Remarks at a Senate Campaign Fundraiser for Representative Ed Zschau in Anaheim, California

 

November 1, 1986

 

Thank you, Ed, and a special thanks to the Cal State-Long Beach Marching Band. You know, these last few days -- campaigning across our country -- have been a thrill. There's a rising tide of enthusiasm in this land, a groundswell of support for the ideals that we hold dear and the vision we have for America. And among no group is our support stronger or more enthusiastic than among our young people. They know that fulfilling their hopes and aspirations depends on a strong, growing, and opportunity-filled society.

 

Here in California, we're lucky to have a standard-bearer who personifies enterprise and creativity, a candidate who young people can identify with and who can lead this party and our country into the 21st century. You've guessed already I'm talking about Ed Zschau, and I hope you will do everything you can to make him California's next United States Senator. I remember coming to Anaheim 20 years ago in my first campaign for Governor. Orange County was essential to success. And everything we've accomplished since then in Sacramento and, yes, in Washington began with that margin of victory provided here in Orange County. I delight in telling some people, who don't understand, outside of the State of California, that Orange County is where the good Republicans go before they die. [Laughter] Today you are no less vital to securing the gains that we've made and keeping our country moving forward. Your support is indispensable again, so let me ask you this one last time. Come election day, let's get out the vote and see to it that our team wins the day.

 

What we've got in California's Senate race is a face-off between an unrepentant advocate of the failed policies of the past versus a champion of the opportunity society of the future. Ed's opponent [Alan Cranston] was not just a member, he was a leader of the tax-and-tax and spend-and-spend crowd that nearly wrecked our economy during the last decade. His policies gave us double-digit inflation, 21-percent interest rates, economic stagnation, ever-increasing taxes, and unprecedented pessimism. Of course, he painted a different picture when he would come home.

 

It reminds me -- as everything reminds me these days -- of a story. [Laughter] This is about a young fellow that liked animals, and he wanted a job at the zoo. So he went and applied, and they accepted him. But they said there's one thing first before you actually get into your job. Our gorilla died, and we want you to put on the gorilla suit that we have and be in the cage and entertain the children, do tricks and things for them. And he was a little upset, but they said, no, no, when that's over, you've got the regular job taking care of the animals. So, into the cage he went in the gorilla suit, and he was doing all sorts of things and got to be a little carried away with what he was doing and the delight that he was giving, particularly to the children. And he was swinging on a swing and swung so high that he went clear over the fence and landed in the lion's cage. And the lion came roaring at him, and he stood up and all of a sudden, he was himself in that gorilla suit. And he yelled, ``Please, help! Somebody get me out of here!'' And the lion jumped on him and got him down and said, ``Shut up, or you'll get us both fired.'' [Laughter]

 

Well, I think it's time that somebody got fired, and I think our country has had enough of what Ed's liberal opponent thinks is best for America. In these last few years, we've reignited our citizens' faith in themselves and their country and put our economy back on track. Inflation has been cut to 1.8 percent. The interest rates have been cut by nearly two-thirds. We've enjoyed almost 4 years of economic growth during which time over 11\1/2\ million new jobs have been created. And that's more than those that were created in Japan and all of Europe combined in a 10-year period. Now, this is what I call a Republican jobs program. The gains we've made did not happen by accident, and they should not be taken for granted. If the other party regains control of the Senate, they could well drag us right back onto the same pit we left behind. We could not have done any of the things that we've accomplished if we had not had that one House of the Legislature.

 

You can bet that, given the chance, Ed's opponent will undermine the spirit of the historic tax reform legislation just signed into law and risk throwing our country back into recession by increasing your taxes. He looks at your take-home pay as his personal treasury. [Laughter] And it's about time that we replace that fellow with someone more concerned about protecting the family budget than fattening the Federal budget. Ed and I know, and I think you agree, we don't have a deficit because you aren't taxed enough. We have a deficit because government spends too much. I know that Ed is committed to a vibrant, expanding economy, low taxes, and high growth. He puts his faith in enterprise, technology, and hard work. His opponent puts his faith in regulation, controls, and the Federal bureaucracy. It's about time we put an individual in this Senate seat who reflects the spirit of California, instead of the dying vestiges of collectivism. That's exactly what the voters of this great State will be doing on Tuesday when we elect Ed Zschau to the United States Senate.

 

The contrast in the economic philosophies of the two candidates is no less stark than the difference in their approaches to the safety of our people and the security of our country. Ed believes in tough law enforcement and, when appropriate, yes, the death penalty. Ed's opponent, on the other hand, voted against using the death penalty on terrorists who bomb buildings or hijackers who murder their victims. And he voted against using the death penalty for drug-related murders. In fact, he has voted against the death penalty, or missed the vote, every time it's come up. The American people rely on those in government to protect them and see to the security of the Nation. Ed's opponent has done neither. Ed's opponent was an architect of America's military decline during the last decade and has fought us every step of the way in our efforts to rebuild our defenses. I can't think of a single member of the Senate who has a record as antimilitary, antipreparedness, antisecurity as Ed's opponent. He would leave the frontiers of freedom unguarded and shortchange our military personnel, forcing them to rely on outdated weapons and bargain basement equipment. Well, as President, I have to tell you, there's nothing that has given me so much pride as those 2 million young men and women who are in the uniform of our military today. Now, God forbid, they will ever have to put their lives on the line, but if they do, they deserve the best weapons and equipment that money can buy. And together, we're going to see that they get them.

 

Ed knows the way to protect the peace is to maintain a strong national defense. Incidentally, I see all the talk about whether we're wasting our money in the military, and they use it as an excuse on the other side of the aisle to keep cutting back on our defense budget. I think it's kind of interesting that just the other day our 15th carrier, the Teddy Roosevelt -- and the largest and the best -- was commissioned and put into service 16 months and $80 million ahead of schedule and under budget. So, I don't think they're really throwing things away. But we must always be ready to negotiate, and let's make certain we do it, that we negotiate from a position of strength. Rebuilding our strategic muscle, for example, is what now enables us to negotiate with the Soviet Union. When we came into office in 1981, on any given day, 50 percent of our military aircraft couldn't take off for lack of spare parts. Fifty percent of our naval vessels couldn't leave port for lack of spare parts or lack of crew. Well, now things are a little different.

 

In Iceland, serious discussions at the highest level were taking place about a dramatic reduction of nuclear missiles. Now, that's progress in anybody's book. Arms talks will continue, but I promise we will not bargain away our insurance policy of a safer tomorrow, our research into a strategic defense against ballistic missiles. Now, such a defensive shield, in the end, will make a ballistic missile reduction more likely, because it will make those deadly weapons less effective. It will also protect against cheating. And when it comes to a choice between trusting the Soviets and technology, I'll put my money on American technology any time.

 

We've come a long way from the days of weakness, vacillation, and timidity. The Western alliance is strong and confident. The tide of history is now floating on the side of the free. One thing I'm especially proud of: During these last 6 years, not 1 square inch of territory in the world has been lost to the Communists, and one small country, Grenada, has been restored to the family of free nations. Ed's opponent is a longtime leader in the Blame America First crowd. He didn't support the rescue of our students or the liberation of Grenada. He always seems to be skeptical, if not outright opposed, nearly every time strong action is required to ensure our national security. And worse, he plays fast and loose with the lives of those who protect us. For example, when it was proposed in Congress to make it a felony to disclose the identities of American undercover intelligence operatives in foreign countries, Ed's opponent opposed that -- just as he opposed vital weapons systems and the modernization of our military forces.

 

You know, I can sum it up for you: Alan Cranston has voted against me more times than Ted Kennedy. [Laughter] But Ted and I do agree about one thing, and that's the importance of my judicial nominations. And he says if the Democrats take over the Senate, he'll take control of the Judiciary Committee and block our judicial appointments. That's one more reason why we need Ed Zschau. And by the way, I reflected as I filled out my California absentee ballot that we also have a chance to improve the judicial system here in California, and Ted Kennedy can't do a darn thing about it. Now, that's what I call a good system. [Laughter]

 

Now that you know where I stand, Ed Zschau stands, George Deukmejian stands on the judges, isn't it about time Ed's opponent had to take a stand? As we approach Tuesday's election, I hope you'll spread the word that this contest in California is pivotal. Today the Republican Party stands united and ready for action. Reflecting that unity, I notice we've got stalwarts here today representing the width and the breadth of our party who actively support Ed.

 

We're all here today for Ed, and his election is critical, but we also need to ensure that George Deukmejian is reelected Governor. His record is outstanding, and his leadership for California is respected across the country. And Duke will be even more effective if we give him a Republican majority in the State legislature. I never had that but 1 year out of the 8. And, you know, just as we need to send Ed to work with Pete Wilson in the Senate, we also need to elect Bob Henley and Elton Gallegly to join Bob Dornan and the rest of our tremendous California Republican delegation in Congress. Some of those Congressmen are here on this dais.

 

And we are all here because we understand how important this race is. We're all here because of that. And on Tuesday, Californians will determine not only who will represent them in the Senate but which party controls the Senate. Incidentally, the rest of our delegation of Congressmen who aren't here -- believe me, they must be sent back there too so that we can strengthen that delegation. If Ed Zschau wins, the GOP will keep control of the Senate. And the choice is moving forward, building on what we've accomplished, versus 2 years of stalemate. I can just tell you, I didn't run for President to be a 6-year President. We've got a great candidate in Ed Zschau. He'll make a great Senator. But you and I have to make sure that we get out that vote. I don't like those stories that it may be the lowest turnout or something. Let's make sure that we get everyone out.

 

You know, for the young people who may be here in the office -- audience, not office. You can see how long I've been in the Oval Office. [Laughter] They don't let me out enough. But for the young people here, you might be interested to know that the age group of 18 to 24 has the highest percentage of people supporting our policies. But there is one problem that I have to mention. That particular age segment also has the lowest percentage turning out to vote. So, all of the young people here in the room, you heed our request that you vote, but, also, buttonhole your companions in your age group out there and tell them to get to the polls, too. And one day we'll turn over to you a country that's as free and offers as much opportunity as our parents and grandparents turned over to us. That's our goal.

 

Once again, it's great to be here. And thank you all, and God bless you all.

 

Note: The President spoke at 10:44 a.m. in the California Pavilion Room at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel. He was introduced by Representative Zschau. Prior to his remarks, the President attended a reception at the hotel for major donors to the California State Republican Party. He then traveled to his ranch in Santa Barbara County, CA, for the weekend. On November 3, the President traveled to Las Vegas, NV.