In Keynote Speech, Democratic Senator Assails His Party, Kerry
Sen. Miller, Democrat of Georgia, delivered the keynote speech at the Republican Convention. Miller, a former governor, also delivered the keynote speech at the 1992 Democratic convention that nominated Bill Clinton. Twelve years later, says ABC News Radio, Miller said "he is voting for a Republican for the first time in his life." This morning, Miller's attacks on Sen. Kerry and on his party are being described in stark terms. For example, the New York Times says his speech amounted to "a memorably brutal attack," while USA Today notes Miller's "searing rhetoric," and described his remarks as an "angry speech, delivered with a firm scowl." In a separate story, USA Today describes Miller's criticism as "brutal," citing the following quote as an example, "George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip. . . . From John Kerry, they get a 'yes-no-maybe' bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.'"
In his speech, Miller sought to cast strong doubt on Kerry's suitability to lead the country at a time of national crisis. The AP reports Miller "asserted Wednesday that Senate colleague John Kerry's indecisiveness would encourage terrorists and weaken the country's defenses." Knight Ridder says the Georgia senator "summed up his election-year defection by saying he trusts Bush more than Kerry to protect his family from terrorists. 'My family is more important than my party,' he added." After citing some of Kerry's votes, "Miller suggested that the Democratic candidate would cripple the nation's military in a time of national peril. 'This is the man who wants to be the commander in chief of the US armed forces?' he said. 'US armed forces armed with what? Spitballs?'" Miller "was equally contemptuous of the Democratic Party, saying that Democrats have a 'manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief.' 'In their warped way of thinking, America is the problem, not the solution,' he said." The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, notes Miller "sneered at Mr. Kerry's proposal that the US seek consensus with the United Nations and other nations before going to war, charging that 'Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide.'"
Miller Praised Kerry As A "Hero" In 2000.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, after he was elected to the US Senate in 2000, "Miller introduced Kerry at a 2001 event for the Democratic Party of Georgia as 'one of this nation's authentic heroes' and one of the Democratic Party's 'best-known and greatest leaders.'"