Transcript of George W. Bush's Acceptance Speech

It is the office of Lincoln’s conscience and Teddy Roosevelt’s energy and Harry Truman’s integrity and Ronald Reagan’s optimism.

For me, gaining this office is not the ambition of a lifetime, but it IS the opportunity of a lifetime.

And I will make the most of it. I believe great decisions are made with care, made with conviction, not made with polls.

I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind. I do not reinvent myself at every turn. I am not running in borrowed clothes.

When I act, you will know my reasons … When I speak, you will know my heart.

I believe in tolerance, not in spite of my faith, but because of it.

I believe in a God who calls us, not to judge our neighbors, but to love them.

I believe in grace, because I have seen it … In peace, because I have felt it … In forgiveness, because I have needed it.

I believe true leadership is a process of addition, not an act of division.

I will not attack a part of this country, because I want to lead the whole of it.

And I believe this will be a tough race, down to the wire.

Their war room is up and running … but we are ready. Their attacks will be relentless … but they will be answered. We are facing something familiar, but they are facing something new.

We are now the party of ideas and innovation … The party of idealism and inclusion.

The party of a simple and powerful hope …

My fellow citizens, we can begin again. After all of the shouting, and all of the scandal. After all of the bitterness and broken faith. We can begin again.

The wait has been long, but it won’t be long now.

A prosperous nation is ready to renew its purpose and unite behind great goals … and it won’t be long now.

Our nation must renew the hopes of that boy I talked with in jail, and so many like him … and it won’t be long now.

Our country is ready for high standards and new leaders … and it won’t be long now. An era of tarnished ideals is giving way to a responsibility era … and it won’t be long now.

I know how serious the task is before me. I know the presidency is an office that turns pride into prayer.

But I am eager to start on the work ahead.

And I believe America is ready for a new beginning. My friend, the artist Tom Lea of El Paso, captured the way I feel about our great land. He and his wife, he said, “live on the east side of the mountain …

It is the sunrise side, not the sunset side.

It is the side to see the day that is coming … not the side to see the day that is gone.”

Americans live on the sunrise side of mountain.

The night is passing.

And we are ready for the day to come.

Thank you. And God bless you.

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