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Kerry: 'I love New Hampshire'

Kerry: "I have only begun to fight"

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Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry addresses supporters after claiming victory in the New Hampshire primary.
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Sen. John Kerry claimed victory Tuesday in New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary. Kerry thanked supporters following his win.

KERRY: Well, I love New Hampshire.


KERRY: And I love Iowa, too.

And I hope with your help to have the blessings and the opportunity to love a lot of other states in the days to come.

Thank you. Thank you, New Hampshire for lifting up this campaign and the cause of an America that belongs not to the privileged, not to the few, that belongs to all Americans. And I've...

And let me tell you this victory belongs to all of you who made the phone calls, walked the snowy, cold streets ... snowy, cold streets ... gave your hearts, your hands and countless sleepless nights.

You stayed the course here in New Hampshire. And because of you, this has been a successful and a happy campaign.

And I make this pledge to you tonight: I have spent my whole life fighting for what I think is right and against powerful special interests, and I have only just begun the fight.

AUDIENCE: Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on.

KERRY: I intend to. I will.

So I have a message -- I have a message for the influence peddlers, for the polluters, the HMOs, the big drug companies that get in the way, the big oil, and the special interests who now call the White House their home: We're coming, you're going and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

AUDIENCE: Go, go, go. Go, go, go.

KERRY: This victory belongs also, in a special way, to the veterans who marched with us.

And they helped to lift us up from the lowest points, to the point where we are today.

I know that all of you will join me in saying a special thank you to Max Cleland and...

In the hardest moments of the past month, I depended on the same band of brothers that I depended on some 30 years ago. We're a little older ... and a little grayer. But I'll tell you this: We still know how to fight for our country.

And if I am president, I pledge ...

AUDIENCE: When, when, when, when.

KERRY: And when I am president ... I pledge that those who wore the uniform of the United States of America will have a voice and a champion in the Oval Office.

Now this campaign goes on to places all over this country. And I ask Democrats everywhere ... to join us so that we can defeat George W. Bush and the economy of privilege.

And so that we can fulfill the ideal of opportunity, not just for some, but for all Americans. I ask you...

I ask those of you who are not yet part of this campaign to go to

And I want you to march with us across this land and demand a government that's on your side again. That is the mission of this campaign. And together, we can lift our country up, up to the America that all of us know that we can become.

So stand with me. Stand with me, and together we're going to give America back its future by repealing the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans and investing in health care and education, children.

Stand with us -- stand with us, and together we will build a prosperity in this country where Americans are not just working for the economy, but the economy is working for Americans ... a prosperity where we will reduce the poverty of millions, rather than reducing the taxes of millionaires ... a prosperity where we create jobs here at home and where we shut down every loophole, every incentive, every reward that goes to some Benedict Arnold CEO or company that take the jobs overseas and stick Americans with the bill.

Stand with us, and together we will give America the fundamental decency of health care that is affordable and accessible and a right and not a privilege, that is available to all Americans. And we will make the same plan available to all Americans that is available to senators and congressmen, because your health care...

Stand with us, and we will fight for an America where Medicare is protected, where health care costs are kept down and where your family's health care is just as important as any politician in Washington, D.C.

Stand with us -- stand with us, and we will give America the security of energy independence, because ... because no young American in uniform should ever be held hostage to America's dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Stand with us, and we will give America back its truth as a country where freedom really rings, a country of equal rights and civil liberties, where the attorney general is not named John Ashcroft.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: On to South Carolina.

KERRY: George Bush, who promised to be a uniter, has become the great divider. And we believe in a country where everyone can hope to move and to stride forward, no matter where you come from, no matter who you are and no matter what the color of your skin or your background.

And if you stand with us, we will make America safer by rejoining the community of nations and restoring our true role of leadership in the world.

George Bush...

AUDIENCE: Kerry, Kerry, Kerry.

KERRY: I put it to America simply, and all the world has been witness to this, as well as Americans of good conscience: George Bush has run the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country. And we need to turn that around.

Now George Bush and Karl Rove say that they intend to make national security the central issue of this campaign.

Well, I know something about aircraft carriers for real.

KERRY: And if George Bush wants to make national security the central issue of this campaign, we have three words for him we know he understands:


AUDIENCE: Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on.

KERRY: As I stand here now, I think of Robert Frost's words: The woods of New Hampshire are lovely, dark and keep. And they certainly are lovely tonight.


KERRY: And while we still have miles to go, and we do, and we will be leaving tonight to begin the journey of those miles, to take this fight to the rest of the country. But as we do that, I want to thank those of you who have shared this journey here in the great Granite State.

First of all, my amazing, graceful and unbelievable partner in this effort, Teresa.

To my daughters and my stepsons, four of whom are here, and I want Vanessa and Alexandra and Chris Heinz and Andre to hoist their hands and say hello.

And if you're lucky, maybe later you'll hear the governor of California's double, who will...

I want to thank my brother, Cam, and my sisters, Peggy and Diana.

And I particularly want to thank -- I want to thank my national chair and my state chair, neither of whom sat for long anywhere, Billy Shaheen and Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

KERRY: I want to thank some of the best and most talented leadership than any campaign in New Hampshire -- or anywhere -- has ever had. Ken Robertson (ph), Judy Riordon (ph) ... Sue Casey (ph), Nick Clemens (ph) and Theo Yudensky (ph), thank you very, very much.

And let me say -- let me say to all of those young volunteers from here and from around the country, who came to be part of this great journey, you ... you, you never gave up. You kept on going. And I am proud to be with you in this great effort.

Thank you for what you've done. Thank you. Thank you.

I want to thank Mayor Bob Baines of Manchester for his help.

And I want to thank -- I want to thank one of the most special groups of individuals in America who defend us daily, put their lives on the line, I want to thank all of the firefighters of New Hampshire, of the country.

I want to thank Harold ... Thank you, men (ph).

I want to thank all of the elected officials who have become part of this effort, many of whom are standing here behind me today. I want to thank my colleagues from Congress and so many others who came to help, particularly my friend, Ted Kennedy and ... I want to thank -- and I'm so grateful to Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina for coming up here and being part of this. And Fritz, we will see you soon.

And I want to thank our special talented musicians who have joined us along the way, Peter Yarrow, who is not here tonight, and he's been part of this journey and Carole King over here who's been with us ... King over here...

And Moby and Max Weinberg and Tom Delong, they have all been enormous...

And I want to thank -- I want us all to thank each of our fellow Democratic candidates who have run, because they have conducted a vigorous contest. And I particularly want to thank the young people

who have come into each of their campaigns, the activists and volunteers who love this country and are so much a part of making our party strong and bold.

And most of all, I want to thank you, the people of New Hampshire, who voted for me today, who kept your minds and hearts open, because today you voted for new help in the United States of America and intend to help provide it.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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