PORTLAND, Ore. – Democratic front-runner John Kerry (search) brought his presidential campaign back to Oregon Tuesday, stressing universal health coverage and a rollback of tax breaks for the wealthy.
Kerry scolded President George W. Bush (search) for not getting Middle Eastern countries to boost oil production to offset lower prices, and said Middle East unrest adds from $10 to $12 to the price of a barrel of oil.
He also promised that his administration would provide health insurance to all children and allow people from 55 to 64 years old to buy into the Medicare (search) program early. The candidate said he would give 50 percent tax credits to help those who are self-employed or own small businesses to reduce health care costs.
Kerry also said he would lower health care premiums by having the federal government take over high-cost catastrophic cases, and proposed giving $1 billion to the auto industry to help them make more fuel-efficient cars.
During a question-and-answer session, a woman asked what she should tell her son, who is training as a military helicopter pilot, when people claim it is unpatriotic not to support President Bush.
Kerry said there was a saying in Vietnam (search) that declared, "My country, right or wrong."
"I say if it is right, let's keep it right. When it's wrong, let's make it right," he said.
It was Kerry's second visit to Oregon in a week.