Remarks at a White House Briefing for Hispanic-American News Media
The President. Well, good morning. I know you've already heard from Dick Thornburgh and Bill Bennett, and they're a tough act to follow. So I'm taking this opportunity to announce the nomination of my fellow Californian, Ferdinand Fernandez, to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Fernandez is currently a Federal district judge for the Central District of California, and he'll make an outstanding addition to the Ninth Circuit, which is one of the circuits the Judicial Conference recently declared to be in a ``judicial emergency'' because of the number of vacancies. I trust the Senate will move quickly to confirm this important nomination.
And speaking of recovery, why don't we? A few days ago, I spoke to an Hispanic audience about the traditional values and strong family ties that Hispanics share. We've done all we can to support all American families with our efforts to strengthen the economy, and so I'm here before you today after 69 straight months of economic expansion. And don't let the snake-oil salesmen blur your minds with false statistics: This expansion has benefited Americans of every economic stripe and ethnic origin. This expansion has swept the country, from North to South, East to West, Calle Ocho -- did I say that right, or is it Ocho -- Ocho -- all right -- [laughter] -- in Miami to Loisaida Avenue in Manhattan.
And nowhere have we seen business opportunities expand so as in your own field of Hispanic media. With more than 500 television affiliates, more than 200 radio stations, and 76 newspapers, you've created the most vibrant ethnic media this nation has ever seen. And most of this growth has taken place in the last few years.
opportunities are opening up everywhere, and the same is true everywhere in the
most of you know, however, sadly, two peoples are struggling to get out from
under the suffocating embrace of Communist domination. The word glasnost is
spoken daily in the
A true, democratic Nicaraguan declaration of independence would guarantee freedom of speech, a human right that's been trampled upon in recent months with a constant intimidation of La Prensa. It would guarantee freedom of religion, a human right that's been trampled upon by the bullying of Radio Catolica. It would guarantee freedom of assembly, a human right that's been trampled upon by the suppression of independent labor unions. It would fulfill the promises the Sandinistas made to the Organization of American States in 1979. And it would free the Nicaraguan people from totalitarianism.
course, that declaration will not willingly come. Those that rule by
intimidation do not surrender dictatorial power willingly, only when they're
pressured to do so. And that's why I continue to support the freedom fighters
I'm also waiting for Congress to send the responsible defense legislation. I want legislation that will help my successor continue the policies that have brought the Soviets to the bargaining table and led them to begin pulling out of Afghanistan, as well as prompting a cease-fire in the Persian Gulf and liberating Grenada. Secretary Carlucci is prepared to work with Congress to come up with legislation that merits my approval and keeps our defenses strong. I will not stand by and watch this country once again be subjected to the naive and inexperienced liberal ideas that the people have consistently rejected and are completely out of step.
I went to Capitol Hill for the State of the
This year, the House and Senate have passed 13 individual spending bills, a far better way of doing business. I've signed 2 of them, just received a third, and expect to receive 3 others very soon. But the House and Senate are still haggling over the remaining 7 bills, even though the new fiscal year is starting in 2 weeks. I want to see those remaining 7 bills finished, on my desk, and fit to sign. And that includes defense legislation consistent with our policies of advancing freedom and peace through strength, the policies that have guided us for the past 7\1/2\ years
But I fear Congress has gotten distracted from the task of tending to the Nation's fiscal business and instead is spending its time trying to score points before returning home for the election. I challenge the congressional leadership to send me all 13 spending bills by October 1st and accomplish something that hasn't been accomplished since 1948: getting the Nation's business done on time.
Now I'll be happy to take your questions.
Mr. President, Thomas Regalado, from
The President. Well, I think what is
at stake is the very policy that from the first we set out. I hadn't been here
very long when I made a trip down through Central and
And so, that's what I wanted and what I still want. And I think we should continue. And of course, there's been a great disinformation campaign abroad and in our land that has confused a great many people about the Nicaraguan situation. But we must set them straight and make them realize it is plainly a battle between freedom fighters and dictatorship. So, I want that to continue.
Q. Miriam Lesnick, Replica magazine. After serving two terms as President, Mr. Reagan, what is, in your opinion, the three major accomplishments this administration has achieved in furthering the plight of Hispanics in this country? And what does the Bush administration have to offer Hispanics that Dukakis' administration won't?
The President. Well, I know how George feels -- and I think that you would be reassured if you don't -- about his warm feeling that he has with regard to Hispanics. And the three things that you say that we have done -- well, I think, for one thing -- I'm thinking overall terms -- our whole economic policy has been across the board. It hasn't just been to benefit one segment of our society. And in the improvement in the economy of wages, of getting jobs, and so forth, Hispanic Americans have benefited as well -- in some instances, even better -- than the general improvement. So, I think that the economic benefits that have accrued, the changes that have come about in education, and -- I'm going to be meeting with some of the educators, recognizing those today later -- I think all of those are different than what our past policy has been.
I think I'd better move around here a little bit.
Ethnically Oriented Campaigning
Mr. President, I'm Yolanda Ayubi, president of the
Milwaukee Hispanic Associates, and I'm also working in TV - 65 in
The President. Well, I think that's
only natural that we do that in societies such as our own, because our country
is made up of every background. We've all come, all of us, from every corner of
the world. And this country is unique in one sense. A man wrote me a letter and
explained it as beautifully as anyone could. He said, ``You
can go to
And so, I think it's natural to know that you appeal to the interests of people in politics as to what they expect from Government and what they believe their particular problems may be. And so, none of us forgot our heritage. You don't quit loving your mother because you've taken unto yourself a wife. So, we, all of us, are proud of where -- whether we or our ancestors -- came from. And I think it's only natural that you reach out to establish a rapport with these various groups and let them know that you are conscious that they may have, in some instances, problems that are not general. And therefore you want to know and want to find the answers to those particular problems.
Miss Board. We have time for one more question, please.
The President. Oh, dear.
Mr. President, the Cuban exiles have had high hopes that your administration
was going to help them win freedom of their land. What do you think has been
the major cause that has prevented your administration to help establish
The President. Well, I think one of
the things we've been working for is the source of
But I've just been told that there wasn't time for any -- --
Miss Board. That was our last question there.
The President. This always happens. Oh, you said one more?
Miss Board. No. I had said one more. That -- --
The President. Oh, she said that was the -- [laughter] -- well.
Board. Well, Guillermo [Guillermo Benitez, WLTV,
The President. All right.
The Vice President
You have only 2 more months of Presidency. And there are several issues that
are hanging, like contras, aid to
The President. Well, I have great confidence because George Bush has been, as Vice President, a part -- and a major part -- of everything that we've done and all of the accomplishments that we've had in the economy and everything else, and our building up of our security and all. And I am convinced that, basically, the policies that have been in effect for these last several years will continue under him. And he will, in addition, do additional things that, as problems arise, that have to be done.
I have a feeling that, if the election should go the other way, that there will be a turnaround, that they don't believe at all in what we've accomplished or what we've done, and we will be back to trying to solve our problems with higher taxes and that sort of thing.
And so, I think there is a very definite choice here for the people in this election. And I, as I say, have every confidence in George Bush and what he will do. He spoke a line in his acceptance speech at the convention that I think should be the theme for us of this campaign. And that is, he said: ``If you're going to change horses in the middle of the stream, don't get on a horse that's going the opposite way.''
I'm sorry -- and I always am when I have to leave hands in the air and I can't take their questions -- but she is absolutely right. You know, there's somebody here in the Government -- I haven't found him yet -- but somebody that tells me what I'm going to be doing every 15 minutes of the day. So, I'm going to have to go.
Note: The President
spoke at in Room 450 of the