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Transcript: Kerry Speaks on Energy Dependence

FDCH E-Media
Monday, October 11, 2004; 3:08 PM

Sen. John F. Kerry spoke in Santa Fe, N.M. on energy dependence. A transcript, joined in progress, follows.

KERRY: To have witnessed his courage is quite extraordinary. He was a pilot, loved to fly his own plane; he was a sailor, loved to sail; a rider, as you know, bicycle enthusiast; an outdoorsman in every regard.

And you have to imagine what it's like to suddenly have all of that cut off, but just keep your spirit.

That's why he was so special because, I think, any of you would stop and say, "Wow, do I have that kind of courage? Could I have kept going? Could I have kept believing?"

As Chris once said, so many of our dreams at first seem impossible. Then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.

I know that if we put our minds to it, one day we're going to realize Chris' inevitable dream. And that's our mission for all of us.

(APPLAUSE)

And given what a passionate advocate he was for the environment, this speech, these words, these thoughts are for Chris. And I'll just tell you, I was really blown away because on Saturday after the debate, I picked up my cell phone and I had a wonderful, long message from Chris, who called me to thank me for talking about the possibilities for cure.

And the excitement in his voice -- this was just before he went into the hospital -- and the excitement in his voice, I had no idea he was going in because he didn't tell me that. The excitement in his voice was just really palpable. And he was so thrilled about where the discussion of stem-cell research had come to.

So he would care about what we're talking about here today because he was a passionate environmentalist. This is for him.

For 60 years, your great state has been at the leading change and of innovation. In a very real sense, we won World War II right here in this state. In the summer of...

(APPLAUSE)

... yes, you should applaud for that.

(AUDIO BREAK)

KERRY: They're working for drug companies. They're working for HMOs. And they're certainly working for the big oil companies. And the results are clear: 1.6 million private sector jobs have been lost. The cost of health care is up 64 percent. College tuition is up more than 35 percent. And the typical family in America -- not those at the top -- but the typical family in America is making $1,500 less each year with the cost of nearly everything else continuing to rise.

Right now, oil prices, as the governor just mentioned, are at an all-time high with no end in sight.

In most parts of the country, a gallon of gas is somewhere around the $2 mark. I saw enough gas stations in the last days with $2.20, $1.98 for the lowest price -- up 30 percent since George Bush took office.

In the last four years, the cost of heating the average home has gone up 91 percent. And the high energy costs have pushed up prices across the board, from the food that you have on your table to the clothes that you and your children wear.

The 30 percent increase in gas prices means a lot more profit for this president's friends in the oil industry. But for most middle- class Americans, the Bush tax increase is a tax increase that they can't afford.

(APPLAUSE)

The funny thing is -- almost funny -- is that George Bush is trying to scare you, trying to scare all Americans into thinking that I'm going to raise your taxes when he knows that I have a plan that lowers the middle-class taxes for 98 percent of all Americans. I lower the cost of doing business and I lower corporate tax rates for 99 percent of all businesses.

The only people he's trying to protect are the people at the top. Those are only people affected.

But to borrow a saying, when it comes to George Bush's record on gas prices, "He can run, but he can't hide."

(APPLAUSE)

Facts, as President Ronald Reagan reminded us, are stubborn things, Mr. President.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Four years ago when he was running for president, George Bush said, quote, "What I think the president ought to do is get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, 'We expect you to open your spigots.'"

Today, four years later, with gas prices at a record level, we're still waiting for George Bush to make that phone call.

His energy policy has failed. It's non-existent -- well, I can't say it's non-existent. It's an oil policy. What we need is a policy for all Americans because middle-class families pay the price every single time they fill up the gas tank or pay the home-heating oil bill.

(APPLAUSE)

END


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