Dean, Kerry and their surrogates have been trying to make a big deal out of who Clark voted for 32 years ago. Well, it wasn't for the guy who endorsed him today. McGovern was born in 1922, but he is living in the here-and-now. A lesson for all of us.
Today, I am proud to stand here this morning and announce my support for a true progressive, a true Democrat, and the next president of the United States.
A man whose progressive policies on education, taxation, health care are in the finest tradition of the Democratic Party.
A man whose ideals, decency, and compassion are in the great tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Bill Clinton.
A man whose life's work and devotion to America will serve as a beacon to our young and give pride to us all.
That man is Wes Clark - and he will lead our party to victory in November.
Like Wes Clark, I'm a veteran. I was an airman in World War II. And I believe there is nothing more patriotic than serving your country.
I also believe there is nothing more patriotic than speaking out - and standing up for what you believe in. That was one of the reasons I ran for president in 1972 - because I believed that Vietnam was a not a war America should be fighting. Back then, Wes Clark was an officer in the United States Army. And in the election of '72, he voted for the other candidate. Let's call it youthful indiscretion. The good news is that this time we both agree.
Today, we are fighting the wrong war in Iraq. And that's one of the reasons I'm standing here today. Because there is only one man in this race with four stars on his shoulders and thirty-four years of military experience. There is only one man in this race who stopped genocide and saved 1.5 million Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing. There is only one man in this race who has a success strategy to get us out of the war in Iraq - and get our servicemen and women home safely. And that man is Wes Clark.
Wes Clark is also a champion of America's working families, because he knows that you can't be strong abroad unless you're strong at home. Wes Clark understands the problems facing ordinary Americans, especially the three million Americans who've lost their job since George W. Bush arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And the 44 million Americans don't have health care, and the thousands who can't afford the sky-rocketing costs of education.
Wes Clark is the only man who can get our country back on track. He's got a jobs program to get our economy going ... a real tax reform to help our working and hard-pressed families ... and a health care plan to make health care affordable for all Americans and universal for all our children. He wants to fight for all Americans, from all walks of life. These are not just Democratic values. These are American values.
Running for president is no easy task. And I have the battle scars to show it. I, too, was the subject of a few dirty tricks during my day. But I'll tell you, there is no better man to withstand the Republican attacks then Wes Clark. And the Republicans know that - they're running scared. The last thing they want is a four star general on their hands. So to my Republican friends out there: get ready, here we come.
Finally, let me say this: There are a lot of good Democrats in this race. But Wes Clark is the best Democrat. He is a true progressive. He's the Democrat's Democrat. I've been around the political block - and I can tell you, I know a true progressive when I see one. And that's why he has my vote.
Wes Clark will bring a higher standard of leadership back to Washington. He'll fight for America's interests, not the special interests. He'll bring honesty, openness, and accountability to the White House. He is a born leader.
That is why I am standing here today: because there's one man in this race with a success strategy in Iraq... there's one man who can really stand up for working American families ... there's one man who can beat George W. Bush - and take back the White House in 2004.
And that man is my friend, our leader, a true progressive, and the next Democratic president of the United States, Wes Clark.