Transcript: Democrats' Radio Response

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, delivered the response to the president's weekly radio address:

Good morning. I'm Sen. Harry Reid.

Next week, families all across America will gather for Thanksgiving.

As a nation, we have a great deal for which to be thankful, but there is still much work that remains to be done to ensure that the promise of America reaches each corner of our country.

With the president preparing to be sworn in for a second term and Congress getting ready to convene its new session, there is great potential to do good things for our nation.

I want to talk this morning about the Democratic commitment to realizing this potential.

These historic times demand that our elected officials give all they've got to address the challenges facing our nation today. Too many people are looking for work or struggling to pay for their health care or worrying about their loved one serving in Iraq.

Americans are counting on their elected officials to be there for them, to pursue policies that will make it a little easier for them to realize their dreams.

As a senator from Nevada, I've spent each day I've been in office working to do just that and it is exactly what I will keep on doing in my new role as the senate Democratic leader.

As a young boy growing up in a little town in the southern tip of Nevada called Searchlight, I learned about the reward of hard work, what it means to be a neighbor, and the power of community.

My dad was a hard-rock miner. My mom took in wash. Our house had no hot water and no indoor toilet. There was no high school in Searchlight, so I had to live with people 45 miles away during the week and go back home on weekends.

It was there that I met Mrs. Pickard, a teacher who took an interest in me and taught me about the need to study hard. When it came time for college, business people in town pitched in and helped me pay my tuition. Afterward, I got through law school working as a police officer.

As a result, I was able to get a good education. I was able to go into business for myself and now have what I think is the best job in the world, a member of the United States Senate.

If I can make it America, anyone can make it in America.

Democrats want all Americans to be able to say that they made it and we are committed to doing whatever it takes in this new Congress to make that dream possible.

I believe most Republicans share my view that we must not allow partisanship to stand in the way of common sense efforts to create opportunities or let politics get in the way of doing something to get America going in the right direction again.

Americans are counting on us — Republicans and Democrats — to keep our promise on Social Security so that today's retirees as well as tomorrow's are able to enjoy their twilight years.

Americans are counting on us to do something about the fact that 45 million people have no health care.

Americans are counting on us to do something about the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs.

Americans are counting on us to ensure that our public schools are able to open doors of opportunity for our children so that they are not left behind and can realize their full potential. They're counting on us to pursue policies that create jobs and get our fiscal house in order.

And of course, we need a strategy to win the war in Iraq, and we must continue fighting terrorism throughout the world to ensure our nation's security.

Earlier this week, I met with the President and told him that I will work with him to get things done so that we might actually fulfill the promises we hear so often on the campaign trail.

Achieving our goals will take hard work and a commitment on the part of our elected officials ending the partisan rancor that has come to characterize the politics in recent years. But I believe we can succeed if we roll up our sleeves and abide by the values that have made America great.

It's time to come together to create opportunities for all — from Searchlight, Nevada and beyond.

This is Senator Harry Reid, thank you for listening.