Remarks on Administration Goals to Senior Presidential Appointees
Thank you very much, but I think George and I should be applauding you. I thought it'd be good to get together now that we've all rested from our summer vacations, although it's true summer vacations aren't always restful. You know that that leads to a story. [Laughter]
There was a fellow that was on his way to a mountain resort, and a policeman stopped him and said, ``Did you know you're driving without taillights?'' And the driver hopped out of the car. He was so badly shaken that the officer took pity on him and said, ``Well, now, wait a minute. Calm down. It's not that serious an infraction.'' The fellow said, ``It may not mean much to you, but to me it means I've lost my trailer, a wife, and four kids!'' [Laughter]
it's good to come together as we face these final 16 months -- only 16 months.
From this moment on, we must approach each new task with the same sense of
urgency that we first brought to
On the domestic side, we face one more important task -- or no more important task, I should say, then securing the confirmation to the Supreme Court of Judge Robert Bork. [Applause] Well, we all know that since his nomination Judge Bork has come under attack for being some kind of a right-wing ideologue. We also know those charges are wrong. Judge Bork believes in judicial restraint, and this means reading laws in the way intended by elected officials and pass them and not reshaping them according to judicial whim. Now, where the law deals with moral issues, Judge Bork has said -- and I quote -- ``The moral content of the law must be given by the morality of the framer, or the legislator, never the morality of the judge.'' So, consider that irony. Some legislators are organizing opposition to a judge who believes in deferring to them and in faithfully abiding by the intent of the laws they pass. The country wants and deserves a Supreme Court that doesn't make the laws but interprets the laws.
Judge Bork is superbly qualified -- one of the outstanding legal minds in the country and a judge's judge. He's also a people's judge: a judge who believes profoundly in the Constitution that protects the people's rights and in government by the people themselves. I'm convinced that in the end he will be confirmed, but there's no denying that it's going to be a tough fight. I'll need the help of every person in this room, especially those of you who deal regularly with the Congress. I have a feeling -- well, I was going to ask a question here, but when I mentioned his name, I don't need to ask the question. I was going to ask it, you know, to limber us all up -- that when it comes to restoring judicial restraint as the guiding principle of American courts, when it comes to winning the confirmation of Judge Bork to the Supreme Court he so richly deserves, I was going to say, can I count on you? You've already answered that question.
But next, the budget process. Excuse me; it's
probably more accurate to say the so-called budget process -- delay after
delay, missed deadline after missed deadline, a process that's not reliable or
credible. And consider what it turns out. There's the Federal program that will
spend millions to build luxury hotels, restaurants, and condominiums -- that's
right, condominiums. As I remarked when I spoke about this in
It's time to bring an end to the yearly budget fiasco, time to enact the measures that we have put forward as part of our Economic Bill of Rights. And let me say in some areas we're not waiting for Congress to act. A new initiative I announced as part of my Economic Bill of Rights is privatization. Last week I appointed a private -- or a bipartisan commission, I should say, to report back to me on ways that we can permanently reduce the size of the Federal Government by returning appropriate activities to the private sector.
central to the entire effort to bring discipline to the Federal budget will be
passage of the line-item veto and a balanced budget amendment. On the balanced
budget amendment, a special note: 32 States have already adopted resolutions
calling for a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a balanced
budget amendment -- 32 -- that's out of the 34 that are needed before a
convention would actually take place. And I can tell you that every time I have
mentioned balanced budget out across the country, in addresses to as many as
30,000 people in one outdoor meeting, they break into applause at that term.
And it seems that here in
foreign affairs, we're engaged in intensive negotiations with the
President Arias of
be clear about one thing. We will not abandon our friends in
More than 6 years behind us and just 6  more
months to come.
I want you to know how grateful I am and how deeply grateful for all that each
of you has done -- for all that testifying on the Hill, for all the travel, all
the speeches, and all the interviews, for all the support and for all your
dedication. I know these past few months haven't been easy -- believe me, I
know. And maybe the worst of it has been that at times it seemed as though
events were simply happening to us. As one wit has defined history: ``It's just
one darned thing after another.'' [Laughter] But history doesn't just happen;
it's made. And even in the most difficult moments of these past months, we went
right on making history, right on striving to turn our vision of
what do we see: a story of intense concern for the cause of human freedom in
our own hemisphere; a story of spreading democracy from the
And may I conclude with a little Irish blessing -- although, some suggest it's a curse: May those who love us, love us. And those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts. And if He doesn't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping. [Laughter]
Thank you all, and God bless you. I don't know what you're going to do, but George and I are going to see if we can't get back to work. [Laughter]
Note: The President spoke at in the East Room at the White House. In his opening and closing remarks, the President referred to the Vice President.