31 Jul 2004 @ 1:47 PM 

My snarky comments will be in italics.

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

We will do more to make America more job friendly and America’s workplaces more family friendly. To keep American jobs in America, regulations should be reasonable and fair. To keep the jobs here at home, we must lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy. To keep American jobs here, we must end the junk lawsuits that hurt our small businesses. And to keep this economy growing so people can find work, we will not overspend your money, and we will keep your taxes low. By “reasonable” regulations, do you mean removing ergonomics, safety, and pollution rules? And we’ll only overspend your money on foreign wars, not anything you might benefit from.

We’ll offer America’s workers a lifetime of learning, and help them get training for jobs of the future at places like our community colleges. The education and training they offered can bridge – can be the bridge between people’s lives as they are, and people’s lives as they want them to be. Get started, then! Why are you waiting until the second term to do anything at all about displaced workers?

Today, I met Kristin Heydt. She’s from Springfield, as well. She used to be a bank teller. With the tax relief she and her family had as a result of the tax cuts, she went back to school. She’s now a nurse. She completed a program. She now makes three times the amount of money she made before, because of education. That’s one hell of a tax cut. I got 200 bucks.

Good education means workers can realize their dreams. To make sure we continue to grow our economy, we will insist on a level playing field when it comes to trade. We want Missouri farmers selling Missouri crops all over the world. And we’ll make sure American families keep more of something they never have enough of, and that’s time – time to play with the kids, time to go to the little league games, time to care for elderly parents, or time to go to class themselves. I believe Congress ought to enact comp-time and flex-time to help America’s families better juggle the demands of work and their home. If Missouri farmers want to not grow anything, though, we’ll pay farm subsidies for that too. I know, it’s not a Republican thing, but it’s still dumb. And, mandating flex-time kind of goes against the “small government” idea that real Republicans (not neocons) are so fond of.

The goals of the economic agenda are clear. After four more years, our nation will have more small businesses, greater opportunities, better jobs, and higher wages for the American people. If you elect me, I’ll return the economy and wages to where they were in 2000!

We have more to do to wage and win the war against terror. America’s future depends on our willingness to lead in the world. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch. The world – the world changed on a terrible September morning. And since that day, we changed the world. Lead or scare the world?

Before September the 11th, Afghanistan served as the home base for al Qaeda, which trained and deployed thousands of killers and set up terror cells in dozens of countries, including our own. Today, Afghanistan is a rising democracy, an ally in the war on terror, a place where many young girls go to school for the first time. And as a result of our actions, America and the world are safer. Yeah, Clinton really did screw up on that one. But, could we maybe help the Afghanis a little longer than the election?

Before September the 11th, Pakistan was a safe transit point for terrorists. Today, Pakistani forces are aggressively helping to round up the terrorists, and America and the world are safer. Before September the 11th, in Saudi Arabia, terrorists were raising money and recruiting and operating with little opposition. Today, the Saudi government has taken the fight to al Qaeda, and America and the world are safer. Before September the 11th, Libya was spending millions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Pay no attention to the Prince behind the curtain.

Today, because America and our allies have sent a strong and clear massage, the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and America and the world are safer. Before September the 11th, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America. He was defying the world. He was firing weapons at American pilots and forcing the world to sanctions. He has pursued and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He had harbored terrorists, he invaded his neighbors, he subsidized the families of suicide bombers. He had murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens. He was a source of great instability in the world’s most vulnerable region. Kaddafi had started the “guru of the desert” schtick in 1999, though. And, he’s not really been much of a threat since that whole “Line of Death” thing. Nice try.

I took those threats seriously. After September the 11th, we had to look at the threat in a new light. One of the lessons of September the 11th is we must deal with threats before they fully materialize. Join with me in preemptive action whereever we want, whenever we want!

The September the 11th Commission concluded that our institutions of government had failed to imagine the horror of that day. After September the 11th, we cannot fail to imagine that a brutal tyrant who hated America, who had ties to terror, had used weapons of mass destruction and might use those weapons or share his deadly capability with terrorists was not a threat. The fact that I tried to block the formation and work of the 9/11 Commission is not important. These are not the droids you are looking for.

We looked at the intelligence; we saw a threat. Members of the United States Congress from both political parties, including my opponent, looked at the intelligence and they saw a threat. We went to the United Nations, which unanimously demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs, or face serious consequences. After 12 years of defiance, he refused to comply with the demands of the free world. When he continued to deceive the weapons inspectors, I had a decision to make: to hope for the best and to trust the word of a madman and a tyrant, or remember the lessons of September the 11th and defend our country. Given that choice, I will defend America every time. We went to the United Nations, which told us not to invade Iraq. We blew them off.

When it comes to fighting the threats of our world and making America safer and promoting the peace, we’re turning the corner and we’re not turning back. We have more to do. We will continue to work with our friends and allies around the world to aggressively pursue the terrorists and foreign fighters in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. See, you can’t talk sense to the terrorists. You can’t hope for the best. You can’t negotiate with them. We will engage those enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home. You military members, consider yourselves bait.

We will continue to lead the world with confidence and moral clarity. We’ve put together a strong coalition to help us defeat the terrorist threats. Over 40 nations are involved in Afghanistan, some 30 nations are involved in Iraq. Over the next four years, I will continue to work with our friends and build alliances. But I will never turn over America’s national security decision to leaders of other countries.

We will keep our commitment to help Afghanistan and Iraq become peaceful, democratic societies. These two nations are now governed by strong leaders. They’re on the path to free elections. More and more people in Afghanistan and Iraq are stepping up to secure their own country from these killers. They understand the benefits of a free society. Moms and dads in Afghanistan and Iraq want their children to grow up in a peaceful world, and so do we. More and more people in Afghanistan and Iraq are stepping up to fire rockets at the government and us.

The people of these countries can count on our continued help. When we acted to protect our own security, we promised to help deliver them from tyranny, to restore their sovereignty, to set them on the path of liberty. And when America gives its word, America will keep its word. It might take 20 years, but it’ll happen. Trust us.

In these crucial times, our commitments have been kept by the men and women of our military. I thank those who are here today who wear our uniform, and I thank their families, as well. I’ve seen their great decency and the unselfish courage of those who wear our uniform. The cause of freedom is in good hands. And when these good folks are in harm’s way, they deserve the best pay, the best equipment, the best possible training. We’re keeping them from getting that pay and equipment and training, but we’ll do better next time, honest.

That’s why last September, when our troops were in combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq, I proposed supplemental funding to support them in their missions. The legislation provided for body armor and vital equipment, hazard pay, health benefits, ammunition, fuel, spare parts. In the Senate, only a handful of what I would call “out of the mainstream” folks – that would be 12 senators – voted against that legislation. Two of the 12 are my opponent and his running mate.

He tried to explain his vote by saying: I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it. End quote. He’s got a different explanation now. One time he said he was proud he voted against the funding, then he said the whole thing was a complicated matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat. It is when the budget includes non-compete contracts for 3 dollar per gallon gasoline and other interesting items.

In the long run, our security is not guaranteed by force, alone. We must work to change the conditions that give rise to terror: poverty and hopelessness and resentment. You see, a free and peaceful Iraq and a free and peaceful Afghanistan will be powerful examples to a neighborhood that needs the example of liberty. Free countries do not export terror. Free countries do not stifle the dreams of their citizens. By serving the ideal of liberty, we’re bringing hope to others, and that makes America more secure. By being resolute and strong, by working for the ideal of liberty – after four more years, America will be more secure and the world will be more peaceful. Because the world has grown so much more peaceful in my first term, you should trust me that I’ll turn things around.

These are still dangerous times. There’s an enemy out there that would like to hurt us and change our way of life and shake our will and shake our confidence. I agree with the conclusion of the September 11th Commission when they said our homeland is safer, but we are not yet safe. We’ve started the hard process of reform. We’ve transformed our defenses and created a new Department of Homeland Security. We passed the Patriot Act to give law enforcement new tools to track terrorists. The mission of the FBI is now focused on preventing terrorism. I tried to block the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, but we won’t talk about that now.

We’re integrating intelligence and law enforcement better than we have ever before. When it comes to better protecting America, we’re turning the corner, and we’re not turning back. We will do more to better secure our ports and borders, to train first responders, to dramatically improve our intelligence gathering capabilities. Reform is not easy, and it never is; achieving reform takes – requires taking on the special interests, requires challenging the status quo. Those special interests that have contributed 15 million dollars to your election campaign?

You see, it’s not enough to advocate reform – you have to be able to get it done. When it comes to reforming schools provide an excellent education for all our children, results matter. When it comes to health care reforms to give families more access and more choices, results matter. When it comes to improving our economy and creating new jobs, results matter. When it comes to better securing our homeland and fighting the forces of terror, results matter. And when it comes to choosing a President, results matter. Yeah, results do matter. Your results are so impressive…

This week, members of the other party gathered in Boston. We heard a lot of clever speeches, and some big promises. My opponent has good intentions, but intentions do not always translate to results. The absence of evidence does not indicate the evidence of absence.

After 19 years in the United States Senate, my opponent has had thousands of votes, but very few signature achievements. During eight years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, he voted to cut the intelligence budget. And he had no record of reforming America’s intelligence-gathering capability. He had no significant record for reforming education and health care. As a matter of fact, he and his running mate consistently opposed reforms that limit the power of Washington and leave more power in the hands of the people. The current administration wanted to gut the intelligence budget until mid-September 2001.

He’s spent nearly 20 years in the federal government, and it appears he’s concluded that it’s just not big enough. He’s proposed more than $2 trillion of additional federal spending, and he’s just getting started. The problem is, he hasn’t told us how he’s going to pay for it. We can figure it out, can’t we? Whereas, I intend to just spend money we don’t have! Yeah! Go deficit!

He’s had a history of voting for higher taxes.

We’re going to make it clear his prescription for America is the wrong medicine. We’re not turning back to the old days, the old Washington mind set that says they will give the orders, you will pay the bills. We’ve turned a corner from that way of thinking, and we’re not turning back.

These are exciting times for our country. It’s a time of amazing change. The economy is changing. The world is changing. In our parents’ generation, moms usually stayed home while fathers worked for one company until retirement. The company provided health care, and training, and a pension. Many of the government programs and most basic systems, from health care to Social Security to the tax code were based, and still are based on those old assumptions.

This is a different world. Workers change jobs and careers frequently. Most of these jobs are created by small businesses. They can’t afford to provide health care or pensions or training. Parents are working; they’re not at home. We need to make sure government changes with the times, and to work for America’s working families. You see, American workers need to own their own health care accounts. They need to own and manage their own pensions and retirement systems. They need more ownership so they can take the benefits from job to job. They need flex-time so they can work out of the home. I may be repeating myself here. Small businesses, flextime, working families…

All of these reforms are based on this conviction: The role of government is not to control or dominate the lives of our citizens. The role of government is not to control or dominate the lives of our citizens, unless you’re brown or your name shows up on a secret list prepared by the TSA or DHS. The role of government is to help our citizens gain the time and the tools to make their own choices and improve their own lives. That’s why I will continue to work to usher in a new era of ownership and opportunity in America. We want more people owning their own home. We want more people owning their own business. We want more people owning and managing their own health care system. We want more people owning and managing a part of their retirement systems. When a person owns something, he or she has a vital stake in the future of the United States of America. Big growth in small businesses these past four years?

In this world of rapid change, some things will never change. Our conviction that every life matters and every life counts will not change. Our belief in liberty and opportunity and the non-negotiable demands of human dignity will not change. The individual values we try to live by – courage and compassion, reverence and integrity, hard work and duty – won’t change. We’ll always honor the institutions that give us direction and purpose, our families, our schools, our religious congregations. These values and institutions are fundamental to our future. They deserve the respect of our government.

We stand for institutions like marriage and family, which are the foundations of society. We stand for a culture of life in which every person matters and every person counts. We stand for judges who strictly and faithfully interpret the law, instead of legislating from the bench. And we will work together to build a culture of responsibility. The culture of this country is changing from one that has said, if it feels good, just go ahead and do it, and, if you’ve got a problem, blame somebody else, to a culture in which each of us understands that we’re responsible for the decisions we make in life. Gays are bad.

If you are fortunate to be a mother or a father, you’re responsible for loving your child with all your heart and all your soul. If you’re worried about the quality of the education in the community in which you live, you’re responsible for doing something about it. If you’re a CEO in corporate America, you’re responsible for telling the truth to your shareholders and your employees. And in a responsibility society, each of us is responsible for loving our neighbor, just like we’d like to be loved ourselves. Unless you’re a CEO for Enron, Halliburton, Tyco, or anyone else who has donated to my campaign.

For all Americans, these years in our history will always stand apart. There are quiet times in the life of a nation when little is expected of its leaders. This isn’t one of those times. None of us will ever forget that week when one era ended and another one began. September the 14th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the Twin Towers. It’s a day that I will never forget. I remember the workers in hard hats yelling at me, “Whatever it takes.” I remember a fireman or a policeman, I can’t remember which one, looking me in the eyes and saying, “Do not let me down.” As those folks did that day, and like many other Americans, we took it personally. I took it personally. I have a responsibility that goes on. I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes. Good paragraph. I like it.

We’ve come through much together. We’ve done some hard work. We’ve turned a corner. We’ve moved – we’re moving America forward by extending freedom and peace around the world. We’re expanding opportunity here at home. During the next four years, we will spread ownership and opportunity to every corner – every corner of this country. We will pass the enduring values of our country to another generation. We will lead the cause of freedom and peace and we will prevail. With your support, and with your prayers, I will be a leader America can count on in a world of change.

Four years ago, as I traveled this great country asking for the vote, I made a pledge to my fellow Americans, that if you honored me with this great responsibility, I would uphold the dignity and the honor of the office to which I had been elected. With your help, I will do so for four more years. Dignity and honor? Oh, come on!

Thanks for coming. May God bless. Thank you, all.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Jul 2004 @ 02:33 PM

Categories: Political


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