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Public Statements

Tennessee/Virginia Primary Night - Remarks by Senator John Kerry

Location: Fairfax, VA

George Mason University

February 10, 2004

Fairfax, VA -

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Governor Warner...
Once again, the message rings out loud and clear. Americans are voting for change - East, West, North - and today in the South.
Thank you, Tennessee; thank you, Virginia.
You showed that the mainstream values we share - fairness, love of country, a belief in hope and hard work - are more important than boundaries or birthplace.

America is coming together - and together, we will move America forward.

Now our campaign moves forward. We will fight for every vote - and carry our cause all across this land.

Once again, I express my special thanks to the veterans, the same band of brothers I depended on more than thirty years ago. As I have said before, we may be a little older and little grayer - but we still know how to fight for our country.

The voice of this campaign is the voice of people I have met in living rooms, on factory floors, in VFW halls and coffee shops from coast to coast. The voice of workers without work; of families and small businesses whose health care costs are out of control; of parents who want to hand on to their children a better future, not the heavy burden of federal deficits and national debt.

I have heard your voices. And if I am President, your voices won't be ignored anymore.

And I ask you to make your voices heard tonight. Go to, share your ideas, join us. Not just to win an election, but to give America back its future and its soul.

Our vision is prosperity and opportunity - not just for some, but for all.

From Missouri to Wisconsin to Ohio, from the heartland to both coasts, the wreckage of the Bush economy is all around us. In the places where so many jobs have been lost, people who are living through the Bush economy are now being told there's a turnaround - that things are better - but they don't see it in their own lives, their jobs, or their paychecks.

For more than three years, this Administration has failed to tell the truth about their economic record. Today, in a rare moment, they actually admitted what they are doing. They said that shipping American jobs overseas is good for America.

Let them tell that to a 45 year old worker with three children who's worked hard - played by the rules - now seen the factory closed and has nowhere to turn.

We will stand and fight for that worker.

While George W. Bush may believe the job of a President is just to drive up the stock market, we believe the job of a President is to put America back to work.

Here's what we will do.
Repeal every tax break and every loophole that rewards any Benedict Arnold CEO or corporation for sending American jobs overseas.
Provide new incentives for manufacturing that reward good companies for creating and keeping good jobs here at home.
Put worker and environmental protections in every trade agreement - because on a level playing field, American workers can out compete anyone in the world.

And a plan for energy independence that will create 500,000 new jobs - so America's sons and daughters will never have to fight or die for Mideast oil.

And we won't stop there. We will stand up to the HMOs and the big drug companies to make health care affordable and available for every American - a right and not a privilege - because your family's health care is just as important as any politician's in Washington.

So we will stand up for our values - on jobs; on health care; on education, the environment and a woman's right to choose.
We will stand up for civil rights and civil liberties and for an Attorney General whose name is not John Ashcroft.
And we will stand up for a stronger America.
George Bush, who speaks of strength, has made America weaker - weaker economically, weaker in health care and education. And the truth is - George Bush has made us weaker militarily by overextending our forces, overstraining our reserves, and driving away our allies.

Our opponents say they want to campaign on national security. Well, I know something about aircraft carriers for real. And if George Bush wants to make national security the central issue in this campaign, we have three words for him we know he understands: Bring it on.

In closing, let me thank Teresa and our family.

In Tennessee, thank you to Stephen Lindsey. And here in Virginia, thank you to Larry Framme and Susan Swecker.

And I thank all who have become part of the family of this campaign. I will never forget what you have done. And I will always work to earn your trust.

To all of America, we say tonight: Get ready - a new day is on the way.

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