President Bush, Senator Kerry Continue on the Campaign Trail
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KWAME HOLMAN: John Kerry stayed up late last night to watch his beloved Boston Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: This is history. It’s a big deal.
KWAME HOLMAN: But very early this morning he was hunting geese in a cornfield in Poland, Ohio. Later, carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, Sen. Kerry was asked why someone else was carrying the goose Kerry said he had shot.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: I’m too lazy. I’m still giddy over the Red Sox.
KWAME HOLMAN: This afternoon in Columbus, John Kerry delivered a speech on science and innovation, something he says President Bush neglected during the last four years.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: But George Bush has literally in real ways, in real choices that he’s made, turned his back on the spirit of exploration and discovery. We now have a president who is so beholden to special interests that he refuses to make the kinds of investments that benefit our common interests.
You get the feeling that if George Bush had been president during other periods of American history, he would have sided with the candle lobby against electricity; he would have been with the buggy-makers against cars, and the typewriter companies against computers. (Applause)
This summer, 48 Nobel laureates sent an open letter to the American people in which those Nobel laureates, our best scientific minds, said of the administration, “By reducing funding for scientific research, they are undermining the foundation of America’s future.” These same Nobel laureates have gone on record as saying that the Bush administration has systematically distorted facts to sustain their extreme positions.
In other words, the administration’s approach on scientific research is the same pattern that we see in Iraq and on the economy today: If their policy isn’t supported by the facts, then they just change the facts.
KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, President Bush was campaigning in Pennsylvania, his 40th visit there as president. At a sports training center in Downington, the president said his policies have led to innovation in the nation’s health care system.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The United States of America has a world-class health care system that leads the world in providing amazing treatments and cures for millions of people. As a candidate for president, I pledged to double the budget of the National Institutes of Health to make sure we stay on the leading edge of change and reform. I kept my word. (Applause)
We have the most advanced hospitals in the world who do the most innovative research. We have the finest, most highly trained healthcare professionals in the world. We lead the world because we believe in a system of private medicine that encourages innovation and change. (Applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: President Bush also charged John Kerry’s health care plan will give the government more control over people’s health insurance.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Eight out of ten people who get health coverage under his plan will be placed on a government program. He would make Medicaid a program so large that employers would have the incentive to drop private coverage so the government would pick up the insurance tab for their employees.
In other words, the federal government is going to become like an insurance company, a re-insurer, which sounds fine on the surface except remember this: When the federal government writes the check, the federal government also writes the rules.
KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, First Lady Laura Bush today told reporters there was no need for Teresa Heinz Kerry to apologize for some comments she made, in which she said she didn’t know whether Mrs. Bush ever had held a real job.
Teresa Heinz-Kerry said it during an interview with Susan Page of USA today as part of a collaboration with MacNeil-Lehrer Productions for a first ladies documentary to be broadcast on PBS next Monday. She was asked if she would be a different first lady from Laura Bush.
TERESA HEINZ KERRY: Well, you know, I don’t know Laura… Bush, I should say. I do… I don’t know her to call her Laura. But she seems to be calm and she seems to be… she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don’t know that she’s ever had a real job.
I mean, since she’s been grown up. So, her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I’m older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience and… is a little bit bigger, because I’m older, and I’ve had different experiences.
And it’s not a criticism of her. It’s just, you know, what life dishes out.
KWAME HOLMAN: Mrs. Heinz Kerry later apologized, saying she had forgotten Mrs. Bush had worked as a teacher and a librarian. In a statement, Mrs. Heinz Kerry said: “There couldn’t be a more important job than teaching our children.” In response to the apology, Mrs. Bush said: “I know how tough it is and actually I know those trick questions.” Yesterday, Bush adviser Karen Hughes said this:
KAREN HUGHES: I think the unfortunate part about Ms. Kerry’s remarks is they seek to drive a wedge between women who choose to work at home and women who choose to work outside the home.
KWAME HOLMAN: Mrs. Bush will campaign with her husband tomorrow in Ohio. Mrs. Heinz Kerry speaks to the NAACP in Pennsylvania, while Sen. Kerry travels to Wisconsin and Nevada.