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Thursday, September 02, 2004

BBC > Bush sets out re-election vision

US President George W Bush has been giving one of the biggest speeches of his re-election campaign, at the end of the Republican Party convention.
He accepted the party's nomination to run in November's poll, before setting out his vision for the next four years.
While his campaign has focused heavily on security, Mr Bush is also highlighting domestic policy proposals.
Opinion polls suggest Democratic candidate John Kerry and Mr Bush are running virtually neck-and-neck.
The president is using his speech, broadcast on prime-time television, to defend his record over the last four years - particularly his decision to go to war against Iraq.
We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer
George W Bush
"I am running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world, and a more hopeful America," he told delegates at the convention in New York.
In an echo of his main campaign theme in the 2000 election, Mr Bush said he would run "with a compassionate conservative philosophy", saying government should "help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives".
Reform pledges
The president first highlighted his economic agenda, vowing to "expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe".
He also promised legal reforms to protect businesses from "frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs" and to simplify the tax code.
Mr Bush promised to make the 10-year tax cut package enacted in 2001 permanent.
Other proposals on the domestic front include tax relief for businesses in deprived areas, as well as initiatives to help people buy homes, start businesses, hone job skills and set up tax-free retirement and health care accounts.
Mr Bush contrasted his policies with those of Democratic candidate John Kerry, which he said would result in higher taxes.
The incumbent then turned to security issues saying that after 11 September 2001 the administration "fought the terrorists across the earth".
He said funding for homeland security had been tripled, the military transformed and intelligence services strengthened.
"We are staying on the offensive, striking terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home," Mr Bush told delegates.
He said the strategy was succeeding, with al-Qaeda chased from Afghanistan, and hunted in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
"Libya is dismantling its weapons programmes, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed," he said.
"We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."
Mr Bush again mounted a vigorous defence of the war in Iraq, saying he "acted to defend our country".
Inside Madison Square Garden conference hall the speech received rapturous applause. But outside, thousands of demonstrators gathered to express their opposition to the president's policies.
The convention has been marked by street protests and many arrests.
On Wednesday, Vice-President Dick Cheney lashed out at Mr Kerry in his speech during his convention speech.
He accused Mr Kerry of being indecisive, contrasting him with Mr Bush who has made "some of the hardest decisions" a president can face.
Democrats denounced the attacks, calling it "a night of angry old men".
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas /3621288.stm


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