Remarks at a Fundraising
Reception for Senator Chic Hecht of
It's good to be here and to see one of my oldest and truest friends, a former Senator and a former Governor, but always a current statesman, Paul Laxalt. For both Paul and me, one of the highest priorities of this election year is to make sure that another old and true friend stays where he belongs: in the United States Senate. And, of course, I'm talking about Senator Chic Hecht.
Now, we're all together on that. That's why we're here. And don't think I'm not aware of and don't appreciate what each of you is doing to help Chic. And I just heard, as evidence, of what you've done. Well, I am, and I do. Chic is going to have a tough race. We all know that. But he's a scrapper. Time and again his opponents, as well as the press, have underestimated him, given him up for goners, only to see him out ahead of the pack on election day. This year they've been writing him off again, as you were told. You didn't know you were using a couple of my lines. [Laughter] He was 31 points down in the polls just a while back, and that didn't phase Chic. He got to work, and now it's the opposition that's sweating. And he's narrowed that gap, as you've been told, to just 7 points, and he's closing fast.
the kind of spirit I like. It reminds me of reading a poll about another
candidate in January 1980. [Laughter] It was taken at a National Press Club
luncheon here in
Like Chic, I've had a career of being underestimated. [Laughter] It started a number of years back. I was under contract to Warner Brothers Studio, and when I announced that I was running for Governor and somebody told Jack Warner that, Jack thought a moment, and he said, ``No, uh, uh. Jimmy Stewart for Governor -- Reagan for best friend.'' [Laughter] So, I have a hunch that being underestimated will turn out to be Chic's secret weapon. Chic's going to be reelected because he stands for the kind of principles Nevada wants and America needs represented, the principles that brought so many of us here to Washington 7 years ago and brought Chic to join us 2 years later.
3 Congresses, Chic and I've worked together for lower tax rates and tax reform,
for strong measures like a Gramm-Rudman to put a
collar on congressional spending, for a strategic defense against ballistic
missiles, for judges and justices who would return the tradition of judicial
restraint to the American judiciary, for a strong defense, and to support those
brave souls fighting for freedom in our hemisphere and around the world. But we
began working side by side long before Chic came here to
we believe in the same things, for which I'm grateful. I sure wouldn't want to
fight against Chic Hecht too often. He's got a stubborn, independent streak.
He's the kind of Senator who doesn't make a lot of noise; he just gets things
I'd like to turn to a matter that shows just how critical it is to put Chic and
men and women like him in the next Congress. I'm talking about
Well, maybe if these critics thought for a moment, they'd just see what the nature of this so-called mistake really was. Troop movements, small-team reconnaissance missions, the positioning of fuel and supplies -- in short, the logistical preparations for the incursion -- began just after Congress voted to reject our package of aid to the democratic resistance. We saw it happening. This was a precise and carefully prepared operation that showed the influence of outside advisers and must have required several weeks to plan. It was not some spontaneous Sunday afternoon outing.
other words, counting back to when we first saw logistical preparations
commence and before that to when planning would have had to start, this
invasion was beginning or underway even as, in late February, a group of
liberal House Democrats sent a letter to anti-aid lobbyists saying that, in
their words: ``Nothing will bring peace faster than destroying contra hopes for
more military aid.'' This was the same period in which we were warning that an
end to congressional aid would set back, not advance, the cause of peace and
for the incursion were continuing when Sandinista mobs were breaking up
peaceful demonstrations in
Well, now we know he had reason to believe he could. The attack he knew was approaching involved multiple combat battalions, thousands of troops, and the close support of MI - 17 and MI - 25 attack helicopters -- Soviet craft. Were the signs of danger ever clearer? Yet throughout this time our critics were saying over and over that only by stopping aid would we give the peace process a chance. I'm not questioning the sincerity of our critics, only their judgment.
I'm saying that we need --
I like to tell a little story about a community that decided they were going to raise their signal sign -- or traffic signs and street signs and so forth from only being 5 feet high to 7 feet high so they would be more visible to drivers in automobiles. And the Federal Government came in and said, oh, we have a plan. We'll do that for you. We'll lower the streets 2 feet. [Laughter]
Note: The President
spoke at in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. In his
closing remarks, he referred to a red windbreaker that was given to him by a