I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family
has been born: Four great grandchildren.
Along with all the other members of our close-knit family, they
are my and Shirley's most precious possessions.
And I know that's how you feel about your family also. Like you,
I think of their future, the promises and the perils they will
Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what
kind of world they will grow up in.
And like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision,
the willpower and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family?
The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with
you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.
There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future
and that man's name is George Bush.
In the summer of 1940, I was an 8-year-old boy living in a remote
little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but
even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the
ocean who would kill us if they could.
President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all
private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed
by an overriding public danger."
In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee.
And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private
plans" than this good man. He gave Roosevelt the critical
support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the
And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than
make national security a partisan campaign issue.
Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend, that if he could
write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies
a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving
freedom," he would prefer the latter.
Where are such statesmen today?
Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?
Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and
the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and
made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring
down our Commander in Chief.
What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in?
I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of
America to fight for freedom over tyranny.
It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army
out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened
to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin
by flying in supplies and saving the city.
Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats
and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not
falter. But not today.
Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security,
today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.
And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American
troops occupiers rather than liberators.
Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin
Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.
Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free
because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not
Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are
free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia,
because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.
Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more
for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American
soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they
preserve it for us here at home.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not
the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is
the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag,
whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the
freedom to abuse and burn that flag.
No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in
Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart
that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom
But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my
party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem,
not the solution.
They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except
that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided
It is not their patriotism -- it is their judgment that has been
so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to
They were wrong.
They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war.
They were wrong.
And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than
the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.
Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that
won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.
Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best
to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national
security but Americans need to know the facts.
The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40 percent
of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes
against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in
The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Gadhafy's
Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that
Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those
Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles,
that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital
and this very city after 9/11.
I could go on and on and on: against the Patriot Missile that
shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel; against the
Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative;
against the Trident missile; against, against, against.
This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our
U.S. Armed Forces?
U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?
Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than
twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.
Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are.
How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.
Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force
only if approved by the United Nations.
Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending.
I want Bush to decide.
John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource
our national security.
That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician
wants to be leader of the free world.
Free for how long?
For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom
and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more
wobbly than any other national figure.
As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military.
As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows
that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny
protective armor for our troops in harms way, far away.
George Bush understands that we need new strategies to meet new
John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war. George Bush believes
we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges.
George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes
to root out terrorists.
No matter what spider hole they may hide in or what rock they
George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let
them go to get a better grip.
From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush
that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.
I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together.
I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the first
lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and
the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent
I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing
Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the
fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday
He is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter and, where
I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.
I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone
home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered
The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.
This election will change forever the course of history, and that's
not any history. It's our family's history.
The only question is how. The answer lies with each of us. And,
like many generations before us, we've got some hard choosing to
Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America.
Fainthearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about
in this world.
In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand
up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him.
God Bless this great country and God Bless George W. Bush.
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