FROM THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
of John Edwards for Vice President
July 6, 2004 • Pittsburgh, PA
This morning I have talked with a number
of talented and decent Americans who have been both courageous
and patriotic enough to allow themselves to be considered
for Vice President of the United States.
Teresa and I are personally so grateful to them and their
families for caring enough about the direction of our country
to go through what is inevitably a very intrusive and frustrating
Each of those individuals would make a great Vice President
and indeed, in their own right, could lead our country.
But I can only choose one as a running mate and this morning
I have done so.
I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values
of America, a man who has shown courage and conviction
as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling
to reach the middle class—a man who has shown guts,
determination and political skill in his own race for the
Presidency—a man whose life has prepared him for
leadership and whose character brings him to exercise it.
I am pleased to announce that the next Vice President of
the United States will be John Edwards of North Carolina.
This campaign for the presidency really began two years
ago. Throughout those two years as well as four years before
that, I have worked with John Edwards side by side and
sometimes head to head.
I’ve seen John Edwards think, argue, advocate, legislate
and lead for six years now. I know his skill. I know his
passion. I know his strength. I know his conscience. I
know his faith. He has honored the lessons of home and
family learned in North Carolina, and brings those values
to this struggle to shape a better future for America.
He is ready for this job.
There’s something else about John Edwards that is
important to this campaign and our country at this critical
time: I am determined that we reach out across party lines,
that we speak the heart of America—hope and optimism.
And John Edwards will join me in doing that.
As so many of you know, throughout the campaign, John
talked about the great divide in this country—the “Two
Americas”—that exists between those who are
doing well and those who are struggling to make it from
day to day. That concern is at the center of this campaign.
It is what it is all about. It has been part of my fight
for 35 years. And I am so proud that together we’re
going to build one America.
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a
leader in fighting bioterrorism, he shares my unshakable
commitment to maintaining a military second to none, and
to restoring old and building new alliances.
There’s also a great bonus to having John on this
ticket—and that’s a strong, brave woman, Elizabeth
Edwards. Teresa and I and our family will be proud to stand
with the Edwards family in this campaign—with their
daughter Cate, who just graduated from college, and with
their little ones Emma Claire and Jack.
Anyone who knows them, knows that this is a family that
loves one another and loves America.
In the next 120 days, John Edwards and I will be fighting
for the America we love.
We’ll be fighting to make America stronger at home
and more respected in the world.
We’ll be fighting for good paying jobs that let
American families actually get ahead—an America where
the middle class is doing better, not being squeezed.
We’ll be fighting to make healthcare a right for
all our people.
We’ll be fighting to make this nation energy independent.
We’ll be fighting to build a strong military and
lead strong alliances, so young Americans are never put
in harm’s way because we insisted on going it alone.
And we’re going to win this fight by standing together,
not as two Americas, but as one America.
When I was in Vietnam, I served on a small boat on the
Mekong Delta with men who came from places as diverse as
South Carolina and Iowa… Arkansas and California.
No one asked us our politics. No one cared where we went
to school or what our race or backgrounds were. We were
literally all in the same boat—and we came together
We were just a band of brothers who all fought under the
same flag, and all prayed to the same God. Today, we’re
a little bit older, we’re a little bit greyer. But
we still know how to fight for our country. And what we’re
fighting for is an America where all of us are truly in
the same boat.
So I ask for your help. Talk to your neighbors; talk to
your friends. Enlist in our cause.
In great movements for civil rights and equal rights,
the environment and economic justice for all, we have come
together as one America to give life to our mighty dream.
So come together and stand up for a great purpose – to
make America stronger at home and respected in the world.
We’re a country of the future; we’re a country
of optimists. We’re the can-do people. And we just
need to believe in ourselves.
The poet Langston Hughes put it in this way: “Let
America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to
be.” – for those “whose sweat and blood,
whose faith and pain, whose hand at the foundry, whose
plow in the rain must bring back our mighty dream again.”
In 2004, with your help…with John Edwards by my
side…we will bring back our mighty dream again.
Let America be America again!
Thank you and God Bless America!