The following is a transcript of a speech by Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), at the Democratic National Convention.
Hello, delegates, and hello to my sisters and brothers in the American labor movement! My name is Mary Kay Henry. I am here tonight on behalf of millions of Americans who work for a living: the home care worker in Columbus, the janitor in Denver, the correctional officer in Raleigh. These are the men and women who make our country strong.
And these are the men and women whom President Obama is fighting for every single day. I grew up inSoutheast Michigan, just a few miles from Mitt Romney. Just a few miles away, but a world apart. But here's the thing: Even though Mitt Romney and I both call Detroit home, it seems like he learned a very different set of values.
When Mitt was starting out in business, he invested in the companies that were pioneers in outsourcing. He loaded up companies with debt, and, when they went bankrupt, he walked away with profits while workers lost their health care, their pensions and even their jobs.
We just learned that when his company found itself in trouble, Mitt Romney asked for a government bailout. But when more than one million auto workers from Michigan to Wisconsin to Ohio saw their companies fall on hard times, you know what Mitt Romney said? "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
Time after time, working families have paid the price for Mitt Romney's success.
Those are his values, and make no mistake: Those are the values he'd bring to the White House. As president, Mitt Romney would raise taxes on middle-class Americans by an average of $2,000 a year, while, at the same time, someone earning $3 million could get a quarter-million-dollar tax cut. The Romney-Ryan budget would cut education up to 20 percent, while protecting tax loopholes for companies that send jobs overseas.
Governor Romney would replace the guarantee of Medicare with a voucher system, a voucher system that would cost the average senior $6,400 a year out of their own pocket. But when it comes to subsidies for oil companies, well, he thinks that's something worth protecting.
Middle-class Americans cannot afford four years of Romney economics. We need a president who fights for us, and that's what we have in President Barack Obama.
We have a president who fights for women like Maria Patterson. Maria is a custodian from California, and thanks to health care reform Maria's daughter is covered under her health insurance, and Maria's mother will never have to worry that she'll lose her Medicare benefits. We have a president who has fought for hard-working immigrants like Brenda, who came to this country when she was three years old. Thanks to executive action taken by President Obama, Brenda can pursue college or a career without the fear of deportation.
We have a president who has fought for the right to bargain collectively, for the chance to earn a decent wage, for the principle that all work has value, and that every worker deserves respect.
So, for millions of middle-class families across this country, the choice is clear: We cannot move backward with Mitt Romney. We must keep America moving forward, and that's why we need to re-elect President Barack Obama.