Remarks at a Senate
Campaign Rally for Representative Ken Kramer in Colorado Springs, Colorado
October 30, 1986
The President. Thank you all. And Ken Kramer, thank you very much for that most gracious and
generous introduction. And you know, the way all of you have been
cheering, I thought maybe the Broncos had come in. But it is a pleasure to come
here to Colorado Springs, home of one of our
nation's finest and proudest institutions, the Air Force Academy. You know, I
did a little research and discovered that the Academy was founded in 1954. Now,
how do you like that? An august institution of higher learning that's younger
than I am. In fact, flying in yesterday we had kind of an exciting moment. Our
pilot, Air Force Colonel Ruddick wanted to do a
loop-to-loop to show off to everybody down below. [Laughter] But there's a name
for the pride and courage that the Academy instills, and the way I see it, it
applies to all of Colorado Springs. It's called the right
since I used to be a drum major of a boys band myself, I'd like to give some
credit and my thanks to some groups that have been making beautiful music: the
Cheyenne Mountain High School Band and the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale.
an honor to share this platform today with so many of Colorado's finest. I'm sorry
that Bill Armstrong, at the last minute, couldn't be with us. He's one of the
strongest voices in the United States Senate. And then your
fine Representatives: Mike Strang, Hank Brown, and
Dan Schaefer, and the State GOP Chairman Bo Callaway. And then, there's your
superb candidate for Governor, Ted Strickland, and his running mate for
Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Arnold. And you have three great candidates for
Congress: Mike Norton, Joe Wood, and Joel Hefley. Now, these are men in the
finest tradition of the GOP. And in their case, GOP stands for growth,
opportunity, and patriotism. You and I both need them in Denver and Washington. Can I count on you to
help them get reelected and elected? [Applause] Now, this, of course, brings me
to my friend, Ken Kramer. Now, I could refer to Ken as the outstanding
Congressman from Colorado Springs, but doesn't it seem
even better to talk about Ken Kramer, the next United States Senator from the
great State of Colorado? [Applause]
now, I can't help but see the young people here in the audience. And I have a
special message for all of you. It's from my roommate. [Laughter] She says to
tell you that when it comes to drugs, please -- for yourselves, for your
families, for your future and your country -- just say no.
Audience. We love you, Ron!
The President. I've got to make a kind
of personal greeting here, also, when I'm recognizing everyone. Because right down here in front with a sign, I've got some
fraternity brothers -- TKE. I've discovered it really was what they told
me: a fraternity for life.
it's wonderful to be here in Colorado. And you know, as I
often say to my staff when we're taking off in Air Force One, it's great to get
out of Washington and get out back to
where the real people are. You know, I probably couldn't do this much traveling
when Congress was in session, as Ken will tell you. That's because some of
those folks need watching. [Laughter] Now, I'm not assailing the institution of
the Congress; I respect it highly. But there are some individuals there that
their approach to governing is about like the three fellows that came out of a
building and discovered that they had locked themselves out of their car. And
one of them said, ``Well, get me a wire coathanger. I
can straighten it out, and I can trip the latch and get us in.'' The second one
said, ``You can't do that. Somebody will see us and
think you're stealing the car.'' And the third one said, ``Well, we'd better
think of something fast, because it's starting to rain and the top's down.''
that story says so much about how the tax-and-tax and spend-and-spend policies
left our country just a few short years ago -- left it with negative growth,
double-digit inflation, the highest interest rates since -- and get ready for
this -- the highest interest rates since the Civil War. Ken was part of our
cleanup crew for the worst economic mess since the Great Depression. We cut
government growth. We slashed regulations, cut income taxes almost 25 percent.
And today we're enjoying one of the longest economic expansions in our history.
The prime interest rate has fallen by two-thirds. Mortgage and auto loan rates
are down. Inflation has plummeted from more than the double-digit figure that
Ken told you about to, now, 1.8 percent. And we've created over 11\1/2\ million
new jobs in a little less than 4 years. Now, that's more new jobs than Japan and all of our friends
combined have created in the last 10 years. You know, when we started this
economic recovery program of ours, there were a lot of people against it and
some making fun and some bitterly criticizing it; but I really realized it was
working when those people stopped calling it Reaganomics.
days ago we learned that the figure that represents the country's economic
growth, the gross national product, GNP, and some other indicators show our
economy gathering momentum for even more growth, higher take-home pay, and more
new jobs. And just this morning we learned from the Commerce Department that
the trade deficit in September declined for the second month in a row and is now
30 percent lower than its peak. Now, this is particularly good news for our
manufacturing industries. We also learned that September sales of single-family
homes were up over 10 percent -- just two more indications we're headed for
more prosperity. And I'm determined to see that those who still are not sharing
fully in our nation's prosperity do so. And I give you my pledge: Neither Ken nor I will be satisfied until this expansion
reaches every sector of our economy and every home in America and until every
American who wants a job has a job.
to broaden our expansion, I signed into law last week the most sweeping reform
of the tax code in our nation's history. For more than 80 percent of Americans,
it means a top tax rate of 15 percent or less, and that's why I'm calling it
Tax Cut II. But wouldn't you know it, even before this fair share tax plan
reached my desk, the Democratic leadership in Congress was saying that they
wanted to break faith with the American people and turn tax reform into a tax
increase. You know, the truth is, those folks never met a tax they didn't like.
And when it comes to spending your hard-earned money, they act like they've got
your credit card in their pockets. And believe me,
they never leave home without it. [Laughter] But you, the American people, know
the truth: We don't have a deficit because we're taxed too little; we have a
deficit because the Congress is spending too much. Isn't it about time they
started protecting the family budget instead of fattening the Federal budget?
the contrast between us and the leaders of the other party is just as apparent
when it comes to judicial appointments. Since I began appointing Federal
judges, which is one of my jobs -- they then have to be approved by the Senate,
and in this case, the Republican Senate -- the Federal judiciary has become
tougher, much tougher, on criminals. Criminals are going to jail more often and
receiving longer sentences. But over and over the Democratic leadership has
tried in the Senate to torpedo our choices for judges, and that's where Ken can
make all the difference. Without him and the Republican majority in the Senate,
we'll find liberals, like a certain fellow from Massachusetts, deciding who our
judges are. And why do I think that you'll agree when I say that I'd rather
have a Judiciary Committee headed, as it is, by Strom Thurmond than one headed
by Teddy Kennedy any day?
know -- in these partisan politics -- you know, there was a Democratic
fundraising event at a downtown hotel. And as the people were coming out from
the event, there was a boy, a kid out there with a bunch of puppies. And he was
holding them up for sale, and he was saying, ``Buy a Democrat puppy. Buy a
Democrat puppy.'' But 2 weeks later the Republicans held a fundraiser there.
And they were coming out, and there was the same kid, same pups, and he's
saying, ``Buy a Republican pup. Buy a Republican puppy.'' And a newspaperman
who had seen him there 2 weeks before said, ``Hey, wait a minute. You were here
2 weeks ago selling those as Democrat puppies.'' He said, ``Now you're selling
them as Republican puppies. How come?'' Kid said,
``Now they've got their eyes open.'' [Laughter]
ladies and gentlemen, we've come now to an issue that transcends in importance
even all the other crucial matters I've mentioned: my most solemn duty as
President, the safety of the American people and the security of these United States. And here, too, because
of the support of men like Ken, we've been able to restore America's strength. There's
nothing I'm prouder of than the 2 million young men and women who make up the
Armed Forces of the United States. And let me tell you:
If we ever must ever ask them to put their lives on the line for the United States of
America, then they deserve to have the finest weapons
and equipment that we can produce. Ken's opponent and those like him would do
their best to continue hacking away at the defense budget to where that
wouldn't be true. Well, we're going to see that those young men and women in
uniform get the tools they need. You know, because of those young men and women
in uniform, things really have changed around the world. You know, America used to wear a ``Kick
Me'' sign around its neck. Well, we've thrown that one away, and now the sign
reads ``Don't Tread on Me.'' Today every nickel-and-dime dictator around the
world knows that if he tangles with the United States of America he will have a
price to pay. And one other thing I'm especially proud of: After 6 years of
this administration, not 1 square inch of territory in the world has been lost
to communism, and one small country, Grenada, has been freed.
finally, there's another special issue. We remain committed to our decision to
move ahead with our Strategic Defense Initiative against ballistic missiles,
the SDI. Today we're dealing with the Soviet Union from a position of
strength, and it was SDI that brought the Soviet Union to the bargaining
table. And let me pledge to you: Our goal is to keep America strong, to save the
West from mutual nuclear terror, to make ballistic missiles obsolete, and
ultimately to remove them from the face of the Earth. SDI is America's insurance policy to
protect us from accidents or some madman who might come along, as a Hitler did
or a Qadhafi, or just in case the Soviets don't keep
their side of a bargain. Now, the record on Soviet treaty violations is clear.
We can either bet on American technology to keep us safe or on Soviet promises.
Each has its own track record. And as for me, I'm going to bet on American
technology every time. Now, I knew there were those who had their doubts, but
flying back from Iceland, I just knew the
American people would support firmness with the Soviet Union. So, I couldn't come
here today without thanking each one of you for that support.
are some people that don't quite understand about SDI and what it really
amounts to. And I think I'd just like to say very simply what our -- from the
very beginning of our thinking of it. It is a shield that we believe, and our
scientists believe, can protect a nation against incoming nuclear missiles. Our
present defense policy is the one called the MAD policy, mutual assured
destruction, meaning that if we've got a lot of missiles and they've got a lot
of missiles, well, we're both so scared of each other that maybe we'll never
shoot them. That's a little flimsy. Now, we are researching and studying and
have made breakthroughs in this SDI program. But to those people who don't
quite understand it -- and I've seen a couple of signs around here that
indicate that they don't -- [laughter] -- let me point out what our proposal
was to the Soviet
-- and still is. If and when we have developed that system,
that we know we have a defensive shield, we will then appeal to the Soviet Union to join us in
eliminating all the strategic and intermediate-range nuclear missiles. And then
we will share SDI with them, so that we can both live in comfort, go down
through the years without having to be suspicious of each other. I told that to
Mr. Gorbachev. I haven't quite been able to convince him I mean it.
you know, I couldn't come here today or address a crowd like this without
feeling that today there are a number of Democrats and Independents here with
all of us. And I want to say I hope so, because hard-working, patriotic people,
Democrats and Independents, have also supported us and I've relied on them in
this last 6 years. But to those Colorado Democrats, let me say I used to be a
Democrat myself. And I must tell you from my heart that Ken Kramer represents
your views far better than the liberals who run the Democratic Party in
Washington -- and, yes, those who run it right here in Colorado. I just have to
suggest, I think they should join the Republican Party as I did. I know it
isn't easy, but as Winston Churchill, that great British statesman, when he was
a Member of Parliament -- he changed parties. He was criticized, and he
responded by saying, well, ``Some people change
principle for party, and others change party for principle.''
know, the choice here before you is clear here in Colorado. Ken's opponent
[Timothy E. Wirth] may try to sound like a moderate when he's in Colorado. But believe me, I've
seen him in action for 6 years now, and when he's in Washington, he votes
liberal with a capital ``L.'' As a matter of fact, Ken's opponent reminds me of
another story. [Laughter] When you get my age you'll find a lot of things
remind you of stories. This was a young fellow that wanted to -- he liked
animals. And he thought if he could get a job in the zoo -- so he applied. And
they said, yes. But they said, ``There's one thing first. Our ape, our gorilla
died.'' And they said, ``We want you to put on the
gorilla suit that we have here, get in the cage, and entertain the children
when they come through the zoo. Do tricks and things for them.'' Well, he was a
little upset. But he said, ``Then you'll have the other job here in the zoo
taking care of animals.'' So, there he was in the cage and going through his
routine. And he began to take the part a little seriously. And pretty soon he
was swinging on a swing, and he swung too high and went clear over the fence
and landed in the lion's cage. [Laughter] And the lion came roaring at him. And
he started -- in his gorilla suit -- screaming for help, ``Get me out of here!
Help! Help!'' The lion jumped on him and said, ``Shut up,
or you'll get us both fired.'' [Laughter]
a liberal in moderate's clothing -- that's Ken's opponent all over. But if you
want a Senator who talks down-to-earth common sense in Colorado, then votes that way in
Washington, well, then Ken Kramer
is your candidate. Again and again, Ken has proven crucial in our efforts to
cut your taxes and get big government off your backs. He's been central in our
efforts to rebuild the nation's defenses. From the beginning he's been a strong
supporter of our Strategic Defense Initiative. And he helped convince the
administration to put the major research center that will be the brains of SDI
right here in Colorado. As Ken understands,
our Strategic Defense Initiative will open the door to a new technological age.
Just as America's space program created
new jobs and industries, SDI could open whole new fields of technology and
industry, providing jobs for thousands, as Ken said, right here in Colorado and improving the
quality of life in America and around the world.
the same time, Ken has been tireless in his efforts to preserve the
environment. He believes, as I do, that a big part of being conservative is conserving
things like clean air and water and the natural beauty of this RockyMountainState. To this end, Ken was a
leader in seeing that the Superfund for cleaning toxic waste sites was
reenacted. And I know you'll also be glad to hear that, with his support and
direction, we're making the cleanup job at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal a number
then, is what it comes down to. In Ken's opponent, you have a man who would
vote to weaken America and raise your taxes.
But in Ken Kramer, you have a man who believes in peace through strength, a man
who took part in the fight to cut your taxes and create new jobs, and a man
determined to go on working hard for the people of Colorado and the Nation. My
friends, in voting for Ken Kramer, you'll be voting for the workhorse, not for
the show horse. And let me tell you all: The eyes of America are on you and your
great State. Will you choose the Democratic leaders, who in 1980 weakened our
nation and nearly brought our economy to its knees, who raised your taxes and
have announced their plans to do so again, and who oppose our efforts to pursue
a defense to protect us from attack by nuclear ballistic missiles? Or will you
choose to give our cleanup crew a chance to finish the job? [Applause]
just to be sure where you stand, I thought I'd conduct a kind of an informal
poll. [Laughter] Now, I want you to speak up loudly so all America can hear. Do you want
to go back to the days of big spending, high taxes, and runaway inflation?
The President. Do you want Ted Kennedy
controlling the confirmation of Federal court judges?
The President. Do you want to return
to policies that gave us a weak and vacillating America?
The President. Well, that's good to
hear. [Laughter] Now, would you rather have low taxes, low inflation, and low
The President. Would you rather have
an America that is strong, proud,
The President. Do you want Ken Kramer
as your Senator from the great State of Colorado?
Audience. Kramer! Kramer! Kramer!
The President. Thank you. You just
made my day, and you didn't hurt Ken's feelings at all.
know, my name will never appear on a ballot again, but if you'd ----
The President. Thank you. If you'd
like to vote for me one more time, you can do so by voting for Ken Kramer. But
important as this election is to me, it'll be even more important to you, and
especially to you young people, for it will shape our nation's history. Every
poll shows that the age group between 18 and 24 has the highest percentage of
any age group in supporting what we're doing. But, now, there's one other
thing, though. The polls also show that in that particular age group, you have
the lowest percentage of voters who are turning out on election
day to vote.
The President. So, you young people:
Exercise your sacred right as an American. Participate in shaping history itself.
Go to the polls and cast your vote. But more than that,
go out of here as missionaries and buttonhole your friends in that age group
and tell them they've got to do the same thing. You know, at the beginning of
World War II someone asked the Chief of Staff of the United States Army,
General George C. Marshall, if the United States was going into the war
with a secret weapon and, if so, what was it? And George Marshall said: ``Yes,
we have a secret weapon. It's just the best blankety-blank
kids in the world.'' Well, I've been all over the country, back and forth. I've
been on campuses. I've been in high schools. I've seen the young people in the
service. I see all of you. And I have to tell you, if General George Marshall
were here today, he'd say you're the best blankety-blank
kids in the world.
it's time to go now, but before leaving ----
The President. I have to go over to Nevada yet today. They've got
somebody running over there, too. [Laughter] But before I go, I'd just like to
say that people my age deeply believe that it's our duty to turn over to you
young Americans the same freedom and opportunity that our parents and
grandparents handed over to us. And when we look at you, and when we see your
openness, your enthusiasm for America and for life itself, it
gives us heart. My generation and all the generations in here between mine and
yours -- this is our obligation. There have been times over the years when
we've faltered and when America seemed to lose some of
those great values that are so precious. But we have them back in action now.
We have them, and all of us have pledged we're going to see to it that we do
turn that kind of America over to you.
when you go to the polls, win one for Ken Kramer, win one for your future and
for America's future, and I don't
mind -- win one for the Gipper! Thank you all, and
God bless you. God bless you all.
The President spoke at at the World Arena. He
was introduced by Representative Kramer. Following his remarks, the President
met with major donors to the Colorado State Republican Party at the Broadmoor Hotel. He then traveled to Reno, NV.