Remarks at a Republican Party
Fundraising Dinner in
Thank you, John Engler
and Randolph Agley, Charles Yob, Spence Abraham, and
a real chip off the old block, Phillip Fisher. And thank you, Heinz Prechter, for that kind introduction and for the great job
you and your team and everyone in this hall have done these past 8 years. You
that's even more true now that someone I know and
respect came through for us and all
Well, it's a real pleasure to be here for a tribute to a great Detroiter, a great Republican, a great American, Max Fisher. To put it simply, the man is a legend. He's been an adviser, a supporter, and a friend not only to me but to dozens and dozens of others who would not have made it very far without Max's guidance.
You all know that Max Fisher is an important man, but I'm not sure you know just how important. I remember when I was here at the Joe Louis Arena 8 years ago for a little party you all probably remember called the Republican National Convention. At that convention, I was honored to receive the Republican nomination for President, and after I finished delivering my acceptance speech, many of you crowded onto the podium along with my family, my friends, and Republicans who shared in that magical moment. I have to say it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
a friend of mine was sitting in a hotel lounge in
Well, I didn't really mind. After all, Max is one of the few men who's been around longer than I have. [Laughter] Max is a loyal, longtime Republican. In fact, he saw the light a lot earlier than I did. After all, it's no secret I used to be a Democrat before I saw the light -- only when I saw the light I had to ask Tom Edison, ``What in the Sam Hill is that thing, anyway?'' [Laughter]
has always seen
Max has seen them come and seen them go, like I have, and I'd wager that he was as impressed as I was by a certain speech given a couple of months ago in New Orleans. It was one of the finest pieces of oratory I've ever heard, given by one of the finest men I've ever known, a fellow by the name of George Bush.
Now, some people want to talk this year, I understand, 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 U.N., 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.
And that's the kind of competence we need as we move onward. Our party looks to the future -- a future of continued growth, a future of expanded opportunity, a future of peace. And after watching the debate the other night, I know the Bush-Quayle ticket will continue the policies of peace and prosperity that have, as Dan said, made this great nation ``the envy of the world.'' I hear some people say we've grown complacent, that it's time for a change. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are the change. We began it 8 years ago.
Let me talk a little about that change. We're in the 71st 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. Let me speak a second about those regulations. When I came in and sat in that Oval Office, one of my first chores was to name George Bush as the chairman of a committee to get into how we could reduce and eliminate many of the Federal regulations. Where was George? He was in charge of that commission that today -- we estimate that today the regulations that had been reduced have resulted in a savings of 600 million man-hours a year that no longer have to be applied to government-required paperwork.
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
been doing some work, too. And we don't just talk; we deliver. We've 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
the misery index? You get it by adding the rate of unemployment to the rate of
inflation. Jimmy Carter invented it as a stick to beat Jerry Ford with in 1976.
Well, during my predecessor's term that index rose from 13.4 percent in 1976 to
21 percent in 1980. And you know, he never brought it up in the 1980 election
-- I did. [Laughter] My friends, today it's less than 10 percent, and it's been
shrinking faster than Walter Hudson, that 1,200-pound man in
Now, if only we could get Congress to follow Walter's example and cut the fat out of their diet. [Laughter] And I want you to know when I'm talking here about this there are four of your Congressmen I know here in the audience -- and we want them back in Washington -- and present company is excepted from the things that I'm saying right here. I think we ought to put Congress on a diet: a diet called the line-item veto and the balanced budget amendment.
Yes, today we have peace and prosperity, and the liberals are trying to pretend those economic and foreign policy nightmares they gave us never happened. Well, they may think they've thrown the past down the memory hole, but there's a reason why the Republican symbol is an elephant. An elephant never forgets. And when you're talking about the ``malaise'' years, let me assure you the liberals -- or let me assure the liberals, I should say, that I haven't forgotten and you haven't forgotten, and they can be sure the American people haven't forgotten either.
you can hardly blame the liberals for trying to tell the country about how
terrible everything is. After all, what issues do they have to run on? Take
defense -- they opposed the buildup of the military. They opposed the
deployment of the missiles in
Take crime -- the liberals oppose the death penalty. They oppose it absolutely and in every case. We have fought to protect the noble men 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. And we say that a crack dealer with a machinegun who murders a police officer in the line of duty should give up his life as his punishment.
take the economy -- the liberals opposed our tax cuts, our tax reform efforts,
our economic program that slashed interest rates in half and put
know, in my job I visit many schools and factories, farms and communities
around our country, and I get to see why our nation is so strong. Again and
again I find myself remembering what General George C. Marshall said when he was
asked why he was so confident that we would win the Second World War. Well, he
said, ``We have a secret weapon: the best blankety-blank kids in the whole world.'' Well, in our
economy, we too have a secret weapon: the best blankety-blank
men and women in the whole world. They're those kids that grew up since then.
liberals are saying that they want to help the American middle class. And what
they're planning to do for the American middle class is to tax them and tax
them and then tax them some more. Well, if you ask me, the liberals are selling
the middle class short. Every time the liberals see a problem, they think a big
government program run by bureaucrats in
Well, I say if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And the problem is big spending. The solution is so simple only a liberal could miss it. [Laughter] We just have to spend less. What we've learned from hard experience -- that big spending is as seductive as anabolic steroids. And I think 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.
me just say something about that. In this campaign, coming from one side, I'm
getting sick and tired of hearing about my 7 years of deficit spending. The
President of the
Well, you know, they left out one part of the Keynesian theory. It's true he did say deficit spending by government, if need be, in times of recession to bring back the economy -- stimulate the economy. But then he said, as soon as you've done that, you pay off the deficit and get back to balanced budgets. That's the part they neglected.
But to have the Congress so dominated -- that's not checks and balances. The Democratic Presidents in these last 58 years -- they've all had, except for a 4-year period, Republican Congresses that Republican -- or Democratic Congresses -- what am I saying? And the Republican Presidents in all of these years -- they've only had Republican Congresses for 2 of their years and that was 2 years during Ike Eisenhower's term.
So, you've all got to do everything you can here in Michigan, and that means getting our message out for a tough-as-nails guy who's running a tough-as-nails race and will make a great Senator -- Jim Dunn.
What it all comes down to is a clash of principles, of values, and 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.
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're confident that
we're right. We're confident that our cause is just. So, let us go then, Let's take our message of 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 let them know that we are the
change. And that change will continue if the people go to the polls and do what
they should and vote for that ticket of ours and for our House of
Representatives, the Congressmen who are here, for our Senatorial candidates,
and continue us in charge of this recovery that has been going on. And it is
the longest sustained recovery in the history of the
So, I thank you, and I thank again that citizen that you honor here tonight, Max Fisher.
Thank you very much, and God bless you all.
Note: The President
spoke at in the Renaissance Ballroom at the