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Democratic Radio Address to the Nation by John Edwards

October 02, 2004

Good morning, I'm John Edwards.

On Thursday night, America saw John Kerry as our next President. John showed strength, conviction and a steady command of the facts. And he looked and acted like our next Commander-in-Chief.

John left no doubt that he can win the war against terrorism. He laid out a clear plan to hunt down these terrorists and kill them before they harm us. And he offered hope for a fresh start in Iraq so we can finish the job.

George Bush had a chance to come clean and level with the American people about the failures of his foreign policy. He did not.

Our military has done everything that it has been asked to do. Our men and women in uniform have acted courageously and heroically. And we are so proud and grateful for their service.

But George Bush failed to tell the truth about the mess he has created in Iraq. And it is clear that he still has no plan to win the peace so our troops can come home.

He failed to take responsibility for the way in Afghanistan he walked away from the real fight against Al Qaeda and capturing Osama bin Laden.

He failed to take responsibility for the fact that he has stood on the sidelines – while the nuclear dangers from North Korea and Iran have grown.

George Bush cannot fix the mess. He created it. He can't fix it because he even refuses to admit that there's a problem.

Well, John believes that the best way to lead is with your eyes open so that you have a clear view of the challenges in front of us.

John Kerry laid out our plan to secure the peace in Iraq. We will accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces, step up the Iraq reconstruction plan, make sure the elections go forward, and with a fresh start and a new president, John will restore America's credibility in the world and increase international support to decrease the burden on our troops.

They can't solve the problems in Iraq because they don't see them. And it's the exact same thing here at home. They stand up and say that this is the best economy of our lifetime.

I just spent two days in Ohio. More than 237,000 jobs have been lost. The unemployment rate in Ohio has gone up 60 percent since George Bush took office. Health care costs are skyrocketing. Family incomes are going down. More families are losing their homes than ever before.

The struggles people face in Ohio and the weakness in our economy are a direct result of decisions made by George Bush and Dick Cheney. And those decisions are the direct result of a vision that honors wealth and privilege rather than work and responsibility.

John Kerry and I believe to our core that every American deserves the same opportunities to get ahead. That's why we're going to create and keep good paying jobs here in America. We will end tax breaks for companies that ship your jobs overseas and create tax breaks for companies and small businesses for keeping jobs here.

John and I will do this because we know that a job is about more than a paycheck. It's about dignity and self-respect.

This is something George Bush and Dick Cheney don't understand. If they did, then their administration wouldn't say that outsourcing American jobs is good for the American economy.

George Bush and Dick Cheney don't fight to keep your jobs here because they want to help their friends at the top. They are not on your side. Their tax cuts have not helped the middle class. Instead, they've helped people like their friends at Halliburton.

George Bush and Dick Cheney can find more than $7 billion in no bid contracts for Halliburton. And now that Halliburton is under investigation for overcharging American taxpayers by hundreds of millions of dollars, they make sure that their friends at Halliburton still get the $60 million a month – even though government rules said it should be withheld.

But when it comes to what you need – better health care, better paying jobs, more chances for young people to go to college, and a safer America here at home – they say there's no money. They say there's no money for homeland security because they want to protect tax breaks for multimillionaires.

Halliburton is a symbol of what's wrong with this Administration. It gives special favors for their friends while you struggle just to get by.

It is time America had a president who's on your side. And in just thirty one days, you'll have the chance to make that happen and choose your next president. If you believe America is headed in the right direction when millions have lost their health care, more than 1.6 million private sector jobs are gone, and Iraq is a mess, then you should vote for George Bush.

But if you believe that America can do better and that we need a new direction, then you should vote for John Kerry. Thank you for listening.

John Edwards, Democratic Radio Address to the Nation by John Edwards Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project