Bush-Cheney Campaign Response to Kerry Speech

Response Provided by Bush-Cheney '04

"It's disappointing that John Kerry's frank talk stopped with a discussion of his complexities and failed to include an explanation of his inconsistencies and contradictions on the central front in the War on Terror. John Kerry missed an opportunity to help the American people understand his vote for the war in Iraq based on the same intelligence that the President viewed, his description of himself as an anti-war candidate and his subsequent v ote against troops on the front lines. He's right, America can do better."
- Campaign Chairman Marc Racicot

Even before John Kerry has spoken, he is working to distort his own record and the President's.  He is engaged in an extreme makeover of his out of the mainstream record.

My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war -- a global war on terror against an enemy unlike any we have ever known before. And here at home, wages are falling, health care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends; they're working two jobs, three jobs, and they're still not getting ahead.

BusinessWeek: Economy Creating More High-Paying Jobs Than Low-Paying Jobs.  "According to BusinessWeek's analysis, 40% of American workers belong to occupation/industry groups where the median pay is $559 a week or more.  Yet employment growth in those higher-paying groups accounted for well over half of total job growth during the past year.  Average monthly employment in the higher-paying groups was 744,000 higher in the 12 months ended in June, 2004, than in the previous 12-month period.  By contrast, only 408,000 jobs were added in groups whose median pay was $553 a week or less, even though they account for 52% of total jobs."  ("Another Look At Those Job Numbers," BusinessWeek, 7/26/04)

Average GDP Over Most Recent Three Quarters

  • 1996: 3.1%
  • 2004: 5.6%  

The Prescription Drug Bill Signed By President Bush Offers A Prescription Drug Benefit Under Medicare For The First Time In History.

Kerry Voted 98 Times For Tax Increases Totaling More Than $2.3 Trillion.

Kerry Voted At Least 126 Times Against Tax Cuts Totaling More Than $5.3 Trillion.

Kerry Has Voted 73 Times To Reduce The Size Of A Tax Cut.

Kerry Voted 67 Times For Smaller Tax Cuts (Democrat Alternatives).

Kerry Voted 11 Times Against Repealing Tax Hikes.


We can do better and we will. We're the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We're the can do people. And let's not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves -- and we can do it again.

In The 1990s, Kerry Voted For The Largest Tax Increase In U.S. History. 

Jan-June Average Unemployment

  • 1996: 5.5%
  • 2004: 5.6% 

30 year fixed rate conventional mortgages

  • 1996: 8.32%
  • 2004: 6.29%  

June Consumer Sentiment

  • 1996: 92.4
  • 2004: 95.2  

Kerry Says America Is "In The Worst Job Recovery Since The Great Depression."  (Sen. John Kerry, "Statement by John Kerry on New Jobs Numbers," Press Release, 5/7/04)


As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as president, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

Kerry Was On Senate Select Intelligence Committee For Eight Years (1993-2000). 

  • While On Committee, Kerry Missed 38 Of 49 Intelligence Committee Hearings.  During John Kerry's eight years of service on the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, there were 49 open, public hearings. Of these 49, John Kerry attended just 11 (22.4%). Among the most notable of those he missed is the June 8, 2000, hearing on the report of the National Commission on Terrorism, which warned about the terrorist threat we now face and recommended numerous steps to address that threat (few of which were adopted prior to 9/11/01).
  • While On Committee, Kerry Proposed Over $7.5 Billion In Across The Board Cuts To Intelligence Budget, All Of Which Were Rejected By Democrats And Republicans Alike.  (S. 1826, Introduced 2/3/1994; S. Amdt. 1452, Introduced 2/9/94; S. 1290, Introduced 9/29/95)
  • A Look At Kerry's Legislative Record During That Same Time Period Finds No Legislation That Kerry Proposed (Wrote And Sponsored) To Increase Funding For Human Intelligence Or Reform Intelligence Community To Focus Resources On Human Intelligence Gathering.
  • Kerry Touted Being "Way Ahead" Of President Clinton, His Senate Colleagues And Much Of Country In His Support For Regime Change, By Ground Troops If Necessary.  ABC's GEORGE WILL: "Senator Kerry, given the fact that we say, on the one hand, he's like Hitler - the most evil man since Hitler, the secretary of state said this week - yet he's not worth fighting for on the ground, fighting against on the ground, is it perhaps time for the United States to quit obsessing about him, say this is a problem we can't solve, and think about other things?"  SEN. JOHN KERRY: "Well, first of all, George, I don't believe it's not worth fighting for on the ground. And I think that's your last position, and there are many things you can do. And I'm quite confident you can make his life sufficiently miserable and deprive him of the ability to survive without necessarily having to reach that level. But I'm prepared to go to the level. And the reason is very simple [I] believe he is the kind of threat that has been described. I believe that in the post- Cold War period this issue of proliferation, particularly in the hands of Saddam Hussein, is critical. It has implications for a Qaddafi, for a Sudan, for other countries in the world in the future."  WILL: "Senator Kerry, you're way ahead of the commander in chief in this regard." KERRY: "I am way ahead of the commander in chief, and I'm probably way ahead of my colleagues and certainly of much of the country. But I believe this. I believe that he has used these weapons before. He has invaded another country. He views himself as a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar. He wants to continue to play the uniting critical role in that part of the world. And I think we have to stand up to that."  (ABC's "This Week," 2/22/98)


I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

1990-2003: Voted At Least 12 Times Against Higher Pay For America's Hardworking Volunteer Military. 

Kerry Voted For Use Of Force Resolution Against Iraq.  Kerry and Edwards voted for the Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. 

Senators Kerry And Edwards Are Two Of Only Four US Senators Who Voted For The Use Of Force Resolution Against Iraq And Against The $87 Billion Funding Bill For Our Troops In Iraq And Afghanistan. 

  • Supplemental Funding Bill Kerry And Edwards Voted Against Provided "Extra Money For Body Armor For Soldiers …"  ("Highlights Of Iraq, Afghanistan Measures," The Associated Press, 10/17/03; S. Rept. 108-160, Conference Report On S. 1689, 10/2/03)
  • Supplemental Funding Bill Kerry And Edwards Voted Against Provided Increased Combat Pay For Troops.  ("Highlights Of Iraq, Afghanistan Measures," The Associated Press, 10/17/03; S. Rept. 108-160, Conference Report On S. 1689, 10/2/03; "FY 2004 Supplemental Request For Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), And Operation Noble Eagle (ONE)," U.S. Department Of Defense, 9/03)
  • Supplemental Funding Bill Kerry And Edwards Voted Against Provided Health Benefits For Reservists And Guardsmen Called To Active Duty, As Well As Support For Their Families.  ("Highlights Of Iraq, Afghanistan Measures," The Associated Press, 10/17/03; S. Rept. 108-160, Conference Report On S. 1689, 10/2/03; "FY 2004 Supplemental Request For Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), And Operation Noble Eagle (ONE)," U.S. Department Of Defense, 9/03)

Kerry Had Characterized A Vote Against The Funding As "Irresponsible."  (CBS, "Face the Nation," 9/14/03)

Kerry Later Offered A Tortured Explanation Of His Vote Against The $87 Billion To Support Troops In Iraq.  "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." (Richard W. Stevenson and Adam Nagourney, "Bush's Campaign Emphasizes Role Of Leader In War," The New York Times, 3/17/04)

Kerry Said He Was "Proud" That He And Edwards Voted Against $87 Billion In Funding For U.S. Soldiers. (John Kerry, Remarks at "Women's Voices: A Luncheon with John Kerry," Boston, MA, 7/12/04)

Kerry Then Said His Vote Against Body Armor And Supplies For Troops Was "Complicated." (MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning," 7/15/04)

Kerry Even Said His Vote For The War And Against Funding For Our Troops Was "Not A Flip-Flop." (CBS' "Evening News," 7/21/04)

Kerry Adviser On Vote Against The $87 Billion Appropriation:  "Off The Record, He Did It Because Of Howard Dean.  On The Record, He Has An Elaborate Explanation."  (Philip Gourevitch, "Damage Control," The New Yorker, 7/26/04)


In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and I know the power of our ideals.

Kerry's Storied Career Of Opposing A Strong National Defense:

1972: In Congressional Race, Pledged To "Bring A Different Kind Of Message" By Voting Against Defense Funds.  ("Candidates For Congress Capture Campus In Andover," Lawrence [MA] Eagle-Tribune, 4/21/72)

1982-1984: Used Lieutenant Governor Position To Lobby Against Reagan Defense Build-Up And Supported Nuclear Freeze Movement.  (Senate Candidate Questionnaire, Massachusetts "Freeze Voter '84," 5/25/84)

1984: Running For Senate, Pledged To "Fight To Cut The Overall Defense Budget." Opposed "annual increases in the military budget above the rate of inflation," and proposed cutting "$200 billion from the defense budget over four years …"  (John Kerry, Letter To U.S. Senate Campaign Supporters, 6/84; "Senate Candidates' Positions," The Boston Globe, 7/8/84; Chris Black, "Kerry Asks Cuts In Defense Outlay," The Boston Globe, 5/30/84)

1993: Sen. Kerry Proposed Numerous Defense Cuts.  Included cuts in number of navy submarines, Army light infantry units and air force tactical fighter wings, plus the immediate retirement of no less than 60,000 members of the armed forces.  (S.1163, Introduced 6/24/93)

1994: Sen. Kerry Proposed $45 Billion Cut In Defense And Science Programs Vital To National Security.  (S. 1826, Introduced 2/3/94; Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 2/3/94, p. S807)

1996: Sen. Kerry Questioned Defense Budget Size: "What Is It That We Are Really Preparing For In A Post-Cold-War World?"  (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 5/15/96, p. S5061)

2001: Sen. Kerry Opposed Push To "Spend More Money On The Military, Which Bush Is Going To Do …"  (CNN's "Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer," 2/25/01)

1985-2001: Voted At Least 38 Times To Cut, Transfer Or Otherwise Decrease Overall Defense Budget. 


And the front lines of this battle are not just far away - they're right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city. Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As president, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn't be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn't be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

Overall Homeland Security Funding Tripled:  Since 2001, President Bush has nearly tripled the amount of funds devoted to homeland security.  In his 2005 budget, President Bush has called for a $3.6 billion (9.7%) increase over funding levels for DHS from 2004. (<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040205-5.html>)

President Bush Will Take Action "Within Days."  "President Bush is preparing executive orders and a speech detailing his initial plans for revamping the nation's intelligence services, administration officials said Wednesday. He is likely to begin his announcements within days, the officials said."  (Mike Allen And Dan Eggen, "Bush May Move Soon On 9/11 Report," The Washington Post, 7/29/04)

First Responders Funding Up 680%: President Clinton's last budget (FY 2001) provided $456 million for state & local funding.  President Bush's FY 2005 budget request allocates $3.561 billion to states & locals.  That is a $3.1 billion increase (680%) in funding levels for President Clinton's last budget.  President Bush has allocated more than $13 billion since 2001 to state and local law enforcement for use in counter-terrorism preparedness efforts.  

Assistance To Firefighters.  President Bush's FY 2005 budget request allocates $500 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants - a 400 percent increase since taking office.  Assistance to Firefighter Grants go directly to local firehouses to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, new fire apparatus, emergency medical service programs and fire prevention programs.  President Bush has already awarded over $1.1 billion in firefighter grants in the last three years.  The President's budgets have provided 900 percent more funds for firefighter grants than the previous administration's budgets.  ("USFA: Assistance To Firefighters Grants Program Fiscal Year 2003 Recipients," U.S. Fire Association, , Accessed 5/28/04)


For four years, we've heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They're what we live by. They're about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.

Nonpartisan National Journal Scored Kerry's Votes Most Liberal In Senate For 2003. Kerry scored a Senate-high 97% liberal rating for 2003, beating out Sens. Barbara Boxer (91), Hillary Clinton (89), Ted Kennedy (88), and Tom Daschle (80). (National Journal Website, "How They Measured Up," http://nationaljournal.com, 2/27/04)

Kerry Voted Against The Laci Peterson Law, Known As The "Unborn Victims Of Violence Act."  This new law acknowledges a common-sense proposition: When a crime of violence against a pregnant woman kills or injures her unborn child, there are two victims, and two offenses that should be punished.

Kerry Voted To Allow Federal Money To Be Used To Distribute The Morning-After Abortion Pill In America's Schools.


We value jobs that pay you more not less than you earned before. We value jobs where, when you put in a week's work, you can actually pay your bills, provide for your children, and lift up the quality of your life. We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.

Kerry Is No Friend Of Middle Class:

Kerry Voted Against Amendment To FY 2004 Budget Resolution That Would Extend $1,000 Child Tax Credit Until 2013.

Kerry Sponsored And Voted For Motion To Kill Marriage Penalty Relief For Couples Earning Less Than $50,000 Per Year. "Kerry, D-Mass., motion to table (kill) the Gramm, R-Texas, amendment … The Gramm amendment would allow couples with combined incomes under $50,000 a year to claim an additional $3,300 income tax deduction, thus eliminating the so-called marriage penalty for those in that income bracket." Sen. Gramm's marriage penalty relief would have saved taxpayers $46 billion over 10 years. The amendment also would allowed self-employed individuals to deduct health insurance costs on their income taxes. (S. 1415, CQ Vote #154: Rejected 48-50: R 5-49; D 43-1, 6/10/98, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Voted Three Times Against Repealing The 1993 Clinton Tax Increase On Social Security Benefits.

Kerry Voted Against The 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts. 

Kerry Voted Against Eliminating Clinton-Instituted 4.3-Cent Tax On Transportation Fuels.

In 1995, Kerry Voted For A Resolution That Said Middle Class Tax Cuts Were Not Wise. The sense of the Senate amendment, killed on a motion by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), said, "reducing the deficit should be one of the nation's highest priorities, and that a middle-class tax cut would undermine and be inconsistent with the goal of achieving a balanced budget." (H.J. Res. 1, CQ Vote #67: Motion Agreed To 66-32: R 49-3; D 17-29, 2/14/95, Kerry Voted Nay)

  • Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Sponsor Of Resolution, Said Senators Need "Will" To Resist Middle Class Tax Cut. (Sen. Russ Feingold, Congressional Record, 2/14/95, p. S2617)