Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry says Americans are united in fighting terrorism, and he is renewing criticism of Republican President Bush for the failure to capture terrorist Osama bin Laden more than three years after the September 2001 attacks on the United States.
Just a day after a videotape of Osama bin Laden was broadcast, Senator Kerry said fighting terrorism will not divide Americans, even during a hard fought race for the White House.
"Let me make it clear to people all across the world," said Senator Kerry. "As Americans, we are absolutely united, all of us. There are no Democrats; there are no Republicans. As Americans, we are united in our determination to destroy, capture, kill Osama bin Laden and all of the terrorists. They are barbarians, and we are going to hunt them down, and we will make America safe."
Senator Kerry renewed criticism of the Bush administration for not capturing or killing Osama bin Laden during the war in Afghanistan.
"As I have said for two years now, when Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida were cornered in the mountains of Tora Bora, it was wrong to outsource the job of capturing them to Afghan warlords, who, a week earlier, were fighting against us, instead of using the best trained troops in the world, who wanted to avenge America for what happened in New York and Pennsylvania and Washington," he said.
The democratic presidential nominee also criticized President Bush for his decision to go to war against Iraq, saying it diverted attention from the fight against terror.
"It was wrong to divert our forces from Afghanistan, so that we could rush to war in Iraq, without a plan to win the peace," said Mr. Kerry. "This is my pledge to you. I will use all the power that we have, and all of the leadership, the leadership skill that I can summon and that is, believe me, more than what we have today. I will lead the world in fighting a smarter, more effective, tougher, more strategic war on terror, and we will make America safer."
Senator Kerry is traveling through Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, all considered key states that will help determine which candidate wins the White House next Tuesday. President Bush is campaigning in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida.