Saturday, September 11, 2004

Phillips Philes Phlashback: President George W. Bush On September 11, 2001

Source: The While House "Remarks by the President After Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center"

Emma Booker Elementary School
Sarasota, Florida

9:30 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I, unfortunately, will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the Lt. Governor will take the podium and discuss education. I do want to thank the folks here at Booker Elementary School for their hospitality.

Today we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the Vice President, to the Governor of New York, to the Director of the FBI, and have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families, and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.

Terrorism against our nation will not stand.

And now if you would join me in a moment of silence. May God bless the victims, their families, and America. Thank you very much.

END 9:31 A.M. EDT

Source: The White House "Remarks by the President Upon Arrival at Barksdale Air Force Base"

Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana

THE PRESIDENT: I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.

I've been in regular contact with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the national security team and my Cabinet. We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people. Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status, and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government.

We have been in touch with the leaders of Congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.

I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.

The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test. God bless.


Source: The White House "Statement by the President in His Address to the Nation"

8:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

END 8:35 P.M. EDT

Friday, September 10, 2004

President Bush's military records

Source: USA Today "President Bush's military records"
February 14, 2004

President Bush's military records

President Bush released his Vietnam-era military records in February to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard. These documents detailed Bush's service in the Guard from 1968 until 1973. Bush's medical records were opened for examination by reporters in the Roosevelt Room, but those documents were not allowed to leave the room and are not included below.

PDF (Portable Document Format) requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

1. Enlistment Packet (1.02 MB)
2. Discharge (193 K)
3. Grade Determination (1.54 MB)
4. Performance Grades (449 K)
5. Performance Points (787 K)
6. Reassignments Split Training (224 K)
7. Security Clearance (227 K)
8. School Training (490 K)
9. Miscellaneous (674 K)

2000 Personnel files

10. 2000 Personnel file (1.32 MB)
11. 2000 Personnel file (1.21 MB)
12. 2000 Personnel file (882 K)
13. 2000 Personnel file (841 K)
14. 2000 Personnel file (899 K)

2004 Personnel files

15. 2004 Personnel file (1.20 MB)
16. 2004 Personnel file (1.56 MB)
17. 2004 Personnel file (946 K)
18. 2004 Personnel file (662 K)
19. 2004 Personnel file (821 K)

In September, documents emerged showing a National Guard commander criticizing Bush in memos. The commander, who died in 1984, concluded that Bush was failing to meet standards for fighter pilots, but the commander felt pressure from superiors to "sugar coat" his judgments.

Bush’s National Guard years: Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts

Source: The Hill "Bush’s National Guard years: Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts" by Bryon York
September 9, 2004

Bush’s National Guard years
Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts

What do you really know about George W. Bush’s time in the Air National Guard?
That he didn’t show up for duty in Alabama? That he missed a physical? That his daddy got him in?

News coverage of the president’s years in the Guard has tended to focus on one brief portion of that time — to the exclusion of virtually everything else. So just for the record, here, in full, is what Bush did:

The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.

That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years.

Not two years of weekends. Two years.

After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?

That brings the story to May 1972 — the time that has been the focus of so many news reports — when Bush "deserted" (according to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore) or went "AWOL" (according to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee).

Bush asked for permission to go to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Requests like that weren’t unusual, says retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971.

"In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots," Campenni says. "The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In ’72 or ’73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem."

So Bush stopped flying. From May 1972 to May 1973, he earned just 56 points — not much, but enough to meet his requirement.

Then, in 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently.

In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year.

Then, at his request, he was given permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, however, he had accumulated enough points in each year to cover six years of service.

During his service, Bush received high marks as a pilot.

A 1970 evaluation said Bush "clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot" and was "a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership."

A 1971 evaluation called Bush "an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot" who "continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further." And a 1972 evaluation called Bush "an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer."

Now, it is only natural that news reports questioning Bush’s service — in The Boston Globe and The New York Times, on CBS and in other outlets — would come out now. Democrats are spitting mad over attacks on John Kerry’s record by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

And, as it is with Kerry, it’s reasonable to look at a candidate’s entire record, including his military service — or lack of it. Voters are perfectly able to decide whether it’s important or not in November.

The Kerry camp blames Bush for the Swift boat veterans' attack, but anyone who has spent much time talking to the Swifties gets the sense that they are doing it entirely for their own reasons.

And it should be noted in passing that Kerry has personally questioned Bush’s service, while Bush has not personally questioned Kerry’s.

In April — before the Swift boat veterans had said a word — Kerry said Bush "has yet to explain to America whether or not, and tell the truth, about whether he showed up for duty." Earlier, Kerry said, "Just because you get an honorable discharge does not, in fact, answer that question."

Now, after the Swift boat episode, the spotlight has returned to Bush.

That’s fine. We should know as much as we can.

And perhaps someday Kerry will release more of his military records as well.

Byron York is a White House correspondent for National Review. His column appears in The Hill each week. E-mail:

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Day 3 RNC 9/1/04: Lynne & Vice President Dick Cheney

Source: The White House

Vice President's Remarks at the Republican National Convention with An Introduction by Mrs. Cheney

10:20 P.M. EDT

MRS. CHENEY: Well, thank you for that warm welcome.

In the weeks and months after September 11th, I had so many people come up to me and say how glad they were that George Bush and Dick Cheney were in the White House. (Applause.) I knew exactly what they meant. These men are strong, they are steadfast, they are exactly the leaders we need at this moment in our history. (Applause.)

And let me say a word, too, about Laura Bush. She not only reassured us in those days after the towers fell, she has been a First Lady of enormous grace and dignity, and I am honored to be her friend.

I first met Dick Cheney when he was a teenager, quite a handsome teenager, as a matter of fact. He had a crew cut. He played football. He was the president of our senior class. But while most of the boys I knew saw the charm of driving back and forth, time and again, between the two A&W root beer stands in our small town, Dick did not. And when practically everybody in Casper, Wyoming started doing the twist, I can tell you, Dick did not. (Laughter.) He also spent as much time listening as he did talking, which is pretty unusual in a teenager.

Over the years, I figured out that he was someone you could depend on, someone you could trust, someone I wanted to have at my side through all the hard parts of life and all the joyful ones. He is caring and honest, wise and kind, as our much loved daughters will testify -- and our beloved granddaughters, as well. We have a new grandson, too -- grandchildren, as well. (Applause.) One of our granddaughters asked Dick not long ago if he knew anyone famous. (Laughter.) And I treasure the fact that she didn't know he was.

Dick first entered public life as "the gentleman from Wyoming." (Applause.) And he loved his 10 years as our state's congressman. It was his privilege to serve as Secretary of Defense during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. (Applause.) And it has been the highest honor for him to serve beside our President for the past four years. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, the love of my life, Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Cheney! Cheney! Cheney! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. I'm sure glad Zell Miller is on our side. (Applause.)

Mr. Chairman, delegates, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I am honored by your confidence. And tonight I make this pledge: I will give this campaign all that I have, and together we will make George W. Bush President for another four years. (Applause.)

Tonight I will talk about this good man and his fine record leading our country. And I may say a word or two about his opponent. (Laughter.) I am also mindful now that I have an opponent of my own.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: People tell me that Senator Edwards got picked for his good looks, his sex appeal, his charm, and his great hair. I said, "How do you think I got the job?" (Laughter and applause.)

On this night, as we celebrate the opportunities that America offers, I am filled with gratitude to a nation that has been good to me, and I remember the people who set me on my way in life. My grandfather noted that the day I was born was also the birthday of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And so he told my parents they should send President Roosevelt an announcement of my birth. (Laughter.) Now my grandfather didn't have a chance to go to high school. For many years he worked as a cook on the Union Pacific Railroad, and he and my grandmother lived in a railroad car. But the modesty of his circumstances didn't stop him from thinking that President Roosevelt should know about my arrival. My grandfather believed deeply in the promise of America, and he had the highest hopes for his family. And I don't think it would surprise him all that much that a grandchild of his stands before you tonight as Vice President of the United States. (Applause.)

It is the story of this country that people have been able to dream big dreams with confidence they would come true, if not for themselves, then for their children and grandchildren. And that sense of boundless opportunity is a gift that we must pass on to all who come after us.

From kindergarten to graduation, I went to public schools, and I know that they are a key to being sure that every child has a chance to succeed and to rise in the world. (Applause.) When the President and I took office, our schools were shuffling too many children from grade to grade without giving them the skills and the knowledge they need. So President Bush reached across the aisle and brought both parties together to pass the most significant education reform in 40 years. (Laughter.) With higher standards and new resources, America's schools are now on an upward path to excellence -- and not for just a few children, but for every child. (Applause.)

Opportunity also depends on a vibrant, growing economy. As President Bush and I were sworn into office, our nation was sliding into recession, and American workers were overburdened with federal taxes. Then came the events of September 11th, which hit our economy very hard. So President Bush delivered the greatest tax reduction in a generation, and the results are clear to see. (Applause.) Businesses are creating jobs. People are returning to work. Mortgage rates are low, and home ownership in this country is at an all-time high. The Bush tax cuts are working. (Applause.)

Our nation has the best health care in the world, and President Bush is making it more affordable and accessible to all Americans. (Applause.) And there is more to do. Under this President's leadership, we will reform medical liability so the system serves patients and good doctors, not personal injury lawyers. (Applause.)

These have been years of achievement, and we are eager for the work ahead. And in all that we do, we will never lose sight of the greatest challenge of our time: preserving the freedom and security of this nation against determined enemies.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.)

Since I last spoke to our national convention, Lynne and I have had the joy of seeing our family grow. We now have a grandson to go along with our three wonderful granddaughters. (Applause.) And the deepest wish of my heart and the object of all my determination is that they, and all of America's children, will have lives filled with opportunity, and that they will inherit a world in which they can live in freedom, in safety, and in peace. (Applause.)

Four years ago, some said the world had grown calm, and many assumed that the United States was invulnerable to danger. That thought might have been comforting; it was also false. Like other generations of Americans, we soon discovered that history had unexpected duties in store for us.

September 11th, 2001 made clear the challenges we face. On that day we saw the harm that could be done by 19 men armed with knives and boarding passes. America also awakened to a possibility even more lethal: this enemy, whose hatred of us is limitless, armed with chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons.

Just as surely as the Nazis during World War II, and the Soviets during the Cold War, the enemy we face today is bent on our destruction. As in other times, we are in a war we did not start, and have no choice but to win. (Applause.) Firm in our resolve, focused on our mission, and led by a superb Commander-in-Chief, we will prevail. (Applause.)

The fanatics who killed some 3,000 of our fellow Americans may have thought they could attack us with impunity -- because terrorists had done so previously. But if the killers of September 11th thought we had lost the will to defend our freedom, they did not know America. And they did not know George W. Bush. (Applause.)

From the beginning, the President made clear that the terrorists would be dealt with -- and that anyone who supports, protects, or harbors them would be held to account. (Applause.) In a campaign that has reached around the world, we have captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda. In Afghanistan, the camps where terrorists trained to kill Americans have been shut down, and the Taliban driven from power. (Applause.) In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat, and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Applause.) Seventeen months ago, he controlled the lives and fortunes of 25 million people. Tonight, he sits in jail. (Applause.)

President Bush does not deal in empty threats and halfway measures, and his determination has sent a clear message. Just five days after Saddam was captured, the government of Libya agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program and turn the materials over to the United States. (Applause.) Tonight, the uranium, the centrifuges, and the plans and designs for nuclear weapons that were once hidden in Libya are locked up and stored away in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, never again to threaten America. (Applause.)

The biggest threat we face today is having nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists. The President is working with many countries in a global effort to end the trade and transfer of these deadly technologies. The most important result thus far -- and it is a very important one -- is that the black market network that supplied nuclear weapons technology to Libya, as well as to Iran and North Korea, has been shut down. (Applause.) The world's worst source of nuclear weapons proliferation is out of business -- and we are safer as a result. (Applause.)

In the global war we are fighting, we owe a mighty debt to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.) They have fought the enemy with courage and reached out to civilians with compassion, rebuilding schools and hospitals and roads. They have won stunning victories. They have faced hard duty and long deployments. And they have lost comrades, more than 1,100 brave Americans, whose memories this nation will honor forever. (Applause.) The men and women who wear the uniform of the United States represent the very best of America. They have the thanks of our nation. And they have confidence, the loyalty, and the respect of their Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

In this election, we will decide who leads our country for the next four years. Yet, there is more in the balance than that. Moments come along in history when leaders must make fundamental decisions about how to confront a long-term challenge abroad, or how best to keep the American people secure at home. We faced such a moment after World War II, when we put in place the policies that defended America throughout the Cold War. Those policies -- containing communism, deterring attack by the Soviet Union, and promoting the rise of democracy -- were carried out by Democratic and Republican Presidents in the decades that followed.

This nation has reached another of those defining moments. Under President Bush we have put in place new policies and created new institutions to defend America, to stop terrorist violence at its source, and to help move the Middle East away from old hatreds and resentments and toward the lasting peace that only freedom can bring. This is the work not of months, but of years -- and keeping these commitments is essential to our future security. For that reason, ladies and gentlemen, the election of 2004 is one of the most important, not just in our lives, but in our history. (Applause.)

And so it is time to set the alternatives squarely before the American people.

The President's opponent is an experienced senator. He speaks often of his service in Vietnam, and we honor him for it. (Applause.) But there is also a record of more than three decades since. And on the question of America's role in the world, the differences between Senator Kerry and President Bush are the sharpest, and the stakes for the country are the highest. (Applause.) History has shown that a strong and purposeful America is vital to preserving freedom and keeping us safe -- yet time and again, Senator Kerry has made the wrong call on national security. Senator Kerry began his political career by saying he would like to see our troops deployed "only at the directive of the United Nations."


THE VICE PRESIDENT: During the 1980s, Senator Kerry opposed Ronald Reagan's major defense initiatives that brought victory in the Cold War.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: And in 1991, when Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait and stood poised to dominate the Persian Gulf, Senator Kerry voted against Operation Desert Storm.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Even in this post-9/11 period, Senator Kerry doesn't appear to understand how the world has changed. He talks about leading a "more sensitive war on terror" -- (Laughter.) -- as though al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side. (Laughter and applause.)

He declared at the Democratic Convention that he will forcefully defend America -- after we have been attacked. My fellow Americans, we have already been attacked. (Applause.)


THE VICE PRESIDENT: We're faced with an enemy who seeks the deadliest of weapons to use against us, and we cannot wait until the next attack. We must do everything we can to prevent it -- and that includes the use of military force. (Applause.)

Senator Kerry denounces American action when other countries don't approve -- as if the whole object of our foreign policy were to please a few persistent critics. (Applause.) But, in fact, the global war on terror, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush has brought many allies to our side. (Applause.) But as the President has made very clear, there is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. (Applause.) George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people. (Applause.)


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Senator Kerry also takes a different view when it comes to supporting our military. Although he voted to authorize force against Saddam Hussein, he then decided he was opposed to the war, and voted against funding for our men and women in the field.

AUDIENCE: Booo! Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop! (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: He voted against body armor, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, armored vehicles, extra pay for hardship duty, and support for military families.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Senator Kerry is campaigning for the position of Commander-in-Chief.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yet he does not seem to understand the first obligation of a Commander-in-Chief -- and that is to support American troops in combat. (Applause.)

In his years in Washington, John Kerry has been one of a hundred votes in the United States Senate -- and fortunately on matters of national security, his views rarely prevailed. (Applause.) But the presidency is an entirely different proposition. A senator can be wrong for 20 years, without consequence to the nation. (Applause.) But a President -- a President -- always casts the deciding vote. (Applause.) And in this time of challenge, America needs -- and America has -- a President we can count on to get it right. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: On Iraq, Senator Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats. But Senator Kerry's liveliest disagreement is with himself. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: His back-and-forth reflects a habit of indecision, and sends a message of confusion. And it is all part of a pattern. He has, in the last several years, been for the No Child Left Behind Act -- and against it. He has spoken in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- and against it. He is for the Patriot Act -- and against it. Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. He makes the whole thing mutual -- America -- (applause) -- America sees two John Kerrys. (Laughter and applause.)

The other candidate in this race is a man our nation has come to know, and one I've come to admire very much. I watch him at work every day. I have seen him face some of the hardest decisions that can come to the Oval Office -- and make those decisions with the wisdom and the humility Americans expect in their President. (Applause.) George W. Bush is a man who speaks plainly and who means what he says. He is a person of loyalty and kindness -- and he brings out these qualities in those around him. He is a man of great personal strength -- and more than that, a man with a heart for the weak, and the vulnerable, and the afflicted. (Applause.) We all remember that terrible morning when, in the space of just 102 minutes, more Americans were killed than we lost at Pearl Harbor. We remember the President who came to New York City and pledged that the terrorists would soon hear from all of us. (Applause.) George W. Bush saw this country through grief and tragedy. He has acted with patience, and calm, and a moral seriousness that calls evil by its name. (Applause.) In the great divide of our time, he has put this nation where America always belongs: against the tyrants of this world, and on the side of every soul on Earth who yearns to live in freedom. (Applause.)

Fellow citizens, our nation is reaching the hour of decision, and the choice is clear. President Bush and I will wade this effort -- wage this effort with complete confidence in the judgment of the American people. The signs are good -- even in Massachusetts. (Applause.) According to a news account last month, people leaving the Democratic National Convention asked a Boston policeman for directions. He replied, "Leave here --? and go vote Republican." (Laughter and applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: President Bush and I are honored to have the support of that police officer, and of Democrats, Republicans, and independents from every calling in American life. (Applause.) We are so fortunate, each and every one of us, to be citizens of this great nation and to take part in the defining event of our democracy: Choosing who will lead us.

The historian Bernard DeVoto once wrote that when America was created, the stars must have danced in the sky. (Applause.) Our President understands the miracle of this great country. He knows the hope that drives it and shares the optimism that has long been so important a part of our national character. He gets up each and every day determined to keep our great nation safe so that generations to come will know the freedom and opportunities we have known -- and more. (Applause.)

When this convention concludes tomorrow night, we will go forth with confidence in our cause, and in the man who leads it. By leaving no doubt where we stand, and asking all Americans to join us, we will see our cause to victory.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 10:56 P.M. EDT

Day 4 RNC 9/2/04: President George W. Bush's Acceptance Speech

Source: The White House

President's Remarks at the 2004 Republican National Convention
Madison Square Garden
New York, New York

10:08 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Chairman, delegates, fellow citizens: I am honored by your support, and I accept your nomination for President of the United States. (Applause.)

When I -- when I said those words four years ago, none of us could have envisioned what these years would bring. In the heart of this great city, we saw tragedy arrive on a quiet morning. We saw the bravery of rescuers grow with danger. We learned of passengers on a doomed plane who died with a courage that frightened their killers. (Applause.) We have seen a shaken economy rise to its feet. And we have seen Americans in uniform storming mountain strongholds, and charging through sandstorms, and liberating millions, with acts of valor that would make the men of Normandy proud. (Applause.)

Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb, and found the strength to climb them. Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America -- and nothing will hold us back. (Applause.)

In the work we have done, and the work we will do, I am fortunate to have a superb Vice President. (Applause.) I have counted on Dick Cheney's calm and steady judgment in difficult days, and I am honored to have him at my side. (Applause.)

I am grateful to share my walk in life with Laura Bush. (Applause.) Americans -- Americans have come to see the goodness and kindness and strength I first saw 26 years ago, and we love our First Lady. (Applause.)

I'm a fortunate father of two spirited, intelligent, and lovely young women. (Applause.) I'm blessed with a sister and brothers who are my closest friends. (Applause.) And I will always be the proud and grateful son of George and Barbara Bush. (Applause.)

My father served eight years at the side of another great American -- Ronald Reagan. (Applause.) His spirit of optimism and goodwill and decency are in this hall, and are in our hearts, and will always define our party. (Applause.)

Two months from today, voters will make a choice based on the records we have built, the convictions we hold, and the vision that guides us forward. A presidential election is a contest for the future. Tonight I will tell you where I stand, what I believe, and where I will lead this country in the next four years. (Applause.)

I believe -- I believe every child can learn, and every school must teach -- so we passed the most important federal education reform in history. Because we acted, children are making sustained progress in reading and math, America's schools are getting better, and nothing will hold us back. (Applause.)

I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors -- so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare. Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us back. (Applause.)

I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers -- so we unleashed that energy with the largest tax relief in a generation. (Applause.) Because we acted, our economy is growing again, and creating jobs, and nothing will hold us back. (Applause.)

I believe the most solemn duty of the American President is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch. (Applause.)

I'm running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world, and a more hopeful America. I'm running with a compassionate conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives. (Applause.) I believe this nation wants steady, consistent, principled leadership -- and that is why, with your help, we will win this election. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The story of America is the story of expanding liberty: an ever-widening circle, constantly growing to reach further and include more. Our nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom. (Applause.)

The times in which we live and work are changing dramatically. The workers of our parents' generation typically had one job, one skill, one career, often with one company that provided health care and a pension. And most of those workers were men. Today, workers change jobs, even careers, many times during their lives, and in one of the most dramatic shifts our society has seen, two-thirds of all moms also work outside the home. (Applause.)

This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all Americans to earn a better living, support your family, and have a rewarding career. And government must take your side. Many of our most fundamental systems -- the tax code, health coverage, pension plans, worker training -- were created for the world of yesterday, not tomorrow. We will transform these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared -- and thus truly free -- to make your own choices and pursue your own dreams. (Applause.)

My plan begins with providing the security and opportunity of a growing economy. We now compete in a global market that provides new buyers for our goods, but new competition for our workers. To create more jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do business. (Applause.) To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making the tax relief permanent. (Applause.) To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.) To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe. (Applause.) And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America. (Applause.)

Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess -- filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve -- and our economic future demands -- a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. (Applause.) In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code. (Applause.)

Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better and higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for our community colleges. (Applause.) I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world. (Applause.)

In this time of change, opportunity in some communities is more distant than in others. To stand with workers in poor communities -- and those that have lost manufacturing, textile, and other jobs -- we will create American opportunity zones. In these areas, we will provide tax relief and other incentives to attract new business, and improve housing and job training to bring hope and work throughout all of America. (Applause.)

As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. (Applause.)

We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. (Applause.) We will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center. (Applause.)

As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially OB/GYNS, who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. (Applause.) And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

In this time of change, government must take the side of working families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace. (Applause.)

Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence.

Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. (Applause.) Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say: Welcome to my home. (Applause.)

In an ownership society, more people will own their health care plans, and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement. We'll always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers. With the huge Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there when they need it. We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account -- a nest egg you can call your own, and government can never take away. (Applause.)

In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path -- a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more control over your own life.

And the path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and character can take them. Tonight, I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child: No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live, your school will be the path to promise of America. (Applause.)

We are transforming our schools by raising standards and focusing on results. We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and teachers, and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools. By testing every child, we are identifying those who need help -- and we are providing a record level of funding to get them that help. (Applause.) In northeast Georgia, Gainesville Elementary School is mostly Hispanic and 90 percent poor -- and this year 90 percent of the students passed state tests in reading and math. (Applause.) The principal -- the principal expresses the philosophy of his school this way: "We don't focus on what we can't do at this school; we focus on what we can do. And we do whatever it takes to get kids across the finish line." See, this principal is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations. (Applause.) And that is the spirit of our education reform, and the commitment of our country: No dejaremos a ningn nio atrs. We will leave no child behind. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Viva Bush! Viva Bush! Viva Bush!

We are making progress -- we are making progress, and there is more to do.

In this time of change, most new jobs are filled by people with at least two years of college, yet only about one in four students gets there. In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk. We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation. By raising performance in our high schools, and expanding Pell grants for low and middle income families, we will help more Americans start their career with a college diploma. (Applause.)

America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need. (Applause.)

Anyone who wants more details on my agenda can find them online. The web address is not very imaginative, but it's easy to remember:

These changing times can be exciting times of expanded opportunity. And here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability reform. He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit, opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them.


THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, wait a minute: To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for. (Laughter.) He's proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. (Applause.) And to pay for that spending, he's running on a platform of increasing taxes -- and that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps. (Laughter.)

His tax -- his policies of tax and spend -- of expanding government rather than expanding opportunity -- are the policies of the past. We are on the path to the future -- and we're not turning back. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: In this world of change, some things do not change: the values we try to live by, the institutions that give our lives meaning and purpose. Our society rests on a foundation of responsibility and character and family commitment.

Because family and work are sources of stability and dignity, I support welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work. (Applause.) Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child. (Applause.) Because -- because religious charities provide a safety net of mercy and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them. (Applause.) Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges. (Applause.) And I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law. (Applause.)

My opponent recently announced that he is the conservative -- the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters. (Laughter.) There's some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you're not the candidate of conservative values. (Applause.) If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values. (Applause.) If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them. (Applause.)

This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism -- and you know where I stand. (Applause.) Three days after September the 11th, I stood where Americans died, in the ruins of the Twin Towers. Workers in hard hats were shouting to me, "Whatever it takes." A fellow grabbed me by the arm and he said, "Do not let me down." Since that day, I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: So we have fought the terrorists across the earth -- not for pride, not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake. Our strategy is clear. We have tripled funding for homeland security and trained a half a million first responders, because we are determined to protect our homeland. We are transforming our military and reforming and strengthening our intelligence services. We are staying on the offensive -- striking terrorists abroad -- so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) And we are working to advance liberty in the broader Middle East, because freedom will bring a future of hope, and the peace we all want. And we will prevail. (Applause.)

Our strategy is succeeding.


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaeda, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaeda was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. (Applause.) Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed. (Applause.) We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.)

This progress involved careful diplomacy, clear moral purpose, and some tough decisions. And the toughest came on Iraq. We knew Saddam Hussein's record of aggression and support for terror. We knew his long history of pursuing, even using, weapons of mass destruction. And we know that September the 11th requires our country to think differently: We must, and we will, confront threats to America before it is too late. (Applause.)

In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat.



THE PRESIDENT: Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East urged him to comply. After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the civilized world. He again refused, and I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office -- a decision no president would ask for, but must be prepared to make. Do I forget the lessons of September the 11th and take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend our country? Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: Because we acted to defend our country, the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are history, more than 50 million people have been liberated, and democracy is coming to the broader Middle East. (Applause.) In Afghanistan, terrorists have done everything they can to intimidate people -- yet more than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the October presidential election -- a resounding endorsement for democracy. (Applause.) Despite ongoing acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong Prime Minister, a national council, and national elections are scheduled for January. Our nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word. (Applause.)

As importantly, we are serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies, which no longer feed resentments and breed violence for export. Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them, and that helps us keep the peace. (Applause.) So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)

Our troops know the historic importance of our work. One Army Specialist wrote home: "We are transforming a once sick society into a hopeful place. The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq," he continued, "are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories and confronting the evil terrorists."

That young man is right -- our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America. (Applause.) Tonight I want to speak to all of them, and to their families: You are involved in a struggle of historic proportion. Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan, and you're making America safer. Because of you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, the people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and left in mass graves. Because of you, the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory. (Applause.)

Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed, $87 billion in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor.


THE PRESIDENT: When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it."

AUDIENCE: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip-flop!

THE PRESIDENT: Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it was a "complicated" matter. There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Our allies also know the historic importance of our work. About 40 nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq. And I deeply appreciate the courage and wise counsel of leaders like Prime Minister Howard, and President Kwasniewski, and Prime Minister Berlusconi -- and, of course, Prime Minister Tony Blair. (Applause.)

Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called American allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others -- allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. (Applause.) I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget. (Applause.)

The people we have freed won't forget either. Not long ago, seven Iraqi men came to see me in the Oval Office. They had X's branded into their foreheads, and their right hands had been cut off, by Saddam Hussein's secret police, the sadistic punishment for imaginary crimes. During our emotional visit one of the Iraqi men used his new prosthetic hand to slowly write out, in Arabic, a prayer for God to bless America. (Applause.) I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed, and the greatest force for good on this earth. (Applause.)

Others understand the historic importance of our work. The terrorists know. They know that a vibrant, successful democracy at the heart of the Middle East will discredit their radical ideology of hate. (Applause.) They know that men and women with hope and purpose and dignity do not strap bombs on their bodies and kill the innocent. (Applause.) The terrorists are fighting freedom with all their cunning and cruelty because freedom is their greatest fear -- and they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march. (Applause.)

I believe in the transformational power of liberty: The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq seize the moment, their example will send a message of hope throughout a vital region. Palestinians will hear the message that democracy and reform are within their reach, and so is peace with our good friend, Israel. (Applause.) 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 national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers, and political prisoners, and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances -- heart by heart, and nation by nation -- America will be more secure and the world more peaceful. (Applause.)

America has done this kind of work before -- and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to Allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is -- a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same person is still around, writing editorials. (Applause.) Fortunately, we had a resolute president named Truman, who, with the American people, persevered, knowing that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of liberty, we live in a better and safer world today. (Applause.)

The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics -- and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world. (Applause.)

This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. (Applause.) You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English. (Laughter.) I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. (Laughter and applause.) Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." (Applause.) Now and then I come across as a little too blunt -- and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there. (Laughter and applause.)

One thing -- one thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them -- (laughter) -- and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them. (Applause.) These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I've tried to comfort Americans who lost the most on September the 11th -- people who showed me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from them. I've learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their mom or dad.

I've met with the wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I'm in their prayers and to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, idealistic, and strong. (Applause.)

The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, here a nation rose. (Applause.)

We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested and confident nation can achieve anything. (Applause.)

To everything we know there is a season -- a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century. (Applause.) By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America -- and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. (Applause.) Now we go forward -- grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.

God bless you, and may God continue to bless our great country. (Applause.)

END 11:12 P.M. EDT

Day 4 RNC 9/2/04: Notable Non-Keynote Speeches

Source: GOP USA "Speech by Gen. Tommy Franks to the Republican National Convention"

Thank you so much. That made me want to step out here...

Thank you. Thank you so much.

That introduction made me want to step out here and say, "Hi. I'm Tommy Franks, and I approved that message."

Wow. This convention rocks.

As P.X. Kelley said: I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. But I believe in democracy, and I believe in America.

For almost four decades as a soldier I've been independent.

Now, there are those who would say very independent. But here I stand tonight endorsing George W. Bush to be the next president of the United States.

Look, America is a land of opportunity. America is a land of choice. And a great wartime president, Franklin Roosevelt, once said, "Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely."

Delegates, friends, I'm prepared to choose wisely. And I choose George W. Bush.

And indeed I'm honored to join American patriots on this stage, men who know, as our troopers' moms and dads, and husbands and wives, know that freedom is never free.

Freedom is never free.

And these men are men who stepped forward to lead America's sons and daughters. They led them selflessly. They remained loyal to their country and loyal to their troops.

And I join them in saluting our commander in chief, George W. Bush.

America finds itself today at an important crease in history. The attacks of September 11th brought a new enemy to our shores, an enemy unlike any we've ever faced before.

Our nation is safer today because we have hardened our defenses. We have also taken the fight to the terrorists.

And we still have work to do.

The global war on terrorism will be a long fight. But make no mistake abut it: We are going to fight the terrorists. The question is: Do we fight them over there or do we fight them here?

I choose to fight them over there.

Now, some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. And some say we should fight a less aggressive war, that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again.

Well, my wife Cathy and I are simply not willing to bet the future of our grandchildren on the good will of murderers.

I learned a long time ago that hope, while so terribly important, is not a strategy. In the years ahead, America will be called upon to demonstrate character, consistency, courage and leadership.

You know, Lincoln once said, "Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

Well, citizens and friends, I've been with this president in tough and uncertain times, and George W. Bush is "the real thing."

He is "the real thing."

The past three years have been hard years, hard years, a time of hard decisions and tough choices. I've looked into this man's eyes, and I have seen his character.

I've seen courage, I've seen consistency, the courage to stand up to terrorists and the consistency necessary to beat them.

In the battle for Afghanistan, we removed a regime that provided the base of support for Al Qaida terrorists who had been killing Americans for years.

In the battle for Iraq, we removed a brutal regime with an avowed hatred of our country, with a history for torturing its own people, and a history for using weapons of mass destruction against its neighbors and against its own citizens.

We removed that regime with well documented ties to terrorists, like the Al Qaida murderer, Abu Zarqawi. Terrorism will not stand.

Ladies and gentlemen, terrorism against our country started long before 9/11. Terrorists have been killing Americans for more than two decades. And I am proud that this president has chosen to make a stand.

Today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 50 million men, women and children have been liberated from tyranny. And these countries are no longer safe harbors for those who would launch the next attack against America.

We see smiles of little girls in Afghanistan who can now go to school.

We see pride in the faces of a new Iraqi Army as they begin to protect their new freedoms. We see resolve in the faces of emerging leaders of both Iraq and Afghanistan as they build those new nations. And soon, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, we will see free elections.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, terrorism and tyranny are being replaced by freedom, hope, opportunity. I for one am proud that my country, the United States of America, has given 50 million people a chance.

And we have not been in this fight alone. President Bush has built the largest coalition in the history of the world, nations united together against terrorism. Some have ridiculed the contributions made by these allies, but I can tell you that every contribution from every nation is important.

And, ladies and gentlemen, I would ask you to join me in saying thanks to coalition partners for being there when America and the world needed them.

There can be no tougher decision -- no tougher decision -- than the decision to go to war, the decision to put our sons and daughters into harm's way.

When George W. Bush asked America's men and women to go to war, he gave them every resource our nation possessed.

This man, before sending us into battle, personally asked each of my military commanders if they had everything they needed. This is a man who made sure that everything possible was done to protect our troops from the weapons of mass destruction we all expected that the enemy owned.

This is a commander in chief who is compassionate as he is courageous.

President Bush has increased basic pay for men and women in uniform by more than 20 percent.

He has improved military housing for their families. He has provided strong support for those families who sacrificed so much. I respect that.

And while we celebrate these American fighting men and women when they're in the news, I guess the question is: Who remembers the veterans when the parades are over and the cheering fades? Who remembers the veteran's families?

President George W. Bush has provided support for these heroes. In fact, he secured a larger increase in veterans funding in four years than the previous administration did in eight.

This president remembers our veterans and is keeping America's promise to those who have sacrificed so much for us all.

George W. Bush remembers the sacrifices of the greatest generation and those who served bravely in Korea and in Vietnam.

To all our veterans I say: Welcome home. Welcome home.

This president, George W. Bush, has remained loyal to those who serve -- he has remained loyal to those who serve. And, ladies and gentlemen, for that he has my respect.

Citizens and friends, I started tonight by reminding you that America must make a choice. The time is coming.

I choose George W. Bush because he is a leader we can depend on to make the tough decisions.

He is a leader we can depend on to make the right decisions.

I choose George W. Bush because his vision to take the fight to the terrorists is the best way to protect our country.

I choose George W. Bush because he stands up for the American fighting man and woman and because he remembers our veterans.

I choose George W. Bush because we know that the next 200 years of American history will depend on the decisions our nation makes today.

I choose George W. Bush because I believe his leadership will help ensure a better future for my grandchildren, Anne Cathryn and Samuel Thomas Matlock.

Thank you all. May God bless you all, our country and our commander in chief.

Source: Sun-Sentinel September 2, 2004 "Remarks by Gov. George Pataki and an introduction of President George W. Bush",0,1169665.story?coll=sns-newsnation-headlines

Thank you, delegates and friends.

I have been governor of this state for ten years, through challenge, and triumph, and tonight is a great New York night.

I'm going to be brief, because tonight we hear from President George W. Bush.

The past few evenings we have spoken of September 11th, of our heroes and of those we lost.

But there's a part of this story that has never fully been told. I'd like to tell it.

After September 11th our tourism industry was hit hard. Do you know what the people of Oregon did? A thousand people from Oregon came to New York and rented a thousand hotel rooms so our workers and desk clerks and waiters could keep their jobs.

Where is the Oregon delegation? Oregon, can I ask you to stand? Thank you.

Where is Iowa?

After September 11th, the people of Iowa heard that our guys at ground zero were cold, working through the night, so Iowa rushed one thousand five hundred quilts to help keep them warm.

Iowa Delegation will you please stand? Thank you.

Pennsylvania, where are you?

Five brothers in your state had been saving for years to go to Disney World. They had saved almost $900. After September 11th the boys drove to Brooklyn, to a fire house that had lost eight men. They gave their Disney World money to the relief fund.

Pennsylvania, you raised those boys, will you stand? Thank you.

Now, I could tell a story like this about every single state in the country. But there was of course another state.

It woke up one morning and walked the kids to school, and suddenly the streets were full of sirens and there was fire in the sky.

You know what they did, the people of this state?

They charged into the towers, they stood on line like soldiers to give blood.

And then, in the days and nights that followed, the tough men and women of our great city came forward.

They quieted the fire and dug us out of grief. They got into trucks and went to Ground Zero - the construction workers and iron workers, our police officers and fire fighters.

And the people of our city stood in the dark each night, waving flags, and calling out "God bless you" as the trucks hurtled by.

And the men and women on those trucks waved back as if to say, "Hey, no problem."

This great state rolled up its sleeves, looked terrorism straight in the face, and spat in its eye.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you New York.

On that terrible day, a nation became a neighborhood. All Americans became New Yorkers.

So, what I've wanted to do for a long time was say thank you -- in front of our country, and with our children watching.

Thank you America, from the very bottom of New York's heart.

And now, we have some business to do.

Every four years people say 'This is the most important election of our lifetime.' This time it's true.

We have a choice between two very different men.

Different views, different histories. I know them both - we were at college together, the president a year behind me, Senator Kerry a year ahead.

John Kerry was head of the Liberal Union, I was head of the Conservative Union.

We never got to debate back then. But the Senator has asked for a full and frank discussion.

Well, let's start now.

I want to help voters compare President Bush's record of achievement with Senator Kerry's. That way they'll be able to see the difference, which is that President Bush has a record of achievement.

Almost four years ago George W. Bush raised his right hand and took the oath of office. And from the first he showed us something we hadn't seen in a while. When he said he was going to do something, he meant it.

And then he did it.

Given recent history, that's amazing.

He inherited a recession, and then came September 11th. But George Bush said he would turn around the economy and create new jobs.

He said he'd do it. And he did.

He said he would cut taxes on the middle class, and ease the tax burden on all Americans.

He said he'd do it. And he did.

He said he'd help small businesses, protect social security, and expand home ownership.

He said he'd do it. And he did.

He said he'd apply tougher standards to our schools. He'd help our seniors get the prescription drug coverage they need.

He said he'd do it. And he did.

And George Bush said he'd fight to allow the power of faith to help our young and help our troubled.

He said he'd do it. And he did.

There's much more, but you get the point.

George W. Bush says what he means, he means what he says, you can trust him.

Senator Kerry, on the other hand ...

Well, what can we say of Senator Kerry?

He was for the war and then he was against the war.

Then he was for it but he wouldn't fund it.

Then he'd fund it but he wasn't for it.

He was for the Patriot Act until he was against it.

Or was he against it until he was for it?

I forget. He probably does too.

This is a candidate who has to Google his own name to find out where he stands.

You saw their convention a few weeks ago. They had a slogan: "Hope is on the way." But with all their flip-flopping and zig-zagging their real slogan should be, "Hype is on the way."

You know, as Republicans we're lucky. This fall we're going to win one for the Gipper. But our opponents - they're going lose one with the Flipper.

I thank God that on September 11th, we had a president who didn't wring his hands and wonder what America had done wrong to deserve this attack.

I thank God we had a president who understood that America was attacked, not for what we had done wrong, but for what we do right.

The President took strong action to protect our country.

That sounds like something any president would do. How I wish that were so.

You know the history. Osama bin Laden declared war on America -- and then came the attacks -- the first World Trade Center, the embassies, the USS Cole -- hundreds dead, thousands injured.

How I wish the administration at that time, in those years had done something.

How I wished they had moved to protect us -- But - they - didn't - do - it.

On September 11th Al Qaeda attacked again. But this time they made a terrible mistake.

There's one thing they didn't bank on.

They didn't bank on George W. Bush.

He didn't run from history. He faced it.

George Bush raised our spirits.

He came to New York, stood on that smoking heap, looked at our heroes and said I can hear you and soon the whole world will hear you ...

He declared a new doctrine: The United States will find and remove terrorists, whoever they are and wherever they are, and if you harbor them, there will be hell to pay.

He mobilized our forces and went to Afghanistan, where the United States fought and won a war.

Al Qaeda camps were pulverized, the Taliban deposed.

George Bush protected our country. And - he - protects - it - still.

With supreme guts - and rightness - President Bush went into Iraq.

The US had asked for peace, went to the UN time and again, asked Saddam to step aside. But Saddam would not be moved.

So President Bush moved him ...

Our American troops, our citizen soldiers and the Coalition of the Willing moved him. And soon a dictator who had used poison gas on his own people was found cowering in the earth.

Some people have called this an abuse of power. I call it progress.

There are those who still say that there was no reason to liberate Iraq. They ask about weapons of mass destruction.

On September 11th in New York we learned that in the hands of a monster, a box cutter is a weapon of mass destruction.

And Saddam Hussein was a monster -- a walking- talking weapon of mass destruction.

It is good for the world that he is gone.

Where does Senator Kerry stand on all this? In Boston, he said that in the future "any attack would be met with a swift and certain response".

Well, respectfully Senator, that's not good enough.

We've already been attacked, time and again.

And President Bush understands we can't just wait for the next attack. We have to go after them in their training camps, in their hiding places, in their spider holes, before they have the chance to attack us again.

Senator Kerry says, "America should go to war not when it wants to go to war but when it has to go to war."

Well, Senator: the fire fighters and cops who ran into those burning towers and died on September 11th didn't want to go to war, they were heroes in a war they didn't even know existed. America did not choose this war. But we have a President who chooses to win it.

This is no ordinary time. The stakes could not be higher. Fate has handed our generation a grave new threat to freedom. And fortune has given us a leader who will defend that freedom. This is no ordinary time.

And George W. Bush is no ordinary leader.

I'm a New Yorker.

We've got a lot of feeling deep down, though we don't always show it.

But let me ask you: What is this election about if it isn't about our love of Freedom?

A love for all we are, and can be - for that old Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, for Constitution Hall, fle world's people came to share in our freedom.

And love too for that statue in New York's great grand harbor. That noble statue that greeted the lonely, and seemed by her very grandeur to be telling them, 'Take heart, take heart, it's going to be better here.'

We had to close her down after September 11th. But we opened her again a few weeks ago.

That was a good day.

And now she stands, tall and immovable, lighting the way to dreams, that symbol of hope, that Statue of Liberty.

Ladies and Gentlemen ...

On this night and in this fight there is another who holds high that torch of freedom. He is one of those men God and fate somehow lead to the fore in times of challenge.

And he is lighting the way to better times, a safer land, and hope.

He is my friend, he is our president, President George W. Bush.

Day 3 RNC 9/1/04: Notable Non-Keynote Speeches

Source: PRNewswire "Remarks by Lt. Governor Kerry Healey of Massachusetts and Introduction of Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Remarks as Prepared for Delivery at the 2004 Republican National Convention on Wednesday, September 1"

Thank you, that's a fabulous reception for a Kerry from Massachusetts!

Now, we've all been hearing a lot about what the other Kerry was doing 35 years ago. But have you noticed he tends to leave off his resume the years when he had my job, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts?

John Kerry doesn't like to talk about serving as Michael Dukakis's lieutenant.

And for good reason.

Why would he want to remind voters of Dukakis' legacy of skyrocketing taxes, high unemployment and a plummeting economy? We don't hear much about Kerry's 20 years in the Senate either.

For good reason.

Why would he want to remind us that he voted 98 times for tax increases - or that he voted 126 times against tax cuts for American families, totaling more than 5.3 trillion dollars.

Why can't he own up to his voting record? The fact is, John Kerry can't win by telling us the truth. Because the truth is that John Kerry -- and not Ted Kennedy -- is the most liberal Senator in the United States.

He is simply out of the mainstream -- and he shifts with the tides. You know, sticking to the truth takes the courage to make tough choices. President Bush understands that and so does my Governor, Mitt Romney.

Governor Romney closed a 3 billion dollar budget gap with no new taxes. He stood up for traditional values against an activist court.

Unlike the other Kerry, I'm a Lieutenant Governor who's proud to serve with my Governor -- a man of uncommon intelligence, integrity, and vision.

Like our President, Mitt Romney is not afraid to take a stand. And unlike John Kerry, where Governor Romney stands today, he'll be standing tomorrow.

So let's welcome my Governor, the Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

Source: PRNewswire "Remarks by Governor Romney as Prepared for Delivery at the 2004 Republican National Convention on Wednesday, September 1"

I'm proud to be from Massachusetts, where John Kerry will be the junior senator until 2008.

You see, I don't believe Senator Kerry is the leader our country needs.

Let me say I respect his four months under enemy fire in Vietnam; we should honor that service as we do the service of all our fighting men and women.

No, it's John Kerry's record in his nearly 40 years since Vietnam that's the question. Study that record; if you want someone who voted for tax hikes 98 times, then yes, send him. If you want cuts in intelligence funding, then yes, send him. If you think that during the great national policy debate of the 1980's Ronald Reagan was wrong and Ted Kennedy was right, then by all means send in John Kerry. Senator Kerry now tells us he has a clear position on the war on terror.

He voted NO on Desert Storm in 1991 and YES on Desert Shield today. Then he voted NO on troop funding, just after he had voted YES.

He's campaigned against the war all year, but says he'd vote YES today. I don't want Presidential leadership that comes in 57 varieties! I want a strong President who stands his ground.

I want George W. Bush! We need unwavering leadership. America is under attack from almost every direction. We have been attacked by murderous, crazed terrorists, even in this great city. Our employers and jobs are threatened by low cost, highly skilled labor from abroad. American values are under attack from within.

Throughout our history, when our country needed us, Americans have stepped forward, standing up to every challenge. We need to step forward again today. We step forward by pursuing our education, pushing our minds to their limits, and by insisting that our schools are accountable for their successes and failures. Schools must be run for the benefit of our children, not the teacher's unions.

We step forward by innovating and taking risk in our free enterprises, by caring more about the quality of our work. We step forward by insisting on Ronald Reagan's vision of a compassionate and fiscally conservative government that promotes the opportunity of ownership and leaves more money in the hands of the taxpayers. We step forward by entering marriage before we enter parenthood.

We step forward by expressing tolerance and respect for all God's children, regardless of their differences and choices.

At the same time, because every child deserves a mother and a father, we step forward by recognizing that marriage is between a man and a woman.

We step forward by never forgetting that America is a force for good in the world, fighting for freedom and human rights.

On this, there is no question: George W. Bush is right and the Blame America First Crowd is wrong! Americans will rise to every challenge we face.

I saw the character of America's people when I ran the Olympics in Salt Lake City. I asked speed skater Derek Parra what had been his most memorable Olympic experience.

It was not winning the silver medal. It was not winning the gold medal.

It was carrying the flag that had flown above the World Trade Center on September 11 into the Opening Ceremonies.

We had expected cheers from the 60,000 person audience as the flag entered the stadium.

Instead, total silence, complete reverence.

Derek maintained his composure as the national anthem was sung.

But then the choir surprised him by singing a reprise of the last line: "O say does that star- spangled banner yet wave, oe'r the land of the free and the home of the brave?" A gust of wind lifted the flag in his hands.

Derek said it was as if it came from the countless men and women who had paid the ultimate price for America's freedoms - A BREATH FROM ABOVE THAT STIRRED THE HEARTS OF THOSE OF US BELOW, WHO WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THEM.

My friends, we will move forward - safer, stronger, and to better days - under the courageous and compassionate leadership of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Thank you and God Bless You.