FROM THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
A New Course
September 2, 2004 • Springfield, OH
The election comes down to this. If
you believe this country is heading in the right direction,
you should support George Bush. But if you believe America
needs to move in a new direction, join with us. John and
I offer a better plan that will make us stronger at home
and more respected in the world. We offer responsible leadership
and with your help, we’re going to bring that leadership
to the Washington!
For four days in New York, instead of talking about real
plans for creating jobs, strengthening the economy, expanding
health care, and bringing down gas prices, we heard almost
nothing but anger and insults from the Republicans. And
I’ll tell you why. It’s because they can’t
talk about the real issues facing Americans. They can’t
talk about their record because it’s a record of
Tonight, President Bush got up and told us that he’s
got a plan for the economy. That’s exactly what he
said four years ago. But with the largest deficit in American
history, I don’t think we can afford four more years
of this president’s plans. That’s because for
four years, this president has taken us in the wrong direction.
But the plans he offered tonight are just more of the
same policies that are failing at home and in Iraq now.
And we know he won't change them. In fact, the President
is quite proud of the fact that not even failure will force
him to change course.
You all saw the anger and distortion of the Republican
Convention. For the past week, they attacked my patriotism
and my fitness to serve as Commander-in-chief. We’ll,
here’s my answer. I will not have my commitment to
defend this country questioned by those who refused to
serve when they could have and by those who have misled
the nation into Iraq.
The Vice President called me unfit for office last night.
Well, I'll leave it up to the voters to decide whether
five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend
this nation than two tours of duty.
Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty.
Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit
to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses
millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting
45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit
to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi Royal Family control
our energy costs makes you unfit. Handing out billions
of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still
on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of
George Bush and Dick Cheney. And that only scratches the
surface. I believe it's time to move America in a new direction;
I believe it's time to set a new course for America. And
together, you, John Edwards and I will do that on November
For four years, George Bush has stubbornly misled America
and taken us in the wrong direction.
He's misled America's workers – he told them his
economic plan would create 6 million jobs. The truth is
we've lost nearly 1.8 million since George Bush took office.
He said his plan would create 266,000 jobs in Ohio. Instead
Ohio has lost 230,000 jobs since he took office -- 112,000
jobs since the recession ended in November of 2001. Earlier
this week, his Labor Secretary even said outsourcing was
good for America. I don’t believe that. John and
I have a plan that will put an end to tax breaks for companies
that ship jobs overseas and reward companies who create
and keep jobs here in America. And we have a plan that
will give tax credits to employers who create new jobs – and
we’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for those who
make long-term investments in their small businesses. We’ll
also help small businesses meet the rising costs of health
care – costs that keep so many of them from hiring
For four years, George Bush has misled America's families – saying
he had a health care plan for America. The truth is he's
done nothing as 5 million more Americans have lost their
health care, bringing the total number to 45 million people
without coverage nationwide. In Ohio, 114,000 people have
lost their health coverage since bush took office, bringing
the total number of Ohioans without coverage to 1.4 million.
John and I have a plan to make quality health care affordable
for all. Because we believe that your health care is as
important as any politician’s in Washington, DC.
When it comes to getting gas prices under control, George
Bush has misled America. America is more dependent than
ever on Mid-East oil. John and I have a plan to make America
energy independent by investing in new technologies and
alternative fuels. John and I believe we need to rely on
American ingenuity and brainpower to ensure our country's
freedom and independence, not on the Royal Saudi family.
Worst of all, George Bush misled America when he took
us to war in Iraq. The truth is, when it comes to Iraq,
it’s not that I would have done one thing differently,
I would’ve done almost everything differently. I
believe it’s time we had a president who told the
American people the truth.
We need to take America in a new direction. And we have
a specific plan to do just that. So tomorrow morning, John
and Elizabeth and Teresa and I are hitting the road on
a bus tour across America’s heartland. From here,
we’ll go out and talk with Americans in towns across
Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And because a stronger
America begins at home, we’ll talk about our plan
to create jobs, cut taxes for the middle class, lower health
care costs, and make America safer and more secure.
I believe we can be stronger at home – we can create
jobs again, get health care costs under control, and make
ourselves independent of Mid-East oil – but George
Bush's policies won't get us there. And I believe we can
be more respected in the world – but it won't happen
with George Bush's arrogant, go-it-alone foreign policy.