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Kerry Speech - Get The Preview Now

Preview sections are numbered if you want to reference them. I'll be adding stuff in italics below the quotes...

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1. My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime.

The stakes are high. We are a nation at war - a global war on terror against an enemy unlike any we have ever known before. And here at home, wages are falling, health care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends; they're working two jobs, three jobs, and they're still not getting ahead.

A war you supported, but in order to get the nomination, went soft on. You've been caught waffling, and Americans know consistency when they see it. Whether they agree or not, people know Bush has been consistent. Regardless of how hard they try Democrats can't put the economy back into a recession.

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2. We can do better and we will. We're the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We're the can do people. And let's not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves - and we can do it again.

The tech bubble did most of that. As wealth increased government receipts increased, so much so in states there were several years of surpluses. When the bubble burst, combined with 9/11's shock to the economy a fairly deep recession (which began in the waning months of the Clinton presidency) resulted. By all economic measures that recession is over.

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3. So tonight, in the city where America's freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation - here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom - on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot -- for the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return - for all those who believe our best days are ahead of us - for all of you - with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

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4. As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as president, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

There are no such thing as facts in intelligence, only degrees of confidence. Again go to Kerry before the war and the Kerry who had to contradict himself to beat out Howard Dean.

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5. I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President.

Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

WHAT??? The way I read this is we will sit here and wait until the next attack, then react. That's so... Clintonian.

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6. In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong.

Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and I know the power of our ideals.

We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared.

We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation - to keep the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands in the world.

We need a strong military and we need to lead strong alliances. And then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesn't belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.

Here's an example of those wonderful allies cooperation. Today France blocked NATO participation in training Iraqi military troops. I'd say Bush has a good record of building coalitions for hard, dangerous, and at times unpopular missions.

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7. And the front lines of this battle are not just far away - they're right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city.

Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As president, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn't be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn't be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

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8. My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values. In the end, it's not just policies and programs that matter; the president who sits at that desk must be guided by principle.

For four years, we've heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They're what we live by. They're about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.

Dee Dee Myers on Kerry's value's problem - Values. That's a word we keep hearing at this convention and throughout the course of this campaign. And lots of people, including me, believe the election will turn on them.

... John Kerry has more work to do. And even though it's kind of counter-intuitive, I think John Kerry would do a better job making the case about values if he was forced to stop using the word. Too often, he says stuff like "I share your values, like faith, family and community." What the hell does that mean?

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9. We value jobs that pay you more not less than you earned before. We value jobs where, when you put in a week's work, you can actually pay your bills, provide for your children, and lift up the quality of your life. We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.


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