Remarks at a Republican
Party Fundraiser in
Thank you very much. And, Jim, I thank you for that introduction. And thank you, Mike Galvin and Dick Morrow. And I'd like to say hello to Congresswoman Lynn Martin, who happens to be the Congresswoman where my hometown is -- or was. And my valued friend and old colleague, Howard Baker. And again, a special thank you to Jim Thompson for that marvelous introduction. Jim, you're a great guy and an even greater Governor and a man who gives new meaning to an old phrase -- because unlike some Governors, Jim, you took the Pledge. [Laughter]
they tell me I'm standing right in front of the pork bellies pit here.
[Laughter] That's funny, I never knew Congress spent time in
Of course, it's not exactly the same place it was in the old days. I remember hearing about a fellow who was assigned to be a precinct watcher on election day here. He saw a fellow walk in and vote and walk out. And then the same fellow came in again, only this time with a different hat on -- [laughter] -- and voted. And then he came in again, only this time with a different sport coat on, and voted. And the first fellow went up to the precinct captain and said, ``Hey, I think that man voted three times already.'' And the precinct captain said, ``Three times? That's impossible. He's not even dead yet.'' [Laughter]
it's a great pleasure to be here on the floor of the Merc
because this is a place devoted to the future. And believe me, when you've had
as much past as I have, you just love the future. [Laughter] Just think, only a
few hours ago traders and brokers were waving their arms, screaming themselves
hoarse, betting on the future. Come to think of it, they were a lot like the
Some people want to talk this year about competence. Well, I say, fine, let's talk about competence. I just happen to think that the youngest flier in the Navy with 58 combat missions, the Texas wildcatter who made his own way in the world, the Republican Congressman from Houston, the chairman of the Republican Party, the de facto Ambassador to China, the Ambassador to the United Nations, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Vice President of the United States has it just about wrapped up in the competence department. We've all seen what a brilliant job he's done in the past, and I can promise you he's going to do an even better job in the future.
Looking ahead to the future is something George Bush has in common with the people who work on this floor. It's also something he has in common with all of you and with the Republican Party as a whole. You know, it used to be that being a Republican in Cook County was a little bit like being Elliot Ness in ``The Untouchables'' -- [laughter] -- outnumbered in a big way. But more and more Chicagoans are beginning to realize that if you want to go with a future of opportunity, economic growth, and peace through strength, there's only one place to turn: the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party.
I'm delighted to see so many new faces in this room, a sign of the change in
Republican fortunes in
George and our party look to the future -- a future of continued growth, a future of expanded opportunity, a future of peace. I hear some people say it's time for a change. Well, ladies and gentlemen: We are the change. We began the change 8 years ago.
let me talk a little bit about that change: We're in the 70th straight month of
economic recovery. We've been dedicated to slashing taxes and liberating the
American economy from the regulations and confiscations of the ``malaise''
years. When we came into office, families everywhere were reeling from tax
rates that were sapping this nation's initiative. We took that money out of the
grasping hands of the
you know, I have to interrupt myself right here with just a little anecdote
from my previous days as Governor of California. I came into a situation there
as Governor that was about the same as I came into in
I had a Democratic legislature, and then they couldn't quite take on the people after they'd heard that I was giving them back the money. [Laughter] And this particular day, a leader -- Democratic leader in the senate -- stormed into my office and hit my desk. And he said, ``Mr. President, giving that money back to the people is an unnecessary expenditure of public funds.'' [Laughter] I think that kind of sums up the difference between our two philosophies.
The result has been astounding. In the past years, we've seen an explosion of hard work and innovation across this country, people putting their shoulders to the wheel and shifting their entrepreneurial energies into overdrive. And now more Americans are at work today, an amazing 62.7 percent of all -- this is what is considered to be the potential employment pool -- of all Americans, male and female, from age 16 and up. And 62.7 percent of that group have jobs.
But we didn't stop there. We've gone to work ourselves on the educational system, encouraging the return to basics and demanding nothing less than excellence. Excellence isn't just a good grade: It's a philosophy that says, ``You must do your best because that is what it means to be an American.'' Excellence -- that's our goal, and we're going to get it!
gone to work on our judicial system, appointing serious-minded judges who
respect the Constitution and know the meaning of the word punishment. Violent
crime has fallen significantly since 1981 because we put
gone to work on our nation's defenses. We're once again respected in the world.
Our Armed Forces are strong, and
let's take a little journey back to the years before George Bush and I were
The misery index -- which you determine by adding the rate of inflation to the rate of unemployment. And that had been invented in the 1976 election, and it was used by candidate Carter -- or President Carter against Jerry Ford. He used this because the misery index was 13.4, and he said no one has a right to ask to be President with a misery index that big. Well, that was in 1976. In 1980 they never mentioned the misery index, after their 4 years, because it was now 21 percent.
today it's less than 10 percent, and it's been shrinking faster than Walter
Hudson, the 1,200-pound man in
back in 1979, Americans were waiting in lines a mile long to buy gasoline. And
a President went on television that year to blame it all on the American
people, telling them it was all their fault. They were
suffering from some kind of malaise. Well, it wasn't the American people: It
was the guys in
Today we have peace and prosperity, and the liberals are trying to pretend those economic and foreign policy nightmares they gave us never happened. They're singing the same song they sang back then, and it sure isn't, ``Don't Worry, Be Happy.'' [Laughter] It's more like, ``Please Worry, Be Miserable.'' [Laughter]
can hardly blame them for trying to convince the country that good news is
actually bad news. After all, what issues do they have to run on? Take defense
-- they opposed rebuilding our military defenses. They opposed the deployment
of the missiles in
Well, now they're trying to get elected, and so they say the Nation's defenses are safe with us. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've been Commander in Chief for almost 8 years now, and I've studied their record and their positions. And based on my research, I'm going forth with a message for the American people: When they talk about a strong defense, I don't buy it.
They oppose the death penalty, even for a crack dealer with a machinegun who murders a police officer in the line of duty. George and I fought to protect the noble men and women who protect us, and that means the death penalty for these vicious killers. If you ask me, there are no Americans braver and no citizens more precious than the men and women who guard us: our State and local police.
But the liberals, like their flagship, the ACLU -- [laughter] -- often seem to concern themselves with the rights of criminals and forget about the rights of the citizens those criminals prey upon. But now they want to get elected, and so they claim they're tough on crime. Well, I've examined that record, and we've all got to go out and tell the American people: When they say they're tough on crime, don't you believe it.
liberals opposed our tax cuts, our tax reform efforts, our economic program
that slashed interest rates in half and put
liberals have been slashing away at our nation's defenses while passing
budget-busting bills through Congress -- $87 billion here, $23 billion there;
and as Everett Dirksen might have said, pretty soon
you're talking about real money. [Laughter] Every time they see a problem, they
think a big government program run by bureaucrats in
brought with me to
There's a solution to the spending crisis. That solution is so simple only a liberal could miss it. [Laughter] We just have to spend less. But big spending is as seductive as anabolic steroids, and it's time the big spenders were disqualified. We can accomplish that by giving George Bush what he needs to do the job: a new Congress, a better Congress, a Republican Congress. And people in this area can help get the job done by reelecting a terrific first-term Congressman from the Fourth District. He's got a tough race, but he's a tough-as-nails guy: Jack Davis. Send him back there.
We're working hard to solve the drug crisis in this country, but we're facing some resistance. Guess where? With the liberals on Capitol Hill, that's where. The House has passed a drug bill with a lot of good and tough provisions. But now that bill is stalled in the Senate. I tell you this: If the Senate were controlled by Republicans today, we'd already have signed into law that drug bill, and dealers and users everywhere would know this country stands united behind two powerful words: zero tolerance.
it all comes down to is a clash of principles, of values, of visions. The
liberals look at this country and see problems, woes, gloom and doom. And you
know, that's the kind of thinking that can turn into a
self-fulfilling prophecy. We look at this country, and we see expanded
opportunities, a glorious future, a future in which this nation is strong,
protected by land and sea and air and, yes, space -- courtesy of the Strategic
Defense Initiative. We look to the future and see a nation healthy, a nation
strong, a nation at peace. I know all of you want to
send the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. Well, on November 8th, the American
people will be sending the gloom-and-doom liberal bears into hibernation.
[Laughter] And why? Because they know that we are
So, let us go then. Let's bring our messages and our optimism to every man, woman, and child across this great State and across this great nation. Let them know that a vote for us is a vote for peace, a vote for prosperity, and, yes, a vote for the future.
And I think I've kept you from dinner too long. I just want to say a thank you to all of you not only for your warm reception but also for what you're doing. And God bless you all.
Note: The President
spoke at on the trading floor of the