Remarks at a Republican
Party Fundraising Dinner in
Thank you, Phil and reverend clergy, George, Barbara, Bill and Rita Clements, Beau and Rosemary Boulter, Fred Meyer, Bob Mosbacher, Tim Loeffler -- Tom Loeffler, I should say -- Penny Butler, Bobby Holt, and all of you: Thank you for that very kind reception.
also want to take this opportunity to thank Frank Fahrenkopf
for the outstanding job he's doing as chairman of our party. And let me
recognize a man who's leaving the great State of
Now, Phil, your warm introduction reminds me of a story, which isn't surprising, because when you're my age everything reminds you of something else. [Laughter] Seems there was a great old man, a wildcatter, a rancher, a political leader -- one of those people who's done it all in life. And he was being given an award for a lifetime of service to mankind. And the fellow giving the award said: ``We're here to pay tribute to you. You're a man of great personal courage, a man of wisdom, a man of truth; yes, a man to whom everyone across this land owes a debt of gratitude.'' And the old man rose out of his chair and hobbled over to the podium, looked out at the cheering crowd, and then turned back to the other fellow and asked: ``How come you didn't tell them about how modest and humble I am?'' [Laughter]
a greeting like the one you've just given me really does make me humble. But
then I guess you all know there's a special place deep in my heart for
also fond of
then, of course, there's the all-important race for the United States Senate.
And I'm sure you're all going to do everything you can on November 8th for a
fine man and a fine Congressman, Beau Boulter. Beau
has served his State and his country with distinction. But it isn't just that
he'll be a great Senator, he's also the one guy running for Senator in
have served in this administration with great distinction, particularly my good
friend Jim Baker. Jim was responsible for some of the finest victories of this
administration. Well, now, Jim, as I said when you left, I expect you to do it
for a guy who is, I have to admit, my very favorite Texan -- and you all know
his name. And there is another Texan who has worked both in our administration
and the Senate, and he's the first Republican elected to statewide office since
Reconstruction. He was a leader in the Senate of the fight for a stronger
defense. He was one of our arms negotiators in
You know, some people this year want to talk about competence. Well, 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 turned down a soft job on Wall Street to make his own way, the Republican chairman of Harris County, the Congressman from Houston, the chairman of the Republican National Committee -- I'm not finished yet -- the de facto Ambassador to China, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Vice President of the United States -- I'd say his resume says it all. And at the top of that resume there are these two words: George Bush.
know, we've been reminded recently of the importance of pledging allegiance to
our flag and to the Republic for which it stands. But I'll bet that every Texan
on this platform quietly throws in an extra pledge in there to the
Now, you'll hear the liberals talk about these things, too. You'll hear them say there are no disagreements between them and us about these bedrock principles, but it just doesn't sound right. They use our words and borrow our tunes, but the song is way out of key. When they say ``equality of opportunity,'' they mean straight numerical quotas. When they say ``closing the deficit,'' they mean raising taxes. And when they talk about a ``strong defense,'' they mean cut defense spending. Well, Abe Lincoln could have told them a thing or two about trying to fool the American people. I'll give them a piece of advice: Don't even try!
have been through a rough patch lately, but instead of griping and looking for
in 1980, thanks to people like you, those folks felt the winds of change at
their backs, and those winds blew them all the way home to
been dedicated to lowering taxes and liberating the American economy from the
regulations and confiscations of the malaise years. When we came into office
families everywhere were bleeding from tax rates that sapped our nation's
initiative. We took that money out of the grasping hands of the
know the value of hard work. The main reason we can all be full of optimism
about the future in this State is that you all know the dignity and purpose of
a job well done. Well, I've just come from another place,
It's our task not only to preserve our prosperity but also bring it to people who have not yet shared it. We Republicans believe that the key to solving poverty is hard work. And that's why we want to replace welfare with workfare and get people off the dole and into the work force. But many liberals in Congress are complaining about workfare. They think the only thing wrong with the current welfare system is that it doesn't have enough money.
that's like saying there's not enough water in the
know that the bedrock of a strong
But then, what can you expect from people who often seem to concern themselves with the rights of criminals and forget about the rights of the people the criminals prey on? We believe justice demands that a crack dealer with a machine gun who murders a police officer in the line of duty should give up his life as his punishment. We must protect our protectors 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 oppose the death penalty in every case. They're more interested in the rights of the murderer than the basic human rights that a criminal destroyed -- a police officer's right to life.
And that brings up another fundamental difference between us and the liberals. They do not believe that the unborn have a right to life. With all our hearts and souls, we do. And we pray this nation will turn away from abortion and choose adoption instead. Saving innocent lives -- we believe there's nothing more important than this.
These fundamental differences, this clash of visions, we see at work in our foreign and defense policies, too. The ideas that hold sway over the Democrats these days would make Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn shake their heads in wonder and confusion. There are people in this room who knew and learned from these two men, people like Phil Gramm and me who watched in horror as their once-proud party, which used to stand for economic growth at home and expanding the frontiers of freedom abroad -- a proud bull with a passion for justice and liberty -- became a stampeded steer, cowed by special interests at home and the enemies of freedom abroad.
believe in a national defense that defends our shores and our allies by land
and air and sea and, very soon, space, through the Strategic Defense
Initiative. But the opposition wants to reduce the size of our Navy, right at a
critical moment when the Soviets are building up their naval presence in the
Pacific. Reductions in the number of ships we have could mean endangering home
ports like the one here in
liberals have been all over the map about the B - 1 bomber, which is based at Dyess Air Force Base. Yesterday they were against it. And
today, once their pollsters told them to change their tune, they're for it.
With that kind of record, I wouldn't bet on tomorrow. No, sir, that's one
gamble I don't want
it's when it comes to freedom that we have our greatest clash of principles.
We've worked for freedom. We've fought the toughest battles of our
administration over the issue of aid to the valiant freedom fighters who are
seeking to liberate
that's part of a larger problem. The liberal leadership has always been
critical when we found it necessary to use military force, whether in the
election is about the future. And for Texans, the choice is simple: Do we want
a future that continues and expands on the policies that have brought
Well, I've kept you from your dinner long enough, and I happen to be due in another State very shortly. So, they aren't going to feed me. [Laughter] But you welcomed me warmly, and I'm deeply grateful to you. Thank you, and God bless you all.
Note: The President
spoke at in the main ballroom at the