January 8, 2004 -
Jefferson, Iowa - Rep. Dick Gephardt today highlighted his bold ideas for
rural and small town America in a campaign stop in Jefferson, Iowa. Remarks
"If we are going to draw a clear contrast with George Bush on the issues of agriculture and trade, we need a candidate with the credibility to challenge him here in the heartland. I am that candidate because I have the most experience and the boldest ideas to grow America's rural economy and create jobs all across our country. George Bush's agriculture policy has failed the family farmer and failed small-town America. I'm here to offer you an alternative.
"My agricultural policy will include a packer ban enabling small family producers to compete in agriculture markets. I will fight for meaningful payment limits so that government help goes to the family farmers who need it most, not just the huge agribusinesses who keep pushing for more and more dominance.
"I will fund important country-of-origin-labeling provisions so that American families will know where the food they are buying is coming from. I fought for this important initiative with Tom Harkin and if George Bush had sided with American families instead of the special interests, our food supply would be safe and we could stop this mad cow crisis before it even crossed the American border.
"Finally, I will fight for a trade policy worth the paper it's written on. My opponents in this race fought for the same trade policies George Bush supports that cause the low prices that are forcing families to sell their farms all over America. Howard Dean and John Kerry both supported NAFTA. Howard Dean, John Kerry and John Edwards supported the bad trade deal with China. I have led the fight against these bad trade deals. At times it was a lonely fight, but it was the right thing to do."