The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President to Community Credential Holders via Conference Call

Via Conference Call

1:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Well, listen everybody, thanks, first of all, for taking the time to join me on the call. And I just want to begin by saying how much I regret that we're not all gathering together in one place to deliver my acceptance speech tonight.

Obviously, I'm looking forward to laying out what are the stakes in this election and what my vision for the future is. And because of the nature of our campaign, we've always been about getting everybody involved, making sure everybody is participating and making sure everybody has got access. And that's why we took a chance in Denver four years ago, and that's why we wanted to take a chance when it came to North Carolina.

The problem was a safety issue. I could not ask you -- our volunteers, our law enforcement, first responders -- to subject themselves to the risk of severe thunderstorms. And you guys can imagine, with all the magging that goes on and the security issues involved, getting 70,000 people into a place is tough; getting them out of there is even tougher. And if we had started seeing severe thunderstorms and lightning, in particular, it would have been a problem. And we would have had a situation where we were putting you guys at risk.

So I know it's disappointing. I've got to tell you, I saw some of my key staff who had come down here and they've literally been working non-stop for months just getting the logistics of this all put together. And obviously, they were a little bit crestfallen. And I know it's especially disappointing for a lot of you who worked hard to get your tickets to the event, or traveled or planned to travel a long way at your own expense to be here.

So all I can tell you is how much I appreciate everything that you've done. Some of you earned your tickets through the 9-3-1 program -- nine hours of volunteer work over three days for a community credential ticket. You've registered to vote. You've talked to your neighbors. You're doing unbelievable work that's making a difference in this close race. And you've also shown that there's plenty of enthusiasm out there. The issue in this election is not going to be enthusiasm, because I think about you all on buses and in carpools and airplanes traveling here to Charlotte. I know it’s not just to see me, but it’s also to see each other and to share common stories and hopes for this country, which is ultimately what this convention is really about.

So my main message is we can’t let a little thunder and lightning get us down. We’re going to have to roll with it. And while we may not be able to be together in person, I hope you’re still going to gather together at community watch parties that are happening not just here in Charlotte, but all across North Carolina, all across the rest of the country. I hope you tune in tonight, watch the speech together. Let me know what you think afterwards.

Obviously, so far, we’ve had an unbelievable convention. Michelle -- what can I say? I’m a little biased, but she was unbelievable. And yesterday President Clinton, who I think broke down the issues as effectively as anybody could; to hear from ordinary Americans who tell the story of their lives from veterans to businesspeople to workers; and to hear some of our great governors and members of Congress -- I could not be prouder of the work that everybody has done. Mayor Castro from San Antonio is obviously just an incredible talent.

So I’m very proud of everybody and what they’ve been able to accomplish so far. And as I travel around the country over the next couple months, I hope we’re going to be able to get together in your own towns, your own cities, and we’re going to do everything we can to get you into events taking place near you. And our staffs are going to be in touch with you about that so that hopefully you’ll have an even closer front-row seat to the campaign -- which won’t be hard to do since you’re part of the campaign.

And I’m so proud of the grassroots efforts all of you are doing, especially on voter registration. North Carolina, by the way, is exhibit A of the unbelievable work that’s being done at the grassroots level. You guys are blowing it out when it comes to registering voters.

And we’re going to have to work really hard over these next two months. I think hopefully at the end of this convention people will say we accomplished what we needed to and have delivered our vision for the country and offered a clear contrast to what people saw in Tampa. But this is still going to be a really close election. And the other side is preparing to unleash just a barrage of negative ads. They’re getting massive checks from wealthy donors.

The good thing is I’ve got you. So I really need your help, guys. I need you to prove the cynics wrong one more time. I need you to remember that nothing is more powerful than the work that you guys do. Nothing is more powerful than voices calling for change.

I can’t wait to share my vision for the future with all of you tonight so I’m hoping you tune in. But, most importantly, I just want you to know that this campaign has always been about you and what you guys can accomplish when you’re working together.

And I hope that you have just a wonderful time with each other. It won’t be as big a crowd and it will be less fanfare and so forth than it would have been in a football stadium, but the spirit, that’s the spirit that’s in everybody’s living rooms and small towns and big cities and suburbs all across the country. That’s what got us here in the first place. That’s what’s going to keep us going and allow us to accomplish all the things we need to, to strengthen the middle class.

So thank you, everybody. I’m proud of you. And I will be seeing you in your home states sometime soon.

END
1:35 P.M. EDT

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