Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin takes stage on big night at DNC

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Thursday, September 5th was a big night for Democrats, as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gave speeches -- officially accepting their Party's nominations. Before that, Wisconsin Congresswoman and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Tammy Baldwin addressed the Convention.

Baldwin's speech slot time was moved late Thursday to 5:30 p.m. central time. She was originally scheduled to deliver a prime time speech.

On the Democratic National Convention's final night, Baldwin took the stage ahead of Biden and Obama.

"Forward" is the state motto of Wisconsin and the theme of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. That word also served as the refrain of Baldwin's speech before the DNC.

"I'm here to tell you about the Wisconsin I know -- the place where my grandparents raised me. The place where generations of families have worked hard to get ahead. The place where our state motto might sound familiar to you. It's just one word: 'forward,'" Baldwin said.

Baldwin defended Wisconsin's progressive values in her speech.

"In Wisconsin, we believe in hardwork.  For decades we've worked to make things, paper, engines, tools, ships, and yes...cheese, brats and beer. We believe that if we're going to prosper, everyone has to have a fair shot and everyone has to do their fair share," Baldwin said.

Immediately following her address, Baldwin spoke with FOX6 News. She said the goal of her speech was to rebut the claims by Gov. Scott Walker and Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention.

"It's the values that guide us in Wisconsin.  Values of fairness, of a level playing field.  We have the work ethic, but we need the fair rules in order to get ahead and frankly the middle class in Wisconsin need a champion in the U.S. Senate," Baldwin said.

Earlier Thursday when speaking with FOX6 News, Baldwin said she's excited for her speaking opportunity.

"I've been given a tremendous honor to give voice to Wisconsin values at this convention and I'm very much looking forward to it," Baldwin said.

Baldwin was given a spot for two reasons -- One: Democrats desperately need to hang onto the U.S. Senate seat for which she's running, and the speech will undoubtedly boost her profile, and Two: to provide a platform to a progressive Wisconsinite after the state's conservatives dominated the Republican National Convention.

"The nation actually heard a lot from Wisconsinites last week in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. They heard from Reicne Priebus, the RNC Chair. They heard from Scott Walker. They heard from Paul Ryan. Each of these individuals described a Wisconsin that's unfamiliar to me. I'm going to talk tonight about the Wisconsin I know -- the heartland values that we embrace, the work ethic that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead," Baldwin said.

Baldwin has addressed the DNC three times before. She said she practiced using a teleprompter and admitted the switch to the indoor arena actually helped calm her nerves.

"The one concern I had, and this may be pretty silly, but I heard that in stadiums, there's echoes, so you hear your voice after you've delivered the line. There's not as much in an arena indoors, so perhaps a little less distraction in that sense," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said the Republican values are contained in the Ryan budget plan.

"It is a plan that gives enormous tax breaks to the top one and two percent and pays for them by increasing the tax burden on working families and middle class families and slashing the very investments that we need to grow again as a nation," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said it is an honor to take the stage before President Obama.

Baldwin's opponent, Republican former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson released the following response to Baldwin's speech Thursday:

"Cong. Tammy Baldwin tonight called for Wisconsin and the nation to follow our state motto of 'forward' but her own extreme policies are a throwback to the failed big government excesses that have drowned America in borrowed money from China, a record $16 trillion debt and 23 million unemployed.

In the Wisconsin we know you don't spend more money than you have, you don't kill jobs with overregulation, you don't fund a failed stimulus program or massive government expansion on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Wisconsin, and our nation, cannot afford to elect a senator who's considered the most liberal member of the House of Representatives. Tommy Thompson is the proven reformer who's ready to fight for our state and fix the mess in Washington that Tammy Baldwin helped create."

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