Friday, August 04, 2006

Ford Kicks Off General Campaign

U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. today launched his general election campaign to bring a new generation of leadership to the Senate by announcing that he will launch a statewide bus tour that will take him to 28 counties during the month of August.

The “New Generation of Leadership” bus tour will start Aug. 9, and conclude at the end of the month.

Fresh off a $1 million fundraising event featuring former President Bill Clinton, Governor Phil Bredesen and former Governor Ned McWherter, Ford starts the General Election well-funded and organized to win.

Ford also made two other announcements today:

The campaign will launch a new statewide television campaign Monday, featuring a message that we can lower gas prices for Tennesseans by using our state's agricultural products to create new and renewable forms of energy. In the ad, shot in Dyer County, Ford says that Tennessee soybean fields can be this generation's oilfields, if we vote for new leaders who will invest in renewable energy and Tennessee ingenuity.

Congressman Ford challenged Republican candidate Bob Corker to at least seven televised debates, one per television market, with a debate to be focused on national security in Oak Ridge.

Harold Ford, Jr. released the following statement today:

“I look forward to a vigorous debate about the future of our country. In 2006, Tennesseans are demanding a full and open discussion of the issues that matter most to them. Tennesseans want debates, I believe in debates, and the voters deserve as many debates as possible.

“Our campaign has traveled our state from Memphis to Mountain City. Voters are clear. They demand change. They want a new generation of leadership that will rise above partisanship, reach beyond failed ideology, and put them first.

"We have tried it the other way now for six years, and we know the results. Record gas prices, record debt, fewer people with good health care and good schools, a stay-the-course approach in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a world that is less safe. We must trade the failed approach of the past for serious answers to these big challenges.

"America is in need of new ideas and approaches to making America safer and stronger, expanding our energy supply, protecting our borders, stimulating entrepreneurial and job growth and educating and protecting our children, workers and seniors. We have tried a certain way now for more than 5 years, and I believe it is time to move beyond the tired left-right political axis and engage people on a new axis, the future versus the past, and trade the failed ideologies and approaches of the past for serious answers to the big challenges of today and tomorrow.

“I look forward to this campaign. Public service is my call. It is a noble calling, and it is the work of my life. Some may criticize me because I have answered this call, but I do not apologize for it. I am proud of my service to the people in my congressional district, and I believe the people of Tennessee will be proud of my service to them as their new senator.

"The best Tennessee political campaigns bring people together, give people hope about the future, and offer a real and honest debate about where candidates stand on the most important issues confronting Tennesseans and the country. That is the kind of campaign we have tried to conduct and will going forward. I pray my Republican opponent will follow suit.

“If voters are happy with the way things are going, let them vote for more of the same. I believe most Tennesseans, however, have had enough of the failed leadership in Washington. I know their call for change will prevail in November and that, together, our voices will be heard in the United States Senate.”