Remarks at a Republican
Campaign Rally in
The President. Thank you, Phil, and thank you all very much. And a special hello and thank you, George Bush, Jr. -- and a special, long-time friend, Martha Weisend. Greetings also to the State GOP chairman, Fred Meyer. It's great to be here at the world-famous Mesquite Rodeo.
know, I keep a special place deep in my heart for
The Lone Star State is actually the State of many stars: Governor Bill Clements; Senator Phil Gramm; former Senator John Tower; Congressman and Senate candidate Beau Boulter; Congressional candidate Lon Williams; railroad commissioner Kent Hance; chief justice Tom Phillips; and a very special friend of mine, the Vice President of the United States, George Bush.
Now, you know, with this great reception you've given me and the way this Republican wagon train is rolling, it's hard to believe that once upon a time to be a Republican around here felt a little bit like being Gary Cooper in ``High Noon'' -- [laughter] -- outnumbered in a big way. You know, I remember a story of a fellow who was down kind of in the ranch and farm area here. He was running for office as a Republican. This was some years ago. He came by a farm, saw a fellow out there -- at least get in a lick with him. And when the farmer heard he was a Republican, his jaw dropped, and he said, ``Wait right here while I go get Ma. She's never seen a Republican before.'' [Laughter]
So, he went to get her. And the candidate, looking around, thought, well, when they come back, I'll give them a little Republican speech. When he couldn't find any platform -- well, the only thing he could find was a pile of that stuff that Bess Truman took 35 years trying to get Harry to call fertilizer. [Laughter] So, he got up on the mound. There he was when they came back, and he made his little speech. And at the end of it, the farmer said, ``That's the first time I ever heard a Republican speech.'' And the candidate said, ``That's the first time I've ever given a Republican speech from a Democratic platform.'' [Laughter]
all that, as they say, is history -- or should I say, ancient history, which at
my age is a subject that I'm regarded as an expert in. [Laughter] But I've come
here today to talk about the future, and there's no better place to do that
than Texas. That's because no one in
while we eagerly look to the future, the naysayers, the
liberal fearmongers, and the
Audience members. No!
The President. Would you agree with me
that the greatest chapters in
Audience members. Yes!
The President. The truth is that to a
degree never before seen in human history, one nation, the
I know that during the Vice Presidential debate the liberal opposition laughed
and snickered when Dan Quayle said that
Yes, the choice before the American people this year is just as clear as it was in 1980 and 1984: a choice between, on the one hand, liberal policies of tax and spend; gun control; economic stagnation; international weakness; and always, always ``blame America first''; and on the other hand, what we believe -- the policies of limited government, economic growth, individual opportunity, a strong defense, firmness with the Soviets, and always, always ``I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.''
is a chance to vote for the values that make
our opposition would derail this recovery faster than you can say ``tax hike.''
[Laughter] When we took office 8 years ago,
I know we see that unemployment rate, but there's always going to be an unemployment
rate. There are always going to be people who, on their own, are voluntarily
between jobs. And there are always going to be newcomers coming into the job
market. But what I learned since I've been here is that the statisticians
consider the potential employment pool of the
Now, lately, some liberals have been saying that they're on your side. I guess they think that will make it easier for them to reach their hand around and put it in your pocket. [Laughter] But you know, we've worked much too hard to cut your taxes to let our opponents come into office and raise them all over again and undo all our progress. So, if you care about fiscal responsibility -- that means keeping the liberals from stealing your wallet -- here's all you need to do on election day: Step into the voting booth, put your hand on the Republican lever, and say right out loud, ``Read my lips: No new taxes.''
In fact, a lot of Democrats around the country are saying that their party leadership has swung so far to the left, so far out of the mainstream, that the national Democratic leadership has lost touch with the rank and file of the party. Whether it's higher taxes, their opposition to school prayer, the appointment of leftwing judges, or a weak-kneed defense policy that only a McGovern could love, their views can only be described by the dreaded ``L'' word: liberal, liberal, liberal.
First, let's talk about crime and the right to bear arms. Our team believes that law-abiding people who want to protect their home and family have a constitutional right to own guns. But the liberals favor gun control.
Audience members. Booo!
The President. In fact, our same
opponents who are saying in
Audience members. No!
The President. We believe in strong judges who respect the Constitution and who are serious about fighting crime. Violent crime has fallen sharply in this country since 1981 -- I don't know why I picked that year -- [laughter] -- because we put criminals on notice. We said: Make a false move, and the next sound you hear is the clang of a jail cell door slamming shut.
The liberals say they're on your side, even when no matter how horrible or brutal the crime, they oppose capital punishment. Is that the side you're on?
Audience members. No!
The President. I didn't think so. [Laughter] Well, 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 George Bush, Tom Phillips, and I stand behind them all the way because we're on their side. Unlike liberals, we believe that when a drug dealer murders a policeman in cold blood, that kind of killer deserves and should receive the death sentence.
On school prayer -- we're for it; they're against it. But the self-proclaimed liberals say they're on your side. I say that they're so way out on the far-left side that if this were a football game the opposition would be called off-side. Actually, they wouldn't even be off-side; they'd be over the sidelines, which is where we're going to send them come election day.
I want to take a moment to say something to the mainstream rank-and-file Democrats here today. You know I'm a former Democrat. And it's often said that the once proud Democratic Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman is dead and gone, that the leadership of the Democratic Party has been taken over by the left. The party of F.D.R. and Harry Truman couldn't be killed. The party that represents people like you and me, that represents the majority of Americans -- that party hasn't disappeared. The fact is it's stronger than ever. You see, the secret is that when the left took over the Democratic Party leadership, we took over the Republican Party. We made the Republican Party into the party of working people; the family; the neighborhood; the defense of freedom; and, yes, the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to ``one nation under God.'' So, you see, the party that so many of us grew up with still exists, except today it's called the Republican Party. And I'm asking all of you to come home and join me: Come home to the Republican Party.
Let me just interject here, if I will. My first vote was cast in 1932 for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Do you know what platform he ran on? Reduce Federal spending by 25 percent. Eliminate useless boards and commissions. And return to the local communities, the people, and the States the authority and autonomy that had been unjustly seized by the Federal Government. Well, which party today is running on that kind of platform? Ours.
fact is, the old
see, today there really is a difference between the leadership of the two
parties. My friend Phil Gramm knows that personally.
The leftwing Democratic leadership in
one of the issues where there's the biggest difference is defense. Just look at
what Vice President Bush and I have done over the last 8 years. Today we're
once again respected in the world. Our Armed Forces are strong, and
But I know there've been some people that have worried a little about Gorbachev and me in these summit meetings. And they think maybe I'm kind of -- well, I've gotten a little easier here. But I just want you to know I made it plain to him from the very beginning with an old American saying: Trust everyone, but cut the cards.
none of our triumphs -- no, not one -- could have happened if the liberals had
their way. There would have been no INF treaty or rollback in
they opposed the liberation of
these have been a great 8 years, but
some say that it's time for a change. Well, you've heard it already. We are the
change. It began 8 years ago, and now is the time to keep the change alive. So,
let's remember what Yogi Berra said: ``It isn't over
till it's over'' -- no complacency, no overconfidence. We need you all to work.
We need you to put on your spurs and to ride with us. And if you would, I hope
you'll win just one more for the Gipper. Let's do all
this together for
And thank you, and God bless you all.
Note: The President
spoke at at the