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Democratic Candidates Deliver Final Plea To Iowa Voters Ahead Of Caucuses

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It may feel like the presidential campaign is never-ending. In fact, it's just beginning. On Monday, Iowans will caucus the first voters to weigh in on who they want in the White House. The candidates are making their closing arguments, and we are spending time today listening to what they're saying. Here now are excerpts of speeches from the two leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Speaking today in Des Moines, Hillary Clinton said her presidency would build on recent Democratic achievements even in the face of opposition.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

HILLARY CLINTON: The Republicans have been blocking and impeding and repealing and trying to do everything possible to go back to their old ways. That's what this election is going to turn on. Are we going to let them have the White House again? Are we going to give them the chance to wreck our economy again? Set us back from the progress we've taken? I sure hope not. I sure hope not, but here's what I'm running on. I'm not running on just telling you what you want to hear. I'm telling you what I think I can do, what I think I can get done that will make a real difference in people's lives. And I have an economic policy, and, just real briefly - number one, the government can do some things to get jobs going. We can invest more in infrastructure - our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our ports, our airports, our rail systems, and we can put we can put millions of Americans to work doing that, and we can bring back manufacturing. If we're smart about it, we can change that tax code so instead of incentivizing, jobs being exported, we can get them to be brought back, created here, put Americans to work.

CORNISH: Earlier this week, Bernie Sanders told Iowa voters they have to fight for change.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

BERNIE SANDERS: Anybody here who thinks that real change comes easy knows nothing about American history or world history. Frederick Douglass made the point way back when fighting to end slavery that change only comes with struggle. Freedom is never given to people. You've got to fight to get it.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: And that is what this campaign is about. Yeah, we are taking on Wall Street and the economic establishment. Yeah, we're taking on the political establishment. Yeah, we're taking on the media establishment. But that is the establishment that has to be taken on...

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: ...If we are going to create the country that our people deserve.

CORNISH: That was Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton speaking this week in Iowa. We're playing excerpts from some of the Republican candidates' speeches elsewhere in the program. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.