Remarks by Sen. Miller to the Republican National Convention
FDCH E-Media, Inc.
Wednesday, September 1, 2004; 10:42 PM
MILLER: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Since 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 face. 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?
MILLER: The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.
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 man across the ocean who would kill us if they could.
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 time.
MILLER: And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.
Where are such statesmen today? Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?
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.
MILLER: But not today.
Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier.
MILLER: It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
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 foreign policy.
MILLER: It is not their patriotism, it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking.
They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong.
They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.
MILLER: The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down
Gadhafi's Libyan MiGs over the Gulf of Sidra.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War.
U.S. forces armed with what? Spit balls?
MILLER: Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.
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.
MILLER: 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 harm's way, far away.
MILLER: George W. Bush understands that we need new strategies to meet new threats.
John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war. President Bush believes we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges. President 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 crawl under.
MILLER: I first got to know George W. 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 to America.
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 morning.
He is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter. And where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.
... the man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.
MILLER: 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 do. Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Faint-hearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.
God bless this great country. And God bless George W. Bush.