a place like the south side of Chicago without understanding the impact of crime and violence on survivors and a community.
And yes, I have sometimes represented the unsavory defendant, too. And you better be glad someone does, because that’s what puts the justice in our system of justice. I’m proud of that. And if Kerry Healey had ever read the Constitution she is sworn to uphold, she’d know better than to slander those who do.
So, let’s talk about crime. There are up to 700 fewer cops on the beat thanks to this administration’s fiscal policy. Guns are flooding over the line and gang violence is soaring. Kerry Healey touts the Sex Offender Register as a centerpiece of her public safety strategy, and then vetoes the funding to support it and fails even to appoint the staff. If I had Kerry Healey’s record on public safety, I would change the subject, too.
The Healey campaign is up to tired old tricks – change the subject, say anything and do anything to tear the other candidate down. Because she has not a single reason for why she should be governor that doesn’t turn on why she thinks I should not be governor.
And that is another difference. We have not built anything on tearing anyone down. She wants to divide people. We want to bring people together. She wants partisan point-scoring. We want problem-solving and progress. Hers is a politics of fear. Ours is politics of hope.
Politics reached a new low last week when my sister and her family got dragged needlessly into this campaign. It was wrong. And the sad fact is, it’s probably not the end. The truth is that the Healey campaign has created a political environment so toxic that things like this are going to happen. Here is a family that has repaired itself and lived as model citizens in Massachusetts for the last 13 years – after a serious but distant tragedy. What Kerry Healey doesn’t understand is that leaders set the tone. Organizations take their lead from the person at the top. And Kerry Healey has set a tone of unprecedented nastiness and negativity in this campaign. So, no, Kerry Healey, I will not apologize for laying this outrage at your feet. That is where it belongs.
What we will do over the next three weeks is insist that Kerry Healey stop trying to change the subject. We will insist that she deal with her record of inaction and neglect and why, based on that record, we should trust her to do better than in the next four years than she has in the last four years. And we will ask the people of Massachusetts to choose whether they want more emphasis on what divides us or more emphasis on what unites us and moves us all forward.
So, let me worry about the incomings and negative attacks. We are strong politically and more important spiritually. My sister and brother-in-law are here, still standing tall, with Diane and me right beside them and their kids. We are as flawed and unfinished a family as any other. We have our moments of pride and of shame. But we know that forgiveness and grace is what makes a strong family, a stronger community, and progress possible.
Thank you all for your support and your understanding. But let me worry about the attacks and the slanders. You do what you need to do. Talk to your family and friends, your neighbors, your coworkers about what’s at stake. Ask them to see this not as my campaign, but theirs. Make a contribution of time or money. Volunteer at a phone bank to identify voters who will support our cause this week. Canvass your neighborhood with material about the campaign. Join one of the get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day. There is staff at the tables in the back and with clipboards around and about to show you how to get involved. We have 23 days left before the polls close on Election Day. It’s not a lot of time to change the course of our state. But that is what’s at stake.
Meanwhile, I will not engage in the politics of fear. Because fear is poisonous. All through history it has been used to hold back progress and limit fairness. Only hope defeats fear. It always has.
At a candidates forum last week, the moderator asked each of us to say something nice about the other candidates. Kerry Healey rather grudgingly said, “Well, he can give a good speech.” She would know this not because she has ever attended a speech of mine but because she has them filmed by this fine fellow here. But her dismissive point, and I hear it from her staff, is that all I have to offer is words. Just words.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Just words.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Just words.
“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Just words.
“I have a dream.” Just words.
Let me say it before you do: I am no Dr. King, no President Kennedy, no FDR, no Thomas Jefferson. But I do know that the right words, spoken from the heart with conviction, with a vision of a better place and a faith in the unseen, are a call to action. So when you hear my words, or speak your own to your neighbors, hear them and speak them as a call to action.
Because the victory is not just what we did on primary night. It’s not just what we will do on November 7. It’s not even when – with your help and God Almighty’s -- I take the oath of office next January. The victory comes when every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth has a reason to hope.
Go out and work for that. God bless us all. Thank you.