Search for...
issues2000

More headlines: John Kerry on Homeland Security

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Constitution is core value for our national security

The true pessimists are those who do not understand that fidelity to our principles is critical to our national security, and it is as critical to our national security as our military power itself. And I have to tell you, the most dangerous and the most dispiriting pessimists are those who again and again and again resort to using 9/11 to argue that our traditional values are a luxury we can no longer afford. We say, “No! America’s Constitution comes first!”
Source: Annual 2006 Take Back America Conference Jun 14, 2006

Need the best intelligence and cooperation to make us safe

Q: Why do you think that there have been no further terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11? If elected, what will you do to assure our safety?

A: The Bush administration has told you and all of us it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. Between the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 or so, and the next time was 5 or 7 years. They people wait. They’ll plan. They plot. I agree with Bush that we have to go after them and get them wherever they are. I just think I can do that far more effectively, because the most important weapon in doing that is intelligence. You got to have the best intelligence in the world. In order to have the best intelligence in the world to know who the terrorists are and where they are and what they’re plotting, you’ve got to have the best cooperation you’ve ever had in the world. We’re not getting the best cooperation in the world today. We got a whole bunch of countries that pay a price for dealing with the US now. I’m going to change that.

Source: Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

Expand active duty and Army’s forces to secure peace

We will expand America’s active duty forces by 40,000; double the Army’s Special Forces capability within 4 years, while adding a special operations helicopter squadron to the Air Force; increase by 50 percent the number of civil affairs troops trained in the special responsibilities of reconstruction; increase our military police, because order is critical to establishing the conditions that allow peace to take hold; and add 500 “psychological operations” personnel and augment their language training.
Source: Our Plan For America, p. 19 Aug 10, 2004

Ensure Americans in uniform receive benefits they deserve

We will enact a Military Family Bill of Rights that includes a commitment to full, mandatory funding of veterans’ health care; a commitment to competitive pay for service members, including special compensations for those in combat zones; up-to-date and accurate notice to military families about deployments and rotations that send troops away from home or back home; financial help for families affected by extended deployments; a guarantee of adequate housing for military families, beginning with the accelerated construction by private developers of new housing on or near military bases; full access for all military personnel, whether active duty, National Guard, or Reserves, to TRICARE; full funding for Department of Defense schools serving military families, which Bush has sought to cut; a new $250,000 gratuity for families of service members killed in a combat zone; and doubling the period during which families of service members killed in action can continue to live in military housing.
Source: Our Plan For America, p. 21 Aug 10, 2004

Supported a federal crime bill that funded 100,000 cops

[In a Senate vote for a crime bill that funded 100,000 cops] I have put more cops on the street in the past two years than Bill Weld has in the past five.
Source: Debate is first Kerry/Weld duel, SouthCoastToday.com Apr 10, 1996

2003: Voted for $87B for Iraq before voting against it

Kerry voted against the $87 billion war funding bill in 2003. On the day of the vote, Kerry said, "I cannot vote for the $87 billion request because it is not the most effective way to advance our interests." Just a month earlier, Kerry had said, "I don' Kerry know about our ad, and offered a confusing defense of his "no" vote, saying he would have supported the funding bill had it been coupled with a tax increase. Then Kerry gave us the line that perfectly encapsulated who he was and the have-it-both- ways candidacy he was building. He said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

I was dumbfounded. In 13 words, Kerry had told Americans he was an unreliable, inconsistent, weak flip-flopper unfit for the Oval Office.

Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.379-380 Mar 9, 2010

Military is overextended and there’s a backdoor draft

Our military is overextended under Bush. Our Guard and Reserves have been turned into almost active duty. You’ve got people doing two and three rotations. You’ve got stop-loss policies so people can’t get out when they were supposed to. You’ve got a backdoor draft right now. And a lot of our military are underpaid. These are families that get hurt. It hurts the middle class. It hurts communities, because these are our first responders and they’re called up and they’re over there, not over here. Now, I’m going to add 40,000 active duty forces to the military, and I’m going to make people feel good about being safe in our military and not overextended, because I’m going to run a foreign policy that actually does what President Reagan and President Eisenhower did and others. We’re going to build alliances. We’re not going to go unilaterally. We’re not going alone like this president did.
Source: Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

Bush chose tax cuts for the wealthy over homeland security

BUSH: My administration has tripled the amount of money we’re spending on homeland security to $30 billion a year. My administration worked with the Congress to create the Department of Homeland Security so we could better coordinate our borders & ports. We’ve got 1,000 extra border patrol on the southern border; want 1,000 on the northern border. We’re modernizing our borders. We spent $3.1 billion for fire & police. But the best way to protect this homeland is to stay on the offense.

KERRY: We just read on the front pages of America’s papers that there are over 100,000 hours of tapes from the FBI unlistened to. On one of those tapes may be the enemy being right the next time. And the test is not whether you’re spending more money. The test is, are you doing everything possible to make America safe? We didn’t need that tax cut. America needed to be safe.

BUSH: Of course we’re doing everything we can to protect America. I wake up every day thinking about how best to protect America. That’s my job.

Source: [X-ref Bush] First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Bush is backdoor drafting our National Guards

Ask the people in the armed forces today. We’ve got Guards and Reserves who are doing double duties. We’ve got a backdoor draft taking place in America today: people with stop-loss programs where they’re told you can’t get out of the military; nine out o our 10 active duty divisions committed to Iraq one way or the other, either going, coming or preparing. Bush has overextended the US. In my plan, I add two active duty divisions to the US Army, not for Iraq, but for our general demands across the globe.
Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Bush has cut funding to stop nuclear proliferation

Nuclear proliferation is the single most serious threat to the national security to the US. There’s some 600-plus tons of unsecured material still in the former Soviet Union and Russia. At the rate that Bush is currently securing it, it’ll take 13 years to get it. I did a lot of work on this. I wrote a book about it several years ago, which saw the difficulties of this international criminal network. Back then, we intercepted a suitcase in a Middle Eastern country with nuclear materials in it. And the black market sale price was about $250 million. Now, there are terrorists trying to get their hands on that stuff today. Bush has secured less nuclear material in the last two years since 9/11 than we did in the two years preceding 9/11. We have to do this job. And to do the job, you can’t cut the money for it. Bush actually cut the money for it. You have to put the money into it and the funding and the leadership. Part of that leadership is sending the right message to places like North Korea.
Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Individual Ready Reserve call-up is used as a backdoor draft

The vast majority of the Army’s active duty combat divisions are committed to Iraq, either currently there, preparing to go, or recently returned. We’ve called up our Guard and Reserves at historic levels. Some have been on the ground in Iraq for as many as 15 months - much longer than was promised. And many of these units are stretched far too thin. Bush’s answer has just been to stretch further. They are effectively using a stop-loss policy and the Individual Ready Reserve call-up as a back-door draft.
Source: Our Plan For America, p. 18 Aug 10, 2004

End the backdoor draft of reservists, help is on the way

We will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists. To all who serve in our armed forces today, help is on the way. I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal: our economic as well as our military might; our principles as well as our firepower. There is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and the power of our ideals.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

Bush’s foreign policy has not made American safer

Q: A majority of Americans thought that because of the administration policy on Iraq, the chance of a terrorist attack had grown. Do you agree with that?

A: The overall conduct of the Bush administration’s foreign policy - the war included, the management of Afghanistan, the diversion from Afghanistan, away from Al Qaeda, the lack of cooperation with other countries, the lack of adequate attention on homeland security, all together - has not made America as safe as we ought to be given the options available to us in the aftermath of 9/11. There are a whole series of events that have not made America safer.

Source: New York Times, “Bad Iraq Intelligence Cost Lives” Jul 11, 2004

Exaggeration by the Bush administration should be questioned

Q: Do you believe that Cheney berated middle-level people at the intelligence agency to, in effect, shape the intelligence that he wanted?

A: There is a very legitimate question about what the vice president of the US was doing at the CIA. There’s an enormous question about the exaggeration by this administration. But the most important point is the larger issue of how you choose somebody to run and to be president of the US. We deserve leadership that knows how to take a nation to war if you have to

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Bush administration is misleading America in a profound way

Q: Where has the exaggeration been in the threat on terrorism?

A: 45 minutes deployment of WMD, number one. Aerial vehicles to be able to deliver materials of mass destruction, number two. Nuclear weapons, number three. I could run a long list of clear misleading, clear exaggeration. The linkage to Al Qaida, number four. They are really misleading all of America in a profound way. This administration’s arrogant and ideological policy is taking America down a more dangerous path.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Bush misused the authority Congress gave him

Q: Was Dean wrong to oppose the war?

A: Certainly not in its current status. But he has had it both ways. On October 6th, five days before we voted in the Senate, Governor Dean took a public position supporting the Biden-Lugar resolution, which gave authority to the president of the United States to go to war if he found that the diplomatic effort had been exhausted and all he had to do was write a letter. We voted to do it the right way. This president chose to do it the wrong way.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Color-coded warning system needs to be changed

Q: Do you support the government’s threat warning system?

A: No, I would change it. I think a lot of Americans are desperately trying to figure out what the codes mean, what the colors mean. They’re kind of struggling to figure out what it means. I think Americans deserve something better. This president is actually playing to the culture of fear in our country. The war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement operation.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Focus on first responders instead of duct tape

The Bush administration denied for a very long time after 9/11 that there was any homeland security challenge at all, beyond the counterterrorism efforts already being performed by the FBI at home and the CIA overseas. Then the administration reversed course and embraced a Democratic proposal to create a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. Yet what Bush has offered is little more than a huge new bureaucracy and a run on duct tape. Funding for homeland security’s first responders- firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement-was first delayed, then drawn from other law-enforcement funding.

I’ve proposed a First Defenders Initiative to help both firefighters and police staff up against crime and terrorism and give homeland security forces the same degree of support we’ve given our armed forces overseas. This initiative includes efforts to bring 21st century technology to the war on terror so that first defenders can communicate and share lifesaving information.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 59-60 Oct 1, 2003

No new generation of nuclear weapons

[Bush has failed] to understand the world today: the problems of North Korea before they’re a crisis, where you need to negotiate; Africa and AIDS before it’s a crisis, not a matter of a political stop; the issue of proliferation. This president wants to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. I don’t want another generation of usable nuclear weapons. And we need the president to say no.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Other candidates on Homeland Security: John Kerry on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

MA politicians
MA Archives

Retiring in 2014 election:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
AZ:Kyl(R)
CT:Lieberman(D)
HI:Akaka(D)
ME:Snowe(R)
ND:Conrad(D)
NE:Nelson(D)
NM:Bingaman(D)
TX:Hutchison(R)
VA:Webb(D)
WI:Kohl(D)
Senate Retirements 2014:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
OK:Coburn(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK: Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
AL: Sessions(R,unopposed)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R)
CO: Udall(D) vs.Gardner(R) vs.Baumgardner(R) vs.Buck(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Stephens(R)
DE: Coons(D) vs.O`Donnell(R)
GA: Gingrey(R) vs.Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Handel(R) vs.Broun(R) vs.Kingston(R)
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
IA: Braley(D) vs.Whitaker(R) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Clovis(R)
ID: Risch(R) vs.Mitchell(D)
IL: Durbin(D) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L) vs.Truax(R)
KS: Roberts(R) vs.Tiahrt(R) vs.Wolf(R) vs.Taylor(D)
KY: McConnell(R) vs.Bevin(R) vs.Grimes(D)
LA: Landrieu(D) vs.Cassidy(R) vs.Maness(R)
MA: Markey(D) vs.Herr(R) vs.Skarin(I) vs.Gomez(R)
ME: Collins(R) vs.D`Amboise(R) vs.Bellows(D)
MI: Land(R) vs.Peters(D) vs.Wiedenhoeft(R)
MN: Franken(D) vs.McFadden(R) vs.Abeler(R)
MS: Cochran(R) vs.McDaniel(R) vs.Childers(D)
MT: Walsh(D) vs.Bohlinger(D) vs.Daines(R) vs.Edmunds(R)
NC: Hagan(D) vs.Tillis(R)
NE: Sasse(R) vs.Osborn(R)
NH: Shaheen(D) vs.Martin(R) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R)
NJ: Booker(D) vs.Sabrin(R) vs.Lonegan(R)
NM: Udall(D) vs.Weh(R) vs.Clements(R)
OK-2: Shannon(R) vs.Lankford(R)
OK-6: Inhofe(R) vs.Silverstein(D)
OR: Merkley(D) vs.Conger(R) vs.Wehby(R)
RI: Reed(D) vs.Carcieri(R)
SC-2: Scott(R) vs.Wade(D)
SC-6: Graham(R) vs.Stamper(D) vs.Mace(R) vs.Bright(R)
SD: Rounds(R) vs.Weiland(D) vs.Pressler(I)
TN: Alexander(R) vs.Carr(R)
TX: Cornyn(R) vs.Stockman(R) vs.Roland(L)
VA: Warner(D) vs.Gillespie(R) vs.Sarvis(L)
WV: Capito(R) vs.Raese(R) vs.Tennant(D) vs.McGeehan(R)
WY: Enzi(R) vs.Cheney(R) vs.Hardy(D)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
War/Peace
Welfare

Other Senators
Senate Votes (analysis)
Bill Sponsorships
Affiliations
Policy Reports
Group Ratings

Contact info:
Fax Number:
202-224-8525
Mailing Address:
Senate Office SR-218, Washington, DC 20510
Phone number:
(202) 224-2742

Page last updated: Apr 14, 2014