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Kerry at Democratic Convention hits McCain, " Talk about being for it before you're against it' Transcript.

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DENVER--John Kerry Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention. Transcript courtesy of Federal News Service.

SEN. KERRY: (Cheers, applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you.

Four years ago you gave me the honor of fighting our fight, and I was proud to stand with you then and I am proud to stand with you now to help elect Barack Obama president of the United States.

(Cheers, applause.)

In 2004 we came so close to victory. Well, my friends, we are even closer now. And let me tell you, this time we're going to win.

(Cheers, applause.)

Today -- today the call for change is more powerful than ever, and with more seats in Congress, with more people with more passion in our politics, and with a President Obama, we stand on the brink of the greatest opportunity of our generation to move this country forward.

The stakes could not be higher, because we do know what a Bush -- what a McCain administration would look like. There's a slip. (Laughter.) It would look just like the past, just like George Bush, and this country can't afford a third Bush term.

(Applause.)

Just think -- just think; John McCain voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Ninety percent of George Bush, my friends, is just more than we can take.

(Applause.)

Never in modern history has an administration squandered American power so recklessly. Never has strategy been so replaced by ideology. Never has extremism so crowded out common sense and fundamental American values.

Never has short-term partisan politics so depleted the strength of America's bipartisan foreign policy.

(Cheers, applause.)

George Bush and John McCain at his side promised to spread freedom, but they delivered the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. They misread the threat and misled the country.

(Applause.)

Instead of freedom -- (continued applause) -- instead of freedom, it's Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and dictators everywhere that are on the march. North Korea can build more bombs and Iran is defiantly chasing one.

Our mission is to restore America's influence and position in the world, and we must use all the weapons in our arsenal -- above all, our values.

President Obama and Vice President Biden will shut down Guantanamo -- (audience cheers) -- respect the Constitution, and make clear once and for all the United States of America does not torture -- not now, not ever!

(Cheers, applause.)

We must listen. We must listen and lead by example, because even a nation as powerful as the United States needs some friends in this world. We need a leader who understands all of our security challenges -- not just bombs and guns, but global warming, global terror, and global AIDS.

And Barack Obama understands there is no way for America to be secure until we create clean energy here at home -- not with a little more oil in 10 or 20 or 30 years, but with an energy revolution that begins now.

(Cheers, applause.)

I have known and been friends with John McCain for almost 22 years, but every day now I learn something new about Candidate McCain. To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say let's compare Senator McCain to Candidate McCain.

Candidate McCain now supports the very wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once called irresponsible. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain's own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote.

Are you kidding me, folks?

(Laughter, cheers, applause.)

Talk about being for it before you're against it!

(Cheers, applause.)

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself.

(Laughter, applause.)

And what's more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target has morphed into Candidate McCain, who is using the same Rove tactics, the same Rove staff, the same old politics of fear and smear.

Well, not this year; not this time. The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn, and America will reject them in 2008.

(Cheers, applause.)

So remember, when we choose a commander-in-chief this November, we are electing judgment and character, not years in the Senate or on this Earth. Time and again, Barack Obama has seen farther and listened harder and listened better and thought harder. And time and again, Barack Obama has proven right.

John McCain stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier just three months after 9/11 and he proclaimed, next stop -- Baghdad. The judgment immediately from Barack Obama was to see an occupation of undetermined length, undermined consequences, undetermined cost that, in his words, would only fan the flames of the Middle East.

Well, guess what? Mission accomplished.

(Boos from audience.)

So who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE: Barack Obama!

SEN. KERRY: When Barack Obama promised to honor the best traditions of both parties and talk to our enemies, John McCain scoffed. George Bush called it the false comfort of appeasement. But today Bush's diplomats are doing exactly what Obama said, talking with Iran.

So who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE: Barack Obama!

SEN. KERRY: When democracy rolled out of Russia -- and Russia -- and the tanks rolled into Georgia, we saw John McCain immediately respond with outdated thinking of the Cold War. Barack Obama responded like a true friend of Georgia and a statesman of the 21st century.

So who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE: Barack Obama!

SEN. KERRY: When Democrats called for a timetable to make Iraqis stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, John McCain called it cut-and-run. But today, even President Bush has seen the light, and he and Prime Minister Maliki agree on -- guess what? -- a timetable.

So who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE: Barack Obama!

SEN. KERRY: The McCain-Bush Republicans have been wrong again and again and again. And they know they will lose on the issues.

So a candidate who once campaigned on the promise of a campaign of ideas, not insults, now has nothing left but personal attacks.

How insulting to suggest that those who question the mission question the troops. How pathetic to suggest that those who question a failed policy doubt America itself. How desperate to tell the son of a single mother, who chose community service over money and privilege, that he doesn't put America first. No one --

(Cheers, applause.)

No one can question Barack -- no one can question Barack Obama's patriotism. Like all of us, he was taught what it means to be an American by his family -- his grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line in World War II; his grandfather, who marched in Patton's Army; and his great-uncle, who enlisted in the Army right out of high school at the height of the war. And on a spring day in 1945, that great-uncle helped liberate one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald.

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama's uncle is here with us tonight. Please join me in saluting this American hero, Charlie Payne.

(Cheers, prolonged applause.)

SEN. KERRY: Charlie, your nephew, Barack Obama, will end this politics of distortion and division. He will be a president who seeks not to perfect the lies of swift-boating, but to end them once and for all.

(Cheers, applause.)

This election is a chance for America to tell the merchants of fear and division, you don't decide who loves this country. You don't decide who is a patriot. You don't decide whose service counts and whose doesn't.

Four years ago I said -- and I say it again tonight -- that flag that hangs from the rafters and that you have waved here this evening, that flag doesn't belong to any ideology. It doesn't belong to any political party. It is an enduring symbol of our nation, and it belongs to all the American people.

(Cheers, applause.)

(Audience chants "U-S-A!")

After all, patriotism is not love of power, or some trick. (Chanting continues.) Patriotism is love of country.

Years ago when we protested a war, people would weigh in against us, saying, my country, right or wrong. Our answer, absolutely my country, right or wrong. When right, keep it right, and when wrong, make it right.

(Cheers, applause.)

Sometimes loving your country demands that you must tell the truth to power. This is one of those times, and Barack Obama is telling those truths.

In closing, let me say I will always remember how we stood together in 2004, the largest number of Democrats in American history, not just in a campaign, but for a cause.

Now again, we stand together in the ranks ready to fight. The choice is clear, our cause is just, and now is the time to make Barack Obama president of the United States of America.

Thank you.

(Cheers, applause.)

3 Comments

KERRY KNOWS WHO JOHN MCCAIN REALLY IS, HE ISN'T
THE GUY THAT HANGS OUT WITH LOW-LIFES LIKE KARL
ROVE!
THAT'S WHY HE IS THE THIRD TERM OF GEORGE BUSH,
BUSH HAS USED KARL ROVE IN EVERY ELECTION HE HAS
EVER BEEN IN, THIS TIME THE ECONOMY IS THE ENEMY
OF THE GOP AND KARL ROVE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT
THE ECONOMY, HE CAN SLING ALL THE DIRT HE WANTS
BUT HE CAN'T PULL THE RABBIT OUT OF THE HAT FOR
MCCAIN, THE GOP WILL LOSE IN A LANDSLIDE!
BARACK OBAMA WILL HIT FOR THE CYCLE TONIGHT!

It's about time the real disasters of the Bush administration get some air time. The Swift Boaters are a discrace to democracy.

When I think what America lost in the 2004 election, my head spins and my heart sags. John Kerry wasn't the only one to lose that disputable election -- the people of the United States lost its principles and credibility. Shame on the people who liabled Kerry's patriotism and service through the Swift Boat ads. It was a low point in politics.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 27, 2008 10:29 PM.

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