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Gillibrand’s “Not Very Polite” Speech At Iowa Hall of Fame Dinner

June 9, 2019

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand delivered a speech at the Iowa Hall of Fame dinner focusing on women taking their rightful place at the table, her policies to help women and families, and her recent confrontation on Fox News about the nationwide assault on women’s reproductive freedom.

See below for the transcript:

Thank you, Iowa! Congratulations to each of our Hall of Fame inductees.

Not. Very. Polite.

That’s what I was told I was by a Fox News host at the town hall I did in Iowa last week, because I spoke out about the nationwide assault on women’s reproductive freedom.

Not very polite? You got that one right!

Because if Fox News takes issue with me demanding the fundamental, human rights for women, 50% of America – I must be doing something right!

Luckily, I’m not alone. I proudly count myself among the formerly well-behaved women fighting back.

The women in this room, the men who love us. We are rising up and we are demanding our rights and our voices.

Women are on fire in America today.

We have MARCHED. We have ORGANIZED.

We have run for office and we have won.

Because of women, we flipped the U.S. House of Representatives and sent more than 100 women to Congress!

We elected Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer — the first two women from Iowa in the House of Representatives.

These are unsung heroes. There are unsung heroes all across Iowa.

Whether it’s everyday acts of resilience or big, bold moments of resistance, women are taking a stand.

Now more than ever, our rights are under attack. Whether it’s Georgia or Iowa or Alabama or Missouri. In the White House, at the Supreme Court.

Across this country, right-wing politicians and a whole lot of men are making decisions about our reproductive freedom.

Now is not the time to be polite.

Now is not the time for small steps.

Now it’s time to fight like hell.

To the pundits who STILL say: “Can a woman really win?”

YES! Of course, we can.

President Trump’s kryptonite is a strong woman who stands up for what she believes in.

We know women leaders across the globe actually have faster-growing economies…are more inclusive, tolerant and collaborative.

When women lead, we get things done.

I’ve already taken on the powerful, the corrupt and the seemingly impossible throughout my career.

I took on a 2:1 Republican District and won.

The second time by a 24-point margin.

And in my last campaign for senate, I won back 18 counties where President Trump had won.

Whether I am standing up to the Pentagon, or Congress or Wall Street, or corrupt members of Congress.

I have taken on the fights that no one else will… and WON!

I have voted against President Trump more than any other U.S. Senator on this stage.

I will go toe-to-toe with anyone to do what’s right.

I was the first Presidential candidate to pledge that I will ONLY nominate justices and judges who see Roe v. Wade as a precedent.

I am also going to codify Roe… and I will repeal Hyde, so that women of color and low-income women also get access to abortion services.

In fact, I don’t think there’s room in our party for a Democratic candidate who does not support women’s full reproductive freedom.

The days of dismissing maternal mortality or adoption rights or paid leave or affordable daycare or universal pre-K or equal pay for work as just a “women’s issue,” those days are long gone.

When America’s families succeed, we all succeed— that is why I will pass my Family Bill of Rights in my first 100 days of being president.

Just imagine what we could achieve…with a working mother in the White House instead of a misogynist.

Imagine the progress we could make…with a diverse cabinet of Americans who actually reflect why we are a great country.

And the agenda we could pass…Not only with women at the table…

But with A WOMAN at the head of the table.

Now is not the time to settle for the status quo or to compromise or to be polite.

Now is the time to be BRAVE.

Because when HOPE RISES.

FEAR LOSES… and BRAVE WINS!

God Bless Iowa