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John Kerry Holds Rally Hours After Being Formally Named Democratic Candidate

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., held a rally this morning, hours after delegates at the Democratic National Convention formally named him their presidential nominee. Ray Suarez reviews Kerry's speech and other events on the final night of the convention.

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    Will you go out and fight — 97 days. Let's make happen! Thank you and God Bless. (Cheers and applause)


    And with that, the freshly anointed ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards, one Democrats hope will carry them back to the White House, boarded a bus in Boston and headed west. It was the start of a 15-day campaign swing through 21 states by Kerry and Edwards. And their first stops today were in Pennsylvania, with rallies this afternoon in Scranton and Harrisburg.


    This is our first meeting in a state other than where we just came from to be nominated, the first place we've been as the nominees of our party for vice president and president of the United States of America, we say thank you to you. (Applause)

    This is about us. You bet.– no surrender, no retreat. (Applause) I want this to be a different kind of conversation. I talked about that last night. I think what brings so many thousands of you down here on a hot afternoon is not just to be part of politics; you're not here just to see what's going on. You're here because you believe deeply in your hearts and your guts that we can do better in America. We can lift this country up. We can touch hopes, touch dreams. We can do things that have always made this nation strong. (Applause)

    And what brings us here are not words, but real values. John and I and Elizabeth and Theresa have had privilege of coming into your homes all across this country and we've sat with people, sometimes one ask two, sometimes ten, sometimes fifteen — now obviously larger numbers. But we listen. We listen to people look us in the eye, sometimes crying, and telling us, you know, I'm working two jobs, I'm working three jobs. I play by the rules, I raised my kids, I try to get ahead, but every time I think I'm going to get ahead, something clobbers me. Health care costs go up 50 percent, gasoline prices go up 41 percent . And cost of the tuitions for college education rise 35 percent.

    People are struggling, but the people at the top keep getting taken care of. John Edwards and I are running because the middle class in America deserves a champion; they deserve a fair shot, they deserve somebody who is going to fight for fairness in this country.


    Meanwhile President Bush jumped back into the campaign today as well after keeping a low profile for most of the week at his ranch in Texas. The president mapped out a two- day swing of his own through the Midwest with stops today in Springfield, Missouri, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cleveland.


    Every incumbent who asks for the vote has to answer one question: Why? Why should the American people give me the great privilege of serving as your president for four more years? In the past few years, we've been through a lot together. We've accomplished a great deal. But there's only one reason to look backward at the record, and that is to determine who best will lead the nation forward. (Cheers and applause)

    I'm asking for your vote because so much is at stake: Prosperity and peace. We have so much more to do to move this country forward. Give me four more years, and America will continue to march toward peace and better prosperity. (Cheers and applause)


    Later, Mr. Bush attacked Sen. Kerry's voting record.


    During eight years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, he voted to cut the intelligence budget, and he had no record of reforming America's intelligence-gathering capability. He had no significant record for reforming education and health care. As a matter of fact, he and his running mate consistently opposed reforms that limit the power of Washington and leave more power in the hands of the people. (Applause)

    He's spent nearly 20 years in the federal government, and it appears he's concluded that it's just not big enough. He's proposed more than $2 trillion of additional federal spending, and he's just getting started. (Laughter) The problem is he hasn't told us how he's going to pay for it. We can figure it out, can't we?

  • CROWD:



    He's had a history of voting for higher taxes. We're going to make it clear his prescription for America is the wrong medicine. We're not turning back to the old days, the old Washington mindset that says they will give the orders, you'll pay the bills. We've turned the corner from that way of thinking and we're not turning back. (Cheers and applause)


    Tomorrow President Bush will go after the same votes John Kerry stumped for today, in Pennsylvania.

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