by Senator Bob Graham, D-Florida
October 6, 2003
Tonight I am announcing the end of my campaign for President of the
Five months ago, I began this campaign with two goals.
The first was to be the next President of our nation. I felt the best
prepared and most able Democratic candidate to be elected President. I
have concluded that is not to be. A combination of factors has convinced
me, reluctantly, that my dreams for the Presidency are not attainable.
My second goal was to lead this great nation to an even greater place.
I am an optimist - a better America is just over the horizon. But we will
not achieve that better America under President Bush. We must change the
direction that this President is taking us.
So while I end my personal Presidential quest, I don't end the fight
that led me to run for the Presidency in the first place. I will continue
that fight with all my energy.
In Florida and across this great nation, I will continue to fight for
a more secure America - an America more secure than we have been since
September 11th, 2001. We must have greater homeland security, greater economic
security and greater health care security.
Homeland security for all Americans is only achievable if:
Our nation stays focused on the war on terror until it is won. We must
reject distractions from that victory. The quagmire in Iraq is a distraction
that the Bush administration, and the Bush administration alone, has created.
We protect ourselves with real homeland security. The President's rhetoric
is not a substitute for a genuine financial commitment to America's police,
firefighters, EMS and others on the front lines of the battle to protect
our homeland. I will continue to be a voice for those who dedicate themselves
every day to protecting this great nation from the plague of terrorism.
I will continue to fight for an economic policy that has the goal of jobs
- good jobs - for all Americans. Here, again, the President has taken us
in the wrong direction. His only plan is massive tax cuts for the wealthiest
Americans - tax cuts that have not and will not flow down to create new
jobs for the three million working Americans who have lost theirs under
the flawed leadership of President Bush.
I will continue to fight to create real jobs by moving those tax cuts to
benefit middle America. I will continue to fight to create jobs by actually
creating jobs - jobs rebuilding our aging and unreliable electric systems,
roads, bridges and schools.
What I have said time and time again on the campaign trail is true today.
If we can spend hundreds of billions of dollars occupying and rebuilding
Iraq, we can employ Americans in America to rebuild America.
I will continue to fight to lift the burden from our children and grandchildren
of out-of-control deficits, which the President accepts with indifference.
We will not allow this President to pass his debts on to future generations.
I will continue to fight to hold this President accountable.
I will continue to fight to give our families quality education and health
care, including a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. One of the
most important measures of a nation is how it takes care of its most vulnerable.
This President is failing that measure. We must find a new direction.
I will continue my longstanding fight for our environment. We will not
allow this President to put in place policies and programs that chip away
at the natural resources that are the very core of our nation. Our soils,
trees, rivers and beaches are not there to be exploited for profit, they
are there for all Americans to cherish today, tomorrow, and a hundred years
This campaign has been an uplifting experience for our family and me. From
a Fourth of July parade in Merrimack, New Hampshire, to an August family
tour of Iowa, this has been an unforgettable time for the Graham family.
We have shared this journey with a talented staff which, despite the odds,
has worked tirelessly and professionally on my behalf.
And, to our supporters, both in Florida and across America, thank you for
believing in me, for your help, and for sharing the dream. We entered this
campaign for the right reasons, and we will continue to stand together
- to fight to put our nation back on the right track.
We believe America's best days are ahead. We believe the best chance
of realizing our enormous national potential is through the election of
a Democrat as the next President of the United States of America. We will
continue to fight for that victory.