Governor Addresses Crowd of Supporters at General Election Kick-Off Rally in Manchester, Presents Vision for Building a Brighter Economic Future
Manchester—Outlining her vision for building a brighter economic future, Governor Maggie Hassan addressed a crowd of supporters at her general election kick-off rally, calling for continued bipartisan cooperation to keep the state moving forward.
The Governor told the packed house, “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction,” and discussed her efforts to bring together Republicans, Democrats and independents to expand middle class opportunity and help innovative businesses create jobs.
“Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track,” said Governor Hassan. “We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.”
The Governor outlined how far New Hampshire’s people, families, and communities have come over the past twenty months, highlighting how she worked across party lines to balance the budget without an income or sales tax, to freeze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, to broker agreements to end expensive lawsuits that threatened our state’s finances and bond rating, reach a bipartisan compromise to expand health care to 50,000 working people, and to develop a plan to fix our roads and bridges, including finishing the completion of I-93.
“I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving,” said Governor Hassan. “Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.”
The Governor also emphasized what’s at stake this November, and how her opponent and his Koch Brothers agenda would be a disaster for middle class families and take New Hampshire’s economy backward to the devastating cuts to higher education, health care and public safety made by the Bill O’Brien legislature.
“By signing his name to the Koch Brothers pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction,” said Governor Hassan.
The Governor added, “He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.”
And she said, “When it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted. He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.”
In her speech, Governor Hassan stressed that “we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.”
To build an even brighter economic future, the Governor outlined that we must continue working to help innovative businesses start and grow in New Hampshire, make higher education, health care and energy more affordable, and help working families make ends meet by restoring and increasing the state’s minimum wage.
“I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done,” said Governor Hassan.”
See below for full text of Governor Hassan’s primary night address, as prepared for delivery:
Thank you to all of you here tonight – you are the force that powers this campaign and that allows us to make progress for the people of our state.
And thank you Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for that introduction and for once again hosting us here tonight, but most of all, thank you for being a steadfast advocate for our communities on the Executive Council.
Thank you as well to our United States Senator, the incomparable Jeanne Shaheen, who always puts New Hampshire first.
I want to take a moment to tell my family – Tom, Meg, Liz and my mother Peggy who are here with me tonight, and my son Ben who’s following along at home – how much I appreciate the support and love you give me.
And I want to thank the people of New Hampshire, who work together every day to strengthen their families, their communities, and the state we all love.
Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track.
We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.
And we have come a long way together over the last twenty months.
Two years ago, instead of working to solve our state’s problems, many elected officials had become the problem – because they were pursuing a radical agenda instead of looking out for the priorities of our small businesses and our middle class families.
On any given issue, the only question that seemed to matter to Bill O’Brien’s legislature was simply: what would the Koch Brothers do?
The O’Brien legislature slashed funding for higher education in half, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cut critical services for children and families.
Under that legislature, our roads and bridges were crumbling, our mental health services were severely strained, and our economy was heading in the wrong direction.
Worse than that, the O’Brien legislature turned its back on the traditions that make the Granite State strong: cooperation, bipartisanship and common-sense problem solving.
It got so bad they were starting to make Washington look reasonable and civil.
And so we all stood together in 2012 to say “enough.”
Now, I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving.
Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.
By working with independents, Republicans and Democrats, we’ve made progress to expand opportunity for middle class families and support innovative businesses so they can create good jobs here in New Hampshire.
We reached out across the aisle and passed the most bipartisan budget in over a decade – with no income or sales tax.
It’s a budget that is making it a bit easier for hard-working people around this state to send their kids to college – because we were able to freeze in-state tuition at our university system, and at our community colleges this fall, tuition is actually five percent less.
That’s helping our families, and helping build the workforce we need to grow New Hampshire’s economy.
To better prepare our young people for jobs in the 21st century economy, we’re working to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education in schools across our state.
To ensure fiscal responsibility, we came together to tackle the big challenges that were threatening our state’s financial outlook and bond rating.
We ended costly lawsuits by working with both parties to replace our shamefully outdated women’s prison, reach a fair agreement with hospitals to resolve the Medicaid Enhancement Tax issue, and rebuild community mental health services across our state.
To support our businesses, we’re helping them sell their products across the world, we re-invested in keeping New Hampshire a top destination for tourism, and we doubled the research and development tax credit.
And through our “Live Free and Start” initiative, we’re helping make it easier for small, innovative businesses to open in New Hampshire.
In addition, to strengthen our economy, we came together to pass a bipartisan transportation plan, and now we’re fixing roads and bridges across the state and finally finishing the expansion of I-93.
And of course, right now, more than 13,000 hard-working Granite Staters have new health and economic security – because of our bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan.
While the far right has focused on trying to repeal health coverage, we found a way to bring both parties together to develop a fiscally responsible, New Hampshire solution that will strengthen our families, businesses and economy.
But what good is our work to support middle class families and to get our economy moving in the right direction if a young woman at her first job isn’t paid fairly or if she can’t access the basic health care she needs?
That’s why we passed the bipartisan New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can receive equal pay for an equal day’s work.
And while we saw the Supreme Court rule that employers can deny women health insurance that covers their full health needs, including contraception – here in New Hampshire we’ve fought to ensure that women and families can access critical health services by restoring funding for Planned Parenthood.
In the last year and a half, we’ve put New Hampshire back on the right track.
And we have come too far to let my opponent take us backward.
By signing his name to the Koch Brothers’ pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction.
He signed his name to repealing our bipartisan plan to fix our roads and bridges.
He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.
He pledged to the Koch Brothers that he’d support so-called “right to work” legislation – which we all know really means “right to work for less” – while he opposes restoring and improving our minimum wage.
And when it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted.
He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.
And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.
And if all of that isn’t bad enough, he has criticized our bipartisan budget that reinvests in higher education, and said that he opposes additional state funding for our universities.
In his debate just last week, he actually praised Bill O’Brien and his devastating budget cuts.
It’s clear that my opponent would simply be a rubber stamp for Bill O’Brien and the Koch Brothers.
We can’t afford to return to that disastrous agenda.
We’ve worked together. We’ve reached across party lines to get things done. We’re moving in the right direction.
Working together, we’ve set in motion an innovation plan that is strengthening the foundation of our 21st century economy.
Unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the private sector has created 10,000 jobs in the last year.
But we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.
We need to continue to focus on holding down the cost of higher education, on keeping our young people here, and preparing our workforce for good 21st century jobs.
We need to do more to help innovative businesses start up and thrive in New Hampshire, and to make it easier for our existing companies to grow.
We need to build on the new competition in our health insurance marketplace to continue making coverage more affordable and more accessible for all of our people and businesses.
We need to reduce energy costs while protecting our beautiful natural resources that drive our tourism economy and define us as a place and as a people.
And we need to give working families a better opportunity to make ends meet by restoring and improving the minimum wage.
That’s why I’m running for another term as your Governor.
I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done.
New Hampshire is a rugged, inclusive and beautiful place where we combine a sense of community and individualism like nowhere else.
No story exemplifies this New Hampshire spirit better than the story of Rustic Crust in Pittsfield.
In March, the company lost their old facility in a devastating fire.
But rather than despair, within minutes, Rustic Crust founder and CEO Brad Sterl took a deep breath and said, “OK, we have to rebuild.”
“These employees rely on this business,” he said, as he pledged to rebuild better and stronger, while paying his workers the whole time.
His employees have told me how much that generosity meant to him.
Through the company’s perseverance, ingenuity and commitment to its workers, and with the strength and support of their community, Pittsfield and Rustic Crust rallied together, and just last month, broke ground to rebuild at the same location.
This is the kind of story I see all across New Hampshire.
We are an all-hands-on-deck state. When we face a challenge, the people of New Hampshire roll up our sleeves and we come together to get things done.
That’s how the Pittsfield community is helping to rebuild Rustic Crust.
That’s how we’ve worked to put our state back on the right track over the past 20 months.
And that’s how, if you keep standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction toward an even brighter economic future for all Granite Staters.
Thank you. I ask for your vote. Let’s keep New Hampshire moving forward.