As Prepared for Delivery
McCain Delivers Remarks in Miami, Fla.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008; 11:10 AM
MCCAIN: It's great to be back in Florida. We need to win Florida on November 4th, and with your help -- we're going to win here, and bring real change to Washington. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it.
I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.
I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. We're going to double the child deduction for working families. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.
If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. And he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do.
I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, NASA, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.
I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington.
I have a plan to fix our housing market, so that your home value doesn't go down when your neighbor defaults, and so that people in danger of defaulting have a path to pay off their loan.
If I'm elected President, we're going to stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don't like us very much. Senator Obama will argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and against building new nuclear power plants in America. If I am president, we will start new drilling now.
We will invest in all energy alternatives -- nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.
We've learned more about Senator Obama's real goals for our country over the last two weeks than we learned over the past two years, and that only because Joe the plumber asked him a question in Ohio. That's when Senator Obama revealed he wants to quote "spread the wealth around."
Now, Joe didn't ask for Senator Obama to come to his house, and he didn't ask to be famous. He certainly didn't ask for the political attacks on him from the Obama campaign. Joe's dream is to own a small business that will create jobs, and the attacks on him are an attack on small businesses all over the country. These are people like Gus the homebuilder and Peter the exterminator right here in Miami. Small businesses employ 84 percent of Americans, and we need to support these small businesses, not tax them.
After months of campaign trail eloquence, we've finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is: to spread the wealth. In a radio interview revealed this week, he said the same thing -- that one of the quote, "tragedies" of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about "redistributive change."
You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He said that even though lower taxes on investment help our economy, he favors higher taxes on investment for quote "fairness." There's nothing "fair" about driving our economy into the ground. We all suffer when that happens, and that is the problem with Senator Obama's approach to our economy. He is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans.
Senator Obama is running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I'm running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful.
Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 dollars you'll benefit -- but this week, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to "middle class people -- people making under 150,000 dollars a year." It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down. At this rate, it won't be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just 42,000 dollars a year should get a tax increase. We can't let that happen.
This Democratic Congress is planning all sorts of new taxes. This week, we are hearing they want to tax your 401k contributions. This is a time when we need to be encouraging more investing, not taxing it. We can't let them get away with making a bad economy even worse. Now is the time to grow our economy, and that's what I'm going to do.
My opponent's massive new tax increase is exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can't let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes.
This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. He thinks taxes are too low, and I think that spending is too high. If we are going to change Washington, we need a President who has actually fought for change and made it happen. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world.
Senator Biden warned that Senator Obama would be tested with an international crisis. I have been tested. Senator Obama hasn't. Senator Biden referred to how Jack Kennedy was tested in the Cuban Missile Crisis and I have a little personal experience in that. I was on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and I sat in a jet cockpit on the flight deck waiting to take off. We had a target. I know how close we came to a nuclear war and I will not be a president that needs to be tested.
We know Senator Obama won't have the right response to that test, because we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan. He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world's worst dictators. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He's been wrong on all of these. When I am president, we are going to win in Iraq and win in Afghanistan, and our troops will come home in victory and honor.
Let me give you the state of the race today. There's less than a week to go. We're a few points down. The pundits have written us off, just like they've done before. My opponent is working out the details with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid of their plans to raise your taxes, increase spending, and concede defeat in Iraq. He's measuring the drapes, and he's planned his first address to the nation for before the election. I guess I'm old fashioned about these things -- I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome.
What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before the starting the victory lap, someone who will fight to the end, and not for himself but for his country.
I have fought for you most of my life, and in places where defeat meant more than returning to the Senate. There are other ways to love this country, but I've never been the kind to back down when the stakes are high.
I know you're worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future.
Will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?
My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.
I'm an American. And I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight. Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America.
Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.
Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history. Now, let's go win this election and get this country moving again.