Remarks at a Senate
Campaign Rally for Representative W. Henson Moore in Metairie, Louisiana
September 18, 1986
The President. Thank you all very much.
Thank you. And thank you, Henson. You know, they tell me that with my job goes
the title of Commander in Chief. And I know that in the military the top
commanders can dictate the uniform. And right now I'm dictating the uniform.
[The President removed his jacket.] Well, it's wonderful to be here in Louisiana. And it's great to be
back on the campaign trail -- it almost feels like 1980 all over again. You
know, as I said to my staff when we were taking off on Air Force One, it's
great to be out of Washington and back to where the
real people are. You make a man feel mighty welcome.
wish I could -- [applause] -- thank you, I wish I could stay longer, but as you
know, Congress is back in session and, well, with a couple of the best here
with me and me here, too, I don't think that we should be leaving the rest of
them there alone too long. Like the story of the man from Jefferson Parish --
he sent a letter to the IRS saying: Enclosed is a check for $1,000. I cheated
on my taxes last year, and I can't sleep at night. P.S.: If I still can't
sleep, I'll send you the rest I owe you. [Laughter]
see a lot of young people in the audience, and I know that many of you are out
of schools in Jefferson Parish. And I have a special message for you from my roommate.
As I was leaving this morning, Nancy asked me to pass on to
you her message. You heard it from us both Sunday night: that when it comes to
drugs, please -- for yourselves, your families, for your community and for your
country -- just say no. [Applause] Well, thank you, and -- all of you students
being here firsthand to learn about our democratic process -- and that's the
most important lesson there is to learn in this free country of ours.
real proud to be here with these candidates: Bob Livingston, one of our
all-star players of the United States Congress; Richard Baker -- and when I say
he's good enough to fill Henson Moore's shoes in the Sixth District, I'm saying
a lot. We've also got a top candidate in Clyde Holloway in the Eighth District.
Moore, Livingston, Baker, and Holloway -- that's what I call Louisiana's A-Team. And just as
Henson told us, it is time for a new day to dawn in Louisiana. And like the sun
coming up over the horizon, I see a new Senator for this State -- a fighter for
Louisiana, a strong, effective
leader, with a reputation for integrity. And I'm talking about our friend
Henson Moore, the next United States Senator from the great State of Louisiana. I've seen this man
work in Washington, and believe me, there
is none better. Henson Moore has a proven record in the Congress.
Audience. We love you, Ronnie! We love you,
The President. Thank you. All right.
been in the vanguard of the battle to bring America back with pride and
patriotism. And with his help in the Senate, we're going to keep America standing tall and proud
and free. You know, Henson tells me about when he was a boy growing up in
Hackberry, in the southwestern part of Louisiana, and how when he and his
friends used to go swimming out in the bayous they'd always have one fellow
stay in the boat, keeping a lookout for alligators. Well, I think you'll know
what I'm talking about when I say that's why America needs Henson Moore in Washington -- keeping a lookout
for Louisiana's interests and keeping
America out of the clutches of
the liberal tax and spenders.
it's no secret that there are still some folks in Washington who want to put
America full speed in reverse -- back to the days when big government, taxes,
and inflation were destroying our economy, and military weakness made America a
punching bag for every fanatic and two-bit dictator around the world. America
used to have a sign around its neck that said, ``Kick Me.'' We threw that sign
away, and now it says, ``Don't Tread on Me.'' It's important to remember those
days 5\1/2\ years ago, because like gators in the marsh grass, the
tax-and-spend crew is still lurking in the shadows, just waiting for a second
chance to slash our military and to raise your taxes. We're not going to let
them, are we?
The President. The liberal leadership
of the Democratic Party hasn't changed; they're still addicted to high taxes
and inflation. They're just itching to repeal our tax cuts, to replace our
opportunity society with big government policies. And their foreign policy is
still the same: slash defense and always, always blame America first.
know, the liberal tax-and-spenders keep saying: Give us another try. And that
reminds me of a story of the farmer who took his son duck hunting. They were
sitting there in the blind when a mallard came down, landed on the water right
in front of them. Well, the father raised up his gun
and fired, and the mallard just kept on sitting there peaceful as could be. He
took a second shot, and when the smoke cleared, the mallard was still there, so
he tried a third time. And this time the mallard took off and flew away. And
the father turned to his son and said, ``Son, you have just witnessed a
miracle. You've just seen a dead duck fly.'' [Laughter] Well, those old, wornout policies have about as much chance of flying as a
dead duck. It seems that the liberal leadership of the Democratic Party will
never change their ways. Still, as I've often said, you don't have to make them
see the light -- just make them feel the heat.
let's turn up the heat on September 27th. Let's get out that vote, because I'm
convinced the bigger the turnout the better Henson will do -- and the better
Henson does, the better for Louisiana and for America. It's time for some
people to realize the party is over. It's morning and it's time to get back to
work. The old politics are out. Louisiana is looking to a bold,
new future, and Henson Moore is going to take us there.
can be proud of Henson Moore. He's earned a reputation in Washington as an effective leader,
someone who gets things done for Louisiana, but never at the
expense of principle or integrity. He would never put personal ambition above
what's good for Louisiana. This State doesn't
need a part-time Representative in Washington like Henson's opponent
who, as a Congressman, missed over 1,000 votes -- that's the equivalent of 2
whole years of work. Louisiana needs an effective
advocate in Washington, and believe me, there
is no better leader to take Louisiana into a new day than
Henson Moore. During his years in Congress, he's been an untiring advocate of a
strong America. Due in great part to
Henson's effectiveness in the Congress, America is rebuilding its
defenses and has once again regained its rightful role as leader of the free
you know, some people -- and without wanting to flatter me -- have referred to
me as a super patriot. Well, I guess maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I don't think
you can love America too much. It's like
what that great Broadway star years ago, George M. Cohan,
used to say to his critics when they called him a flag-waver. ``Sure I'm a
flag-waver,'' he said, ``but tell me this -- can you think of a better flag to
wave?'' My friends, it isn't just patriotism that's back in style, it's words like hope and vision and future and optimism.
Those are the words to describe a nation like this one -- a nation full of
builders and dreamers and visionaries.
I'm down here to tell you today that Henson Moore is one of those builders and
dreamers and visionaries. Under his leadership, and with some help from his
friends in the administration, it's going to be comeback time for Louisiana. With Henson's help, we
cut our tax rates, squashed inflation, spurring an economic expansion that has
already created over 11\1/2\ million new jobs. Today employment, the percentage
of Americans working, is at a record high. Not many people know that the
potential employment pool is officially considered to be everyone in America, male and female, from
16 years of age up. And today 61.2 percent of that pool of Americans is
employed, which is the highest percentage in the history of this country. But
we're not going to stop there. We're going to keep this country growing until
every State and every sector of the economy joins in America's prosperity, until
every American, every Louisianan, who wants a job has a job.
not fair that Louisiana is being held back from
joining in America's prosperity -- and one
of the things holding this State back is the old-style politics as usual.
Believe me, Louisiana isn't the only place
where the total domination by one party has led to stagnation, arrogance, and
the abuse of power. Back in 1980 we faced the same situation in Washington until we ended over 30
years of one-party control in the Senate, breaking the logjam and putting America back on the road to
prosperity. We did bring America back. And it's time to
break that one-party logjam in this State and bring Louisiana back, too. And Henson
Moore is the man to do it. America has slain some mighty
dragons in the last 6 years, but Henson and I both know we've got a lot more to
slay. I know and you know that a strong energy industry is essential to our
national security. And that's why we're working to deregulate natural gas,
we're fighting to repeal the windfall profits tax and the fuel use act, and why
we're increasing the strategic petroleum reserve. And at the urging of Henson
Moore and others, we will undertake a high-level review of America's energy-related
national security concerns. America must never again be
left dependent upon unreliable foreign sources of oil. And talk about an
effective advocate for your State: Henson came to the Oval Office and we agreed
on a resolution to the 8G issue on the division of offshore oil revenue --
meaning more than $600 million for Louisiana this year. And that's
what I call real leadership. Congratulations, Henson.
to help our struggling farmers, we've been the most aggressive administration
on record in opening up foreign markets for our agricultural products. We've
worked effectively to increase exports for cotton and rice farmers, because we
know that farmers don't need more government programs, they need more profits.
come here today to tell you that this election in 1986 will be a crucial moment
of decision for our country: Will America remain strong, proud,
and patriotic, or will liberal policies return us to the days of weakness and
vacillation? The next couple of years will decide: Will we continue to extend America's prosperity to every
corner of the nation, or will all our hopes for the future only be written on
the wind? Whether we keep control of the Senate will mean the difference
between 2 more years of moving forward or 2 years of stalemate and regression.
I didn't seek reelection to be a 6-year President. There are too many critical
challenges still before America and too much business
to be completed, and I can't have my hands tied by a totally hostile Congress.
Together, we can win the Senate. Together, we can send Henson Moore to Washington and keep America moving forward.
I hope that you've noticed that I've been careful to refer to the liberal
leadership, the leadership of the Democratic Party. And that's because I believe
that the liberals who've taken control of that once great party don't represent
the vast majority of hard-working, patriotic Democrats. I know I couldn't face
a throng this large without knowing that many of you are Democrats and many of
you also were Democrats and changed, including me -- I was one, too.
know, it reminds me -- a little example of what happened some years ago and has
kept on, something that happened to me when I was the drum major of the YMCA boys band in Dixon, Illinois. We were in a nearby
town marching in their Declaration Day parade. And the parade marshal, on a big
white horse, turned -- he was leading us -- and turned and went back down the
parade route to see if everything was coming along all right. I'm now out in
front leading the parade with my baton. And all of a sudden the music began to
sound like it was getting faint, and I looked over my shoulder. Well, the
marshal had ridden back just in time to get the band to turn a corner. And I
was walking down the street all by myself. [Laughter] Well, that's exactly
what's happened to the Democratic Party. The leadership is still walking down a
street alone -- the Democratic rank and file turned to the right a long time
can sympathize with the liberal leadership of the Democratic Party, having
walked down a street alone for a while. I know how tough it can be to break
with tradition. As I told you, I was one once, and I know how tough it can be
to change parties. But I remember what Winston Churchill said when, in the
British Parliament, he changed parties and was criticized for this. He said, ``Some men change party for principle'' -- I mean, ``Some men
change principle for party, and some change party for principle.'' And he had
done the latter. So, I want all of Louisiana to know: The door is
wide open; come on in and make yourself at home.
You'll like it over here.
that the Senators, the congressmen, the legislators you elect will determine
the future of America -- your future. We have
a choice: to vote for a candidate of the past who wants to turn the clock back
or a candidate of the future who wants to complete our revolution. I know which
way the people of Louisiana will choose. You're
going forward with faith and hope in your hearts, forward to a future that's as
big as our dreams. And you're going forward with Henson Moore in the United
States Senate. So, when you go to the polls, win one for Henson Moore, win one
for Bob Livingston, Richard Baker, and Clyde Holloway, win one for the great
State of Louisiana, win one for America. And, if you'll forgive me for this,
win one for the Gipper!
you all. God bless you all.
The President spoke at in LafrenierePark. He was introduced by