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Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers

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President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Wausau, WisconsinMarathon ParkWausau, Wisconsin 3:19 P.M. CDT THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming out. (Applause.) It'sgreat to be back in Wisconsin. (Applause.) Listen, thanks forcoming. It's great to be back in Wausau. It's an honor that so manycame out to say hello. I'm so thankful you're here. (Applause.) Nexttime I come back I'd like to do some hunting and fishing. (Applause.) I'm here to ask for your vote. (Applause.) I'm here to ask foryour help. (Applause.) We're getting close to the stretch run here inthis campaign, and I'd like to encourage you to get your friends andneighbors to register to vote, and then go to the polls. And remindthem when they head to the polls, if they want a safer America, astronger America, a better America, to put Dick Cheney and me back inoffice. (Applause.) Laura sends her very best. (Applause.) Last time I saw her I waswatching the Jay Leno rerun this morning. (Laughter.) I am -- youknow, when I asked her to marry me she said, fine, just so long as Inever have to give a speech. (Laughter.) I said, okay, you got adeal. Fortunately, she didn't hold me to that promise. The Americanpeople have gotten to see what I know: She is a strong, compassionate,great First Lady for this country. (Applause.) I was proud of the job my Vice President did the other night.(Applause.) I appreciate Tommy Thompson. He's a great leader.(Applause.) He's in my Cabinet, as you recall. And I appreciate youtraining him so well. (Applause.) I'm glad to be here on the stagewith the next United States senator from Wisconsin, Tim Michels.(Applause.) You got a good one in Tim, and I hope you put him inoffice. (Applause.) It's important. And make no mistake about it,with your help, he's going to win. (Applause.) I want to thank Jack Voight, who is the State Treasurer. I want tothank the Assembly Speaker, John Gard who is with us, Scott Walker isover here from Milwaukee County. I appreciate him coming. We call himScott W. (Laughter.) I want to thank the mayor of Wausau for beinghere, Mayor Tipple. Mr. Mayor, I'm proud you're here. My only advice,and I know you didn't ask for any -- (laughter) -- but my only adviceis to fill the potholes. (Laughter and applause.) I want to thank Scott Klug for emceeing this event, and Iappreciate my friend Stan Orr. I want to thank John Conlee, the singerwho was here. I appreciate you coming, John, and thanks forentertaining everybody. I particularly want to thank the grass rootsactivists who are here. (Applause.) Those are the people who put upthe signs and make the phone calls and do all the hard work. You neverhardly get thanked. I'm here to thank you for what you're going todo. (Applause.) I know with your hard work, I know when we turn outthe vote, we will carry Wisconsin this year and win a great victory inNovember. (Applause.) I have a strong, positive message. As your president, I haveworked hard to make America more hopeful and more secure. I have ledour country with principle and resolve -- and that's how I'll lead thisnation for four more years. AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! THE PRESIDENT: When I took office -- I want you to remind yourfriends and neighbors about what we have been through as a country.When I took office, the bubble of the 1990s had burst, and our economywas heading into recession. And because of the attacks of Septemberthe 11th, nearly a million jobs were lost in three months. It was adangerous time for our economy. You might remember there were peoplewarning of potential deflation and depression. But we acted. Tostimulate the economy, I called on the United States Congress to passhistoric tax relief, which it did. (Applause.) And that tax reliefwas the fuel that got our economy growing again. Thanks to the effortof our citizens, and the right policies, in the right place, at theright time. (Applause.) That recession is behind us and we'recreating jobs once again. (Applause.) In the past year, the United States has added about 1.7 million newjobs -- more than Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, and Francecombined. (Applause.) Real after-tax income -- the money in yourpocket -- is up more than 10 percent since I took office. (Applause.)Home ownership is at an all time high in America today. Smallbusinesses are flourishing. Today we learned that America's welfarerolls are the lowest in 34 years. (Applause.) Math and reading scoresare increasing in our public schools. (Applause.) Ten millionstudents will get record levels of grants and loans to help withcollege. (Applause.) We have modernized Medicare so our seniors willget a prescription drug coverage in 2006. (Applause.) And this farm economy is strong. I understand farming is apriority in Wisconsin. (Applause.) And I made it a priority in myadministration. My opponent has taken a different view. In the Senatecareer he's consistently voted against the interests of your dairyfarmers. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: He supported the Northeast Dairy Compact. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: That puts your farmers at a distinct disadvantage.I believe farm policy should treat all farmers fairly. That's why Iwas proud to sign a good farm bill. (Applause.) We've opened upforeign markets for your products. We've increased funding for ethanoland biodiesel. Farm income is at an all-time high. (Applause.) I know that the Milk Income Lost Contract program is important tothe dairy farmers here in Wisconsin. The milk program is set to expirenext fall. I look forward to working with Congress to reauthorize theprogram, so Wisconsin dairy farmers and dairy farmers all across thiscountry can count on the support they need. (Applause.) We have made America stronger, and we're just getting started.(Applause.) Listen, we live in a time of change. It's a changingeconomy. People are changing jobs and careers often. Women areworking inside the home and outside the home. And yet the fundamentalsystems of our government haven't changed. They're stuck in the past.I understand a hopeful society is one in which we challenge the softbigotry of low expectations in our public schools, and raise thestandards, and trust the local people to make sure they make the rightdecisions for the schools. We have an achievement gap in Americathat's closing, thanks to our education reforms. And we're not goingto turn back. (Applause.) We're going to invest in our nation's fine community colleges sothey prepare workers for the jobs of the 21st century. In a time ofchange, because people are changing jobs often, we'll expand healthsavings accounts so people can pay health expenses, tax-free, and keepthe savings if they change jobs. We'll improve Social Security. Listen, if you're -- I remember the2000 campaign here in Wisconsin. You might remember it, too. Theysaid if old George W. gets elected, he's going to take away your SocialSecurity check. You remember those ads? Well, you got your check,didn't you? (Applause.) And you're going to get it again.(Applause.) Nobody is going to take away the check of those who are on SocialSecurity, and the baby boomers are in good shape. But we better worryabout our children and our grandchildren when it comes to SocialSecurity. In order to make sure Social Security is available for them,younger workers ought to be able to take some of their own money andset up a personal savings account that they can call their own, thatthe government will not take away. (Applause.) To keep our economy strong and competitive, we got to make sureAmerica is the best place in the world to do business. That meanswe've got to have that tax relief we passed permanent. That means wegot to do something about these needless regulations on smallbusinesses. (Applause.) This country needs an energy plan if we wantto keep jobs here in America. I submitted a plan to the Congress overtwo years ago. It's a plan that calls for more conservation, the useof renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. It's a plan that sayswe can use our coal and natural gas wisely without hurting theenvironment. It's a plan that says if we want jobs here in America, wemust be less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.) We got to do something about the frivolous and junk lawsuits herein America that hurt our employers and make it hard to get jobs.(Applause.) We've got -- my opponent and I have got different views onall these issues. We've got some fundamental differences on issueslike taxes. See, I have a record of reducing them. He's got a recordof raising them. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: He voted in the United States Senate 98 times toraise taxes. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: That sounds like he's developing a habit.(Laughter.) He voted for higher taxes on Social Security benefits. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: He voted for the 1997 formula that helped cause theincreases in Medicare. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: He's against all the tax relief we've passed. Youmight remember that tax relief. We raised the child credit. Wereduced the penalty on marriage. (Applause.) We created a 10-percentbracket for low-income Americans. (Applause.) He voted against themall. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: My opponent is one of the few candidates in historyto campaign on a pledge to raise taxes. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: And unfortunately that's the kind of promise morepoliticians keep. (Laughter.) He says the tax relief -- the taxincrease is only for the rich. Now, you've heard that before. Therich hire lawyers and accountants for a reason -- to stick you with thebill. (Laughter.) The good news is we're not going to let him tax usthis year. We're going to carry Wisconsin and win a great victory inNovember. (Applause.) AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! THE PRESIDENT: The Senator and I have different views on healthcare -- fundamentally different views on health care. I believe thatwe ought to make health care available and affordable. We'll make itavailable by making sure low-income Americans can -- can go to acommunity health center to get good preventative care, and good primarycare. We'll make it available to make sure our children's healthprograms for low-income Americans are expanded to every corner of thiscountry. We'll make it affordable by doing something about thesefrivolous lawsuits that are running good doctors out of business andrunning your costs up. (Applause.) We'll make it affordable by promoting technologies, which will helpwring out excessive costs in health care. We'll make it affordable byallowing small businesses to pool risk across jurisdictional boundariesso they can buy insurance at the same discounts big companies can buyinsurance. (Applause.) We'll make it affordable by expanding healthsavings accounts, and that stands in stark contrast to my opponent'splan. Under his plan, 8 million Americans would lose the privateinsurance they get at work and would end up on a government program. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: Under his plan, eight out of 10 people who'd getnew insurance would get it from the federal government. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: My opponent's proposal would be the largestexpansion of government-run health care ever. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: And you know something, when the government paysthe bills, it makes the rules. His plan would put bureaucrats incharge of dictating coverage, which could ration your care and limityour choice of doctors. What I'm telling you is he's putting us on thepath to "Hilary-care." AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: I've got a different idea. (Applause.) In all wedo to improve health care, we will make sure the decisions are made bypatients and doctors, not by bureaucrats in our nation's capital.(Applause.) During his 20 years as a senator, my opponent hasn't had manyaccomplishments. Of the hundreds of bills he submitted, only fivebecame law. That's in 20 years of service. One of them wasceremonial. But to be fair, he has earned a special distinction in theCongress. The nonpartisan National Journal analyzed his record andnamed John Kerry the most liberal member of the United States Senate. AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: Now, that's saying when the competition is peoplelike Ted Kennedy. (Laughter.) It wasn't easy for him to be the singlemost liberal member of the Senate. You might say it took hard work.(Laughter.) But he earned that title by voting for higher taxes andmore regulation and more junk lawsuits and more government control ofyour life. And that's one of the real differences of this campaign.My opponent is a tax-and-spend liberal, I'm a compassionateconservative. (Applause.) My opponent wants to empower government. Iwant to use government to empower our citizens. (Applause.) Myopponent seems to think all the wisdom is found in Washington, D.C. Itrust the wisdom of the American people. (Applause.) You know, I say this, we're living in a changing, and we do,there's some things that won't change, the values we try to live by:courage and compassion, reverence and integrity. We stand for aculture of life in which every person matters and every being counts.(Applause.) We stand for marriage and family, which are thefoundations of our society. (Applause.) And I stand for appointingjudges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strictinterpretation of the law. (Applause.) Our differences are also clear on issues like national security.When I took office in 2001, threats to America had been gathering foryears. Then, on one terrible morning, the terrorists took more livesthan America lost at Pearl Harbor. Since that day, we have waged a global campaign to protect theAmerican people and bring our enemies to account. Our government hastrained over a half a million first responders, we've tripled thespending for homeland security. Law enforcement and intelligence havebetter tools to stop the terrorists, thanks to the Patriot Act -- whichSenator Kerry voted for but now wants to weaken. The Taliban regime that sheltered al Qaeda is gone from power --(applause) -- and in two days time, 10 million people, 41 percent ofwhom are women, have registered to vote in a presidential election thatwill take place in two day's time. Think about that. (Applause.)Think about what's going on there. The black market network thatweapons materials to North Korea, Libya, and Iran is now out ofbusiness. Libya has given up its weapons of mass destructionprograms. (Applause.) Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have joined the fight,and more than three-quarters of al Qaeda's key members and associateshave been brought to justice. (Applause.) We have led, many havefollowed, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.) After September the 11th, America had to assess every potentialthreat in a new light. Our nation awakened to even a greater danger --the prospect that terrorists who killed thousands with hijackedairplanes would kill many more with weapons of mass murder. That's thethreat we face. And so we had to take a hard look at every place whereterrorists might get those weapons. And one regime stood out -- the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Weknew the dictator had a history of using weapons of mass destruction, along record of aggression and hatred for America, and was listed byRepublican and Democratic administrations as a state sponsor ofterror. There was a risk that Saddam would pass weapons or materialsor information on to terrorist networks. And that was a risk, afterSeptember the 11th, this nation could not afford to take. (Applause.)After 12 years of United Nations Security Council resolutions, we gavehim a final chance to come clean and to listen to the demands of thefree world. He chose defiance and he chose war, and the world isbetter off with Saddam Hussein sitting in a prison cell. (Applause.) Last week in our debate, Senator Kerry once again came down firmlyon every side of the Iraq war. He stated that Saddam Hussein was athreat -- and that America had no business removing that threat.Senator Kerry said our soldiers and Marines are not fighting for amistake -- but also called the liberation of Iraq a "colossal error."He said we need to do more to train Iraqis -- but also said weshouldn't be spending so much money over there. He said he wants tohold a summit meeting -- so he can invite other countries to join whathe calls the "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." AUDIENCE: Booo! THE PRESIDENT: You hear all that, you can understand why somebodywould make a face. (Laughter and applause.) Just a short time ago, myopponent held a little press conference and continued his pattern ofoverheated rhetoric. He accused me of deception. He's claiming Imisled America about weapons, when he himself cited the very sameintelligence about Saddam's weapons programs as the reason he voted togo to war. Two years ago this Saturday, back when he was for the war-- (laughter) -- my opponent said on the floor of the United StatesSenate, "Saddam Hussein sitting in Baghdad, with an arsenal of weaponsof mass destruction is a different matter. In the wake of Septemberthe 11th, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that thoseweapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in theregion." John Kerry went on. "Who can say that this master ofmiscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction evengreater, a nuclear weapon, than re-invade Kuwait or push the Kurds out,attack Israel, any numbers of scenarios to try to further hisambitions. Can we afford to ignore that possibility that SaddamHussein might accidentally, as well as purposely allow those weapons toslide off to one group or another in a region where weapons are thecurrency or the trade." Now today my opponent tries to say I made up reasons to go to war.Just who is the one trying to mislead the American people?(Applause.) We have many victories in this war on terror so far, andthe war goes on. Our nation is safer, but not yet safe. To win thiswar, we must fight it on every front. We will stay on the offensiveagainst the terrorist networks -- we will defeat them overseas, so wedo not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) We will confront governments that support terrorists, and could armthem -- because they're equally guilty of terrorist murder. And ourlong-term victory requires confronting the ideology of hate withfreedom and hope, changing the conditions that produce radicalism andsuicide bombers, and finding new democratic allies in a troubled regionof the world. You see, America is always more secure when freedom ison the march. (Applause.) And freedom is on the march in Afghanistan,in Iraq, and elsewhere. There will be good days and there will be baddays in the war on terror. But every day, we will show our resolve andwe will do our duty. This nation is determined: We will stay in thefight until the fight is won. (Applause.) AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! THE PRESIDENT: My opponent and I have very different views onconducting the war on terror. Senator Kerry approaches the world witha September the 10th mindset. Think about this. He declared at hisconvention speech that any attack will be met with a swift and certainresponse. That was the mind-set of the 1990s, while al Qaeda wasplanning the attacks on America. After September the 11th, our objectin the war on terror is not to wait for the next attack and respond,but to prevent attacks by taking the fight to the enemy. (Applause.) In our debate, Senator Kerry said that removing Saddam Hussein wasa mistake because a threat was not imminent. Think about that. Theproblem with his approach is obvious. If America waits until a threatis at our doorstep, it might be too late to save lives. (Applause.)You see, terrorists and tyrants will not give us polite notice beforethey launch an attack on our country. I refuse to stand by whiledangers gather. (Applause.) My opponent also announced the Kerry doctrine, d


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