31 Jul 2004 @ 1:27 PM 

My snarky comments will be in italics.

Text of President Bush’s speech at Hammons Field on Friday, July 30, 2004:

Thank you all very much. Thank you, please be seated. Thanks for coming. It’s great to be in the heartland of our country. And I want to thank you all for being here this morning to help kick off our Heart and Soul of America Tour.

There will be big differences in this campaign. They’re going to raise your taxes, we’re not. The tax cut has not improved the economy so far, and the Dems only want to raise taxes on people making more than $200,000 – probably not most of the audience.

I have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world. Maybe you could have started working on that by now, then?

They somehow believe the heart and soul of America can be found in Hollywood. OK, that’s a good one. I still don’t understand why we’re supposed to be impressed by the opinions of celebrities. Does Ben Affleck know more about geopolitical events than you do? If so, get off your ass and do some research.

The heart and soul of America is found right here in Springfield, Missouri. On the other hand, Bush does tend to denigrate people on both coasts as being “not American” when they comprise the majority of the population. If the majority of people with American citizenship don’t fit your definition of “American” you’ve got a problem with reality.

I’m looking forward to the campaign. I’m looking forward to getting out amongst the people. We’re going to Michigan and Ohio this weekend. Everywhere I’ve been going the crowds are big, the enthusiasm is high, the signs are good – with your help, Dick Cheney and I will lead this nation for four more years. For the sake of the people in these states whose economies have been nuked by offshoring and NAFTA, I certainly hope you’re not reelected.

I’m sorry Laura is not here – I know you are, too. You probably wish she was speaking, and not me. She is a great First Lady. Today you’ll hear some reasons why I think you need to put me back into office. But perhaps the most important reason of all is so that Laura will be First Lady for four more years. Much as I rejected the whole “Command team” thing in the military, I reject the idea that the First Lady is at all significant in my choice of who to elect. I’m not electing four people, just two.

I appreciate my running mate. I tell you, he’s not the prettiest man in the race – – but he’s got sound judgment – Might want to start showing some of that sometime soon, too. Halliburton and Enron ring any bells? – and he’s got great national – he’s got great experience in national security. He’s a steady man. I’m proud to have him by my side for four more years.

I’ve removed a lot of sucking up to local politicians here. It’s irrelevant.

I’m proud so many citizens showed up here. I appreciate the grassroots activists who are here. I’m here to ask for your help. I’m not only traveling the country to ask for the vote, I’m here to ask for your help. I’d like you to call up people on the phone and encourage them to register to vote. Encourage them to do their duty on election day to vote. And when you get them headed toward the polls, make sure you nudge them toward that George Bush/Dick Cheney lever. The CEO of Diebold is working on that for ya.

I’m glad Joe White is here. He runs Kanakut Camps. Thanks for coming, Joe, I appreciate you coming. I met a fellow named Charlie Graas. He’s a volunteer with the Stone County Food Pantry. Let me tell you why I mention him. The strength of America is in the hearts and souls of our citizens, people who are willing to feed the hungry, provide shelter for the homeless, love a neighbor in need. Charlie, thank you for being an army – a soldier in the army of compassion. As opposed to the cuts I’ve pushed through on the various compassionate programs the government had been paying for.

Every incumbent who asks for the vote has to answer one question: Why? Why should the American people give me the great privilege of serving as your President for four more years? In the past few years, we’ve been through a lot together. We’ve accomplished a great deal. But there’s only one reason to look backward at the record, and that is determine who best will lead the nation forward. I’m asking for your vote because so much is at stake: prosperity and peace. We have so much more to do to move this country forward. Give me four more years, and America will continue to march toward peace and better prosperity. Really, have the past four years been at all beneficial to the people he’s speaking to?

I’m asking for four more years to make our country safer, to make the economy stronger, to make our future better and brighter for every, single citizen. From creating jobs to improving schools; from fighting terror to protecting our homeland, we have made much progress, and there is more to do. You’ve had four years and haven’t made the country safer, created jobs, improved schools…

We have more to do (Or maybe something at all) to make America’s public schools the centers of excellence we all know they can be, so that no child is left behind in America. When we came to office three-and-a-half years ago, too many of our children were being shuffled from grade to grade, year after year, without learning the basics. We’re challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations. We’ve raised the bar. We’re setting high standards. We’re focusing on results. We’re insisting on accountability. We’re empowering parents. We’re making sure local folks are in charge of schools. And, today, children across America are showing real, substantial progress in reading and math. When it comes to improving America’s public schools, we are turning the corner and we’re not turning back. We’re making local folks in charge, but cutting their budgets while telling them to do more.

This world of ours is changing. The jobs of the future will require greater knowledge and higher level skills. We’ll reform our high schools to make sure a high school diploma means something. We will expand math and science education so our young people can compete in a high tech world. We will expand the use of the Internet to bring high-level training into our classrooms. With four more years, we’ll help a rising generation gain the skills and the confidence to achieve the American Dream. Sounds good, but where are the details and why didn’t you try to do anything beyond spew platitudes the past four years?

We have more to do to make quality health care available and affordable. When we came to office, too many older Americans could not afford prescription drugs. Medicare didn’t pay for them. Leaders in both political parties had promised political – had promised prescription drug coverage for years. We got it done. More than 4 million seniors have signed up for drug discount cards that provide real savings. And beginning in 2006, all seniors on Medicare will be able to choose a plan that suits their needs and gives them coverage for prescription drugs. The Medicare drug card has not really been a big success, from what I’ve read.

We’ve expanded community health centers for low income Americans. We’ve created health savings accounts so families can save, tax-free, for their own health care needs. When it comes to giving Americans more choices about their own health care and making health care more affordable, we are turning the corner and we’re not turning back. Sounds good.

This world of ours is changing. Most Americans get their health care coverage through their work. Most of today’s new jobs are created by small businesses, which too often cannot afford to provide health coverage. To help more American families get health insurance, we must allow small employers to join together to purchase insurance at discounts available to big companies. Sounds like a good plan. Where has it been hidden the past four years?

To improve health care we must limit the frivolous lawsuits that raise the cost of health care and drive good doctors out of medicine. Yeah, frivolous lawsuits are bad. Lawsuits per se are not, though. We must harness technology to reduce costs and prevent deadly health care mistakes. We must do more to expand research and development for new cures for terrible diseases. Technology like stem cell research, maybe?

In all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure the health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Of course, this won’t affect the superlative health insurance you taxpayers give your elected representatives. Thanks for that.

We have more to do to make America’s economy stronger. We’ve come through a recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals. We overcame these obstacles because of the hard work and will of the American entrepreneur, the small business owner, the farmers and the workers. And we came through these obstacles because of well-timed tax cuts. We haven’t really come through them yet, buddy. Let’s not start throwing up “Mission Accomplished” banners, eh?

We gave tax relief to every American who paid taxes. We didn’t play favorites with the tax code, we didn’t try to pick winners or losers. We made sure families with children, and married couples and small businesses got tax relief. And this time the check really was in the mail. Well, not quite everyone. The lowest bracket didn’t get jack, but they don’t buy television ads so we don’t talk about them.

Because we acted, our economy since last summer has grown at a rate as fast as any in nearly 20 years. Because we acted, America has added more than 1.5 million new jobs since last August. Because we acted, Missouri has added more than 82,000 jobs over the past 11 months; your unemployment rate is now 5.2 percent. When it comes to creating jobs for America’s workers, we are turning the corner and we are not turning back. Define economic growth. It doesn’t include underemployment or economic displacement. Oh, and didn’t you promise 25 million new jobs and here you’re bragging about 1.5 million?

Today, I met a fellow named Kit Carson. He’s a small business owner here in Springfield. The most new jobs in America are created by small business owners. That’s why the cornerstone of our tax relief plan says we’re going to help the small business owners. So get on it.

Here’s what he said about tax relief. This is a fellow who’s hiring people right here in this area; this is a fellow who’s making investments. He said the effect is already – is showing already. It’s going to get better. I’m an optimistic guy, he says; I think we might see a boom bigger than the 90’s. The tax relief we passed is working. Not seeing it. Statistics dance any way you like it, but the “store closed” signs around town keep popping up.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Jul 2004 @ 01:49 PM

Categories: Political


Responses to this post » (2 Total)

  1. cathy rose says:

    Dear Andy,

    My first response is to tell you to go [expletive deleted], but I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Here’s my advice to you…listen with an open mind…say what you will about President Bush, but listen equally to the response of John Kerry. He’s offering no more, just the same pathetic crap your commentary has to offer, no answers just criticism. I’m fine with you not backing Bush, but for God’s sake, have a better plan before you start running your pie hole. about his!

    [edited to remove anatomical impossibility – this is a family-friendly site, you cretin.]

  2. Gary says:

    Interestingly enough, though, I’m not running for President. If I were, I’d be obliged to give a plan for the future. I’m not so obliged. If you were to stop spewing curses at me for a moment and read the rest of my posts the past few months, you’ll see that I’m not a Kerry-backing Bush hater. I’m suspicious of all politicians, and I take them all to task regularly. It’s called free thinking and free speech, something the country is founded on.

    I welcome reasoned discussion. Telling me to do something anatomically impossible and shut my pie hole is no way to discuss things. PLONK

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