Transcript: Jim Webb’s opening remarks at the CNN Democratic presidential debate


Partial transcript of former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb’s opening remarks at the CNN Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 13, 2015:

…Now, people are disgusted with the way that money has corrupted our political process, intimidating incumbents and empowering Wall Street everyday, the turnstile government that we see and also the power of the financial center in both parties.

You’re looking for a leader who understands how the system works, who has not been corrupted by it, and also has a proven record of accomplishing different things.

I have a record of working across the political aisle. I’ve also spent more than half of my professional life away from politics – in the independent world of being an author, a journalist, and a sole proprietor.

In government service, I fought and bled for our country in Vietnam as a Marine…as Assistant Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration.

In the Senate, I spoke about economic fairness and social justice from day one.

I also wrote and passed the best piece of veterans education legislation in history – the post-9/11 GI Bill.

I brought criminal justice reform out of the political shadow and into the national discussion.

I led what later became called the strategic pivot to Asia two years before President Obama was elected.

I know where my loyalties are.

My mother grew up in the poverty of east Arkansas, chopping cotton, picking strawberries. Three of her seven siblings died in childhood.

My wife, Hong, came to this country as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam, learned English – a language that was not spoken at home – and earned her way into Cornell Law School.

I have five daughters. Amy works with disabled veterans. Sarah is an emergency room nurse. Julia is a massage therapist. Emily and Georgia are still in school.

My son, Jim, fought as an infantry Marine on the bloody streets of Ramadi.

You may be sure that in a Webb administration the highest priority will be the working people who everyday go out and make this country stronger at home and who give us to the right reputation and security overseas under a common sense foreign policy.

Thank you.

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