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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President Bush Speaks In Cambridge

Aired July 31, 2004 - 14:19   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Governor Bob Taft. Thank you for coming, governor.
Senator Mike Dewine and his wife Fran. By the way, Boynavich was with me alittle earlier, you need to put him back into office, he's a great United States Senator. He's a good man. He's a good man.

I appreciate Congressman Bob Nay being with us today. Congressman, I'm proud you're here. Mr. Mayor, I appreciate the mayor coming, Mayor Sam is with us today. I'm honored you're here, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor.

I was walking by, he said if you get a chance, put in a good word for me. He said he's going to fill the pot holes. I said all right.

I want to thank all of the other state and local officials. I appreciate the chairman of the party, Bob Bennett.

I want to thank all the grass roots activists who are here. Those are the people that are putting up the signs and manning the phones and getting your neighbors to show up to the polls on election day. And I want to thank you for your hard work. I really do.

My job is to set the vision. Your job is to get the people to the polls. And together, we're going to win Ohio and win the nation.

Everybody running for office, every incumbent who asks for your vote has got to answer a question why, why are you running again? Why should the American people give me the high privilege, the great privilege of serving as your president for four more years?

Let me tell you something, we've been through a lot together. And we have done a lot. 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 to lead the nation forward. I'm asking for your vote, because there's a lot at stake. And there's more to do to move our country forward.

I want to be your president. And I'm going to work hard to be your president. And to keep your confidence, to make this country safer, to make the economy stronger and to make our future brighter and better for every single citizen. I'm ready to lead the country for four more years.

Listen, we've got more to do, we've got more work to do to make sure our public schools are the center of excellence so no child is left behind in America. When we came to office three and a half years ago, too many of the children were being just shuffled through grade to grade, year after year without learning the basics. So we confronted the status quo. We're challenging what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations.

We're raising the bar. We expect better results. We're insisting on accountability. We're empowering parents and we're making sure that local folks are in charge of the public schools.

And today, children across America are showing real progress when it comes to learning to read and math. When it comes to improving our schools, we're turning the corner. And we're not turning back. There's more to do in this world of ours is changing. The jobs of the future will require greater knowledge and a higher level of skill. And so we must reform our high schools to make sure a high school diploma means something.

We will expand math and education so our youngster can compete in a high tech world. Well expand the use of the internet to bring high- level training to classrooms all across America with four more years, help raise a generation of young Americans to have confidence and the skills necessary to realize the American promise.

We've got more to do to make quality healthcare available and affordable. When we came to office, too many of our older Americans could not afford prescription drugs and Medicare didn't pay for 'em.

You might remember the old debates of Medicare, there was promise after promise but nothing was ever done. We got it done. More than 4 million seniors have signed up for drug discount cards that provide real savings. And beginning in 2006, all seniors on Medicare will be able to choose a plan that suits their needs and gives them coverage for prescription drugs.

Listen, we've expanded community health centers so low income Americans can get healthcare. We've created health savings accounts so families can save tax-free for their own healthcare needs. And when it comes to giving Americans more choices about their healthcare and making healthcare more affordable, we are turning the corner and we're not turning back.

Most Americans get their healthcare coverage through work. I understand that. Most of today's new jobs are created by small businesses. Many small businesses cannot afford to provide health coverage. we must deal with that. To help more American families get health insurance, small employers must be allowed to join together to purchase insurance at discounts available for big companies.

To make sure the healthcare system is available and affordable, we must limit the frivolous lawsuits that raise healthcare costs. That not only raise your cost, but they drive the good doctors of Ohio out of business.

Listen, we'll harness technology to reduce costs and prevent costly errors. We'll expand research to find new cures for terrible diseases. s s workers a lifetime of learning. And to help them get training for the jobs of the future in our community colleges. Listen to make sure American jobs stay here we must be wise and educate people for the jobs of the 21 century. When it comes to keeping jobs in America we must not isolate ourselves from the world. I know people around here who are worried about trade. Let me tell you my view of trade. I believe we can compete with anybody, anytime, anywhere so long as the rules are fair.

I believe in my job is to make sure the rules are fair, holding countries to account that mistreat America manufactures. Holding countries to account that do not let their currency flow. Holding countries to account that close their markets. No, to keep jobs in America, you need a president who won't isolate us from the world, a president who's confident in the American worker, the American entrepreneur, the American manufacturer and insists that foreign countries treat us just the way we treat them.

We'll have American families keep something they never have enough of, and that is time. Time to be with your kids. Time to go to little league games or Girl Scout meetings, time to take care of the elderly. Time to improve themselves by going back to class. Congress needs to join me in supporting what we call comp time and flextime to help American families better juggle the demands of work and home.

After four more years, there will be better paying jobs in America. There will be more jobs in America. Our farmers will be better off and the small business sector will be alive and well. Listen, we've got more to do to wage and win the war on terror. America's future depends on our willingness to lead in the world. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. That's not going to happen on my watch. Energy sources including coal. We will offer AmericaAnd all we will do to improve healthcare in America, we'll make sure the health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

Listen, we've got more to do to make this country's economy stronger. We've come through a lot together. Think about what we've been through, we've been through a recession, we've been through attacks, we've been through a stock market decline and we've been through corporate scandals.

But we've overcome all these obstacles. We've overcome them together. I tell you why. We've got the greatest workers in the world in America. We've got the most productive greatest workers in this country.

We're overcoming these obstacles, because we've got great farmers and ranchers. We're overcoming these obstacles because the entrepreneurial spirit of America is strong, the small business sector of our economy is vibrant and alive.

And we've overcome these obstacles because of well-timed tax cuts. Listen, we didn't pick winners or losers when it came to tax relief. We had a fair attitude, I think. Said if you pay taxes, you ought to get relief. And so families with children got relief. People who are married got relief. Small business owners got relief. And this time, the check really was in the mail.

Because we acted, our economy since last summer has grown at a rate as fast as any in nearly 20 years. Because we acted, America has added over 1.5 million new jobs since last August.

Look, I understand there are challenges here in eastern Ohio. This part of the country has lagged behind other parts of the country. But let me tell you something, raising your taxes isn't going to create jobs. Isolating America from the rest of the world isn't going to create new jobs. Voting against energy policy isn't going to create new jobs. We will not rest until every American who wants to find a job has one. That's the pulse policy of the Bush administration.

There's more work to do to make sure this country is job friendly. And our workplaces are family friendly. To keep America jobs in America. Regulations need to be fair and reasonable. To keep American jobs in America, we must end the junk and frivolous lawsuits that threaten employers all across the country. To keep American jobs in America, we will not overspend your money and we will keep your taxes low. To keep American jobs in America, we need a reasonable energy policy.

As you know in Cambridge, an important part of an energy strategy is clean coal technology. My budget for next year $447 million to encourage this vital technology. I will tall you why; in order for us to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy we must use American coal. We have a difference of opinion of this; my opponent said he called coal a dirty energy source. He opposed my energy plan witch promoted clean coal technology and alternative sources of fuel.

The other night in Boston he said he wants America finally and forever independent of Mid East oil. Listen I share that goal and I know how to achieve it. To make sure we are independent, to make sure we are not dependent on foreign sources of energy we must be wise about how we use America.

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