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pd18oc04 Remarks in Paradise Valley, Arizona...
to put 100,000 cops on the streets of America. I've been for faith-based initiatives helping to intervene in the lives of young children for years. I was--broke with my party in 1985, one of the first three Democrats to fight for a balanced budget when it was heresy. Labels don't fit, ladies and gentlemen. Now, when it comes to the issue of the environment, this is one of the worst administrations in modern history. The Clear Skies bill that he just talked about--it's one of those Orwellian names you pull out of the sky, slap it onto something--like No Child Left Behind, but you leave millions of children behind. Here they're leaving the skies and the environment behind. If they just left the Clean Air Act all alone the way it is today, no change, the air would be cleaner than it is if you pass the cleaner skies act. We're going backwards. In fact, his environmental enforcement chief air quality person at the EPA resigned in protest over what they're doing to what are called the New Source Performance Standards for air quality. They're going backwards on the definition for wetlands. They're going backwards on the water quality. They pulled out of the global warming, declared it dead; didn't even accept the science. I'm going to be a President who believes in science. Mr. Gibson. Mr. President? President Bush. Well, had we joined the Kyoto treaty, which I guess he's referring to, it would have cost America a lot of jobs. It's one of these deals where in order to be popular in the halls of Europe, you sign a treaty. But I thought it would cost a lot of--I think there's a better way to do it. And I just told you the facts, sir. The quality of the air is cleaner since I've been the President of the United States. And we'll continue to spend money on research and development because I truly believe that's the way to get from how we live today to being able to live a standard of living that we're accustomed to and being able to protect our environment better--the use of technologies. Mr. Gibson. Senator Kerry, 30 seconds. Senator Kerry. The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto, and I was part of that. I know what happened. But this President didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen, and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 [[Page 2304]] years. You wonder, Nikki, why it is that people don't like us in some parts of the world. You just say, ``Hey, we don't agree with you. Goodbye.'' The President has done nothing to try to fix it. I will. Mr. Gibson. Senator Kerry, the next question is for you. It involves jobs, which is a topic in the news today. And for the question, we're going to turn to Jane Barrow. Trade Competitiveness/Jobs/Taxes Jane Barrow. Senator Kerry, how can the U.S. be competitive in a manufacturing given----in manufacturing, excuse me, given the wage necessary and comfortably accepted for American workers to maintain the standard of living that they expect? Senator Kerry. Jane, there are a lot of ways to be competitive. And unfortunately, again, I regret, this administration has not seized them and embraced them. Let me give you an example. There's a tax loophole right now--if you're a company in St. Louis working, trying to make jobs here, there's actually an incentive for you to go away. You get more money--you can keep more of your taxes by going abroad. I'm going to shut that loophole, and I'm going to give the tax benefit to the companies that stay here in America to help make them more competitive. Secondly, we're going to create a manufacturing jobs credit and a new jobs credit for people to be able to help hire and be more competitive here in America. Third, what's really hurting American business, more than anything else, is the cost of health care. Now, you didn't hear any plan from the President, because he doesn't have a plan to lower the cost of health care. Five million Americans have lost their health care; 620,000 Missourians have no health care at all; 96,000 Missourians have lost their health care under President Bush. I have a plan to cover those folks, and it's a plan that lowers costs for everybody, covers all children. And the way I pay for it--I'm not fiscally irresponsible--is I roll back the tax cut that this President so fiercely wants to defend, the one for him and me and Charlie. I think you ought to get the break. I want to lower your cost of health care. I want to fully fund education, No Child Left Behind, special needs education. And that's how we're going to be more competitive, by making sure our kids are graduating from school and college. China and India are graduating more graduates in technology and science than we are. We've got to create the products of the future. That's why I have a plan for energy independence within 10 years. And we're going to put our laboratories and our colleges and universities to work, and we're going to get the great entrepreneurial spirit of this country, and we're going to free ourselves from this dependency on Mideast oil. That's how you create jobs and become competitive. Mr. Gibson. Mr. President, minute and a half. President Bush. Let me start with how to control the costs of health care: Medical liability reform, for starters, which he's opposed. Secondly, allow small businesses to pool together so they can share risk and buy insurance at the same discounts big businesses get to do. Thirdly, spread what's called health savings accounts. It's good for small businesses, good for owners. You own your own account. You can save tax-free. You get a catastrophic plan to help you--own it. This is different from saying, ``Okay, let me incent you to go on the Government.'' He's talking about his plan to keep jobs here. You know, he calls it an outsourcing--to keep--stop outsourcing. Robert Rubin looked at his plan and said it won't work. The best way to keep jobs here in America is, one, have an energy plan. I proposed one to the Congress 2 years ago. It encourages conservation, encourages technology to explore for environmentally friendly ways for coal and use coal and gas. It encourages the use of renewables like ethanol and biodiesel. It's stuck in the Senate. He and his runningmate didn't show up to vote when they could have got it going in the Senate. Less regulations if we want jobs here. Legal reform if we want jobs here. And we've got to keep taxes low. Now, he says he's only going to tax the rich. Do you realize 900,000 small businesses will be taxed under his plan because most small businesses are Subchapter S corps or limited partnerships, and they pay tax at the individual income-tax level. And so when you're running up the taxes like that, you're [[Page 2305]] taxing job creators, and that's not how you keep jobs here. Mr. Gibson. Senator, I want to extend for a minute. You talk about tax credits to stop outsourcing. But when you have IBM documents that I saw recently, where you can hire a programmer for $12 in China, $56 an hour here, tax credits won't cut it in that area. Senator Kerry. You can't stop all outsourcing, Charlie. I've never promised that. I'm not going to, because that would be pandering. You can't. But what you can do is create a fair playing field, and that's what I'm talking about. But let me just address what the President just said. Ladies and gentlemen, that's just not true, what he said. The Wall Street Journal said 96 percent of small businesses are not affected at all by my plan. And you know why he gets that count? The President got $84 from a timber company that he owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney is counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right. President Bush. I own a timber company? That's news to me. [Laughter] Need some wood? [Laughter] Most small businesses are Subchapter S corps. They just are. I met Grant Milliron, Mansfield, Ohio. He's creating jobs. Most small businesses--70 percent of the new jobs in America are created by small business. His taxes are going up when you run up the top two brackets. It's a fact. Mr. Gibson. President Bush, the next question is for you, and it comes from Rob Fowler, who I believe is over in this area. PATRIOT Act Rob Fowler. President Bush, 45 days after 9/11, Congress passed the PATRIOT Act, which takes away checks on law enforcement and weakens American citizens' rights and freedoms, especially Fourth Amendment rights. With expansions of the PATRIOT Act and PATRIOT Act II, my question to you is, why are my rights being watered down and my citizens around me, and what are the specific justifications for these reforms? President Bush. Yes, I appreciate that. I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that. Every action being taken against terrorists requires a court order, requires scrutiny. As a matter of fact, the tools now given to the terrorist fighters are the same tools that we've been using against drug dealers and white-collar criminals. So I really don't think so. I hope you don't think that. I mean, I--because I think whoever is the President must guard your liberties, must not erode your rights in America. The PATRIOT Act is necessary, for example, because parts of the FBI couldn't talk to each other. Intelligence gathering and the law enforcement arms of the FBI just couldn't share intelligence under the old law, and that didn't make any sense. Our law enforcement must have every tool necessary to find and disrupt terrorists at home and abroad before they hurt us again. That's the task of the 21st century. And so I don't think the PATRIOT Act abridges your rights at all, and I know it's necessary. I can remember being in upstate New York talking to FBI agents that helped bust the Lackawanna cell up there. And they told me they could not have performed their duty, the duty we all expect of them, if they did not have the ability to communicate with each other under the PATRIOT Act. Mr. Gibson. Senator Kerry, a minute and a half. Senator Kerry. Former Governor Racicot, as chairman of the Republican Party, said he thought that the PATRIOT Act has to be changed and fixed. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner--he's the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee--has said over his dead body before it gets renewed without being thoroughly rechecked. Whole bunch of folks in America concerned about the way the PATRIOT Act has been applied. In fact, the Inspector General of the Justice Department found that John Ashcroft had twice applied it in ways that were inappropriate. People's rights have been abused. I met a man who spent 8 months in prison, wasn't even allowed to call his lawyer, wasn't allowed to-- finally, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois intervened and was able to get him out. This is in our country, folks, the United States of America. They've got sneak-and-peak searches that are allowed. They've got people allowed to go into churches now and [[Page 2306]] political meetings, without any showing of potential criminal activity or otherwise. Now, I voted for the PATRIOT Act. Ninety-nine United States Senators voted for it. And the President has been very busy running around the country using what I just described to you as a reason to say I'm wishy- washy, that I'm a flip-flopper. Now, that's not a flip-flop. I believe in the PATRIOT Act. We need the things in it that coordinate the FBI and the CIA. We need to be stronger on terrorism. But you know what we also need to do as Americans is never let the terrorists change the Constitution of the United States in a way that disadvantages our rights. Mr. Gibson. Senator Kerry, the next question is for you, and it comes from Elizabeth Long. Embryonic Stem Cell Research Elizabeth Long. Senator Kerry, thousands of people have already been cured or treated by the use of adult stem cells or umbilical cord stem cells. However, no one has been cured by using embryonic stem cells. Wouldn't it be wise to use stem cells obtained without the destruction of an embryo? Senator Kerry. You know, Elizabeth, I really respect your--the feeling that's in your question. I understand it. I know the morality that's prompting that question, and I respect it enormously. But like Nancy Reagan and so many other people--you know, I was at a forum with Michael J. Fox the other day in New Hampshire, who's suffering from Parkinson's, and he wants us to do stem cell--embryonic stem cell. And this fellow stood up, and he was quivering. His whole body was shaking from the nerve disease, the muscular disease that he had, and he said to me and to the whole hall, he said, you know, ``Don't take away my hope because my hope is what keeps me going.'' Chris Reeve is a friend of mine. Chris Reeve exercises every single day to keep those muscles alive for the day when he believes he can walk again, and I want him to walk again. I think we can save lives. Now, I think we can do ethically guided embryonic stem cell research. We have 100,000 to 200,000 embryos that are frozen in nitrogen today from fertility clinics. These weren't taken from abortion or something like that. They're from a fertility clinic, and they're either going to be destroyed or left frozen. And I believe if we have the option, which scientists tell us we do, of curing Parkinson's, curing diabetes, curing some kind of a paraplegic or quadriplegic or a spinal cord injury, anything--that's the nature of the human spirit. I think it is respecting life to reach for that cure. I think it is respecting life to do it in an ethical way. And the President's chosen a policy that makes it impossible for our scientists to do that. I want the future, and I think we have to grab it. Mr. Gibson. Mr. President, a minute and a half. President Bush. Embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of life to create a stem cell. I'm the first President ever to allow funding, Federal funding, for embryonic stem cell research. I did so because I too hope that we'll discover cures from the stem cells and from the research derived. But I think we've got to be very careful in balancing the ethics and the science. And so I made the decision we wouldn't spend any more money beyond the 70 lines, 22 of which are now in action, because science is important but so is ethics, so is balancing life. To destroy life to save life is one of the real ethical dilemmas that we face. There is going to be hundreds of experiments off the 22 lines that now exist, that are active, and hopefully we find a cure. But as well we need to continue to pursue adult stem cell research. I helped double the NIH budget to $28 billion a year to find cures. And the approach I took is one that I think is a balanced and necessary approach, to balance science and the concerns for life. Mr. Gibson. Senator, thirty seconds, let's extend. Senator Kerry. When you talk about walking a waffle line, he says he's allowed it, which means he's going to allow the destruction of life up to a certain amount, and then he isn't going to allow it. Now, I don't know how you draw that line. But let me tell you pointblank, the lines of stem cells that he's made available, every scientist in the country will tell you, ``Not adequate,'' because they're contaminated by mouse cells and because there aren't 60 or 70; there are [[Page 2307]] only about 11 to 20 now, and there aren't enough to be able to do the research because they're contaminated. We've got to open up the possibilities of this research. And when I am President, I'm going to do it, because we have to. Mr. Gibson. Mr. President. President Bush. Let me make sure you understand my decision. Those stem cell lines already existed. The embryo had already been destroyed prior to my decision. I had to make the decision: Do we destroy more life; do we continue to destroy life? I made the decision to balance science and ethics. Mr. Gibson. Mr. President, the next question is for you, and it comes from Jonathan Michaelson. Supreme Court Jonathan Michaelson. Mr. President, if there were a vacancy in the Supreme Court and you had the opportunity to fill that position today, who would you choose, and why? President Bush. I'm not telling. [Laughter] I really don't have--I haven't picked anybody yet. Plus, I want them all voting for me. [Laughter] I would pick somebody who would not allow their personal opinion to get in the way of the law. I would pick somebody who would strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States. Let me give you a couple of examples, I guess, of the kind of person I wouldn't pick. I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words ``under God'' in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decisionmaking process, as opposed to strict interpretation of the Constitution. Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges years ago said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights. That's personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all--it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America. And so I would pick people that would be strict constructionists. We've got plenty of lawmakers in Washington, DC. Legislators make law. Judges interpret the Constitution. And I suspect one of us will have a
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