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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Best Sound-Bites and Brief Quotes from the Democratic Convention in Denver

In modern politics it has become increasingly important to be able to present the Democratic perspective in either very brief, one or two sentence sound-bites or short, one paragraph summaries of major issues and perspectives.
The format of many political discussions on television and radio allows each participant to speak only a few words at a time before being interrupted. Many “roundtables” and other print discussions give each individual commentator space for only one or two paragraphs.
In this kind of communication environment, having a set of sharply worded, succinct statements of the Democratic position on major issues becomes critical.
The speakers at the recent Democratic Convention produced dozens of first-rate sound-bites and short, one-paragraph summaries of this kind. TDS has brought together a large group of these quotes in a convenient format for use by Democratic spokespeople, citizen advocates and grass-roots supporters.
We believe you will find this collection quite useful during the coming weeks.
Read more……


Best Sound-bites and Quotes From the Democratic Convention
1, Keynote Speakers
2. Other Speakers – Domestic Policy
3.Other Speakers – Foreign Policy
Al Gore
“With John McCain’s support, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have led our nation into one calamity after another because of their indifference to fact; their readiness to sacrifice the long term to the short term, subordinate the general good to the benefit of the few and short-circuit the rule of law.”
“If you like the Bush-Cheney approach, John McCain’s your man. If you want change, then vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
“Some of the best marketers have the worst products; and this is certainly true of today’s Republican Party…the last eight years demonstrate that the special interests who have come to control the Republican Party are so powerful that serving them and serving the national well-being are now irreconcilable choices.”
“When as many as three Supreme Court justices could be appointed in the first term of the next president, and John McCain promises to appoint more Scalias and Thomases and end a woman’s right to choose, it’s time for a change.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-08)
“Republicans say John McCain has experience. We say John McCain has the experience of being wrong. On the failed Bush policies that have weakened our economy and taken us from the Clinton surplus to reckless Bush deficits and on raising the minimum wage for millions of American workers, Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong. On health care for 10 million American children and on protecting Medicare—a bill so crucial that Senator Ted Kennedy left his own medical treatment to cast the decisive vote—Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong. On a future of American energy independence, investment in renewable clean energy, and millions of good-paying green jobs here at home, Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong. And on the most important foreign policy decision of our time, the war in Iraq—a catastrophic mistake that has cost thousands of lives of our men and women in uniform and trillions of dollars, as well as has weakened our standing in the world and our capability to protect the American people, Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong. Very, very wrong.”
“…on the most important foreign policy decision of our time, the war in Iraq—a catastrophic mistake that has cost thousands of lives of our men and women in uniform and trillions of dollars, as well as has weakened our standing in the world and our capability to protect the American people, Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong. Very, very wrong.”
Gov. Brian Schweitzer
“For eight long years, the White House has led us in the wrong direction. And now Senator McCain wants four more years of the same. Can we afford four more years? Is it time for a change? “
“After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind energy. This not only hurts America’s energy independence, it could cost American families more than a hundred thousand jobs. At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new, clean sources, John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another 4 billion dollars in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil? That’s a lot of change, but it’s not the change we need.”
“Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can’t drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards, including the ones he can’t even remember. That single-answer proposition is a dry well, and here’s why. America consumes 25 percent of the world’s oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don’t need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn’t enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America’s full energy needs.”
Gov. Ted Strickland
“…While families are losing sleep tonight trying to figure out some way to make their paycheck stretch through one more day, John McCain is sleeping better than ever. He’s sleeping better than ever because he thinks “Americans, overall, are better off…” thanks to President Bush. And would you believe he said last week that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. He has no problem hitting the snooze button on the economy, because he’s never been a part of the middle class. And I would say to him: Senator McCain, it’s time for your wake-up call. Because we just can’t afford more of the same.”
“You know, it was once said of the first George Bush that he was born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple. Well, with the 22 million new jobs and the budget surplus Bill Clinton left behind, George W. Bush came into office on third base—and then he stole second. And John McCain cheered him every step of the way. For Ohioans and all Americans, we can’t afford more of the same. It’s time for a change—and Barack Obama will bring the change we need… It’s the change from thinking everyone’s born on third base, to making sure everybody has their chance at bat.”
Former Gov. Mark Warner
“…The race for the future is on, and it won’t be won if only some Americans are in the running. It won’t be won with yesterday’s ideas and yesterday’s divisions. And it won’t be won with a president who is stuck in the past. We need a president who understands the world today, the future we seek and the change we need.”
“John McCain promises more of the same—a plan that would explode the deficit that will be passed on to our kids. No real strategy to invest in our crumbling infrastructure… I don’t know about you, but that’s just not right. That’s four more years that we just can’t afford.”
Sen. Robert Casey, Jr.
“For eight years, the people of Pennsylvania have been hit hard by the Bush-Cheney economy, an economy that favors the powerful and leaves everyone else to fend for themselves. We’ve seen our jobs disappear overseas, our wages go down and the price we pay at the pump skyrocket to record highs. We’ve been hit hard, but we’re ready to fight back, and we’re ready for a president who will fight for us. That’s why I am proud to support Barack Obama for President of the United States.”
“The people of Pennsylvania can’t afford four more years of Bush-Cheney economics, and with John McCain, that’s exactly what we’d get. John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. That’s not a maverick. That’s a sidekick.”
“The Bush-McCain Republicans inherited the strongest economy in history and drove it into a ditch. They cut taxes on the wealthiest of us and passed on the pain to the least of us. They ran up the debt, gave huge subsidies to big oil companies, and now they’re asking for four more years. How ‘bout four more months? We can’t afford four more years of deficit and debt, drift and desperation. Not four more years. Four more months. And we can’t afford another president who will veto children’s health insurance for 10 million children, or who will keep senior citizens from seeing the doctors they trust. Not four more years. Four more months.”
Former Sen. Tom Daschle
“Our next president is going to inherit the most daunting set of foreign policy challenges since Harry Truman. He had to build a new international order from the rubble of the Second World War. And in this new world, we cannot afford four more years of failure and decline. We need to set a new course…to replace the poor judgment and mis-leadership of George W. Bush with the judgment and leadership of Barack Obama. If the Bush administration has proven anything, it’s that length of service is no substitute for good judgment and strong leadership. Together, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John McCain brought more than a century of experience to our foreign policy challenges. And what did that get us? One international debacle after another.”
“We deserve better than John McCain’s jokes about bombing Iran or his denials that Iraq has distracted us from Afghanistan. We deserve better than a foreign policy that’s more confrontational than George W. Bush, and fails to address the complex challenges of a changing world. We need leaders who recognize both our national interest and our shared challenges, who will pay attention to both allies and enemies, and who will truly make America safer and stronger. I can think of none better than Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
II. Other Convention Speakers – Domestic Policy
Sen. Claire McCaskill
“John McCain is running for four more years of the same old politics and exact same failed policies that we had under George Bush. They did tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, they’re doing everything Big Oil asks for, and look where we are.”
Gov. Deval Patrick
“Now, John McCain says he believes in education, too. But he is against fully funding No Child Left Behind, against fully funding Head Start, against hiring more teachers and wants to abolish the Department of Education. This should come as no surprise. John McCain is just more of the same say-one-thing-do-another crowd in the White House today.”
“The same folks who say they believe in small government and fiscal restraint are responsible for the biggest expansion in the size of government and the size of the federal deficit in American history. The same folks, with John McCain leading the charge, who say they support seniors, want to privatize Social Security and put corporate pension funds up for grabs. The same folks who call themselves “compassionate conservatives” are the folks who abandoned all those people not only after Katrina, but before that storm. The American people have had enough.”
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
“For generations of Americans, owning a home has been a piece of the dream. Yet today that dream has become a nightmare for millions of families, perched on the edge of foreclosure. Barack Obama has a plan to save the dream of homeownership for families who’ve lost their homes or fear they can never afford one—unlike John McCain, who has so many he can’t keep track of them all. I’m sure you remember a girl from Kansas who said there’s no place like home. Well, in John McCain’s version, there’s no place like home. And a home. And home. And home.”
“Now, even though John McCain has spent 26 years in Washington voting over and over against investing in renewable energy, John McCain does support some “renewables.” He wants to renew the failed Bush agenda for another four years. John McCain has also renewed the Bush-Rove style of politics, built on bringing down your opponent instead of lifting America up.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
“My fellow delegates, tonight, we turn the page on eight years of debt, division and an economy in decline. We turn the page on a Republican administration that has failed to bring Americans together to meet the challenges of an uncertain century.
“Eight years later, what do they have to show for it? The surpluses squandered, our national reputation tattered, jobs lost…But you can’t expect change from a Senator who voted in lockstep with President Bush 95 percent of the last year. No, we can’t afford more of the same. We need new leadership”
“Americans are tired of country club economics. We want an economy that works for all of us, for people who are struggling to own just one home, much less seven. Americans want clean energy and lower gas prices, not subsidies for oil companies making record profits. And Americans want affordable health care for their children and their families. But we won’t get the change we need with John McCain in the White House. We can, we must do better.”
Rahm Emanuel (IL-05)
“If John McCain has his way, your bills will continue to grow and your paycheck will continue to shrink. Under George Bush, millions of Americans are without health care. And those that do have health care are seeing their co-pays go up and their coverage go down. If John McCain has his way, we’ll stick with the policies that will leave more Americans uninsured and far too many Americans paying more for health care and getting less.”
“You know, President Bush inherited the strongest economy in history and a huge budget surplus. He inherited an economy that created 23 million new jobs. I’m a little surprised. You would think the one thing President Bush was good at was inheriting things. Instead he turned a $236 billion surplus into a record deficit and added nearly $4 trillion in new debt. That’s the one thing we can say about George Bush: Mr. President, we will be forever in your debt.”
“When it comes to the economy, when it comes to job creation, when it comes to health care reform, or when it comes to deficit reduction, there are three words that describe the Bush-McCain record: mission not accomplished.”
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
“Whatever happened to the promise of a better America? What happened was that the Bush Administration—with the support of Senator McCain—broke that promise, undermined our values, and turned our economy into a threshing machine for big business.”
PA Gov. Ed Rendell
“It was eight years ago that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney came to Philadelphia to accept their party’s nomination. Onstage at that convention, we heard lots of talk about energy. The Republican platform itself called for expanding the renewable energy tax credit. But once elected, they broke their energy promises to the American people and let big oil determine our national energy policy.”
“The results of the Republican energy policy are plain. Back then, the price of gas at the pump was about $1.50 a gallon. Today, it’s $4 a gallon. Back then, it cost about $900 to heat your home through the winter. This winter, it’s more likely to be $2,500. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil just announced the largest quarterly profit in history. That’s not just an outrage. It’s obscene.
This happened because for the last eight years, the Bush-Cheney team stonewalled the taxing of oil company profits and prevented efforts to promote alternative energy production. And guess who voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time? Senator John McCain.”
“Now, as another Republican convention approaches, we are hearing more of the same: John McCain talking about alternative energy, energy independence and wind power. But if you look past the speeches, here’s what you see. Many of John McCain’s top advisors have worked as lobbyists for oil and gas companies. I guess that explains why he wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to oil companies.”
“John McCain has never believed in renewable energy and he won’t make it part of America’s future. For all his talk, here’s the truth: John McCain voted against establishing a national renewable energy standard. He voted against tax incentives for renewable energy companies. And for all his talk of drilling, he refused to endorse a bipartisan effort to expand domestic oil production because that bipartisan proposal would end tax breaks for big oil.”
“It’s clear: the only thing green in John McCain’s energy plan is the billions of dollars he’s promising in tax cuts for oil companies. And the only thing he’ll recycle is the same failed Bush approach to energy policy. We can’t afford more of the same. We need a strategy that puts America on a path to end the age of oil once and for all.”
Sen. Charles Schumer
“We know what John McCain and his friends in the Senate will do, because we’ve seen it far too many times in the last two years. Ninety-two times, they filibustered important legislation to change the direction of this country.”
“When you demanded legislation to lower the price of gas, John McCain and his friends said no. When you demanded middle-class tax relief, John McCain and his friends said no. When Barack Obama wins in November, John McCain will go back to the Senate, and he and his friends will go back to saying no, no, no, to the change our country needs.“
DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
“Today because of the policies of George Bush, John McCain and their Republican allies in Congress, that beacon has dimmed, not only for the world, but for many Americans. Here at home the American dream of good-paying jobs, of affordable healthcare, of a college education often seems just that: just a dream. Abroad, America’s image has been tarnished, our alliances weakened, and Osama Bin Laden is still at large. The American people cannot afford more of the same.”
“…In too many other areas, we’ve been blocked by George Bush, John McCain and their Republican allies in Congress. When it came to stopping giveaways to big oil, to exploring the life-saving science of stem cells, to offering health care to 10 million American children, to responsibly ending the war in Iraq, the American people’s pleas for change have been ignored by a Republican leadership that has made theirs the party of no, veto and the status quo.”
Sen. Evan Bayh
“John McCain is not a bad man, but he is badly mistaken about embracing the Bush agenda. He says he agrees with George Bush on virtually every major issue. He votes with Bush 90 percent of the time…We can’t afford another four years of Washington as usual.”
Gov. Tim Kaine
“Maybe for John McCain the American dream means seven houses—and if that’s your America, John McCain is your candidate. But for the rest of us, the American dream means one home—in a safe neighborhood, with good schools and good health care and a little money left over every month to go out for dinner and save for the future.”
Howard Dean
“No matter how many times John McCain tries to hide from it, it’s a fact: John McCain has voted with George Bush and his policies 95 percent of the time over the past year.”
“John McCain is not a maverick. John McCain is a ‘yes man.’“
Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid
“Senator McCain and the Republicans have centered their answer to our vital energy needs on one solution: off-shore drilling. Senator McCain calls for it in every speech; his party has demagogued the issue in both houses of Congress…White House analysts, congressional analysts, and the oil industry all agree that off-shore drilling won’t add one drop to our energy pool for at least ten years. The way things are going now, in another ten years we won’t need more oil; nobody will be able to afford it. T. Boone Pickens said it right: “We can’t drill our way out of this crisis.”
Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
“There’s John McCain, who feels the pain of big oil executives worried about losing their multi-billion dollar tax breaks. And then there’s Barack Obama who feels the pain of the mom or dad who fears their child will be part of the first generation of Americans to have less opportunity than the previous one.”
Sen. Mary Landrieu
“It’s been three years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failure of the federal levee system devastated New Orleans, the region, and parts of the Gulf coast. The Bush White House, the Republican leadership, and FEMA showed up not just late, but unprepared. America deserves a FEMA that works. A FEMA that understands the best ways to leverage the private sector and non-profits. A FEMA that will rebuild our communities with respect, dignity, and determination. America deserves a president who is willing to cut through the red tape and serve the people, not the bureaucracy. A president who will stand with mayors and governors, not against them, to get the job done.”
Margie Perez, New Orleans Jazz Singer & Song Writer
“The sight of New Orleans under six feet of water is a perfect symbol of what has happened to our country during the Bush presidency. America can’t afford to let John McCain drown our hopes in more of the same failed policies.”
Nancy Keenan (NARAL)
“On the other side, there’s John McCain who has voted to ban abortion with no exceptions for the victims of incest or rape and has embraced his party’s platform that calls for outlawing abortion in all cases, with no exceptions. So, I ask John McCain: how is it moral to vote to eliminate a family-planning program that provides millions of low-income women with access to birth control and breast-cancer screenings? How is it moral, John McCain, to talk about respecting life while opposing the extension of the children’s health insurance program? How is it moral, John McCain, to force teachers to censor life-saving information from our teens, as they must do under the failed abstinence-only policy?…The Supreme Court is at an ideological tipping point. The next president will decide Roe’s fate. John McCain has spent more than 25 years in Washington voting against women’s freedom and has pledged to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-38)
“There’s an old Mexican saying: “dime con quien andas, y te diré quien eres.” “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Senator McCain has voted in lockstep with Bush 90 percent of the time. Anyone who is a friend of Bush 90 percent of the time isn’t a friend of working families. We need more than 10 percent change. We need 110 percent change. We need Barack Obama! Senator Obama’s clear vision and strong record will move our great nation in a positive new direction. He’s done more to change the course of this country in four short years than John McCain has done in 26 long ones.”
Andrew Tobias
“Senator McCain turns to lobbyists like Phil Gramm. You know the guy who said, “We’re just a nation of whiners.” Are we really? Eight years ago, virtually everyone in America was doing better, from richest to poorest. Now look. Inflation is up. Foreclosures are up. Gas is up. Job losses are up. And our national debt—just 30 percent of GDP when the Reagan-Bush voodoo economics began, will be up to 70 percent—$10 trillion—by the time George W. Bush finally leaves office…About the only guy who seems to have done really well these last eight years is a guy with a private jet and so many homes that he loses count. In just the last eight years, the Republicans have cut the value of the U.S. dollar almost in half and added $4 trillion to our children’s debt. They’ve done this in just eight years. And now they want four more?”
Rep. Nydia Velasquez (NY-12)
“John McCain would not just hold back female entrepreneurs, he would hurt all small businesses. He has pledged to continue the Bush tax cuts that favored Fortune 500 companies over entrepreneurs. In fact, only four percent of small firms saw a penny more. It’s this practice of neglecting small businesses—that has resulted in unemployment rates skyrocketing to a four-year high. We can’t afford more of the same.”
“Leave it to the Republicans to serve a big business agenda and call it a small business plan. They may not know the difference between Wall Street and Main Street, but Barack Obama knows that small business is big business in America.”
Former Secretary of Energy Frederico Pena
“And what does John McCain want to do now? The same old things that keep on failing: more of the same tax breaks for big oil companies making record profits. More of the same roadblocks in front of fuel-efficient vehicles. More of the same refusal to support advanced, renewable energy. Americans who had to pay $4 dollars a gallon for gas this summer know we can’t afford more of the same.”
Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
“If there was an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating, this administration would take the gold. World records for violations of national and international laws. They want another four-year term to continue to alienate our allies, spend our children’s inheritance and hollow out our economy. We can’t afford another Republican administration. Wake up, America. The insurance companies took over health care. Wake up, America. The pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing. Wake up, America. The speculators took over Wall Street. Wake up, America. They want to take your Social Security. Wake up, America. Multinational corporations took over our trade policies, factories are closing, good paying jobs lost. Wake up, America. We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more…The oil administration wants to drill more, into your wallet. Wake up, America.”
Cecile Richards, Pres. Planned Parenthood Action Fund
“…John McCain? He’ll be more of the same. He’s spent 25 years working against the health care needs of women. John McCain has voted against women’s health care 125 times. You can look it up: he voted against real sex education, against affordable family planning and, if elected, John McCain has vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. John McCain believes that judges, politicians and bureaucrats know better than women themselves what’s best for their health. Just two weeks ago, John McCain said he didn’t know if insurance companies should cover birth control. Well, let me remind you senator, you voted against it twice. Where women’s health is concerned, it seems clear that when John McCain says “I don’t know”, what he really means is “I don’t care.” Women deserve better.”
Hilda Solis (CA-32)
“It’s time to stop sending our money to foreign countries to buy oil when we have all the sun and wind we need right here at home. Barack Obama will lead the transition to home-grown renewable fuels that will lower gas prices and create good-paying, green jobs. Big oil and John McCain want more of the same.”
Monica Early, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
“Einstein said a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If we elect John McCain, then, according to Einstein, we surely would be insane.”
Barney Smith
“We need a president who puts the Barney Smiths before the Smith Barneys.”
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
“Some people tell us to “drill here – drill now, and that’s all.” I say that’s not enough. I say solar here, solar now. Wind here, wind now.”
“John McCain wants to give oil companies more public land and billions more in special tax breaks, despite their record profits. That isn’t change – that’s the McCain-insane energy plan.”
Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
“John McCain? McCain means more of the same, the same failed policies and empty promises for Latinos. I remember when John McCain said he would stand up for immigrants, until right-wing extremists told him to sit down. So he sat down.”
II. Other Convention Speakers – Foreign Affairs:
Sen. Jack Reed
“There is a clear choice in this election: For eight years, John McCain has fallen in line with every one of George Bush’s national security decisions, and now he offers up four more years of the same failed policies…While Senator McCain was a cheerleader-in-chief for the Bush Administration’s rush to a war against a nation that posed no imminent threat, Barack Obama and I opposed the war in Iraq from day one. While Senator McCain said that we’d be greeted as liberators in Iraq, Barack Obama warned of an “occupation of undetermined length, with undetermined costs, and undetermined consequences.”
“While Senator McCain supported policies that took the pressure off al-Qaida and allowed bin Laden to remain at large, Barack Obama said as early as 2002 that we needed to focus on finishing the fight against bin Laden and al-Qaida.”
“Senator McCain wants to stay in Iraq indefinitely, spending $10 billion a month while Iraqi politicians sit atop a $79 billion surplus. We cannot afford more of the same from John McCain.”
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright
“Senator McCain says that American troops should remain in Iraq perhaps as long as they have been stationed in Korea and Japan, as if there were no difference in history, religion or culture between our friends in Asia and those in the Middle East.”
“Senator McCain claims to already know everything a president needs to know, but the first qualification any leader needs to have is the ability to learn. We need a president who is not wedded to 20th century thinking, who can forge a network of power and principle that will keep America strong and safe in the 21st century.“
Sen. Evan Bayh
“Under George Bush, America has become bogged down in an endless war in Iraq, spending more than $648 billion dollars there, $10 billion a month that could be spent to strengthen America’s schools, provide health care for America’s seniors or create new jobs repairing America’s roads, ports and bridges. John McCain wants to continue this blank check? That is not the change we need.”
“George Bush and John McCain were wrong about going to war in Iraq, are wrong about how to get us out of Iraq, wrong to ignore the danger in Afghanistan. The time for change has come, and Barack Obama is the change we need.”
Fomer Gov. Mark Warner
“How many of our soldiers come back from their second or third tour of duty, wondering if the education and health care benefits they were promised will actually be there? Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let’s borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don’t like us… And he would continue spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. I don’t know about you, but that’s just not right. That’s four more years that we just can’t afford.”
Ret. Rear Admiral John Hutson
“I served in the United States Navy for 28 years and retired as a rear admiral, capping my career as judge advocate general, the Navy’s top uniformed lawyer. And I have a confession: For my entire adult life I was a registered Republican. But today I have traveled from my home in New Hampshire to declare myself a proud member of the Democratic Party and to endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States. Why? Because the Republican Party I once knew has become something different, something I no longer recognize. The “Grand Old Party” is no longer grand. It’s just old. The same old, failed policies. The same, old Washington culture… Instead of inspiring the world with the power of American ideals, they offer war as a first resort, an overstretched military, justification for torture and trampling of civil liberties.”
“From the invasion of Iraq to the devastation of Katrina, I see arrogance abroad and incompetence at home. And I simply cannot tolerate, and America simply can’t afford, more of the same. Any other time, I might have given up on politics, convinced that nothing would ever change. But this year, a new leader offers the change we need.”
Former Rep. Jim Leach (IA-01)
“…what frustrates so many citizens is the lack of bipartisanship in Washington and the way today’s Republican Party has broken with its conservative heritage. The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us to war with a country that did not attack us. The party that formerly led the world in arms control has moved to undercut treaties crucial to the defense of the earth. The party that prides itself on conservation has abdicated its responsibilities in the face of global warming. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts.”
Sen. Jay Rockefeller
“John McCain has served this country with honor. But his refusal to change course even in the face of the failed policies of Bush-Cheney is reckless and will not keep us safe. John McCain views the world through Cold War glasses. He does not see the complexity of counterterrorism in a new century.”
Tammy Duckworth, IL
“The administration of George Bush—supported by John McCain every step of the way—has let our warriors down. Our troops are courageous, strong and fierce. This administration has re-deployed them until they are overstretched, stressed and strained. Our warriors should fight in Afghanistan where al-Qaida and the Taliban are on the offensive. But instead of destroying the enemies who attacked us on 9/11, we have diverted our military might to Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.”
“When our warriors come home they deserve the best VA medical care, but too often they get bureaucracy, not benefits. They find inadequate access, inferior facilities and infuriating paperwork. And now, John McCain wants to ration care. Under his plan, the VA will serve combat injuries, but everyone else gets an insurance card…Unlike John McCain, Barack Obama fought for a new GI bill—and won—so that every veteran has the same opportunity to pursue their American dream just like his grandfather had after World War II. .. President Obama will reject John McCain’s plan to privatize the VA system. We won’t force veterans to search for medical care with nothing but a plastic card and the promise of payment. We won’t have means testing for access to the VA. Why? Because Barack Obama knows this: no one asked us where we lived or how much money we had when we enlisted, and no one should ask us that after we’ve bled for our country.”
Rep. Chet Edwards (TX-17)
“I have the greatest respect for the military service and sacrifice of John McCain in the Vietnam War. Yet, millions of veterans and Americans would be surprised and disappointed to find out that Senator McCain has received failing grades from some of our nation’s most respected veterans’ organizations. He has repeatedly voted against health care funding and benefits for his fellow veterans. And if elected, his plan could lead to the rationing of veterans’ health care. The fact is, our veterans can’t afford more of the same from John McCain.”
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
“…For eight years, the policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have done grave damage to our national security and have undermined our democratic values at every turn. America cannot afford a third Bush-Cheney term, which is what a McCain presidency would be…We can’t afford four more years of weakened security and diminished influence in world affairs.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
A Republican administration…saw the deadliest attack ever sustained on American soil and called Americans not to serve, but to shop. A Republican administration that inherited a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion, economic policies that created 22 million jobs, a foreign policy that deserved and earned respect around the world, and squandered all of it in an historic failure of leadership.”
Susan Eisenhower
“Belligerence has been a substitute for strength; stubbornness for leadership; and impulsive action has replaced measured and thoughtful response.”
John Kuniholm (marine Iraq vet, amputee)
“Our president, with the support of Senator McCain, has made decisions that have set America on a course unsustainable in dollars, lives and military readiness. President Bush made a disastrous gamble in Iraq in 2003. Now, Senator McCain proposes to double down with money and troops we cannot afford to lose.”
“The notion that criticism of the war dishonors our sacrifices makes no sense. Nor should past sacrifice compel us, as Senator McCain seems to think, to pursue a badly-defined notion of victory at any cost.”

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