DNC: Baldwin Talks Economy, DADT, Wisconsin Marriage Ban

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 06 2012 6:11 PM ET

Rep. Tammy Baldwin addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, pledging to bet on Wisconsin's work force and taking jabs at Republican policies that she would favor millionaires and billionaires.

The Wisconsin senate candidate also voiced her support for President Obama's leadership in repealing "don't ask, don't tell," while also condemning efforts to ban marriage equality in her home state.

"Our president has made historic progress toward equality," she said. "He repealed 'don't ask, don't tell' so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Tommy Thompson—they think they're the only ones who speak for Wisconsin."

Baldwin stayed mainly on the economy, though, and said that she is a staunch supporter of the Buffet Rule, named after billionaire Warren Buffet, who believes that the wealthy should pay a proportionare share of taxes. She also emphasized her support for Wisconsin's workers.

"Wisconsin I know, knows that having two sets of rules makes no kind of sense," she said. "We believe in hard work. For decades, we've worked to make things: paper, engines, tools, ships—and, yes, cheese, brats, and beer. Give our workers a fair shot, and we'll compete against anyone."

According to Talking Points Memo, Baldwin is trailing her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, who leads with an average of 51.6% of voters' support.

Watch her speech from the live feed here or read Baldwin's full speech on the following page.

On behalf of the great state of Wisconsin and our proud progressive tradition, thank you! I know you've heard a lot about Wisconsin lately. You've heard about Paul Ryan, who wants to end Medicare as we know it. You've heard about Scott Walker, who took basic rights away from teachers, nurses, and public employees. Maybe you've even heard about Tommy Thompson, our former governor, who went to Washington, cashed in on his special interest connections, and never really came back.

Well, I'm here to tell you that they don't speak for all of Wisconsin. I want you to hear about the Wisconsin I know: the place where my grandparents raised me, the place where generations of families have worked hard to get ahead, the place where our state motto might sound familiar to you.

It's just one word: forward. We believe that if we're going to prosper, everyone has to have a fair shot, and everyone has to do their fair share. That's why I'm proud to lead the charge for the Buffet Rule, which makes sure that millionaires and billionaires don't get to pay a lower tax rate than hard-working  middle-class families. And, President Obama is standing with me.

But Mitt Romney wants to pass even more tax cuts for those at the very top. The Wisconsin I know, knows that their plan will only bust our budget, not boost our economy. We believe in a level playing field.

More than a decade ago, the big Wall Street banks came to Congress and asked us to repeal an important banking law called Glass-Steagall, allowing them to gamble like hedge funds. Too many in Washington said yes. Russ Feingold and I said no. And after those risky schemes brought our economy to its knees, I fought to make Wall Street play by the same rules as Main Street. President Obama fought for that reform. Mitt Romney wants to repeal it.

But the Wisconsin I know, knows that having two sets of rules makes no kind of sense. We believe in hard work. For decades, we've worked to make things: paper, engines, tools, ships—and, yes, cheese, brats, and beer. Give our workers a fair shot, and we'll compete against anyone.

That's why I'm taking on China's cheating and betting on Wisconsin's workers. President Obama believes in our manufacturers. That's why he's standing with me to support companies creating jobs here, not shipping them overseas. Mitt Romney wants to give up on our manufacturing sector. But the Wisconsin I know, knows that an economy built to last says "Made in America" on the label. And we believe that American history moves in one direction: forward.

Our president has made historic progress toward equality. He repealed "don't ask, don't tell" so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Tommy Thompson—they think they're the only ones who speak for Wisconsin.

But come November, the Wisconsin I know—the America I love—will speak out loud and clear, and keep us moving forward: forward with a strong middle class; forward on a path to prosperity; forward with President Obama!