Remarks to the
The President. Well, thank you all,
and thank you, Governor Kean, Congressmen Courter and Gallo, Chairman Frank Holman, Congresswoman
Roukema, and Speaker Hardwick and Minority Leader Jim Hurley, Noel Gross and
Bernard Stanley and Bo Sullivan and Larry Bathgate. Oh, I could go on and name
all of you. I should. It's such a pleasure to be here and a pleasure to be with
all of you in support of
Tom and the rest of you who are on his team have shown the entire country that ours is the party of responsible government, economic progress, and a better life for every citizen. Our opposition has tried their best to paint another picture, but what you've proven here, under Governor Kean's dynamic leadership, is that it is the Republican Party that represents the interests of working people.
The other side still hasn't realized that what we Republicans have been accomplishing has been something marvelous. It reminds me a bit of a story of an agent that I heard about once in my old career. You know, back in the days of vaudeville, somebody aspiring to a vaudeville engagement or a career in vaudeville would find themselves on a stage in an empty theater except for one lone, cynical agent who'd be sitting down there in the front rows. And he'd usually be smoking a cigar and telling them, well, okay, what do you do?
And this young fellow came out and stood there, and he says, ``What do you do, kid?'' And the kid stood there for just a couple of minutes, and then he just took off and flew up toward the balcony and then flew around the theater a couple of times and sailed back in and landed on the stage. The agent took the cigar out of his mouth and says, ``What else do you do besides bird imitations?'' [Laughter] Well, I'll tell you, I don't think the American people are as blase about our accomplishments as our detractors. That was never more apparent than 2 years ago when Tom Kean won the greatest reelection victory in this State's history.
just spoke to the Chamber of Commerce, and I won't repeat all of that, but it
is sufficient to say that this month marks the 59th straight month of economic
growth, the longest peacetime expansion in the postwar era. Our policies have
dramatically improved the well-being of the people of the
Inflation, of course, wasn't the only thing attacking our citizens' income back in the bad old days. Inflation was pushing everyone into higher and higher tax brackets. You'd get a raise in pay to match the inflation rate, but then the income tax, which is based on the number of dollars -- not their value -- would raise you into a higher tax bracket, and you'd wind up with less purchasing power than you had before you got the raise. Working people ended up paying at rates that at one time had been reserved for the truly affluent. Well, we've brought the rates down, reformed the system, got rid of many of the loopholes, and indexed the brackets so government won't profit from inflation at the working people's expense.
Tom, I know that under your leadership this State has cut six separate taxes,
believe one of the proudest achievements of our administration is that we've
been able to turn around a dramatic rise in poverty that began in 1979. It took
a few years to do it, but since the expansion the proportion of persons living
below the poverty level has declined by 9 percent, real family income is up 11
percent overall, and unemployment is down 4.8 percent. Here in
know Governor Kean would never have been able to do
what he has without the support of a Republican assembly and a strong
Republican minority in the State senate. So, today I want to thank all of you
for being part of this effort to keep
like to take this opportunity to thank other members of your New Jersey team
who've been invaluable to our success, Congressmen -- as I've said before -- Courter and Gallo and Congresswoman Roukema. I ask this
favor: Keep up your fight for a
One fact just about says it all: In 1984 Republicans received 51 percent of the vote in contested congressional seats, but we only won 42 percent of the seats in Congress. How can that be? It's because for 50 years now, every 10 years when the reapportionment takes place and the redistricting, they have been in charge. They have been gerrymandering, and until we can get more States with a Republican State legislature for the redistricting, we'll continue having more votes than they have for Congressmen, but electing fewer Congressmen than they do.
Many people aren't aware, in the 50 years, 1931 to 1980, they have held both Houses of the Congress. For 46 of those 50 years, all the Democratic Presidents had Democratic Congresses with them except for one 2-year period when Harry Truman had a Republican Congress. All the Republican Presidents, until I took office, have had Democratic Congresses except for one 2-year period when Ike Eisenhower had a Republican Congress, just for those 2 years. Now, since 1980, for 6 years we had the Senate -- I had a Republican Senate, but they had the House of Representatives, and now they have both Houses again. We have to get back and redistrict to the place where there is a fairness in the voting, that Republicans all aren't bunched up in little districts, so that it doesn't matter how many of them there are. Sure, they elect a Congressman there, but there'll always be a minority until we can turn this around.
it's high time for us to start fighting back, time for us to set priorities and
concentrate on just how and where those congressional district lines are drawn.
This year you can begin, as I said, by electing more
It was just 2 years ago that I met with you right across the road. We talked then about making Chuck Hardwick not just a member of the New Jersey Assembly but speaker of the assembly. And Chuck, the next time we meet I know you'll still be the speaker, only I think we should make certain that Jim Hurley becomes the president, instead of the minority leader of the State senate. So, please get out there and get more Republicans elected to the legislature. With just 3 weeks to go before election day, your money, your time, and your talents can make the difference. And I know I'm counting on you, and I know your Governor's counting on you also.
with the enthusiasm and commitment that I found here today, I'm certain that
we're going to do just that, and that the people of
But it's been a wonderful thing to see you all here today. I've been speaking a couple of times here in New Jersey, and I've tried to finish each speech with a display of my latest hobby, which is collecting stories that I can guarantee are told by the people of the Soviet Union about their system. And they tell them -- the jokes -- and it shows they've got a great sense of humor, but they're also pretty cynical about the way they live. And I've told two of them already. I think I ought to be able to come up with one more here because we know that our system is absolutely the opposite to theirs. And so, one I can think of -- they tell this among themselves -- they tell about a man that was walking down the street in Moscow one night, and a soldier yelled, ``Halt!'' And he started to run, and the soldier shot him. And another citizen said, ``Why did you do that?'' ``Well,'' he said, ``curfew.'' But he said, ``It isn't curfew yet.'' He says, ``I know, he's a friend of mine. I know where he lives; he couldn't have made it.'' [Laughter] I did not tell that one to Gorbachev. [Laughter]
Well, listen, it's been wonderful to be here with you. God bless you all for what you've done just by being here today.
Audience member. We want Bork, too!
The President. You want Bork, too?
The President. So do I. You brought this on yourself, so I'm -- [laughter] -- I'm going to tell you. Yes, Bork is staying in, and we know the odds are against getting enough people to turn around their vote. But, as he pointed out in his statement the other day, what's at issue here is not one man and what happened to him. What's at issue is that we make sure that the process of appointing and confirming judges never again is turned into such a political joke. And if I have to appoint another one, I'll try to find one that they'll object to just as much as they did for this one. [Laughter] All right.
Thank you all. God bless you all.
[At this point, Gov. Tom Kean and Joseph A. (Bo) Sullivan, chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, gave the President a bushel of tomatoes.]
Thank you very much. In the business I used to be in, you worried about them throwing these at you. [Laughter]
Note: The President
spoke at in Ballroom F at the Hanover Marriott Hotel. Following his
remarks, the President returned to