SEN. JOHN KERRY: After Sep. 11, I'm proud that all of our people rallied to president bush's call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats, there were no Republicans. There were only Americans. And how we wish it had stayed that way. (Applause) But since then, you know it as well as I do, we've become a country divided over Iraq, and it didn't have to be that way.
I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side, because that's the right way to get the job done in Iraq and bring our troops home. (Applause) And now with so much at stake in the struggle against al-Qaida, the American people want to hear in plain words the answer to a simple question:
How are we going to get the terrorists before they get us? As president, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal, our economic as well as our military might, our principles as well as our fire power. And only then will we be able to tell the terrorists, "you will lose and we will win."
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: After Sept. 11, one of the lessons this country must always remember is that we must take threats seriously before they fully materialize. Even though we did not find the stockpiles that we thought we would find, Saddam Hussein had the capability of making weapons of mass destruction, and he could have passed that capability on to the enemy. And that was a risk we could not afford to take after Sept. 11.
We will continue to work with friends and allies around the world to aggressively pursue the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere. You cannot talk sense to these people. You cannot negotiate with them. You cannot hope for the best. We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home. We will win by staying on the offensive. In the long run, our security is not guaranteed by force alone. We must work to change the conditions that give rise to terror: Poverty and hopelessness and resentment. A free and peaceful Iraq and a free and peaceful Afghanistan will be powerful examples in part of the world that is desperate for freedom.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: I will tell you that of all the wrong choices that President Bush has made; his most catastrophic choice is the mess that he has made in Iraq. (Applause) It was wrong to rush to war without a plan to the win peace. It was wrong not to show statesmanship and leadership that build coalition to share cost and share burden. And it was wrong to put our young men and women in harm's way without the body armor and the Humvees and the equipment and the reinforcement that they needed.
What I'm going to do, I will, through that proper effort, speed up the level of training, speed up the level of preparation for transformation. I've said yesterday and I've said it very clearly, my goal -- and it's a goal, it's a legitimate goal-- if you do these things properly, we ought to be able to get our troops out thereof within four years. We ought to be able to get them home and that ought to be a stable place and we ought to be able to get them to survive.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed. (Applause) We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer. (Applause) Freedom is powerful, isn't it? It's powerful. In Iraq, there's a strong prime minister, there's a national council; national elections are scheduled in January.
We will help the new leaders train their armies so that citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan can defend themselves against the few who are trying to stop the march of liberty for the many. We'll help them get to elections. We'll get them on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible, and then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned. (Applause)