On both of those occasions -- when he talked to Brenda, when he talked to the people of Watertown, and the people of Spencer -- he said, simply, "I promise you one thing: You will not stand alone. We will help you." And I will tell you Mr. Vice President on behalf of the people of Watertown, and Spencer, and all the people of South Dakota, we thank you.
We are grateful to you for being with us in our time of need, and we are grateful to you for coming back to South Dakota. You have shared our pain with us. Today, we are proud to share with you the source of our hope: our children.
The Vice President just had the opportunity to meet our children. We visited the John F. Kennedy Elementary School. He read to a classroom full of first-graders, and talked with them and listened to them. Afterwards we had a rally. The kids all came and hugged him and you could see the affection they had for him.
His obvious concern for our children is one reason I am proud to stand here today with Senator Johnson and announce, with great pride and enthusiasm, that I will do all that I can in the next two years to make Al Gore the next President of the United States.
I have had the good fortune to know Al Gore for 20 years. Linda and I consider Tipper and Al close friends. I watched him in the House, I worked with him in the Senate, and I have watched with great admiration as he has become one of the most effective Vice Presidents in all of American history. No one could walk into the White House in 2001 with greater experience. No one in the history of nation has been more prepared, or more qualified, to assume the responsibilities of the Oval Office than this man, the next President of the United States, Al Gore. That is a fact.
In South Dakota, we judge people not only by what they say, but by what they do. For more than 20 years now, we have seen Al Gore do the right thing -- first in Congress, then in the White House. Over and over again, he has proven that he is a national leader.
He is a leader on economic issues. As Vice President, he has done more than almost anyone to strengthen our economy and create millions of new jobs, and we thank him for that.
He is a leader on education. He helped lead the fight to hire 100,000 new teachers. He helped lead the fight for smaller class sizes, so children can get the individual attention and discipline they need. No one understands the potential of educational technology better than Vice President Gore, and no one has fought harder to connect every classroom to the Internet. He will be one of the great education Presidents in our nation's history. I guarantee it.
Al Gore is an agricultural leader. Tim and I can tell you from personal experience, Al Gore is committed to doing what it takes to save family farms and revitalize rural communities. He is committed to ensuring that people in small towns have the same opportunities as people in big cities -- the same chance to get a good education, the same access to decent affordable health care, and the same opportunity to make a decent living and raise a family. He will be a farmer's President. He will provide the leadership we need so desperately to end this rural crisis, and prevent another one.
We live in a time of extraordinary
opportunities. No one is better prepared to turn those opportunities
into realities than Al Gore. No one has more vision or experience.
That is why Tim and I are proud to stand with him. That is why we
will work enthusiastically to help make him the next President of the United