President Bush's Speech Today
These are choice excerpts from President Bush's speech in Wilkes-Barre, PA, today. We can expect to see these themes emphasized repeatedly for the next 27 days (and all I can say about that is, hurrah!). A transcript of the entire speech is here.
We have built a broad and solid record of accomplishment. In the past year,
the United States of America has added about 1.7 million new jobs. (Applause.)
More than Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Canada and France combined. (Applause.)
Real tax -- real after-tax income -- that's the money in your pocket to spend on
groceries or house payments and rent -- is up more than 10 percent since I took
office. (Applause.) Home ownership is at an all time high in America.
(Applause.) Farm income is up. Small businesses are flourishing. The
entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the United States of America. (Applause.)
My opponent agrees with all this -- except when he doesn't. (Laughter.)
Last week in our debate, he once again came down firmly on every side of the
Iraq war. (Laughter.) He stated that Saddam Hussein was a threat and that
America had no business removing that threat. Senator Kerry said our soldiers
and Marines are not fighting for a mistake -- but also called the liberation of
Iraq a "colossal error." He said we need to do more to train Iraqis, but he also
said we shouldn't be spending so much money over there. He said he wants to hold a summit meeting, so he can invite other countries to join what he calls "the
wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." (Laughter and applause.) He
said terrorists are pouring across the Iraqi border, but also said that fighting
those terrorists is a diversion from the war on terror. (Laughter.) You hear all
that and you can understand why somebody would make a face. (Laughter and
The Senator speaks often about his plan to strengthen America's
alliances, but he's got an odd way of doing it. In the middle of the war, he's
chosen to insult America's fighting allies by calling them, "window dressing,"
and the "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." The Italians who died in
Nasiriyah were not window dressing. They were heroes in the war on terror.
(Applause.) The British and the Poles at the head of the multinational divisions
in Iraq were not coerced or bribed. They have fought, and some have died, in the
cause of freedom. These good allies and dozens of others deserve the respect of
all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. (Applause.)
Instead, the Senator would have America bend over backwards to satisfy a
handful of governments with agendas different from our own. This is my
opponent's alliance-building strategy: brush off your best friends, fawn over
your critics. And that is no way to gain the respect of the world.
I have a record in office, as well. And all Americans have seen that
record. On September the 14th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the Twin Towers.
It's a day I will never forget. There were workers in hard hats yelling at me,
"Whatever it takes." I remember trying to console people coming out of that
rubble, and a guy grabbed me by the arm, and he looked me in the eye and said,
"Do not let me down." These men and women -- (applause) -- the men and women
there took it personally. You took it personally. I took it personally. I have a
responsibility that goes on. I wake up every morning thinking about how to make
our country more secure. I have acted again and again to protect our people. I
will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes. (Applause.)