Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Dick Cheney Campaign in Pennsylvania
[Sorry, the video for this story has expired, but you can still read the transcript below. ]
JIM LEHRER: Excerpts from John Kerry and Dick Cheney campaign appearances today in Pennsylvania, considered one of the important battleground states this election. First, Sen. Kerry, this morning at a steam fitters’ union hall in Philadelphia.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: The middle class is a vast majority of America, and the people struggling to get into it who build this country, play by rules. And rather than a government that makes a set of decisions for the narrow interests, taking care of big oil, taking care of Enron, taking care of the tax breaks.
Rather than see Americans work a lifetime for a pension and then the pension disappears in thin air while some corporate executive runs away with it with a great big golden parachute, we are going have people who actually stand up and fight for the middle class, for the average worker of this country so we make America a place of fairness again. Fundamental fairness.
Let’s talk a little bit. Let’s have a conversation a little bit.
WOMAN: I’m a single parent of three, and I don’t have a job now. And what do I tell my children what future has in store for me and where do I go from here?
SEN. JOHN KERRY: We’re going to give you the job training you need, help expand the skills in America. We are going to have a manufacturing jobs tax credit.
We are going to create the kinds of jobs that help replace the jobs we are losing and we’re going to fight to help keep those companies open to the best of our ability so someone is on your side and you are not just told on one day, you don’t have a job anymore. Good luck. Good-bye. We are going to fix that.
MAN: How come unemployment is only 26 weeks? Why isn’t it 52? Give somebody a chance to get back to work?
SEN. JOHN KERRY: That’s where government, I think, plays a role. Not as a handout, but as a helping hand up. If people are willing to go to work, retrain, try get the skills, it benefits America to help those people be able to do that.
Most importantly, this is a very important thing I want to say to everybody here. I don’t want anybody misled. I don’t want anybody leaving here thinking gee, John Kerry is going to come in and wave a magic wand and suddenly the process is going to change. Globalization is here with us to stay, folks. I can’t stop that.
And you don’t want to stop it, frankly because America needs to trade. We need to trade smart and fair though. That’s the big distinction. We need to hold other people accountable to the promises that they make.
REPORTER: What plans do you have, Sen. Kerry, to ensure the rights of workers like us to organize and to form unions and to have a voice at work?
SEN. JOHN KERRY: Well, throughout my career, for 20 years now in the Senate, I have always voted and supported the right of people to be able to organize. I think it’s a fundamental right. And as president, we are going to have a labor secretary who actually represents the interests of working people and labor.
And I believe that in the United States of America, you ought to be able to work, after a week of work, you ought to be able to pay your bills, you ought to be able to take care of your kids, put food on the table and live better. That’s what we’re fighting for. (Applause)
JIM LEHRER: Now, Vice President Cheney. He spoke to supporters at a rally in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Our accomplishments these past four years have made America stronger, safer and better. They also demonstrate something about the character of our president. He did not go to the White House to mark time or to spend his energy on small goals. He went to take on the big issues, to make serious reforms.
He’s led with confidence, with clear vision and unwavering purpose. He has made hard choices and he has kept his word. That’s exactly how he will lead the nation for the next four years. In our second term, we’ll move forward on a comprehensive energy policy to make the nation less dependent on foreign sources of energy.
Our opponents have a very different vision for the country. They talk about jobs, yet they never explain how they would put a single American back to work. They’re opposed to our tax relief, but now they are proposing massive increases and federal spending. They help block the energy plan in the Senate.
They oppose effective reform of our legal system and they’re against medical liability reform. Their big idea for the economy? Raise our taxes.
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: What we’re hearing from the other side is the failed thinking of the past and we’re not going back. ( Applause ) President Bush and I will also continue to defend our society’s fundamental rights and values. We stand for a culture of life and we reject the brutal practice of partial birth abortion. (Applause) We stand strongly for the Second Amendment, and we will defend the individual right of every American to bear arms. (Applause) We believe that our nation is one nation under God and we believe the Americans ought to be able to say so when they pledge allegiance to the flag. (Cheers and applause)
On issue after issue, President Bush has a clear vision for future of the nation. Abroad we will use America’s great power to serve great purposes to protect our homeland by turning back and defeating the forces of terror and spreading hope and freedom around the world. Here at home we’ll continue to build a prosperity that reaches every corner of the land so that every child in America has a chance to learn to succeed and to rise in the world. (Applause)
The president and I are honored by your confidence in us, by your commitment to the cause we all share. We’re grateful to our many friends across great state of Pennsylvania. I want to thank you for this tremendous welcome this afternoon. We’re proud to have you on the team, and together on Nov. 2 we are going to see our cause forward to victory. Thank you very much.
JIM LEHRER: President Bush has spent the past several days at his ranch in Texas preparing for next week’s Republican Convention. He’ll resume campaigning tomorrow in New Mexico.