Transcript: Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.)
Wednesday, July 28, 2004; 10:42 PM
Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) addressed the Democratic National Convention. Here is a transcript.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
Fellow Democrats, fellow Democrats, thank you. And I especially want to thank the wonderful Floridians who are here tonight.
I want to thank you for granting me the honor and the privilege of serving you for almost four decades. My family and I are so grateful to all of you for having given us the wonderful opportunity to share an adventure in public service because of you.
Florida and America, Florida has made a difference to me. I know we are going to make the difference for John Kerry and John Edwards.
GRAHAM: I know that we are going to make a difference for John Kerry and John Edwards.
And, friends, this time when the votes are counted, we are going to make a huge difference in Florida for America.
My fellow Americans, I want to tell you why I'm going to cast my ballot for John Kerry and John Edwards.
The preamble to the Constitution of the United States tells us that one of the most important responsibilities of government is to provide for the common defense.
Friends, I'm going to ask you to think about this -- think about this: It has been over 1,000 days -- 1,000 days -- since terrorists attacked us on September the 11th and changed our nation.
GRAHAM: One thousand days after Pearl Harbor, America had landed its troops on the beaches of Normandy. And we were rolling to victory in World War II.
In the same amount of time, in this new war on terror, we have not yet secured the beach.
John Kerry and John Edwards will.
Friends, in this new century, we have seen the rise of perilous new threats. And yet, we have not stopped them. We haven't even stood up to them. John Kerry and John Edwards will.
At a time when freedom-loving people around the world are looking for leadership in the war against terror, America has not produced it. My friends, John Kerry and John Edwards will.
GRAHAM: As governor of Florida, I learned that the FBI and the CIA failed to communicate with state and local law enforcement agencies, the very agencies who are the frontline of defense against terrorist attacks.
As Florida's senator, I saw seaports where the greatest security was often little more than a chain-link fence.
And as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have seen the places in the world where the worst biological weapons were manufactured, and where nuclear materials go largely unprotected, and where the next generation of terrorists is being recruited.
And as chairman of that committee, I investigated the September 11th tragedy and I saw how that tragedy should have been prevented.
GRAHAM: From all of my service, I come to this conclusion: Yes, there are real threats. But also, friends, there are real solutions.
Just last week, the 9/11 commission joined a series of previous commissions in making its recommendations for major change in the way we fight the war on terror. Few of these recommendations are new. Most are obvious. But sadly, 1,000 days after September the 11th, none of those recommendations is in place.
The ideas are there. It is the leadership which has been missing.
Friends, we know that North Korea and Iran have nuclear aspirations, if not nuclear weapons. And yet, only John Kerry and John Edwards have a plan, a plan to keep the deadliest weapons from falling into the hands of the world's most dangerous people.
We know that money is the terrorist foundation and lifeline.
GRAHAM: And yet it was John Kerry, long before September 11th, who had a plan to cut off the sources of terrorist funding.
We know, friends, that our bridges, our tunnels, our trains, our buses, our chemical plants, our food and water supplies are still vulnerable to attack. And yet only John Kerry and John Edwards are willing to make the investment to make us truly safe.
And friends, we know, Iraq did not attack the United States on September the 11th..
It was "Osama bin forgotten" and Al Qaida that attacked us.
And that is why John Kerry and John Edwards will not only win the peace in Iraq, but they will carry the fight in the war on terror wherever it needs to be fought, whether it's the palaces of the Middle East or the banks of Europe or the seaports of Florida or the firehouses of Boston.
GRAHAM: John Kerry recognizes that victory in the war on terror will require all of the resources of the United States of America: diplomatic, economic, intelligence and military.
Today, my friends, recruiting billboards for Al Qaida are being erected on the main streets of the major cities of the Middle East.
We need to work with our allies. We need to work with like- minded people in the Islamic world to tear down those recruiting billboards and to clean the swamp of terror.
Providing for the common defense is not just a piece of rhetoric from one of our founding documents.
GRAHAM: It is the most solemn responsibility we entrust to our national leaders. This is a war that demands new resources and new ideas. But most of all -- most of all -- it is a war that demands new leadership.
And when Americans ask the question, "Who will provide that leadership?" I can tell you, John Kerry and John Edwards will provide that leadership.
They will. For our children, for our grandchildren, for our security, for America and for the world, we must elect John Kerry as the next president of the United States of America, and we will.
© 2004 FDCH E-Media