is United States Senator from Georgia.
Backed Clinton But Today I Stand With Bush
Democrat leaders have taken the party in the wrong, very
[Zell Miller] 9/24/04
As a lifelong Democrat, I have supported courageous, honorable
Democrats who worked hard to help make my party great - leaders
who fought for opportunity and freedom for all in America and
around the world. But this year, this Democrat has decided that
George W. Bush is the man with the courage and the steady leadership
to move America forward and keep it safe.
My decision was not made lightly, but I could no longer follow
in the direction my party was going. Today's national Democratic
leaders have moved far away from the principles that made my
So, today, I am proud to stand with President Bush as he leads
America at this defining moment in history. Bush has led America
in a time of recession, terrorism and war. He has never forgotten
his charge to protect our national security and promote opportunity
for every American. He is guided by the right principles - aided
by strong faith - and I know that my family, my state and this
nation are more secure with Bush in the White House.
When the president came to office, the economy was already taking
a turn for the worse. Job growth was slowing, and strong medicine
was needed. The first dose was a tax-relief plan designed to
jump-start our economy by getting money out of Washington and
into the pockets of American workers. I was proud to be a co-sponsor
of those tax-relief plans, which lowered the tax bills for 111
John F. Kerry may have the same initials as President Kennedy,
but he has a far different view of how government should help
families prosper. Senator Kerry doesn't make any secret of the
fact that he wants to bring more money into Washington so that
he can decide how to spend it.
Kerry's massive healthcare plan alone would force him to raise
taxes by as much as $900 billion. The only way he is going to
get that kind of money is to reach into the wallet of every working
man and woman in America.
On the campaign trail, Kerry says he wants to protect tax cuts
for the middle class, but he has repeatedly voted against tax
cuts for American families. He voted against the 2001 tax cut.
He voted against marriage-penalty relief at least 22 times. He
voted against expanding the child tax credit at least 18 times.
Kerry is also out of step with the Democratic Party's greatest
leaders on national security. I remember when most Democrats
were in favor of projecting America's power abroad because we
believed that America was a great force for good over evil.
For decades, the Democratic Party maintained peace through strength.
We worked with Republicans to ensure that freedom would not falter
in the face of any threat. Protecting America's way of life is
not Democratic or Republican - it is the foundation from which
all of us should lead.
And then came Sept.
11, 2001, the "worst day in our history," as
writer David McCullough called it. Nineteen men, armed only with
box cutters, the skill to pilot a jet and a fanatical zeal, changed
forever the meaning of keeping our citizens safe.
For years, terrorists have been killing Americans, and each
attack was met with a totally inadequate response. After Sept.
11, I went to the floor of the U.S. Senate and said our response
should not only be swift, it must be sustained. Our will as a
country was being tested.
America was blessed that Bush was leading exactly when we most
needed his steel spine in the White House. He immediately took
the fight to the terrorists, cleared out their base of operations
in Afghanistan and toppled one of their biggest fans in Iraq.
Today, the people of Afghanistan are living in freedom and a
fledgling democracy is taking shape in Iraq.
He also created the Homeland Security Department, though it
was no easy task. Even after terrorists had attacked our nation
and killed our citizens, my Democratic colleagues seemed more
concerned about protecting union rules than about protecting
this country. I signed on immediately, but every other Democratic
senator - including Kerry - fought it through 11 votes over 112
days. Bush finally won approval of the Homeland Security Department,
but only because he stood firm.
And that is what this race will come down to on Nov. 2: Which
candidate has the steady resolve and the firm conviction to lead
America in this time of war and terrorism. I'm on Bush's side
because he's on the side of freedom and the side of the American
first appeared in The Hilll