January 20, 2004
Manchester, NH -
Thanks for a great warm welcome on a very cold morning. I can't believe you're all here. Thank you for coming out here to welcome me back to New Hampshire as the comeback Kerry.
Sunday, the New England Patriots won. And one week from today, American Patriots right here in New Hampshire can break the grip of the powerful lobbyists and polluters and special interests in Washington and put the people back in charge.
The whole world is watching - and what you do here can make sure that we defeat George W. Bush and give America back its future and its soul.
So as we begin this week, first of all, I want to thank the people of New Hampshire. Because I've listened to you and learned from you and you have made me a better candidate.
And I'm here to tell you this morning that I've only just begun to fight. I ask you to join me in this fight. Go to johnkerry.com, talk to your neighbors, get out the vote and join me in fighting for an America that works for you.
Join me in fighting for people like Lisa and Randy Denuccio from Salem. Their water - the water their children bathe in and used to make lemonade - was found to be poisoned by a chemical added to gasoline. Big oil is trying to avoid paying for the clean-up and stick New Hampshire with the bill. George Bush is trying to help his oil buddies - I'm running for President to put New Hampshire families first.
Join me in fighting for people like John and Mary Ann Knowles from Hudson. John lost his job in the Bush recession and Mary Ann has breast cancer. But to keep their health insurance, she has to work right through her chemotherapy. I'm running for President so that for the Knowles family, and every other family in America, health care will be a fundamental right and not a privilege, and so that we finally hold down health care costs for all Americans.
I'm running to free our government from the grip of the lobbyists, the drug industry, big oil, and the HMOs. I'm running so you will have a President who's on your side and who will take on the powerful special interests that stand in your way.
And I'm running to restore fairness, prosperity and economic justice - and repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy so we can invest in health care and education.
This President has an open hand for his friends at Halliburton, but he has turned his back on our friends and neighbors. He has turned his back on America's teachers and America's schools. And I will crisscross this country in this campaign and hold George W. Bush accountable for making a mockery of the words "no child left behind."
Add up the deficit and the indifference of this Administration. Count the cost that working families are paying while the privileged ride high and reap the rewards. Seniors have seen their retirements stolen by Enron and Worldcom. Workers have seen their jobs disappear overseas and financial scandals ruin their pensions. And families right here in New Hampshire have felt the pain when companies like Tyco and Tyson take advantage of George Bush's creed of greed. Two million people have seen their health insurance blown away. And three million people have lost their jobs.
Now we hear talk about a recovery. But it's a Bush league recovery where they promised 250,000 jobs last month, but only created a thousand. Mr. President, you're short 249,000 jobs - and that means you're not doing yours.
And when we add it all up, as we have in New Hampshire and as we will all the way to November, it is clear that the one person in the United States of America who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush.
This President brags about the recovery his hot checks have bought - but the American people aren't buying it. They know better. They know this is a job-loss recovery. CEO pay at the top 100 companies pay went up 14 percent - but corporate American has cut 846,000 jobs since the recession supposedly ended. And they know this is a wage-loss recovery. Bonuses on Wall Street are up by 25 percent but wages for hourly workers have gone up by only three cents. And they know this is a Tiffany recovery. The sales of expensive jewelry at Tiffany's went up 16 percent in the last year but sales at Target aren't even up by five percent. It's time we had a prosperity that reached all our people - for those who are climbing the ladder as well as those who have already made it to the top.
So if I am President, we will scrub the tax code, which has exploded from 14 pages to 17,000 pages of loopholes and special interest provisions, to remove every single incentive that rewards any Benedict Arnold CEO or corporation for exporting American jobs overseas.
And we will create 500,000 new jobs by investing in renewable fuels and new technology to make America energy independent of Mideast oil in the next 10 years. Never should young Americans in uniform have to be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Finally, my friends, we need a Democratic nominee who can stand up to this President eye to eye, toe to toe, face to face and make it clear: We Democrats know how to make America safer.
George Bush has run the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country.
Now George Bush and Karl Rove say that in 2004, they want to run on national security. I can see why. They certainly can't run on jobs or health care or the environment. Well, I know something about aircraft carriers for real. And if George W. Bush wants to make national security the central issue in this campaign, I have three words for him I know he understands: Bring it on.
Tonight, President Bush will give his State of the Union. He's going to talk about how we wants to help people find jobs - but for three years he's stood by while we've lost more jobs than any time since the Great Depression. He's going to talk about health care coverage - but where was he while more than a million Americans a year have lost their health care under his watch. He's going to talk about going to the Moon - but New Hampshire, we're going to send him back to Texas.
I know what it is to stand up to a President who's leading this country in a radically wrong direction. I see veterans here who stood up, as I did, to oppose Richard Nixon and end the war in Vietnam. I see so many of you here who stood with me to stop Ronald Reagan's secret war in Central America.
I'm a lifelong Democrat and I've fought for thirty five years against powerful interests. We stopped Newt Gingrich's attempt to cut Medicare in order give a massive tax break to the wealthy. We stopped George W. Bush from giving the Alaska wilderness away to big oil.
One week from tonight, New Hampshire can set us on the course to beating George Bush. One year from today, a new President will take the oath of office and we can begin a new chapter in America's story. One week. One year. One chance. New Hampshire, this is your time. In the next seven days, you can start an American comeback.
Stand with me - and together we will put America back to work. Stand with me - and we will make America energy independent. Stand with me - and we will finally make health care affordable for all Americans. Stand with me - and in a Kerry Administration, we will rejoin the community of nations and restore America's leadership in the world.
Stand with me - and I will fight for you.