Before I take your questions, I would like to address the press who are gathered here, as well as those who are not.
I know that you are here to do your job – a job that supports and provides for you, and those who rely on you. I respect that utterly.
I choose to believe that you also are here practicing your profession, and that you wish to uphold its highest standards. I am also aware that, like many American workers, you may be feeling insecure about your future in the evolving media landscape. You may be feeling pressured by imperatives that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with why you chose journalism as your career, or how you personally feel you should best practice your profession.
I believe that you chose your career path because you believed – as I believe – that The Press is central to American democracy, that journalists are not only essential, but that the enormous power you wield to shape the content and direction of our national discussions – and to provide the factual basis for those conversations to be honest and informed – can make our nation better, stronger, and more just.
As you cover my campaign, and every other campaign for the Presidency or any other elected office, I rely on you to appreciate the role you fulfill not only for us candidates, but for every American who counts on you.
We talk about what you want to talk about.
We answer the questions you want answered.
We debate the issues you find important.
We dance to your tune.
When you are at your best, it’s a great song. When you are at your worst, it makes Americans turn away from you, from us, and most tragically, from the ballot box that is their most precious right… Their right to rule.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The voice of The People is The Voice of God.
We need to hear that voice. We need you, The Press, to shape a conversation that makes Americans want to speak, and to be heard. We need you to amplify their urgent concerns. If you won’t, you are just “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”
And now, I’d be happy to take your questions.