I hope you all got a chance to watch last night’s debate. These conversations are all about giving the American people the power to make an informed choice about the future of our country. That’s why I take my responsibility so seriously to provide specific, honest and complete answers about my beliefs and my plans.
There were a lot of good questions tonight and I was glad that I got to address many important areas of policy and character. But there was one critical question I wasn’t asked – one that’s extremely relevant right now as President Bush and Congress are set to face off in Washington. I’d like to answer that for you here:
What should we be doing — right now — to end the war in Iraq?
As you’ve heard, the Senate has followed the House and passed a bill to fund our troops with a timeline to bring them home and end the conflict. Both houses of Congress have now passed funding bills that reflect the will of the American people that we must end the war in Iraq.
The president has said he will veto this legislation, which will defy the American people and deny our troops the funding they need. When that happens, the president will be the one blocking support for our troops, not Congress.
With so much at stake, Congress must stand firm.
If Bush vetoes the funding for our troops, Congress must send the same bill back to the president — and they should do this again and again–as many times as it takes for Bush to understand that the American people are right and the war must be brought to an end.
In the next few days, the will of Congress will be severely tested. Bush will be doing everything in his considerable power to convince the nation that Congress is responsible for his reckless decision not to fund the troops. Plenty of people in Washington will say the political risks are just too great and Democrats in Congress should just back down.
If there ever was a time to replace political calculation with political courage, that time is now. If Congress shows courage, they can end this war.
But where will they find that courage in the face of Karl Rove’s media machine? They’ll find it if all of us speak up as loudly as we can in the next few crucial days and demand that our representatives do what is right. Political courage has always been found in the voice of the people – and our voice is needed today.
Thanks for tuning in to tonight’s debate and for caring enough about your country to get involved when your country needs you most. I look forward to continuing our work together in the months and years to come.
The author of this Article is John Edwards. He is running for president in 2008 because he wants to build an America that lives up to its promise — one where we all share in prosperity at home and one that shows real moral leadership around the world.