RUSH: John Kerry hit a single today. He made a speech at New York University today. He finally got up to the plate. There’s an overarching theory behind the Kerry campaign. You have to understand what it is. It is that the voters are only now starting to pay attention. Whatever he said about Iraq or anything else prior to today doesn’t matter because nobody heard it. They’re only listening now. That’s not true. I saw a poll late last week: more people than ever before are paying attention at this stage because the nature of the seriousness of the race and the threat facing the country and the overarching concern most people have is, “What are we going to do to deal with this threat?” The Kerry campaign has decided to broom health care and the economy from their agenda. It’s going to be all Iraq, all the time.
They’re going to go back and reinvent the Howard Dean campaign strategy, and they’re going to try to package it in the nuance and the elitism and the refinement and the erudite behavior of John Kerry rather than the conspiratorial kookism of Howard Dean, and they’re hope and they think it’s going to sell. I just want to tell you, we’ve got some sound bites here in the speech here today. The speech not once mentioned the word “victory.” There wasn’t any optimism in the speech. There was pessimism. There was doom and gloom. There was almost a revelry in once again recounting that over a thousand soldiers have now died. It fit the rubric. I mean, the Democrat strategy since 2002 has been “whatever is good news for America is going to hurt us, and whatever is bad news for America is going to help us.” So Kerry kept that theme alive today by trying to articulate as much bad news as possible and blaming it all on George Bush, because George Bush lied; George Bush misled; George Bush is incompetent, “and I, John Kerry, am better, smarter, and more nuanced! I’m going to do it! I’m going to do it a different way.”
Two parts of the speech. Seventy-five percent of the speech was standard Democrat boilerplate against Iraq. It’s horrible. Bush is rotten. Everybody got lied to; people are dying; it wasn’t worth doing, and then the last fourth of the speech was Kerry’s four-point plan for what he would do — which there was a noticeable loss of enthusiasm among his audience at New York University when he got into that because this is his problem. He’s got two elements of his base. You talk about shoring up your base. He’s got two bases. He’s got the anti-war base that wants us out of Iraq and out of anywhere. They want to get rid of all military uniforms. They want to blow up all military bases and get rid of the military in general.
Then you’ve got another element of the base which is very concerned about some of this stuff and realizes what we’ve gotten into in Iraq and want to know how we’re going to end it. Kerry cannot give a speech without alienating at least half of his base. So he tried to give a speech today, placate both aspects of his base, and you can tell that when he got to the conclusion, his four-point plan, that’s when the enthusiasm sort of waned. Let’s play a couple sound bites from the early portion of the speech. Let’s go back, since Kerry thinks — in fact, let’s start with #1 here, Mike. To set this all up, let’s remind you with what Kerry said on August 9th out at the Grand Canyon. Since the Kerry campaign thinks that people weren’t paying attention then and they are now, well, let’s tell the people who are now paying attention what he said back on August 9th.
KERRY: I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have.
RUSH: Now, this sent shock waves through the campaign, through the base, because he was basically saying, “I would have did you not same thing Bush did. I would have asked for the authority, individually gone into Iraq,” and he later said that even if he had known there were no weapons of mass destruction, he would have gone in and did the same thing. Now, he’s been forever trying to climb out of that hole. That speech today was an attempt to do that, but if he thinks people weren’t listening back then, fine. There are people like me who are going to remind those who weren’t listening but are now what he said. So here is this. You know, I think this is just ghoulish but these people just revel in counting the number of deaths in Iraq. Here’s John Kerry on that from this morning.
KERRY: This month we passed a cruel milestone. More than 1,000 Americans lost in Iraq —
RUSH: Stop the tape. On Labor Day we probably passed a cruel milestone, too, like about 40,000 Americans dead so far on highways. We also passed a cruel milestone this weekend when something over 60 people are dead in hurricanes. We had more than a thousand soldiers die in a training mission prior to D-Day. The number of soldiers dead in Gettysburg, one day, parallels what’s happened here in years. So this milestone of a thousand is simply a number that the Democrats hope is large enough to make people think it’s reeeeally going bad. Let’s get back to the tape.
KERRY: — sacrifice reminds us that Am — Iraq remains overwhelmingly an American burden. Nearly 90% of the troops and nearly 90% of the casualties are American, despite the president’s claims, this is not a grand coalition.
RUSH: Stop the tape. Here’s Mr. Kerry doing what he does best: trying to unravel those who are our friends. He is attempting to unravel the support we have from the Italians, but this comment from the Australians, with this comment, from the British with this comment. We do have a large coalition. Even when we had a bigger coalition than this before the Gulf War, Mr. Kerry voted against that coalition to go get Saddam out of Kuwait. See, he has no credibility on these things but he is trying to get himself positioned here throughout the remainder of the campaign. By the way, it’s still an open question: is advisors can come up with a strategy, but can he stick to it?
Can he stick to one message or is he so nuanced and so intelligent, so much above the rest of us that he can’t help but deviate and tell us what we don’t know in an effort to prove how smart that he is? Why insult members of the coalition? There are members of the coalition dying and being held hostage and being taken hostage, kidnapped, being beheaded. What is the point here, Senator Kerry? See, the problem that they have with this they cannot get away from the doom and gloom. They cannot get away from the pessimism which is what really defines them these days.
KERRY: Our troops have served with extraordinary bravery and skill, and resolve. Their service humbles all of us.
RUSH: Oh, it does not. If it did, you wouldn’t be giving the speech that you’re giving today. You wouldn’t be trying to dishonor their mission and you wouldn’t be trying to say that they’re doing it for nothing. Resume tape.
KERRY: I visited with some of them and the hospitals and I am stunned by their commitment —
RUSH: Stop the tape. I bet, given your experiences, you are stunned by their commitment.
KERRY: — by their sense of duty, their patriotism. When I speak to them, when I look into the eyes of their families, I know this: We owe them the truth about what we have asked them to do and what is still to be done. That is an American value.
RUSH: Yeah, uh-huh. Well, Senator Kerry, I think they know. That’s why they’re volunteering in such numbers. They know. But the president has spelled out his overarching vision, and you know what it’s rooted in? Freedom and liberty for the people of Iraq; freedom and liberty for as many people around the world as possible, the ongoing freedom and liberty of the United States of America. We are in a preemptive action to defend ourselves against further attack. What’s so hard about this to understand? They know it. The soldiers know what they’re there for. If you know what we’re there for and there’s some secret mission, why don’t you tell us? If they’re being lied to, tell us how they’re being lied to. If you don’t support preemption, Senator Kerry, which is really nothing more than self-defense after all — what is preemption? Self-defense. If Senator Kerry doesn’t support self-defense and Senator Kerry has a history of voting against the military, then, senator, you owe it to the nation to spell it out with details how you would fight a war against terrorism, including nations that harbor them — which Iraq does, and has.
None of this speech did that. None of this speech spelled out what Kerry would do. This speech was nothing — except those four points which are mindless when you hear them, but all he did was basically, again, criticize the Bush administration because that’s what Kerry must do. I hate to say this. I mean, this is kind of harsh, but John Kerry is not of a stature such that he stands above people on his own. The only way John Kerry can grow in people’s minds is to cut other people down. That’s what this speech was about today. The speech was about portraying President Bush as a lesser man than he is so that Kerry, by default, will rise up in people’s estimation — not by virtue of anything he’s done, not by who he is, but by virtue of how little he can make Bush seem. That’s been the Kerry strategy all along. “Greatness does not need to be explained,” as I keep saying. Kerry seems to feel the need to explain why he is special.
You know, this isn’t a joke, Senator Kerry. We have a right to know before Election Day what your doctrine is, and based on your record — and you can’t get away by saying, well, you “don’t know what you’re going to find until you’re inaugurated,” because every question in a presidential race is hypothetical, and visions often do not require you to deal with the details later. Your vision is the overarching concern. That’s your objective. The details that come along that impair it or further it, you deal with them.
But your desire to beg off these questions and not be specific because you don’t know what you’re going to find does not inspire confidence in anybody. You’re not giving anybody a reason to vote for you, and this speech still didn’t do that. Sad to say his speech still didn’t give people a reason to vote for Kerry. This is all about why Bush is horrible, but if you look at Kerry’s record in life of all this, he relies on U.S. disarmament. He relies on UN leadership. Will that make New York and Washington and the rest of the nation safer? The evidence suggests no way.
RUSH: We are reviewing the speech today from John Kerry at New York University. I’ve set it up already. Let’s just continue here with the precious few sound bites we’re going to expose to you today. In this bite — he doesn’t say it in these words, but if you add it all up — he says we’d have been all better off if Saddam Hussein were left in power.
KERRY: Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, that was not in and of itself a reason to go to war. The satisfaction that we take in his downfall does not hide this fact. We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure. (applause for a less secure America) Now, the president has said that he miscalculated in Iraq ask that it was a catastrophic success. In fact, the president has made a series of catastrophic decisions, from the beginning in Iraq. At every fork in the road, he has taken the wrong turn and he has led us in the wrong direction.
RUSH: And you voted for every one of them. You voted for every opportunity. Let’s go back to the top. “Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator, deserves his own special place in hell. But that wasn’t, in and of itself, a reason to go to war.” It was never stated as the sole reason to go to war, Senator Kerry. “The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact, we’ve traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.” America is not less secure. America is more secure. We haven’t had any attacks on this country since September 11th, but we had all kinds of attacks during the Nineties and weren’t doing anything about them, senator. We haven’t had any attacks here. We’ve thwarted many. But you know, senator, you ought to go back and look at post war Germany and look at postwar Japan, and take a look at how long that took.
You know, these are noble causes. These things that we are attempting to do here have a very high overarching vision to them, one that you choose to ignore; one that you choose to not even acknowledge; one that you choose probably if you do bring it up, to attack, but the idea that this was ever going to go smoothly, the idea that this is going to be a piece of cake was nothing anyone ever said. The idea that people can’t go back and look at history. We’ve done this on our website. We’ve gone back and printed for you the New York Times from the Forties and Life magazine from the Forties, and you sound just as pessimistic as the doom and gloomers back then, senator, and you know something? A lot of people in this country may have some qualms about Iraq, senator, but pessimism is not the way to deal with it. Pessimism is not what real people want to hear about this. You know what this is? This is simply a repackaged way of quoting Howard Dean, who said whatever it was he said about Saddam.
It was no big deal! We’re “not safer” just because Saddam’s been caught. This is an attempt still to shore up the base, and it’s so filled with negativism and doom and gloom. Senator Kerry wants people to feel bad. He wants the troops in the U.S. military to be demoralized. He wants them to hear him say they’re fighting for nothing. He wants the military in this country to think they’re being lied to. This is unparalleled — other than during the Vietnam War. This has not happened in American politics before, not do this degree, not with national security on the line, not in a post-9/11 environment. Certainly it didn’t happen in World War II. To have a major political party abandon the whole concept of national security for the sake of the reacquisition of its own political power, and to do so by besmirching the integrity and honesty of the people who wear the uniform, their commanders, and those in the government who do have a vision to try to make Iraq a better place for the express purpose of making the United States a better place.
And all the while in this speech, while we hear all this rat-tat-tat criticism and rat-tat-tat doom and gloom. We didn’t hear any optimism, and we didn’t hear any reason why we should be optimistic about our prospects in the future. We didn’t hear anything about, “We’re America! We can do it!” We didn’t hear a presidential candidate try to buck up the American people and make them feel confident that he, if given the power, could do even better, that he could make this work. Well, he did have a four-point plan, but wait till you hear it. That’s our next series of sound bites when we come back, ladies and gentlemen, the four-point plan of Senator Kerry, and there’s nothing new in it. It’s, “Go to France.” It’s, “Go to Germany.” It’s, “Go to the United Nations.” It’s, “Put together an international coalition; that’s the only way these things can be won.” He doesn’t say how he’s gonna do it. He doesn’t say how he’s gonna convince them to join us. He ignores reality in the process.
RUSH: All right, let’s get to Kerry’s big four-point plan on what he would do in Iraq to correct “the lying” and the “lack of judgment” and the “misleading” and the “incompetence “of the Bush administration. Here is point #1 from his speech today as given at New York University.
KERRY: The president should convene a summit meeting of the world’s major powers and of Iraqis [sic] neighbors this week in New York where many leaders will attend the UN General Assembly and he should insist that they make good on the UN resolution. He should offer potential troop contributors specific but critical roles in training Iraqi security personnel and in securing Iraqi borders. He should give other countries a stake in Iraq’s future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq’s oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process. (applause)
RUSH: All right. Now, this is just fatuous! All of this is just absolutely fatuous. Let’s start at the top. “He should convene a summit meeting of the world’s major powers and of Iraq’s neighbors in New York. He should insist they make good on the UN resolution.” Senator Kerry! They had ten years of resolutions at the United Nations that they all ignored! Ten years the French and the Germans and everybody else — Iraq’s neighbors, the PLO — they all ignored all these resolutions. Why in the name of God, sir, do you think we had to act? It was as much to accomplish our own objectives as to protect the sanctity of the United Nations because they wouldn’t do it themselves. President Bush already has example after example of the United Nations failing to do anything. They’ve not done anything in Rwanda. They’re not accomplishing anything in the Sudan. They’re not accomplishing anything where they are. They hightailed and ran from Iraq and relocated their base in Cyprus, for crying out loud.
“He should offer potential troop contributors specific but critical roles in training Iraqi security personnel.” In other words, what he’s saying here is: “If you’ll come in and help us, then we will give you a stake in Iraq’s future by letting you get some of the money involved in rebuilding the infrastructure.” These are countries that refused to help us when the going was tough, and Senator Kerry specifically addressed this and said he believes that it’s “childish and immature” for the American people and for Bush, actually, to ignore the willing help from these people now even though they weren’t there at the top. That was “childish.” This is the real world, Senator Kerry. Why in the world should these people be included? These people are involved in the oil-for-food program. These people were as corrupt as Iraq was. The nations that you want involved in the rebuilding of Iraq are one of the reasons that Saddam Hussein was in power all these years and one of the reasons all these UN resolutions were not enforced in the first place, sir.
You know, if I, a lowly, humble citizen of this country, a measly little talk show host here, can figure this out, and you can’t, why in the hell should you be president and I shouldn’t? I mean, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m going to assume he doesn’t know any of this or is seeking to ignore it for whatever reasons, but beyond all of that: Where, sir, is the evidence in your past or your record that you have the ability to build a coalition for a war or an aftermath — and where’s the evidence that you, sir, wouldn’t undermine or military’s morale as you already did in this speech, given your attacks on the military in 1971, and your constant attacks on military efforts today? Where is the evidence that you can do any of this, that you say needs to be done? We’re just supposed to trust it? You don’t let us look to your record as a senator. You don’t want us to talk about Vietnam anymore. You don’t want us to talk about what the swiftvets are saying.
What are we supposed to talk about! Where are we supposed to get a bead on you, senator? Where are we supposed to learn your qualifications? Oh, we’re just supposed to sit here and accept the fact that you say you can do it? Why? Because you’re a liberal Democrat, and those people around the world are more like you than they are like Bush and they’re going to do it simply because they’re friendly to you? Is that reality, sir? Why don’t you tell us if that’s the case? I mean, it’s just assumed here that John Kerry has these skills and abilities, when his own actions and statements and inexperience suggest the exact opposite. When has he ever put together a coalition of anything? When has he even put together a coalition of senators to march a bill through the Senate? He doesn’t even do that! John Kerry is known more than anything else in the Senate for going to Republicans on Friday and saying, “Can you close this out? I want to get outta here.” Well, that was point #2 of this brilliant speech. Here’s point #3: What Kerry would do in Iraq as part of his plan to move forward.
KERRY: The president should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside of Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double the classroom training time, require the follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries, and he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers and start behaving like we really are at war.
RUSH: Whoa! This is unbelievable. So the president has been lying to us about the fact that we are at war? Excuse me, sir, which is the party and which is the campaign which has been attempting to create in the minds of the American people that this is still September 10th? You, sir, and your party having doing your level best to convince the American people there’s no reason for “war.” Now you’ve got your vice president out there saying today that you will crush Al-Qaeda and that Dick Cheney can’t, and George Bush can’t. What is all this gobbledygook about training! The military already does that, senator, unless you’ve forgotten. The military is the one place where you don’t need retraining seminars because they learn it in basic, and they relearn it every day. The idea that we need constant retraining! This is not the U.S. public education system where half of Los Angeles can’t read a job application. This is the U.S. military. They are properly trained. To sit here and assume and imply otherwise is insulting.
On-field training? Recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies? Press NATO allies to open training centers in their countries? My gosh! This sounds like creating a women-and-children program, WIC program, or some liberal social program in the U.S. military — and then “asking our allies to do the same.” But the overarching conclusion I have from this bite, and this is where I say the first three-quarters of the speech Kerry was fire and brimstone, but now he’s articulating a plan to stay there. He’s talking about embedding ourselves even further. His base doesn’t want to hear this. His base doesn’t want to hear how we’re going to make plans to dig ourselves in deeper there and train this and train that and get more people involved. That’s not what they want to hear. This four-point plan, people were expecting to hear how he’s going to end this. He didn’t talk about how to end this. He didn’t even talk about how to win this. John Kerry spoke today about how to best manage this — from, I guess, a supposed PR concern. That was the second point. Here’s the third of his four-point plan for Iraq as announced today.
KERRY: Third. The president must carry out a reconstruction plan that finally brings tangible benefits to the Iraqi people, all of which, may I say, should have been in the plan and immediately launched with such a ferocity that there was no doubt about America’s commitment or capacity in the very first moments afterwards.
RUSH: There never has been any doubt about that, senator. Only in the minds of you and your fellow Democrats has there been any doubt. It has been you people who think this has been about Halliburton. It’s been you people who think this is about oil for Dick Cheney and oil for Bush. It’s you who have had all these conspiracy kook theories of what this is for. We’ve got the schools open and running. The electricity is back up and running, and the very fact that you want to ignore the good news that’s going on in Iraq like most of your allies in the mainstream press is an indication that we can’t rely on you for the truth, either — much less CBS. The bottom line here is, senator, that you were overlooking the good things that are happening on purpose, and then trying to get everybody to believe — the Democrats love to use this line: “Where were the greeting Iraqis waving flags in happiness over our arrival?”
You’ve got two or three areas of the country which are in trouble. I know we’ve had these Republican senators go out there yesterday and say some things. I don’t even care, folks. I don’t know why we should listen to Chuck Hagel or Lugar or McCain. What have they done in this area that qualifies? The media goes crazy when they hear these things said by Republicans because it’s critical of Bush. They go, “Cool! We can really tear the policy apart.” They do, and they go absolutely bonkers with this. But what has Lugar ever done? Nothing against Lugar, but tell me, where is his experience in this regard? He sits up there and thinks and says all these wonderful things Democrats love to hear. Same thing with Hagel. I know he served a stint in Vietnam, but just like Kerry: Does it qualify him for expertise everywhere around the world? Okay, they say Iraq’s going bad. Anybody can say, “Iraq is going bad.” Anybody can say, “Iraq sucks.” Anybody can say that we’re in bad trouble over there.
We may be. So? “The tough get going when the going gets tough,” is the old phrase. This idea that we’re supposed to cut and run and get out of there or whatever is anathema to me, but I know these Republican critics are out there saying it. They have their reasons for it, and they may honestly believe it. My question is: Why are they unquestioningly believed? Why are they un-assailingly accepted as experts in this, when the president has been fighting it personally and has a record? It’s just classic, and Kerry cited these guys today in his speech. Let’s go for the fourth point from Senator Kerry today. This is wandering in vain for a fourth point, just to come up with a four-point plan that he would do. I mean, if this is… Well, just listen. You’ll hear it.
KERRY: Fourth. The president must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee that the promised election can be held next year. Credible elections are key to producing an Iraqi government that enjoys the support of the Iraqi people, and an assembly that could write a constitution and yields a viable power-sharing agreement.
RUSH: As I review these four points, all of them are not actually what Kerry would do, but what Bush ought to do — and in almost all cases, Bush is doing them. To say that we are not taking steps to guarantee the promised election will be held next year? We are. This is like the Democrats saying, “We’ll never be able to get out of there by June 30th. We will never be able to hand over power.” We did. We got out of there on June 28th, exactly what we said we were going to do, and, well, they had to go on to something else. Now the elections aren’t going to happen. So what you have here is just a never-ending cascade of pessimism and doom and gloom without any specific alternative from Senator Kerry about what he would do unless he’s masking these four things the president ought to do as being things that he would do. While the delivery of the speech many people on his side of the aisle thought was an improvement, the substance is nothing new. It’s what Howard Dean and the Democrats, other than the Joe Lieberman wing, have been saying about Iraq for two years.