Public Papers

Remarks at the Bush-Quayle South Florida Rally in Hialeah, Florida


The President. Thank you very, very much. What a wonderful turnout. Thank you. Thank you, Jeb. And may I first salute your great Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, doing a superb job in Washington, DC; Mayor Julio Martinez, also working at this important local level. And it's great to be back in south Florida. I believe I am the first President to visit Hialeah, but I am sure proud to be here. I want to mention three other State leaders who can't be with us today, Senator Casas and Representatives Garcia and Rojas. They'd planned on being here; they were called to Tallahassee for action in the legislature. And I just pay them my respects because they, too, are serving you all very, very well.

I wish we had a little more time here today. It would be great to have a Cafe Cubano at Chico Two's, but time won't permit it. And may I thank the people from south Miami here who are providing us with this cheering. And right over here, there they are, Hialeah.

I'm going to keep this speech short. When you've got to face the voters, you can't afford to give a 4-hour stemwinder, Castro-style. So I'll keep it shorter. Let me get right to the point of this visit. I want to be your President for 4 more years. We can and we will win elections up and down the line, in Congress, in the statehouses, and in local communities, for people that share our values, who are working for jobs, family, peace. And together, we can win a great victory on primary day and then another one on November 3d, 1992.

You see, I think we agree on the big issues that shape the world, on the values that guide us at home. And I'm speaking of world peace, the importance of family, the need to create and sustain good jobs in a productive society.

We have big plans for this year. Here's what we need to accomplish together. First, we are going to get that economy growing and thriving. Help me with the Congress. And with Ileana's help, I will try to keep rolling back a Government that's too big and spending too much. We'll try to keep working on that one, Ileana. And we're holding Congress' feet to the fire, to meet this March 20th deadline for tax cuts to create jobs and incentives to get the housing market back on its feet.

Right now, the tired old liberal leadership in the Congress is moving in the wrong direction. You know, the House passed a bill that would raise taxes 0 billion, and if it comes to my desk, I am going to veto it so fast it'll make your head swim.

And let me say also, we've got to break this stranglehold of government monopoly on the schools. You see, we say don't let the bureaucrats decide. Let the parents decide. Let the parents choose where the children go to school, and let them have the freedom to choose among private and parochial schools as well as public schools.

Another point, and Jeb touched on it, we've got to take back our neighborhoods from the thugs and the drug dealers. Part of the answer is a tough crime bill in Washington, DC. Give me your support to get that passed. Our bill gives new protection to women and children, those that are victimized by sex criminals. It stops endless appeals. And for the worst kind of crimes, it provides the death penalty for the cop-killers and those narcotic kings. I support our police, and I think we need to show more compassion for the victims of crime and be a little tougher on the criminals.

And let me shift a little bit, to a little bit to do with foreign affairs. I am looking forward to the day when democracy has triumphed and the Castro dictatorship nearby is no more. And let me say to those people outside who are concerned about their country: I want to see democracy restored to Haiti, and we will continue to work for the return of President Aristide.

I want to honor the Cuban brave human-rights activists and its martyrs for freedom and those who died resisting the dictatorship of Castro. And I'm looking forward to being the first President of the United States to set foot on the free soil of post-Castro Cuba.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Let's look at the real situation in the world. Look around the world. Fidel Castro is now hopelessly isolated. And let me be very clear about this: We cannot and we will not have a normal dialog with Cuba as long as that dictatorship remains in power. And we do not and we will not help Castro police that prison state. We're going to keep heavy pressure on the outlaw regime, and we are going to strictly maintain our embargo.

Now let me say, as I look at this situation as your President, Castro is showing signs of desperation. Over the past year, he has intensified his persecution of people who attempt free expression, of people who try to form independent organizations. And the secret police have carried out more arrests. The Government-controlled mobs are increasing their violence against brave individuals who stand up for the basic rights and liberties that we take for granted in this country. And so, Castro is trying to crush the Cuban spirit and the Cuban society in a manner like Stalin.

The world has run out of patience with Fidel Castro. Let me give you a profound example of what I have just said. Yesterday, at the Human Rights Commission in the United Nations in Geneva, they voted for the strongest action ever against Castro's human rights abuses. And listen to this one: A new democracy, a brandnew democracy, joined the world's condemnation of Castro's crimes, and that democratic was Russia. Imagine the change: Russia condemning Fidel Castro. And the vote of that important Commission was overwhelming. The ex-Communist states of Bulgaria and Hungary and Czechoslovakia cosponsored that anti-Castro resolution. But not a single Latin American country voted to defend Castro. It's changing. It's changing all around the world. And this man is isolated in his dictatorship.

But let me say this more positively. Let me say this more positively: When Castro falls, and inevitably he will, we are going to be instantly prepared to renew our friendship and then help instantly in the rebuilding of a free and democratic Cuba. And I'm talking about a lot of trade.

And while I'm on that subject, let me mention in a broad sense that the people I am running against for President of the United States, or who are running against me, do not share this vision of free and fair trade. They want to barricade our borders against job-creating trade. And they're the same kind of people that said to Columbus, ``The Earth is flat, don't go.'' And as for me, I'm going to keep working to increase the flow of foreign trade and investment which is the lifeblood of modern Miami. We will not go back to the sorry, sad, pessimistic days of protectionism. We're not going to do that as long as I am President.

My son Jeb told me that there were many people right here in the Guards and in the Reserve and in the regulars that served in Desert Storm. And they served with great patriotism. And let me say to them: You did a first-class job.

And now you're seeing in this political year many people that are saying, cut the heart out of defense. Cut it all up. Cut it away. Don't have a defense. Let me tell you something. I am going to keep this country strong and ready for the challenges ahead, whatever they may be. Yes, we can make cutbacks. Because these people fought so well, our credibility is high, communism is on the run, democracy is going forward. We can make cuts in defense. But true to form, the liberals want to cut it to the bone. And we must not let that happen. I am for prudent cuts. We have suggested some. They're on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of Colin Powell and of Dick Cheney. But I am not going to permit these people to gut defense so they can run off and spend your money in a reckless way.

When I think of Hialeah, I think of patriotism and service to country. And the Florida reservists and guardsmen answered that call for Desert Storm, and airmen and sailors from Florida's bases, and of course, the soldiers of General Schwarzkopf, central command all responded. And I am so proud of those of you here who served. And with your service and with your courage you said, ``Never will we tuck our tail and let aggression stand.'' And we fought. And we won. And you that served deserve the credit.

And there were those who didn't support us then, and there are those who second-guess us now. But not the good people of Hialeah, not the people of Florida. And when our kids laid it on the line, you never wavered. And for this, I want to thank the people of this great State.

And every 4 years we have this political dance. And now we are in the battle for the future of the United States of America. And we are determined to leave our kids the best legacy possible. We want to lead the world in good jobs with productive work. We want to remain a powerful force, the single world leader for world peace and freedom. And we're fighting to protect our most basic institution, the one that means so much to the people of Hialeah, and I'm talking about the family.

And on primary day and in November, you are going to have the future of this country in your hands. And you can prove your faith in self-government. You can prove that this epitomizes success in America, people that come here halfway around the world and then make a success of their lives. You can prove your success, and we can prove the pessimists wrong. So stand up and vote for what you believe in. Show Florida your strength. Show America the power that you represent. And give me 4 more years as President of the United States of America.

Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

The President. Thank you all. Thank you all, and may God bless the greatest country on the face of the Earth. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:08 p.m. at Milander Park Stadium.