Remarks at a Senate
Campaign Fundraising Luncheon for Linda Chavez in Baltimore, Maryland
October 15, 1986
you very much. It's a pleasure to be here with you in support of a courageous
and hard-working individual, the type of person you will be proud to have as
your United States Senator -- Linda Chavez.
know, coming in this way, as we have at this time, reminds me of a little
story. You know, as time goes on, more things do remind you of stories.
[Laughter] This has to be an event back in ancient Rome. Now, I wasn't there in
person, but -- [laughter] -- there were a group of Christians thrown into the
Coliseum, and the hungry lions turned loose. And before the lions could attack,
they were moving toward the Christians. One Christian stood up and said
something, and the lions stopped their advance, laid
down, never made a move. Well, the crowd was angry, and they threw rocks at the
lions and shouted, and nothing would happen. And Nero finally called the
Christian leader up to find out what he had said. And he simply said, ``I just
told them that there would be speeches after the meal.'' [Laughter]
though, it is an honor for me to be here. Linda, as you are aware, used to work
for me in the White House, and now she wants to work for you. Do us both a
favor: Give her the job. She's worth it. Linda will follow in the tradition of
outstanding Republican Members of Congress from Maryland: Mac Mathias, Helen
Bentley, and Marjorie Holt -- I've respected them all. And I'll miss Marjorie
next year. But the GOP has a great candidate to succeed her, State
Representative Bob Neall. He's got some mighty big
shoes to fill, but I know he can do it. Connie Morella is also running in the
8th district, and I hope you will send Bob and Connie to help me in Congress.
Linda worked in the White House, and even before, she was an aggressive
advocate for a strong, opportunity-filled America. And that's the vision
that unites us. Linda, as a wife and mother of three, has a special stake in
the future of Maryland and our country. Linda,
for example, has a deep appreciation for the significance of education, not as
a political issue, but as a crucial part of our children's lives. As a former
teacher and the former editor of a prestigious academic journal, Linda knows
that achieving excellence in education -- and we should settle for nothing less
-- depends on getting the parents -- break it? -- [laughter]
-- depends on getting -- that should have done it. [The President referred to
an object dropped by a member of the audience.] [Laughter] [Inaudible] -- the parents and the community involved, returning discipline
to our schools, improving standards, and recognizing the importance of
traditional values. She offers leadership, not easy answers; solutions, not
this is in stark contrast to her wily, liberal opponent who still talks like
Federal spending is the answer to just about every problem, and never seems to
mention the Federal controls that come with those Federal dollars or just who,
when all is said and done, pays the bill. Well, I think the days of the big
spenders are over. The last thing America needs is another
liberal Senator congenitally unable to say no to the special interest groups.
This November I predict the voters all over this country, including Maryland,
are going to give thumbs-down to the last remnants of the tax-and-tax and
spend-and-spend crowd -- sending them the way of the Edsel,
the hula hoop, and the all-asparagus diet.
these last 5\1/2\ years we've struggled to overcome the legacy of the last
decade, when liberals dominated American Government. It's time to close that
sad, irresponsible chapter once and for all. In Maryland that
means electing a Senator of the future, rather than an advocate of the failed
policies of the past. Linda's opponent, as is clear from her voting record and
from her positions in this campaign, still has this same tax, spend, and
inflate mind-set. Her election to the Senate could well give control of that
august body to the over-the-hill gang that gave our country murderous
inflation, sky-high interest rates, business decline, ever-increasing taxes,
and swelling unemployment. Does anyone really want to go back to those bad old
is a make-or-break election. Losing control of the Senate will mean more than
just economic hardship for our people. The safety of our neighborhoods and the
security of our country are also at stake. Linda's opponent can't even get
herself to vote for a limited use of the death penalty for certain drug-related
murders. This permissive attitude is one of the root causes for the crime
epidemic that plagues this country. And pardon me, but I think America has had about enough of
this kind of lighter-than-air liberalism. As a United States Senator, Linda can
be counted on to support the appointment of tough law-and-order judges. We
don't need a bunch of sociology majors on the bench. We need strong judges
who'll do everything they can within the law to protect you and your families, and
to put criminals where they belong -- behind bars.
one of the greatest responsibilities of any elected official is to see to the
security needs of the United States. Back in the 1970's,
when Linda's opponent and the other disciples of weakness were running the
show, they permitted America's military strength to
erode. Do you know that on any given day half our military planes couldn't take
off for lack of spare parts; half of our naval vessels couldn't leave port,
either for lack of the same kind of parts or lack of crew? Linda Chavez was
part of a team that has been rebuilding America's military strength. It
would be hard to find a Member of Congress who more consistently opposed our
efforts to meet America's security needs than
Linda's opponent. Had her views carried the day during these last 5\1/2\ years,
we would have no B - 1 bomber, no MX missile, no nuclear modernization in Europe, no modernization of
our conventional forces anywhere.
hours after we came home from Reykjavik, however, some on
Capitol Hill were already promising to take a meat ax and chop up America's Strategic Defense
Initiative, which is exactly what Mr. Gorbachev is hoping that Congress will
do. Let me state it plainly: It would be a terrible tragedy for this country
and for our children's future if those on Capitol Hill opposed to SDI are
allowed to hand over to the Soviet Union, free of charge, what we refused to
hand over across the negotiating table in Reykjavik. SDI is America's insurance policy that
the Soviets will begin living up to the arms control agreements that they've
agreed to. SDI is one of the chief reasons the Soviets went to the summit and
one of the primary reasons they'll come back again. SDI is the key to a world
free of nuclear blackmail. Don't let liberals in Congress throw it away. And if we have a new Congress with leaders like Linda
Chavez, we will never throw it away.
I urge the voters of Maryland and the voters of this
nation to ask each of their candidates this question: Where do you stand on
defending America? Where do you stand on
SDI? Well, you know where Linda Chavez stands -- squarely behind SDI. And I'm
pleased to say that many Democrats on Capitol Hill are also standing with us.
Where does Linda's opponent stand? Does she repudiate those trying to kill SDI,
or does she stand with those who are trying to build a system that protects
people and doesn't kill them -- because that's where Linda Chavez stands.
Linda Chavez on our team, and with the support of you, the people, America has made great strides
in these last 5\1/2\ years. The United States has again resumed its
leadership role. The Western alliance is again united, unified, and confident.
The forces of freedom are on the move. One thing I'm especially proud of: In
these last 5\1/2\ years, not 1 square inch of territory has been lost to
communism. In fact, one small country, Grenada, has been returned to
the family of free nations.
future is up to us. Linda Chavez believes in meeting challenges, rather than
ignoring them. In Central America, for example, Linda supports our efforts
to provide our friends what they need to defend themselves against Communist
aggression. Linda's opponent would by default, by doing nothing, permit that
area to fall under Soviet domination. Linda's opponent actually voted against
military aid to the fledgling democracy in El Salvador. I remember when we
first came here -- El Salvador struggling against the
Communist guerrillas and how many people of the liberal bent were saying we
should just turn our backs on that. We had no business trying to be of any help
to them. And today they're a democracy. Linda's opponent actually voted against
military aid, as I say, to that fledgling democracy. Had her view held sway,
the people of El Salvador might be under the heel
of a Communist dictatorship right now; the rest of Central America, perhaps even Mexico, might be in turmoil;
and a flood of refugees could well be headed toward our southern border.
we need is a Senator who will work to avert crisis, not perpetuate it -- an
individual with the knowledge, foresight, and courage to do the right thing
now, so future generations of America can enjoy the blessings
of peace and freedom. I know there's been a lot of talk lately that Linda
didn't always believe these things. Well, I used to be an active member of that
other party, too. You know, it reminds me of the story of the little boy who
was selling puppies just outside a Democratic fundraising dinner. And as the
people came out of the dinner, he was holding up a puppy and giving his pitch:
``Democrat puppies for sale. Anybody want a Democrat
puppy?'' And 2 weeks later the Republicans held a fundraiser in the same place.
And one of the journalists saw this same lad outside selling Republican
puppies. And he called him on it. He said, ``Hey, 2 weeks ago those were
Democrat puppies. What do you mean now they're Republican puppies?'' The kid
says, ``Now they've got their eyes open.'' [Laughter] Well, we've got our eyes
the next 3 weeks, it behooves all of us to open the eyes of our fellow citizens
as to what is at stake in this election. In Linda Chavez, we have a standard
bearer to be proud of. An American of Hispanic descent, her life reflects the
America we believe in -- a land where every individual is free to follow his or
her star, a land where people who work hard can go as far and as high as their
talents will take them.
year there's a race for Governor where two women are facing each other. Here in
Maryland, two women are running
for the Senate. This is a long way from the days of Ginger Rogers. [Laughter]
Ginger Rogers' partner, Fred Astaire -- he was
getting all the credit. And suddenly he began to realize Ginger was doing the
same thing on high heels and backward. [Laughter] Today Linda offers her
talent, hard work, and dedication to the people of Maryland. And for Maryland's sake, and for our
country's sake, I hope you do everything in your power to help her win. Maryland and America deserve the best.
let me just conclude with another word about this thing of parties. I know that
even in this gathering, and in this place, there must be many who have been, as
we have been, members of the other party or who perhaps still are. But all
across the country I've been speaking to groups in which that was true, because
all across the country there are millions of fine, patriotic Democrats who are
totally out of step with the liberal leadership of their party. And that's what
we're talking about; not the rank and file that want the same things that we
want -- that want a limited government, that want freedom for the people, that
want a strong United States, that want an end to make-work programs that waste
our money and that don't provide.
you know that the method of discussing unemployment and employment in our
country has to do with what is called the available labor pool? And that, in
our country, is defined as everyone, male and female, from 16 years of age on
up for the ultimate limit. And today 61.3 percent of that available pool is
employed, which is the highest percentage in the history of our country.
so when I was talking about our opponents, I'm talking about that leadership
that still doesn't realize it's out of step with its own rank-and-file members.
We offer a home for those rank-and-file members because they believe as we do
in an America that offers freedom and
opportunity -- a united America. So, welcome aboard. I
can't help but tell you how I reregistered. I discovered that I could no longer
go along with the leadership, but I hadn't been able to bring myself to
reregister yet. And yet the Republicans were all taking me for granted -- I was
speaking at their fundraisers and so forth. And one evening speaking to one
such gathering, a woman out in the middle of the audience stood up right in the
middle of my speech and says, ``Have you reregistered yet?'' And I said,
``Well, no, but I'm going to.'' She said, ``I'm a registrar. [Laughter] Came
right down the center aisle, put the papers on the podium, and I signed on and
then said, ``Now, where was I?'' [Laughter]
thank you all. And listen, you send these candidates that I've mentioned. But
above all, we could not have accomplished any of the things that have been accomplished in these 5\1/2\ years if we had not
had control of at least one House of the Legislature, the United States Senate.
You send Linda there and make sure that we still have control of that
you very much.
The President spoke at at Festival Hall.
Following his remarks, he attended a reception for major donors to Ms. Chavez'
campaign at the hall. He then returned to Washington, DC.