Mayor Thomas Menino took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina Wednesday about 5:30 p.m. Below is a video of his speech and a transcript of his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Good evening Charlotte. Good evening fellow Democrats and fellow Americans.
I come from Boston, where we birthed a revolution, where we first sent John Kennedy to Congress, and where millions of people have come to study, including a man named Martin Luther King.
So it’s an honor to be here tonight, with so many people determined to move our country forward. I know all Americans are proud to carry the torch of progress, and in Boston, we take that job very seriously.
That’s why I get a little frustrated when I see the Romney campaign called “Boston” in the newspapers and on TV.
Mitt Romney’s campaign may come from Boston, but his campaign’s values aren’t Boston values.
Because in Boston, we know this country didn't become great by excluding folks and leaving each other on their own.
In Boston you know what we call immigrants? Mom and dad.
You know what we call "same sex couples"? Our friends. Our brothers and sisters.
And in Boston, we know government isn’t the answer or the enemy. It’s a partner.
In Boston – like many cities around the country –we’re seeing progress all around us today. In large part, it’s because this President and this Administration gave ordinary people a leg up:
Construction supported by stimulus dollars. Better schools pushed by Race To The Top. Growing hospitals and health centers. And booming life science companies born from national research support.
So today, we stand with President Obama, and his plan to lead us forward.
Now, Mitt Romney is a decent guy. As the Mayor of Boston, I worked with him when he was Governor. But he made a lot of decisions that were bad for our state – and now he wants to carry those wrong-headed policies to the rest of the country.
Mitt Romney spends a lot of time in this campaign talking about his business experience and about how, if elected, he will create “lots of jobs.”
I’ve been thinking, this pitch sounds familiar. And you know why? Because it’s the same thing he said when he ran for Governor of my state.
He promised to bring business to the state, but when he was in office, Massachusetts ended up 47th out of all 50 states in job creation.
There’s a reason for that. Governor Romney cut education. He cut workforce training. He disguised his tax hikes as “fees,” and he still exploded our long term debt by $2.6 billion.
Mitt likes business-speak. Think of me as a reference check: In Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had the one job in his life that’s closest to being President, and it didn’t go all that well. We saw a flood of promises and too few new jobs.
Even worse, Governor Romney is now running away from his major accomplishment – a health care reform that he called a model for the nation.
Mitt Romney is an okay guy. But he’s learned all the wrong lessons, and now he’s doubling down on all the wrong plans.
His campaign is located in a city moving forward, but his ideas would set our country back.
Up in Boston, we have a plaque that says: "Paul Revere started a ride, which in a way has never ended."
That’s true about our country, too. In every generation, the American people have taken up that ride, pushing the United States forward. We’ve never gone back.
So today we have a clear choice to make. Will we move forward together – or will we go back to the trickle down philosophies that Mitt Romney believes in.
The choice is clear – It’s time to keep moving forward. It’s time to reelect Barack Obama as President of the United States!
Thank you Charlotte and good night.