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Key points of Kerry's speech

Sen. John Kerry outlines the points defining his campaign as he speaks at the FleetCenter.
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark speaks on behalf of veteran Kerry.

CNN's Bill Schneider on Kerry's challenge: defining his image.

Watch an excerpt of the biographical video to be shown in tonight's session.
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John F. Kerry
America Votes 2004

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- In his acceptance speech Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention, Sen. John Kerry talked about what he would do if elected president. Here are the highlights.

Presidential goals

  • "Make America stronger and respected in the world."
  • "Restore trust and credibility to the White House."
  • War in Iraq

  • Bring in more allies to share burden.
  • Foreign policy

  • "Never hesitate to use force when it is required."
  • Meet any attack "with a swift and certain response."
  • "Never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security."
  • Lead global effort against nuclear proliferation.
  • Military policy

  • Add 40,000 active duty troops.
  • Double special forces to conduct anti-terrorist operations.
  • End "backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists."
  • Go to war only "because we have to."
  • Never fight "a war without a plan to win the peace."
  • National security

  • Immediately implement 9/11 commission recommendations.
  • Inspect container ships coming into ports.
  • Better protect nuclear and chemical plants.
  • Economic plan

  • New incentives to "revitalize manufacturing."
  • Invest in technology and innovation to create "good-paying jobs."
  • Close tax loopholes that "reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas."
  • Reward companies that "create and keep good-paying jobs" at home.
  • "Fair playing field" for American workers to compete in global economy.
  • Tax policies

  • "I will not privatize Social Security. I will not cut benefits."
  • Cut the deficit in half in four years by ending "tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare."
  • Cut taxes for middle class.
  • Reduce tax burden on small businesses.
  • Roll back tax cuts for individuals making more than $200,000 a year.
  • Make government "pay as you go."
  • Education

  • Demand accountability from parents, teachers and schools.
  • Reduce class size.
  • Create tax credit to families for every year of college.
  • Health care

  • Health care "a right for all Americans."
  • Make system more efficient to save families up to $1,000 a year on premiums.
  • Ensure that system allows patients to pick their own doctors.
  • Allow patients and doctors to make decisions, not insurance companies.
  • Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors.
  • Allow Americans to buy less expensive drugs from countries like Canada.
  • Energy policy

  • Invest in new technologies and alternative fuels.
  • Invest in cars of the future.
  • Campaign goals

  • Take the high road.
  • "Be optimists, not just opponents."
  • "Build unity in the American family, not angry division."
  • "Make this election a contest of big ideas, not small-minded attacks."

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