|For Immediate Release
Contact: Beneva Schulte
|January 11, 2007|
Dodd Enters Presidential Race
The following is Senator Dodd’s statement –
“I am running for President of the United States of America because I believe that we have reached a defining moment in American history. America today is at grave risk of losing many things we’ve always taken for granted. Our leadership in the world, our role as innovator, our hopes for a better life – are all threatened.
“There is a sense of urgency. The country wants leadership. Iraq is the clearest example of the need for change. Today the American people are listening to their elected officials in Washington debate the President’s new plan for Iraq. In my view, the President’s new plan for Iraq is not simply a "surge" but rather an escalation of the Administration's current failed strategy that will needlessly place additional troops in harms way.
“We cannot afford to continue the current failed military option. The failure in Iraq has cost us in two ways. It has cost us the lives of three thousand brave men and women, which is tragic. But it has also diverted our attention away from trouble spots around the world, from the looming threat in Iran to N. Korea and most importantly, the greater war on terror.
“But my decision to run for President is not just about the war in Iraq but about the urgent need to get America back on track. On every issue important to the American people – from the loss of jobs overseas, to the security of our ports, to retirement, health care, our schools – there’s been no leadership. This Administration inherited a great deal of prosperity and goodwill six years ago, and they’ve squandered it.
“But it’s not too late to make the world right once again. We need to be optimistic and confident about our future. I believe America can lead again. We can be respected and admired in the world again. We can create the kind of jobs again here at home that allow people to buy a home, have decent health care, have decent retirement, send their kids to college.
“It’s going to take one fundamental thing we’ve been lacking: leadership.
“I believe I bring that kind of leadership to my candidacy for the Presidency. I know how to get things done. Let me give you just one example: long before children’s issues were a priority in Washington, I brought forward the simple idea that parents shouldn’t have to choose between the child they love, and the job they need. I fought for almost a decade to create the Family and Medical Leave Act, and today, over 50 million Americans have been able to make sure their family got the right start after the birth or adoption of a child. I was able to do that by being innovative about what the country needed, and then working with both Democrats and Republicans to get something done.
“I’m proud of the fact that the work I’ve done the past 25 years has made a real difference for America – getting resources and funding to our nations first responders; strengthening our military, supporting smart, pro-growth economic policies, reforming our nations broken election laws, and, as I said earlier, fighting for our children’s health, education, and well being.
“In 2008, I believe that this kind of experience is going to count. We can’t afford four more years of on the job training in the Oval Office. We need a President who’s ready to lead from day one, who has the ability to bring people together, and really work on these big issues at home and abroad.
“I say this not just as a public servant, but as a parent, the father of two young daughters – ages five and 22 months. At some point soon, they are going to be part of a jury coming along that will judge us all. They’re going to want to know what we did on our watch to address issues like global warming, to create a world with more friends than enemies – when we had the chance.
“Today, I have announced that I am running for President because I want to be able to say to them and all of our children that we did everything in our power to pass along a world where they can grow up to live as beautiful and meaningful a life as anyone can imagine. I believe I have the leadership, experience, vision and optimism this nation needs to create a better future and a better world.”
"Well, listen I'm going to file today formally papers of candidacy.
I'm gonna skip this exploratory phase I know a lot of people go through
and become a full-fledged candidate for the presidency. It's a big step.
I've thought about it over the last six months since I first started to
explore it, and let me tell you why, it's obviously the first question
why are you doing this? Let me state the obvious to anyone who's listening
this morning. There's a heightened sense of urgency obviously about the
condition of the country. We listened last night all the talk. And we'll
talk about it today and tomorrow and probably the days ahead on this Iraq
situation. But it isn't just Iraq. There are problems here at home that
are huge obviously in terms of working people--their jobs, their futures.
They're worried about their kids. I don't want to dwell on that. Let's
just say, suffice it to say, I think everyone feels this. Regardless
of what income level you're in, there's a sense that things aren't going
as well as they should both at home and abroad. I think people do believe
we can get this back on track again. I'm an optimist. I believe it's gonna
take hard work, but you can do it. You can get us moving in the right direction.
I think they're crying out for leadership. They want people who can come
up with bold solutions on healthcare, energy policy, environmental questions,
education. They want to be told what the truth is. They want to be involved
in the decisions. They want to know they can be a participant in getting
things right. And you've got to be able to bring people together. Now I've
been here 25 years in the United States Senate. Normally that would exclude
you from even considering higher office, but I think people this time around
believe experience matters, that I know how to do this. On every major
foreign policy and domestic issue over the last quarter of a century I've
been deeply involved in it. I'll now be chairing the Banking Committee.
I'll be the number two Democrat on the Health and Education Committees
in dealing with issues involving foreign policy. This morning I'll be sitting
next to my good friend Joe Biden on the Foreign Relations Committee, where
I've been for 25 years as well and served in the Peace Corps. Chris Matthews,
you're gonna have on, is a former Peace Corps volunteer. In fact I can
go back to the time where actually worked with Tim Russert and Chris Matthews
when they worked up there on Capitol Hill. So I know how to do this. I
know what has to be done, and I'm gonna get out and make my case and be
a part of this debate. And I realize I'm a dark horse in all of this. I'm
not as well-known as some of the others candidates who'll be running, but
a year from now we'll still be talking about the first caucuses and primaries,
and twelve months is more than a lifetime in politics. So I decided I wanted
to get off the--out of the bleachers and on the arena floor and make my
case and let the American people decide whether or not I deserve to be
their nominee and their president."