Transcript: Announcement of Candidacy




Thank you -- please -- thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, Mr. Mayor.

Thank you all for being here today.

Particularly, I want to thank Mr. Dennis Leary for that introduction. Your support --


-- your support has been invaluable. You -- say again?


Kevin Bacon. What did I say? Really? Anyway, many thanks to Kevin Bacon for that introduction. It's been great having you on board.

You know, when I went to congress twenty years ago, I got some sound advice about seeking higher office. Not from an older mentor on the Capitol or a wordsmithing Beltway insider, but from my driver. I believe his name was Thomas, or something like that. I found out later that he was an avid collector of medieval weapons and armor. I wish I'd known that then; we really had very little to talk about. In any case, Thomas -- no, I'm pretty sure it was Jeff -- Jeff told me -- I remember now, because I noticed once that it was Geoff with a "G", not a "J" -- he said something I'll always remember about going after the higher offices. He said to me,

"Congressman, if you ever want to be in the Senate or the Governor's mansion, I'd advise you to start wearing classier suits."


So, Geoff, if you're out there, I'd just like to know: Is this suit nice enough for the President of the United States?

[Laughter, applause]

And really, in a larger sense, that's why I've come here today. To offer this question: In light of my ideas, the precepts and the proposals put forth by this campaign, do I suit you? To ask you, collectively, to try me on for size. Would you, America, wear me as your President?

[Light applause]

So go ahead, try me on. Jet the sleeves. Is that length all right for you? We can take those in a little. No problem. How about the cufflinks? No good? They're gone. We'll bring in a selection for you to choose from. Feel the lapel right here. Nice, isn't it? You're not going to see a thread count like that for under two, three grand anywhere else, I can guarantee you that. And the pinstripes are very slimming. Not that you need it. Really. I meant in the aesthetic sense. You look like a banker. Very nice.

Where was I?

[Shuffles through papers]

Lost it. Okay, something about health care, possibly welfare reform -- no, that can't be it -- I should have typed this...


...anecdote, then something... Oh, yes.

You know, when I discussed entering the race with my family, my son Moishe asked me -- he's going to kill me for this; they all told me not to embarass them -- he asked me, "Why do you want to be President, Dad?"

He's shaking his head. Yes, you did, Moishe. Yes you did.

So I got to thinking about that and I realized I didn't really know -- I mean, I got to thinking about what I wanted the core messages of the campaign to be. And I couldn't really think of anything, I mean, I could, but... Okay, so there are three core messages. Those are, uh, those are -- well, okay, one of them was definitely jobs.

So here's my position: We need to generate more jobs in this country. But we need to do it in a way that respects our trade agreements and --


What are you clapping for? The trade agreements or the jobs? Never mind. So we we need to work within NAFTA to make sure that the labor market is free, but fair. So that we can protect American jobs and at the same time improve the conditions of the labor force in places like Mexico.


And to our Hispanic audience -- someone told me the Spanish-speaking constituency was a real pearl these days -- I'd just like to say, "El rombos del..."

Hold on... "El ramos de la..."

Anyway, it means "Children are the future, but jobs are the present" or something like that. Honestly, I don't speak a word of Spanish. To be quite frank, I find it to be an almost putrid -- okay, so jobs are important, but also natural security. We must secure our natural resources from...

No, that says national security. Right.

[Marks paper]

Okay. So, national security is kind of a given, right? I mean, I don't want to spend too much time... Here, let me just read you my notes.

Terrorism equals bad, Saddam gone equals good, war equals good and bad, mostly bad, and, uh... no exit plan equals very bad... No, approximately equals very bad. Sorry. Anyway, that's about it. I'm pretty much in line with John Kerry on all those things. You could just check out his website at and maybe look for one of the policy papers they've been putting out...

And the third part of my campaign is definitely health care reform. I am --


-- I am very sure of that. I'm going to be honest with you. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a trained physician. But I do know one thing about health care, and that's that Americans don't have enough of it.


Especially working families. And old people. Although I was pretty sure we had a whole separate program for keeping old people alive. In any case, we have a health care crisis in this country, and the first step in solving it is to recognize who's at fault -- the big drug companies. Or --


Or as I call them, Big Drug. Probably. I mean, the whole thing is pretty complicated, but probably it has to do with the drug companies. And the President. He's pretty much against health care. I heard him say that once.

So, to recap. The three focus points in my campaign: Terrorism, the economy, and prescription drugs for the elderly. And by terrorism I mean that whole ball of wax, including the war and everything.

In closing, might I quote Talmud? Actually, it's one of the Sephardic commentaries, if you keep track. It goes something like this:

"Rav. Riemer: If three of the Noachide commandments are repetitive, then the whole concept must also be discarded.

Reb. Cardozo: But if the three are also referential, that is to say they are written in consequence of earlier relapses, then we must take them at face value. As it was put..."

And it goes on from there. I may have marked the wrong part. But in 2004, for new ideas, new leadership, new solutions, I ask all Americans, black or white, Republican or Democrat, Protestant or Muslim, young or old, married or single, male or female, Asian or Pacific Islander: Consider my proposals, see if my plan for America is aligned with your goals for you and your family, and vote accordingly.


Thank you.



End Transcript .