Remarks at a Republican
Party Rally in
The President. Thank you all. And thank you, Governor Deukmejian, for that very kind and generous introduction. Senator-to-be Ed Zschau, Senator Pete Wilson, the members of your State team '86 that were just announced to you by the Governor, your Congressman, Bob Badham, others here on the platform -- Bob Dornan, Congressmen Moorhead, Dreier, Dannemeyer, and Clair Burgener; our State chairman, Congressman Lungren, and you ladies and gentlemen: It's great to be home in California. And isn't it a great time to be an American?
you know -- [applause] -- please, please -- you know, having been a drum major
of the YMCA Boys Band in
Audience. Just say yes!
The President. You know, as I often
say when we're taking off in Air Force One, it's great to get out of
The President. No. We don't have a deficit because we're taxed too little; we have a deficit because they're spending too much. And how they like to raise taxes. Those folks never met a tax they didn't like. And when it comes to spending your hard-earned money, they act like they have your credit card in their pocket. And believe me, they never leave home without it. You know, in illustrating the differences between the approach of the Democratic leadership and our approach, I've been fond of telling a little story almost everywhere we've gone. So, today I have a special message from my friends in the press who've traveled with us in the past few days and weeks. I've seen the umbrella they've opened at times, along the way, with the message: ``No more puppy jokes.'' [Laughter] So, I promise no more puppy jokes.
Audience. We want the joke!
The President. But did you hear the story about the kid who was outside the Democratic fundraiser selling kittens? When the people came out from the fundraiser, he was holding up the kittens, and he was saying, ``Buy a Democrat kitten.'' Well, a couple of weeks later the Republicans held a fundraiser in the same place. And when they came out, there was the same kid with the kittens. And he said, ``Buy a Republican kitten.'' And one of the members of the press who'd seen him there 2 weeks before said, ``Wait a minute, kid. You were selling these kittens the last time as Democrat kittens. How come they're Republican kittens now?'' Kid says, ``Because now they've got their eyes open.'' [Laughter]
know, in illustrating the differences between the approach of the Democratic
leadership and our approach -- well, that, I figure, fits. Now, everywhere I've
gone I've also spoken of my most solemn duty as President: the safety of the
American people and the security of these
The President. Now, most important, I've talked about our Strategic Defense Initiative against ballistic missiles, SDI, and our goal to keep America strong, to save the world from mutual nuclear terror, and to eliminate nuclear ballistic missiles from the face of the Earth and ultimately all nuclear weapons, of every kind.
Now, everywhere I've gone I've tried to have a special word for Democrats and Independents. I wanted them to know that during these past 6 years as President, I've relied again and again upon their support and told them I'm grateful. With their huge majority in the House of Representatives, had there not been many of them willing to cross over and support us, we couldn't have done any of the things that we've done. You know, I used to be a Democrat myself.
The President. Yes, wait a minute! And
that's why I hope and believe there must be many here, as I've seen them across
the country, patriotic Democrats who realize they could no longer follow the
policies of the liberal leadership of their party; that it had become
completely out of step with the hard-working and patriotic men and women who
make up the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Now, I know how tough it can be
to break with tradition, but remember what Winston Churchill said as a Member
of the British Parliament. He changed parties, and he was harshly criticized
for doing so. And then with one sentence he answered it all. He said, ``Some men change principle for party, and others change party
for principle.'' That was the message I took around the country, and it's the
message I bring to you today. And come to think of it, when I consider the
importance of sending George Deukmejian back to
ladies and gentlemen, this, then, has been our message: a strong economy, lower
taxes, a strong
I`ve seen that future during this campaign. I've
seen it in those faces and faces along the highway our motorcade traveled from
the airports. So many Americans interrupt their day to walk out and wave a
hello. Children waving flags in front of their schools,
office workers standing outside in their shirt sleeves, and laborers and
mechanics in their work clothes as we pass their garages and warehouses.
Housewives with little ones waving flags from the front yard.
And that's why, wherever we've gone -- as we flew away from Washington over the
towns and neighborhoods and the baseball diamonds and football fields, shopping
centers and school yards -- I always told my countrymen how grateful I was for
the gift of the real America, the gift of coming home again. And now that I'm
back here in
And I just think it's our job as Americans to work for that. You know, the other night on Air Force One we were flying from one stop to another after a long day, and I went back where a lot of our people and the staff were in the plane, and they got to reminiscing and telling stories. They know my weakness. You get along toward this time in life and you do have a lot of stories you delight in telling if there's half a chance. But there was one out of all of this that I'd like to share with you, and it isn't a joke.
shortly after World War II, I went to
you know, I think from a place called Ioway or it
could have been from
most recently, I've been in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Air Force One took a few passes by
You know, if you won't tell anyone I told you this, I told Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of England, one time when I saw her that if her people had only come across this other ocean instead of the one they did, the capital of the country would be in California. But everywhere we've been, we've seen the red, white, and blue. It was good to see so many flags, and as Lee Greenwood says in his song about new patriotism: ``If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today, cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.''
know, maybe I could finish this campaign today by telling you something about
before leaving, I'd like to say to all of you young people today how delighted
I am to see you. Wherever I've gone in the last few weeks, you've been there,
and I'm grateful. Wait a minute, I've got a message
for you. You see, people my age do deeply believe that it is our duty to turn
over to you the same opportunity and freedom that our parents and grandparents
handed on to us. And when we look at you -- when we see your openness, your
tell them for me that I always thought being an American meant never being mean
or small or giving in to prejudice or bigotry; that it did mean trying to help
the other fella and working for a world where every
person knows freedom is both a blessing and a birthright; that being an
American also means that on certain special days, for a few precious moments,
all of us -- black or white, Jew or gentile, rich or poor -- we are all equal,
with an equal chance to decide our destiny, to determine our future, to cast
our ballot. Tell them, too, of my fondest hope, my greatest dream for them:
that they would always find here in
The President. God bless Governor George Deukmejian, Ed Zschau, and all this team up here that you're going to send back to office; and God bless you. Thank you.
The President spoke at at the Pacific
Amphitheater. He was introduced by Gov. George Deukmejian.
Following his remarks, the President returned to the Century Plaza Hotel in