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National Public Radio All Things Considered Transcript

Location: Dover, NH

HEADLINE: Portion of Senator John Kerry's stump speech in Dover, New Hampshire



Over the next month, we'll be airing portions of speeches from the nine Democrats who are running for president. Last night, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry spoke at a waterfront park in Dover, New Hampshire. Here's an excerpt.

(Soundbite of speech)

Senator JOHN KERRY (Democrat, Massachusetts; Presidential Candidate): New Hampshire is a good, old bedrock, commonsense, American values state. You all have always had a great deal of just sort of gut feeling about how money ought to be spent and what fiscal responsibility means.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a normal election between Republicans and Democrats because there's nothing normal about these Republicans. If you're a conservative Republican—and I know there aren't a lot of them here tonight—but if you are a conservative Republican, there's nothing conservative about driving up deficits as far as the eye can see and taking us back to the deep hole of the 1980s. There is nothing...

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. KERRY: There is nothing conservative about crossing that great line that was drawn by our Founding Fathers that divided church and state in the United States of America.

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. KERRY: There is nothing conservative about allowing your attorney general to trample on the rights of American citizens and disregard the Constitution.

(Soundbite of applause and whistling)

Sen. KERRY: This is not your normal conservative Republican; this is extreme. And when you add up three million jobs lost; a $5.6 trillion surplus turned into deficits as far as we can see for the whole period of a 10-year budget; when you look at 2 million Americans who've lost their health insurance; when you consider the numbers of children left behind every day in the United States, 12 million of them, written off by the stroke of a presidential pen; when this president thought it was more important to give people earning $315,000 a year a tax cut instead of families earning $10,000 to $26,000 a year a child care credit—ladies and gentlemen, when you add up...

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. KERRY: When you add up the challenge to Social Security, the problem of seniors crossing the border to Canada to be able to afford to buy drugs, when you add up those deficits and that surplus blown away and those people unemployed and retirement destroyed for countless numbers of Americans because of the greed of chief executives who walked away with their retirement money and still aren't in jail—if I were president of the United States today, some one from Enron would be in jail, my friends.

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. KERRY: When you add it all up, it ought to be clear—and when I finish my campaign across this country from one end to the other, it will be clear—the one person in the United States of America who ought to be laid off is George W. Bush...

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. KERRY: ...and we're gonna do it!

Copyright 2003 National Public Radio ®. All rights reserved.

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