Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Kansas City, Missouri

October 21, 1984

The President. Thank you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you very much. Well, I wasn't going to, but you talked me into it.

Thank you all very much. It was good this afternoon to be able to say, ``I'm going to Kansas City; Kansas City here I come.''

The evening's festivities will soon begin, and I look forward to this debate. I relish the chance to talk about what divides our view of the world from my opponent's. We do see the world differently. He represents a school of thought that sees things in terms of limits and endless accommodation. He loves big government and trusts it more than he trusts the people. In his America, America is the victim, flinching under the blows of history. Well, that's his vision, and we'll leave him to it.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. All right. He has in his background some statements that he's made, showing his attitude with regard to the people, but we stand for the America of the people. And we have an honest faith in individuals. Our bias is toward the people and away from government. And we believe in encouraging growth and allowing the American people to unleash their daring.

We see an America of pride and power: powerful at home, powerful in the councils of the world, powerful in our ability to maintain the peace. Almost 4 years after we took office, our country is strong again.

Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. Yes, yes -- our aircraft fly again, and our ships can leave port. We stand for something. And this is good for the world, it's good for the people, and it's good for the prospects of peace.

Now, my opponent says that he cares about arms control, and I share his concern. I share his concern, but what he may not know is that you can't treat an adversary like a special interest group. And you can't just give them everything they want, get a kiss, and call it peace. You have to be strong if you are to successfully negotiate mutually beneficial agreements.

Now, my opponent says he cares about freedom, and I believe him. But then, he should be rejoicing that under our administration, not one square inch of soil has fallen to the Communist control in these 4 years.

Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. All right. In fact, one nation, Grenada, was actually liberated from a band of Communist thugs. You know that exactly 1 year ago tonight, I directed our Armed Forces to proceed with planning to send our troops into Grenada. And they had 48 hours to put the plan together, and you know the result. I think that we are really ready. And so, we can celebrate tonight as -- well, an evening for a celebration of freedom.

My opponent, in his hunger to succeed this evening, may try to deny some of the positions that he's long held on various questions. Well, he can change the tune, but he can't change the lyrics. As a matter of fact, we remember the whole record and may hum a few bars later on.

The American people believe in freedom and in the strength it takes to protect it. And so, we go to our work this evening knowing that all is not perfect in the world, but after almost 4 years of new leadership, much has improved.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, we don't claim to have remade the world, but we've made it better and safer -- and safer than the world the Carter-Mondale administration left us. We have put America back on the map.

I'm going to do something I hadn't planned. I haven't told this story for a long time, but I want to. First of all, I want you to realize that our men and women in uniform -- and God bless them, I think they're the best we've ever had -- these young people, they are the peacekeepers. That's their mission -- to keep peace, not to make war.

But I have to tell you about this one young fellow. He's over with our forces on the East German frontier in Europe. And one of our Ambassadors went up there on a trip visiting the troops and all. And as he went back to his helicopter, this young trooper, 19 years old, followed him. And when he got there, the young trooper asked the Ambassador if he thought he could get a message to me. Well, the Ambassador allowed as how he could. That's what he's there for. [Laughter] But the young fellow then said -- drew himself up and said, ``Mr. Ambassador, will you tell the President we're proud to be here and we ain't scared of nothin'.''

Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. U.S.A. forever, yes.

Thank you all. Thank you all for being here, and God bless you all. And I guess now I've got to go to work.

Note: The President spoke at 6:22 p.m. in the ballroom at the Westin Crown Center Hotel.