Good Morning. I'm Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Today our nation honors the sacrifices of our veterans who have honorably served and protected our nation. We also honor the sacrifices of their families and our brave troops who are serving around the world, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are grateful for the sacrifices they are making on our behalf.
This Veterans Day comes at the end of an historic election season. The American people sent a clear message for a new direction by electing strong Democratic veterans like Jim Webb in Virginia, Tim Walz in Minnesota, and Admiral Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy and Chris Carney in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, Americans across the country made it clear that they want a new direction in Iraq and in the war on terror. Voters also made it clear that they want defense policies that are tough and smart. Our agenda includes a new direction in defending America at home and around that world. We will listen to the military, take their advice, and ensure that our troops and agencies have the tools and equipment they need to defend our freedom. And we will keep our promises to our brave men and women when their service is done.
Americans also chose hope and opportunity over fear and cynicism, returning Democrats to power in Congress, state houses and legislatures with a clear call for honest, competent leadership, accountability and change in Iraq, and economic policies that put working families first.
Democrats are honored by the trust voters placed in us. And on their behalf, we fight for the new direction that Americans want and America needs.
On Tuesday, American voters demonstrated that if Democrats show up, work hard and ask for votes, we can win in any part of the country. Working together, our party became a national party again. We won in places that some thought we couldn't. We earned the votes of people who may not have voted for a Democrat in a long time. By showing up in every state, and reaching out to all Americans, we were able to make marginal races more competitive in unexpected places like Kentucky, Indiana, and Montana. We also reached out to all Americans, regardless of party or religious affiliation, and we talked about the values and beliefs that we share as Americans.
Over the next two years, Democrats will lead with unified agenda that restores hope and opportunity, competence and responsibility. We believe America should work better for the people who work hard for us everyday.
Our agenda includes:
Making our nation safer; and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 commission.
Making our economy fairer, and we will begin by raising the minimum wage.
Making health care more affordable for all Americans, and we will begin by fixing the Medicare prescription drug program.
We will broaden college opportunity, and we will begin by cutting interest rates in half for students and restoring the Pell Grants that were cut in the last session of Congress.
We will energize America by achieving energy independence, and we will begin by rolling back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for big oil. We will use the savings to balance the budget because we are committed to no new deficit spending, with pay-as-you-go budgeting.
The most important promise we make is this - we will respect all Americans. We will value your beliefs and your families as we restore America to its position of moral leadership thought the world. Together America will be stronger. Together we will move America in a new direction.
I'm Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Thank you for listening.