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Inside Politics

Key points of Edwards' speech

John Edwards addresses the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.
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John Edwards
America Votes 2004

(CNN) -- In his speech Wednesday night to the Democratic National Convention, Sen. John Edwards offered a number of specifics of what he and Sen. John Kerry would do if elected. Here are the highlights.

Social issues and taxes

  • "We will sign into law a real patients' bill of rights so you can make your own health care decisions."
  • Reform schools and raise standards, providing incentives "to put our best teachers in the subjects and the places where we need them the most."
  • Promote job retention by ending tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs and by giving tax breaks "to American companies that are keeping jobs right here in America."
  • Provide a tax break and health care reform to lower health insurance premiums up to $1,000.
  • Provide a child-care tax credit of up to $1,000.
  • Provide tax breaks of up to $4,000 for college tuition.
  • Roll back the tax cuts for those in the top 2 percent of income brackets, close corporate loopholes, and "cut government contractors and wasteful spending."
  • Raise the minimum wage.
  • "Finish the job" on welfare reform.
  • Security and foreign affairs

  • Reform intelligence agencies.
  • Build and lead strong alliances.
  • Strengthen homeland security by protecting ports, safeguarding chemical plants and supporting first responders.
  • "Destroy" al Qaeda.
  • Military policy

  • "We will always use our military might to keep the American people safe."
  • Strengthen and modernize the military, doubling the Special Forces and investing in the new equipment and technologies.
  • Veterans "will never be left behind."
  • Iraq

  • "We will build a stable Iraq" by getting NATO to help secure the country and ensuring that Iraq's neighbors, like Syria and Iran, "don't stand in the way of a democratic Iraq."
  • Bolster Iraq's economy "by getting other countries to forgive their enormous debt and participate in the reconstruction."
  • Middle East

  • "A new president will bring the world to our side, and with it a stable Iraq, a real chance for peace and freedom in the Middle East, including a safe and secure Israel."
  • Weapons of mass destruction

  • "We can work with other nations to secure stockpiles of the world's most dangerous weapons and safeguard this extraordinarily dangerous material."
  • "We can finish the job and secure the loose nukes in Russia."
  • "We can close the loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that allows rogue nations access to the tools they need to develop these weapons."

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