Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Rove to Kerry: A Reputation is a Terrible Thing to Waste


People care a whole lot about their reputations. It is one of the most basic currencies of society: Everyone knows that you are only as good as your reputation in your club, town, and workplace.

Whether you like "W" or not, he is tied to our reputation, and he has objectively hurt our reputation. This is not about permission slips, global tests, or anything like that. It's about reputation. And people instinctively know that reputation is important.

You need to make the case that America's reputation is tied directly to our safety and prosperity, and that you're the only candidate that can fix it:

"It's one thing to defend America at all costs, which I have already pledged that I will do. But all throughout history, the free world has supported us when we engage in wars the right way. Look at the first Iraq war in 1991, and even look at the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Our reputation in the world was not only kept intact, but it was strengthened by a combination of leadership, diplomacy and military action.

Unfortunately, I fear -- as millions of Americans fear -- that this administration's lack of regard for America's reputation has cost us plenty: We already know how much debt we're in as a nation, but do you know how many thousands of American companies export their goods overseas? Think about the next big airline contract... do we want fast-growing foreign airline company buying their new fleet of planes from Airbus -- a European company -- or Boeing, an American company? Do we want billions of consumers around the world boycotting American-made products because of their new anger at America? Of course not. But this is the situation this President has gotten us into, and I plan on fixing this problem for American companies.

Thanks to this administration's reckless approach to diplomacy, CEOs all over our country are concerned about the new global marketplace where their products and services will be tougher to sell because of our eroding reputation.

So as you can see, how we defend ourselves affects not just our national security and our safety, but it also affects our economy.

Unlike the fantasy world that President Bush lives in, the world actually wants to like us and wants to see us lead. They really do. You know it, and I know it. We've lived most of our lives knowing it. This President is so abusive, that he only knows how to lead through abuse. He abused our allies and our relationships with hundreds of countries. Now we're paying the price in higher gas prices, higher food prices, and even worse, more violence and higher death tolls in Iraq.

When you elect me President, I give you my word that my top priority will be to renew America's reputation. America will once again be the shining light that draws people to us. American goods and services will be revered once again, and at the same time, we will have better cooperation in weeding out terror cells all over the world.

You see, with President Bush, you have to make a choice: You're either safe or have a good reputation. That's just how he sees it. With me, you don't have to make that choice: I will keep you safe, and I'll renew our reputation.

Unfortunately, I can't fix our reputation as a single senator. You need to go to the polls on November 2 and select me to be your President so I can get started on renewing America's reputation."