Jackson Lee Rallies Democrats Against "Man of Fear" Trump

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston rallied fellow Democrats against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling him a "man of fear" in a speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Sheila Jackson Lee
Sheila Jackson Lee  Jennifer Whitney

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston rallied fellow Democrats against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday, calling him a "man of fear" while pitching his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as the only candidate who can offer hope to Americans. 

“We cannot choose fear," Jackson Lee said during a speech here at the Democratic National Convention, where she invoked her own battle with breast cancer to tout Clinton's resilience — and contrast it with Trump's brand of politics. "We cannot elect a president who provides no hope to the laid-off union worker, no hope for the mother of five and no hope for the researcher who might find a cure for cancer."

"We cannot elect a leader who is willfully ignorant to the outcry of young people who want real criminal justice reform and responsible gun safety legislation now," she added, listing recent incidents of gun violence across the country. 

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On the contrary, Jackson Lee presented Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state, as a "woman of uncommon strength, a change maker, a survivor." 

"I am woman," Jackson Lee intoned. "Hear me roar." 

Jackson Lee began her remarks with an ode to her 18th congressional district, calling Houston a "city with a great new mayor" — Sylvester Turner — "and a place where people of all races and sexual orientations and religions are respected." She also invoked the legacy of Houston civil rights icon Barbara Jordan, saying her "pursuit of justice and equality is our call today." Jordan was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 1976. 

Jackson Lee is known for her loyalty to the Clintons. She backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries while other superdelegates in the state and elsewhere sided with then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Jackson Lee was one of two elected officials from Texas scheduled to speak at the convention. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is expected to address delegates Thursday night.

Delegates also heard Wednesday evening from Jamie Dorff, a military widow from Leander whose husband, an Army helicopter pilot, died in Iraq. Dorff recalled how Clinton, when she was a U.S. senator from New York, worked to increase military death gratuity benefits for families of fallen soldiers.

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"Hillary Clinton has fought for families like mine each and every day of her career," Dorff said. "This is a woman who I never met, whose life cannot be any different more than my own, but who has stood with my family and with me over and over again."