John F. Kerry photo

Remarks in Cincinnati, Ohio

April 06, 2004

Good morning Cincinnati.

I'd like to start today by thanking the men and women fighting in Iraq who put themselves in harm's way every day. I'd like to honor the memory of the brave soldiers who we've lost in this war.

And I'd like to recognize the King family and thank them for being here with us. Ron and Pat King know what sacrifice is – today, their son Ronnie is serving his second tour in Iraq with the 7th Marine Regiment. Ron and Pat, we join you in praying for Ronnie's safe return and we thank him for his service to America.

My friends, we look around this country today and we see that there is so much work to be done in America.

We have jobs to create. We have an economy to grow. We have families to insure, children to teach, and communities to protect. And we have a War on Terror to win.

But after seeing 170,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio disappear under this President –– after seeing hardworking families struggle with the costs of health care and tuition and taxes – after seeing communities go without cops and soldiers go without body armor, I think it's clear that the one person in America who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush.

It's time for a new direction in America. Every economic plan that George Bush has proposed, this Republican Congress has passed. They promised us results – and now all they have to offer is excuses. Because the fact is that every time, at every turn, every chance he's had, George Bush has put jobs last.

This President's Commerce Department hosted workshops to show American companies how to outsource our jobs to China. That's putting jobs last.

This President's chief economic advisor said that outsourcing is a "good thing." That's putting jobs last.

And just last week – right here in Cincinnati – this President's Treasury Secretary told you that outsourcing makes our economy "stronger." My friends, if that's their definition of strength, then that's putting jobs dead last.

Cincinnati, don't you think it's time for a change?

Don't you think it's time for a President who knows what you're facing and is ready to do something about it?

Isn't it time we put jobs first?

Under George Bush's watch we've lost 3 million jobs. That's why I've announced a plan to create 10 million jobs in the next four years – and that includes 417,000 new jobs right here in Ohio.

10 million jobs for families who are trying to make ends meet.

10 million jobs for Americans who are looking for work but can't find it.

10 million jobs for the businesses who want to do the right thing and create jobs here at home.

10 million jobs to make America the economic powerhouse that we all know we can be again.

We can do it – if we put jobs first.

By changing the tax code, so that it doesn't encourage companies to create jobs in Malaysia instead of Michigan, we're gonna put jobs first.

By giving companies a tax break to create and keep good jobs here at home, we're gonna put jobs first.

By making sure Washington pays its bills just like you have to pay yours, we're gonna put jobs first.

By making sure our trading partners play by the rules instead of playing us for fools, we're gonna put jobs first.

Every time, at every turn, every chance we get – we're gonna put jobs first. 10 million jobs first.

It's time to bring back an economy that creates good jobs. It's time to raise income levels across the board. It's time to give hardworking middle-class Americans a tax cut, not a tax increase. And it's time to put opportunity and prosperity in the hands of every American.

It's time for a new direction in America – and I'm ready to lead us there.

I know the fight for jobs, the fight for affordable health care, the fight for trade policies that work for America won't be easy. But I've been in tough fights before. For 35 years, I've fought for my country and for people. And I'm ready to lead the battle for our jobs and our future.

Thank you for joining me in this fight. Together, we're gonna say to all of America – get ready – a new day is on the way.

John F. Kerry, Remarks in Cincinnati, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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