Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Above photo courtesy of PoliticalHumor @ about.com/

Excerpts below from President Bush's speech opening his 2004 campaign. Monday, February 23, 2004.

... Come November, the voters are going to have a very clear choice. It's a choice between keeping the tax relief that is moving the economy forward, or putting the burden of higher taxes back on the American people. It is a choice between an America that leads the world with strength and confidence, or an America that is uncertain in the face of danger. The American people will decide between two visions of government: a government that encourages ownership and opportunity and responsibility, or a government that takes your money and makes your choices.

...We had to confront corporate crimes that cost people jobs and savings. So we passed the strongest corporate reforms since Franklin Roosevelt, and made it clear that we will not tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America.

We saw war and grief arrive on a quiet September morning -- and from that day to this, we have pursued terrorists across the world. We've captured or killed many of the key leaders of the al Qaeda network, and the rest of them know we're on their trail. There is no cave or hole deep enough to hide them.

We confronted the dangers of state-sponsored terror, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We have used the power of this country to end forever two of the most violent and dangerous regimes on Earth. More than 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq are reclaiming the rights and dignity of free men and women -- and America has been proud, once again, to lead the armies of liberation.

... Great events will turn on this election. The man who sits in the Oval Office will set the course of the war on terror, and the direction of our economy. The security and prosperity of America are at stake. Our course is clear....

... I trust the people, not Washington politicians, to make the best decisions for their own money, their own health, their own retirement, and their own lives.

Our future also depends on America's leadership in this world. The momentum of freedom in our time is strong, but we still face serious challenges. Al Qaeda is wounded, but not broken. Terrorists are testing our will in Afghanistan and Iraq. Regimes in North Korea and Iran are challenging the peace. The actions we take and the decisions we make in this decade will have consequences far into this century. If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.

... On national security, Americans have the clearest possible choice. Our opponents say they approve of bold action in the world, but only if no other government disagrees. I'm all for united action, and so are the 34 coalition partners we have in Iraq right now. But America must never out-source America's national security decisions to the leaders of other governments.

Some of our opponents are skeptical that the war on terror is really a war at all. They view terrorism more as a crime -- a problem to be solved with law enforcement and indictments. Our nation followed that approach after the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. The matter was handled in the courts, and thought to be settled. But the terrorists were still training in Afghanistan, plotting in other nations, and drawing up more ambitious plans. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States -- and war is what they got.

... This is the work that history has set before us. We welcome it. And we know that for the United States of America, the best days still lie ahead.

God bless. Thank you all.

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