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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn: ‘Facts Are Stubborn Things’

September 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
In his remarks to the Democratic National Convention, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn "fact checks" some of the claims put forward by Republicans about President Obama's policies and the Romney-Ryan campaign.
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TRANSCRIPT

GOV. PAT QUINN (D-Ill.): Delegates and fellow Americans, it is an honor to be with you this evening, and it’s an honor to Trent great state of Illinois, the home of President Barack Obama. 

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: Tonight, I want to talk to you about a scary subject for many, many Republicans. I want to talk about facts.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: You know, I watched the Republican National Convention last week. And I heard a lot of things that are simply not true.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GOV. PAT QUINN: And one of our founding fathers, President John Adams of Massachusetts, once said that facts are stubborn things.

But last week, as they nominated a very different man from Massachusetts, Republicans stubbornly smeared President Obama’s excellent record of reforming welfare. They went on and on pretending that our president weakened its work requirement.

Now, everyone knows that that is a ridiculous charge. Even the Republican author of welfare reform says Romney is wrong. Fact-checkers have called this Republican talking point blatantly false, a drastic distortion, wildly debunked and a mind-boggling act of untruth-telling.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

GOV. PAT QUINN: Now, in Illinois, we know President Barack Obama.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: We know his record. And we know that President Obama has made sure that work is always part of welfare reform.

And, as an Illinois state senator, President Obama spearheaded welfare reform in the land of Lincoln. And the fact is, under President Obama, states can only get flexibility if they move 20 percent more people to work.

Let me repeat that for our Republican friends: more people working, not less. 

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: Then there’s Medicare.

Mitt Romney and Congressman Ryan want to take away the promise that makes Medicare, Medicare. They want to give seniors a voucher that caps what Medicare will cover and then tell our seniors they’re on their own for what’s left. That would cost our seniors thousands of dollars every year. And if they don’t have the money, it could cost our seniors their lives.

But that didn’t stop Romney and Ryan from telling the American people that their plan won’t hurt seniors. The fact is, it will. And President Obama’s plan will protect Medicare and protect our seniors.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: Facts are stubborn things. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)  

GOV. PAT QUINN: Now, when Congressman Ryan got his turn, he blamed President Obama for an auto plant that closed under President George W. Bush. Remember him?  

(BOOING)

GOV. PAT QUINN: Here is the fact, Congressman Ryan. When President Obama took office in January of 2009, the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois, employed just 200 people.

And, today, because President Obama saved the auto industry, that same Chrysler plant is employing more than 4,000 American workers. 

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: Now, there’s something else.

There’s something else the Republicans left out of their convention: any explanation of why they call Mitt Romney Governor Romney. We already know that this extreme conservative man takes some pretty liberal deductions.

(LAUGHTER) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: Evidently, that includes writing off all four years he served as governor of Massachusetts.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: And if you want to know how someone’s going to govern the country, look at how he governed his state.

Mitt Romney promised Massachusetts three things: more jobs, less debt, smaller government. Then he left his state 47th out of 50 states in job growth. He added $2.6 billion in debt. And on his watch, government jobs grew six times faster than private sector jobs.

What has Romney promised today? More jobs, less debt, smaller government. But he didn’t do it then, and he won’t do it now. 

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) 

GOV. PAT QUINN: From day one, President Obama has told you where he stands, what he believes and what he is doing to make our middle class strong again.

America is moving forward under President Obama’s leadership. And that’s a fact. It’s now our job in the next nine weeks to make sure the American people know the facts.

Your vote is a valuable thing. Entrust it to someone who respects you enough to tell you the truth. So, join — all of us should join together in voting for President Obama. And, together, let’s make the will of the people the law of the land.

Thank you very much.