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2003 State of the Union Speech Excerpts - Preview

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 28, 2003

State of the Union Excerpts


Tonight, President Bush will talk about the challenges our country is facing both at home and abroad, and call on the American people to confront them as we always have - with resolve and confidence:

"This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, other presidents, and other generations. We will confront them with focus, and clarity, and courage."

He will outline four specific domestic goals for the Congress to address in the coming year: strengthening our economy by creating more jobs; high quality, affordable health care for all Americans and prescription drugs for seniors; greater energy independence while improving the environment; and applying the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America.

On our economy: "Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best, fairest way to make sure Americans have the money is not to tax it away in the first place."

On health care: "... for many people, medical care costs too much - and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy ... choose their own doctors ... and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need."

On compassion: "Tonight I ask Congress and the American people to focus the spirit of service and the resources of government on the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens - boys and girls trying to grow up without guidance and attention ... and children who have to go through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad."

During the second half of the speech, President Bush will talk about our challenges abroad to defend the peace by confronting them:

"The qualities of courage and compassion that we strive for in America also determine our conduct abroad. The American flag stands for more than our power and our interests. Our Founders dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity - the rights of every person and the possibilities of every life. This conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted, and defend the peace, and confound the designs of evil men."

President Bush will also speak to the progress we have made on the war on terror, including the need to confront Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, as part of the war:

"Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror ... the gravest danger facing America and the world ... is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to their terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation."

He will discuss the Iraqi regime's defiance to the world and our obligation to hold him to account:

"Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement... Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead his utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world."

"The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is deceiving."

President Bush will conclude by reaffirming the principles that demonstrate the true character and goodness of our country:

"Americans are a resolute people, who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world, and to ourselves. America is a strong Nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for the liberty of strangers."

ENDS

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