Blumentha's acceptance speech

Text of Richard Blumenthal’s acceptance, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you. And I also want to thank the people you just heard and saw in that video. I am proud to have helped them in some of the toughest moments in their lives.

This week, as you all know, I had a little bit of a tough time myself. You all have been hearing what my wife, Cynthia, has been telling me for almost 30 years…that I am not perfect. That I make mistakes.

But you also know that I’m a fighter. And I thank you for your support in our fights over the years. Thank you!

We’re in a fight this year. A tough fight. I want to make clear from the start – to everyone inside this hall and everyone beyond – I will never be outworked, never be intimidated and never stop fighting for the people of Connecticut. And I am proud to accept your endorsement as Connecticut’s next United States Senator.

Year after year, I’ve criss-crossed our state, visiting every nook and cranny, listening to people where they live and work.

But these days, in backyards and kitchens, in offices and factories, I hear a lot of worry about jobs and the economy, and a lot of frustration with our political system. And I hear something else more ominous and alarming.

People tell me they feel Washington has forgotten them, left them voiceless and invisible. Not served. Not heeded. Not even heard.

We want an economy that works for everybody — but Washington isn’t listening!

W want our our entrepreneurs and small businesses to get loans and credit, and be able to compete internationally on a level playing field.

But Washington isn’t listening!

We want good schools and affordable electricity and clean energy jobs.

But Washington isn’t listening!

Our public conversation sounds like trash talk. But it’s not just the tone or the shouting. What’s worse? It ignores what’s going on in people’s lives. Your voice is missing.

People look at Washington – and can’t find anyone standing up for them.

What they see is a wasteland — a gigantic mess.

Well, you know what? One of my very first jobs was shoveling manure for my grandfather on a farm. Noisy animals and big messes don’t faze me.

So when I hear that our political system is stuck, our government is broken, and Washington just plain stinks, I say: Give me a shovel and let me go to work!

Let me go to Washington as your United States Senator, and I will fight for you.

I will take on – as I always have — the fights that make a real difference for Connecticut families –

Rebuilding our economy.

Keeping our nation safe and strong.

Ensuring every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely.

Keeping faith with our veterans.

Restoring civility and integrity and common sense to our politics.

These are the fights for our time.

And these are the issues that will define this election.

We know what our opponents would prefer.

Already, we’ve seen them try to make this race about attacks on my character and service.

I’m proud of my service. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for veterans and my fight for “No Veteran Left Behind” — so that all who have served and sacrificed will be finally and truly told: “Welcome Home.” I have made mistakes. I regret them. And I have taken responsibility. But this campaign must be about the people of Connecticut.

I want to get results for the people of Connecticut. And I’ve proven I can.

I have stood up to the biggest special interests – big drug companies, big energy companies, internet providers. And I’ve fought corruption and waste. And it’s made a difference for people.

This campaign will offer a very clear choice.

The Republicans are selling the tired ideas of the past.

We can go back to the same failed policies of tax breaks for millionaires — and giveaways to the big oil and drug companies.

Or… we can move forward to grow our economy, make it work for the ordinary people, and create jobs.

We can repeal the health care law, and let insurance company abuses run wild.

Or…. we can continue improving the system, hold the insurance companies accountable, cut waste and fraud, and make America a country where decent health care really is available and affordable.

We can go back to crooked bankers running Wall Street and let the Bernie Madoffs regulate themselves.

Or…. we can move ahead to hold bankers accountable, say no more Wall Street bailouts and enable small businesses on Main Street to thrive and create jobs.

We can have a culture in Washington dominated by political pyrotechnics and partisan chest-beating.

Or…. we can start listening to the real concerns of real people again.

Because if Washington isn’t working for you, then it isn’t working.

My Dad came here in 1935 to escape persecution in Germany with little more than the shirt on his back. My mother came from Omaha, Nebraska, where her father raised corn and cattle.

Of all the gifts they gave me, none has meant more than their belief that I should give back to the country that gave them both a chance and has given us so much.

For twenty years, I’ve fought to set things right for ordinary people who have nowhere else to turn –with every ounce of energy and every fiber of my being.

And now that ordinary people feel like they can’t turn to Washington, I want to go there to set it right.

This will be a long and tough campaign. I may be outspent, but I won’t be outworked.

I’ve been fighting for what’s right, sometimes against long odds, my whole career.

But I need you there with me every step of the way. I need you to be ready for a fight. I need you on the doors, on the phones, on the streets. I need you to raise your hand, and raise your voice, and make sure we have an election, not an auction!

I’ll go to Washington to stand up for our small businesses, our working families, our kids, our jobs, our state. I’ll go to Washington to fight for you — first, last, and always!

Thank you!

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