Topic: Kerry Counters Bush
Kerry Sharpens Contrast with Bush
Taken from an article in the Washington Post written By Jim VandeHei September 2, 2004
Before an audience of over 1000 veterans on September 1, 2004, Kerry said that the only aspect of the invasion [of Iraq] on which he agreed with Bush was how swiftly and decisively the United States would win the initial war with Iraq. After that, Kerry said, Bush failed the "most solemn obligation" as commander in chief: "to make certain we had a plan to win the peace." He faulted Bush for stubbornly ignoring the advice of military commanders on the ground and politicians back home, dismissing the State Department's concerns about a postwar Iraq, and failing to secure Iraq's borders and draw in allies to relieve the burden on U.S. troops. Once inside Iraq, he said, the president botched opportunities to share responsibility with NATO or the United Nations, train indigenous Iraqi forces, safely secure prisoners of war and adequately guard nuclear waste and ammunition storage sites. Kerry said he would have not made those mistakes -- which Republicans counter is easy to say in hindsight.
Kerry said here that Bush now admits "he miscalculated in Iraq. In truth, his miscalculation was ignoring the advice that was given to him."
On September 2 in Springfield, Ohio, Senator Kerry said this:
"The Vice President called me unfit for office last night. Well, I'll leave it up to the voters to decide whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty.
Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty.
Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Letting the Saudi Royal Family control our energy costs makes you unfit.
Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit.
That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And that only scratches the surface.
I believe it's time to move America in a new direction; I believe it's time to set a new course for America. And together, you, John Edwards and I will do that on November 2nd."
Here is an overview of the Kerry-Edwards plan:
Security: To build a stronger, more secure America, Kerry and Edwards will launch and lead a new era of alliances and modernize America's military to meet new threats. They will unleash America's full arsenal in the effort, including our military, diplomatic, intelligence and economic power, and tap into American ingenuity to make America free from its dangerous dependence on Mideast oil.
Opportunity: To make us stronger at home and give every American the chance to reach their potential, Kerry and Edwards will create new jobs, strengthen the middle class and ensure educational opportunity. They will reward companies that create jobs in America and provide relief to middle-class families squeezed by the economy by cutting taxes and investing in health care and education. They will invest in the jobs of the future and American workers and restore fiscal discipline to Washington, DC.
Family: Kerry and Edwards believe health care should be a right in America, not a privilege, and that every
child deserves a shot at a quality education no matter where they live. They will cut health care costs for families and expand coverage to millions of children and adults. Their education plan will put a quality teacher in every classroom and take steps to ensure more children succeed in school and can go on to