DENVER – Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said allowing Sen. John McCain to continue the policies of President Bush would pose a grave national security risk to America, during a speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.
Cummings said Sen. Barack Obama and vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden are more than ready to lead the country in a new and better direction.
“America’s influence in the world is reduced, and the threats to our nation are even greater. And incredibly, Senator McCain wants to continue the same failed policies that got us here,” Cummings said. “We cannot afford eight more years of failure.”
A member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Coast Guard Maritime and Transportation Committee, Cummings insisted that McCain was significantly ill-equipped to confront America’s national security problems.
“The Coast Guard’s motto is simple, yet forceful: ‘Semper paratus’ meaning ‘always ready’…and unfortunately, when it comes to our national security, the Bush Administration has not always been ready,” Cummings said. “In fact, their failed policies have left us woefully unprepared to confront the dangers of a post 9-11 world.”
As the only representative of Maryland to speak on Wednesday night’s theme, Securing America’s Future, Cummings, who is also co-chair of Maryland’s Obama-Biden campaign, expressed his support for the Democratic nominee’s policies.
“We need real change, and we can vote for real change by voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Cummings said. “Rather than pursuing a ‘go-it-alone’ strategy in Iraq, they will bring everyone to the table and end this war in Iraq without destabilizing the region.”
Born and raised in Baltimore, Cummings received a bachelor of arts in political science and was elected student government president of Howard University. After graduating, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 16 years. Cummings was also the first African-American in the state’s history to be named Speaker Pro Tem, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996.
Cummings also spoke at a number of other engagements at the convention this week, including Maryland’s welcome reception Sunday night.
As he concluded his Wednesday speech, Cummings reemphasized his support for Obama and Biden.
“Barack Obama and Joe Biden are ready to lead. They are tested and proven, and they will bring us the change we need and the America we deserve,” Cummings said. “Under their leadership, America, like the Coast Guard, will be ready.”