Build women a safer job
NEW YORK - (AD) - The following is the release of President George W. Bush's speech at the Republican Nomination Party on September 3, 2004.
Mr. Chairperson, distinguished delegates, dear fellow citizens, I am honored by your support and I accept your nomination for the office of President of the United States.
When I said these words four years ago, no one could have known what those years would bring. In the heart of this great city, one quiet morning we saw tragedy strike us. We have seen the rescue workers' courage grow as the danger increases. We learned of passengers on a doomed airplane who died with a courage that terrified their murderers. We saw a crisis-ridden economy recover. And we've seen Americans in uniform take mountain fortresses, tackle sandstorms, and deliver millions of people with exploits that would have made the men of Normandy proud.
Americans have had to storm peaks since 2001 and have found the strength to do so. And because we have undertaken this difficult journey, we can now look down into the valley behind us. And because we have resolutely embraced challenges, historic goals have come within our grasp and a great future lies ahead. We are building a safer world and a more hopeful America, and nothing is going to hold us back.
With the work we have already done and the work to be done, I am fortunate to have an excellent Vice President. I have relied on Dick Cheney's calm and consistent judgment during difficult times, and I am honored to have him by my side.
I am grateful to be able to share my life with Laura Bush. Americans have recognized their kindness, kindness, and strength, which I first saw 26 years ago, and we love our first lady.
I am the happy father of two lively, intelligent and beautiful young women. I am also blessed with a sister and brother who are also my closest friends. And I will always be the proud and grateful son of George and Barbara Bush.
My father worked alongside another great American, Ronald Reagan, for eight years. His confident, benevolent and honorable disposition are present in this room and in our hearts, and it will always determine our party.
In two months, voters will make a decision based on our achievements, beliefs and visions. A presidential campaign is a competition for the future. Tonight I will tell you what I stand for, what I believe, and where I will take this country over the next four years.
I believe that every child can learn and every school must teach - so we passed the most significant educational reform in history. Because we've acted, children are making steady progress in reading and math, American schools are getting better, and nothing is going to hold us back.
I believe we have a moral responsibility to respect the elderly in the United States, so I have Republicans and Democrats to empower Medicare, the health insurance of retirees. Now the seniors receive immediate assistance in purchasing medicines. Soon all retirees will be reimbursed for prescription drugs and nothing will hold us back.
I believe in the energy and ingenuity of American workers, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers, so we unleashed that energy through the biggest tax cut in a generation. Because we have acted, our economy is now growing again, jobs are being created, and nothing is going to hold us back.
I believe that the greatest responsibility of the American President is to protect the American people. If the United States shows uncertainty and weakness this decade, the world will move towards tragedy. That won't happen while I'm on watch.
I am running for president with a clear and positive plan for building a more positive world and a more hopeful America. I am running with a philosophy of compassionate conservatism: government should help people improve their lives, but not try to rule their lives. I believe that this nation needs reliable, consistent, principled leadership, and therefore, with your help, we will win this election.
The history of the United States is one of the expansion of freedom: a growing circle, expanding ever wider and including more people. Our nation's commitment at its inception is still our deepest commitment: In our world and here at home, we will expand the limits of freedom.
The times in which we live and work are changing drastically. Workers of our parents' generation typically had jobs, skills, and careers with a company that provided health insurance and retirement plans. And most of those workers were men. Today workers change jobs and even change their careers very often, and one of the most dramatic changes in our society has been the fact that two-thirds of all mothers work outside the home.
This changing world can be a great opportunity for all Americans to earn more, support their families, and pursue a rewarding career. And the government must take your side. Many of our basic systems - the tax system, health insurance, retirement plans, education - were created for yesterday's world, not tomorrow's. We will reshape these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared, and thus genuinely free to make their own decisions and pursue their own dreams.
My plan starts with providing the security and opportunities of a growing economy. Today we are competing in a global market that offers us new buyers for our products and new competition for our employees. To create additional jobs in the United States, the United States must be the best place to do business. To create jobs, my plan is to encourage investment and expansion through curbing government spending, less regulation and permanent tax breaks. We will make our country less dependent on foreign energy sources to create jobs. To create jobs, we will expand trade and create a level playing field for selling American goods and services around the world. And we must protect small businesses and workers from the explosion in the number of vicious processes threatening jobs across America.
The current tax law, which is a complicated mess with loopholes and special permits and gives our citizens more than six billion hours of paperwork and headaches a year, also has a negative impact on our economy. The American people deserve, and our economic future demands a simpler, more equitable, and growth-friendly system. In another term of office, I will lead cross-party efforts to reform and simplify national tax law.
Another priority in a new term of office will be to help workers take advantage of economic growth to find better jobs with higher wages. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school in order to learn new skills or to gain a higher qualification. So we will double the number of people who benefit from our vocational training program and the funding for Community colleges increase. I know that with the right skills, Americans can compete with anyone, anywhere.
In this time of change, opportunities are few and far between in some communities than in others. To serve workers in poor communities and those who have lost their jobs in manufacturing, textiles, or elsewhere, we will create high-opportunity zones in the United States. In these zones, we will offer tax cuts and other incentives to make them attractive to new businesses. We will improve housing and education to bring hope and jobs to all of America.
As I traveled around the country, I have met many workers and small business owners who have told me they were worried that they could not afford health insurance. More than half of the uninsured are employees of small businesses and their families. In another term of office, we must enable small companies to band together to purchase insurance at the discount rates offered to large companies. We will be offering tax breaks to encourage the middle class and their employees to set up savings accounts for health insurance, and we will offer direct assistance to insuring low-income Americans. These accounts give workers serious illness coverage, the chance to save tax-free for routine checkups, and the freedom to know they can take their account with them when they change jobs. And we will provide better health care to low-income Americans. In another term, I will ensure that every poor district in the United States has a health center in that community or region.
While traveling around the country, I met many good doctors, especially gynecologists, who are forced to give up their practices due to the high costs of legal proceedings. To make healthcare more affordable and easier to access, we must now adopt the reform of medical insurance. And in anything we do to improve health care in the United States, we need to make sure that medical decisions are made by doctors and patients, not Washington bureaucrats.
In this time of change, governments must side with working families. In a further term of office, we will change the outdated labor law and offer time compensation for overtime and flexitime. Our laws should never get in the way of a more family-friendly workplace.
Another priority for another term of office is building a society of owners, because ownership brings security, dignity and independence.
There is a record number of homeowners thanks to our policy. Tonight we're setting a new goal: an additional seven million affordable homes over the next decade so more American families can open the door and say, "Welcome to my home."
In an owner-occupied society, more people will have their own health insurance and be confident that they will own part of their pension. We will keep the promise of social security for our older workers. The large generation of high birth cohorts is now approaching retirement age, so many of our children and grandchildren are understandably concerned about whether social security will be available when they need it. We need to strengthen social security by allowing younger workers to pay some of their taxes into a personal account, a financial cushion that you can call your own and that the government cannot take away from you.
With all these proposals we are not only trying to put together a government program, but rather to show a better way that offers more opportunities, freedom and control over one's own life.
This path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children achieve as much as their visions and personalities allow. Tonight I remind all parents and teachers, I tell every child, whatever your circumstances, whatever where you live, your school will be the road to America's promise. We are reshaping our schools by raising our standards and focusing on results. We demand accountability, strengthen the rights of parents and teachers and ensure that local people are responsible for their schools. By testing every child, we identify those who need help and we are increasing our financial support to provide that help to record levels. Northeast Georgia is home to Gainesville Elementary School, with mostly Hispanic and 90 percent poor students. And this year, 90 percent of students passed state exams in reading and math. The principal put his school's philosophy in words like this: “We don't focus on what we can't do at this school; we focus on what we can do; we will do whatever it takes to make these children cross the finish line. ”This school principal challenges the gentle bigotry of low expectations, and that is also the spirit of our educational reform and our country's commitment: No dejaremos a ningún niňo atrás. We won't leave a child behind.
We are making progress and there is more to be done. In this time of change, most jobs are filled with applicants who have at least two years of college, but only one in four students makes it. In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students with problems. We'll focus more on math and science. As we progress, we will introduce a rigorous exam before graduation. By improving performance in our high schools and expanding Pell Scholarships for low-income families, we will help more Americans begin their careers with college degrees.
The children of America also need a healthy start in life. In another term, we will make vigorous efforts to accommodate millions of poor children who are eligible for state health insurance programs but are not registered. We will not allow these children not to get the health insurance they need due to a lack of attention or information.
Anyone who wants to know more about my agenda can find details online. The web address isn't very resourceful, but it's easy to remember: GeorgeWBush.com.
These changing times can be exciting times of increased opportunity. And here you have a choice: my opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry was against the reform of Medicare and against savings accounts for health insurance. Now that he has supported my educational reforms, he wants to water them down. He is against the reform of legal and medical liability. He was against reducing the tax disadvantage for married couples, against doubling child benefit and against lowering income tax for all those who pay them. It must be mentioned, to be fair, that my opponent is for some things too - he's suggesting a $ 2 trillion increase in federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a Massachusetts senator. To cover these expenses, he runs an election declaration that provides for an increase in taxes - and that is the kind of promise a politician normally keeps.
Its taxation and spending policy, its policy of expanding the role of the state instead of creating more opportunities, is the policy of the past. We are on the way to the future and we are not turning back.
In this changing world, some things don't change: the values we try to live by, the institutions that give meaning and direction to our lives. Our society rests on responsibility, character and family commitment.
Because family and work are sources of stability and dignity, I support a reform of social security that strengthens the family and makes work a condition. Because a social society is one that respects its weakest members, we need to give unborn life a place. Because religious charities provide a safety net of mercy and compassion, the state must not discriminate against them. Because the connection between man and woman has a special place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against judicial activists. And I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and strict interpretation of the law.
My opponent recently announced that he was the "conservative values" candidate, which must have come as a surprise to many of his supporters. Well, there are some problems with that claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is in Hollywood, sorry, you are not a conservative candidate. If you violate the bipartisan law signed by President Clinton in defense of marriage (Defense of Marriage Act) have voted, they are not the candidate for conservative values. If, like my opponent, you gave a speech in which you described the Reagan presidency as eight years of “moral darkness”, then you may be many things, but you are not the candidate for conservative values.
This election will also determine how the United States will respond to the ongoing threat of terrorism, and you know my position. Three days after September 11th, I stood where Americans died, in the ruins of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Workers in helmets called out to me, “Whatever it takes.” A man grabbed my arm and said, “Don't let me down.” Since that day, I've woken up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country can. Whatever it takes, I will not give in to defending the United States.
We did not fight terrorists around the world out of pride or lust for power, but because the lives of our citizens were at stake. Our strategy is clear: We have tripled the financial resources for internal security and trained half a million crisis reaction forces because we are determined to protect our homeland. We are reshaping our military and reforming and strengthening our intelligence services. We stay on the offensive by targeting terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home. And we are working towards freedom for the Near and Middle East because freedom will bring us a future of hope and the peace that everyone wants. And we will prevail.
Our strategy is successful: four years ago Afghanistan was Al Qaeda’s main base, Pakistan was a transit country for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was a breeding ground for terrorists to raise capital, Libya was secretly seeking nuclear weapons, Iraq posed a growing threat and Al Qaeda was able to plan its attacks essentially undisturbed. Today the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terrorism, Pakistan is arresting terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is attacking with shock troops and making arrests, Libya is suspending its weapons program, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom and more than three quarters of the Key figures and supporters of al Qaeda were arrested or killed. We have taken the lead, many have followed, and the United States and the world are safer.
These advances are the result of careful diplomacy, clear moral standards, and some difficult choices. And the most difficult decision concerned Iraq. We knew that Saddam Hussein had committed aggression and supported terrorism in the past. We knew that he had long sought and even used weapons of mass destruction. And we know that September 11th will require a rethink in our country: we must and will face the threats to the United States before it is too late.
We saw a threat in Saddam Hussein. Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his candidate for the vice presidency, saw the threat and voted in favor of the use of force. We went before the United Nations Security Council, which unanimously voted for a resolution demanding that the dictator disarm or face the grave consequences. Middle East leaders urged him to obey. After more than ten years of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another, last chance to fulfill his responsibility to the civilized world. He refused again and I faced the kind of decision that im only possible Oval Office is made, a decision no president wants to make, but which he must be prepared for. Should I forget the teachings of September 11th and take the word of a madman, or should I take action to defend our country? Given that choice, I will choose to defend the United States every time.
Because we have defended our country, the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are a thing of the past, more than 50 million people have been liberated and democracy is gaining a foothold in the Middle East. In Afghanistan, terrorists did everything in their power to intimidate the people, but more than ten million citizens registered for the October presidential election - an overwhelming support for democracy. Despite repeated acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong Prime Minister, a National Council and national elections are scheduled for January. Our nation stands by the people of Afghanistan and Iraq because if the United States makes a promise, the United States must keep its word. It is equally important that we serve a crucial and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies that no longer stir up resentment or produce violence for export. Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists rather than give them refuge, and that will help us keep the peace. So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: we will help the new leadership train their army, prepare for elections and embark on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops return home with a deserved honor.
Our troops are aware of the historical importance of our work. One army specialist wrote home: “We are transforming a once sick society into a promising place. The various terrorist adversaries we face in Iraq, ”he continued,“ are actually targeting you in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We, your soldiers, are doing a great job and winning victories in confronting the vicious terrorists. "
This young man is right: our men and women in uniform do an outstanding job for the United States. Tonight I want to tell all of you and your families that you are now in a battle of historic proportions. Thanks to your service and sacrifice, we will defeat the terrorists where they live and plan, and the United States will become safer. Thanks to you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in the sports stadium. Thanks to you, the people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and buried in mass graves. Thanks to you, the world is more just and will become more peaceful. We owe you gratitude and more. We'll give you all the resources, tools, and support you need to win.
Again, my opponent and I take different approaches. I proposed that $ 87 billion should be allocated to our troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Congress passed it overwhelmingly. My opponent and his candidate for the vice presidency voted against this money for bullets, fuel, vehicles and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the senator said, "I actually voted for the $ 87 million before voting against." Then he said he was "proud" of the vote. When asked, he said it was a "complex" topic. There is nothing complex about supporting our fighting troops.
Our allies are also aware of the historical importance of our work. About 40 nations are at our side in Afghanistan and 30 in Iraq. I am very grateful for the courage and wise advice from leaders such as Prime Minister Howard, President Kwasniewski, Prime Minister Berlusconi and, of course, Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of the war, he called the allies of the United States, I quote, a "coalition of the forced and bribed." We are talking about nations like the UK, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia and others that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the contempt of a politician. I respect every soldier from every country who serves by our side in this difficult task of history. The United States is grateful and the United States will not be forgotten.
The people we liberate will not be forgotten either. Recently seven Iraqis visited me at Oval Office. They had an "X" tattooed on their forehead and their right hand had been hacked off by Saddam Hussein's secret police - the sadistic punishment for imaginary crimes. During the disturbing visit, one of the Iraqis used his new prosthesis to slowly write a prayer in Arabic asking God to bless the United States. I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed and the greatest force for good in this world.
Others are aware of the historical importance of our work. The terrorists know. They know that a vibrant, prosperous democracy in the heart of the Middle East would discredit their radical ideology of hatred. They know that men and women who have hope, purpose, and dignity don't strap on bombs and kill innocent people. The terrorists fight freedom with cunning and cruelty because freedom is their greatest fear. And they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march.
I believe in the walking power of freedom. The wisest thing to do is to use American strength for freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq seize their chance, their example will send a message of hope to an important region. The message will get to the Palestinians that democracy and reform are within their reach, as will peace with our good friend Israel. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the message that nationwide progress and dignity can be found in freedom, not tyranny and terror. Reformers, political prisoners and people in exile will hear the message that their dream of freedom will not be forever denied them. As freedom spreads from heart to heart, from country to country, the United States will be safer and the world more peaceful.
The United States has done this type of work before, and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after Berlin fell to the Allies, a journalist wrote in the New York Times: “Germany is a country in an acute economic, political and moral crisis. The [European] capitals are afraid. In every [military] headquarters one encounters troubled employees who do everything in their power to respond to the consequences of what they admit to be a failed occupation policy. ”End of quote. Maybe that person is still alive and still writing editorials. Fortunately, we had a feisty president named Truman who stood up with the American people knowing that a new democracy in central Europe would lead to stability and peace. Because this generation of Americans stood up for the cause of freedom, we live in a better and safer world today.
The advances that we and our friends and allies in the Middle East desire will not come easily or instantly. Yet Americans especially should never be surprised by the power of freedom to change lives and nations. This power led settlers on dangerous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and because of it, our nation opposed the tyranny of the 20th century. We were honored to contribute to the emergence of democracy in Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Central Europe and the Baltic States, and this noble story goes on. I believe that the United States is called to take the lead in the cause of freedom in the new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East are silently asking for their freedom. I believe if given the chance, they would choose the most honorable form of government ever devised. I believe all of these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in the world.
We will remember this moment in the life of our country. Generations will know whether we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know whether we seized this opportunity and used it to build a future of security and peace. The freedom of many and the future security of our nation now depend on us. And tonight, fellow Americans, I ask you to stand by my side.
We have met over the past four years. Even if we disagree, you at least know what I believe in and what I stand for. You may have noticed that I have some weak points too. Sometimes someone has to correct my English. I realized I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started correcting me. Some see me strutting around when they look at me, in Texas it is called "walking". Now and then I seem a bit too straightforward, and we all have to thank the white-haired woman over there for that.
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