Hillary Clinton delivered the following remarks at a campaign event in Indianapolis, Indiana:
“I grew up in the Midwest. Born in Chicago, raised outside of that great city. I was raised with Midwestern values and an unshakeable faith in America and its promise.
“Now, like some of you may have been, I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small town America. Senator Obama’s remarks are elitist and they are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know – not the Americans I grew up with, not the Americans I lived with in Arkansas or represent in New York.
“You know, Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a matter of Constitutional rights. Americans who believe in God believe it is a matter of personal faith. Americans who believe in protecting good American jobs believe it is a matter of the American Dream.
“When my dad grew up it was in a working class family in Scranton. I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith.
“The people of faith I know don’t “cling to” religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich. Our faith is the faith of our parents and our grandparents. It is a fundamental expression of who we are and what we believe.
“I also disagree with Senator Obama’s assertion that people in this country “cling to guns” and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration. People of all walks of life hunt – and they enjoy doing so because it’s an important part of their life, not because they are bitter.
“And as I’ve traveled across Indiana and I’ve talked to a lot of people, what I hear are real concerns about unfair trade practices that cost people jobs.
“I think hardworking Americans are right to want to see changes in our trade laws. That’s what I have said. That’s what I have fought for.
“I would also point out that the vast majority of working Americans reject anti-immigration rhetoric. They want reform so that we remain a nation of immigrants, but also a nation of laws that we enforce and we enforce fairly.
“Americans are fair-minded and good-hearted people. We have ups and downs. We face challenges and problems. But our views are rooted in real values, and they should be respected.
“Americans out across our country have borne the brunt of the Bush administration’s assault on the middle class. Contrary to what Senator Obama says, most Americans did much better during the Clinton years than they have done during the Bush years.
“If we are striving to bring people together – and I believe we should be – I don’t think it helps to divide our country into one America that is enlightened and one that is not.
“We know there is an unacceptable economic divide in America today, but that is certainly not the way to bridge it. The way to do that is to roll up our sleeves and get to work and make sure we provide, once again, economic opportunity and shared prosperity for all Americans.
“People don’t need a president who looks down on them; they need a president who stands up for them. And that is exactly what I will do as your president.
“Because I believe if you want to be the president of all Americans, you need to respect all Americans. And that starts with respecting our hard working Americans, and what we need to do here is to take a lesson from Allison transmission.”