July | August 2017

The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September may have put the spotlight on President Barack Obama, but Democrats who hold or have held the governor’s office had the opportunity to share something about their states and their beliefs.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer,
2011 CSG President

“Let me tell you how we get ’er done in Montana. We’ve had record budget surpluses every year I’ve been governor, averaging over $400 million in surplus even during the Great Recession. We’ve invested more new money for education than ever before, frozen tuition at our colleges for the longest period ever, and get this: We increased the percentage of adults with college degrees faster than any other state. We cut more taxes, for more people, than any governor in Montana history and our bond rating was upgraded. Montana is moving in the right direction. So is America.
“When President Obama took office, the economy was in free fall, losing more than 800,000 jobs a month. Since then he’s helped create 4.5 million private sector jobs, 29 straight months of job growth.”

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

“In Illinois, we know President Barack Obama. We know his record. And we know that President Obama has made sure that work is always part of welfare. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama spearheaded welfare reform in the Land of Lincoln. And the fact is, under President Obama, states can get flexibility only if they move 20 percent more people to work.
“From day one, President Obama has told you where he stands, what he believes and what he is doing to make our middle class strong again. America is moving forward under President Obama’s leadership—and that’s a fact.”

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland

“It’s been a long slog back, and we’ve still got a long way to go. But all over Ohio—all over America—men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped ‘Made in America.’ Before Barack Obama took office, it looked like that pride could have vanished forever, but today, from the staggering depths of the Great Recession, the nation has had 29 straight months of job growth. Workers across my state and across the country are getting back the dignity of a good job and a good salary.”

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

“When I came to office, we set out on a different course: investing in ourselves and our future. And today Massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans’ services. Today, with the help of the Obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access. Today we’re out of the deficit hole Mr. Romney left, and we’ve achieved the highest bond rating in our history. Today—with labor at the table—we’ve made the reforms in our pension and benefits systems, our schools, our transportation system and more that Mr. Romney only talked about. And today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love. We have much more still to do. But we are on a better track because we placed our faith not in trickle-down fantasies and divisive rhetoric, but in our values and common sense.”

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

“With the auto rescue, (Obama) saved more than 1 million middle class jobs all across America. In Colorado, the auto rescue saved more than 9,800 jobs. In Virginia, more than 19,000 jobs. In North Carolina, more than 25,000. Wisconsin, more than 28,000 jobs. Pennsylvania, more than 34,000. Florida, more than 35,000. Ohio, more than 150,000. And in the great state of Michigan? President Obama helped save 211,000 good American jobs. All across America, autos are back! Manufacturing is rebounding.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

“In Colorado, we know that Western history is not just about rugged individuals; it’s also about communities coming together to raise barns, build schools and, yes, to help one another. Colorado and the United States are places that will be defined more by their future than by their past. The president knows that to move our country forward, it takes ‘we’ and not just ‘me.’ … President Obama inherited many crises, among the worst any president has faced, and in every case he’s responded with optimism, compassion and courage. He provided hope when there was none. And he transformed that hope into a plan rooted in reality.”

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

“In times of adversity—for the country we love—Maryland always chooses to move forward. Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Whether we move forward or back: This too is a choice. This is what this election is all about!
“Democratic governors, with the support of our president, are leading their states forward—putting job creation first, balancing budgets, protecting priorities, making the tough decisions, right now, to create jobs and expand opportunity. Together with President Obama, we are moving America forward, not back.”

Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

“You know, I used to play quarterback just down the road from here at Wake Forest. My dad always told me, ‘Charlie, it takes a cool head to win a hot game.’ Our country is in the middle of a hot game. We face serious challenges, both at home and abroad. Meanwhile, our politics are defined by discord and discontent. Never has it been harder for a president to keep a cool head. … When I look at President Obama, I see a leader with a cool head, a caring heart and an open mind, a president who has demonstrated through his demeanor and through his deeds that he is uniquely qualified to heal our divisions, rebuild our nation and lead us to a brighter future together.”

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue

“We must re-elect the president because he’s standing up for middle-class families and growing an economy that’s built to last. And he’s doing it right here in North Carolina. It starts with education. The president has made schools a top priority. He knows that all parents want their children to have even better opportunities than they had. The president’s education initiatives are helping North Carolina’s schools soar. These investments are spurring education reform and innovation, and strengthening our nationally recognized early childhood education programs. This president gets it on education. He knows that a good education is the difference-maker for every child and is the pathway to success in the global economy.”

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy

“We Democrats have nothing against people who’ve earned their wealth. We salute their hard work and good fortune. But slashing what we invest in schools, in roads, in research and development, in clean energy and in the things that protect our most vulnerable just to cut taxes for those at the top—is ridiculous and wrong.
“… President Obama and we Democratic governors believe something very different. We believe that a budget is more than just a bunch of numbers: It’s a document that reflects our values. We believe we can—and should—make government leaner, cheaper, and more effective—cutting waste and trimming fat where we can.”

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell

“When you are a governor, or the president, it’s different. Your shareholders are teachers, construction workers and hardware store owners. And your bottom line is not what goes into your pocket—but what goes into theirs. That’s the difference. When your constituents are your financial shareholders, perhaps it makes sense to take control of a company, suffocate it with debt and get rid of the workers’ pensions. That kind of thing worked for Mitt Romney when he sat in his corporate office. But it won’t work for the country if Mitt Romney’s sitting in the Oval Office.”