Bush Back on the Trail With a New Message: ‘Results Matter’
In a new campaign speech that presages an August advertising blitz, President Bush asserts that America has “turned the corner” and depicts himself -- in contrast to Democratic nominee John F. Kerry -- as a leader who delivers.
“When it comes to choosing a president, results matter,” Bush will declare today when he unveils the speech, according to his campaign.
The sentence echoes a 2000 campaign slogan that termed Bush a “reformer with results.” It is also an implied dig at Kerry’s 19-year record in the Senate, which Republicans call undistinguished.
Bush will resume campaigning today after a week on his Texas ranch as the Democratic National Convention held the political spotlight. His campaign on Thursday disclosed excerpts from his new speech.
In an excerpt meant to show his optimism, Bush says: “We have turned the corner, and we are not turning back.”
The partial unveiling of Bush’s message for the next phase of his reelection campaign came hours before Kerry accepted his party’s presidential nomination. The timing showed the Republican determination to blunt the Massachusetts senator’s momentum coming out of Boston.
The Bush-Cheney ’04 communications director, Nicolle Devenish, acknowledged that August would be crucial as Republicans prepared for their convention in New York. She said Bush planned to focus on domestic issues for two weeks on the campaign trail, starting with a pitch for employers to have more freedom to offer flexible working hours. He will then move to discussing education, healthcare, retirement, home ownership and small business development.
By mid-August, she said, the president would turn his focus to national security.
Devenish said Bush’s campaign bus would also have a new look. Gone is the slogan “Yes, America Can.” In its place, she said, are “Heart and Soul” and “Moving America Forward.”
As of June 30, the Bush campaign had more than $64 million on hand. Most of the money has not been spent. Campaign officials said the money would help fund a new advertising initiative.
Before leaving his Texas ranch for Washington on Thursday, the president and his wife taped an interview with Phillip McGraw, host of the television talk show “Dr. Phil.” A show spokesman said it would air sometime after Sept. 13.
A spokesman for the show said an invitation had also been extended to Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Times staff writer Elizabeth Jensen contributed to this report.