Joe Sestak Calls for Courageous Leadership to Restore the American Dream
Brings Campaign Full Circle with Defining Address in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, Pa.– In a major campaign address, U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak reminded voters of the stakes in this election, laid out the contrast between him and his opponent, and called upon Pennsylvanians to take up the fight to restore the American Dream.
Addressing supporters and students at Pittsburgh University’s School of Law, Admiral Sestak spoke about the American Dream as experienced by his father, who as a boy emigrated from Czechoslovakia and served in the U.S. Navy during World War 2.
He like many immigrants realized the American Dream as they made better lives for their families in this country, Joe said, but for the first time the promise of that dream is at risk.
“It’s hard to blame people for feeling that the American Dream, that great promise, has been broken,” said Joe. “Today, our challenge is to restore it, to ensure that our children – your children – can inherit better opportunities than the ones we face right now.”
“We’re facing difficult challenges, and I have never shied away from a fight,” said Joe. “This is a moment for courageous leadership. This is a moment for problem solvers – for those who will take a practical approach, rather than cater to party leaders or an extreme ideology.”
Joe said his opponent, Congressman Toomey, personifies the rigid ideology that people have come to expect from their politicians. An extremist who believes the fate of middle class economic prosperity should rest with Wall Street; Joe said Congressman Toomey’s policies place the needs of big corporations, banks and special interests over working families despite the fact that those same Bush-era ideas have cost the country 8.4 million jobs, including 600,000 in Pennsylvania.
“As we say in the Navy: if you want to know where you’re going, first look at your wake. Congressman Toomey left a wake of economic destruction and dangerous deregulation,” said Joe. “His rigid mindset has failed ordinary Pennsylvanians. And now, he’s campaigning on more of the same. We just can’t afford to let his ideology take firm hold in the Senate.”
Joe told the audience that it was voters like them who ultimately had the power to restore the American Dream, but that if they want a return to principled, independent leadership that will put the needs of middle class Americans first, they must fight for that change this fall.
“Even in moments of hardship, our country has always found great strength in the ideals of — and belief in — our working families,” said Joe. “So, although today’s challenges are great – despite the long odds, and the cries of those who seek to defend the harmful status quo – I have never been more confident in our ability to meet these challenges together, and restore the promise of the country I love.”
Click here to view the full prepared text of the speech.
Excerpts from Speech
“If you believe in this country – if you care about the direction we take, and the values we choose to define us – then you can’t just sit on the sidelines. This is about our future – your future – and restoring the opportunity for our children to achieve their dreams.”
“This election is about embracing the independent spirit that has always defined the hardworking people of our Commonwealth.
So let us move with vision and resolve toward the aspirations that were born right here in Pennsylvania, one hot summer more than two centuries ago, when great leaders came together in the interest of individual freedoms, and in defense of our common good.”
“Even in moments of hardship, our country has always found great strength in the ideals of — and belief in — our working families.
So, although today’s challenges are great – despite the long odds, and the cries of those who seek to defend the harmful status quo – I have never been more confident in our ability to meet these challenges together, and restore the promise of the country I love.”
“I know Congressman Toomey. We’ve had a beer together. But I believe his rigid mindset is fundamentally wrong. He thinks the solution to all our problems lies in the values of Wall Street, which place the interests of big banks and corporations over the needs of individual families, with a belief wealth might eventually trickle down to them, to us.
And he just doesn’t recognize the damage that that kind of thinking — that philosophy — did to our economy.”
“In many ways, my father’s story defines the promise inherent in the American Dream: that no matter who we are or where we come from, in this country, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. And every parent can leave their children with a brighter future than the one they inherited from the generations that came before.
That’s why I’m here today: because I believe every American deserves the chance to make good on this promise, and the opportunity to match their skills to their aspirations, in any endeavor they decide to pursue.”