In His Own Words
Sunday, June 1, 2003; Page A12
An excerpt from John F. Kerry's stump speech:
Instead of just quoting the words of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, we need to match their leadership with our own, with daring and commitment, with new thinking equal to a new and different time.
I'm running for president of the United States because it's unacceptable that we've lost nearly 21/2 million jobs in the last 21/2 years. . . . Landing on an aircraft carrier doesn't make up for a failed economic policy -- the one person in this country who should be receiving a pink slip is George W. Bush.
I am running for president because after September 11th, we need a president who has the experience and the vision to make this country safer, stronger and more secure -- and I will do it living up to the highest ideals and values of our nation. We know that as powerful as the United States of America is, and as committed as we are to having a military second to nobody, even this powerful nation needs friends and allies on this planet. . . .
More than 30 years ago I had the privilege of learning from citizen soldiers on a tiny boat with a quarter-inch aluminum hull. It was where we confronted and conquered fear. Our boat was our sanctuary -- and a place for crossing divides between Montana, Michigan, Arkansas and Massachusetts. We never looked on each other as officer or enlisted, Okie or Down Easterner. We were just plain brothers in combat, proud Americans who together with our proud vessels answered the call. . . . There was a saying back then: The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never leave even their dead.
I say it's time we joined together in our country -- all of us as Citizen Soldiers -- committed once more to a cause greater than ourselves -- to make certain in deeds, not words, that no American is left behind.
© 2003 The Washington Post Company