With pride in his achievements, with gratitude for his acceptance of this challenge, and with faith in his fight for working families -- I'm here to announce my running mate, the next Vice President of the United States of America, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
Tipper and I, and our family, including my mother, are thrilled to welcome Joe and Hadassah -- and their family, including Joe's mother.
And I say to all of you now: together, we're going to take this ticket from Nashville, Tennessee today, to Los Angeles, California next week, and in the months and miles ahead, all the way across America to the White House this November.
When I set out to choose a running mate, I said from the start that I had three simple tests:
First, and most importantly, I wanted someone who had the experience, the character, and the judgment to become President on a moment's notice, should that ever become necessary.
Second, I wanted someone who could work with me as a partner - someone who shares my values, and believes in the promise of America -- as I do.
And third, I wanted someone who would fight right alongside me for the people, not the powerful.
Joe Lieberman has the experience and the integrity. He has the courage and the commitment. And for all his public life, Joe Lieberman has stood for working families.
No one is better prepared to be Vice President of the United States.
As Attorney General of Connecticut, he took on the big polluters to clean up toxic waste.
He believes, as I do, that every family has a right to clean air and clean water. He believes, as I do, that the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
Joe Lieberman has stood up to the big oil companies, and cracked down on price-gouging at the gas pump.
He believes, as I do, in an America that frees itself forever from the dominance of big oil and foreign oil.
I've known Joe Lieberman for fifteen years now. We have stood together again and again for policies and principles to bring a new time of prosperity and progress.
Together, we fought for welfare reform - to set time limits, and make welfare a second chance, not a way of life. And the welfare rolls have been cut in half.
Together, we fought for fiscal discipline - for balanced budgets based on hard numbers and tough choices. And in the Gore-Lieberman administration, we will put this nation on the road to completely eliminating our national debt.
Together, we fought to make our communities safe again. We're putting 100,000 new community police on the streets - and we've seen crime rates fall seven years in a row. In our administration, we're going to pass a crime victims' bill of rights, including a Constitutional amendment to make sure that victims, and not just criminals, are guaranteed rights in our justice system.
Together, we fought to provide health care for children in need, and to make sure that families don't lose health insurance when a parent loses a job or changes jobs.
And in the Gore-Lieberman administration, we're going to pass a prescription drug benefit for all our seniors under Medicare, and a real Patients' Bill of Rights - that puts the medical decisions where they belong: back in the hands of the doctors and the nurses and the health care professionals.
And we're going to move step by step toward health care for all our families, starting with every child by the year 2004.
Together, Joe Lieberman and I have fought for campaign finance reform - and that will be the first bill of the Gore-Lieberman administration.
And together, Joe Lieberman and I have always stood for a strong national defense. He and I broke with our own party to cast two lonely Democratic votes in support of the Persian Gulf War. And next January, we're going to lead the fight to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
There's a big difference in this election. And it comes down to this: Joe and I are fighting to see to it that our prosperity benefits working families, and not just the few - to make sensible investments in health care, education, a secure retirement. We're fighting for middle-class tax cuts, not a massive giveaway that in Joe's words, "gives a buck a day at most to the average person, and more than $50,000 a year to the wealthy who don't need it."
Joe is devoted to his family. Tipper and I have often seen first-hand the joy that he and Hadassah find in each other and in their children. And here is something I regard as being of special importance. Joe is a grandfather.
As many of you know, my grandson Wyatt was born a little over a year ago, on the Fourth of July. And I've been bragging a lot about him.
I want you to know that Joe has two grandchildren: a girl Wyatt's age named Willie D., and a beautiful three-year-old girl whose name is - listen to this -- Tennessee.
And, to put the icing on the cake, Tennessee's mother April was born in the same Tennessee county - Weakley County - where my mother was born, and where Tipper's grandmother was born.
Joe and I come from different regions, and different religious faiths. But we believe in a common set of ideals. And we both believe, with our whole resolve, that as Americans we must make real the great ideal that we are one country, with a common history and a common destiny.
Next week, when our party meets in Los Angeles, we will recall the last time we met there, at the convention where we nominated John F. Kennedy.
That year, we voted with our hearts to tear down a mighty wall of division. We made history. And when we nominate Joe Lieberman for Vice President, we will do it again.
When he sought the Presidency more than 30 years ago, Robert Kennedy summoned us to make new the life of the world.
That year, Robert Kennedy's Connecticut campaign was co-chaired by a young man of purpose and character - a young man who had dedicated himself to social justice and working families. Earlier, when he was in college, that young man traveled here to the South - a year before Freedom Summer, when great fights for civil rights were being fought and won -- to help register African-Americans to vote.
Before he went, he wrote these words: "I am going because there is much work to be done… I am an American, and this is one nation, or it is nothing."
That young man's name was Joe Lieberman. And as I stand next to him today, I believe we are one step closer to truly being one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Lieberman...