Remarks at a Fundraising
Luncheon for Senator John Heinz in
you very much, and thank all of you, and Senators Heinz, Specter, and
Congressman Coughlin, John Cardinal Krol, Earl Baker,
and all of you. I came to
There's a story, you knew I'd have one of these -- [laughter] -- about a fellow who always wanted to work with animals. And he applied to the zoo, and they had an ad out -- they needed someone there. And then he found out to his dismay that the job they had immediately open was dressing in a gorilla outfit, taking the place of the gorilla who just died, until a new one could be delivered. And then they promised that he'd have a regular job at the zoo, once that took place.
he put on the suit, and he got in the cage. And he got a little bored sitting
around, so, particularly when the children were there, he began doing tricks
and showing off for them. And finally he got so interested in that, he got
carried away one day -- he was swinging on a rope, and he swung so far that he
landed in the lion's cage that was next door. And the lion came roaring at him.
And he started screaming for help, ``Somebody get me
out of here! Get me out of here!'' And the lion jumped on him and said, ``Shut
up, or you'll get us both fired!'' [Laughter] Now, this story is not to suggest
that John's been working in a zoo -- [laughter] -- although at times
was first elected to the Senate in 1976, and since 1981 he's been a part of a
team that has held the special interests at bay, brought taxing and spending
under control, and put
Together we took on one of the toughest jobs in the world: cleaning up after the other party had been in total control of the United States Government. They'd held a majority in both Houses of Congress almost continuously since the 1930's. And in the last 4 years of the 1970's, they had also captured control of the White House and every Federal department and agency.
Our country ended up with double-digit inflation, economic stagnation, sky-high interest rates, and unprecedented national pessimism. These maladies, which brought such suffering to our people, as much as liberal Democrats would like us to believe otherwise, were not the result of a natural disaster, a plague, or even the celestial influence of Halley's comet. The mess we found ourselves in was a result of bad policies, of haywire liberalism. And let us reaffirm today that, whoever is the Republican Presidential nominee in 1988, our candidate will be a darn sight better than any one of the pack that is vying for the other party's nomination. If you listen to what they're saying, they want to take us back to the failed policies of the past.
with responsible policies, we revived our nation's economic vitality and, just
as John has told you, put the country back on its
feet. And as he also told you, our people have enjoyed 57 months of growth. We
are, if we can make it all the way to Thanksgiving, on our way to achieving the
longest period of peacetime growth in the country's history. Employment is at
an all-time high. And since the recovery began, our economy has created 13.6
million new jobs, and poverty, which started increasing in 1979, has begun to
decline. Prime interest rates which were beating the life out of our economy at
21 percent when we got in
Even though the one-time Speaker of the House [Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.] denied it was true when we said it, we would have been bankrupt in that particular program by July of 1983. He denied that, but after the '82 election was over, then he came to see me about seeing what we could do to rescue Social Security. Well, partly as a result of his exemplary effort on this commission, he was named by the national seniors magazine, 50 Plus, as one of the most effective legislators on behalf of the elderly. And, as one of those, thank you. [Laughter] John was also instrumental in eliminating the mandatory retirement age of 70, and you can bet I'm happy about that. [Laughter] He also was a driving force behind reforms that protect our citizens' private pension coverage.
might add here that a side benefit of a strong, growing economy is an expanding
stock market. By creating the conditions in which our stock market has
flourished, we've been part of a process that has dramatically strengthened the
pension funds of the American worker. And the same is true for the endowments
of many of our institutions of higher learning, which have also been major beneficiaries
of the expanding stock market. There's no way the Federal Government could have
contributed so much to
the last 6\1/2\ years, we've proven to the American people that it is the
Republican Party that best represents their interests. Instead of trying to
curry favor from the special interests that have flocked to the Nation's
Capital, Republicans like John Heinz are out meeting and talking with the
citizenry, the taxpayers, the working men and women to whom
greatest challenge is to make certain that the people hear our message, so they
can look at the facts and decide for themselves which direction
we can see by the high-pitched opposition to Judge Bork, our job is not going
to be easy. But let me remind you, since coming to
let me suggest that Americans have every reason to be confident about the
future. We have been at the helm during a pivotal moment in our history. First,
we had to take care of the problems we inherited. Then we put
Well, we've proven the pessimists wrong. We've unleashed an entrepreneurial surge that is changing the face of American enterprise. High technology and computers are being put to work throughout our economy, increasing the efficiency of business, large and small. Productivity has been on the increase and government, business, and labor are working together as never before. We aren't telling young people to lower their expectations; we're challenging them to set their sights high. That's why they're flocking to our banner as never before. They aren't looking for the easy way out or interested in promises of what government will do for them; they're interested in opportunity and in being free to build the kind of lives they want to build to accomplish things for themselves.
there's every reason to be proud of what we've achieved and to be optimistic about
the future. And if we can get our message to the people -- and I know we will
-- I have three predictions: The next President of the
I would just like to interject here, we couldn't have accomplished, even with all your help -- and it was your help that did it -- what was accomplished in these last several years had we not, for 6 of those years, had that majority, slight as it was, in the Senate. How many of us are conscious of the fact that in my administration we've had one House for 6 years? Now, for 2 years, they'll have both Houses, and for 8 years, they've had the House of Representatives. But from 1931 through 1980, the Democrats controlled both Houses of the Congress for 46 of those 50 years. And Republican Presidents, up until my term, only one had a Republican Congress for a mere 2 years out of his 8 in office. The Democrats' Presidents only had a Republican Congress for 2 out of those 50 years. The rest of the time they had the whole show. So, that meant that for half a century, they've been in charge of redistricting, reapportionment. We're going to have to fight awfully hard to break the gerrymandering that's been going on for half a century.
was sitting here a little while ago and mentioning that in 1984 -- I've been
told that a half a million more people voted for Republican congressional
candidates than voted for Democratic candidates. But they elected about 40 more
Representatives in the House than we did. I was Governor when
But just remember those three predictions here, and determine that you're going to make them come true. I want to thank each and every one of you for what you're doing to make them come true. And I'm going to thank you in advance for sending this man back to the United States Senate, where he is so desperately needed. It wouldn't make any sense at all to send a Senator back there of the other party who would then cancel out the vote of Senator Specter. So, keep it the way it is. Thank you all, and God bless you.
Note: The President
spoke at in the Wyndham Ballroom at the Franklin Plaza Hotel. In his
opening remarks, he referred to Senator Arlen Specter, Representative Lawrence
Coughlin, John Cardinal Krol, and Earl Baker,
chairman of the