Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) delivered his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday night.
Below, his remarks as prepared for delivery.
Eight years ago in Boston, I introduced you to a state senator from Illinois with a name that was hard to pronounce. Four years ago in Denver, I asked you to give him our party's nomination for president. Tonight in Charlotte, I ask you to join me in giving President Barack Obama four more years to finish the job he started.
I was there that cold January afternoon when Barack Obama lifted his hand from Abraham Lincoln's Bible and looked out on an America facing an economic collapse. These last four years have been hard. Too many families are still hurting. But today, our economy is beginning to recover, jobs are returning, businesses are expanding and America is coming back.
Our friends in the other party have a theory about America. They tell us we're all in this alone. They say builders never need a helping hand. Democrats know better. America knows better. History and this president have shown us we are stronger when we are all in this together.
Come to Belvidere, Illinois and meet 5,000 proud Chrysler UAW workers. Some said let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. President Obama said let those workers go back to work. Meet the working families all across our nation who will finally have a chance for affordable health care and college loans. And I am proud of our president's fight for justice for women in the workplace and ending the discrimination of "don't ask, don't tell" in our military. Eleven years ago, I authored the DREAM Act. It took President Obama to finally bring these kids out of the shadows and into the America they have always called home.
One hundred and fifty years ago, another president from Illinois brought justice to his day with the Emancipation Proclamation. His critics told him he had gone too far and he should undo what he had done. But Lincoln said, "I hope to stand firm enough not to go backwards." We cannot build a better, stronger, fairer America by walking backwards. We must walk forward, together. With President Obama in the White House, we will. President Obama: Your values, your vision, your commitment to a just America are still worth fighting for.