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Kerry Speaks in New York City Before Bush Does

Susan Jones | Morning Editor | Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Kerry Speaks in New York City Before Bush Does

(CNSNews.com) - After weeks of talking up his military record in Vietnam -- and drawing criticism from those who dispute his account -- Sen. John F. Kerry on Tuesday said it's time to get back to "a truthful debate about the choices America faces."

Speaking in New York on Tuesday, Kerry -- according to a press release -- "urged voters to look past the misleading soundbites, slogans and attacks coming from the Republican convention next week and to watch as they disguise the president's failed record."

The press release -- which came out just before Kerry actually spoke -- quoted Kerry as saying, "I am here today to call for a truthful and robust debate about our values as Americans and the fundamental choices we will make at a critical time in our history. That is what this election should be about. But from the other side, we have seen a calculated effort to evade that debate."

Conversely, Republicans accuse Kerry of ignoring the issues and concentrating instead on what happened some 30-odd years ago in Vietnam.

In his press release, Kerry accused the Bush campaign and its allies -- a reference to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- of using the tactics of "fear and smear because they can't talk about jobs, health care, energy independence, and rebuilding our alliances -- the real issues that matter to the American people.

"They have no plans, no positive vision and no understanding of an urgent and undeniable truth -- a stronger America begins at home," Kerry was quoted as saying.

Kerry accuses President Bush of turning away from the middle class and the "American Dream," and in his speech on Tuesday, he explained how the George W. Bush "misled" Americans four years ago, when he promised to create jobs, balance budgets, etc.

"The world will listen to what the Republicans say when they come here," Kerry said in the press release, referring to next week's Republican National Convention in New York City.

"But words, slogans, and personal attacks cannot disguise what they have done and left undone. They are going to say that we've turned the corner; that the job is getting done. They are even going to claim, as they already have, that this is the best economy of our lifetimes."

Kerry said his plan to strengthen the middle class "offers a clear choice for the Bush administration's failed record for America's families."

Kerry promised to be a "champion for the middle class and those struggling to join it.""